The story of my experiments with truth

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Nov 12 18:07:22 CST 1997

On Wed, 12 Nov 1997, Ram Chandran wrote:

> His autobiography is a living Gita
> for people to understand the full significance of Gita and other
> scriptures including the Bible!

Gandhiji was great in many ways but unfortunately is unreliable as an
interpreter of the Gita.

First of all, how can anyone derive a philosophy of ahimsa from the Gita
which takes place at the beginning of a huge and bloody war?  A war which
Arjuna actually tries to avoid.  He makes the ahimsak arguments, arguments
which Krishna Bhagawan decisively rejects.  Gandhiji may have projected
his ideas onto the Gita but it's more likely he got them from Jainism
which is quite strong in Gujarat.  In fact in his caste, Jains and
Vaishnavas intermarry.  In his autobiography he also mentions the Jain
thinker Raichand (Rajchandra) as being one of his influences.

Secondly, even by the standards of a typical Gujarati Vania of those days,
he was not particularly learned in religious matters.  He was raised in
the Pushti Marg (the Vaishnava sampradaya founded by Vallabh.  their
philosophy is called Shuddhadvaita Vedanta.) But it is not apparent from
his writings that he had more than a nodding aquaintenance with its

> I have the following information about Shree Niskulanand.  Shree
> Nishkulanand a great Gujarati poet has composed and published a book of
> poems with the title, "Bhakti-Chintaman."  This book consists of 164
> chapters in simple Gujarati words in poetic form.  The poems describe
> all the activities of Lord Swaminarayan from birth to death for the
> upliftment of all the souls. They also describe all the Vishnu Yagnas,
> festivals, the obstacles in preaching, the temples and the spiritual and
> philosophical knowledge. The names of all the devotees of the Lord are
> given by region and village. It contains all the spiritual as well as
> philosophical questions asked by the Saints and devotees with the
> replies from Lord Swaminarayan. This holy book is read by singing it
> lovingly by the people of Gujarat and Gandhi was a great fan of this
> book

Sounds like you've been reading some Swaminarayan propoganda.  I'm sure
it's read lovingly by the members of that sect but hardly Gujaratis in

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list