Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
Mahatma Gandhi 21 - A Study Of Religion - Poem by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
Apart from serious study of Law in London,
To become a full fledged barrister,
Gandhiji passionately pursued
Vegetarian movement and
The study of Religion.
A meeting with two theosophists -
Betram Keightley and Archibald Keightley,
Led Gandhiji towards the path of theistic studies
The theosophists invited Mohandas to read
The 'Bhagavad Geeta' with them!
Gandhiji admitted to the Theosophists
Of never having read before
The celestial song of 'Bhagavad Geeta'
Neither in its original Sanskrit text form
Nor in its translated form in Gujarati.
Though Gandhiji did have preliminary
Education of Sanskrit in Alfred High School.
Yet, his knowledge of Sanskrit was sparse.
Nonetheless, Mohandas most willingly joined
The Keightleys to read the spiritual text!
As Gandhiji read the translation of
The famed text of 'Bhagavad Geeta'
By Sir Edwin Arnold,
He was wonder-struck by
The profound wisdom contained in it.
His interest grew as he delved deep into
The original spiritual song of Lord Krishna..
This triggered off a long lasting bond with 'Geeta'
The divine revelations of Lord Krishna to Arjuna,
In the years to come!
Through another book of translation by
Sir Edwin Arnold entitled
'The light of Asia'
Gandhiji was introduced to the life of Buddha.
Gandhiji developed such keen interest
To read the book;
Once he started to read the book
He could not put it down or
Leave it aside until he had fully read
The teachings of the enlightened Buddha!
Around the same period of reading
The texts of Hinduism and Buddhism,
He met a good Christian from Manchester.
They had meaningful conversation on Religion
And on his advise began reading the Bible.
He found Old Testament heavy to read,
But he was fascinated by the New Testament -
'The Book of Genesis'!
The ‘Sermon on the Mount' deeply moved him
And touched the core of his heart!
Mohandas Gandhi also participated
In the meetings of Anjuman-e-Islam
Founded in 1886 for the Muslim students by
An Indian barrister named Abdullah Sohrawardy.
The young mind of Gandhi tried uniting
The teachings of all the religions
Later Gandhiji wrote: 'I am endeavouring
To see God through service of humanity,
For I know that God is neither in heaven,
Nor down below, but in every one.'
Poet's Notes about The Poem
The rituals of each religion may differ or the path taken by them may vary but ultimately they all unite at one point.
To me God is love and service to humanity. Love is the link that unites God, Nature and Man.
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