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The First Satyagrahi
In the Phoenix school, the children were asked to write an essay. The subject was: ‘Who was the first Satyagrahi?’
Some of them thought that, Thumbi Naidu was the first satyagrahi, because he had played an outstanding role in the struggle of South Africa.
Some other thought: No..No.. the first satyagrahi should be Bapuji himself. Yet others justified Naranswami as the first satyagrahi, who had died in banishment. The essays were checked and returned to the children. They also received the certificate as ‘okay’.
But, Bapuji in fact failed them all. They all started pondering. Then, who would be the first such satyagrahi?
Then Bapuji told everybody: “The first satyagrahi was not our Thambi Naidu, but the great Bhakta Prahalad.”
That means in other words, Bapuji was not saying anything new. He was just following the great Satyagrahis, who had been there before him.
Bapuji always emphasised all his life: “I do not have to say anything new. Satya (Truth) and Ahimsa (non-violence) are as old as Himalayas. However, he certainly demonstrated them in his own life and in the present context of human life, by practicing and living Satya and Ahimsa in his own behavior and every action. That was no doubt remarkably unique and original about him.