Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

There was a boy. His name was Mohan.

He was studying in a school at Rajkot. He was not bright at studies, but was very fond of reading.

Once he read the story of Shravana. Shravana used to carry his old and blind parents in two baskets slung on a bamboo yoke. Mohan was deeply touched by his devotion to his old parents. He resolved to be like Shravana and serve his parents.

Once Mohan saw a play depicting the life of King Harishchandra, who lost his kingdom and suffered much for truth. Mohan was so deeply moved by this play that he was in tears. He decided never to swerve from the path of truth and be ever truthful and honest like Harishchandra.

In his childhood, Mohan was very timid. He feared to step in darkness, even in his own house. He feared ghosts and thieves and snakes. Rambha was a maid servant in his house. Once she said to Mohan: `Why are you so much fearful? Remember Rama! Rama will always protect you. Fear never encounters him who remembers Rama.’

Mohan was deeply impressed by these words. He took to reciting the name of Rama. His faith in Rama increased as he grew up. He remembered God and dedicated all his work to him. When he died his last words were `He Rama!’

Once the Inspector of schools came to visit his school. He wanted to test the boys, so he dictated a few English words to the boys. Mohan could not spell one of the words correctly. His teacher prompted him to copy that word from his neighbour’s slate, but Mohan didn’t. He did not like to cheat anybody, come what may. The result was that all the students except Mohan, spelt all the words correctly. The teacher scolded Mohan after the class and Mohan felt wounded. But deep inside him he knew that what he had done was right.

In those days, India was under the British rule. Once a boy told Mohan: `Do you know why the British are so strong and why they can rule over us? It is because they eat meat. If we become meat-eaters, like them, we will be able to drive them out.’

Mohan was convinced by this argument. But everybody in Mohan’s house was strictly vegetarian, so he tried meat-eating outside. He did not disclose this secret to anybody, yet he was averse to telling a lie and deceiving the parents, so finally he decided not to touch meat again.

Mohan was taken to smoking also. For this he had to steal money and to incur debt. When the debt increased, he stole a piece of gold from one of the gold-bracelets that his brother wore and paid off the debt.

But soon after that, his heart was filled with remorse. He resolved never to steal again. He wrote down a confession of his crime on a piece of paper and put it in the hands of his father who was then sick.

The father read the letter and without uttering a word, tore up the paper with a deep sigh.

Mohan was deeply grieved. Tears rolled down his cheeks. He saw the power of truth. From that day, telling the truth became a passion with him. He loved his father more and more. He massaged his legs and served him in all possible ways.

Mohan’s full name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was born in Porbandar, on the sea-coast of Saurashtra, on October 2, 1869. He did many great things when he grew up. Throughout the world he is now known as Mahatma Gandhi.

Source: Ramanbhai Soni on mkgandhi.org

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