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Title: A Letter to a Hindu

Author: Leo Tolstoy

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[This file was first posted on March 21, 2003]

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__With an Introduction by__ M. K. GANDHI


The letter printed below is a translation of Tolstoy's letter
written in Russian in reply to one from the Editor of Free
Hindustan.  After having passed from hand to hand, this letter at
last came into my possession through a friend who asked me, as
one much interested in Tolstoy's writings, whether I thought it
worth publishing.  I at once replied in the affirmative, and told
him I should translate it myself into Gujarati and induce others'
to translate and publish it in various Indian vernaculars.

The letter as received by me was a type-written copy.  It was
therefore referred to the author, who confirmed it as his and
kindly granted me permission to print it.

To me, as a humble follower of that great teacher whom I have
long looked upon as one of my guides, it is a matter of honour to
be connected with the publication of his letter, such especially
as the one which is now being given to the world.

It is a mere statement of fact to say that every Indian, whether
he owns up to it or not, has national aspirations.  But there are
as many opinions as there are Indian nationalists as to the exact
meaning of that aspiration, and more especially as to the methods
to be used to attain the end.

One of the accepted and 'time-honoured' methods to attain the end
is that of violence.  The assassination of Sir Curzon Wylie was
an illustration of that method in its worst and most detestable
form.  Tolstoy's life has been devoted to replacing the method of
violence for removing tyranny or securing reform by the method of
non-resistance to evil.  He would meet hatred expressed in
violence by love expressed in self-suffering.  He admits of no
exception to whittle down this great and divine law of love.  He
applies it to all the problems that trouble mankind.

When a man like Tolstoy, one of the clearest thinkers in the
western world, one of the greatest writers, one who as a soldier
has known what violence is and what it can do, condemns Japan for
having blindly followed the law of modern science, falsely
so-called, and fears for that country 'the greatest calamities',
it is for us to pause and consider whether, in our impatience of
English rule, we do not want to replace one evil by another and a
worse.  India, which is the nursery of the great faiths of the
world, will cease to be nationalist India, whatever else she may
become, when she goes through the process of civilization in the
shape of reproduction on that sacred soil of gun factories and
the hateful industrialism which has reduced the people of Europe
to a state of slavery, and all but stifled among them the best
instincts which are the heritage of the human family.

If we do not want the English in India we must pay the price.
Tolstoy indicates it.  'Do not resist evil, but also do not
yourselves participate in evil--in the violent deeds of the
administration of the law courts, the collection of taxes and,
what is more important, of the soldiers, and no one in the world
will enslave you', passionately declares the sage of Yasnaya
Polyana.  Who can question the truth of what he says in the
following: 'A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two
hundred millions.  Tell this to a man free from superstition and
he will fail to grasp what these words mean.  What does it mean
that thirty thousand people, not athletes, but rather weak and
ordinary people, have enslaved two hundred millions of vigorous,
clever, capable, freedom-loving people?  Do not the figures make
it clear that not the English, but the Indians, have enslaved

One need not accept all that Tolstoy says--some of his facts are
not accurately stated--to realize the central truth of his
indictment of the present system, which is to understand and act
upon the irresistible power of the soul over the body, of love,
which is an attribute of the soul, over the brute or body force
generated by the stirring in us of evil passions.

There is no doubt that there is nothing new in what Tolstoy
preaches.  But his presentation of the old truth is refreshingly
forceful.  His logic is unassailable.  And above all he
endeavours to practise what he preaches.  He preaches to
convince.  He is sincere and in earnest.  He commands attention.

[__19th November, 1909__]  M. K. GANDHI



__All that exists is One.  People only call this One by different
names.__  THE VEDAS.

__God is love, and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and
God abideth in him.__  I JOHN iv. 16.

__God is one whole; we are the parts.__  EXPOSITION OF THE


Do not seek quiet and rest in those earthly realms where delusions
and desires are engendered, for if thou dost, thou wilt be dragged
through the rough wilderness of life, which is far from Me.

