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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -2



Swami Vivekananda was a Monk dedicated to religious and spiritual life. His love for spiritual experience made him search for a guru, and he got an exceptional one in the person of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Not only did he gain the vision and the power of spirituality in the fullest measure, but he arrived at a new method of understanding the very constitution of the religions of the world in their essentials, and found that all their truths were present in a living manner in the age-old religion of India, the Vedantic Hinduism. Universal Religion, as the religion of every one on the Earth, was found to be realisable in and by means of Hinduism. Hinduism, for Swami Vivekananda, was universal religion, and it is the religion of Advaita (all-inclusiveness).

Mahatma Gandhi, though supremely religiously inspired, had plunged into serious ethical problems vis-a-vis political and social doctrines and situations. The Mahatma’s religion has been characterised by a political purpose, even as we find expressed in some of the speeches of Swami Vivekananda, so much so, many critics had thought that Mahatma Gandhi used his religion as a means to the political emancipation of his country, deeming that the one thing that India understands is Religion and nothing else. This may be par­tially true, but it is perhaps the religious realisation, within, that also made him use politics as a means to his religious fulfilment.
This is very likely because the basic concern for the Mahatma was religion, and the practice of it in and for the realisation of himself; and for him the basic virtues were truth and ahimsa and brahmacarya, and the injunction of the Upanisad, not to covet other’s possessions. In a sense, for him the exercise of religion was surely realisation of self and God, but it was something that had to have concrete activity or ethical content, and this the political condition of India and the world provided.

One should remember that Mahatma Gandhi was influenced by his earliest home environment of Vaisnavism and Jainism. His residence in England had put him into touch with Christian mystical thinking; especially was he influenced by Cardinal Newman’s writings, by those of Leo Tolstoy and John Ruskin. He was determined to practise the path of non-violence, ahimsa, and non-resistance or passive-resistance, in the small things of the day to day life. That events put him in social situations to try out his dharma in larger and larger contexts is a fact of great consequence. In South Africa he tried out his method of passive resistance, which was modified in later years into Non-violent non-cooperation. Here, as we know, was a reformulation of a Christian principle of “Resist not Evil”. His deep religious feelings became more and more prominant, and prayer for inner light and guidance was found to be his daily need. His belief in the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, which became his Mother, is
well-known. His acquaintance with the Upanisads became more and more illuminating to his realisation. His own self-discipline helped him to understand, with increasing insight, the inward meaning of these texts. The Isavasyopanisad, especially the first two mantras, became for him a guide. As he put it, if all the literature in the world was to be taken away or lost and these two mantras alone remained, they would be enough to guide man to his self realisation. He practised nama-bhajan, prayer in silence, and felt that each man must be usefully employed in helping others and in earning one’s bread. His daily practices of karma, jnana, and bhakti yogas together also made so many see how all these could be done even during a strenuous period of service to the country. Struggle with an alien power, Satanic in operation and ruthless in its execution, was his daily bread. His profound faith in spiritual power and God made him fearless. His life was religious to the core.

As Dr. Radhakrishnan writes, his was a life in God which is the test of a religious life. In Gandhi’s own words

“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 transformed conduct and character of an unbroken line of prophets and sages in all countries and climes. to reject this evidence is to deny oneself."

This realisation of the In-dwelling power is the beginning of the great work in the world.  Not to have this faith or belief in God for him meant death itself. “Blast my beliefs in God and I am dead”,he writes.

Gandhi recognized early  that there were prophets of God who had borne witness to this inward experience of God which had transformed their conduct and character everywhere. This God is identically the same everywhere. The Allah of Islam is the same as the God of the Christians and the Isvara of the Hindus. Even as there are numerous names of God in Hinduism, there are  many names of God in Islam. The names do not indicate individuality but attributes, and the Divine is beyond all attributes, indescribable, immeasurable. All this clearly shows the realisation of the Oneness of God in all religions; but in respect of one’s attitude to other religions one has to grant equal respect to the prophets. Whilst it is true that Hinduism alone realised that violence is wrong and that equal respect should be shown to all other persuasions, other religions became intolerant and violent, deeming that their religions are superior, and also because they tried to save others without trying to save themselves.
A practising religionist everywhere would realise that the godhead is not the possession of any one religion, for He is the object of spiritual realisation in all religions. What is observed is that whilst other religious thinkers, as a rule, did not realise this, Hindu seers and in our modern times Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Mahatma Gandhi realised this and affirmed this. In fact it is a very serious historical point even in India that sectarian rivalry prevailed, even to the extent of mutual persecution. But it is well-known that real religion had hardly anything to do with this, the real reason being only political goals based on power and so on.

