A Christmas message from Mahatma Gandhi

Published on: December 25, 2016


On December 25, 1931, as he was returning by ship to India after the Second Round Table Conference in London, Gandhiji was asked by Christian passengers to give them a talk. Following are some excerpts from his message:
 
… though we sang, “All glory to God on High and on the earth be peace,” there seems to be today neither glory to God nor peace on earth. As long as it remains a hunger still unsatisfied, as long as Christ is not yet born, we have to look forward to Him. When real peace is established, we will not need demonstrations, but it will be echoed in our life, not only in individual life, but in corporate life. Then we shall say Christ is born. That to me is the real meaning of the verse we have sung. Then we will not think of a particular day in the year as that of the birth of the Christ, but as an ever-recurring event which can be enacted in every life… It consists in the living of life, never ceasing, ever progressing towards peace.

As long as it remains a hunger still unsatisfied, as long as Christ is not yet born, we have to look forward to Him. When real peace is established, we will not need demonstrations, but it will be echoed in our life, not only in individual life, but in corporate life. Then we shall say Christ is born.

When, therefore, one wishes “A Happy Christmas” without the meaning behind it, it becomes nothing more than an empty formula. And unless one wishes for peace for all life, one cannot wish for peace for oneself. It is a self-evident axiom, like the axioms of Euclid, that one cannot have peace unless there is in one an intense longing for peace all around. You may certainly experience peace in the midst of strife, but that happens only when to remove strife you destroy your whole life, you crucify yourself. And so, as the miraculous birth is an eternal event, so is the Cross an eternal event in this stormy life. Therefore, we dare not think of birth without death on the cross. Living Christ means a living Cross, without it life is a living death.
 
Published in Harijan, on 31-12-1931
Courtesy: http://www.mkgandhi.org/whatjesusmeanstome/07jesusilove.htm