An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth

Front Cover
"My purpose," Mahatma Gandhi writes of this book, "is to describe experiments in the science of Satyagraha, not to say how good I am." Satyagraha, Gandhi's nonviolent protest movement (satya = true, agraha = firmness), came to stand, like its creator, as a moral principle and a rallying cry; the principle was truth and the cry freedom. The life of Gandhi has given fire and fiber to freedom fighters and to the untouchables of the world: hagiographers and patriots have capitalized on Mahatma myths. Yet Gandhi writes: "Often the title [Mahatma, Great Soul] has deeply pained me. . . . But I should certainly like to narrate my experiments in the spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived such power as I possess for working in the political field." Clearly, Gandhi never renounced the world; he was neither pacifist nor cult guru. Who was Gandhi? In the midst of resurging interest in the man who freed India, inspired the American Civil Rights Movement, and is revered, respected, and misunderstood all over the world, the time is proper to listen to Gandhi himself -- in his own words, his own "confessions," his autobiography. Gandhi made scrupulous truth-telling a religion and his Autobiography inevitably reminds one of other saints who have suffered and burned for their lapses. His simply narrated account of boyhood in Gujarat, marriage at age 13, legal studies in England, and growing desire for purity and reform has the force of a man extreme in all things. He details his gradual conversion to vegetarianism and ahimsa (non-violence) and the state of celibacy (brahmacharya, self-restraint) that became one of his more arduous spiritual trials. In the political realm he outlines the beginning of Satyagraha in South Africa and India, with accounts of the first Indian fasts and protests, his initial errors and misgivings, his jailings, and continued cordial dealings with the British overlords. Gandhi was a fascinating, complex man, a brilliant leader and guide, a seeker of truth who died for his beliefs but had no use for martyrdom or sainthood. His story, the path to his vision of Satyagraha and human dignity, is a critical work of the twentieth century, and timeless in its courage and inspiration.
 

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Autiobiography of Mahathi
Gandhi

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I read the book time and again and every time I could go nearer to Truth of Life. The book needs to be a part of school curriculum as a Short Stories book where every experiment with truth be made to be understood by the tiny tots so as to groom them into Real Ideal Personality.

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Contents

CHILD MARRIAGE
8
AT THE HIGH SCHOOL
14
vi
19
A TRAGEDY Contd
22
VIII
25
MY FATHERS DEATH AND MY DOUBLE
28
X
31
PREPARATION FOR ENGLAND
35
THE MAGIC SPELL OF A BOOK
297
THE PHENIX SETTLEMENT
300
THE FIRST NIGHT
302
POLAK TAKES THE PLUNGE
304
WHOM GOD PROTECTS
306
A PEEP INTO THE HOUSEHOLD
310
THE ZULU REBELLION
313
HEART SEARCHINGS
315

