Daridranarayan is one of the millions of names by which humanity knows God who is unnamable and unfathomable by human understanding and it means God of the poor, God appearing in the hearts of the poor.
Young India, 4-4-‘29
For the poor the economic is the spiritual. You cannot make any other appeal to those starving millions. It will fall flat on them. But you take food to them and they will regard you as their God. They are incapable of any other thought.
Young India, 5-5-‘27
With this very hand I have collected soiled pies from them tried tightly in their rags. Talk to them of modern progress. Insult them by taking the name of God before them in vain. They will call you and me fiends if we talk about God to them. They know, if they know God at all, a God of terror, vengeance, a pitiless tyrant.
Young India, 15-9-‘27
I am able to restrain myself from committing suicide by starvation because I have faith in India’s awakening and her ability to put herself on the way to freedom from this desolating pauperism. Without faith in such a possibility I should cease to take interest in living.
Young India, 3-4-‘31
I dare not take before them the message of God. I may as well place before the dog over there the message of God as before those hungry millions who have no luster in their eyes and whose only God is their bread. I can take before them a message of God only by taking the message of sacred work before them. It is good enough to talk of God whilst we are sitting here after a nice breakfast and looking forward to nicer luncheon, but how I am to talk of God to the millions who have to go without two meals a day? To them God can only appear as bread from their soil. I offered them the spinning wheel in order that they may get butter and if I appear today….in my loin-cloth it is because I come as the sole representative of those half-starved, half-naked dumb millions.
Young India, 15-10-‘31
I recognize no God expect the God that is to be found in the hearts of the dumb millions. They do not recognize His presence; I do. And I worship the God that is Truth or Truth which is God, through service of these millions.
We are either ignorant or negligent of the divine law by virtue of which man has been given only his daily bread and no more, with the result that there arise inequalities with all the misery attendant upon them. The rich have a superfluous store of things which they do not need and which are, therefore, neglected and wasted; while millions starve and are frozen to death for want of them. If each retained possession only of what the needed, no one would be in want and all would live in contentment. As it is, the rich are discontented no less than the poor. The poor man would become a millionaire and the millionaire a multi-millionaire. The poor are often not satisfied when they get just enough to fill their stomachs; but they are clearly entitled to it and society should make it a point to see that they get it. The rich must take an initiative in the matter with a view to a universal diffusion of the spirit of contentment. If only they keep their own property within moderate limits the poor will be easily fed, and will learn the lesson of contentment along with the rich.
From Yeravda Mandir, Chap.VI
Civilization in the real sense of the term consists not in the multiplication but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants, which promotes real happiness and contentment and increase the capacity for service. One can reduce one’s wants by perseverance, and the reduction of wants makes for happiness-a healthy body and a peaceful mind.
From Yeravda Mandir, Chap. VI
The golden rule….is resolutely to refuse to have what millions cannot. This ability to refuse will not descend upon us all of a sudden. The first thing is to cultivate the mental attitude that will not have possessions or facilities denied to millions, and the next immediate things is to re-arrange our lives as fast as possible in accordance with that mentality.
Young India, 24-6-‘26
Jesus, Muhammed, Buddha, Nank, Kabir, Chaitanya, Shankara, Dayanand, Ramkrishna were men who exercised an immense influence over and moulded the character of thousands of men. The world is the richer for their having lived in it. And they were all men who deliberately embraced poverty as their lot.
Speeches and Writing of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 353