Gandhi's 'Knowledge of Truth' Available to All - at a Price

Article excerpt

MARIANNE MACDONALD

Arts Reporter

Mahatma Gandhi's personal and annotated copy of The Bhagavadgita, the sacred Hindi work he used for his spiritual guidance, is to be sold at auction later this month.

Heavily marked with comments in pencil, the book, estimated to raise up to pounds 8,000, was described by the campaigner for Indian independence as "the supreme book for the knowledge of the truth".

The Indian leader, who chanted passages from the Gita every day, "regard{ed} it as practically a scientific system by which self-realisation could eventually be attained" according to a biographer, Vincent Sheean. Although Gandhi was born in India, this copy is an English text. Marked "M K Gandhi 4/11/04", the 1898 edition was translated by Kashinath Trimbak Telang and published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford. Its owner's annotations provide a unique insight. Although the pencil comments in English are restricted to page references, the underlined passages throw light on his personal philosophy. …