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22. The Inner Voice

My claim to hear the Voice of God is no new claim. Unfortunately there is no way that I know of proving the claim except through results.

Harijan, 6-5-'33, p. 4

The first question that has puzzled many is about the Voice of God. What was it? What did I here? Was there any person I saw? If not, how was the Voice conveyed to me? These are pertinent questions.

For me the Voice of God, of Conscience, of Truth or the Inner Voice or 'the still small Voice' mean one and the same thing. I saw no form. I have never tried, for I have always believed God to be without form. But what I did hear was like a Voice from afar and yet quite near... It was as unmistakable as some human voice definitely speaking to me, and irresistible. I was not dreaming at the time I heard the Voice. The hearing of the Voice was preceded by a terrific struggle within me. Suddenly the Voice came upon me. I listened, made certain that it was the Voice, and the struggle ceased. I was calm. The determination was made accordingly, the date and the hour of the fast were fixed. Joy came over me. This was between 11 and 12 midnight. I felt refreshed and began to write the note about it which the reader must have seen.

Could I give any further evidence that it was truly the Voice that I heard and that it was not an echo of my own heated imagination? I have no further evidence to convince the sceptic. He is free to say that it was all self- delusion or hallucination. It may well have been so. I can offer no proof to the contrary. But I can say this that not the unanimous verdict of the whole world against me could shake me from the belief that what I heard was the true Voice of God.

But some think that God Himself is a creation of our own imagination. If that view holds good, then nothing is real, everything is of our own imagination. Even so, whilst my imagination dominates me, I can only act under its spell. Realest things are only relatively so. For me the Voice was more real than my own existence. It has never failed me, and for that matter, anyone else.

And every one who wills can hear the Voice. It is within every one. But like everything else, it requires previous and definite preparation.

Harijan, 8-7-'33, p. 4

I shall lose my usefulness the moment I stifle the 'still small Voice within'.

Young India, 3-12-'25, p. 422

Nobody has to my knowledge questioned the possibi­lity of the Inner Voice speaking to some, and it is a gain to the world even if one person's claim to speak under the authority of the Inner Voice can be really sustained. Many may make the claim, but not all will be able to substantiate it. But it cannot and ought not to be suppressed for the sake of preventing false claimants. There is no danger whatsoever if many people could truthfully represent the Inner Voice. But, unfortunately, there is no remedy against hypocrisy. Virtue must not be suppressed because many will feign it. Men have always been found throughout the world claiming to speak for the Inner Voice. But no harm has yet overtaken the world through their short-lived activities. Before one is able to listen to that Voice, one has to go through a long and fairly severe course of training, and when it is the Inner Voice that speaks, it is unmistakable. The world cannot be successfully fooled for all time. There is, therefore, no danger of anarchy setting in because a humble man like me will not be suppressed and will dare to claim the authority of the Inner Voice, when he believes that he has heard it.

Harijan, 18-3-'33, p. 8

Man is a fallible being. He can never be sure of his steps. What he may .regard as answer to prayer may be an echo of his pride. For infallible guidance man has to have a perfectly innocent heart incapable of evil. I can lay no such claim. Mine is a struggling, striving, erring, imperfect soul.

Young India, 25-9-'24, p. 313

Having made a ceaseless effort to attain self-purification, I have developed some little capacity to hear correctly and clearly the 'still small Voice within.

The Epic Fast, by Pyarelal, 1933, p. 34

My firm belief is that He reveals Himself daily to every human being, but we shut our ears to the 'still small Voice'.

Young India, 25-2-'21, p. 162