SPEECH AT SECOND GUJARAT EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE BROACH.
October 20, 1917.
These three great speakers have acquired this power of
eloquence not from their knowledge of English but from the
love of their own language. Swami Dayanand did great service
to Hindi not because he knew English but because he loved
the Hindi language. English had nothing to do with Tukaram
shedding lustre on Marathi. Premananda and Shamal Bhatt and
recently, Dalpatram, have greatly enriched Gujarati
literature; their glorious success is not to be attributed
to their knowledge of English. The above examples prove
beyond doubt that, for the enrichment of the mother tongue,
what is needed is not knowledge of English but love for
one’s own language and faith in it.
LETTER TO MAGANLAL GANDHINAVAGAM.
Thursday, July 25, 1918.
The love taught by Swaminarayana and Vallabh is all
sentimentalism. It cannot make one a man of true love.
Swaminarayana and Vallabh simply did not reflect over the
true nature of non-violence. Non-violence consists in
holding in check all impulses in the chitta It comes into
play especially in men's relations with one another. There
is not even a suggestion of this idea in their writings.
Having been born in this degenerate age of ours, they could
not remain unaffected by its atmosphere and had, in
consequence, quite an undesirable effect on Gujarat. Tukaram
had no such effect. The abhangas of Tukaram admit ample
scope for manly striving. Tukaram was a Vaishnava. Do not
mix up the Vaishnava tradition with the teaching of Vallabh
and Swaminarayana. Vaishnavism is an age-old truth.
LETTER TO PREMABEHN KANTAK
June 17, 1932.
Personal experience is more important than the
influence of external circums-tances. The latter should have
no effect on a votary of truth. He ought to see beyond them.
We often see that opinions formed on the basis of external
circumstances are afterwards discovered to be wrong. The
connection between the atman and the body is a well-known
instance of this. Because the atman is intimately connected
with the body in this life, we cannot easily think of it as
distinct from the body. No one has equalled the power of
vision of the person who saw beyond this outward fact and
first uttered: "Not this". You will be able to think of any
number of such instances. It is not at all proper to take
literally the utterances of Tukaram and other saints.
Recently I read one such utterance of Tukaram. I quote it
for your benefit.
An image of Lord Pashupati is made out of clay: what, then,
would clay called?
The worship of the Lord reaches unto Him, the clay remains
An image of Vishnu is carved out of stone, yet the stone
does not become Vishnu.
The devotion is offered to Vishnu, the stone remains a
From this, I draw the lesson that we should pay attention
only to the idea behind the words of such saints. They may
describe personal God and yet worship the formless. We
ordinary human beings cannot do that and, therefore, we
would come to grief if we do not try to understand their
real meaning and guide ourselves by it.
FOREWORD TO "TUKARAM KI RASHTRAGATHA" SEVAGRAM,
January 10, 1945.
Dr. Indubhushan Bhingare had published earlier the
first edition of Sant Tukaram ki Rashtragatha. The present
edition is the revised one. My knowledge of Marathi is very
slight. I like Tukaram very much. But I could read only a
few of his abhangas without effort. I therefore passed on
Dr. Bhingare's selection to Kundarji Diwan who took great
pains to go through the whole thing. The Gatha needed a
fitting picture. Dr. Bhingare had selected a cheap one. It
hurt me very much. I sent it to Shri Nandalal Bose, the
renowned Santiniketan artist. He has been kind enough to
send me pictures of Tukaram to go with the abhangas. I sent
the one that I thought the best among them to Bhingare and
it will be published in this edition. I hope this edition
will command the respect of people.
LETTER TO PARACHURE SHASTRI
BIRLA HOUSE, BOMBAY,
April 15, 1945.
You have fallen ill! It is not good if it is from
worry. But if it is death calling, there is no harm. "You
must go with a smile on your lips." And that too from a
Lepers' House . Whatever it may be, remain calm and sing
Tukaram's abhangas .
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 10668.
Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy:Pyarelal.
