During the thirty years from 1921 to 1951, except for the unavoidable trips to prison, I spent my whole time in educational and constructive work, and I also thought a great deal about the principles on which it should be based. I was teaching, studying, reflecting and so on, but I took little or no part in the political movement as such, except in the Flag Satyagraha, Individual Satyagraha and the '1942 Movement', which were matters of inescapable duty. Apart from that, the whole thirty-year period was spent in one place. I kept in touch with events in the outside world, but my own time was given to an effort to discover how far my work could be carried on in the spirit of the Gita, of 'non-action in action'.
I entered on this task with such single-mindedness that it was something peculiarly my own. But I knew that 'single-minded' must not mean 'narrow-minded', that one must keep the whole in view. So while I was working in the Ashram, attending to village service and teaching students, I also kept myself informed about the various movements going on in the world. I studied them from the outside, but I took no part in them. I was in fact in the position of the onlooker who, it is said, sees most of the game. If any leader or thinker visited Bapu at Sevagram he would direct him to me; it was not my habit
to impose my ideas on others, but there were useful exchanges of thought, and in this way, even though I remained in one place, I had good opportunities to get to know what was going on and to reflect on it.
These thirty years of my life were shaped by faith in the power of meditation. I never left the place, I stuck like a calm to Paramdham Asharam and the river Dham. After the painful events in Maharashtra which followed Gandhiji's demise, Sane Guruji was much perturbed and undertook a twenty-one day fast. He sent me a letter. 'Vinoba,' he wrote, 'won't you come to Maharashtra? You are badly needed.' I wrote back: 'I have wheels in my feet, and from time to time I have a urge to travel, but not now. When the time comes, no one in the world will be able to stop me. (It's possible of course that God might stop me, He might take away my power to walk, but that is a different matter.) And until my time comes, no one in the world can make me get up and move.' That reply shows the stubborn and obstinate spirit in which I stuck to my own work.