Prasanna Natarajan

Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth - by Mohandas K. Gandhi

ISBN: 978-0486245935, READ: 2017-02-03, RATING: 1010

An amazing book about how Gandhi formulated and practised “rules” with the single goal of seeking the ultimate Truth. All the world sees about this man is his big Aura tightly coupled with indian freedom struggle. But this books shows who Gandhi truly was. He was just a man who was keen on self-development, and used the knowledge he had access to, to pursue that goal. His whole life is actually just a series of many experiments he tried on himself. Reading this book makes me emotional, and that’s why I want to read this again and again. I want to experiment with my own life like this.

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My Notes

What I want to achieve,—what I have been striving and pining to achieve these thirty years,—is self-realization, to see God face to face, to attain Moksha.

The experiments I am about to relate are not such. But they are spiritual, or rather moral, for the essence of religion is morality.

But for me, truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God.

The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him.

A Gujarati didactic stanza likewise gripped my mind and heart. Its precept — good for evil — became my guiding principle. It became such a passion with me that I began numerous experiments in it.

For a bowl of water give a goodly meal; For a kindly greeting bow thou down with zeal; For a simple penny pay thou back with gold; If thy life be rescued, life do not withhold. Thus the words and actions of the wise regard; Every little service tenfold they reward. But the truly noble know all men as one, And return with gladness good for evil done.

Daily I would pray for God’s protection and get it. Not that I had any idea of God. It was faith that was at work—faith of which the seed had been sown by the good nurse Rambha.

I appreciate your love for me and I know you to be my well-wisher. I also know that you are telling me again and again about this because you feel for me. But I am helpless. A vow is a vow. It cannot be broken.’

The result of reading all this literature was that dietetic experiments came to take an important place in my life. Health was the principal consideration of these experiments to begin with. But later on religion became the supreme motive.

As I searched myself deeper, the necessity for changes both internal and external began to grow on me.

Many such experiments taught me that the real seat of taste was not the tongue but the mind.

I was taken in by this plea and took eggs in spite of my vow. But the lapse was momentary. I had no business to put a new interpretation on the vow. The interpretation of my mother who administered the vow was there for me. I knew that her definition of meat included eggs. And as soon as I saw the true import of the vow I gave up eggs and the experiment alike.

One golden rule is to accept the interpretation honestly put on the pledge by the party administering

shall think myself blessed only when I see Him in every one of my daily acts; Verily He is the thread, which supports Muktanand’s life.’

‘I shall think myself blessed only when I see Him in every one of my daily acts; Verily He is the thread, which supports Muktanand’s life.’

Once I went the length of sending her away to her father’s house, and consented to receive her back only after I had made her thoroughly miserable. I saw later that all this was pure folly on my part.

Expenses were mounting up every month. To have a barrister’s board outside the house, whilst still preparing for the barrister’s profession inside, was a thing to which I could not reconcile myself.