Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/63

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48
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

was familiar with the Sanskrit language, and had frequently read the poem as a lesson, he was utterly unable to explain its subtle meanings. He determined to study the book for himself. Naturally, he came to the task with a profound veneration for the song which his father had loved, but his veneration was quickly supplemented by surprise and delight, as he pondered it for himself. The fascinating beauty of the song enthralled him. The circumstances in which he read it, far from his own land and among strangers, deepened the effect. It was like the discovery of a precious jewel which had long been his, though unrecognised. "The Gita opened to me," he said, "a new view of life. It touched my spirit as perhaps it can only touch a child of the East; I had found at last, as I believed, the light I needed." This was an epoch in his life.

About the same time, a gentleman from Manchester met him, and, becoming interested in Mr. Gandhi's religious views, attempted to combat what he believed to be false in them, and to bring him over to the Christian faith. This friend was so evidently sincere, that when he said: "For my sake, promise, at least, to read our Bible, and let me get you one." Mr. Gandhi promised. Unfortunately,