Ramanama could not come from the heart unless one had cultivated the virtues of truth, honesty and purity within and without. Every day at the evening prayers, they repeated the shlokas describing the man with a steadfast intellect. Every one of them, Gandhiji said, could become a sthitaprajna — man with steadfast intellect - if he kept his sense under discipline, ate and drank and allowed himself enjoyment and recreation only to sustain life for service. If one had no control over one's thoughts, if one did not mind, for instance, sleeping in a hole of a room with all doors and windows shut, and breathing foul air or drinking dirty water, his recitation of Ramanama was in vain.
That, however, did not mean that one should give up reciting Ramanama on the ground that one had not the requisite purity. For, recitation of Ramanama was also a means of acquiring purity. "In the case of a man who repeats Ramanama from the heart, discipline and self-control will come easy. Observance of the rules of health and hygiene will become his second nature. His life will run an even course. He will never want to hurt anyone. To suffer in order to relieve other's suffering will become a part of his being and fill him with an ineffable and perennial joy." Let them, therefore, said Gandhiji, persevere and ceaselessly repeat Ramanama during all their waking hours. Ultimately, it would remain with them even during their sleep and God's grace would then fill them with perfect health of body, mind and spirit.
New Delhi, 25-5-'46In his after-prayer speech Gandhiji referred to several letters and messages from friends expressing concern over his persistent cough. His speech was broadcast and so was the cough which was often troublesome in the evening and in the open. For the last four days, however, the cough had been on the whole less troublesome and he hoped it would soon disappear completely. The reason for the persistence of the cough had been that he had refused all medical treatment. Dr. Sushila had said that if at the outset he had taken penicillin he would have been all right in three days. Otherwise, it would take him three weeks to get over it. He did not doubt the efficacy of penicillin but he believed too that Ramanama was the sovereign remedy for all ills and, therefore, superseded all other remedies. In the midst of the flames that surrounded him on all sides there was all the greater need for a burning faith in God. God alone could enable people to put down the fire. If He had to take work from Gandhiji, He would keep him alive, otherwise He would carry him away.
They had just heard the bhajan in which the poet had exhorted man to stick to Ramanama. God alone was the refuge of man. Therefore, in the present crisis he wished to throw himself entirely on God and not accept medical aid for a physical ailment.