Gandhi's inspiring short stories selected from the book Everyone's Gandhi
During Gandhiji's tenure in the Sevagram Ashram he had occasion to spend his birthday with the people over there. After the evening prayers Gandhiji was going to have a discussion in the Ashram. Many people from nearby villages had come to attend the discourse.
Gandhiji immediately noticed the lamp filled with 'ghee' (oil) burning in the hall. This was a new occurrence. He gazed at it for some time in silence.
After the prayers Gandhiji asked aloud, "Who has brought this lamp?" Kasturba, who was sitting nearby said, " I have brought it."
Bapu asked her, "From where did you bring it?"
Ba replied, "From the village. It's your birthday, that's why."
After remaining silent for some time Bapu said, "Today, if anybody has done a wrong thing it is Ba who has lighted this oil lamp and it is because of my birthday. I have seen how the villagers live their lives. They do not even have enough oil to spread on their daily 'roti' (bread) and today there is an oil lamp burning in my Ashram. How can we waste something the poor farmers cannot afford to have?"