It is also affirmed that Truth is God, and the only means to attain to God is by the practice of truth and ahimsa. Knowledge of truth and the practice of truth and love are inseparable parts of the same process known as religion. To separate them is basically wrong, for it also leads to the divorce between ends and means. Here was a re-discovery and emphasis laid on the identity necessary between ends and means. Purity is necessary and purification is rendered possible by the life of the ascetic, who practises the five yamas including fasting, so that one is freed from all passion in thought, word and deed. His personal purity was something exceptional for one who lived the life of a grhastha or householder, but it was not an uncommon one in ancient times. He recovered for his countrymen the ideals of the ancient householder who lived the ascetic life. He existed in the true ancient tradition which he recapitulated for his countrymen who had been carried away by the glamour of alien cultures.

He practised complete equality in all his associations. “He had known no distinction between relatives and strangers, countrymen and foreigners, white and coloured Hindus and Indians of other faiths, whether Muslims, Parsees, Christians or Jews.” His discipline was however a matter of ‘continuous striving for the cultivation of non-violence, celibacy and other cardinal virtues.”

His living in God had given him also the other experience - the spirit of humanity as Radhakrishnan calls it. He did not exile himself from the world for the natural work was to work within society or the world. The Isa seer had spoken of the continuous necessity to be doing work for humanity for realising the Divine. It leads to the experience of God in all creatures of the universe, and all creatures in God. Mahatma Gandhi, by working through society, attained this experience. His own intimate association with Ruskin’s work “Unto this Last” had led him to see that work done is capable of being spiritual when done for the Divine. Hindu thought had also insisted on this performance of work, productive and helpful to society, and to maintain one’s self respect and dependence. Whilst other religions did not emphasize the goal of man to be liberation but only social welfare and at best political liberty, Gandhi knew that moksa is God-realisation, and Self-realisation immeasurably greater than political freedom. For he says that to him Ahimsa and Truth are much more important than liberty won by means other than they. Indeed he asserted that he would retire to the Himalayas if India chose the path of violence.

One almost feels that he felt that ethical discipline was absolutely the condition of any spiritual growth, as well as of political emancipation. A freedom that is not based on self-discipline and moral values seems to be a false and precarious freedom. Individuals and nations have fallen because of the lack of character and good conduct. Ascetism seemed to him the essence of self-discipline, but it is an asceticism that did not go to extremes of unnaturalness. Natural asceticism is the life of yama, self-control or self-restraint. Looked at from the point of view of the indulgent men, control appears to border on asceticism, but asceticism as the ancient Hindu thinkers and the great sages of other religions have stated it, is natural to man, it is indulgence that is unnatural.

Humanity has to be trained to leave the path of indulgence that had brought it down. The great work of Gandhiji was to establish ashrams wherein he inculcated these disciplines in the most natural way, so that all could realise that they were codes of behaviour for all men. Ethical discipline is not asceticism. As Plato long ago wrote, the problem of man is to make him feel that the good is the pleasant, and not that the pleasant is the good. The brahmacarya education, the educational modifications that he tried to introduce had one aim, to make the ascetic life pleasant; for it is disciplined by cardinal virtues and turn man away from the attitude that makes him think that the pleasant is the good.

Though modern ethical thinkers have been at pains to criticise this kind of morality, yet it would be seen that events during the past one century were following the other route that the pleasant is good, the pleasant being also an education in accustoming oneself to indulgence in contrary habits. Industrialisation and urbanisation had made life harder and artificial, and man has been separated from his normal life. Gandhiji opposed this trend and sought to re-form society on the ancient pattern of simple living and independent earning. His khadi and village programmes were integral to his concern for the education of the young men of India in the ways of a simple religion of good conduct and good habit. In a sense he valued his Socrates, and possibly discovered that the voice of Socrates was an echo from the Indian Rishis. He seems to have patterned his own life on that of Socrates, but one can see that he had thoroughly indianised or hinduised it.