Whenever thou feelest that thy feet are becoming entangled in the
interlaced roots of life, know that thou has strayed from the
path to which I beckon thee: for I have placed thee in broad,
smooth paths, which are strewn with flowers.  I have put a light
before thee, which thou canst follow and thus run without
stumbling.  KRISHNA.

I have received your letter and two numbers of your periodical,
both of which interest me extremely.  The oppression of a
majority by a minority, and the demoralization inevitably
resulting from it, is a phenomenon that has always occupied me
and has done so most particularly of late.  I will try to explain
to you what I think about that subject in general, and
particularly about the cause from which the dreadful evils of
which you write in your letter, and in the Hindu periodical you
have sent me, have arisen and continue to arise.

The reason for the astonishing fact that a majority of working
people submit to a handful of idlers who control their labour and
their very lives is always and everywhere the same--whether the
oppressors and oppressed are of one race or whether, as in India
and elsewhere, the oppressors are of a different nation.

This phenomenon seems particularly strange in India, for there
more than two hundred million people, highly gifted both
physically and mentally, find themselves in the power of a small
group of people quite alien to them in thought, and immeasurably
inferior to them in religious morality.

From your letter and the articles in __Free Hindustan__ as well
as from the very interesting writings of the Hindu Swami
Vivekananda and others, it appears that, as is the case in our
time with the ills of all nations, the reason lies in the lack of
a reasonable religious teaching which by explaining the meaning
of life would supply a supreme law for the guidance of conduct
and would replace the more than dubious precepts of pseudo-
religion and pseudo-science with the immoral conclusions deduced
from them and commonly called 'civilization'.

Your letter, as well as the articles in __Free Hindustan__ and
Indian political literature generally, shows that most of the
leaders of public opinion among your people no longer attach any
significance to the religious teachings that were and are
professed by the peoples of India, and recognize no possibility
of freeing the people from the oppression they endure except by
adopting the irreligious and profoundly immoral social
arrangements under which the English and other pseudo-Christian
nations live to-day.

And yet the chief if not the sole cause of the enslavement of the
Indian peoples by the English lies in this very absence of a
religious consciousness and of the guidance for conduct which
should flow from it--a lack common in our day to all nations East
and West, from Japan to England and America alike.


__O ye, who see perplexities over your heads, beneath your feet,
and to the right and left of you; you will be an eternal enigma
unto yourselves until ye become humble and joyful as children.
Then will ye find Me, and having found Me in yourselves, you will
rule over worlds, and looking out from the great world within to
the little world without, you will bless everything that is, and
find all is well with time and with you.__  KRISHNA.

To make my thoughts clear to you I must go farther back.  We do
not, cannot, and I venture to say need not, know how men lived
millions of years ago or even ten thousand years ago, but we do
know positively that, as far back as we have any knowledge of
mankind, it has always lived in special groups of families,
tribes, and nations in which the majority, in the conviction that
it must be so, submissively and willingly bowed to the rule of
one or more persons--that is to a very small minority.  Despite
all varieties of circumstances and personalities these relations
manifested themselves among the various peoples of whose origin
we have any knowledge; and the farther back we go the more
absolutely necessary did this arrangement appear, both to the
rulers and the ruled, to make it possible for people to live
peacefully together.

