Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav
Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India
Contact No. – 09404955338
Messages of Mahatma Gandhi; Part-8
Mahatma Gandhi a different man. He met a lot of persons daily. He had a lot of work and their concerning people. He gave a message everybody time to time. Those messages had a lot of meaning. The person who had gotten it, change his life according to it. Those messages may be useful today.
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Harijan Conference, Kolaba; “I hope the Conference will pass constructive resolutions, with the full intention of carrying them into effect.”217 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Mebers of the Legislative; “I am hoping that all the Members, irrespective of their opinion on the merits of the Temple-entry Bills will join in facilitating consideration of the measures in this session itself.”218
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Social Service Quarterly; “The field of social service is as wide as India itself, but it may not be an exaggeration to say that the centre of it is Harijan service; for, in serving the Harijans, the worker will meet with every conceivable social problem in a concentrated form and he will have to possess the best qualities.”219 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message on wedding of Laxmi and Maruti; “I feel a little unhappy that neither Ba nor I will be present in the Ashram on the occasion of the wedding of Lakshmi and Maruti, but I think that is ignorant love. One should feel happy wherever devotion to dharma may make it necessary for one to be. Since one who follows dharma should never wish that things should be otherwise than they are, he can have no cause to feel unhappy. Moreover, when so many elders and friends, men and women, will be assembling to give their blessings, Ba’s presence or mine should not be considered at all essential.
Lakshmi was of course eager that Ba and I should be present at her wedding. So was Chi. Maruti. I could understand their desire. But all of us felt that the marriage should take place without delay, and hence I advised both the bride and the bridegroom to have the wedding as soon as possible and they accepted my advice. Lakshmi has been brought up in the Ashram since her childhood. But we have not been able to educate and train her as well as the Ashram and I would have liked to do. We did not, therefore, think it desirable to keep a girl in the bloom of youth unmarried for very long after betrothal. The fact that Chi. Lakshmi is getting married does not mean that her education will stop. I regard Maruti as a very worthy young man. He is a man of self-control. He has received training at the hands of Bhai Lakshmidas and Velabehn. He realizes the responsibility he is undertaking. He will not only be a husband to Lakshmi, but will also be a friend and teacher to her. There can be no doubt that, if this marriage is successful, it will benefit both Harijans and Hinduism a great deal. Looked at from this point of view, this marriage is of great importance and makes the responsibility of both correspondingly greater.
Chi. Maruti and Chi. Lakshmi were betrothed some years ago. It was a big problem for the Ashram to whom Lakshmi should be married. We thought that, having regard to the training she had received in the Ashram, she would be happy only if she got a partner who had received a similar training. The Ashram believes in the principle of varnashrama and tries to follow it as well as it can. I cannot speak for all, but I have often stated that I myself believe that in the present age all Hindus can, and do, belong to one varna only. If we wish to revive the varnashrama system, we shall have to start with a clean slate. This being my view, it was my duty to find a suitable husband for Lakshmi. Velabehn came to my help and suggested Maruti’s name. Lakshmidas also liked the idea. I put the suggestion to Lakshmi, and she, too, accepted it. Her father also gave his consent and the two were betrothed. In my opinion all that we did was in conformity with dharma. I regard marriage too as a protective hedge for dharma, and we should hope that the bride and the bridegroom
also will regard it in the same light.
This marriage has no connection with the present movement. Mixed marriages like this one are in no way a part of the movement for the removal of untouchability. This marriage is a recognition of the point of view of one who believes in all the various ideals of the Ashram. I hope that no one will misunderstand its significance because it is taking place at the present time when the movement for removal of untouchability is going on and because it is inspired by one who is the chief leader of that movement. I do not hold up this marriage as an example for anybody to follow. I regard marriage as a matter of the parents’ and their children’s free will. I believe that there is ample support for this view in Hinduism. However, it has no connection with the problem of the removal of untouchability. The question belongs to another field of reform in Hinduism.”220
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Arya Samaj Vonference; “I sincerely hope that God will guide your conference to devise means for banishing untouchability from India.”221 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message on decision to fast; “I am not anxious to die. I will not die. Don’t worry yourself about me.”222 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message before breaking 21-day fast; “Within a minute or two I am going to break the fast. In His name and with faith in Him was it taken, in His name it terminates. My faith is not less today, but more. You will not expect me to make a speech on this occasion. It is an occasion for taking the name and singing the glory of God. But I may not forget the doctors and other friends who have poured their affection on me during these days of privilege and grace. I cannot help referring to their service because it is part of God’s mercy. I have nothing but thanks to give them. God alone can give them a fitting reward. I am glad that Harijans are here with us today. I do not know exactly what work God expects from me now. But whatever it may be, I know that He will give me the strength for it.”223
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to South Indians; “One should feel pleased to hear Pandit Harihar Sharma’s1 report about the Hindi work in the Provinces of the South. But I shall get real pleasure only when Hindi is spread in every village. I would wish all those who can to contribute their maximum to help this sacred work. M.”224 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Ashram Inmates; “Mr. Narandas Gandhi, manager of the Satyagraha Ashram, who had gone to Poona to see Gandhiji, returned this morning. With the Mahatma he had discussion on the significance of his fast which, according to the Mahatma, was the last resort in pursuit of truth and non-violence. Gandhiji is understood to have told Mr. Narandas that his last fast had convinced him that thousands of similar ordeals would be necessary, and the inmates of the Ashram should as on previous occasions, take the lead in observing fasts. They should, therefore, prepare themselves for the purpose by leading purer lives than heretofore.”225
