Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/50

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a moral, as well as a spiritual wreck. You cannot loosen the restraining influences of religion, whatever it be, without imperilling the whole being.

Mrs. Besant saw this, when, religion having become mere superstition to her, and she was bending her efforts to dislodge the hated fetish from the throne of other lives, she wrote: "It, therefore, becomes the duty of everyone to beware how he uproots sanctions of morality which he is too weak to replace, or how, before he is prepared with better ones, he removes the barriers which do yet, however poorly, to some extent check vice and repress crime."

The one habit which stood the strain in this time of "storm and stress" was truthfulness. It was then, it is now, a part of himself. He could not lie. Other anchors were lost; this held. The little company of Atheistic students, who associated together in the High School at Rajkot, and to whom Mohandas was attached, broke secretly through one Hindu custom after another, growing more and more daring. They gave up worship. They smiled at the gods. They at length began surreptitiously to eat meat. Their leader persuaded them that the strength and physique of the English were due to this indulgence. A Mohammedan friend, who, at