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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. – 09404955338, 09415777229

E-mail- dr.yadav.yogendra@gandhifoundation.net;

dr.yogendragandhi@gmail.com

Mailing Address- C- 29, Swaraj Nagar, Panki, Kanpur- 208020, Uttar Pradesh, India

 

Swami Satyadev and Mahatma Gandhi

 

Swami Satyadev Parivrajak was taught Hindi at the Sabarmati Ashram. He went to America and gain experience. He took sannyasa for freedom of India. He met to Mahatma Gandhi and became his associate. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I have dictated the above shloka with great sorrow. Your letters have startled me. A learned and experienced person like you cannot give up any work after having started it. Devdas is a child. He does not want to leave me till he is absolutely sure about my health. I cannot make him give up this sacred feeling by coercion. Nor do I want to. I firmly believe that whatever my state of health, Devdas should be in Madras. But Devdas does not think so. He believes that so long as there is the slightest doubt about my health, his duty is to be with me. What I can I tell him? Even so, there was much argument with him today and Devdas has agreed that if your reply, which he is awaiting, is not satisfactory, he will leave this place and go to Madras. I shall hope that you will not give up your work in Madras any time. I would like to believe that the letters you have written me are only an expression of your anger. You must give up the anger and be calm. That is my prayer. My health continues to have ups and downs. There is no cause for worry. I do have the confidence that even if I do not keep perfect health, there cannot be any sudden decline either. I have now agreed to take goat’s milk. Hence there is every chance of my regaining health quickly.” 1

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “You are right in saying that you could not be satisfied with a message sent through Devdas. The only reason for not writing a letter was my laziness. Please forgive me. I had told Devdas that if you did not feel satisfied I would certainly send a written reply. You may make all the appropriate arrangements for teaching Hindi in the Madras Presidency. You may tour the whole Presidency. You may establish schools in different places. You may select teachers of your choice for these schools. You may not do the teaching yourself, but you must inspect the schools from time to time. When schools have been opened throughout the Presidency to your satisfaction and when you can say with certainty that these schools can run independently of you, you may leave the Madras Presidency. You may spend up to Rs. 10,000 on this undertaking. The responsibility for sending you the money is mine. You will not have anything to do with the Sahitya Committee at Prayag. But I want to ask for all the expenses from Prayag. If there are difficulties in the way I will make some other arrangement. Now I think I have answered all your questions. You will tell me if there is anything left out. I have written to Devdas a long letter about Surendra. At the moment he is suffering from a mental affliction. He has become enamored of the English-style schools. It seems necessary to get him out of the spell. You may be able to calm him. If you like his idea, please explain it to me.” 2

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Swami Satyadev and I were Khwaja Sahib’s guests. Swami Satyadev did not share my views. We argued about them. I told him that holding the views I did, it would be as wrong of me to refuse to partake of the food offered by a Mussalman as it would be on his part to transgress his maryada So Swami Satyadev was provided with separate cooking arrangements.” 3 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I was glad to have your letter and I noticed that you have signed it with some effort. You talk of settling down in Delhi but it is hot there too. For you the places are Almora, Abu or Girnar. Perhaps you don’t require a library but wish to write on what you already know. If that is so I shall try. It is quite pleasant near the sea coast but considering your health I would not advise the sea coast. I understand you want my advice regarding only the place and you have the means to manage other things yourself.” 4

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Khwaja Abdul Majid, who is a trustee of the Aligarh University, came to see me today. He has a lot of landed property but at heart he is a fakir. He used to be my host whenever I went to Aligarh. Swami Satyadev Parivrajak had been on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas, used to accompany me. He was a very active worker but now God has taken him away. He told me he would accompany me but he would not join me if I dined with a Muslim. On hearing this Khwaja Saheb said, “If that is what his religion enjoins, I shall make separate arrangements for him.” Though the Swami was accompanying me Khwaja Saheb did not mind when the Swami did not dine with him. Would that those good old days were here again when there used to be heart-unity among Hindus and Muslims. Khwaja Saheb continues to be the president of the nationalist Muslims. Other nationalist Muslims who had graduated from the Aligarh University in those days are today ideal students of the Jamia Millia and are excellent workers. They are like on oasis in the Sahara. Even if somebody killed Khwaja Saheb he would not wish him ill. Such people may be few but we must retain our innate qualities. When faced with bad characters we should not stoop to their level. But we committed this mistake in Bihar. Nationalist Muslims had been killed by Hindus there and Hindus friends of Islam had been done to death by Muslims.” 5

 

References:

  1. LETTER TO SWAMI SATYADEV, January 10, 1919
  2.   LETTER TO SWAMI SATYADEV, February 6, 1919
  3. Young India, 22-1-1925
  4. LETTER TO SWAMI SATYADEV, October 28, 1945
  5. SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING, April 6, 1947

 

 

 

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