SECTION I : Selected 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


Gandhi Letter 45 : To Jamnalal Bajaj1

Sabarmati Central Prison,
Thursday Night,
16th March, 1922


As I proceed in my search for truth it grows upon me that Truth comprehends everything. It is not in Ahimsa, but Ahimsa is in it. What is perceived by a pure heart and intellect is truth for that moment. Cling to it, and it enables one to reach pure truth. There is no question there of divided duty. But often enough it is difficult to decide what is Ahimsa. For instance, the use of disinfectants is Himsa, and yet we cannot do without it. We have to live a life of Ahimsa in the midst of a world of Himsa, and that is possible only if we cling to truth. That is how I deduce Ahimsa from truth. Out of truth emanate love, tenderness, humility. A votary of truth has to be humble as the dust. His humility increases with his observance of truth. I see this every moment of my life. I have a much vivider sense of Truth and of my own littleness than I had a year ago. The wonderful implication of the great truth 'Brahma Satyam Jaganmithya (Brahma is real, all else unreal) grows on me from day to day. It teaches us patience. This will purge us of harshness and add to our tolerance. It will make us magnify the mole-hills of our errors into mountains and minimize the mountains of others' errors into mole-hills. The body persists because of egoism. The utter extinction of the body of egoism is moksha. He who has achieved this will be the very image of Truth, or one may call it Brahman. Therefore the loving name of God is Dasanudasa (Servant of Servants).
Wife, children, friends, possessions—all should be held subservient to Truth. Each one of these should be sacrificed in the search for truth. Only then can one be a Satyagrahi. I have thrown myself into this movement with a view to making the observance of this principle comparatively easy, and it is with the same object that I do not hesitate to plunge men like you in it. Its outward form is Hind Swaraj. This Swaraj is being delayed because there is yet to be found a Satyagrahi of that type. This, however, need not dismay us. It should spur us on to greater effort.
You have made yourself my fifth son. But I am striving to be worthy. It is not an ordinary responsibility for an adopter. May God help me, and may I be worthy of it in this very life.
Bapuna Ashirvad,

To A Gandhian Capitalist, pp. 49-50

  1. Jamnalal Bajaj (1889-1942)—A prominent businessman and industrialist; a close associate of Gandhiji; identified with many of his activities; social worker and philanthropist; treasurer of the Indian National Congress for many years. He chose a life of simplicity despite his wealth; Gandhiji called him his 'fifth son'.