Three Questions to Gandhiji

gandhi rattai

Compiled by london swaminathan
Post No. 856 Date 21st February 2014

Dr S Radhakrishnan, Philosopher and Ex President of India, sent three questions to a group of people in the 1930s. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) sent the following reply:

M.K. Gandhi
I have been asked by Sri S .Radhakrishnan to answer the following three questions:

(1) What is your religion?

(2) How are you led to it?

(3) What is its bearing on social life?

1.My religion is Hinduism which, for me, is Religion of humanity and includes the best of all the religions known to me.

2.I take it that the present tense in the second question is purposely used instead of the past. I am being led to my religion through Truth and Non Violence i.e. love in the broadest sense. I often describe my religion as Religion of Truth. Of late instead of saying God is Truth I have been saying Truth is God, in order more fully to define my religion. I used, at one time, to know by heart the thousand names of God which a booklet in Hinduism gives in verse form and which perhaps tens of thousands recite every morning. But nowadays nothing so completely describes my God as Truth. Denial of God we have known. Denial of Truth we have not known. The most ignorant among mankind have some truth in them. We are all sparks of Truth. The sum total of these sparks is indescribable, as-yet-unknown- Truth, which is God. I am being daily led nearer to It by constant prayer.

gandhi train

3.The bearing of this religion on social life is, or has to be, seen in one’s daily social contact. To be true to such religion one has to lose oneself in continuous and continuing service of all life. Realisation of Truth is impossible without complete merging of oneself in, and identification with, this limitless ocean of life. Hence, for me, there is no escape from social service, there is no happiness on earth, beyond or apart from it. Social service here must be taken to include every department of life in this scheme there is nothing low, nothing high. For , all is one, though we seem to be many.
Source: Contemporary Indian Philosophy, Edited by Radhakrishnan and J H Muirhead, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, Museum Street, London, 1936

( The Thousand Names of God mentioned by Gandhiji is Vishnu Sahasranamam: swami_48@yahoo.com )

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