Be The Change You Wish To See In The World Is Not By Gandhi

Last Updated December 19th, 2017

The popular quote: Be The Change You Wish To See In The World is NOT by Mahatma Gandhi!

Yes, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi never said that line.

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World Is Not By Gandhi

I know you find this popular quotation: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi published in almost every quote website.

Basically most, if not all these quotation sites, they just cut-and-paste.  They are blindly copying each other.

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World Is Not By GandhiAs a result, there is a big mess of misquotes, fake quotations and contextomies (misquoting someone by shortening the quotation or by leaving out surrounding words or sentences that would place the quotation in context) all over the Internet and books.

From my research, the closest verifiable remark uttered by Gandhi is this:

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.

(The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume XII, April 1913 to December 1914, 106: General Knowledge About Health [-XXXII] 12: Accidents: Snake-Bite; P.158)

(This quote is also found in: The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Electronic Book), New Delhi, Publications Division Government of India, 1999, 98 volumes”, Volume Thirteen : Mar 12, 1913 – Dec 25, 1913, 153: General Knowledge About Health [-XXXII] 12: Accidents: Snake-Bite; P.241)

Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin Not By Gandhi

This Indian nationalist leader, Gandhi aka “Bapu“, also did not say this quote either, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” X

It’s from St. Augustine of Hippo. His Letter 211 (A.D. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to “with due love for the persons and hatred of the sin.

Gandhi only referred to this particular quote in his 1927 An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1927).

(An Autobiography Or The Story Of My Experiments With Truth By M. K. Gandhi, Translated From The Gujarati By Mahadev Desai, Gandhi Book Centre, Ch.86, A Tussle With Power)

The lines is:

Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world.”

(This quote is also found in: The Essential Gandhi: His Life, Work, And Ideas : An Anthology By Mahatma Gandhi, Edited By Louis Fischer, Vintage Books, 1962, P.93)

In fact, these are a couple more quotes which are usually attributed to this spiritual and political leader, Gandhi, which are FALSE.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.” X

“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” X

Action expresses priorities.” X

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” X

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” X

God has no religion.” X

Authentic Mahatma Gandhi Quotes On Education, Love, Freedom

Anyway, here is my selected list of authentic quotes taken from Mahatma Gandhi ‘s big collection of writing.

All the quotations published here come with citations, and they are linked to their proper sources.


 “…It is more correct to say that Truth is God, than to say that God is Truth.”- Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi: Selected Writings By Mohandas Gandhi, Edited By Alastair Duncan, Courier Corporation, 2012, Part II:The Gita and Satyagraha, Truth; p.46)

(This quote is also found in: The Selected Letters Of Mahatma Gandhi, The Voice Of Truth, Vol. 5 By M. K. Gandhi, Edited By Shriman Narayan, Shantilal H. Shah, 1969, Part II- Section I: Truth, World and Man, Truth and God)


“What barrier is there that love cannot break?” – Mahatma Gandhi

(An Autobiography Or The Story Of My Experiments With Truth By M. K. Gandhi, Translated From The Gujarati By Mahadev Desai, Gandhi Book Centre, Ch.53, Poona And Madras)

(This quote is also found in: Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth By Mahatma Gandhi, Part II, XXVIII Poona And Madras; p.158)


“The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(My Experiments with the Truth By Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Start Publishing LLC, 2012, Introduction)


“My life is my message.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi’s Life In His Own Words By M. K. Gandhi, Compiled By Krishna Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House; p.1)


“Non-violence should never be used as a shield for cowardice. It is a weapon for the brave.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(The Words Of Gandhi By Mahatma Gandhi, Selected And Introduced By Richard Attenborough, Newmarket Press, 2001. Nonviolence; p.34)


“A man of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech; he will measure every word.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(An Autobiography Or The Story Of My Experiments With Truth By M. K. Gandhi, Translated From The Gujarati By Mahadev Desai, Gandhi Book Centre, Ch.18, Shyness My shield)

(This quote is also found in: Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth By Mahatma Gandhi, Courier Corporation, 1948, Part I, ch.XVIII, Shyness My Shield; p.55)


“I wear the same corruptible flesh that the weakest of my fellow beings wears and am liable to err as any.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(All Men Are Brothers By Mohandas K. Gandhi, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2005, Autobiographical, Young India, February 16, 1922; p.35)

(This quote is also found in: All Men Are Brothers Life And Thoughts Of Mahatma Gandhi As Told In His Own Words, Compiled And Edited By Krishna Kripalani, Unesco, 1958, Ch. I Autobiographical; p.38)


“For confessions of error is like a broom that sweeps away dirt and leaves the surface cleaner than before. I feel stronger for my confession.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi’s Life In His Own Words By M. K. Gandhi, Compiled By Krishna Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House; p.43)


“Never has man reached his destination by persistence in deviation from the straight path.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi’s Life In His Own Words By M. K. Gandhi, Compiled By Krishna Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House; p.43)

(This quote is also found in: The Essential Writings Of Mahatma Gandhi By Mahatma Gandhi, Compiled And Edited By Judith M. Brown, Oxford University Press, 2008, V. Non-Violence As Political Action,  Tactics And Dilemmas In Satyagraha; p.362)