So it was everywhere.  But though this external form of life
existed for centuries and still exists, very early--thousands of
years before our time--amid this life based on coercion, one and
the same thought constantly emerged among different nations,
namely, that in every individual a spiritual element is
manifested that gives life to all that exists, and that this
spiritual element strives to unite with everything of a like
nature to itself, and attains this aim through love.  This
thought appeared in most various forms at different times and
places, with varying completeness and clarity.  It found
expression in Brahmanism, Judaism, Mazdaism (the teachings of
Zoroaster), in Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and in the
writings of the Greek and Roman sages, as well as in Christianity
and Mohammedanism.  The mere fact that this thought has sprung up
among different nations and at different times indicates that it
is inherent in human nature and contains the truth.  But this
truth was made known to people who considered that a community
could only be kept together if some of them restrained others,
and so it appeared quite irreconcilable with the existing order
of society.  Moreover it was at first expressed only
fragmentarily, and so obscurely that though people admitted its
theoretic truth they could not entirely accept it as guidance for
their conduct.  Then, too, the dissemination of the truth in a
society based on coercion was always hindered in one and the same
manner, namely, those in power, feeling that the recognition of
this truth would undermine their position, consciously or
sometimes unconsciously perverted it by explanations and
additions quite foreign to it, and also opposed it by open
violence.  Thus the truth--that his life should be directed by
the spiritual element which is its basis, which manifests itself
as love, and which is so natural to man--this truth, in order to
force a way to man's consciousness, had to struggle not merely
against the obscurity with which it was expressed and the
intentional and unintentional distortions surrounding it, but
also against deliberate violence, which by means of persecutions
and punishments sought to compel men to accept religious laws
authorized by the rulers and conflicting with the truth.  Such a
hindrance and misrepresentation of the truth--which had not yet
achieved complete clarity--occurred everywhere: in Confucianism
and Taoism, in Buddhism and in Christianity, in Mohammedanism and
in your Brahmanism.


__My hand has sowed love everywhere, giving unto all that will
receive.  Blessings are offered unto all My children, but many
times in their blindness they fail to see them.  How few there
are who gather the gifts which lie in profusion at their feet:
how many there are, who, in wilful waywardness, turn their eyes
away from them and complain with a wail that they have not that
which I have given them; many of them defiantly repudiate not
only My gifts, but Me also, Me, the Source of all blessings and
the Author of their being.__  KRISHNA.

__I tarry awhile from the turmoil and strife of the world.  I
will beautify and quicken thy life with love and with joy, for
the light of the soul is Love.  Where Love is, there is
contentment and peace, and where there is contentment and peace,
there am I, also, in their midst.__  KRISHNA.

__The aim of the sinless One consists in acting without causing
sorrow to others, although he could attain to great power by
ignoring their feelings.__

__The aim of the sinless One lies in not doing evil unto those
who have done evil unto him.__

__If a man causes suffering even to those who hate him without
any reason, he will ultimately have grief not to be overcome.__

__The punishment of evil doers consists in making them feel
ashamed of themselves by doing them a great kindness.__

__Of what use is superior knowledge in the one, if he does not
endeavour to relieve his neighbour's want as much as his own?__

__If, in the morning, a man wishes to do evil unto another, in
the evening the evil will return to him.__


Thus it went on everywhere.  The recognition that love represents
the highest morality was nowhere denied or contradicted, but this
truth was so interwoven everywhere with all kinds of falsehoods
which distorted it, that finally nothing of it remained but
words.  It was taught that this highest morality was only
applicable to private life--for home use, as it were--but that in
public life all forms of violence--such as imprisonment,
executions, and wars--might be used for the protection of the
majority against a minority of evildoers, though such means were
diametrically opposed to any vestige of love.  And though common
sense indicated that if some men claim to decide who is to be
subjected to violence of all kinds for the benefit of others,
these men to whom violence is applied may, in turn, arrive at a
similar conclusion with regard to those who have employed
violence to them, and though the great religious teachers of
Brahmanism, Buddhism, and above all of Christianity, foreseeing
such a perversion of the law of love, have constantly drawn
attention to the one invariable condition of love (namely, the
enduring of injuries, insults, and violence of all kinds without
resisting evil by evil) people continued--regardless of all that
leads man forward--to try to unite the incompatibles: the virtue
of love, and what is opposed to love, namely, the restraining of
evil by violence.  And such a teaching, despite its inner
contradiction, was so firmly established that the very people who
recognize love as a virtue accept as lawful at the same time an
order of life based on violence and allowing men not merely to
torture but even to kill one another.

