THERE IS an indefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything. I feel it,
though I do not see it. It is this unseen Power which makes itself felt and yet
defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses.
It transcends the senses. But it is possible to reason out the existence of God
to a limited extent.
I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing,
ever-dying, there is underlying all that change a Living Power that is
changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves, and re-creates.
That informing Power or Spirit is God. And since nothing else I see merely
through the senses can or will persist, He alone is.
And is this Power benevolent or malevolent? I see it as purely benevolent. For I
can see, that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth
persists, in the midst of darkness light persists. Hence I gather that God is
Life, Truth, Light. He is Love. He is the Supreme Good.
I confess… that I have no argument to convince… through reason. Faith transcends
reason. All I can advise… is not to attempt the impossible.
Young India, 11-10-1928
I cannot account for the existence of evil by any rational method. To want to do
so is to be co-equal with God. I am, therefore, humble enough to recognize evil
as such; and I call God long-suffering and patient precisely because He permits
evil in the world. I know that He has no evil in Him and yet if there is evil,
He is the author of it and yet untouched by it.
I know, too, that I shall never know God if I do not wrestle with and against
evil even at the cost of life itself. I am fortified in the belief by my own
humble and limited experience. The purer I try to become the nearer to God I
feel myself to be. How much more should I be near to Him when my faith is not a
mere apology, as it is today, but has become
as immovable as the Himalayas and as white and bright as the snows on their
Young India, 11-10-1928
I can easily put up with the denial of the world, but any denial by
me of God is unthinkable.
Young India, 23-2-1922
I know that I can do nothing. God can do everything. O God, make me
Thy fit instrument and use as thou wilt!
Young India, 9-10-1924
I have not seen Him, neither have I known Him. I have made the
world's faith in God my own and as my faith is ineffaceable, I regard that faith
as amounting to experience. However, as it may be said that to describe faith,
as experience is to tamper with truth, it may perhaps be more correct to say
that I have no word for characterizing my belief in God.
CHAPTER XI : INTIMATE EUROPEAN CONTACTS, Autobiography
I am surer of His existence than of the fact that you and I are
sitting in this room. Then I can also testify that I may live without air and
water but not without Him. You may pluck out my eyes, but that cannot kill me.
You may chop off my nose, but that will not kill me. But blast my belief in God,
and I am dead.You may call this a superstition, but I confess it is a
superstition that I hug, even as I used to hug the name of Rama in my childhood
when there was any cause of danger or alarm. That was what an old nurse had
I believe that we can all become messengers of God, if we cease to
fear man and seek only God's Truth. I do believe I am seeking only God's Truth
and have lost all fear of man.
Young India, 25-5-1921
…I have no special revelation of God's will. My firm belief is that
He reveals Himself daily to every human being, but we shut our ears to the
'still small voice'. We shut our eyes to the Pillar of Fire in front of us. I
realize His omnipresence.
Young India, 25-5-1921
Some of my correspondents seem to think that I can work wonders.
Let me say as a devotee of truth that I have no such gift. All the power I may
have comes from God. But He does not work directly. He works through His
To me God is Truth and Love; God
is ethics and morality; God is fearlessness. God is the source of Light and Life
and yet He is above and beyond all these. God is conscience. He is even the
atheism of the atheist. For in His boundless love God permits the atheist to
live. He is the searcher of hearts. He transcends speech and reason. He knows us
and our hearts better than we do ourselves. He does not take us at our word, for
He knows that we often do not mean it, some knowingly and others unknowingly.
He is a personal God to those who
need His personal presence. He is embodied to those who need His touch. He is
the purest essence. He simply is to those who have faith. He is all things to
all men. He is in us and yet above and beyond us…
He cannot cease to be because
hideous immoralities or inhuman brutalities are committed in His name. He is
long-suffering. He is patient but He is also terrible. He is the most exacting
personage in the world and the world to come. He metes out the same measure to
us that we mete out to our neighbors-men and brutes.
With Him ignorance is no excuse.
And withal He is ever forgiving, for He always gives us the chance to repent.
He is the greatest democrat the
world knows, for He leaves us 'unfettered' to make our own choice between evil
and good. He is the greatest tyrant ever know, for He often dashes the cup from
our lips and under cover of free will leaves us a margin so wholly inadequate as
to provide only mirth for Himself at our expense.
Therefore it is that Hinduism
calls it all His sport-lila, or calls it all an illusion-maya. We are not, He
alone Is. And if we will be, we must eternally sing His praise and do His will.
Let us dance to the tune of His bansi-lute, and all would be well.
- Young India, 5-3-1925
God is the hardest taskmaster I
have known on this earth, and He tries you through and through. And when you
find that your faith is failing or your body is failing you and you are sinking,
He comes to your assistance somehow or other and proves to you that you must not
lose your faith and that He is always at your beck and call, but on His terms,
not on your terms. So I have found. I cannot really recall a single instance
when, at the eleventh hour, He has forsaken me.
- Speech at The Guildhouse, London,
In my early youth I was taught to
repeat what in Hindu scriptures are known as one thousand names of God. But
these one thousand names of God were by no means exhaustive. We believe--and I
think it is the truth--that God has as many names as there are creatures and,
therefore, we also say that God is nameless and, since God has many forms, we
also consider Him formless, and since He speaks to us through many tongues, we
consider Him to be speechless and so on. And so when I came to study Islam, I
found that Islam too had many names for God.
I would say with those who say
God is Love, God is Love. But deep down in me I used to say that though God may
be Love, God is Truth, above all. If it is possible for the human tongue to give
the fullest description of God, I have come to the conclusion that, for myself,
God is Truth.
