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Ahimsa or Cleanliness ?
Gandhiji and his colleagues Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Mahadev Desai were in Yeravada jail. They used to pray at four o’clock in the morning. Then, it was their routine to have lemon and honey water. Boiling water was poured on lemon juice and honey. Then they had to wait till it got cool. In this duration, they would read something. Gandhiji would then cover the hot water with a cloth.
One day he asked, “Mahadev, do you know why I cover the water? There are so many tiny insects in the air, and they might just fall in the water. The cloth saves this happening.”
On hearing this, Vallabhbhai could not stop himself saying, “This is too much of the Ahimsa, we cannot practice it up to this extent!”
Gandhiji then replied with a smile, “Well, Ahimsa cannot be practiced, but how about cleanliness?”