For a long time people lived in this obvious contradiction
without noticing it.  But a time arrived when this contradiction
became more and more evident to thinkers of various nations.  And
the old and simple truth that it is natural for men to help and
to love one another, but not to torture and to kill one another,
became ever clearer, so that fewer and fewer people were able to
believe the sophistries by which the distortion of the truth had
been made so plausible.

In former times the chief method of justifying the use of
violence and thereby infringing the law of love was by claiming a
divine right for the rulers: the Tsars, Sultans, Rajahs, Shahs,
and other heads of states.  But the longer humanity lived the
weaker grew the belief in this peculiar, God--given right of the
ruler.  That belief withered in the same way and almost
simultaneously in the Christian and the Brahman world, as well as
in Buddhist and Confucian spheres, and in recent times it has so
faded away as to prevail no longer against man's reasonable
understanding and the true religious feeling.  People saw more
and more clearly, and now the majority see quite clearly, the
senselessness and immorality of subordinating their wills to
those of other people just like themselves, when they are bidden
to do what is contrary not only to their interests but also to
their moral sense.  And so one might suppose that having lost
confidence in any religious authority for a belief in the
divinity of potentates of various kinds, people would try to free
themselves from subjection to it.  But unfortunately not only
were the rulers, who were considered supernatural beings,
benefited by having the peoples in subjection, but as a result of
the belief in, and during the rule of, these pseudodivine beings,
ever larger and larger circles of people grouped and established
themselves around them, and under an appearance of governing took
advantage of the people.  And when the old deception of a
supernatural and God-appointed authority had dwindled away these
men were only concerned to devise a new one which like its
predecessor should make it possible to hold the people in bondage
to a limited number of rulers.


__Children, do you want to know by what your hearts should be
guided? Throw aside your longings and strivings after that which
is null and void; get rid of your erroneous thoughts about
happiness and wisdom, and your empty and insincere desires.
Dispense with these and you will know Love.__  KRISHNA.

__Be not the destroyers of yourselves.  Arise to your true Being,
and then you will have nothing to fear.__  KRISHNA.

New justifications have now appeared in place of the antiquated,
obsolete, religious ones.  These new justifications are just as
inadequate as the old ones, but as they are new their futility
cannot immediately be recognized by the majority of men.  Besides
this, those who enjoy power propagate these new sophistries and
support them so skilfully that they seem irrefutable even to many
of those who suffer from the oppression these theories seek to
justify.  These new justifications are termed 'scientific'.  But
by the term 'scientific' is understood just what was formerly
understood by the term 'religious': just as formerly everything
called 'religious' was held to be unquestionable simply because
it was called religious, so now all that is called 'scientific'
is held to be unquestionable.  In the present case the obsolete
religious justification of violence which consisted in the
recognition of the supernatural personality of the God-ordained
ruler ('there is no power but of God') has been superseded by the
'scientific' justification which puts forward, first, the
assertion that because the coercion of man by man has existed in
all ages, it follows that such coercion must continue to exist.
This assertion that people should continue to live as they have
done throughout past ages rather than as their reason and
conscience indicate, is what 'science' calls 'the historic law'.
A further 'scientific' justification lies in the statement that
as among plants and wild beasts there is a constant struggle for
existence which always results in the survival of the fittest, a
similar struggle should be carried on among human beings--beings,
that is, who are gifted with intelligence and love; faculties
lacking in the creatures subject to the struggle for existence
and survival of the fittest.  Such is the second 'scientific'

The third, most important, and unfortunately most widespread
justification is, at bottom, the age-old religious one just a
little altered: that in public life the suppression of some for
the protection of the majority cannot be avoided--so that coercion
is unavoidable however desirable reliance on love alone might be
in human intercourse.  The only difference in this justification
by pseudo-science consists in the fact that, to the question why
such and such people and not others have the right to decide
against whom violence may and must be used, pseudo-science now
gives a different reply to that given by religion--which declared
that the right to decide was valid because it was pronounced by
persons possessed of divine power.  'Science' says that these
decisions represent the will of the people, which under a
constitutional form of government is supposed to find expression
in all the decisions and actions of those who are at the helm at
the moment.

