The Gandhi World Peace Memorial may be seen between the pillars of the outdoor temple
PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA, Autobiography of a Yogi — “Epics shall someday be written on the Indian satyagrahis who withstood hate with love, violence with nonviolence, who allowed themselves to be mercilessly slaughtered rather than retaliate. The result on certain historic occasions was that the armed opponents threw down their guns and fled, shamed, shaken to their depths by the sight of men who valued the life of another above their own. ….
“Observing Mr. Wright’s travel diary, Mr. Desai opened a page and wrote on it a list of Satyagraha vows taken by all the Mahatma’s strict followers (satyagrahis):
“Nonviolence; Truth; Non-Stealing; Celibacy; Non-Possession; Body- Labor; Control of the Palate; Fearlessness; Equal Respect for all Religions; Swadeshi (use of home manufactures); Freedom from Untouchability. These eleven should be observed as vows in a spirit of humility.”
“(Gandhi himself signed this page on the following day, giving the date also-August 27, 1935.)…”
CHAPTER 44 “With Mahatma Gandhi at Wardha”
Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial
Dr. V. M. Nawle, a publisher and journalist from Poona, India, an old friend of Paramahansa Yogananda who knew of the spiritual regard between Gandhi and Sri Yogananda, obtained a portion of the Mahatma’s ashes just before they were to be spread upon the Ganges, and sent them to the Guru.
Paramahansaji conducted the dedication of the Gandhi World Peace Memorial at the SRF Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, California, on August 20, 1950, enshrining the ashes in a centuries-old Chinese sarcophagus near the shores of the lake. On October 24, 1951, Dr. Nawle wrote Paramahansaji:
“Regarding Gandhi ashes, I may say that [they] are scattered and thrown in almost all the important rivers and seas, and nothing is given outside India except the remains which I have sent to you after a great ordeal….You make India and the whole world shy, as you are the first in erecting a Gandhi Memorial. You are the only one in the whole world who received Gandhi ashes outside India.”
Today the Gandhi World Peace Memorial at the Lake Shrine attracts thousands of visitors a year, silently reminding all of the eternal message of ahimsa, forgiveness, and universal love for which this great soul lived and died. ❑
Self-Realization magazine, Spring 1998