The story of my experiments with truth

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Nov 13 22:58:45 CST 1997

On Thu, 13 Nov 1997, Ram Chandran wrote:

> pleasant to add to your comments on the Swaminaryan movement.  By the
> way, the title Mahatma means Maha Atman or Brahman!  People like me do
> believe that Gandhiji not only experimented with TRUTH but also realized
> the TRUTH! He may not qualify in your school of thought but it does not
> matter to me and others who respects his principles in life.

What about the truth?  Does that not matter?

>   First, Gandhiji is a more reliable interpreter of the Gita than either
> YOU or me.

Which is why I don't rely on your interpretations or mine but on the

> Second, Gita is subtle and the message is not about fighting
> the war but about doing "Karma Yoga."

The language of the Gita is about as simple Sanskrit as you can get.
Relying on uneducated third-parties only needlessly complicates things.
It is obvious from reading the Gita that by karma yoga it means the duties
of caste and for Kshatriyas fighting is a much higher ethical value than
ahimsa.  Indeed that's how all the Acharyas have understood it.

> The reference to war is to
> illustrate that "Action is inevitable" even under a worst case
> scenario.

And the action enjoined is bloodthirsty violence.  The very opposite of

>  Third, people with good understanding of Ahimsa would refrain
> from insulting others directly and indirectly.

If I had said "Gandhiji was no good at basketball" would you have
considered it an insult?  I think we all understand that everyone isn't
good at everything.  It doesn't take away from anyones real
accomplishments to point out their bogus ones.

>    Let me state a quotation (a tribute to Gita)  from Gandhiji:  "I find
> a solace in the Bhagavad Gita that I miss even in the Sermon on the
> Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone, I see no
> one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Gita. I find a verse here
> and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of
> overwhelming tragedies - and
> my life has been full of external tragedies - and if they have left no
> visible, no indelible scar on me,  I owe it all the teachings of the
> Bhagavad Gita." M. K. Gandhi, young India (1925), pp. 1078-79."
>    This quotation from Gandhiji describes the Gita Ideal: "I am a
> devotee of the Gita and a firm believer in the inexorable law of karma.
> Even the least little tripping or stumbling is not without its cause and
> I have wondered why one who has tried to follow the Gita in thought,
> word and deed should have any ailment.  The doctors have assured me that
> this trouble of high blood- pressure is entirely the result of mental
> strain and worry. If that is true, it is likely that I have been
> unnecessarily worrying myself, unnecessarily fretting and secretly
> harboring passions like anger, lust, etc. The fact that any event or
> incident should disturb my serious efforts, means not that the Gita
> Ideal is defective but that my devotion to its defective. The Gita Ideal
> is true for all time,  my understanding of it and observance of it is
> full of flaws."  Harijan, 29 February 1936.
> ("What is Hinduism?" Mahatma Gandhi, National Book Trust of India, page,
> 95).

A comfortable illusion is an illusion nonetheless.  People are not always
honest with themselves.  Perhaps based on his limited understanding, he
did think he was following the teachings of the Gita but the fact is he

>    Gandhiji knew how to deal with the British Colonial Power better than
> any of us! There at least two types of wars.  We can fight a war of
> weapons to destroy people and their property. Alternatively, fighting a
> MORAL WAR with the least destruction in people and property is
> possible.  Gandhiji conducted a psychological war with the British!
> Gandhiji had high moral values and he believed that Indians can win over
> the British on the Moral Battle Ground!  Those who follow Ahimsa will
> willingly take all the insults and physical injuries and inflict Moral
> wounds on the enemy!  Gandhiji was quite right and was successful in
> fighting the moral war using the Ahimsa weapon!!

But his understanding of "the ahimsa weapon" did not come from the Gita.

>    I am ashamed to hear read the statement,  "he (Gandhiji) was not
> particularly learned in religious matters."  Why can't we refrain from
> assaulting the father our nation, Mahatma Gandhi with ruthless and
> baseless accusations?

My hometown is Rajkot, where Gandhiji was born.  The mandir I usually
attend follows the Pushti Marg.  I'm confident there's nothing baseless
about anything I've said.

Let's not forgot that first and foremost Gandhiji was a politician.  He
did a great service for India in that capacity but that doesn't say
anything the usefulness of his thoughts in any other field.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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