Michigan State University

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Rajmohan Gandhi Public Lectures

Thursday, November 3, 2016 5:30 pm

Location: Club Spartan Case Hall

Nov. 3, 5:30 pm – 7:00pm - lecture
Case Hall Club Spartan


How Gandhi discovered the weapon of satyagraha (“clinging to the truth”) for obtaining human rights will constitute the first half of this lecture, which will also attempt to understand Gandhi’s religion and his God.

Though he called himself a ‘sanatani’ (traditional) Hindu, loved the Hindu devotional epic, the Ramayana, and wrote a commentary on one of Hinduism’s best-known scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita, Gandhi was also deeply influenced by the Bible, especially the Sermon on the Mount. Moreover, in his last twenty years, the proposition ‘Truth is God’ seemed to appeal more to him than ‘God is Truth’. Also, he was a (if not the) pioneer in multi-faith prayers. What exactly were Gandhi’s religious beliefs? The second half of this lecture will attempt an answer. 

A noted Indian politician, academic, and advocate for tolerance and reconciliation, Rajmohan Gandhi has served in the Indian Senate and as president of Initiatives of Change International, a global nonprofit aiming at reconciliation and trust-building. He has been a Research Professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also Academic Director of that campus's Global Crossroads Living and Learning Community.  A grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Rajmohan Gandhi has published eleven books and has had a distinguished career in journalism.