October 2 – Homage to Father of our nation

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October 2 always touches our hearts for an outward expression of reverential love to a God-man who shed his blood for the regeneration of his mother country.
Sri Ramakrishna says that truth is the only austerity for the present day world and Gandhiji had followed it till his last breath.We have to search out in our hearts and find out if we are really celebrating his birth anniversary with sincerity.  Gandhiji rejected all ways of life where religion did not play its part.  All things, including ‘politics bereft of religion’ he said, ‘are absolute dirt, ever to be shunned.  He always sought to walk on the path of religion.  It is not easy to do so.  He re-lived the life of our ancient Raja rishi Janaka.  He had to make strenuous efforts, immense sacrifices, harbour defeats in his endeavours but with unfailing faith in the ultimate goodness of God. He never shrank from the faith upon God because he knew that reward would surely come one day.  He says in his diary,”  I know the path.  It is straight and narrow.  It is like the edge of a sword.  I rejoice to walk on it.  I weep when I slip.  God’s word is: “He who strives never perishes”.  I have implicit faith in that promise.  Though, therefore, from my weakness I fail a thousand times, I will not loose faith but hope that I shall see the light when the flesh has been brought under perfect subjection, as some day it must’.
The life style of Gandhiji was that of a “religious moral life”.  Secularism – meaning a mere moral but with no religious end – was not the policy of Gandhiji.  Swami Vivekananda questions if moral or ethics itself is the end, then what is the answer for the questions that why should we be ethical or why should we do good to other men and if happiness is the goal of mankind why should I not make myself happy and others unhappy?  So, these questions of Swamiji remain unanswered in the policy of “secularism” of today.  But for Gandhiji it was a “religious morality”.  He was of the conviction that the concept of good has always been associated with religion.
Living in Bihar, I personally feel proud to pay my heartfelt homage to the Father of our Nation, for it is Bihar which has made him a national leader.   Soon after his return from South Africa, it was in the year 1917 that he came to Bihar for the first time to launch the first ever satyagraha movement on the Indian soil against British empire, popularly known as “Champaran Satyagraha”.  And from the year 1917 to 1947, he had visited Bihar for not less than 15 times and he says in his diary,”Bihar has made me popular.  I consider Bihar as my own.”
I feel elated to learn and share with you that Gandhiji had paid a visit to our Sevashrama in Muzaffarpur in the year 1929 on his way to Pusa town in Samastipur District of Bihar to have talks with revolutionary leaders.  The children of the primary school then functioning in our sevashrama gave him a warm reception waving the welcome flags and Gandhiji had left his remark – ” My love to the children”in the ashrama visitors book.
 Let us be religously moral, let us have faith in the goodness of God and let us believe that means only justify the ends.  To achieve goodness and make ourselves and others happy, we have to be good ourselves.  If we do so, we shall be feeling that we have really honoured the sacred memory of Gandhiji and have paid true homage to that great man.


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