Pathway to God – Love – Gandhi
Pathway to God
Part II : Moral Sadhana
Three Great Jewels (Cardinal Virtues)
We can conquer the world by Truth and Love.
Control of Thought, Word and Deed is Brahmacharya – a Perennial Spring of Eternal Energy.
Selfless Service leads to Salvation.
(1) TRUTH AND LOVE
Love and Truth are the faces of the same coin, and both very difficult to practise, and the only things worth living for. A person cannot be true, if he does not love all God’s creatures. Truth and Love are therefore the complete sacrifice.
Without Truth there is no Love. Without Truth it may be affection, as for one’s country, to the injury of others; or infatuation as of a young man for a girl. . . . Love transcends all animality and is never partial.
True Love is boundless like the ocean and swelling within one, spreads itself out and crossing all boundaries and frontiers, envelops the whole world.
(2) LOVE UNITES
Scientists tell us that without the presence of the cohesive force amongst atoms that comprise the globe of ours, it would crumble to pieces and we would cease to exist; and even as there is a cohesive force in the blind matter, so must there be in all things animate and the name for that cohesive force among animate beings is Love. We notice it between father and son, between brother and sister, friend and friend. But we have to learn to use that force among all that lives and in the use of it consists our knowledge of God.
(3) LOVE IS LIFE
If Love was not the law of life, life would not have persisted in the midst of death. Life is a perpetual triumph over the grave. If there is fundamental distinction between man and beast, it is the former’s progressive recognition of the Law and its application in practice to his own personal life. All the saints of the world, ancient and modern, were each according to his light and capacity, a living illustration of that supreme Law of our being. That the brute in us seems so often to gain easy triumph, is true enough. How should it be otherwise with a Law which is as high as Truth itself? When the practice of the Law becomes universal, God will reign on earth as He does in Heaven. … I need not be re minded that earth and heaven are within us. We know the earth, we are strangers to heaven within us.
It is my firm belief that it is Love that sustains the earth. There only is life where there is Love. Life without Love is death. Love is the reverse of the coin of which the obverse is Truth.
Hatred ever kills; Love never dies. Such is the vast difference between the two. What is obtained by Love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred, proves a burden in reality, for it increases hatred. The duty of a human being is to diminish hatred and to promote Love.
(4) THE LAW OF LOVE
The Law of Love, call it attraction, affinity, cohesion if you like, governs the world. The universe continues in spite of destruction incessantly going on. Truth triumphs over untruth. Love conquers hatred. God eternally triumphs over Satan.
We will have ample cause to congratulate ourselves, if we learn to substitute the Law of Love in society for that of the jungle and instead of harbouring ill will and enmity in our bosoms against those whom we regard as our enemies, we learn to love them, as actual and potential friends.
(5) THE RELIGION OF AHIMSA
The world is full of Himsa, and Nature does appear to be “red in tooth and claw”. But if we bear in mind that the man is higher than the brute, then is man superior to Nature. If man has a divine mission to fulfill, a mission that becomes him, it is that of Ahimsa.
I am not a visionary. I claim to be a practical idealist. The religion of non-violence is not meant merely for Rishis and saints. It is meant for the common people as well. Non-violence is the law of our species, as violence is the law of the brute. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law, to strengthen the spirit.
Man as animal is violent, but as a Spirit is nonviolent. The moment he awakes to the Spirit within, he cannot remain violent. Either he progresses towards Ahimsa or rushes towards his doom. That is why, the Prophets and the Avatars have taught the lesson of truth, harmony, brotherhood, justice etc.— all attributes of Ahimsa.
So let no one doubt that the salvation of all the exploited peoples of the earth and therefore of the world, lies in the strictest reliance on the coin on whose one face is written Truth and on the other Non-violence in large letters. Sixty years of experience has taught me no other method.