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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].

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