“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” ~ Gandhiji
There seems to be a sea of calmness and sanctity, if not sacrosanct, once you step into the Sabarmati Ashram. The aura of the place draws you in,there’s history in every step you take. The Ashram, overlooking the Sabarmati river, gives out vibes strong enough to overpower any malign or negative opinions you could have.
I scan ever inch of the former residential quarters of the Mahatma and with every minute I spend, I am overwhelmed by the fact that I am breathing in the same corridors as he did. Hriday Kunj, the heart of the Ashram, houses life size oil paintings and actual relics like his writing desk and spinning wheel. It includes the letters he wrote, he received and a few extracts from his books sending out a peaceful rendition to unify the mass for a common grail and a wide awakening.
The rooms of the Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi, radiate an aura of relevance as the walls once heard important decisions being taken, the prayers and the shouts in support of an independent nation.
The Ashram also houses the huts of Vinoba Bhave and Miss Madeleine Slade, who came down from England to be Gandhi’s assistant. In their time here, they learnt that by helping the nation’s cause,they helped themselves in a myriad number of ways. It was here,in the span of 12 years, that Gandhi sowed seeds of Satyagraha. On 12 March 1930 he vowed that he would not return to the Ashram until India won independence. He never returned.
His actions stood testimony to scuffle the wrongs. More than his actions, the methods he employed to tackle social evils like racism, untouchability, violence and oppression set an indelible precedent to fight any evil present in the current society with a genial disposition along with a leveled head.
So am I propagating chastity or minimalism? Perhaps neither. Modern problems need modern solutions, don’t they? The point I am driving home is that people have adapted to a certain lifestyle, depending on what they choose as a mark of distinction but no matter what, the values, maybe not in their purest forms, need to be retained. A calm courage of sacrificing for the greater good.
The country maybe independent but not free from inhibitions, terrorism, internal politics and religious difference in opinions that continues to mares the true spirit of the nation.
It was this man’s commitment and self-belief that overwhelms me. In his case, the goal couldn’t be achieved by him alone,he needed a nation to stand with him and combat. Another page from his book we should draw inspiration from. Fight the evil rather than fighting amongst ourselves to don the crown.
With these thoughts wafting in my head, I am unable to justify if his actions would have sufficed in a world we live now. A world of endurance but with much more greed than just ruling over the lands.
The ashram feels like a temple for the soul. My feet are tired but my soul is rested.
To Mahatma Gandhi, wherever he is.