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message on centenary of Abolition of slavery; “India has much to learn from the heroes of the abolition of slavery for we have slavery based upon supposed. Religious sanction and more poisonous than its western fellow.”226 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to world fellowship of faith; “What message can I send through the pen if I am not sending any through the life I am living?”227 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Swadeshi Exhibition and Bazzar; “If women do not uphold the cause of swadeshi, what can men alone do? your exhibition is organized by women. It must therefore be well ordered and well decorated.”228
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message for Harijan Day; “On the occasion of the Harijan Day, I sincerely hope that pure love will be roused in the hearts of caste Hindus towards their Harijan brothers and sisters, and that every Hindu, man or woman, will be convinced of the need for the eradication of untouchability.”229 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message on Dayanand Semi-Centenary; “Rishi Dayananda4 was one of the greatest reformers in Hinduism. He stimulated Vedic studies, and fearlessly opposed untouchability among other evils.”230 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to the people of Berar; “In his message Mahatmaji says that the people of Berar gave an unlimited response to his call for Harijan service. The organization was most efficient and looked to all the comforts in the tour which has been a pleasant one. The attendance at public meetings held throughout the tour was the largest ever seen and it gives me cause to hope that untouchability is fast dying.”231
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Tamil Lovers’ Conference; “I hope that the love of Tamil lovers will prove lasting and stand the severest strain. The superficial knowledge that I have of Tamil has enabled me to appreciate the beauty and the richness of the language. To neglect it would appear to me to be criminal.”232 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to the people of Maysore; “I carry with me very pleasant recollections of my brief stay in the State. I hope the people of Mysore will keep up their reputation for being enlightened by removing untouchability root and branch.”233
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to the people of Malabar; “Having travelled throughout Malabar I have no doubt that the removal of untouchability entirely rests with workers. If they will prove their faith through character that is above reproach and through devotion that counts no sacrifice too great, the hearts of opponents will be melted.”234
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Associated Press; “I am filled with sadness over Mr. Rangaswamy’s death. I had the privilege to enjoy close relations with him. He was the right-hand man of Pandit Motilalji. His counsels were valued in Congress circles. He was one of the soberest among journalists. He was upholding the tradition left by Mr. Kasturiranga Iyengar, the tradition which has given the influence which The Hindu had. I had intimate conversations with him when I was in Madras recently. His death is a loss to The Hindu, the Congress and the country.”235
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to the Press; “Gandhiji lays down the following rules for the guidance of the relief workers:
(1) Overlapping should be scrupulously avoided.
(2) Not an anna should be spent for advertisement or to produce any spectacular effect.
(3) There should be no unseemly rivalry between relief organizations, whether Government or popular. There should be rivalry in doing silent
(4) Every organization should know what others are doing.
(5) Expenses of management should be minimized as much as possible, consistently with efficiency and accurate account-keeping.
(6) All distinctions of high and low should be altogether abolished.
(7) Those in receipt of relief should be induced to do some productive work.
(8) Relief centres should be kept in perfect sanitary condition.
(9) All volunteers should know how to render first aid and teach the villagers the rules of elementary sanitation.”236
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to people of Gajam; “I know that the workers and villagers in the place which I was expected to visit will be disappointed by the step that I have taken of carrying on the balance of the Harijan tour on foot. That naturally ruled out all places which could only be reached by rail or road. In order to demonstrate as far as it was possible the religious character of the mission I felt the peremptory necessity of adopting the ancient simple method of walking. There were several other reasons which precipitated the decision. I would like you to appreciate this ancient method and feel that by walking to the few villages I shall be walking spiritually to all the villages of Orissa. Such mental performance was necessary even while I was covering long distances by means of rail or motor. But speed is most probably inimical to spiritual progress.
Spiritual messages are better delivered through the natural methods of locomotion. The mental attitude that I have suggested is therefore more easily attainable when a person is walking than when he is speeding through space at the rate of 50 miles per hour. I am convinced that if I receive the hearty co-operation of the workers and the villagers throughout this province we will see results through this pilgrimage on foot which could not have been attained through the carrying out of the original programme. I would, therefore, ask you to regard this pilgrimage as a greater fulfilment of the programme than its literal carrying out. Some of the co-workers who came from their respective places pressed upon me to alter the decision and to resume the original programme but their argument was wholly unconvincing and the decision taken after incessant prayer and consultation with workers who were available at Puri could not be given up. After all you will not want me to conduct this tour mechanically as I would have been doing after the conviction came clear to me that I should finish this tour on foot. The co-operation that all can give during these precious seven days will be by doing concrete work in Harijan bastis in the way of cleaning up tanks, wells, roads, etc., by inducing the different Municipalities to perform their 1 Sent through Jayamangala Rath, Secretary of the Ganjam Gandhi Reception Committee.
