Gandhi was advised by yogis of his
time, including Sri Mahadev Desai, who helped him perform asanas. He also practiced pranayama breathing exercises and
relied on mantras and
His activism took a particular form of
nonviolence that he called satyagraha, or “insistence on
truth.” According to Gandhi, the doctrine of satyagraha is
that satya (truth) exists, but asatya (untruth) does
not; therefore, truth cannot be destroyed. He believed that it was through patience and compassion that his opponents would gradually come to
see the truth.
As an immigrant, Mahatma Gandhi began
his activism in South Africa in the early 1900s, returning to his
native land after World War I to support India's freedom. He was
best remembered for wearing only a loincloth and shawl, for his
hunger strikes to protest injustices and for peaceful non-cooperation
that led to his several arrests. He was assassinated by a Hindu
fundamentalist less than a year after India's independence.