XII
39
IN LONDON AT LAST
42
XIV
45
PLAYING THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
48
XVI
52
EXPERIMENTS IN DIETETICS
55
XVIII
59
THE CANKER OF UNTRUTH
63
XX
67
निर्बलके बल राम
70
XXII
72
THE GREAT EXHIBITION
76
XXIV
78
XXV
81
RAYCHANDBHAI
87
THE FIRST CASE
93
PREPARING FOR SOUTH AFRICA
100
ON THE WAY TO PRETORIA
109
MORE HARDSHIPS
113
X
118
CHRISTIAN CONTACTS
122
XII
125
WHAT IT IS TO BE ACOOLIE
128
XIV
131
RELIGIOUS FERMENT
135
XVI
138
SETTLED IN NATAL
141
XVIII
145
NATAL INDIAN CONGRESS
148
BALASUNDARAM
153
XXI
155
COMPARATIVE STUDY OF RELIGIONS
158
XXIII
162
HOMEWARD
165
IN INDIA
166
XXV
168
TWO PASSIONS
172
THE BOMBAY MEETING
175
POONA AND MADRAS
178
RETURN SOON 109 113 118 122 125 128 131 135 138 141 145 148 153 155
180
PART III
183
1
185
II
188
III
191
V
196
EDUCATION OF CHILDREN
199
SPIRIT OF SERVICE
200
BRAHMACHARYAI
204
BRAHMACHARYA II
208
SIMPLE LIFE
212
THE BOER
214
SANITARY REFORM AND FAMINE RELIEF
217
RETURN TO INDIA
219
IN INDIA AGAIN
222
CLERK AND BEARER
225
IN THE CONGRESS
227
LORD CURZONS DARBAR
229
A MONTH WITH GOKHALEI
231
A MONTH WITH GOKHALE II
233
A MONTH WITH GOKHALEIII
236
IN BENARES
239
SETTLED IN BOMBAY ?
243
FAITH ON ITS TRIAL
246
TO SOUTH AFRICA AGAIN
249
PART IV
253
LOVES LABOURS LOST
255
AUTOCRATS FROM ASIA
257
POCKETED THE INSULT
259
QUICKENED SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE
262
RESULT OF INTROSPECTION
264
VI
267
VII
269
VIII
271
IX
274
X
276
XI
279
XII
282
XIII
285
XIV
287
XV
290
THE BLACK PLAGUE I
292
LOCATION IN FLAMES
295
THE BIRTH OF SATYAGRAHA
318
MORE EXPERIMENTS IN DIETETICS
320
KASTURBAIS COURAGE
322
DOMESTIC SATYAGRAHA
325
XXX
328
XLVII
330
AS SCHOOLMASTER
333
LITERARY TRAINING
334
XXXIII
335
TRAINING OF THE SPIRIT
338
TARES AMONG THE WHEAT
340
FASTING AS PENANCE
342
TO MEET GOKHALE
344
MY PART IN THE
346
A SPIRITUAL DILEMMA
348
MINIATURE SATYAGRAHA
351
GOKHALES CHARITY
355
TREATMENT OF PLEURISY
357
HOMEWARD
359
SOME REMINISCENCES OF THE
361
SHARP PRACTICE
363
CLIENTS TURNED COWORKERS
365
HOW A CLIENT WAS SAVED
367
PART V
371
THE FIRST EXPERIENCE
373
WITH GOKHALE IN POONA
375
WAS IT A THREAT
377
SHANTINIKETAN
380
WOES OF THIRD CLASS PASSENGERS
383
WOOING
385
KUMBHA MELA
387
LAKSHMAN JHULA
391
FOUNDING OF THE ASHRAM
395
ON THE ANVIL
397
ABOLITION OF INDENTURED EMIGRATION
400
THE STAIN OF INDIGO
404
THE GENTLE BIHARI
406
FACE TO FACE WITH AHIMSA
409
CASE WITHDRAWN
413
METHODS OF WORK
416
COMPANIONS
417
PENETRATING THE VILLAGES
422
WHEN A GOVERNOR IS GOOD
424
IN TOUCH WITH LABOUR
426
A PEEP INTO THE ASHRAM
428
THE FAST
430
THE KHEDA SATYAGRAHA
434
THE ONION THIEF
436
END OF KHEDA SATYAGRAHA
439
PASSION FOR UNITY
441
RECRUITING CAMPAIGN
444
NEAR DEATHS DOOR
450
THE ROWLATT BILLS AND MY DILEMMA
454
THAT WONDERFUL SPECTACLE
457
THAT MEMORABLE WEEKI
460
A HIMALAYAN MISCALCULATION
469
NAVAJIVAN AND YOUNG INDIA IN THE PUNJAB
471
THE KHILAFAT AGAINST COW PROTECTION
478
THE AMRITSAR CONGRESS
482
CONGRESS INITIATION
486
THE BIRTH OF KHADI
489
FOUND AT LAST
491
AN INSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE
494
ITS RISING TIDE
497
AT NAGPUR
500
FAREWELL
503
373
506
380
507
208
508
444
509
217
513
227
514
397
515
VII
516
406
517
416
518
426
519
491
520
500
522
506
526
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About the author (1993)

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) was a lawyer and the prominent figure behind India's push for independence from British rule. He followed the philosophies of pacifism, believing in the importance of the nonviolent approach to protesting. He documented his influential life in An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

Born and raised in Western India to a Hindu family, Gandhi received barrister training in London. He first experienced institutional racial discrimination in South Africa, which spurred him to his first actions in leading group-based nonviolent civil disobedience. He later returned to India and led protests against British colonialism, excessive taxation, and racial discrimination.

Known as 'the Father of the Nation," Gandhi was instrumental in the fight for religious pluralism and Indian independence. He was assassinated in 1948.

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