The Story of Mahatma Gandhi

A Sunday Children's Story

Good morning and welcome to our children’s story.

Click here for a printable version of the story.

Today our story is about a famous man, Mohandas Gandhi, later known as Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma refers to a person regarded with reverence and a holy person. Gandhi is famous for his nonviolent revolution to protest the unfair treatment by Britain to the people in India and South Africa.

            Before we begin our story, I’d like to share some important facts about Gandhi that you might find interesting.

  • Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in India, then part of the British Empire.
  • He grew up worshiping the Hindu god Vishnu and following the religion Jainism. They espoused non-violence, fasting, meditation and vegetarianism.
  • Gandhi married at an early age and had many children.
  • When he was 18 years old, he sailed for London, England to study law, and he became a lawyer.
  • He lived in India with his family and then they moved to South Africa, where they lived for nearly twenty years.
  • Gandhi witnessed and experienced much discrimination because of the color of his skin.
  • Once on a train voyage, he was thrown out of a first-class railway compartment after refusing to give up his seat for a European passenger. That train journey served as a turning point for Gandhi, and he soon began developing and teaching the concept of satyagraha (“truth and firmness”) or nonviolence resistance as a way to protest.
  • Gandhi returned to India and became a spiritual and political leader and defended the rights of those mistreated by the British government. He did this through nonviolent protests, which drew international attention to the injustices in these countries. Eventually, Britain granted India its independence.

 

Throughout his life, Gandhi was influential and changed many areas of life by his example rather than through violent protest. Our beloved Guru Ma told us that he was one who stood as a master of the heart chakra. And that point of mastery was always an action that was very practical.

The following two stories illustrate how Gandhi was developing his heart chakra throughout his life and how he assisted people by compassion and love to come up higher on their spiritual path. Let’s hear our two short stories now about his life.

 

A Pencil of Love

            Soon after Gandhi's return from South Africa, a meeting of the Congress was held in Bombay. One day a member found Gandhi anxiously searching around his desk.

“What's the matter? What are you looking for?” Kaka Saheb asked.

“I've lost my pencil,” Gandhi answered. “It was only so big,” he said, as he gestured with his hand to show the size.

Kaka Saheb was upset to see Gandhi wasting time and worrying about a little pencil. He took out his pencil and offered it to him. “Here, take mine.”

“No, no, I want my own little pencil,” Gandhi insisted like a stubborn child.

“Well, use this one for the time being,” said Kaka Saheb. “I'll find your pencil later. Don't waste time looking for it now.”

“You don't understand. That little pencil is very precious to me,” Gandhi insisted.” Natesan's little son gave it to me in Madras. He gave it with so much love and affection. I cannot bear to lose it.”

Kaka Saheb didn't argue any more. He joined Gandhi in the search. At last they found it – a tiny piece, barely two inches long. But Gandhi was delighted to get it back. To him it was no ordinary pencil. It was the token of a child's love and to Gandhi a child's love was very precious.

A School for Children

            In South Africa, Gandhi set up an ashram at Phoenix and started a school for children. Since he had his own ideas about how children should be taught, he disliked the examination system where children were tested by facts only. In his school he wanted to teach the boys true knowledge—knowledge that would improve both their minds and their hearts.

Gandhi had his own way of testing students. All the students in the class were asked the same question. Often Gandhi praised the boy with low marks but not the one who had high marks.

This method puzzled the children. One day a student asked, “Sir, why do you praise the student who did not do as well as the other?”

Gandhi explained, “I want to see how far each boy has progressed, how much he has learned. If a clever student only competes with one who struggles with learning, he is likely to grow dull. He becomes so sure of his own cleverness that he may stop studying.

“However, the boy who always does his best and works hard will do well, and so I praise him. I desire that all students strive and go beyond those things that already come easy to them. “

Gandhi wanted all his students to do well and learn, not just recite what they already knew. He worked with those for whom learning came easy as well as those who needed extra help. He wanted them to understand the importance of developing the virtues of striving and the love for learning.

Conclusion

Each of us is meant to strive and develop our heart chakra, which is where our threefold abides. It’s this flame, the true freedom flame, that we are meant to defend and protect.

George Washington defended freedom by leading an army against the tyrants of England. Gandhi defended freedom by leading a peaceful protest against the tyrants.

So, what do these influential men have in common? They had the powers of divine love and Truth.

Our beloved Guru Ma told us that it was the nonattachment to the things of this world that gave Gandhi his tremendous power to work change through the revolution in India. These are the same powers given to every revolutionary in Spirit and Matter. We can manifest divine love and truth also because only God has any power over our lives. When we develop the love in our heart like Gandhi did, we too can do extraordinary things for God.

Let’s close our eyes and focus on the threefold flame in our heart. (Pause.) See your threefold pulsating, expanding and spinning. (Pause.) Let’s recite together one time the OM. (Recite OM with the children.) You may open your eyes now.

            Thank you for participating in our children’s story. Have a wonderful day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permission is granted to copy and share this lesson in its entirety, including all copyright and contact information. This lesson may not be sold or used in any way to gain profit. Published by Montessori International. Copyright © 2017 Summit Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

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