Gandhi? Yes. Mahatma? No! His God was charka not Kṛṣṇa.

Yes; there was a Gandhi, but he was no mahatma. Srila Prabhupada explains—

Guest: What about the argument, not [indistinct], but India we see that every great saint personality has surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, even Mahatma Gandhi?

Prabhupāda: No, no, no, no.

Guest: He was also taking his…

Prabhupāda: No, no. Don’t say like that. Surrender of Kṛṣṇa is different. Then you have to understand what is surrender. Mahatma never surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. He surrendered to yourself; therefore you killed him. [Indian laughs] He surrendered to his countrymen, and his countrymen killed him. He was working for his countrymen. That’s all. He never worked for Kṛṣṇa.

Guest: But the Gītā was always with him.

Prabhupāda: But, but, no “but.” You see from the action.

Guest: I also read Gītā. What’s the difference? I mean, Mahatma Gandhi…

Prabhupāda: He never surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. I wrote him letter, “Mahatma Gandhi, you have got so much influence. You just preach the gospel of Kṛṣṇa…, Bhagavad-gītā. Now we have attained svarāj. You don’t be in politics.” But he was still in politics after attainment of svarāj. And his assistants became disgusted because he was interfering, and therefore he was killed.

And that is open secret. If he would have surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, “All right. Now I have worked for svarāj. My people have got svarāj. Now let me work for Kṛṣṇa…” He never did that. You cannot say that he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. He should have taken immediately sannyāsa and preached Bhagavad-gītā if he was actually surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. What did he do for Kṛṣṇa? We have to know from practical point of view.

I’ll tell you another story about Mahatma Gandhi. My Guru Mahārāja invited him in our maha, Mahatma Gandhi. So Mahatma Gandhi inquired… The, my Godbrothers went to invite him. “What you are doing in your maha?” They replied that “We are worshiping Lord Kṛṣṇa.” So he inquired, “Are you pulling on charka?” They said, “No, sir.” He said, “Charka is my God. If there is no charka, I am not going there.” He said like that.

Devotee: What is charka?

Prabhupāda: Yes, spinning. Because he was spinning daily. Just like you are chanting sixteen rounds, he was spinning sixteen rounds. [laughter] And he said frankly, “Are you spinning charka?” They said, “No, sir.” “Oh, then I am not going there. My God is charka.” That is practical. We have got experience. And actually he was refusing. Just like we are insisting, “You must chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra sixteen rounds,” he was… There were so many charkas daily selling. People took it very seriously. We also took charka and that, what is called?

Devotee: Handloom.

Prabhupāda: Handloom. And there was very good business. So many charkas and that handloom was sold in the shops, because everyone was purchasing and purchasing. And they were stacked and thrown away some time after. So… Because Mahatma Gandhi asked, everyone did. You see? So he also asked our maha people that “Are you spinning a charka?”

They said, “No, sir.” “Then I am not going.” He refused the invitation. Does it mean he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa? He surrendered to charka. That’s all. [laughter] And if you say, “Charka[?] is also Kṛṣṇa,” oh, there will be no more argument. [laughter]