Papaji and Mahatma Gandhi

All the big politicians of the day, including Nehru, thought the same way [in favor of Partition.] None of these people was going to see Gandhi any more because they knew that he was so vehemently opposed to Partition.

So, at the time I was visiting Gandhi, there was only a small group around him. Each evening he would conduct a communal chanting of the name of Ram. I went regularly and became an unofficial attendant. Because he was quite old and frail, I would help him to and from the platform, and if there were any announcements to be made, I would make them at the end of the meeting.

On one of these nightly meetings some new person went up to Gandhi to prostrate to him. As he was getting up to leave, he took one of Gandhi’s chappals [sandals] and ran off with it. I wanted to run after him and catch him, but Gandhi stopped me by saying, ‘No! No! Stay here. One is enough.’

At the end of the meeting I made an announcement, asking the person who had stolen the chappal to return it. I added, ‘If the person doesn’t bring it back, Gandhiji will probably walk around with only one chappal’. My appeal had no result, for the chappal never came back.

I used to talk to him privately as well, but during our conversations he would never look at me eye to eye. He would always be looking down, usually at the takli on which he was spinning thread.

Once he told me as he was spinning a thread, ‘I got this idea that everyone should spin his own thread many years ago when I was travelling in the Punjab. I saw all the Punjabi women spinning in their spare time and I thought, “This is a good idea. Everyone in India could profitably use their spare time in this way.” So I started to encourage people to spin in their spare time everywhere else in India.

He was a great saint. I could see that just by looking at his body. I didn’t need to look into his eyes. He had the most sattvic body I have ever seen. It was copper-coloured, and on a subtle level it was glowing with the light of Brahman.

He had a beautiful body. The only body that I have seen that was as beautiful as his was the Maharshi’s. Both of their bodies used to shine.

I was once sitting with Gandhi when I heard the sound of ‘Ram, Ram’ coming from him. His lips were not moving, so I looked to see where the sound was coming from. As I focussed on the source of the sound, I realised that it was emanating from his body. The sound was coming out of the pores of his skin. He didn’t need to repeat the name anymore. It was going on continuously inside him and flowing outwards through his skin.

Excerpt From Nothing Ever Happened Volume Two
By David Godman