SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI >  VOL. IV - SELECTED LETTERS > SECTION TWO : EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS > Unto This Last
07. 'Unto This Last'
I have such a vivid experience of India's deep poverty that whenever money is uselessly spent, it seems to me that so much has been taken away from the poor. If all the money that has been spent over sending me telegrams had been devoted towards purchasing Swadeshi Khadi and therewith clothing the deserving naked or towards feeding the helpless, would not they have blessed the donors? The curse of the poor has destroyed nations, has deprived kings of their crowns and the rich of their riches. Retributive justice is inexorable. The blessings of the poor have made kingdoms flourish.
The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi -Vol. XVI, p. 174, 28-9-1919

If I have a duty at all towards fellow-creatures, I must think what it is in the face of those who are simply skin and bone. Is there such a thing as the quality of mercy and pity and love, and if there is, am I to say these men and women who are dying of slow starvation and who are almost naked, are, after all, reaping the fruit of their past karma and I have no duty by them? Each for his own is the message for man. As I write these words in cold blood, I feel staggered, and if such was the implication of the law of karma, I should become a rebel against it. Fortunately it teaches me a different lesson. On the one hand it insists on patience, and on the other it peremptorily commands me to undo the past by rearranging the present.
The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi -Vol. XXIII, p. 422, 12-4-1924

I am glad you realize that poverty is the common lot of millions. The real way to pray to Lord Krishna is to do in His name some little service to those who are less fortunate than ourselves; and when we show the spirit of service in daily life, unbelieving neighbours will begin to believe in God.
Selected Letters-II, p. 25, 14-11-1932