Sarojini Naidu, the first governor of Uttar Pradesh and president of the Indian National Congress, is known to have memorably said, “It costs a lot of money to keep the Mahatma in poverty!”
While this may seem contradictory, it clearly purveys the ideal of renunciation.
The Mahatma’s power of renunciation.
It is not a new one, having been practiced by several people over the ages with varying results. However, the one person to have perfected it was our own, beloved, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
He was and still remains to be one of the most inspiring individuals, our country has ever produced. He had his own system in place to obtain power, because without adequate strength, one cannot oppose a cunning enemy. His power play was renunciation.
A few examples are- The Mahatma took fasts unto death. This got the people
behind him. He lived in frugal quarters, and this stirred the sympathy and adoration of the common people.
He knew perfectly well what he was doing. It ended up being an absolutely winning political strategy. In fact it was one of the best. He had so much power and influence over people, but he used and wielded it excellently.
So, what I have learned from him, his life and values is that when one gets power, use it wisely, justly and for the good of our people.