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70. The Gandhi 'Talisman'

To a friend, who was tormented by doubts, Gandhiji wrote a letter. The letter was mislaid, but on a later oc­casion the words were recalled to memory and transcribed. The following is the text of the letter:

"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, try the following expedient:

"Recall the face of the poorest and the most helpless man whom you may have seen and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he be able to gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj or self-rule for the hungry and also spiritually starved millions of our countrymen?

"Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away.

- M. K. Gandhi"