Mahatma Gandhi described his own religion as Ethical Religion. In his view, ethics is the practice of the cardinal virtues of Truth, Ahimsa, Brahmacarya, Aparigraha. Purity in personal  life is the sine-qua-non of spiritual capacity to hear the ‘Indwelling’ Godhead’s Voice. Without this preliminary training for all, and this is something that must be universally inculcated, no one can be on the path of Spirituality, Whilst aware that mere ethics would not be enough, yet he was confident that the inner voice spontaneously arises in man when moral expertness develops, and the discernment arises as a flame of truth, and in due course it would be recognised as the voice of God within.

More than anything else, ethical life also promotes the courage to see that righteousness is upheld and wrong redressed. A moral conscience that lies supine and idle before evil is not moral at all. Every man is charged with the duty of resisting evil, wherever it occurs and by whomsoever perpetrated. The failure of moral indignation or wrath may be due to helplessness or fear of hurting others, or bringing down the wrath on oneself. We have come to a stage, and it was so under all dictators or powers, foreign or indigeneous, where we are caught up in fear for our own safety and of our family whenever we are aroused to indignation. No one had developed courage to lose one’s all in the cause of resistance to evil perpetrated against oneself or against some one else. Altruism and egoism had both been victims of fear, and led to security-consciousness and indifference. The hushing of the conscience is about the most dangeous modern symptom of an ethical disease, which politics has bred.

Religion cannot be considered to be merely the business of seeking freedom elsewhere, or out of this body, or moksa, but it must also conserve the values of ethics for society. It is in this sense that Mahatma Gandhi felt that ethics or virtue is indivisible or One, and it is the business of every human being to seek to preserve it. The preservation of dharma is one, and dharma is indivisible or One;    but it is also necessary to see that every individual is a moral agent who rises up to defend it whenever it is sought to be defeated or violated. The Bhagavad Gita had firmly inculcated the necessity to carry out the duties of protection of dharma relentlessly without fear, and Mahatma Gandhi had discovered that a moral situation demands a moral battle - a satyagraha intended to restore faith in the moral system of the universe - a dharma ksetra and a karma-ksetra,

“The World rests on the bed-rock of satya or truth. Asatya which means untruth, also means
non-existent, and satya or truth means ‘that which is’.
If untruth does not so much as exist, its victory is out of the question. And truth being that which is, can never be destroyed” writes Gandhi.

Therefore untruth is something already destroyed and man has to be but a nimitta, an instrument. Man has, as any moral agent has, to be an instrument of Truth or God, and it is his duty to be that. This it is that grants the moral agent the capacity to be fearless about results. The moral agent realising himself to be a nimitta of God in fact becomes a religious aspirant seeking liberating service which is not only useful to him but also to the whole of God’s creation.

It is the Satyagraha concept that is the discovery of the Mahatma. It is the dynamics of service to humanity that the Mahatma was giving. It shows that the ethical has its roots in the Spirit or truly religious life, the life of realisation that God is in everything, and calls out to moral action. In a sense Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha also solves the problem of egoistic and altruistic ethics by making all activity the service of Truth that is one and indivisible. The heart of a moral agent, inspired by the recognition that Truth is God, is universalised both in conduct and character. The Mahatma says

“I recognize no God except the God that is to be found in the hearts of the dumb millions. They do not recognize His presence : I do. And I worship the God that is Truth or Truth which is God, through the service of these millions.”

To put them on their feet so that they too could worship truth and serve it is a goal worthy of the highest sage. This miracleof putting men on their feet with the help of truth is a Gandhian Miracle in Indian Politics.

But the strength of truth is not in arms, but in the conscious, dedicated self-suffering undertaken to convert the evildoer from his evil. It is not the evildoer who is fought, but the evil that nestles in him, and  involves the business of undertaking suffering on oneself rather than inflicting it on him; and this is a novel enough way to rouse the conscience of the evil doer and help him to discard his evil, or rather the evil that had been using him. In a subtle way this reveals that an evil doer is not a foe to be butchered, but a sick man who had got possessed by evil. The only way is to bring him round by means of love and rationality. The awakening of the conscience of a man, and no man is so dead that his conscience cannot be aroused to think, is almost like a process of conversion, or initiation, opening up a New life for the evil-doer. This discovery of how to awaken or initiate is a unique one, and Mahatma Gandhi considers that it is a unique Hindu discovery implicit even in the Gita.

The Mahatma says

“The hardest metal yields to sufficient heat: even so must the hardest heart melt before the sufficiency of the heat of nonviolence. And there is no limit to the capacity of non-violence to generate heat.... During my half century of experience, I have not come across a situation when I had to say that I was helpless, that I had no remedy in terms of non-violence”.

