I 1951 kom Louis Fischer sin bok – «The Life of Mahatma Gandhi» ut for første gang. Dette ble sommerens perle på bokfronten… Her er noen smakebiter.
I boken er det til og med et kapittel om Tolstoj og Gandhi. De som leser er her fra tid til annen vet jo hvor facinert jeg er av Tolstoj. De brevvekslet litt helt mot slutten av Tolstojs liv, og sendte tilsammen 3 brev hver. Det var Gandhi som var den første til å ta kontakt. Gandhi hadde lest Tolstojs «The Kingdom of God is within you» i Sør-Afrika, og brukte den i sin utforming av ikke-voldsideologien. Si sitt siste brev til Gandhi skriver Tolstoj:
The longer I live, and especially now when I vividly feel the nearness of death, I want to tell others what I feel som particularly clearly and what to my mind is of great importance – namely, that which is called passive resistance, but which in reality is nothing else than the teaching of love, uncorruptet by false interpretations.
That love … is the highest and only law of human life and in the depths of his soul every human being (as we see most clearly in children) feels and knows this; he knows this until he is tangled by the false teachings of the world. This law was proclaime by all, by the Indian as well as by the Chinese, Hebrew, Greek and Roam sages of the world…
In reality, as soon as force was admitted into love, there was no more and there could be no more love as the law of life, and as there was no law of love, there was no law at all, except viloence – ie the power of the strongest.
Dette m ha vært et av de siste brevene Tolstoj skrev, og da Gandhi fikk det var han død…
Gandhi var en dypt religiøs person, og på s. 369 står det:
‘God’, Gandhi replied, ‘is not a person… God is an eternal principle. That is why I say that Truth is God… Even atheists do not doubt the necessity of truth.»
På sidene 377-79 er det mer om hans Gudsbilde:
‘God is’, Gandhi said.
Everyting else is illusion. Gud is the only truth.
Over the years Gandhi tried many times to prove the existence of God. ‘Here is an indefinable mysterious Power’, he wrote, ‘which pervades everything. I feel it, though I do not see it. It is this unseen Power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses.
‘But’, he adde optimistically, ‘it is possible to reason out the existence of God to a limited extent… There is an orderliness in the Universe, here is an unalterable law governing everything and every bein that exists or lives. It is not a blind law, for no blind law can govern the conduct of human beings… That law then which governs all life is God… I do dimly perceive that whilst everyhing around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a living Power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves, and recreates. That informing Power or spirit is God… In the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists. Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth and Love. He is Love. He is the supreme God.
… If we could solve all the mysteries of the Universe, we would be co-equal with God. Every drop of ocean shares its glory but is not the ocean’. Every human being, in other words, partakes of the nature of God but is not God and cannot know what He is.
Det er vanskelig å forstå Gandhis storhet i sin litenhet i sin samtid. Et lite innblikk får vi ved et sitat av General Omar N. Bradly i US Navy. Dette er bakt inn på s. 437 i boka:
‘We have too many men of science, to few men of God,’ general Omar N. Bradley’, Cheif of Staff, United States Army, said in Boston on 10. november 1948. ‘We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount… The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.’
Gandhi rejected the atom and grasped the Sermon on the Mount. He was a nuclear infant and an ethical giant. He knew nothing about killing and much about living in the twentieth century.
Only those who have no doubts can reject Gandhi completely.
Boken til Fischer gir et fantastisk innblikk i livet til et utrolig menneske. Jeg angrer ikke et sekund på de timene jeg brukte på å komme igjennom disse 600 sidene…