20. Memorising 'Gita'
Gandhiji had decided to memorise complete ‘Bhagwad Gita’ while he was in South Africa. There he used to write two or three Shlokas (couplets) from Gita on the wall and would memorise them while brushing his teeth. In Yerwada jail he had enough time on hand. So he decided to improve his pronunciation and learn the shlokas by heart. He said to me, “Kaka, I want to learn correct pronunciations of Gita. I have watched you teaching Gita to the children in the Ashram. Please stop me whenever I pronounce incorrectly. I would repeat it to improve the pronunciation. Don’t think that I am ‘great’ or ‘mahatma’. If such a thought would prevent you from correcting my pronunciation, it would be sinful on your part. Treat me like a pupil and keep correcting me unless I don’t memorise it flawlessly.” Whenever I pointed to an error, Gandhiji would mark it with a pencil and read it repeatedly. It is the natural way of learning a line or a word. Pupils learn the pronunciations and a way of reciting by this method only.