Gandhi’s experiments with truth made him realise the myriad shades of grey that exist within the human soul. For him, the absolute truth was God, and in order to realise God, he experienced various facets of relative truths – which acted as a path to realise the absolute truth.
His relative truths were a doctrine that encapsulated the methods of brahmacharya, ahimsa, self-restraint, and fasting. All these methods were intended to achieve the state of purity of mind, body, and soul. He believed that unless the body achieves purity, the quest to attain the absolute truth will be futile.
Amidst Gandhi’s various ideas, the idea of inclusiveness, fraternity and brotherhood revolved around the method of purification of the mind. He believed that inclusiveness among different religions and communities was essential for establishing an orderly societal structure. And he was able to propagate these ideas, as he believed that his methods, (relative truths) formed the basis for those ideas to materialise.
He called out to the people of all communities in India, and South Africa, to join him in the quest of finding the absolute truth while relying on their relative truths. And when he was alive, he evidently managed to convince people to do so.
But, what seems apparent today, is that the world does remember the Mahatma on his birth anniversary, and recognises October 2nd as the International Day of Non-Violence. Still, it has forgotten the methods of relative truths, (his lifestyle) or is unwilling to follow them.
The reality is that the world has chosen to adopt capitalism as its socio-economic structure. Every individual, predominantly, has become highly ambitious and materialistic. The way of measuring one’s status in society today, has started to depend on the amount of wealth one has amassed, and that is in exact contradiction to what Gandhi believed in.
Gandhi had chosen to live the life of a fakir. He used to eat raw fruits, bananas, and groundnuts. He had chosen not to consume milk, wear a dhoti, practice celibacy, (later on) and use minimal resources to sustain his life.
It’s seemingly unimaginable for an individual to live a life like Gandhi’s today. It’s the nature of society to adopt new means of living and to accept changes in its socio-economic structure. Gandhi may have provided the solution to all the misfortunes of society. But unless the society, (or the majority), doesn’t agree to adopt the Gandhian lifestyle, his ideas will never materialise.