Selected Letters of Gandhi : Part-1


Chapter-21: Fear of Death

There is no remedy except patience in such an ugly situation as described by C.I. have no doubt in my mind that the approach should be same in the mother country as in the Transvaal. But C’s letter shows that we can prepare ourselves for it only in the place like Phoenix. A man should be free from fear even when he has to sleep in the cemetery, but if in the process of mastering fear he sleeps in the cemetery on the very first day, it is possible that he will only lose his life. India nowadays for you and me is a cemetery. We must prepare ourselves here to make our beds there and sing Mirabai’s hymn, “Take thought of nothing except the name of God.”
To be afraid of death is like being afraid of discarding an old and worn out garment. I have often thought of death and have the intellectual conviction that it is sheer ignorance which makes us afraid of death. I am however not sure that this conviction has become part and parcel of my spiritual being. I say this in view of my reactions when I see a snake for instance. And yet I feel that I will acquire the necessary strength to welcome death whenever and however it comes. I wish every one at Phoenix become equally fearless.