RAM NAM, By Mahatma Gandhi
You must learn to take the Name of Ram with full devotion and faith.
When you study the Ramayan, you will learn from Tulsidas the divine power of that blessed Name.
You might ask me why I tell you to use the word and not one of the many other Names of the Creator. True His Names are as many as and more than the leaves on a tree, and I might, for instance, ask you to use the word God. But what meaning, what associations would it have for you here? In order to enable you to feel anything when repeating the word God, I should have to teach you some English. I should have to explain to you the foreign peoples' thoughts and associations.
But in telling you to repeat the Name of Ram, I am giving you a name worshipped since countless generations by the people of this land – a Name familiar to the very animals and birds, the very trees and stones of Hindustan through many thousand years.
You know the story of Ahalya? No, I see you don't. But you will soon learn it when you study the Ramayan – learn how a stone by the road-side sprung to life at the touch of Ram's foot as he passed by. You must learn to repeat the blessed Name of Ram with such sweetness and such devotion that the birds will pause in their singing to listen to you – that the very trees will bend their leaves towards you, stirred by the divine melody of that Name.
And when you are able to do this, I tell you I will come all the way on foot from Bombay, as on a pilgrimage, to hear you. In His sweet Name lies a power which can cure all our ills.