This faith in Truth and Non-violence which typified for him God is the supreme example of a new Ethics that has transcended the ethics of the utilitarian or the stoic, or even the best of idealism.

So it is dear that Mahatma Gandhi brought to Hinduism its basic strength,  namely its ethical concern with virtues.  What the Western thinkers held lacking in Hinduism was ethics, but this was shown to be not only very much present, but dynamically capable of being revived. It was not an innovation, a borrowing from the west, but quite native to the Indian or Hindu soul. And just as philosophy fades into religion, ethics realises its fullest strength in religious experience, especially of the Harda or Antaryami or the Inner Voice.

Mahatma Gandhi saw in all religions the same Cod being worshipped, of course according to their own ways. They all lead to the life of purity. Therefore it was easy to live together with the moral and religious people of all religions. However he was closely affiliated to Hinduism,  in which he believed in all its several aspects and dogmas. He held that   the sincere pursuit of one’s own religion is helpful to the realisation of one’s own goal of Moksa. Though he loved to serve humanity in the spiritual - ethical way he had planned so that each individual must be helped to his ethical statute of an independent moral agent, yet he was clear in his mind that one should not try to convert one to another religion. He belived in the sufficiency of each religion to the needs of the person born into it. Nor could any one convert another, unless he himself has realised fully the life of religion. Though Mahatma Gandhi had very close associates belonging to other religions, like C.F. Andrews, Maulana Azad and others, yet he never even tried to show them that Hinduism was superior to the others, or even that it was all comprehensive and the mother of all religions, all of which had been affirmed by Swami Vivekananda. As  he put it:

“Belief in one God is the corner-stone of all religions. I do not foresee a time when there would be only one religion on earth in practice. For as my wife to me is the most beautiful woman in the world, so also others may feel the same about their own religion.”

Universal Religion is not a possibility. One Religion for all mankind, such as a Religion for Humanity or anything like that is an Utopian wish or ideal. It would be good if it could be had, but even this question is in doubt under the present conditions.

Mahatma Gandhi saw clearly that whilst all people of all religions must and can practise the ethical or cardinal virtues of Truth and Non-violence, it would be difficult to make all accept any one set of dogmas or Teachers or Prophets or Books of Revelation or Inspiration. The Old Testament will not be given up by the Hebrew, the New Testament by the Christian, nor the Al-Koran by Islam, nor the Zend Avesta by the Zoroastrian; nor any of the other sects give up their dogmatic loyalty to these - As Mahatma Gandhi said it is like the love of one’s wife. Looking at the way Mahatma Gandhi interpreted the functions of other religions, he discerned that all of them had worshipped One God, but not with one name only but with a thousand, each one of which expressed an attribute or a story or a myth. Though one name may be preeminently suitable for meditation, or as a unique discovery of the prophet or seer, the others were not neglected. A study of these names would reveal the same tendency of all religious people to call the Divine by many names -a tendency that we have recognized in the Veda which the Vedic seer himself pointed out as referring to the One Experience.      His open understanding was to live in communion with all masses as one of themselves, so as to get en-rapport with the meanest and the lowest members of humanity.

More than any one he showed that the religious life is the life of one who loves God in all the levels of experience. It is a personal relationship of love with every one.

We have shown that in his opinion so long as men do, perhaps rightly, remain loyal to their own religion in practising it, there occurs the growth of reverence to the founders of these religions, and this personal feeling itself would make it difficult to outgrow it. Even a mergence of all reli­gions into one religion as a World Religion would be difficult to arrive at.

We have seen how our affection for our mother tongues had tended towards the formation of linguistic patriotisms which somehow are expected to pull together. The demand of independence and autonomy or parity or equality on racial and religious grounds is not yet given up, even when there remains the constant threat of serfdom to any new conqueror. We believe in separatism and individualism as gospel truths, and as the inviolable rights of man. These make even an integration of all religions impossible.

All that seems to be possible is that we can draw up a blue-print for a Universal Faith or Religion into which all ‘open-minded’ persons can enlist. We have this possibility in many World fellowships, the Theosophical Society and so on. But even the most liberal formulation of the dogma of any Universal Religion would only set up another sect and begin circumscribing itself. Gandhiji seems to have been quite aware of this, and therefore he does not make any attempt to formulate a universal Religion, nor hold a briel for Hinduism or any other religion.