duties by Harijans, by awakening savarna conscience to a sense of its duty towards Harijans; by opening temples to Harijans where there is a practically unanimous wish on the part of bona fide temple-goers, by making collections of coppers and silver and sending them to me. I know that monies have been collected in anticipation of my visit to particular places. If the donors want to recall the gifts because I shall not be visiting their places the donations should be refunded and if any monies have been legitimately spent in connection with the tour out of the funds collected and if they desire them to be refunded they will be refunded on receipt of authenticated accounts if the expenses incurred are found to be legitimate. But I do hope that the necessity of the step taken will be recognized by all and that therefore not only will the donations not be recalled but that during the pilgrimage substantial additions will be made.”237
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Villagers; “Lastly, I may state that if I can persuade co-workers in the other provinces to recognize the necessity and importance of pilgrimage on foot and if they will disengage me from the obligation of visiting their provinces, I would, after attending the A.I.C.C. meeting at Patna, gladly return to Utkal to resume the pilgrimage; because I feel that if there is truth, as there is, in the original conception, the spiritual value of the tour is enhanced by its continuance at the point where it might be interrupted. After all, why should not the whole of India identify itself with Utkal and the pilgrimage in Utkal?”238 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Utkal Workers; “In a statement to Utkal workers Mr. Gandhi hopes that they would appreciate Bengal’s magnanimity in giving up the Bengal tour and letting him resume pilgrimage in Orissa after the A.I.C.C. meeting at Patna. This increased the responsibility of the workers. They have to perceive the religious nature of the movement and its implications. Seven days’ experience has showed that hundreds of people came daily from surrounding villages. They should have a message given to them in detail. They should be brought in touch with the Harijans, who should be specially looked after. They should be invited to mix freely with crowds and not keep themselves in isolation as they often do. A detailed survey should be made of villages along the route to ascertain the conditions of the Harijans. If people appreciate the superiority of walking pilgrimage over motor and train journey, collections must be much more than they would have been if he had kept to the original programme.”239 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to war resisters’ international; “I thank you for your letter. Believers in peace and non-violence dare not look for immediate tangible results. Patience infinite is the characteristic of non-violence, impatience, of violence. Let them also know that non-violence is not a passive state. Concentration on it sets free the most active forces in the world.”240 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to The Punjab; “I hope the people of the Punjab will generously subscribe to the Harijan purse.”241
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message on Birthday; “I cannot understand how anyone who has even a drop of pity for the semi-starved millions living in seven lakh villages, can oppose spinning or khadi.”242 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Madras Electors; “I would like electors to consider not persons but the principles which the institutions they represent embody. If Congress had deserved well of the country, they will not hesitate to choose the Congress representative.”243 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to The Nationa; “I am entirely satisfied with the result of the session.”244
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Prabhashankar Pattani; “I understand your difficulties. It will certainly be very good if you censure the Municipality, but even if you supersede the Municipality which does nothing but indulge in speechmaking, nobody will describe that as “fascism”. Instead of carrying the whole load of worries on your own head, I shall be happy if you send some of it here.”245 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message; “The thought of Hindu-Muslim unity filled the whole being of Hakim Saheb. As we remember him today the best thing would be to cleanse our hearts and make all the effort we can to strengthen this unity.”246
217.The Hindu, 6-2-1933
218.The Hindu, 13-2-1933
219.MESSAGE TO SOCIAL SERVICE QUARTERLY; March 5, 1933
220.MESSAGE ON WEDDING OF LAKSHMI AND MARUTI; March 8, 1933
221.The Hindu, 8-5-1933
222.The Hindustan Times, 7-5-1933
224.The Hindu, 24-6-1933
225.The Bombay Chronicle, 19-6-1933
226.Amrita Bazar Patrika, 29-7-1933
227.The Hindu, 12-9-1933
228.The Hindu, 12-9-1933
229.The Hindu, 25-9-1933
230.The Hindu, 15-10-1933
232.The Hindu, 23-12-1933
233.The Hindu, 10-1-1934
234.The Bombay Chronicle, 20-1-1934
235.The Bombay Chronicle, 6-2-1934
236.Amrita Bazar Patrika, 24-3-1934
237.The Hindu, 14-5-1934
238.The Hindu, 16-5-1934
239.Amrita Bazar Patrika, 15-5-1934
240.MESSAGE TO WAR RESISTERS’ INTERNATIONAL; June 10, 1934
241.The Bombay Chronicle, 29-6-1934
242.MESSAGE ON BIRTHDAY; August 5, 1934
243.The Hindu, 10-10-1934
244.The Bombay Chronicle, 29-10-1934
245.MESSAGE TO PRABHASHANAR PATTANI; December 8, 1934
246.Dillika Rajanaitik Itihas, Part II, p. 213