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37. BRAHM ACHARYA - II :

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi

 Part-2.



After full discussion and mature deliberation I took the vow in 1906. I had not shared my thoughts with my wife until then, but only consulted her at the time of taking the vow. She had no objection. But I had great difficulty in making the final resolve. I had not the necessary strength. How was I to control my passions ? The elimination of carnal relationship with one's wife seemed then a strange thing. But I launched forth with faith in the sustaining power of God. As I look back upon the twenty years of the vow, I am filled with pleasure and wonderment. The more or less successful practice of self-control had been going on since 1901. 



But the freedom and joy that came to me after taking the vow had never been experienced before 1906. Before the vow I had been open to being overcome by temptation at any moment. Now the vow was a sure shield against temptation. The great potentiality of brahmacha…

36. BRAHMACHARYA -- I

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi

 Part-2.

We now reach the stage in this story when I began seriously to think of taking the brahmacharya vow. I had been wedded to a monogamous ideal ever since my marriage, faithfulness to my wife being part of the love of truth. But it was in South Africa that I came to realize the importance of observing brahmacharya even with respect to my wife. I cannot definitely say what circumstance or what book it was, that set my thoughts in that direction, but I have a recollection that the predominant factor was the influence of Raychandbhai, of whom I have already written, I can still recall a conversation that I had with him. On one occasion I spoke to him in high praise of Mrs. Gladstone's devotion to her husband. I had read some where that Mrs. Gladstone insisted on preparing tea for Mr. Gladstone even in the House of Commons, and that this had become a rule in the life of this illustrious couple, whose acti…

35. SPIRIT OF SERVICE

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 AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi

 Part-2.



My profession progressed satisfactorily, but that was far from satisfying me. The Question of further simplifying my life and of doing some concrete act of service to my fellowmen had been constantly agitating me, when a leper came to my door. I had not the heart to dismiss him with a meal. So I offered him shelter, dressed his wounds, and began to look after him. But I could not go on like that indefinately. I could not afford, I lacked the will to keep him always with me. So I sent him to the Government Hospital for indentured labourers.


I was still ill at ease. I longed for some humanitarian work of a permanent nature. Dr. Booth was the head of the St. Aidan's Mission. He was a kind-hearted man and treated his patients free. Thanks to a Parsi Rustomji's charities, it was possible to open a small charitable hospital under Dr. Booth's charge. I felt strongly inclined to serve as a nurse in…

34. EDUCATION OF CHILDREN :

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi


 Part-2.


When I landed at Durban in January 1897, I had three children with me, my sister's son ten years old, and my own sons nine and five years of age. Where was I to educate them ?

I could have sent them to the schools for European children, but only as a matter of favour and exception. No other Indian children were allowed to attend them. For these there were schools established by Christian missions, but I was not prepared to send my children there, as I did not like the education imparted in those schools. For one thing, the medium of instruction would be only English, or perhaps incorrect Tamil or Hindi; this too could only have been arranged with difficulty. I could not possibly put up with this and other disadvantages. In the meantime I was making my own attempt to teach them. But that was at best irregular, and I could not get hold of a suitable Gujarati teacher.

I was at my wits' end. I advert…

33. THE CALM AFTER THE STORM :

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi


Part-2.



I had not yet left the police station, when, after two days, I was taken to see Mr.Escombe. Two constables were sent to protect me, though no such precaution was then needed.


On the day of landing, as soon as the yellow flag was lowered, a representative of The Natal Advertiser had come to interview me. He had asked me a number of questions, and in reply I had been able to refute everyone of the charges that had been levelled against me. Thanks to Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, I had delivered only written speeches in India, and I had copies of them all, as well as of my other writings. I had given the interviewer all this literature and showed him that in India I had said nothing which I had not already said in South Africa in stronger language. I had also shown him that I had had no hand in bringing the passengers of the Courland and Naderi to South Africa. 


Many of them were old residents, and most of them, fa…

32. THE TEST :

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi


Part-2.



So the ships were brought into the dock and the passengers began to go ashore. But Mr. Escombe had sent word to the captain that, as the whites were highly enraged against me and my life was in danger, my family and I should be advised to land at dusk, when the Port Superintendent Mr. Tatum would escort us home. The captain communicated the message to me. and I agreed to act accordingly. But scarcely half an hour after this, Mr. Laughton came to the captain. He said: 'I would like to take Mr. Gandhi with me, should he have no objection. As the legal adviser of the Agent Company I tell you that you are not bound to carry out the message you have received from Mr. Escombe.' After this he came to me and said somewhat to this effect: 'If you are not afraid, I suggest that Mrs. Gandhi and the children should drive to Mr. Rustomji's house, whilst you and I follow them on foot. I do not at all …

31. THE STORM :

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We have seen that the two ships cast anchor in the port of Durban on or about the 18th of December. No passengers are allowed to land at any of the South African ports before being subjected to a thorough medical examination. If the ship has any passenger suffering from a contagious disease, she has to undergo a period of quarantine. As there had been plague in Bombay when we met sail, we feared that we might have to go through a brief quarantine. Before the examination every ship has to fly a yellow flag, which is lowered only when the doctor has certified her to be healthy. Relatives and friends of passengers are allowed to come on board only after the yellow flag has been lowered.



Accordingly our ship was flying the yellow flag,when the doctor came and examined us. He ordered a five days quarantine because, in his opinion, plague germs took twenty-three days at the most to develop. Our ship was therefore ordered to be put in quarantine until the twenty-third day of our sailing from …