Friday, December 14, 2012

Gandhiji's Talisman

School text books in India usually do have a common text in the inside page of the front cover, but since its so common it is ignored in general. The text is as follows:

"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man (woman) whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he (she) gain anything by it? Will it restore him (her) to a control over his (her) own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj (freedom) for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?
Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away."

- One of the last notes left behind by Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, expressing his deepest social thought. Bapu, or the father of the nation, was a great leader and this talisman takes your thinking to the right context and also helps you to understand the significance of your problem when comparing to the problems faced by the 'starving millions'.

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