Bengaluru: Mahatma Gandhiji stood for noble values like truth, ahimsa, non-violence, love and altruism. 

He was an epitome of these qualities, becoming an exemplar for everyone even to this day. 

But who are the ones who influenced the Mahatma himself? 

In his childhood, the Mahatma came across two characters who left a lasting impression on his life. 

One was King Satya Harishchandra and the other was Shravana Kumar, who served his parents with devotion. 

Satya Harishchandra was a great devotee of truthfulness and hated to swerve from its path. 

Due to the king’s love for truth, he suffered and sacrificed much in his life. He had to even sell his kingdom. 

Shravana Kumar, on the other hand, carried his blind and debilitated parents on baskets hung to a yoke. The service he rendered to his parents was incomparable and phenomenal. 

There are interesting anecdotes from the Mahatma’s life where he exhibited exemplary adherence to truthfulness, based on Harishchandra’s life. 

Also Read: Qualities we need to imbibe from the life of Mahatma

Once, a subject inspector paid a visit to Gandhiji’s school. He dictated a few English words to the students and asked them to write their spellings. But Gandhiji didn’t know the spellings. So his teacher asked him to copy the spellings, but Gandhiji would not do it. After the inspector had left, he received rebuke from the teacher, but deep inside, he knew he would not stray from the path of truth!  
In another incident, the Mahatma had stolen a piece of gold that belonged to his brother in order to pay off his debts (Mahatma had taken to smoking then). But later, he realised the crime he had done and wrote a letter to his father, confiding in him about his mistake. While his father read it out, tears rolled down the cheeks of the Mahatma and he swore that he would abide by truth, come what may! 
As regards his service to others, it is needless to say the Mahatma spent his entire life for the amelioration of problems faced by the masses and their uplift.