- Author: Ramakrishna Rao Koneru
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- ISBN: 9780199477548
This book is an attempt to provide a synthetic overview of Mahatma Gandhi - his person, philosophy and practices. The objective is to draw a systematic interdisciplinary sketch of Gandhi's paradigm of nonviolence and its contemporary relevance. The discussions centre around a core of consistent Gandhian thought and method, presented not in abstract but as issues related to actual life and living. Wherever possible, they involve attempts to relate Gandhi's ideas with his native tradition as well as others, including those that seem to conflict with his.
Gandhi's philosophical framework provides for a set of principles and a search for practices considered as principles in the making. All development is a dialectical process involving the antinomy of two conflicting conditions. In human development, it is the antinomy of the 'brute', indicated by instinct driven and conditioned behaviour, and the 'man' represented by the free spirit inherent in human nature. In Gandhi, spiritual stands for altruism and the sarvodaya state of being. It is experiencing one's identity within universal identity.
Gandhi's life in its totality is a series of experiments to convert dharma (moral principles) into karma (practices in action). The book takes us on a scholarly journey with the three fold mission: (i) to provide a coherent and readable introduction to Gandhi's person, philosophy, and practices (Gandhi sruti), (ii) to postulate the basics of Gandhi's dharma (Gandhi smriti) and (iii) to promote Gandhi culture (samskriti).