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07. Prahlad and Harishchandra
Since his childhood Gandhiji loved the stories of two truth-loving people-Prahlad and Harishchandra. A person who himself was so truthful was bound to love the story of such truthful people.
King Harishchandra had to face a lot of difficulties and tolerate grief. He lost his kingdom, lost his wealth, had to live in the forest and had to sell his wife and son too. Ultimately he had to sell himself to the keeper of the cremation ground. He had to go through these hair-raising experiences but still he remained truthful.
Gandhiji had seen King Harishchandra's drama in his childhood and since then he always had dreams about Harishchandra. He would weep whenever he remembered this story. Later he wrote, "Even today, reading that drama makes me weep." He said that bearing grief like Harishchandra and yet remain truthful is the real truth!
Yet Gandhiji loved the story of Prahlad more than the story of Harishchandra. He was a king; he was experienced and learned too! But Pralhad was a small child. He dared uttering the name of Rama in spite of the fact that he was born in a demon's family. He did not stop chanting the name of Ram even after his father pushed him down the mountain. He did not stop chanting the name of Ram even after his father drowned him in the river. He was chained to a burning pillar yet he was not scared and did not give up the chanting of Ram's name..
Gandhiji always worshipped Prahlad's truthfulness and set his example in front of him, "Prahlad was such a small boy yet he had the courage to be truthful. One does not need the strength of a wrestler or the army of a king to be truthful."