What of Gandhi, Christ and Christianity?

In the 35 years of his career as a diplomat Pascal Alan Nazareth had numerous opportunities to witness and watch from close quarters varied people, governments and cultures, societies of all hues, religion, race and ethnicity.  This exposure helped him realize that the only way to promote peace and harmony in today’s highly polarized world, is by reviving and promoting Gandhian ideals of truth and non-violence.

Pascal Alan Nazareth

Pascal Alan Nazareth

Having realized that Gandhi is much more relevant these days Alan Nazareth founded the Sarvodaya International Trust in 1995, trying his best to promote and propagate Gandhian ideals and the need to follow Gandhi in letter and spirit in a form and manner to suit the contemporary age.  Florine Roche, DaijiWorld

Gandhi, Christ and Christianity

By Pascal Alan Nazareth

Gandhi’s fundamental contribution in the field of religion was to give primacy to Truth and rationality rather than conformity to traditional practices. In fact he made Truth the basis of all morality by declaring: “I reject any religious doctrine that does not appeal to reason and is in conflict with morality”.

Though a deeply devout Hindu, Gandhi’s basic approach to all religions was ‘sarvadharma samabhav’ (equal respect for all religions). For him all religions had equal status and were different paths to the same goal of achieving union with the Divine. His religion was that “which transcends Hinduism, which changes one’s very nature, binds one indissolubly to the truth within and ever purifies. It is the permanent element in human nature which leaves the soul restless until it has found itself, known its maker and appreciated the true correspondence between the maker and itself.”

He affirmed “For me different religions are beautiful flowers from the same garden or branches of the same majestic tree.” He often said he was as much a Moslem, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsee as he was Hindu and added “The hands that serve are holier than the lips that pray.” At his prayer meetings there were readings from all the holy books. His favourite hymn began with the line “He alone is a true devotee of God who understands the pains and sufferings of others.” His religiosity is therefore best described as a spiritualized humanism.