One of Gandhi’s Most Famous Quotations on Faith: “Faith is not a thing to grasp; it is a state to grow to”

Signed by Mohandas K. Gandhi

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Item: 21761
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GANDHI, MOHANDAS K. (1869-1948). Indian nationalist and spiritual leader, revered as the father of modern India. ALS. (“MK Gandhi”). 1p. Postcard. India, May 3, 1935. To Mrs. J. Boy Salmon of Wilmington, Delaware.

Dear Sister, Faith is not a thing to grasp; it is a state to grow to. And growth comes from within…. Yours…”

In 1888, Gandhi began his law studies in London where he immersed himself in various religious traditions and philosophies including Christianity, Theosophy and vegetarianism. Adding this eclectic mix to Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and his own sense of asceticism, Gandhi created a personal philosophy that guided him through the rest of an extraordinary and meaningful life.

After earning a law degree that brought him little success as an attorney in India, Gandhi journeyed to South Africa in 1893 where he spent the next 20 years. He immediately learned of the nation’s officially sanctioned prejudice against his countrymen and his firsthand experiences prompted him to embark on a political career that focused on non-violent resistance to the government’s racist policies.

In 1915, he returned to India at a point when the 300-year-old British imperial system was meeting with increased public dissatisfaction. A conflict between Indian Muslims and Hindus had already existed prior to ever-expanding British commercial interests whose concept of “Empire” led to the gradual British exploitation and subjugation of India. In 1920, Gandhi led the Hindu-dominated Indian National Congress, founded in 1885, in a campaign of passive resistance to advance self-rule. Gandhi’s politics led to his imprisonment and in 1925, he began a hiatus from politics to focus on social issues such as the caste system.

Although nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize, Gandhi’s name is curiously absent from the award’s recipients. Nevertheless, he remains the enduring symbol of non-violent protest and pacifism, influencing such monumental figures as Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our quotation remains one of Gandhi’s most famous and is taken from a letter published in The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Volume 61, Letter 44; p. 28) from the manuscript diary of Gandhi’s personal secretary Mahadev Desai. It appears that Desai noted this sentiment made by one of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders without adding any details about the recipient. Written on a correspondence postcard that is browned with some staining in the bottom margin. A few words of the letter are light. Gandhi has written the recipient’s name and address on the verso which bears an ink postal cancellation. In very good condition. Of the greatest rarity in this form.

Estimate: $3,000-$4,000

One of Gandhi’s Most Famous Quotations on Faith: “Faith is not a thing to grasp; it is a state to grow to”

Signed by Mohandas K. Gandhi

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