I Forgive You, I Love You, I Bless You

January 30, 2015

Every week, we feature excerpts by Gandhi that lend insight into his values and personal practices.

Today, 67 years ago, his physical presence ceased to exist when he was assasinated. During the last few years of his life, Gandhi was doing everything within his reach to promote heart unity between the Hindu and the Muslim communities. In his last fast, he even offered his life to stop the violence and foster kinship among them. Here are some of his feelings and thoughts around his death leading to his last words.

January 20, 1948

"Even if I am killed, I will not give up repeating the names of Rama and Rahim, which for me are one and the same. With these names on my lips, I will die cheerfully". (1) 

Only a few days before: "An assassin's bullet may put an end to my life. I would welcome it. But I would love, above all, to fade out doing my duty with my last breath." (2) 

Even just a few hours before the assassination: "If someone were to end my life by putting a bullet through me -as someone tried to do with a bomb the other day- and I met his bullet without a groan and breathed my last taking God's name, then alone would I have made good my claim." (3) 

Stressing his "message", he also said: "Should I die by the bullet of a madman, I have to do so with a smile. There must be no anger in me. God must be in my heart and on my lips." (4)  

And, as described by Eknath Easwaran, to emit his utter last words: “…as his body fell, nothing but the mantram which was deep within him came to his lips, [Rama, Rahim, Rama...]. It meant ‘I forgive you, I love you, I bless you... (5) 

(1) Harijan, 20 April 1947, p. 118‚Äč
(2) Mahatma Gandhi, the Last Phase, by Pyarelal, 1st edition, vol. I (Ahmedabad, 1956), p. 202
(3) Pyarelal, ibid, p. 766
(4) Mahatma: A Golden Treasury of Wisdom -Thoughts & Glimpses of Life. by Ajgaonkar, Sri Meghshyam T. Mumbai: Anand Limye, p. 57
(5) Gandhi the Man by Easwaran p. 140

Be The Change

This week, hold a heart of love for a person who may have an opposing view than yours, in a significant theme of your life.