Selected Letters of Gandhi : Part-1


Chapter-57: Truth Is God

I say that truth is God not because truth is the only comprehensive attribute of God. Other attributes are only partial expression of the reality that is God. The Gujarati word Ishwara (the Lord) is also a descriptive epithet of God, but as it literally means ruler, it sounds quite insipid. Thinking of God as the Kings of Kings does not satisfy the intellect. Such a line of thought may generate a kind of fear in our committing sin and are encouraged in doing meritorious deeds. But merit acquired out of fear almost ceases to be merit. Let us do good for its own sake, and not in order to win a reward. Pondering over the matter like this, I found that ‘God is truth’ is an incomplete sentence. ‘Truth is God’ is the fullest expression of our meaning in so far as it can be set forth in human speech. We arrive at the same conclusion if we consider the etymology of the word satya (truth), which is derived from sat. Sat means eternal. That which exists at all times is truth, we must not allow our faith to weaken. On the other hand it should go stronger. Such at any rate is my experience. By looking upon truth as God we steer clear of quite a number of dangers. We lose all interest in seeing or hearing about miracles. Seeing God is difficult to understand; but seeing truth is indeed a hard task, but as we approach nearer and nearer to truth, we catch a glimpse of the God of truth, so that we hope to have a full view in His good time and our faith also burns brighter and brighter.

Translated from Gujarati