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Gandhi's Favourite Hymns
These are the favourite hymns of Gandhi which were usually sung at his prayer meetings.
 

Ramdhun

Vaishnav Jan.....

Ancient Hymns

From The Ramacharitamanas of Tulsidas

From The Ramacharitamanas of Tulsidas

When The Heart Is Hard

Here Is Thy Footshool

The Sermon Of The Mount

The True Vaishnava

My Share In Your Sorrow

The Path of Love

In All Things Thee To See

My Heartfelt Prayer

Such Use As He Will

Lead Kindly Light

Self

The Wondrous Cross

In Our Father's House At Last

Rock of Ages

References
   
   
       

Ram Dhun
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram,
Patita Pavan Sitaram
Ishwar Allah Tero Nam,
Sabko Sanmati de Bhagwan

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Gandhi Remembered.....

The Original Hymn

Translation

Vaishnav Jan to taynay kahyeeye,
Jay peerh paraayee janney ray
Par dukkhey upkar karey,
Toyey man abhiman na anney ray.
Sakal lokma sahuney vandey,
Ninda na karey kainee ray
Vaach kaach, man nischal raakhey,
Dhan-dhan jananee tainee ray.
Samdristhi nay trishna tyagee,
Par-stree jaynay mat ray
Jivaah thaki asatya na bolay,
Par-dhan nav jhaley haath ray.
Moh maya vyaapey nahin jeyney,
Drud vairagya jeyna manma ray
Ram-naam-shoon taalee laagee,
Sakal teerth teyna tanma ray.
Vanalobhee ney kapatrahith chey,
Kaam, krodh nivarya ray
Bhane Narsaiyon tainoo darshan kartan,
Kul ekotair taryaa ray

A godlike man is one,
Who feels anotherís pain
Who shares anotherís sorrow,
And pride does disdain.
Who regards himself as the lowliest of the low,
Speaks not a word of evil against any one
One who keeps himself steadfast in words, body and mind,
Blessed is the mother who gives birth to such a son.
Who looks upon everyone as his equal and has renounced lust, And who honours women like he honours his mother
Whose tongue knows not the taste of falsehood till his last breath, Nor covets anotherís worldly goods.
He does not desire worldly things,
For he treads the path of renunciation
Ever on his lips is Ramaís holy name,
All places of pilgrimage are within him.
One who is not greedy and deceitful,
And has conquered lust and anger
Through such a man Saint Narsaiyon has a godly vision,
Generations to come, of such a man, will attain salvation

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Ancient Hymns

In the early morning
I worship him who is beyond all thought and speech,
Yet by whose grace all speech is uttered
I worship him of whom the Scriptures say
That he shall not be limited by words
I worship him whom ancient sages name
The God of gods,
Him the unborn,
Him the perfect,
Him the source of all
In the early morning
I bow to him who dwelleth beyond darkness,
Who shineth as the sun:
I worship him who is perfection,
Him, entitled anciently the Wholly Good:
In him,
We, peering through this veil of darkness,
Imagine that we see the universe brought forth,
Even as, in darkness,
Men think a rope a snake.

Source: Gandhi- The Writer by Bhabani Bhattacharya

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From The Ramcharitamanas of Tulsidas

Grant me, O Master, by Thy grace
To follow all the good and pure:
To be content with simple things;
To use my fellows not as means but ends:
To serve them stalwartly, in thought, word, deed;
Never to utter word of hatred or of shame:
To cast away all selfishness and pride:
To speak no ill of others:
To have a mind at peace,
Set free from care, and led astray from Thee
Neither by happiness nor by woe:
Set Thou my feet upon this path,
And keep me steadfast in it,
Thus only shall I please Thee, serve Thee right.

Source: Gandhi- The Writer by Bhabani Bhattacharya

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From The Ramcharitamanas of Tulsidas

This and this alone
Is true religion-
To serve Thy brethren:
This is sin above all other sin,
To harm Thy brethren:
In such a faith is happiness,
In lack of it is misery and pain:
Blessed is he who swerveth not aside
From this straight path:
Blessed is he whose life is lived
Thus ceaselessly in serving God:
By bearing others' burdens,
And so alone,
Is life, true life, to be attained:
Nothing is hard to him who, casting self aside,
Thinks only this-
How may I serve fellow-men?

Source: Gandhi- The Writer by Bhabani Bhattacharya

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When The heart Is hard

When the heart is hard and parched up, come upon me
with a shower of mercy.

