Remembering Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi had a significant influence on our family and my childhood. My paternal grandfather stayed at Sabarmati Ashram and served Mahatma Gandhi there for twenty years. My grandmother took her children to her parents’ home and willingly gave away all ten and a half kilos of her gold jewelry saying, “I will take care of the children. You go and serve the country.”

My teacher Pt. Sudhakar Chaturvedi was also a teacher to Mahatma Gandhi whom he taught the Bhagavad Gita. He is still alive and is a 116 years old. Gandhi used to call him Bangalori, since he is from Bangalore. Once, they was lodged in Yerawada jail in Pune and Kasturba was on her deathbed. When Gandhi realized that she may not survive the day, he asked Pt. Chaturvedi to read the second chapter of the Gita. There is a verse in it that describes the qualities of one who is established and centered in knowledge – Sthitapragna. Gandhi said, “Bangalori, today is the test of your Bapu. Let us see if I can maintain equanimity of mind today. My wife and partner for over 50 years is leaving her body. I have done such injustice to this woman. I always forced her to do things she did not want to do. I’ve been so cruel to her and her children. But she stayed with me till her last breath. She is the real saint, not me.” He made this admission during her last moments as she died in his arms.

He was a great advocate of non-violence and compassion towards animals. Once he saw a cow being milked so hard that her udders started bleeding. From that day, he left having cow’s milk and would only have goat’s milk. He said the right to the cow’s milk goes to the calf first. He was so sensitive towards the cow and today, India has become the #1 exporter of beef. Millions of cows have been slaughtered in this country over the last few years. He was a strong proponent of prohibition against alcohol but nobody says that. He stood firmly against religious conversion but nobody talks about that. It is so sad to see that all that Mahatma Gandhi stood for has been totally demolished in his own country.

The youth of our country should wake up and follow these values, which have tremendous strength in them. He used to do satsang everyday. In fact, this is the reason that his movement reached the masses and was successful. His satsangs brought hundreds and thousands of people together who united with his mission.

Today, the situation is as critical as it was in Gandhi’s time. We are again passing through a phase of transformation and we need to stand united with the larger vision of a better future for our country. Let us take responsibility for a better India and create a wave of enthusiasm and hope like Mahatma Gandhi did.

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  1. Jayashree Patnaik

    Jai Gurudev!
    Guruji has highlighted a number of vital components of Gandhian philosophy like prohibition against alcohol and religious conversion. These issues have been clearly ignored and forgotten over the years in our country. It is indeed high time that masses of India awaken from the slumber of ages.

    Reply
  2. Tamás Balázs

    Mahatma Gandhi laid the foundations. Now it’s your turn Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
    The times are changing, but there are things that remain the same.
    Good luck for a better India.
    I believe that you can achieve your goals, what you want.
    When you will have white hair and beard decades later, it will be proud to look back on it, not to mention future generations.
    Otherwise, I can not imagine you with a white beard… 🙂

    Reply
  3. Madhavi Tangirala

    It is really dishearten to hear that India is #1 in beef exporting. This is condemnable. Bharatiya Thirtha Swamy was angry about this issue and Guruji stopped coming to Andhra Pradesh. But in 2013 Guruji pardoned and visited Andhra Pradesh. The situation did not improve then?

    Reply
  4. MILAN K SINHA

    Very inspiring and touching. Bapu’s teachings are still very relevant particularly for our country which is passing through a very critical time despite having huge vibrant youth force and natural bounties.

    Reply

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