20th March, 1920
I hope you have read my proposal about the observance of what may be called the Satyagraha Week from the 6th to the 13th April. I am hoping that during the week there will be no difficulty about collecting ten lacs of rupees. If there are volunteers of known respectability and unquestionable honesty we need have no receipts but simple collection from all and sundry, moneyed men and women can go out and collect in the quarters best known to them. But it is not so much the manner as the matter which I wish to emphasize. I hope that there will be no difference of opinion as to the desirability of passing the week in the manner suggested by me or of having a memorial in connection with the massacre1 of the 13th. In presenting the case to the people I would advise that the memory of the dead and not of the atrocity be treated as the impelling motive.
I trust that those who do not approve of the method of Satyagraha will not on that account refrain from participating in the collection. This should be a truly national memorial.
But there is fasting and prayer too on which I myself lay even greater stress than on the memorial; for if there is universal fasting and prayer I know that money and whatever we want will rain down from heaven without further effort. I wish to give you my experience in this direction as a specialist par excellence. I do not know any contemporary of mine who has reduced fasting and prayer to an exact science and who has reaped a harvest so abundant as I have. I wish that I could infect the nation with my experience and make it resort to fasting and prayer with intelligence, honesty and intensity We would thus, incredible as it may appear, do millions of things pertaining to the nation without elaborate organization and checks upon checks, but I know that fasting and prayer, to be as effective as I have found them to be in my own experience, have to be not mechanical things but definite spiritual acts. Fasting then is crucifixion of the flesh with a corresponding freedom of the spirit and prayer is a definite conscious longing of the soul to be utterly pure,—the purity thus attained being dedicated to the realization of a particular object which is in itself pure. I hope therefore that if you believe in the ancient institution of fasting and prayer you will dedicate the 6th and the 13th to that purpose and induce your neighbours to do likewise.
Then there remain the three meetings which I doubt not you will organize and make them a thorough success.
M. K. Gandhi
Letters of Srinivasa Sastri, pp. 74-75