When grace is lost from life, come with a burst of song.

When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting
me out from beyond, come to me, my lord of silence,
with thy peace and rest..

When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner,
break open the door, my kind, and come with the ceremony
 of a king.

When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust,
O thou holy one, thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder.

- Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali, No.39)
(Source: Gandhi- The Writer by Bhabani Bhattacharya)

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Here Is Thy Footstool

Here is thy footstool and there rest thy feet where live the
 poorest  and lowliest and lost.

When I  try to bow to there, my obeisance cannot reach down to the depth where thy feet rest among the poorest and lowliest and lost.

Pride can never approach to where thou walkest in the
clothes of the humble among the poorest, and lowliest and lost.

My heart can never find its way to where thou keepest
company with the companionless among the poorest, the lowliest and the lost.

- Gitanjali, No.10

(Source: Gandhi- The Writer by Bhabani Bhattacharya)

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The True Vaishnava

He is a real Vaishnava, who feels the suffering of others as his own suffering. He is ever ready to serve, and is never guilty of overweening pride. He bows before everyone, despises none, preserves purity in thought, word and deed. Blessed is the mother of such a son: in every woman he reveres his mother. He pre- serves equanimity and never stains his mouth with falsehood, nor touches the riches of another. The bonds of desire cannot hold him. Ever in harmony with Ramanama, his body in itself possesses all the places of pilgrimage. He knows neither desire nor disappointment, neither passion nor wrath.

- Narasimha Mehta

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The Path of Love

"The way of the Lord is open only to heroes, to cowards it is fast shut.
 "Give up thy life and all that thou hast, so thou mayst assume the name of the Lord.
  "Only he who leaves his son, his wife, his riches, and his life, shall drink from the vessel of God.
 "For in truth, he that would fish for pearls must dive into the deepest depths of the sea & take his life in his hands.
    "Death affrights him not: he forgets all the misery of body and soul.
    "He who stands hesitating on the bank and fears to dive, gains nought.
    "But the path of love is trial by fire. The coward shrinks back from it.
    "He who dares the leap into the fire, attains to everlasting bliss."

- Pritama

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My Heartfelt Prayer

"Lord, preserve me from looking on things which arouse evil thoughts. It were better for me to be blind."
    "Lord, preserve me from soiling my lips with impure words. It were better for me to be dumb."
    "Lord, preserve me from hearing any word of slander and insult. It were better for me to be deaf."
    "Lord, preserve me from looking with desire on any of those who should be my sisters. It were better for me to be dead."

- Tukaram

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Lead Kindly Light

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
    Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
    Lead Thou me on.

Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou
    Shouldst lead me on;

I loved to choose, and see my path; but now
    Lead Thou me on.

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
    Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
    Will lead me on.

O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
    The night is gone;
And with the morn those Angel faces smile,
    Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

- Cardinal Newman

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The Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous Cross
    On which the Prince of Glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
    Save in the Cross of Christ, my God;

All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His Blood.

See from His Head, His Hands, His Feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingling down;

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were an offering far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

To Christ, Who won for sinners grace
    By bitter grief and anguish sore,

Be praise from all the ransom'd race,
    For ever and evermore.

- I. Watts

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Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the Water and the Blood,
From Thy riven Side which flow'd,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

Not the labours of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears for ever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone,

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy Cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the Fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyelids close in death,
When I soar through tracts unknown,
See Thee on Thy Judgment Throne;
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

- A. M. Toplady

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The Sermon On The Mount

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

- Gospel of Matthew
This Was Bapu, (1959), pp. 158.62

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My Share in Your Sorrow

(The following 6 letters were written to help Esther; Faering during the days when the announcement of her betrothal) to Dr. E. K. Menon brought a storm of criticism, much of it harsh and ungenerous, upon her head.)

More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of.
Wherefore let thy voice
    Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
    That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If knowing God they lift not hands of prayer
    Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
    Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

- Tennyson

My dear child,

The above is my share in your sorrow for today. May it lighten your burden.

With love,
Yours,
Bapu                           

Bombay, 16th March, 1920                                                                                                

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In All Things Thee To See

Teach me, my God and King,
    In all things Thee to see,

And what I do in anything,
    To do it as for Thee,

All may of Thee partake,
    Nothing can be so mean

Which with this tincture, 'for Thy sake',
    Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause

Makes drudgery divine;

Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws
    Makes that and th' action fine.

This is the famous stone
    That turneth all to gold;

For that which God doth touch and own
    Cannot for less be told.

