".. 'being true' means keeping one's ideals, soul, and thought intact of any provocations and in any circumstances.."
One of the basic ideas of Gandhi which makes him different from his contemporaries is the idea of Truth. Mahatma Gandhi was fascinated by this idea since his early childhood. With the increase in his age, the idea also matured and Gandhi came to realize it as a lethal weapon against misrule and tyranny.
Truth, according to Gandhi, cannot be considered as an absolute term. It is relative to the person concerned. In Gandhi's sense, truth is not just limited to only its literal meaning or to never tell a lie - it encompasses a broader dimension. In brief, truth involves being true to others as well as oneself - 'being true' means keeping one's ideals, soul, and thought intact of any provocations and in any circumstances.
It means walking on a path of honesty and fighting for one's rights. It means being true to the spirit of humanity. Gandhi often regarded truth as a religious belief common to all religions. The concept of truth in Gandhi's mind can be guaged through the talk that he delivered in Laussane in Switzerland. The talk can also be useful in getting to know more about his philosophy of truth and non-violence and how he interrelated the two concepts.
The talk goes thus:
"You have asked me why I consider that God is Truth. In my early youth I was taught to repeat what in Hindu scriptures are known as one thousand names of God. But these one thousand names of God were by no means exhaustive. We believe - and I think it is the truth - that God has as many names as there are creatures, and, therefore, we also say that God is nameless and since God has many forms we also consider Him formless, and since He speaks to us through many tongues we consider Him to be speechless and so on. And so when I came to study Islam I found that Islam too had many names for God. I would say with those who say God is Love, God is Love. But deep down in me I used to say that though God may be Love, God is Truth, above all.