Gandhiji's Sabarmathi Ashram



Once he had worn his clothes, and sandals, and spectacles, and after he'd gathered his stick, that was his packing and it was done. The march to Dandi was his final departure from the Sabarmati Ashram. Nothing was left to leave behind, and his other possession, the love of the millions of Indians, was not his possession anyway. So, even if it is allowed to take pictures in the Sabarmati Ashram, you have only the bare rooms of Ba and Miraben and Gandhiji, replicas of his few personal effects, a charka, and cushions, and two short tables. And those three virtuous miniature monkeys. They're on a desk there. The young lady in charge of the ashram said the monkeys were really Gandhiji's.

In the attached museum you can take pictures of pictures, and pictures of letters, and of texts of declamations. Gandhiji's letter to Hitler is bold and touching and you are sure to linger before it, and wonder.

The empty house of Gandhiji calls you to sit in its verandah. A woman sweeps fallen leaves off the ground and raises dust, and you forgive the dust, you forgive everything. People arrive in a constant trickle, and on their faces, as they leave, there is the suggestion of a yearning for a second coming of the great man. Across the yard, down below and not too far, the Sabarmati is wide and full. There is steady traffic on the bridges across the river. You don't mind that traffic; you don't mind anything. You hear only silence, and you feel overwhelming peace. With peace comes calm, and with calm the urge to rethink your purpose. New convictions come surging, and the Sabarmathi Ashram is evidence of how far you can go with your convictions.

It is a monument where there is so little to see, so much to experience.