Sarladevi Chowdharani: Spirtual ! Lover of Mahatma Gandhi

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Sarla Devi was a niece of Ravindra Nath Tagore. Her husband and late Actor Sunil Dutt were Mohyals of Punjab.


Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has disclosed the love affairs of Mahatma Gandhi with Bengali Sarla Devi married with another freedom fighter editor of Hindustan journal of Lahore.

Sarla Devi has a son named Deepak Choudhary. Mahatma Gandhi proposed to Pt Nehru for the marriage of Deepak with Indira. But Nehru rejected the proposal. Later Deepak Chaudhary married with a daughter of Mahatma Gandhi.

Chaudhary Ram Bhaj Datt, husband of Sarla Devi was a respected personality known in Arya Samaj, Congress, and Journalists. He was related to famous Mohyal Tree of Punjab and Haryana. Names of Late Sunil Dutt and his wife Nargis are also included in the website of this society in golden words.

Romantic letters

“While her husband, appointed the last viceroy of India , hammered out the terms of India ‘s independence and partition, she experienced a passionate union of souls with Nehru, the great unfulfilled love of her life. Morgan (Agatha Christie) had unique access to the hundreds of letters Edwina and Nehru wrote to each other until her death in 1960.” Written in the book ‘Edwina Mountbatten: A Life of Her Own


After Pt Nehru, now I come to Mahatma Gandhi:

When Chaudhary Ram Bhaj Datt was in Jail then Mahatama Gandhi was in his home as a host of her wife.

Chaudhuri was in jail for his part in the struggle against the British and soon after he arrived, Gandhi – by now dedicated to personal celibacy – wrote in a letter: on October 27, 1919, and addressed to Anasuyaben in Ahemdabad: “Saraladevi’s company is very endearing. She looks after me very well.”

Within months, he was thinking of their relationship in terms of a “spiritual marriage”, according to his grandson – who admits he is unsure what his grandfather meant by this.


At the age of 50, Gandhi, a married father of four, came perilously close to succumbing to a temptation that threatened both his family, and his life’s work, after falling passionately in love with the beautiful Saraladevi Chaudhuri, three years his junior

Rajmohan goes on to write that “for four to five months – between January and May 1920 – Gandhi was clearly dazzled by her personality and seemed to fantasise that providence desired them together to shape India to a new design. He wrote to her that he often dreamt of her and that she was a great shakti.”

During this period, Young India carried a song by Saraladevi on the front page and Navjivan published another poem by her along with Gandhi’s comments that it was perfect.

More letters:

(made available by Prof V. N. Datta, historian and writer) to Sarala dated May 2, 1920, “You will continue to haunt me in my sleep. No wonder that Panditji (Rambhuj Dutt) calls you the greatest shakti. You may cast that spell over him. You are performing the same trick over me.” In another letter dated January 23, 1920, the Mahatma wrote, “Saraladevi has been showering her love on me in every possible way.” The nature of their relationship is further uncovered in a letter dated August 23, 1920: “You are mine in the purest sense. You ask for a reward of your great surrender, well, it is its own reward.”


Neither Mahatma Gandhi nor Sarla Devi wrote about their love affairs in their autobiographies.

Author Rajmohan Gandhi writes in his new book:”He responded to my father Devdas and letters written to him by the other leaders, especially by Rajagopalachari asking him to come out of the affair.”


Mahatma Gandhi had also written so many so called spiritual love letters to Sarla Devi. I found the copy of one of those letters:



February 1, 1940


Take a few minutes tonight after prayer.



From a photostat: G.N. 9085


Rajmohan Gandhi felt that ‘It is not only a great injustice but it is completely incorrect. When Gandhi actually did fall for Saraladevi he was 50 and she was 47. When he visited the Jalianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar to study what had happened and to know about the repression that had taken place, Saraladevi was also in Punjab to get the public to fight the repression.


“She was the hostess where he stayed. Her husband was in prison at the time. During those few months in the early 1920’s, Gandhi fell for Saraladevi in a big way.


However, he broke the relationship. There was an aesthetic element in that relationship and might even have been a mild erotic element too. There was an emotional element in the relationship. But Gandhi’s own reflections aided by very strong words from his son (my father), from his secretary Mahadev Desai and from the future father-in law of his son, C Raja Gopalachari, who wrote a strong letter, only made Gandhi realize that he was on the wrong track. He broke the relationship.”


Sarladevi was greatly wounded when he broke that relationship. There was no sex in that relationship but there was a romance in


hat relationship. Gandhi had a fantasy that the two together might do something for India , but afterwards he ended that relationship. In having that relationship he showed humanity and in breaking that relationship he showed his toughness and his Mahatmahood, as written by his grandson in his book.

By Premendra Agrawal

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