A great teacher appears once in a while. Several centuries may pass by without the advent of such a one. That by which he is known is his life. He first lives and then tells others how they may live likewise. Such a teacher was Gandhi. These Selections from his speeches and writings compiled with great care and discrimination by Sri Krishna Kripalani will give the reader some idea of the workings of Gandhi's mind, the growth of his thoughts and the practical techniques which he adopted.
Gandhi's life was rooted in India's religious tradition with its emphasis on a passionate search for truth, a profound reverence for life, the ideal of nonattachment and the readiness to sacrifice all for the knowledge of God. He lived his whole life in the perpetual quest of truth: 'I live and move and have my being in the pursuit of this goal.'
A life which has no roots, which is lacking in depth of background is a superficial one. There are some who assume that when we see what is right we will do it. It is not so. Even when we know what is right it does not follow that we will choose and do right. We are overborne by powerful impulses and do wrong and betray the light in us. 'In our present state we are, according to the Hindu doctrine, only partly human; the lower part of us is still animal; only the conquest of our lower instincts by love can slay the animal in us.' It is by a process of trial and error, self-search and austere discipline that the human being moves step by painful step along the road to fulfilment.