Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rama Is Strength for the Weak

"Rama is but a synonym for God." --The Way to God by MK Gandhi

The power of the name. Rama writes Gandhi is his book of short meditations, The Way to God, "is the strength of the weak. This strength is not to be obtained by taking up arms... It is to be had by throwing oneself on his name." So it is, Gandhi writes, that the soul needs the "matchless and pure strength of pure faith."

"There is something infinitely higher than intellect that rules us, even the skeptics." In Gandhi's world, even skeptics come to a place in life where they feel they need something better, more than the mind and its intellect. They need something outside of themselves, he writes. "If one puts a conundrum before me [Gandhi], I say to him, "You are not going to know the meaning of God or prayer unless you reduce yourself to a cipher." One must be humble enough in his view to recognize that despite the human talents and intensive intellect, one remains but a mere particle of the universe. The world is composed more fully of itself than to be merely just that one. Likewise, a mere intellectual regard for life and its element is insufficient. "It is the spiritual conception which eludes the intellect, and which alone can give one satisfaction," insists Gandhi.

Faith transcends reason. Most often when our intellect is in defeat, in despair, it is the sudden rising of faith which comes to our rescue. "I ask that you restore the belief that has been undermined... Start with the faith that is also a token of humility, and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms... [I say so] because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we, in the insolence of our ignorance, deny the law of nature... I then used to hug the name of Rama in my childhood." It was the continuation and the development of faith, for in Gandhi's world his eye may be plucked, his worldly goods taken and still the thief will have nothing. For he has not taken Rama, the power of living faith.