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Something to be Shy about?
Now, I'm going to ask you an embarrassing question, OK?
How do you pass urine?
Oh..... I can see, most of you seem to be shy at my question.....
All the excretions from the body, whether it is sweat, urine, etc..... are ugly in our eyes. (Though whatever we eat, are delicious, sweet, etc.) We have to realise everything has got its own merit and reverence. And one incident from the Dandi March brings this out very well indeed.
The seventy-eight members who took part in the Dandi March each carried nothing more than a shoulder bag containing the bare minimum necessities for their journey. They also had a regular routine for every day. One strict condition Gandhi laid down was that once the yatra (journey) started at 6.30 in the morning, it would not be disturbed or stopped in between till it reached the next halt. And this is how it was every day. But one day the system broke down. Alas, Gandhi himself was the lawbreaker. But what could have happened?
A few minutes later came the news that Gandhi himself had stopped the yatra because he had an urgent need to relieve himself. He told his colleagues at the yatra that this was very unusual for him, that he would be back very soon and that not one of them was to follow him.
A few minutes passed..... Before long fifteen minutes had passed. The yatris (travellers) became restless. Could something have happened to Gandhi as he went into the jungle? Uneasy and anxious, a group of friends followed the path they had seen him take.
At a distance they could see Gandhi digging the earth with the root of a tree, taking handfuls of soil and spraying it on the open land. Not able to understand his action, the friends advanced upon him. Catching sight of them Gandhi was at once shy as well as angry.
But the friends explained to Gandhi that they were worried for him. In reply, a self-conscious Gandhi told them that he was feeling guilty at passing urine in the open ground, as if he had done a great crime. So he had sprayed the soil and covered the place to a great height.
Every one of his friends was struck at his reverence to the mother earth.
(Nine or ten years ago, I met Shri Raghava Padhuval, who was one of the 78 colleagues in the Dandi March. It is from him that I learnt of the above incident. Shri Raghava Padhuval is no more now.)
S. Kulaindaswamy