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66. Three Icons of Gandhi
Gandhiji was a strict observer of pledged rituals. He wrote, “One can’t lead life simply by observing rituals. The rituals are useful only if one keeps praising God incessantly. One can also gain strength by reading about the lives of noble people.” If someone tries to find out about the idols this nobleman worshipped himself, it will certainly benefit the readers. Yet, we would better try to now about some of his Icons from his ‘Autobiography’.
An infant gets to know this world through his mother. Gandhiji has sketched his mother Putlibai’s profile in a few words only. “My mother was a saintly, religious minded woman. She would staunchly observe the hardest of religious rituals and won’t give them up even if she was not keeping well. About Karamchand Gandhi, he writes, “My father was a family oriented man, truth loving, brave, generous but indignant. Still he was passionate about certain things. His achievements were based on his experiences. He was extremely practical in his dealings. He would delve deep to find out the cause of even the minutest things. He also had a knack of dealing with thousands of people.”
The third person who influenced Gandhi as a child was Rambhabai, his nanny. Young Mohan was afraid of ghosts. Rambha suggested that the surest way to evade them was to say ‘Ramnam’. Mohan revered Rambha more than ‘Ramnam’. This seed of Ramnam sown in the childhood spread its roots deep enough. Gandhiji effectively used the strength it generated till the end of his life, because it was a sapling planted by Rambhabai.