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63. "My Darkest Hour"

Satan, the evil in the human breast, is ever awake t find opportunities to tempt men and women with a view to test their powers of resistance. During his lifetime Gandhi ji too had to pass through more than one such dark hour of temptation. What he regarded as the darkest hour of his life was described by him to Dr. John Mott, the great Christian evangelist who came to see him at Segaon in December 1936. Said Gandhiji:

"My darkest hour was when I was in Bombay, a few months ago. It was the hour of my temptation. Whilst I was asleep I suddenly felt as though I wanted to see a woman. Well, a man who had tried to rise superior to the sex-instinct for nearly forty years was bound to be intensely pained when he had this frightful experience. I ultimately conquered the feeling, but I was face to face with the blackest moment of my life and if I had succumbed to it, it would have meant my absolute undoing. I was stirred to the depths because strength and peace come from a life of continence. Many Christian friends are jealous of the peace I possess. It comes from God who has blessed me with the strength to battle against temptation.

Harijan, 26-12-'36