Sarvodaya and spiritual leaders do speak and work from the heart. They have a direct link with the people and deal with them at the grassroots levels. This has been the case of both, Christ and Gandhi.
The message of the book is:
Service to human kind is service to god. Gandhi’s and Christ’s
work showed the concern and compassion are a spiritual teacher
which must exhibit towards humanity. They showed
“self-realization” is possible if there is complete
self-surrender, dedication and determination they exhorted that:
people must live like an incense stick which burns for spreading
Their wisdom is for all times and
all seasons. Modern civilization had denuded morality of its
vital internal dimension and ignored the quality of the soul. In
fact, spirituality is the knowledge of the spiritual self. The
spirit is to build character and to enable one to work towards a
knowledge of god and self-realization.
The sarvodaya philosophy is the
worship of all the three aspects of reality. That is Satyam
(Truth), Shivam (Well Being), and Sundaram (beautiful):
Philosophy of spirituality is not idle entity to be attained in
a passive state of meditation; instead it is dynamic and
consists in ever fighting with the inner evils of our souls.
The gospel of both the leaders has
been to win: 1. Hatred by love, 2. Violence with self-sacrifice,
and 3. Brute force against soul force. The world love is very
significant. Mankind must love each other or be ready to perish.
The strength of the love is dependent on forgiveness.
These two principles have been
extremely well elaborated, discussed and critically examined
from the lives and works of both the universal leaders. Loving
kindness will be of value only when it will truly take root in
the heart as a permanent condition of being. It cannot be
limited to certain days, while bristling with hostility the rest
of the year. It will only serve our complacent self-regard. It
is throughout the practice of loving – kindness alone that we
can share in our friends’ joys and sorrows, such a sharing is
crucial in a world that has been agitated by suspiciousness,
jealously and resentment. While we lust after commodities that
guarantee us material comfort, we do not value that rare thing
friendship. It is a tragedy that, today while humanity stands
poised to enter the moon and the heavens; no one feels the need
to knock at the door of his neighbour’s heart. Both the Leaders
replaced power with service, hate who love, revenge with
forgiveness, and judgment with mercy. They conquered hatred of
people by serving them.
If we follow these values in true
spirits, there will be no “haves and have not’s”. The gulf
between the two will not only be bridged, but succeed in
eliminating poverty from the world.
We must know that the forgiveness
is the treasure of the conscience, the source of peace. The
nectar of forgiveness nurtures many fruits; gratitude, humility
and solidarity. The Sanskrit word for forgiveness is Kshama, may
be traced back to the elements Ksha and ma, which indicates a
knot and a negation respectively. Kshama thus suggested that we
must refrain from tying our minds in knots of resentment.
Forgiveness is a sign of courage and fortitude; it is not to be
confused with the resignation or cowardice.
The contribution of the scholar on
Jesus’ vision of kingdom of god this worldly and other worldly
is profound. Gandhian vision of the kingdom of god is rooted in
the realm of the absolute. Gandhi shared the gospel of teaching
of the kingdom so far as Jesus’ mission concentrates on the
liberation of humanity on Earth. This common ground of both the
stalwarts is the basic thrust of the volume.
The author has very aptly
delivered the Gandhian method of Satyagraha to change the heart
of opponent. We must remember Gandhi termed Jesus Christ as the
“prince of satyagrahis”.
Gandhi’s aim was to bring about
change in the existing situation and to establish, the kingdom
of God or the Ram-Rajya. This has to be planned through the
realization of his vision of sarvodaya. The questions often
asked are; how can the kingdom of god as visualized by Jesus be
attained in a country like India? And what should be the real
mission of Indian Christians? Gandhi’s suggestions were unique
with characteristic clarity and directness: First, I (Gandhi)
would suggest that all of you Christian missionaries and all,
must begin to live more like Jesus Christ. Second, practice your
religion without adulteration of it or toning down. Third,
emphasize love and make it your working force, for love is
central in Christianity. Fourth, study the non- Christian
religions more sympathetically to find good that is within them
in order to have a more sympathetic approach to people.
The author has rightly emphasized
that it is relevant to explore honestly and study the Gandhian
vision of sarvodaya and its impact in realizing the kingdom of
God in India. His vision of sarvodaya is routed on the ideology
of Gram Swaraj which is based on self-sufficient and
self-reliant basic communities.
The scholar deserves to be
complimented for a rigorously very well documented research. It
has beautifully spelled out the spiritual facets of the kingdom
of god on Earth.
He has given a very exhaustive
bibliography which will be found extremely useful for further
study and research. However, researchers will miss the index.
The light tone in which it is
written will make the book very readable. The younger generation
will find the book laudable and useful.
The emphasis of the book is that
man should make the almighty the pivot of his life. The lesson
we can deduce from the volume is that true love wants freedom
and joy from detachment. The more detached we are, the more
loving we become. Christ, Gandhi and Buddha were detached, yet