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Mahatma, A Master-Part II

By Staff

The first part of the article, 'Mahatma, A Master' dealt with Truth and Nonviolence, Non possession and non stealing. The sequel continues to explain more principles that he adopted which were truly spiritual.

Brahmacharya

Gandhiji though practised sexual abstinence, had a clear vision of what 'Brahmacharya' really meant. He stated "The full and proper meaning of Brahmacharya is search of Brahman. Brahman pervades every being and can therefore be searched by diving into and realizing the inner self. This realization is impossible without complete control of the senses. Brahmacharya thus means control in thought, word and action, of all the senses at all times and in all places"

Fearlessness

"Perfect fearlessness can be attained only by him who has realized the Supreme, as it implies the height of freedom from delusions" is a reflection of the Upanishadic truth that one who identifies oneself with everyone, which is the realization of the supreme is the one who has freed himself of all fears.

Against Untouchability

It is a well known fact that Gandhiji was against untouchability. His statements on Varnashrama Dharma proves that he had a clear perception of Hinduism and what it actually portrayed. "Varnashrama Dharma defines man's mission on this earth. He is not born day after day to explore avenues for amassing riches and to explore different means of livelihood; on the contrary, man is born in order that he may utilize every atom of his energy for the purpose of knowing his Maker". He said it was created to check competition that arose out of greed and to pursue one's endeavors in realizing the highest truth.

The aspect of untouchability crept in due course to corrode the whole system. His love for humanity as a whole, a definition of his adherence to the absolute truth is expressed in the fullest in the statement "I do not want to be reborn. But if I have to be reborn, I should be born an untouchable, so that I may share their sorrows, sufferings, and the affronts leveled at them, in order that I may endeavour to free myself and them from that miserable condition". His wish not to be reborn explains the fact explicitly that he was spiritual. It is further emphasized by choosing to be born an untouchable which exposed the fact that he identified himself with one and all, an expression of the Vedic principle of 'Tatvamasi'.

Though Gandhiji expressed these principles in the political arena, a chaotic field in the chaotic world, it is worthy to note that they were all reflections of his inner self which had strong flavour of spirituality.

Story first published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008, 13:50 [IST]
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