Such are the scientific justifications of the principle of
coercion.  They are not merely weak but absolutely invalid, yet
they are so much needed by those who occupy privileged positions
that they believe in them as blindly as they formerly believed in
the immaculate conception, and propagate them just as
confidently.  And the unfortunate majority of men bound to toil
is so dazzled by the pomp with which these 'scientific truths'
are presented, that under this new influence it accepts these
scientific stupidities for holy truth, just as it formerly
accepted the pseudo-religious justifications; and it continues to
submit to the present holders of power who are just as
hard-hearted but rather more numerous than before.


__Who am I? I am that which thou hast searched for since thy baby
eyes gazed wonderingly upon the world, whose horizon hides this
real life from thee.  I am that which in thy heart thou hast
prayed for, demanded as thy birthright, although thou hast not
known what it was.  I am that which has lain in thy soul for
hundreds and thousands of years.  Sometimes I lay in thee
grieving because thou didst not recognize me; sometimes I raised
my head, opened my eyes, and extended my arms calling thee either
tenderly and quietly, or strenuously, demanding that thou shouldst
rebel against the iron chains which bound thee to the earth.__


So matters went on, and still go on, in the Christian world.  But
we might have hope that in the immense Brahman, Buddhist, and
Confucian worlds this new scientific superstition would not
establish itself, and that the Chinese, Japanese, and Hindus,
once their eyes were opened to the religious fraud justifying
violence, would advance directly to a recognition of the law of
love inherent in humanity, and which had been so forcibly
enunciated by the great Eastern teachers.  But what has happened
is that the scientific superstition replacing the religious one
has been accepted and secured a stronger and stronger hold in the

In your periodical you set out as the basic principle which
should guide the actions of your people the maxim that:
'Resistance to aggression is not simply justifiable but
imperative, nonresistance hurts both Altruism and Egotism.'

Love is the only way to rescue humanity from all ills, and in it
you too have the only method of saving your people from
enslavement.  In very ancient times love was proclaimed with
special strength and clearness among your people to be the
religious basis of human life.  Love, and forcible resistance to
evil-doers, involve such a mutual contradiction as to destroy
utterly the whole sense and meaning of the conception of love.
And what follows?  With a light heart and in the twentieth century
you, an adherent of a religious people, deny their law, feeling
convinced of your scientific enlightenment and your right to do
so, and you repeat (do not take this amiss) the amazing stupidity
indoctrinated in you by the advocates of the use of violence--the
enemies of truth, the servants first of theology and then of
science--your European teachers.

You say that the English have enslaved your people and hold them
in subjection because the latter have not resisted resolutely
enough and have not met force by force.

But the case is just the opposite.  If the English have enslaved
the people of India it is just because the latter recognized, and
still recognize, force as the fundamental principle of the social
order.  In accord with that principle they submitted to their
little rajahs, and on their behalf struggled against one another,
fought the Europeans, the English, and are now trying to fight
with them again.

A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two hundred
millions.  Tell this to a man free from superstition and he will
fail to grasp what these words mean.  What does it mean that
thirty thousand men, not athletes but rather weak and ordinary
people, have subdued two hundred million vigorous, clever,
capable, and freedom-loving people?  Do not the figures make it
clear that it is not the English who have enslaved the Indians,
but the Indians who have enslaved themselves?

