Nonviolence (_ahimsa_), one of India's most ancient religious beliefs, emerged long before the dawn of the Christian era, an ethical ideal of early Buddhism and Jainism. Gandhi insisted that ahimsa was Hinduism's "highest religious law" (_paramo__ Dharma_). He equated it to "God" and "truth," also redefining it in positive terms as "love." The powers of truth and love were so great, Gandhi argued, that united they could "move the world." Such was the force he focused against British imperialism in its final four decades of the first half of the twentieth century. Gandhi purified himself by praying to Rāma, and he armed himself with India's most ancient yogic weapons: suffering (_tapas_), fasting, and breath (_atman_) control before launching any revolutionary movement. He never defended himself with physical weapons of any kind, nor did he hate his opponents, teaching his followers to love those who sought to harm or arrest them.
One of the primary goals of the Indian independence movement was self-sufficiency. In Sanskrit, svadeshi is a word with a specific meaning--_sva__-_ means "self," -deshi means "country." Gandhi urged Indians to rely on svadeshi goods, goods made in India under Indian ownership--essentially a national version of the locavore or "buy local" movement. Central to this movement was khadi, a simple cloth that even poor Indians could spin in their own homes, which provided an alternative to imported fabrics. Gandhi, who once dressed in suits, switched to homespun khadi in the 1910s and wore it for the rest of his life.