Sunday, October 12, 2014

SPACE FOR FREEDOM - Mahatma Gandhi

He alone deserves to be called an inmate of the Ashram who has ceased to have any worldly relation - a relation involving monetary interests-- with his parents or other relatives, 
who has no other needs save those of food and clothing and who is ever watchful in the observance of the eleven cardinal vows. Therefore he who needs to make savings, should never be regarded as an Ashram inmate.
- M. K. Gandhi

"My Life is My Message"
"You may be sure I am living now just the way I wish to live.What I might have done at the beginning,had I more light,I am doing now in the evenning of my life,at the end of my career,building from the bottom my way of living here,study my surroundings,if you wish to know what I am. Village improvement is the only foundation on which conditions in India can be permanently ameliorated."
M. K. Gandhi
-Harijan,8-8-1936 / Bombay Chronicle,7-3-1937

When Gandhi started his padayatra (foot march) in 1930 from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi for the Salt Satyagraha, he had decided not to return to Sabarmati till independence for India was attained. Independence was not attained at that time and Gandhi was imprisoned for more than two years. On his release he spent sometime travelling. He decided to make a village in Central India his head quarters. He came to Wardha in 1934, at the invitation of Jamnalalji Bajaj. In April 1936, Gandhiji established his residence in the village Shegaon which he renamed as Sevagram, which means 'village of service'. Gandhiji was 67 years old when he came to Sevagram. From then on, Sevagram has become an inspiring place. Many decisions on import ant national matters and movements were taken at Sevagram. It became the central place for a number of institutions for the nation building activities devised by Gandhiji to suit the inherent strength of this country. Shegaon is a small village 8 km from Wardha town in Maharashtra and 75 km from Nagpur. In spite of many practical difficulties, Gandhiji decided to settle here. Though he did not have any intentions of keeping anybody with him except Kasturba, pressure of work necessitated more colleagues with him till Sevagram Ashram became a full-fledged institution. There were no facilities at Sevagram, not even a post or telegraph office. The letters used to be brought from Wardha. There was another village in this region named Shegaon, made famous by the residence of Saint Gajanan Maharaj. So, Gandhiji's letters used to get misdirected. Therefore it was decided in 1940 to rename this village as SEVAGRAM or 'the village of service'. 

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