When the Indians complain that the English have enslaved them it
is as if drunkards complained that the spirit-dealers who have
settled among them have enslaved them.  You tell them that they
might give up drinking, but they reply that they are so
accustomed to it that they cannot abstain, and that they must
have alcohol to keep up their energy.  Is it not the same thing
with the millions of people who submit to thousands' or even to
hundreds, of others--of their own or other nations?

If the people of India are enslaved by violence it is only
because they themselves live and have lived by violence, and do
not recognize the eternal law of love inherent in humanity.

__Pitiful and foolish is the man who seeks what he already has,
and does not know that he has it.  Yes, Pitiful and foolish is he
who does not know the bliss of love which surrounds him and which
I have given him.__  KRISHNA.

As soon as men live entirely in accord with the law of love
natural to their hearts and now revealed to them, which excludes
all resistance by violence, and therefore hold aloof from all
participation in violence--as soon as this happens, not only will
hundreds be unable to enslave millions, but not even millions
will be able to enslave a single individual.  Do not resist the
evil-doer and take no part in doing so, either in the violent
deeds of the administration, in the law courts, the collection of
taxes, or above all in soldiering, and no one in the world will
be able to enslave you.


__O ye who sit in bondage and continually seek and pant for
freedom, seek only for love.  Love is peace in itself and peace
which gives complete satisfaction.  I am the key that opens the
portal to the rarely discovered land where contentment alone is
found.__  KRISHNA.

What is now happening to the people of the East as of the West is
like what happens to every individual when he passes from
childhood to adolescence and from youth to manhood.  He loses
what had hitherto guided his life and lives without direction,
not having found a new standard suitable to his age, and so he
invents all sorts of occupations, cares, distractions, and
stupefactions to divert his attention from the misery and
senselessness of his life.  Such a condition may last a long

When an individual passes from one period of life to another a
time comes when he cannot go on in senseless activity and
excitement as before, but has to understand that although he has
outgrown what before used to direct him, this does not mean that
he must live without any reasonable guidance, but rather that he
must formulate for himself an understanding of life corresponding
to his age, and having elucidated it must be guided by it.  And
in the same way a similar time must come in the growth and
development of humanity.  I believe that such a time has now
arrived--not in the sense that it has come in the year 1908, but
that the inherent contradiction of human life has now reached an
extreme degree of tension: on the one side there is the
consciousness of the beneficence of the law of love, and on the
other the existing order of life which has for centuries
occasioned an empty, anxious, restless, and troubled mode of
life, conflicting as it does with the law of love and built on
the use of violence.  This contradiction must be faced, and the
solution will evidently not be favourable to the outlived law of
violence, but to the truth which has dwelt in the hearts of men
from remote antiquity: the truth that the law of love is in
accord with the nature of man.

But men can only recognize this truth to its full extent when
they have completely freed themselves from all religious and
scientific superstitions and from all the consequent
misrepresentations and sophistical distortions by which its
recognition has been hindered for centuries.

To save a sinking ship it is necessary to throw overboard the
ballast, which though it may once have been needed would now
cause the ship to sink.  And so it is with the scientific
superstition which hides the truth of their welfare from mankind.
In order that men should embrace the truth--not in the vague way
they did in childhood, nor in the one-sided and perverted way
presented to them by their religious and scientific teachers, but
embrace it as their highest law--the complete liberation of this
truth from all and every superstition (both pseudo-religious and
pseudo-scientific) by which it is still obscured is essential:
not a partial, timid attempt, reckoning with traditions
sanctified by age and with the habits of the people--not such as
was effected in the religious sphere by Guru-Nanak, the founder
of the sect of the Sikhs, and in the Christian world by Luther,
and by similar reformers in other religions--but a fundamental
cleansing of religious consciousness from all ancient religious
and modern scientific superstitions.

