the Spirit of Mahatma Gandhi lives through every nonviolent action
Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav
Senior Gandhian Scholar
Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India
Contact No. – 09415777229, 094055338
Mail Address- C- 29, Swaraj Nagar, Panki, Kanpur-208020, U.P.
Become a Child- Mahatma Gandhi
A four-year-old boy asked: “Father, what do you mean by women?” Father, disconcerted, said: “Sisters and mothers are known as women.” The boy said: “I see, women are persons who cook, clean utensils and wash clothes, is it not so?” This is not an imaginary conversation but one which has been selected from many conversations which have actually taken place. The father’s definition did not appeal to the child as he had seen women mostly engaged in the tasks described by him. A friend sent me a collection of such dialogues for my amusement, and, when I read them, I felt that, if we could become innocent like children and derive our meanings from innocent observations like theirs, we could spare ourselves much trouble, many disputes and much waste of time. And our intellect would become increasingly keener. A great deal of argumentation may sharpen our wits but it does not sharpen our intellect. Who has not come across instances of too much argumentation leading to intellectual confusion? This child is in fact, all innocent children are unconscious worshippers of truth and hence they go an advancing we should, therefore, become children, that is to say, we should shed all fear and worship truth. We should do that which our heart believes to be true. We shall certainly err, but we should put up with the penalty and see to it that such error is not repeated. If we make another mistake, it does not matter; on every occasion we should suffer the penalty and go on rectifying our mistakes. Whoever errs does not commit a fault. In the case of a fault knowledge is presumed. Knowingly committing a wrong is both a fault as well as sin. If we err unknowingly, that act will not be called sinful. Punishment may be meted out for both error and sin one meted out for the former is welcome, whereas that meted out for the latter is as bitter as poison. Both society and God shudder to punish anyone for the former, but are furious in punishing anyone for the latter. It is not easy for a person advanced in age to become and continue to be, like a child, innocent and simple and, a conscious worshipper of truth. But it is our duty to do so. The perfect incarnation of God as conceived by Hinduism is the child Krishna. Jesus said: “Wisdom flows from the mouths of babes and sucklings.” He said to those who desired salvation: “Become like children.”