SPEECH AT MEETING IN WAI
I co-operated for 30 years but, today, I have embarked
upon non-co-operation. Why? Only because, as our Shastras
say, we may co- operate with a man while there is some
little measure of goodness in him, but when a man is
obstinately determined to forget his humanity, it becomes
everyone's duty to turn his back on such a one. Tukaram
taught this same thing, that there can be no co-operation
between a god and a monster, between Rama and Ravana. Rama
and Lakshmana were mere boys, but they fought the ten-headed
Ravana. This British Government of ours has thrust a sharp
dagger into the Muslims' heart, has slighted Islam. Cruel
things have been done to men and women and to students in
the Punjab. To prevent things from happening again,
non-co-operation with the Government is the only way.
MY NOTES PILGRIMAGE TO MAHARASHTRA
A visit to the province in which Lokamanya Tilak
Maharaj was born, the province which has produced heroes in
the modern age, which gave Shivaji and in which Tukaram
flourished, is for me nothing less than a pilgrimage. . I
have always believed that Maharashtra, if it wills, can do
SPEECH TO HARIJANS
The Gita is one of the greatest scriptures, if not the
greatest of all. A religion which has given such a treatise
and which has produced great saints like Jnaneshwar and
Tukaram is certainly not destined to perish. We must realize
that it is meant to live for ever, that is imperishable. Few
of us here may know the name of Tiruvalluvar. People in the
North are innocent even of the great saint's name. Few
saints have given us treasures of knowledge contained in
pithy epigrams as he has done. In this context, I can at
this moment recall the name only of Tukaram.
WHERE IS THE LIVING GOD?
The following is taken from a letter from Bengal.
Fortunately the vast majority of people do have a
living faith in a living God. They cannot, will not, argue
about it. For them "it is". Are all the scriptures of the
world old women's tales of superstition? Is the testimony of
the rishis, the prophets, to be rejected? Is the testimony
of Tukaram, Jnanadev, Nanak, Kabir of no value?
With the growth of village mentality the leaders will
find it necessary to tour in the villages and establish a
living touch with them. Moreover, the companionship of the
great and the good is available to all through the works of
saints like Kabir, Nanak, Dadu, Tukaram, Tiruvalluvar, and
others too numerous to mention though equally known and
pious. The difficulty is to get the mind tuned to the
reception of permanent values. If it is modern
thought-political, social, economical, scientific-that is
meant, it is possible to procure literature that will
satisfy curiosity. I admit, however, that one does not find
such as easily as one finds religious literature. Saints
wrote and spoke for the masses. The vogue for translating
modern thought to the masses in an acceptable manner has not
yet quite set in. But it must come in time. I would,
therefore, advise young men like my correspondent not to
give in but persist in their effort and by their presence
make the villages more livable and lovable.
SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING February 11, 1942.
We wondered where we should perform the cremation
rites-at the Sevagram hillock, the public cremation ground
or Gopuri. And it was decided to perform the rites at Gopuri
where Jamnalalji had finally settled and for which work he
had finally dedicated himself by renouncing his all. I was
neutral in the matter but I welcomed the decision. Thousands
of people converged on Gopuri to bid farewell to the body.
After the cremation I asked Vinoba to recite an abhanga. He
recited one from Tukaram. Lastly I requested him to sing
'Vaishnavajana'. He then sang this bhajan too.
SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING , NEW DELHI,
Commenting on the Marathi bhajan sung by Shri
Balasaheb Kher, the Premier of Bombay, Gandhiji said that
like Shri Thakkar Bapa, Kher Saheb had been a servant of the
Harijans and Adivasis ever since he had known him. Now he
had put on the crown of thorns and become the Premier of
Bombay. For Gandhiji his service to Harijans and Adivasis
was more important than anything else. In the bhajan Tukaram
makes the devotee say that he would prefer blindness to
vision which could enable him to harbour evil thoughts.
Similarly, he would prefer deafness to hearing evil speech.
He liked only one thing, namely, the name of God.
The Hindustan Times, 23-10-1946.