08. God As Daridranarayan
Daridranarayan is one of the millions of names by which humanity knows God who is unnameable 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 tied 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 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 lustre 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 a nicer luncheon, but how am I to talk of God to the millions who have to go without two meals a day? To them God can only appear as bread and butter. Well, the peasants of India were getting their 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 claim to know my millions. All the hours of the day I am with them. They are my first care and last because I recognize no God except that 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 the service of these millions.
I suggest that we are thieves in a way. If I take anything that I do not need for my own immediate use and keep it, I thieve it from somebody else. It is the fundamental law of Nature, without exception, that Nature produces enough for our wants from day to day; and if only everybody took enough for himself and nothing more, there would be no pauperism in this world, there would be no man dying of starvation.
Mahatma Gandhi (1918), p. 189
In India we have got many millions of people who have to be satisfied with one meal a day and that meal consisting of a Chapati containing no fat in it and a pinch of salt. You and I have no right to anything that we really have until these millions are clothed and fed. You and I ought to know better, must adjust our wants, and even undergo voluntary privation in order that they may be nursed, fed and clothed.
Mahatma Gandhi (1918), p. 189