Camphor Lamps ( Kapoorna Diva )
The Camphor Lamps
When someone in Bengal requested a message from Gandhiji, he said four words in Bengali: ‘Amar Jivani Amar Vani’- My life is my message. That means, he wished that his message should be found in his work and practice, rather than just in words. The purpose of presenting incidents of Gandhiji’s life here, in the form of a ‘Gandhi Katha’, is to focus on several scattered incidents of his life in order to introduce ourselves to the manifestation of different levels of greatness of his life. Each of these incidents represents and brings out various powerful aspects of his grand personality. Each incident is a camphor lamp. It would be worth the effort if such a lamp provides and creates a special vision of the magnificent and beautiful life image of Gandhiji, which he generated and carved out from each and every moment of his life, before it extinguishes.
One may try to arrange these incidents, as those of fearlessness, truthfulness, Ahimsa, and so on, thus arranged together in different groups. But, a single incident may cover fearlessness and Ahimsa both. That is why they are not divided in such groups here. Incidents can also be given in chronological order. But, then a question might be raised in our mind that, why in between incidents of few years are missing. So such order is again not necessary, because, it is not our purpose here to give complete chronology of his life. Hence, they are presented here as they were being written and published in ‘Sanskriti’, in the anniversary year 1969 of Gandhiji, from January to October.
Gandhiji, in his life was always extremely keen on ascertaining the facts and details of any event and happening. Therefore, I have made best of my efforts to check out the facts in each and every case.
I have used Bapu’s own writings for choosing the incidents. In addition to that, I have used ‘Madevbhai’s Diary’ parts 1-9, the books of Ravjibhai Patel, books of Kakasaheb Kalelker and Manuben Gandhi, ‘Jivannu Paroth’ by Prabhudas Gandhi, ‘Reminiscences’ of Ramdas Gandhi, and ‘Gandhiji and Rashtriya Pravruti’ by Shankarlal Banker. I am grateful to all these authors. Thanks are also due to the publisher of Gandhiji’s books- the Navajivan Prakashan Mandir and also the other publishers of the books by Mahadevbhai and Manuben. Also, some incidents I have received from some individuals. For this, I would like to express my special thanks to Smt Vijyaben Pancholi, Smt Prabhavati Narayan and Smt Madalsa Narayan.
Ahmedabad- 380 009
Gandhi anniversary day: 2-10-1969