79. Unto This Last
I stand by what is implied in the phrase, ‘Unto This Last’. That book marked the turning point in my life. We must do even unto this last as we would have the world do by us.
Harijan, 17-1146, p. 404
And I know that God is found more often in the lowliest of His creatures than in the high and mighty. I am struggling to reach the status of these. I cannot do so without their service. Hence my passion for the service of the suppressed classes. And as I cannot render this service without entering politics I find myself in them. Thus I am no master. I am but a struggling, erring, humble servant of India and there through of humanity.
Harijan, 11-9-24, p. 298
And He hath His footstool where live ‘the humble, the lowliest and lost’. Spinning, therefore, for such is the greatest prayer, the greatest worship, the greatest sacrifice.
Young India, 24-9-25, p. 331
God alone is great. We his creatures are but dust. Let us be humble and recognize the place of the lowliest of His creatures. Krishna honoured Sudama in his rags as he honoured no one else.
Young India, 26-12-24, p. 423
Daridranarayan is one of millions of names by which humanity knows God who is unnamable 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, p. 110
I read Ruskin’s Unto This Last during a train journey to Durban it gripped me immediately. I saw clearly that, if mankind was to progress and to realize the ideal of equality and brotherhood, it must adopt and act on the principle of ‘Unto This Last’. It must take along with it even the dumb, the halt and the lame.
Harijan 25-8-46, p. 281
I have always held that social justice, even unto the least and the lowliest, is impossible of attainment by force. I have further believed that it is possible by proper training of the lowliest by non-violent means to secure address of the wrongs suffered by them. That means is non-violent none-co-operation.
Harijan, 20-4-40, p. 97
I am working for winning Swaraj… for those toiling and unemployed millions who do not get even a square meal a day and have to scratch along with a piece of stale roti and a pinch of salt.
Young India, 26-3-31, p. 53
I think of the poor of India every time I draw a thread on the wheel. The poor of India today have lost faith in God, more so in the middle classes or the rich. For a person suffering from the pangs of hunger, and desiring nothing but to fill his belly, his belly is his God. To him anyone who gives him bread is his Master. Though him he may even see God. To give alms to such persons, who are sound in all their limbs, is to debase oneself and them. What they need is some kind of occupation, and the occupation that will give employment to millions can only be hand-spinning... I have described my spinning as a penance or sacrament. And since I believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is God also. I see God in every thread that I draw on the spinning-wheel.
Young India, 20-5-26, p. 187
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 spiritual starved millions of our countrymen?
Then you will find your doubts and your self-melting away.
This Was Bapu, (1959), p. 46