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Dear Readers,

October 2nd is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. In his memory, we bring you the text of a talk by Prof. G.Venkataraman sometime ago over Radio Sai, as a part of the series MUSINGS FROM PRASHANTINILAYAM.
This is our humble tribute to the Mahatma.

SGH Team.


Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prasanthinilayam.

The second of October is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Many years ago, this day used to be observed with great fervour in India. But now, Gandhi is slowly slipping out of the radar screen as they say. And this is the very same man, about whom Einstein said, as well as I can remember, "Centuries hence people would scarce believe that such a man actually walked on earth, in flesh and blood."

Today, I would like to say something about Mahatma Gandhi, not because he is the Father of the Indian Nation but because he is one person who took Sathya and Dharma very seriously, all the time, every single moment of his life.

I would like to begin with a Spiritual Message to Humanity recorded by Gandhi in 1930 or 1931 - I do not exactly remember which year. That was the year when Gandhi went to England to attend what is known as the Round-Table Conference, convened by the British Government to find out about the demands for political freedom that Indians were making. This was Gandhi's second and last visit to England. His first was in the nineteenth century, when he went there to study law. At that time he was a mere student, but now he was hailed as a Mahatma, and given respect even by the British, though often most grudgingly.

Gandhi's Message was made into a gramophone record and we had one in our house. It was the favourite of my father and indeed of all us. I have heard it many, many times, and in those days I knew the whole text by heart. It is such a beautiful speech, that I now wish to share it with you. Unfortunately, I cannot play for you Gandhi's voice but I shall give you the text of that famous Message. Basically, it is all about God. This is what Gandhi said:

"There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything. I feel it, though I cannot see it. It is this unseen power which makes itself felt, and yet defies all proof because it is so unlike all that I perceive through the senses. It transcends the senses. But it is possible to reason out the existence of God to a limited extent.

Even in ordinary affairs, we know that people do not know who rules or why and how he rules; and yet they know that there is a power that certainly rules. In my tour last year in Mysore, I met many poor villagers and found upon enquiry that they did not know who ruled Mysore. They simply said that some God ruled it. If the knowledge of these poor villagers was so limited about their ruler, I, who am infinitely lesser in relation to God than they to their ruler, need not be surprised if I do not realise the presence of God, the King of Kings. Nevertheless, I do feel as the poor villagers felt about Mysore, that there is orderliness in the Universe. There is an unalterable law governing everything and every being that exists or lives.

It is not a blind law for no blind law can govern the conduct of living beings. And thanks to the marvellous researches of Sir J.C.Bose, it can now be proved that even matter is life. That law then, which governs all life, is God. Law and the Lawgiver are one. I may not deny the Law or the Lawgiver because I know so little about it or Him. Just as my denial or ignorance of an earthly power will avail me nothing, even so my denial of God and His Law will not liberate me from its operation. Whereas, humble and mute acceptance of Divine authority makes life's journey easier, even as the acceptance of earthly rule makes life under it easier.

I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying. There is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all things together, that creates, dissolves and recreates. That informing power or spirit is God. And since nothing else that I see merely through the senses can or will persist, He alone is.

Is this power benevolent or malevolent? I see it purely as benevolent for I can see that in the midst of death, life persists, in the midst of untruth, Truth persists, and in the midst of darkness, Light persists. Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth and Light. He is Supreme Good. But He is no God who merely satisfies the intellect, if He ever does. God to be God must rule the Heart and transform it. He must express Himself in every smallest act of His votary. This can only be done through a definite realisation, more real than the five senses can ever produce.

Sense perceptions can be, and often are, false and deceptive, however real they may appear to us. Where there is realisation outside the senses, it is infallible. It is proved not by extraneous evidence but in the transformed conduct and character of those who have felt the real presence of God within. Such testimony is to be found in the experiences of an unbroken line of prophets and sages in all countries and climes. To reject this evidence is to deny oneself. This realisation is preceded by an immovable faith.

He, who would in his own person test the fact of God's presence, can do so by a living faith. And since faith itself cannot be proved by extraneous evidence, the safest course is to believe in the Moral Government of the world and therefore in the supremacy of the Moral Law, the Law of Truth and Love. Exercise of this will be the safest, where there is a clear determination summarily to reject all that is contrary to Truth and Love.

I confess that I have no argument to convince through reason that which transcends reason. All I can advice is not to attempt the impossible. "

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Volume 01: PDS / 03 Date : OCT 01 2003