Source: Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi
SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING
October 17, 1947
The times have changed but I have not. Prayer has an effect on those who listen to it in good faith. Man can act only according to his own nature. There is no room for hypocrisy in this.
What I am doing today is in the name of God. I trust Him. Why should I give up Ramanama just for the sake of this minor illness? Either this illness has to go or I have to be overcome by it. What is so very great if man dies? Everyone is ordained to die from the time of his birth. If God wants something done through me He will keep me alive, otherwise He will kill me by this cough. The bhajan which the girl sang a moment ago says that one should repeat Ramanama. One should forget desire, anger, attachment, infatuation, but never forget Ramanama because He is one's sole refuge. It is for one to sing the bhajan and meditate on it. But when I start coughing at such moments, doctors or vaids ask me to take penicillin. Where is Ramanama in this?
When I do not have faith in Ramanama regarding trivial matters, how can I succeed in bigger things by relying on it? If I do not put in my own effort I would go down and become worthless. Others may not take that view, but I would have fallen in my own eyes. Why should I forget Ramanama in order to cure this ordinary cough?