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118. A Word To Lakshmi

At the wedding ceremony of his son Devadas, Mahatma Gandhi addressed the following words to the bride, Shrimati Lakshmidevi, daughter of Shri C. Rajagopalachari :

"To you Lakshmi, I need not say much. I believe Devadas will prove himself a worthy husband to you. Ever since I have seen and known you I have felt you have justified your name. Let your marriage strengthen, if possible, the bond of affection that has ever been grow­ing between Rajaji and me. I need not emphasize the unique auspices under which the wedding is being celebrated. It is essentially a religious thing and may it prove to you both the means for better performance of your duty. I should have had nothing to do with the marriage had I not known it is in consonance with religion and the fruit of pure tapasya undergone by both of you in order to gain our sanction and blessings, which you have now amply deserved. It has been a great effort on my part to say these few words; but I thought it essential for me to bless you and warn you of the great responsibility you are taking upon yourselves; May God protect you. Only He protects, for, He is father, mother, friend and everything rolled in one. Let your life be a dedication to the service of the motherland and through it of humanity. May you, both ever be humble and may you both walk in fear of God always."

And then to his son Devadas :

"You have today robbed Rajaji of a cherished gem. May you be worthy of it and may you treasure it. She is a real Lakshmi. Guard her and protect her as you would Lakshmi, the goddess of all that is good and beauti­ful. May you both live long and walk in the footsteps of dharma. May you live for dharma and have the courage to lay down your lives when an occasion comes for dharma. Let your life from today be a further dedication to the service of the country and may you never give yourselves to idle pleasures is my blessing and my cherished hope and desire."