வாழ்க்கையின் குறிக்கோள் பற்றி காந்திஜியிடம் கேட்கப்பட்டது. அதற்கு அவர் அளித்த பதில்.
Q. What is the purpose of life?
A. The purpose of life is undoubtedly to know oneself. We cannot do it unless we learn to identify ourselves with all that lives. The sum-total of that life is God. Hence, the necessity of realizing God living within every one of us. The instrument of this knowledge is boundless selfless service.
Q. What is the aim of life?
The aim of life is that we should serve the power that has created us, and on whose mercy or consent depends our very breath, by heartily serving its creation. That means live, not hate which one sees everywhere.
Of all the animal creations of God, man is the only animal who has been created in order that he may know his Maker. Man's aim in life is not, therefore, to add from day to day to his material prospects and to his material possessions, but his predominant calling is from day to day to come nearer his own Maker.
Man is not born day after day to explore avenues for amassing riches and to explore different means of livelihood; on the contrary, man is born in order that he may utilize every atom of his energy for the purpose of knowing his Maker.
Q. How can we serve God?
A. We may not know God, but we know His creation. Service of his creations is the service of God.
Q. But how can we serve the whole of God's creation?
A. We can but serve that part of God's creation which is nearest and best known to us. We can start with our next-door neighbor. We should not be content with keeping our courtyard clean, we should see that our neighbour's courtyard is also clean. We may serve our family, but may not sacrifice the village for the sake of the family. Our own honour lies in the preservation of that of our own village. But we must each of us understand our own limitations. Our capacity for service is automatically limited by our knowledge of the world in which we live. But let me put it in the simplest possible language. Let us think less of ourselves than of our next-door neighbor. Dumping the refuse of our courtyard into that of our neighbor is no service of humanity, but disservice. Let us start with the service of our neighbours.
(Tomorrow 2nd Oct is Mahatma's Birth Day. Let us rejoice and follow atleast some of the preachings he has made.)