Chapter 1/Synopsis: – “An Autobiography: The Story Of My Experiments With Truth” By Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi)
For a long time now, I have been wanting to read Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography titled – My Experiments With Truth. But never could I find an unedited version. The unedited version of the Mahatma’s book contains some of his life experiences that were considered irreligious and immoral; I was curious to know what were those experiments that he said brought him closer to truth.
The version of the book I have in my hand now is also an edited version, though I don’t know to what extent yet – as I haven’t yet begun the book. But from the few pages I have scanned, Mahatma Gandhi’s life is worth a glimpse – his thoughts, his upbringing, his conditioning, his perspectives, what made him, what broke him – in the end, it is what made him a leader; it is what brought about a revolution. Edited or unedited – this is my pick of what I like as I read through the chapters.
CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION
- Scarcely had I started on my autobiography, a series of events culminated in my imprisonment at Yeravada.
- Swami Anand of Navajivan Publications insisted that I should write for his magazine, something every week. Then why not my autobiography – I asked?
- A god-fearing friend had his doubts: What has set you on this adventure? Writing an autobiography is a peculiar practice of the West.
- …Suppose you reject tomorrow the things you hold as principles today? Suppose you revise your plans of today in future?
- …Is it not likely that men who will conduct themselves according to your written and spoken word will be misled?
- This argument had some effect on me. I did not want to attempt a real autobiography; simply the story of my numerous experiments with truth.
- Even if my philosophies of today changed in the tomorrow, my experiments with truth would remain the same.
- My experiments in the political field are much known; but they hold not much importance to me; they have won me the title of Mahatma, hence even less; the title has deeply pained me.
- I would like to narrate my experiments in the spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived power to work in the political field.
- What I want to achieve; what I have been pining and striving for 30 years – is to see God face-to-face. I live and move in pursuit of this goal.
- My experiments have not been conducted in the closet, but in the open, and I do not think this detracts from their spiritual value.
- There are some things that are known only to oneself & one’s Maker. These are clearly incommunicable. The experiments I am about to relate are not such.
- There can be no finality or infallibility about conclusions; one must keep an open mind about them; but so long as my acts satisfy my reason and my heart, I firmly adhere to my conclusions.
- Truth is not merely truthfulness of word or thought; but acting upon the truth of our own beliefs and conceptions.
- I am prepared to sacrifice my life in pursuit of this quest; even my Himlayan blunders seem trivial because I have kept strictly to this path.
- The seeker of truth should be humbler than dust; so humble that even dust can crush him.
M.K. Gandhi, 26th November 192-, Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad
END OF CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2 – BIRTH & PARENTAGE