Gandhi's Talisman- Heard about it?

People using the NCERT text books must be familiar with the “Gandhi’s Talisman”. No idea if its also in other books. As far as my knowledge goes, i have seen it only in NCERT books. Now the question is “Why all of a sudden Gandhi’s Talisman?”. I went out today with a plan to buy something, on the way i saw a lady sitting under the street light and was making flower garland (not sure about the english term for the work she was doing, i suppose this should suffice 😉 ). And on her lap was her child(really weak) who was sleeping. Just then i thought should i buy the thing? Is it necessary? I was still searching for answers but her plight moved me. I drove a little further and the shop passed by and i wasn’t able to buy what I intended to (its not that there was no place for parking near the shop,so that I couldn’t stop by and buy 😉 ). Just then “Gandhi’s Talisman” came to my mind. I always used to see it in my NCERT books and it was only one occasion that I read through it. It was so simple to understand that i still remember what it meant, though i cannot not recall the exact wordings.

Later when I came back home I started searching for NCERT book. Just then this “Internet” came to my mind. I quickly occupied my cosy chair and the as usual Google Search- Googling- for “Gandhiji’s Talisman”. Just then I saw a suggestion “Gandhi’s Talisman”, thought i had made a mistake in spelling. But it wasn’t I had been more respectful 😉 Any ways i got to a site exclusively for Gandhiji. But then i dont have patience to read thru the site 😉 . I have done traditional work- “Copy and Paste”. So one can have a look at the Talisman here –

“I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?
Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.”

– One of the last notes left behind by Gandhi in 1948, expressing his deepest social thought.

Source: Mahatma Gandhi [Last Phase, Vol. II (1958), P. 65].

For more info visit here.


2 thoughts on “Gandhi's Talisman- Heard about it?

  1. Arya

    Hi Sanaulla,
    I too have seen this Talisman in my CBSE textbooks. It has been one of the principles I live by.
    Whenever i had read it, it never made any sense. Years later i understood, long after i left school. Your’s is very good example of what he meant.
    Whenever thoughts like-‘My life(careerwise, financialwise) could have been better’, ‘My looks could have better’,etc,etc. haunt me, it is this talisman of Bapu, that helps me focus on the more important things of life.
    Well, superb blog. Keep writing. I stumbled across it only yesterday, but you sure have got an avid reader. Good work!! 🙂



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