Here, we give Gandhiji?s thoughts on various subjects,
right from topics of daily concern to topics of National importance.
Humility means complete destruction of egotism?..If we shatter the
chains of egotism and melt into the ocean of humanity, we share its dignity.
To feel that we are something is to set up a barrier between God and ourselves;
to cease feeling that we are something is to become one with God. A drop
in the ocean partakes of the greatness of its parent, although it is unconscious
of it. But it is dried up as soon as it enters upon an existence independent
of the ocean (Mangal Prabhat, Gujarati, 1954, p. 35; From Yeravda Mandir,
IMPORTANCE OF VOWS
God is the very image of the vow?..The sun is a great keeper of observances?..All
business depends upon men fulfilling their promises. Are such promises
less necessary in character building or self-realization? (From Yeravda
Mandir, pp. 51q-52).
The limitation ?as far as possible? provides a fatal loophole
(ibid., p. 51).
There cannot be a vow to commit a sin (ibid., p. 50).
It means an unbreakable heart unity (ibid., p. 8).
The first thing essential is for every Congressman, whatever his religion
may e, to represent in his own person Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian,
Jew etc., in short every Hindu and non-Hindu. He has to feel his identity
with every one of the millions of India. In order to realize this, every
Congressman will cultivate personal friendship with persons representing
faiths other than his own. He should have the same regard for the other
faiths as he has for his own.
In such a happy state of things, there would be no disgraceful
cry at the stations such as ?Hindu water? and ?Muslim water?
or ?Hindu tea? and ?Muslim tea? (ibid.).
We have been accustomed to think that power comes only through legislative
assemblies. I have regarded this belief as a grave error. The truth is
that power resides in the people?. Parliaments have no power or even
existence independently of the people?.Civil disobedience is the
store-house of power?..Imagine a whole people unwilling to conform
to the laws of the legislature and prepared to suffer the consequences
of non-compliance. They will bring the whole legislative and executive
machinery to a standstill?..No police or military coercion can bend
the resolute will of a people who are out for suffering to the uttermost
(ibid., pp. 8-9).
REMOVAL OF UNTOUCHABILITY
Every Hindu should make common cause with Harijans and
befriend them in their awful isolation?.(ibid., p.10).
Medical men have to discover ways of weaning the drunkard
and the opium addict from the curse.
Women and students have a special opportunity in advancing this reform.
By loving service they can acquire on addicts a hold which will compel
them to listen to the appeal to give up the evil habit.
Congress Committees can open recreation booths where the tired laborer
will rest his limbs, get healthy and cheap refreshments and find suitable
It connotes the beginning of economic freedom and equality
of all in the country?..It means a determination to find all the
necessaries of life in India and that too through the labor and intellect
of the villagers (ibid., p. 11).
The formula is: every village to produce all its necessaries and a certain
percentage in addition for the requirements of the cities (ibid., p. 12)
Only a few broad rules can be laid down here:
Every family with a plot of ground can grow cotton at least for family
use?..the farmer needs to know that his first business is to grow
for his own needs.
Every spinner would buy-if he has not his own-enough cotton for ginning
which he can easily do without the hand-ginning roller frame. He can gin
his own portion with a board and an iron rolling pin. Where this is considered
impracticable, hand-ginned cotton should be bought and carded. Carding
for self can be done well on a tiny bow without much effort?..The
slivers made, the process of spinning commences. For this I strongly recommend
the dhanush takli?.[for this reason] that it is more easily made,
is cheaper than and does not require frequent repairs like the wheel (ibid.,
Imagine the unifying and educative effect of the whole nation simultaneously
taking part in the processes up to spinning. Consider the levelling effect
of the bond of common labor between the rich and the poor (ibid., p. 14)
OTHER VILLAGE INDUSTRIES
[These] cannot exist without khadi, and khadi will be
robbed of its dignity without them. Village economy cannot be complete
without the essential village industries such as hand-grinding, hand-pounding,
soap-making, papermaking, match-making, tanning, oil-pressing, etc. (ibid.,
All should make it a point of honor to use only village articles whenever
and wherever available?.When we have become village-minded, we will
not want?.machine-made products, but we will develop a true national
taste in keeping with the vision of a new India in which pauperism, starvation
and idleness will be unknown (ibid., pp. 14-15).
Instead of having graceful hamlets dotting the land,
we have dung-heaps. The approach to many villages is not a refreshing
experience. Often one would like to shut one?s eyes and stuff one?s
nose, such is the surrounding dirt and offending smell?.[We] should?make
our villages models of cleanliness in every sense of the word (ibid.,
This is meant to transform village children into model
villagers?..It develops both the body and the mind, and keeps the
child rooted to the soil with a glorious vision of the future in the realization
of which he or she begins to take his or her share from the very commencement
of his or her career in school (ibid., pp. 15-16).
[The villagers] do not know that the foreigner?s
presence is due to their own weakness and their ignorance of the power
they possess to rid themselves of the foreign rule. My adult education
means therefore, first, true political education of the adult by word
of mouth?..Side by side with it will be the literary education. This
is itself a specialty (ibid., pp. 16-17).
Woman must be the true helpmate of man in the mission
She has as much right to shape her own destiny as man has to shape his.
Men have considered themselves to be lords and masters of women instead
of considering them as their friends and co-workers?..It is up to
Congressmen to see that they enable them to realize their full status
and play their part as equals of men (ibid., pp. 17-18).