Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why should not all be truthful like Harishchandra?............Mahatma asks.

There is an incident which occured at the examination during my first year at the high school, and which is worth recording.
Mr. Giles, the Educational Inspector, had come on a visit of inspection. He had set us five words to write as a spelling exercise. One of the words was 'kettle'. I had mis-spelt it. The teacher tried to prompt me with the point of his boot, but I would not be prompted.
It was beyond me to see that he wanted me to copy the spelling from my neighbour's slate, for I had thought that the teacher was there to supervise us against copying.The result that all the boys except myself were found to have spelt every word correctly. Only I had been stupid.
The teacher tried later to bring this stupidity home to me, but without effect. I never could learn the art of 'copying'. Yet the incident did not in the least diminish my respect for my teacher. I was, by nature, blind to the faults of elders. (How blessed you are, Mahatma)Later I came to know many other failings of this teacher, but my regard for him remained the same. For I had learnt to carry out the orders of elders, not to scan their actions.
Two other incidents belonging to the same period have always clung to my memory.
As a rule I had a distaste for any reading beyond my school books. The daily lessons had to be done, because I disliked being taken to task by my teacher as much as I disliked deceiving him. Therefore I would do the lessons, but often without my mind in them. Thus when even the lessons could not be done properly, there was of course no question of any extra reading. But somehow my eyes fell on a book purchased by my father. It was Shravana Pitribhakti Nataka (a play about Shravana's devotion to this parents). I read it with intense interest. There came to our place about the same time [some] itinerant showmen.
One of the pictures I was shown was of Shravana carrying, by means of slings fitted for his shoulders, his blind parents on a pilgrimage. The book and the picture left an indelible impression on my mind. 'Here is an example for you to copy,' I said to myself. The agonized lament of the parents over Shravana's death is still fresh in my memory. The melting tune moved me deeply, and I played it on a concertina which my father had purchased for me.
There was a similar incident connected with another play. Just about this time, I had secured my father's permission to see a play performed by a certain dramatic company. This play-- Harishchandra--captured my heart. I could never be tired of seeing it. But how often should I be permitted to go?
It haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number. 'Why should not all be truthful like Harishchandra?' was the question I asked myself day and night.
To follow truth and to go through all the ordeals Harishchandra went through was the one ideal it inspired in me.
I literally believed in the story of Harishchandra. The thought of it all often made me weep. My commonsense tells me today that Harishchandra could not have been a historical character. Still both Harishchandra and Shravana are living realities for me, and I am sure I should be moved as before if I were to read those plays again today.
For me, truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God.
There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me. But I worship God as Truth only. I have not yet found Him, but I am seeking after Him. Let those who wish, realize how the conviction has grown upon me; let them share my experiments and share also my conviction if they can.
The further conviction has been growing upon me that whatever is possible for me is possible even for a child, and I have sound reasons for saying so. The instruments for the quest of truth are as simple as they are difficult.
They may appear quite impossible to an arrogant person, and quite possible to an innocent child. The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust.
-My Experiments with Truth(ebook here) by M.K.Gandhi, the Mahatma.

12 comments:

Parminder said...

Good morning Master ilango,
Nice article for the inner soul .
Regards

venkatapathy l said...

Namaste Ilango Sir.

Love and regards,

LV

San said...

"A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Good Morning Ilango Sir and Friends

shriram said...

Aah... now that's a 100% thought !

sarvesh sharma said...

Good morning, master! thank you!

D.S.SASAN said...

Good Afternoon Master. Thanks for enlightenment.

durga said...

good evening master n blogmates
its good to remember abt truth once a year
day in day out ...out there is all lies ,,deception ,,mischief ,,corruption...
honesty is best policy---towards oneself..
we r daily watching markets---what is in it?is ther truth?

the problem wth truth is ..it is difficult to understand ,,,and changes its form wth time
is there eternal truth?..no one knows
if you are not on top of change...change will b on top of you.
survival is mantra..at wt cost???ones own self..
the picture has become so murky..you will never know where yu are wher yu stand
so...my opinion is you need to survive..if you are in business or profession everyday you have to deal wth lies..masking truth is common ..i think its the way things are happening
you will certainly be called as SATYA KALAPU SATTEAIAH..(as raja harischandra of satyakaal
is called in kalikaal)..his period is believed to b SATYAKAAL.. BYE GOOD DAY

Sourav Kundu said...

Dear Ilango sir,
Thank you for such a wonderful post.

Hi Durga,
Based on my personal experience whenever I've been honest in my dealings -work, relationships etc I never have had anything unwanted/wrong happen to me.

Dinesh Rishi said...

1940-1947
Wikipedia
he was smarter than this in his 70's
the shameful act he has done cannot be digested in any culture

Trade Less Trade Smart said...

Hi Ilango,

Remember me?

Regards,

Manoj

Dinesh Rishi said...

Some members of his staff resigned, including two editors of his newspaper who left after refusing to print parts of Gandhi's sermons dealing with his sleeping arrangements

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi#Celibacy_and_experiments_with_celibacy_.28Bramhacharya.29

Ilango said...

Religious studies scholar Veena Howard argues that Gandhi made "creative use" of his celibacy and his authority as a mahatma "to reinterpret religious norms and confront unjust social and religious conventions relegating women to lower status."

According to Howard, Gandhi "developed his discourse as a religious renouncer within India's traditions to confront repressive social and religious customs regarding women and to bring them into the public sphere, during a time when the discourse on celibacy was typically imbued with masculine rhetoric and misogynist inferences.... his writings show a consistent evolution of his thought toward creating an equal playing field for members of both sexes and even elevating women to a higher plane—all through his discourse and unorthodox practice of brahmacharya."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi#Celibacy_and_experiments_with_celibacy_.28Bramhacharya.29

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