- George Herbert

My dear child,

May there be some line, some word, some thought to soften your grief.

With love,
Yours,
Bapu                           

Bombay, 17th March, 1920

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Such Use As He Will

Lord, it belongs not my care
    Whether I die or live;

To love and serve Thee is my share,
    And this Thy grace must give.

If life be long I will be glad
    That I may long obey;

If short, yet why should I be sad
    To soar to endless day?

Christ leads me through no darker rooms
    Than He went through before;

He that into God's kingdom comes
    Must enter by this door.

Come, Lord, when grace hath made me meet
    Thy blessed face to see;

For if Thy work on earth be sweet,

    What will Thy glory be?

My knowledge of that life is small;
    The eye of faith is dim;

But 'tis enough that Christ knows all,
    And I shall be with Him.

 - Richard Baxter

My dear child,

Another evening has come to fill me with thoughts of you. I pass them to our common Maker to make of them such use as He will for your good.

With love,
Yours,
Bapu      

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Self

Oh I could go through all life's troubles singing,
    Turning each night to day,

If self were not so fast around me, clinging
    To all I do or say.

My very thoughts are selfish, always building
    Mean castles in the air,

I use my love of others for a gilding
    To make myself look fair.

I fancy all the world engrossed with judging
    My merit or my blame,

Its warmest praise seems an ungracious grudging
    Of praise which I might claim.

Alas! no speed in life can snatch us wholly
    Our of self's hateful sight,

And it keeps step, when'er we travel slowly
    And sleeps with us at night.

O Lord that I could waste my life for others,
    With no ends of my own,

That I could pour myself into my brothers
    And live for them alone.

My dear child,

You have forgotten your promise. Do not keep me without anything from you for so many days. The above is my selection for the day.

With love,
Yours,
Bapu   

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In Our Father's House At Last

I say to thee, do thou repeat
    To the first man thou mayest meet

In lane, highway or open street-
    That he and we and all men move

Under a canopy of love,
    As broad as the blue sky above;

That doubt and trouble, fear and pain,
    And anguish all are shadows vain.

That death itself shall not remain,
    That weary deserts we may tread,

A dreary labyrinth may thread,
    Through dark ways underground be led,

Yet, if we all one Guide obey,
    The dreariest path, the darkest way

Shall issue out in heavenly day;
    And we on diverse shores now cast,

Shall meet, our perilous voyage past,
    All in our Father's house at last.

- Trench

My dear child,

I am on the train to Delhi. I could not go out for rest. I sent you nothing yesterday. I could not. This may be my last for some days because I shall not know what will happen from day to day. Do let me have a line from you.

With love,
Yours,
Bapu   

Sunday, 21-3-'20

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References

  • A Gandhi Anthology-I (1958), Compiled by V. G. Desai
  •  An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1969), Translated from Gujarati by Mahadev Desai
  • Ashram Observances in Action (1959)
  • Bapu-My Mother (1955), by Manubehn Gandhi
  • Bapu's Letters to Ashram Sisters (1960), edited by Kakasaheb Kalelkar Bapu's Letters to Mira (1959)
  • Food for the Soul (1957), edited by Anand T. Hingorani and published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay-7
  • Harijan
  • Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (1962)
  • Homage to the Departed (1958), Compiled and Edited by S. B. Kher
  • Mahadevbhaini Diary, Vol. 2 (Gujarati Edition, 1949), by Mahadev Desai; edited by Narahari Parikh
  • Mahatma Gandhi-The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book I (1965), Vol. II (1958), by Pyarelal
  • "My Dear Child" [Letters to Esther Faering] (1959)
  • My Memorable Moments with Bapu (1960), by Manubehn Gandhi Ramanama (1964)
  • Speeches and Writings of Mahatma Gandhi, (G. A. Natesan & Co., 4th Edition)
  • Stray, Glimpses of Bapu (1960), by Kakasaheb Kalelkar The Collected Works of  Mahatma
  • Gandhi (The Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India)
  • The Diary of Mahadev Desai, Vol. I (1953), by Mahadev Desai-Translated from Gujarati and edited by Valji Govindji Desai
  • The End of an Epoch (1962), by Manubehn Gandhi-Translated from Gujarati by Gopalkrishna Gandhi
  • The Gospel of Selfless Action or The Gita According to Gandhi (1969) by Mahadev Desai
  • This Was Bapu (1959), Compiled by R. K. Prabhu Young India
 

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