Every religion in a sense contains the essentials of all patterns of religion, all aspirations.      Each religion sets up a stimulated activity within itself for realising the other ideals of other religions, which it begins to develop within its own context. This kind of activity would, in due course of time, beget the sense of self-growth. Ultimately every religion may become non-different from another. But this, as Mahatma Gandhi saw, is a dream of the future.

Dr Radhakrishnan has brilliantly spoken of Mahatma Gandhi, for he seems to have seen in him the spiritual vision that makes for supreme liberty and the making of a Prophet.

“Gandhi is the prophet of a liberated life wielding power over millions of human beings by virtue of his exceptional holiness and heroism. There will always be some who will find in such rat  examples of sanctity the note of strength and stark reality which is missing in a life of general good will, conventional morality or vague aesthetic affectation which is all that many modern teachers have to offer. To be true, to be simple, to be pure, and gentle of heart, to remain cheerful and contented in sorrow and danger, to love life and not to fear death, to serve the Spirit and hot to be daunted by the spirits of the dead, nothing better has been taught or lived since the world first began.” (Mahatma Gandhi ed. S.R. Jaico ed. p.37)

Yet Mahatma Gandhi knew that he should not found a religion, for he was but a deep and sincere follower of Hinduism, supremely in both spirit and in action.

Many wonderful estimates have been made of his work both when he was alive and working and after his martyrdom. His own words are written down every where without any reserve. The life of Mahatma Gandhi provides all the characteristics of a truly religious man. As his closest associate C.F. Andrews wrote

“Mahatma Gandhi is essentially a man of religion. He can never think of any complete release from evil apart from God’s grace. Prayer therefore is the essence of all work”;

but as Gandhiji stated his prayer was not of the Christian pattern.

“ I do not pray as Christians do, not because I think there is nothing wrong in it, but because words wont come to me. I suppose it is a matter of habit.... God knows and anticipates our wants. The deity does not need any supplication.. I cannot recall a moment in my life when I had a sense of desertion by God “.

At the moment of death he was repeating the names of his beloved Ram. It is said that it is the moment of death that reveals one’s religion or godliness. Truly he died with God’s name on his lips at the moment of being shot.

When the ancient seers sometime claimed that Satya alone is enough to make one attain the Immortal, or that any one wirtue was enough, they were just expressing the fact that ethical values coupled with religious faith leads to the highest spiritual planes. Mahatma Gandhi revealed that Truth and Non-violence alone can lead to the status of prophet-hood when one is supremely dedicated to them. In an appreciation of an ethical religion which could be universalised,  as revealed by Mahatma Gandhi’s sayings as well as his inimitable life, we can see the real beginnings of a world conscience that might be aroused by the dedicated ethical elevation of one single person.

It was said of a great reformer of the past, whose love was universal and who also underwent lot of martyrdom,  that as his eyes were fixed on the feet of Cod alone for the sake of love of mankind,  all mankind got absorbed in him.      So too the Mahatma’s God-love was as deep as his love of God in all Humanity, and yet it was a love that was a kind of divine love;   which had as Thomas A Kempis wrote

“a love that feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuses of impossibility : for it thinks all things lawful for itself and all things possible”.

But with the supreme difference that it did not permit love to be ‘amoral’.

To those who think that religious love should be beyond good and evil, or that it means a ‘transvaluation of all values’ or which dismisses ethics as limiting the freedom of the higher kind of life, Mahatma Gandhi’s answer would be that it must be considered to be non-religious. Under no condition could Truth and Non-violence be sacrificed, nor barhmacarya. Expediential morality is no morality.

Gandhiji does not agree that morality could be abrogated under any circumstances. Thus the development of political conscience, or industrial or technological science, cannot lead to abandonment of truth and non-violence. It is perhaps with this spiritual vision that he tried to apply moral principles to the political field. That it brought to politics, both national and inter­national, sense of moral purpose and the recognition of the absolute worth and value of every member of humanity is a tribute to the attainment of a universal ethical society in the context of political conditions. This would elevate mankind to a higher level of ethical life, and therefore religious life.      In a sense it appears that the Mahatma even used the religious to inculcate the ethical values, for in Hinduism the religious values have a greater hold on the mind, whereas, thanks to the confusion about moral values engendered in her itihasas, the ethical had not the same hold.