But two years ago I went a step
further and said that Truth is God. You will see the fine distinction between
the two statements, viz., that God is Truth and Truth is God. And I came to the
conclusion after a continuous and relentless search after Truth, which began
nearly fifty years ago.
I then found that the nearest
approach to Truth was through love. But I also found that love has many meanings
in the English language at least and that human love in the sense of passion
could become a degrading thing also. I found too that love in the sense of
ahimsa had only a limited number of votaries in the world. But I never found a
double meaning in connection with truth and not even atheist had demurred to the
necessity or power of truth.
But, in their passion for
discovering truth, the atheists have not hesitated to deny the very existence of
God--from their own point of view, rightly. And it was because of this reasoning
that I saw that, rather than say that God is Truth, I should say that Truth is
- Speech at the meeting in
God is Truth, but God is many
other things also. That is why I say Truth is God…. Only remember that Truth is
not one of the many qualities that we name. It is the living embodiments of God,
it is the only Life, and I identify Truth with the fullest life, and that is how
it becomes a concrete thing, for God is His whole creation, the whole Existence,
and service of all that exists-Truth-is service of God.
- Harijan, 25-5-1935
Perfection is the attribute of
the Almighty, and yet what a great democrat He is! What an amount of wrong and
humbug He suffers on our part! He even suffers us insignificant creatures of His
to question His very existence, though He is in every atom about us, around us
and within us. But He has reserved to Himself the right of becoming manifest to
whomsoever He chooses. He is a Being without hands and feet and other organs,
yet he can see Him to whom He chooses to reveal Himself.
- Harijan, 14-11-1936.
If I did not feel the presence of God within me, I see so much of
misery and disappointment every day that I would be a raving maniac and my
destination would be the Hooghli.
Young India, 6-8-1925
If I am to identify myself with the grief of the least in India,
aye, if I have the power, the least in the world, let me identify myself with
the sins of the little ones who are under my care. And so doing in all humility,
I hope some day to see God--Truth--face to face.
Young India, 3-12-1925
am endeavoring to see God through service of humanity, for I know that God is
neither in heaven, nor in down below, but in every one.
I am a part and parcel of the whole, and I cannot find Him apart
from the rest of humanity. My countrymen are my nearest neighbors. They have
become so helpless, so resourceless, so inert that I must concentrate on serving
them. If I could persuade myself that I should find Him in a Himalayan cave, I
would proceed there immediately. But I know that I cannot find Him apart from
- Harijan, 29-8-1936
I claim to know my millions. All the 24 hours of the day I am with
them. They are my first care and last because I recognize no God except the God
that is to be found in the hearts of the dumb millions. They do not recognize
His presence; I do. And I worship the God that is Truth or Truth, which is God
through the service of these millions.
I must go… with God as my only guide. He is a jealous Lord. He will
allow no one to share His authority. One has, therefore, to appear before Him in
all one's weakness, empty-handed and in a spirit of full surrender, and then He
enables you to stand before a whole world and protects you from all harm.
Young India, 3-9-1931
I have learned this one lesson--that what is impossible with man is
child's play with God and if we have faith in that Divinity which presides on
the destiny of the meanest of His creation, I have no doubt that all things are
possible; and in that final hope, I live and pass my time and endeavor to obey
Young India, 19-11-1931
Even in darkest despair, where there seems to be no helper and no
comfort in the wide, wide world, His Name inspires us with strength and puts all
doubts and despairs to flight. The sky may be overcast today with clouds, but a
fervent prayer to Him is enough to dispel them. It is because of prayer
that I have known no disappointment.…I have known no despair.
Why then should you give way to it? Let us pray that He may cleanse our hearts
of pettinesses, meannesses and deceit and He will surely answer our prayers.
Many I know have always turned to that unfailing source of strength.
I have seen and believe that God never appears to you in person,
but in action which can only account for your deliverance in your darkest hour.
Individual worship cannot be described in words. It goes on
continuously and even unconsciously. There is not a moment when I do not feel
the presence of a Witness whose eye misses nothing and with whom I strive to
keep in tune.
I have never found Him lacking in response. I have found Him
nearest at hand when the horizon seemed darkest in my ordeals in jails when it
was not all-smooth sailing for me. I cannot recall a moment in my life when I
had a sense of desertion by God.
I believe it to be possible for every human being to attain to that
blessed and indescribable, sinless state in which he feels within himself the
presence of God to the exclusion of everything else.
Young India, 17-11-1921
What I want to achieve, -what I have been striving and pining to
achieve…,--is self-realization, to see God face to face, to attain moksha. I
live and move and have my being in pursuit of this goal. All that I do by way of
speaking and writing and all my ventures in the political field are directed to
this same end.
For it is an unbroken torture to me that I am still so far from
Him, who, as I fully know, governs every breath of my life, and whose offspring
I am. I know that it is the evil passions within that keep me so far from Him,
and yet I cannot get away from them.
This belief in God has to be based on faith, which transcends reasons. Indeed,
even the so-called realization has at bottom an element of faith without which
it cannot be sustained. In the very nature of things it must be so. Who can
transgress the limitations of his being?
I hold that complete realization is impossible in this embodied life. Nor is it
necessary. A living immovable faith is all that is required for reaching the
full spiritual height attainable by human beings. God is not outside this
earthly case of ours. Therefore, exterior proof is not of much avail, if any at
We must ever fail to perceive Him through the senses, because He is beyond them.
We can feel Him if we will but withdraw ourselves from the senses. The divine
music is incessantly going on within ourselves, but the loud senses drown the
delicate music, which is unlike and infinitely superior to anything we can
perceive or hear with our senses.