If only people freed themselves from their beliefs in all kinds
of Ormuzds, Brahmas, Sabbaoths, and their incarnation as Krishnas
and Christs, from beliefs in Paradises and Hells, in
reincarnations and resurrections, from belief in the interference
of the Gods in the external affairs of the universe, and above
all, if they freed themselves from belief in the infallibility of
all the various Vedas, Bibles, Gospels, Tripitakas, Korans, and
the like, and also freed themselves from blind belief in a
variety of scientific teachings about infinitely small atoms and
molecules and in all the infinitely great and infinitely remote
worlds, their movements and origin, as well as from faith in the
infallibility of the scientific law to which humanity is at
present subjected: the historic law, the economic laws, the law
of struggle and survival, and so on--if people only freed
themselves from this terrible accumulation of futile exercises of
our lower capacities of mind and memory called the 'Sciences',
and from the innumerable divisions of all sorts of histories,
anthropologies, homiletics, bacteriologics, jurisprudences,
cosmographies, strategies--their name is legion--and freed
themselves from all this harmful, stupifying ballast--the simple
law of love, natural to man, accessible to all and solving all
questions and perplexities, would of itself become clear and


__Children, look at the flowers at your feet; do not trample upon
them.  Look at the love in your midst and do not repudiate it.__

__There is a higher reason which transcends all human minds.  It
is far and near.  It permeates all the worlds and at the same
time is infinitely higher than they.__

__A man who sees that all things are contained in the higher
spirit cannot treat any being with contempt.__

__For him to whom all spiritual beings are equal to the highest
there can be no room for deception or grief.__

__Those who are ignorant and are devoted to the religious rites
only, are in a deep gloom, but those who are given up to
fruitless meditations are in a still greater darkness.__


Yes, in our time all these things must be cleared away in order
that mankind may escape from self-inflicted calamities that have
reached an extreme intensity.  Whether an Indian seeks liberation
from subjection to the English, or anyone else struggles with an
oppressor either of his own nationality or of another--whether it
be a Negro defending himself against the North Americans; or
Persians, Russians, or Turks against the Persian, Russian, or
Turkish governments, or any man seeking the greatest welfare for
himself and for everybody else--they do not need explanations and
justifications of old religious superstitions such as have been
formulated by your Vivekanandas, Baba Bharatis, and others, or in
the Christian world by a number of similar interpreters and
exponents of things that nobody needs; nor the innumerable
scientific theories about matters not only unnecessary but for
the most part harmful.  (In the spiritual realm nothing is
indifferent: what is not useful is harmful.)  What are wanted for
the Indian as for the Englishman, the Frenchman, the German, and
the Russian, are not Constitutions and Revolutions, nor all sorts
of Conferences and Congresses, nor the many ingenious devices for
submarine navigation and aerial navigation, nor powerful
explosives, nor all sorts of conveniences to add to the enjoyment
of the rich, ruling classes; nor new schools and universities
with innumerable faculties of science, nor an augmentation of
papers and books, nor gramophones and cinematographs, nor those
childish and for the most part corrupt stupidities termed art--but
one thing only is needful: the knowledge of the simple and clear
truth which finds place in every soul that is not stupefied by
religious and scientific superstitions--the truth that for our
life one law is valid--the law of love, which brings the highest
happiness to every individual as well as to all mankind.  Free
your minds from those overgrown, mountainous imbecilities which
hinder your recognition of it, and at once the truth will emerge
from amid the pseudo-religious nonsense that has been smothering
it: the indubitable, eternal truth inherent in man, which is one
and the same in all the great religions of the world.  It will in
due time emerge and make its way to general recognition, and the
nonsense that has obscured it will disappear of itself, and with
it will go the evil from which humanity now suffers.

__Children, look upwards with your beclouded eyes, and a world
full of joy and love will disclose itself to you, a rational
world made by My wisdom, the only real world.  Then you will know
what love has done with you, what love has bestowed upon you,
what love demands from you.__  KRISHNA.


December 14th, 1908.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of A Letter to a Hindu, by Leo Tolstoy


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