SECTION II : Extracts From Letters

[ from Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi : Vol - 4 ]

Mahatma Gandhi

Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi
Volume IV

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Publisher's Note



  1. Faith in God
  2. Religions and Scriptures
  3. Value of Prayer
  4. Truth and Non-violence
  5. The Science of Satyagraha
  6. Fasting in Satyagraha
  7. Unto This Last
  8. Khadi and Village Industry
  9. East and West
  10. Hindu-Muslim Unity
  11. Upliftment of Women
  12. The Good of All
  13. India's Freedom
  14. Education
  15. Caste System and Untouchability
  16. Brahmacharya
  17. Fearlessness
  18. Health and Hygene
  19. Self-restraint
  20. Self-development
  21. Selfless Service
  22. Voluntary Poverty

About This Volumes

Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi

Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi comprises of Five volumes.

  • Vol-I: Autobiography
  • Vol-II: Satyagraha in South Africa
  • Vol-III: Basic Works
    1. Ethical Religion
    2. Unto This Last
    3. Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule
    4. From Yeravada Mandir
    5. Discourses on the Gita
    6. Constructive Programme
    7. Key to Health
  • Vol-IV: Selected Letters
  • Vol-V: Voice of Truth

This book, Selected Letters, is volume-4.

Written by : M. K. Gandhi
General Editor : Shriman Narayan
Volume Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi : A set of five books
ISBN: 81-7229-278-3 (set)
Printed and Published by :
Jitendra T. Desai
Navajivan Mudranalaya,
© Navajivan Trust, 1968


Chapter 7: Unto This Last

I have such a vivid experience of India's deep poverty that whenever money is uselessly spent, it seems to me that so much has been taken away from the poor. If all the money that has been spent over sending me telegrams had been devoted towards purchasing Swadeshi Khadi and therewith clothing the deserving naked or towards feeding the helpless, would not they have blessed the donors? The curse of the poor has destroyed nations, has deprived kings of their crowns and the rich of their riches. Retributive justice is inexorable. The blessings of the poor have made kingdoms flourish.

The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi -Vol. XVI, p. 174, 28-9-1919

If I have a duty at all towards fellow-creatures, I must think what it is in the face of those who are simply skin and bone. Is there such a thing as the quality of mercy and pity and love, and if there is, am I to say these men and women who are dying of slow starvation and who are almost naked, are, after all, reaping the fruit of their past karma and I have no duty by them? Each for his own is the message for man. As I write these words in cold blood, I feel staggered, and if such was the implication of the law of karma, I should become a rebel against it. Fortunately it teaches me a different lesson. On the one hand it insists on patience, and on the other it peremptorily commands me to undo the past by rearranging the present.

The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi -Vol. XXIII, p. 422, 12-4-1924

I am glad you realize that poverty is the common lot of millions. The real way to pray to Lord Krishna is to do in His name some little service to those who are less fortunate than ourselves; and when we show the spirit of service in daily life, unbelieving neighbours will begin to believe in God.

Selected Letters-II, p. 25, 14-11-1932