I am thrilled to have Arvind Devalia here today to talk about his love for Mahatma Gandhiji and his influence on his life.
Arvind is a (mega) personal development blogger, speaker and coach. I’ve been a long time follower of his blogs and have the privilege of connecting with him personally. He’s a warm and wonderful person, besides being a very, very fun-loving one. He took our breaths away with his continuous stream of updates of the London Olympics 2012 on Facebook. Arvind is an amazing writer who has a way of spurring his readers into action, encouraging them to break free from whatever holds them back from achieving their full potential.
On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhiji’s 143rd birthday, as a steadfast fan of his principles, I am very happy to present Arvind Devalia’s wonderful post today.
Gandhi Bapu, My Books and Me
by Arvind Devalia
Today is Gandhi Bapu’s 143rd birthday.
I am so honoured and delighted to be here on Vidya’s blog to share my life-long love of Gandhiji and how his message has impacted my life. Indeed, only my late father has had a greater impact on my life.
It was my father who first instilled Gandhiji’s essence into me from a young age. Then various books which I’ll mention below have helped me on my journey of immersion in Bapu’s life. And now I am so privileged that through my blog and my books, I am able to further spread Gandhiji’s message.
Gandhiji may not be around but his 6 key life lessons live on.
In our fast and hectic lifestyles today, Gandhiji’s message is still relevant and is needed more than ever before. His life continues to serve us as a shining beacon, guiding us towards our own potential and magnificence.
“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed” – Gandhi (Tweet this)
My earliest memory of Gandhiji is my father reading to me and my brothers’ stories about his life and how he got azadi for India through his message of non-violence. We used to be entranced by these stories and we reverently bowed at the many images of Gandhiji that my father had collected.
As I grew older, l developed an insatiable appetite for reading, and as a young boy I read my father’s collection of books on Gandhiji in both Gujarati and English. But what I enjoyed reading most were my father’s own articles about Gandhiji. You see my father was a prolific writer himself. I am so grateful that I seem to have inherited his love and passion for reading and writing.
I got even more into Gandhiji’s work when I went to college and I read so many books on his life. I read the classic biography by Louis Fischer and also the iconic memoir from William L Shirer. Today these books are amongst my prized book collection.
I must have watched the film “Gandhi” by Sir Richard Attenborough a dozen times – and even now, it never fails to move me deeply. If you haven’t watched it recently, then please do watch it again soon!
And if you have never watched this iconic, award winning film, then where have you been?! (Watch the full movie on YouTube)
I even have a signed copy of the book about the making of the movie – it’s signed by Sir Richard Attenborough, not Gandhiji 🙂
A few years ago, I came across this beautifully produced book simply called “Gandhi” which is full of black and white images of his life, many images never released to the world before. I showed my father this book and he loved it too – and he then proudly showed me many more images of Gandhiji from his own collection.
A friend gave me a lovely little book called “Quotes of Gandhi”. I just randomly opened this book and this is the message for all of us on this auspicious day:
“I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others” – Gandhi
Take this message into your life every day from today onwards.
Alas, one of my favourite books – “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” by Gandhiji himself has been borrowed by a friend – and yet to be returned. This is a classic and a book you must read too. (Click to Download it now)
So can you tell I am really into Gandhiji? His messages are timeless, and especially relevant in today’s world!
As a young boy, I was so inspired and drawn by Gandhiji’s message that I felt I too could change the world in a big way just like he did. Then somewhere along the way, “life” took over and I got busy with my own stuff. Or maybe that’s just my “story”.
I do what I can in my own way every day. I have also learnt that one doesn’t need to change the world in a big way. Just by making a difference to those around me and serving my community, I am indeed fulfilling Gandhiji’s legacy. And from those little acorns, who knows what will grow.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”- Gandhi (Tweet this)
As Gandhiji said, let your life be your message.
So the question for you on this auspicious day is this – how are YOU fulfilling Gandhiji’s legacy? How are you being the change you want to see in the world?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Arvind Devalia lives in London, UK, and blogs at Make It Happen. He is a coach, speaker and author of “Get the Life you Love“. Check out Arvind’s blog and get his Make It Happen Manifesto.
Thank you so much, Arvind!
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Thank you, friends! Please feel free to ask Arvind questions!
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