For example, we all admire Bhishma for his brahmacarya, Karna for his dana, and these great heroes have been praised and even over praised, despite the fact that both of them were not votaries of truth as such. Similarly strange religious sects had tried to plead casuistically in support of immoral and amoral society. But it was to break this spell that Mahatma Gandhi practised the ethical in the context of the religious, and thus pointed out that an Ethical Universal Religion has much better chance of being realised than a dogmatic or other religion. There is a great deal of literature on Mahatma Gandhi, and his own writings are voluminous. It is an inspiration to read them, and no one who had heard the Mahatma Gandhi could feel anything but the deepest feelings that he was verily an avatar - comparable to the Buddha - but much more dynamic, comparable to Christ but much more universal, who did not write a gospel but taught the way of living. He is rightly called the father of our Nation. His ethical religion is a profound movement in the history of the world which every man can understand, where ever the terms truth, non-violence, non-grasping or exploitation, continence could be understood. Deeper and profounder meanings for these terms would be found when they are considered in the context of bodily, mental and mano-vak-kaya practice.

Therefore in a sense though Hinduism has been stated to be not yet something that others would accept, and Hinduism has no right to say that it is the universal religion or that it can be one, yet the ethical basis of Hinduism and its Vedanta, can be the ethical basis of a universal Religion as well.

However the one thing that the Mahatma has pointed out is that Religion and ethics are matters of vigilant concern for the preservation of the divine attitude towards all humanity.

Summing up  :

Mahatma Gandhi has held that all religions are equal. The possibility of establishing one religion for all mankind is remote. Each religion has produced the ideal of good life along with the acceptance that there is only One God for all, and not that there are many Gods, like perhaps many kings who need to be brought under one great king. This is impossible. Democracy is the recognition of the divine in each individual. Morality is the recognition that each individual must practise Truth and Non-violence and be able to stand up and resist untruth and violence, relying on God who is Truth and Non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi had awakened Mankind and the religions to the sense of Moral Excellence which alone makes for the full experience of God, or attainment of liberation here and elsewhere. Morality should be practised in the context of our political society as well as in the context of religious institutions, so that purity is established.

In a sense the Mahatma showed that it is possible for every indi­vidual, who is supremely dedicated, to become an avatar of God or His associate in the business of establishment of Ramarajya.

The tribute that one great man has paid to another great man in his own lifetime merits consideration. The one was a great patriot imbued with spiritual light and fervour, the other a great educationist - philosopher, whose sense of reality was matched by an equal sense and senstivity to discern greatness wherever it existed.

“Gandhi is the prophet of a liberated life wielding power over millions of human beings by virtue of his exceptional holiness and heroism. There will always be some who will find in such rare examples of sanctity the note of strength and stark reality which is missing in a life of general good will, conventional morality or vague aesthetic affectation which is all that many modern teachers have to offer. To be true, to be simple, to be pure and gentle of heart, to remain cheerful and contented in sorrow and danger, to love life and not to fear death,  to serve the Spirit and not to be daunted by the spirits of the dead, nothing better has been taught or lived since the world first began.” (Mahatma Gandhi: Ed S. Radhakrishnan Jaico ed. p.37)

“Mahatma Gandhi is essentially a man of religion. He can never think of any complete release from evil apart from God’s grace. Prayer therefore is of the essence of all his work” wrote his closest Christian friend C.F.  Andrews.

As Romain Rolland wrote he was the “St. Paul of our own days : he was the St. Francis of Assisi too. But he put his ahimsa and his programme of Khadder and Satyagraha to the  ‘corporate life of mankind’ on a scale never known before in human history. In this way he has been more than any other personality now living a herald of peace and good will to mankind.” (ibid. p.48-9).  Ernest Barkar learnt from him the lesson of love and of service in love, and the lesson of non-violence.

Prof. William Ernest Hocking writes that

“Gandhi teaches us that there is no greatness except greatness within one’s own kind, no universality except the universality within one’s own province, no freedom except the freedom within one’s own belonging.” (p.102)

If Buddha taught “If hatred responds to hatred when and where will hatred end” Mahatma Gandhi taught “If love responds to hatred here and everywhere will hatred end.”

“I do not pray as Christians do, not because I think there is anything wrong in it, but because words wont come to me. I suppose it is a matter of habit... God knows and anticipates our wants. The Deity does not need any supplication.... I cannot recall a moment in my life when I had a sense of desertion by God. “
(cf. p. 134)

Gandhi compared to William Law (ed Stephen hobhouse.)

“Stafford Cripps quotes Thomas A kempis” Love feels no burdens ,thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength,s pleads no excuses of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself and all things possible.” (p. 347)