Grandson of Gandhi shares message with interfaith audience

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 11:48 PM
Last updated Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 12:53 AM
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Hundreds packed Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church on Saturday to hear Arun Gandhi, a grandson of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gan­dhi, plant his seeds of wisdom in an interfaith program.

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Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, preached the importance of understanding other religions during the interfaith service.  TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, preached the importance of understanding other religions during the interfaith service.

The seventh annual Mar­tin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Worship Service, presented by the Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta, was headlined by Gandhi, who preached the importance of understanding and camaraderie among all religions.

“My message here in Au­gus­ta is how we need to use religion to bring people together instead of dividing people,” Gandhi said before the service. “Unfortunately, we have been dividing and killing in the name of God, which is not a part of any religion at all. We need to create an atmosphere where all of us can live together with proper understanding.”

After performances by the John S. Da­vid­son Fine Arts Magnet School Chorale, leaders of religions from Judaism to Islam to Chris­tianity took turns delivering opening remarks in remembrance of the late civil rights leader.

Gandhi, who titled his message “Lessons from my Grandfather,” told stories of his grandfather and how his nonviolent ways left a profound impact on his life.

He recounted a tale of King’s visit to India, and how the experience gave him the motivation he needed to return to America to continue the fight for social equality.

“I think my grandfather’s life and Dr. Martin Luther King’s life provide good examples of how they used anger to constructively bring about justice in their countries,” Gandhi said. “We need to learn from them and adopt their methods.”

Gandhi urged people to gather more frequently so that they can better understand one another.

“Now we have to put it in practice like he said,” said Janet Johnson, of Augusta. “That’s the hardest part.”

The Rev. Sid Gates, of the Pro­gressive Religious Coalition, said the program exceeded expectations.

“I think we’ve all been to the mountaintop,” he said. “It was just a stirring, provocative and hopeful message that transcended religious traditions and faiths. Just by surveying some of the faces, I think that everyone believes this was a worthy blessing for all.”

Before closing, Gandhi asked the audience to take his message to heart and work to make a difference in the world.

“Everywhere I go, I plant seeds,” he said. “I hope and pray that those seeds germinate and bring a crop of peacemakers.”

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/19/14 - 10:52 pm
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God

"“Unfortunately, we have been dividing and killing in the name of God, which is not a part of any religion at all."

Well, there is the name of God and there is the name of other gods. I'm sure the Judaea-Christian God does not tell us to kill without good cause. Gandhi was a strange person sleeping with his nieces and wanting civilization to return to people powered looms living in villages. India would have been better off under British rule.

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