Spirituality At Home > Parenting > "Practise not precept", Lead by example! > ...


IV 4. How did Gandhiji's mother impart the value of truth to her son?

Gandhi and his mother Putlibai: If Gandhi, who was an ordinary person, was able to achieve greatness and world renown, it was because of the lessons in good behaviour which he learnt from his mother. The mother used to observe a vow: she would take her food only after the cuckoo sang in the morning. Once when Gandhi was a boy, the mother was waiting for a long time to hear the call of the cuckoo. Observing this, Gandhi went out of the house, imitated the call of the cuckoo and came in and told his mother that the cuckoo had sung and that she could take her food. The mother, who saw through her son's trickery, slapped him on the cheek and said, "You wicked fellow; what sin must I have committed to bear a son like you?" She felt sad that such a child should have been born to her. Her grief touched the heart of Gandhi. From that moment Gandhi took a firm resolve never to utter a lie again.
Sathya Sai Baba, 6 May 1992