OF the books that deeply inspired and influenced Gandhiji and by its magic moulded his entire life, thought and action, assuredly the Bhagavad Gita occupies a pre-eminent place. On his very first acquaintance with it, while he was yet a law student in England in 1889, the book struck him as of 'priceless worth'.
This initial acquaintance was, however, made not through the original in Sanskrit, but through Sir Edwin Arnold's English renderingThe Song Celestial. Even so, it produced a powerful impact on his mind and, as the years passed and the spell of the Divine Song went on growing with the increasing understanding of its message and meaning, Gandhiji came to regard it not only as the book 'par excellence for the knowledge of Truth', but also of invaluable help in his 'moments of gloom'.
The Gita became for Gandhiji his 'dictionary of daily reference' to which he invariably turned for solace and guidance whenever he found himself confronted by doubts and difficulties, trials and troubles. Especially the last 19 verses of the Second Chapter, wherein are described the characteristics of a man of steadfast wisdom, gripped him so much that they got indelibly inscribed on the tablet of his heart. These verses were recited daily in his prayers and provided to him the key to the interpretation of the Gita.
Gandhiji's whole life was patterned on the lofty teachings of the Gita. And these teachings, according to him, are such as can be easily understood and enforced in