MOHANDAS KARAMCHAND GANDHI
"During his stay in England in 1931, when the Columbia Gramophone Company requested him to make a record for them, Gandhi pleaded his inability to speak politics, and added that, at the age of sixty-two, he could make his first and last record which should, if wanted, make his voice heard for all time. Confessing his anxiety to speak on the spiritual matters, on October 20, 1931 he read out his old article "On God" (Gandhi Serve).
Click on GIVING A SPIRITUAL MESSAGE TO THE WORLD (BBC) and LISTEN to an extract from one of Gandhi's messages (1931). !! It may take a few seconds to download on your computer.
.Here is the TRANSCRIPT of GANDHI's message:
"There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything, I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses. But it is possible to reason out the existence of God to a limited extent. Even in ordinary affairs we know that people do not know who rules or why and how He rules and yet they know that there is a power that certainly rules.
In my tour last year in Mysore I met many poor villagers and I found upon inquiry that they did not know who ruled Mysore. They simply said some God ruled it. If the knowledge of these poor people was so limited about their ruler I who am infinitely lesser in respect to God than they to their ruler need not be surprised if I do not realize the presence of God - the King of Kings. Nevertheless, I do feel, as the poor villagers felt about Mysore, that there is orderliness in the universe, there is an unalterable law governing everything and every being that exists or lives. It is not a blind law, for no blind law can govern the conduct of living being and thanks to the marvellous researches of Sir J. C. Bose it can now be proved that even matter is life. That law then which governs all life is God. Law and the law-giver are one.
I may not deny the law or the law-giver because I know so little about it or Him. Just as my denial or ignorance of the existence of an earthly power will avail me nothing even so my denial of God and His law will not liberate me from its operation, whereas humble and mute acceptance of divine authority makes life's journey easier even as the acceptance of earthly rule makes life under it easier. I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and recreates.
That informing power of spirit is God, and since nothing else that I see merely through the senses can or will persist, He alone is. And is this power benevolent or malevolent ? I see it as purely benevolent, for I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists. Hence I gather that God is life, truth, light. He is love. He is the supreme Good. But He is no God who merely satisfies the intellect, if He ever does. God to be God must rule the heart and transform it. [...]"
SOURCE OF THE SCRIPT GANDHI SERVE ...
Answer the following questions:
a. Why is Gandhi talking about the poverty-stricken villagers of Mysore?
b. How do Gandhi's ideas about the laws of the universe affect how he reacts to the British government?
c. Gandhi says: “humble acceptance of divine authority makes life's journey easier even as the acceptance of earthly rule makes life under it easier.” This idea may seem to contradict his policy of civil disobedience. Why is Gandhi making this statement? Give your personal reactions.
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