We often think of Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) only as the visionary nonviolent political activist in India during the time of its uneasy birth as a nation. But he was given the honorary title Mahatma, Great Soul, because of his intense devotion to God. Today he is regarded by millions as a Hindu saint. This remarkable volume, which was originally published in India in 1971, contains Gandhi's teachings on God, soul, truth, love, faith, prayer, meditation and the mantram.
As Michael N. Nagler points out in the introduction, this servant of God was able to accomplish so much because of his attention to the inner life. "The divine radio is always singing if we could only make ourselves ready to listen to it, but it is impossible to listen without silence." Gandhi found self-realization in service to others. Yet he firmed up his faith through self-restraint: "The secret of happy life lies in renunciation."
One of the most important spiritual practices for Gandhi was Ramanama the repetition of God's name: "I have said that to take Ramanama from the heart means deriving help from an incomparable power. The atom bomb is as nothing compared with it. This power is capable of removing all pain." He counsels that the repetition must not be just a lip-expression but "part of your very being." Those who were closest to Gandhi when he was assassinated said that his last word was "Rama."