(Another source: All Men Are Brothers By Mahatma Gandhi, Edited By Krishna Kripalani, A&C Black, 2005, Autobiographical, Young India, February 16, 1922; p.35)


“My uniform experience has convinced me that there is no other God than Truth.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi’s Life In His Own Words By M. K. Gandhi, Compiled By Krishna Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House; p.43)

(This quote is also found in: Autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Part V, Farewell)


“So long as a man does not of his own free will put himself last among his fellow creatures, there is no salvation for him.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi’s Life In His Own Words By M. K. Gandhi, Compiled By Krishna Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House; p.44)

(This quote is also found in: Mind Of Mahatma Gandhi, Compiled & Edited By R. K. Prabhu & U. R. Rao, Jitendra T. Desai, 1960, IX. Sarvodaya, The Gospel Of Sarvodaya, Self-Purification, A, p. 371)


“Language at best is but a poor vehicle for expressing one’s thoughts in full.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi: Selected Writings By Mohandas Gandhi, Edited By Alastair Duncan, Courier Corporation, 2012, Part II, The Gita And Satyagraha; p.63)

(This quote is also found in: Gandhi’s Life In His Own Words By M. K. Gandhi, Compiled By Krishna Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House; p.42)


“The world depends for its existence on the act of generation, and as the world is the playground of God and a reflection of His glory, the act of generation should be controlled for the ordered growth the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi’s Life In His Own Words By M. K. Gandhi, Compiled By Krishna Kripalani, Navajivan Publishing House; pp.25-26)

(This quote is also found in: Mind Of Mahatma Gandhi, Compiled & Edited By R. K. Prabhu & U. R. Rao, Jitendra T. Desai, 1960, XI. Brahmacharya, Birth Control, Function Of Generation)


“By education, I mean an all-round drawing of the best in child and man in body, mind and spirit.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(All Men Are Brothers Life And Thoughts Of Mahatma Gandhi As Told In His Own Words, Compiled And Edited By Krishna Kripalani, Unesco, 1958, Ch. X Education; p.151)

(This quote is also found in: Gandhi & Education, Basic Education (Buniyadi Shiksha), The Voice Of Truth)


“A wise parent allows the children to make mistakes. It is good for them once in a while to burn their fingers.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(All Men Are Brothers Life And Thoughts Of Mahatma Gandhi As Told In His Own Words, Compiled And Edited By Krishna Kripalani, Unesco, 1958, Ch. X Education; p.158)

(This quote is also found in: Gandhi & Education, Basic Education (Buniyadi Shiksha)


“All faiths constitute a revelation of Truth, but all are imperfect, and liable to error.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(All Men Are Brothers Life And Thoughts Of Mahatma Gandhi As Told In His Own Words, Compiled And Edited By Krishna Kripalani, Unesco, 1958, Ch. X Education; p.67)

(This quote is also found in: From Yeravda Mandir (Ashram Observances) By M. K. Gandhi, Translated From Gujarati By Valji Govindji Desai, Jitendra T. Desai, 1932, Tolerance, i.e. Equality of Religions – I)


“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Young India, Volume 9 By Mahatma Gandhi, Navajivan Publishing House, 1927; p.85)


“The body is our last possession.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi: Selected Political Writings By Mahatma Gandhi, Edited By Dennis Dalton, Hackett Publishing, 1995, Part II, Swaraj: Gandhi’s Idea Of Freedom, Interview To Nirmal Kumar Bose, p.135)

(This quote is also found in: All Men Are Brothers Life And Thoughts Of Mahatma Gandhi As Told In His Own Words, Compiled And Edited By Krishna Kripalani, Unesco, 1958, Ch. VIII Poverty In The Midst Of Plenty; p.129)


“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Mind of Mahatma Gandhi Compiled & Edited By: R. K. Prabhu & U. R. Rao, Jitendra T. Desai, 1960, XI. Brahmacharya, Woman’s Status And Role In Society, Not Weaker Sex, Young India, 10-4-1930, p. 121)


Truth should be the very breath of our life.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(The Essential Writings By Mahatma Gandhi, Edited And Compiled By Judith M. Brown, OUP Oxford, 2008, II. Authentic Human Life And The Transformation Of The Individual, 47. The Realisation Of Truth As God, 22 July 1930; p.45)

(This quote is also found in: Selected Writings of Mahatma Gandhi By Mohandas Gandhi, Selected And With An Introduction By Ronald Duncan, Faber And Faber Limited, 1951, Part II:The Gita and Satyagraha, Truth; p.46)


“If once we learn how to apply this never-failing test of Truth, we will at once be able to find out what is worth doing, what is worth seeing, what is worth reading.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Selected Writings Of Mahatma Gandhi, Selected And Introduced By Ronald Duncan, Collins, 1971; p.42)

(This quote is also found here.)


“Fearlessness connotes freedom from all external fear – fear of disease, bodily injury and death, of dispossession, of losing one’s nearest and dearest.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Gandhi: Selected Writings By Mohandas Gandhi, Edited With An Introduction By Alastair Duncan, Courier Corporation, 2012, Part II: The Gita and Satyagraha, Fearlessness; p.49)

(This quote is also found here.)


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