Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar, a coastal town in present-day Gujarat, India, on 2 October 1869. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, who belonged to the Hindu Modh community, was the diwan (Prime Minister) of the eponymous Porbander state, a small princely state in the Kathiawar Agency of British India. His grandfather's name was Uttamchand Gandhi fondly called as Uttam Gandhi and his mother, Putlibai came from the Hindu Pranami Vaishnava community. Growing up with a devout mother and the Jain traditions of the region, the young Mohandas absorbed early the influences that would play an important role in his adult life; these included compassion to sentient beings, vegetarianism, fasting for self-purification, and mutual tolerance between individuals of different creeds.
The Indian classics, especially the stories of Shravana and Maharaja Harishchandra from the Indian epics, had had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. The story of Harishchandra, a well known tale of an ancient Indian king and a truthful hero, had a profound effect on Gandhi as a boy. Gandhi in his autobiography admits that it left an indelible impression on his mind. Gandhi's early self-identification with Truth and Love as the supreme value is traced back to his identification with these epic characters.
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