CWG Vol. 1

Collected works of Gandhiji.
Publications Division. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Govt. of India. (1958), Third ed. Reprint. 1994.

To separate other brackets which are already in the book () and [] I used {} for my need.

Vol. One. From 1884-1886.

This first volume begins with the Homage by the last President of India Sri Rajendraprasad. ( Jan 16, 1958.). It gives a good introduction for us to understand both Gandhiji and his writings:

…He had, however, firm faith in truth and ahimsa, and the practical application of these to problems which confronted him may be said to constitute his teachings and philosophy.
…Evidently, by his very nature he could never be dogmatic. He could never shut himself out from new light born of experience resulting from new experiments. For the same reason, again, he was no stickler for superficial consistency. In fact, his opponents, and sometimes even his followers, saw apparent contradiction in some of Gandhiji’s actions. He was so open to conviction and had such an extraordinary amount of moral courage that once he was convinced that any particular action of which he was the author was defective, he never hesitated to correct himself and declare publicly that he was in the wrong. We often find him subjecting his own decisions and actions to an objective and impartial criticism. Little wonder, therefore, that many of his actions sometimes appeared to mystify his admires and to confound his critics.
…he never allowed exigencies to shape his views. In other words, he never allowed himself to use wrong means to attain the right ends. His punctiliousness in the choice (p.vi) of means was so great, that even the achievement of the end was subordinated to the nature of the means used, because he believed that the right end could not be achieved by wrong means and what could be achieved by the use of wrong means would be only a distortion of the right end..
…While it is agreed that the liberating role of any social order must be judged by the degree of actual freedom it allows to its members, there is not adequate appreciation of the fact that a centralized organization, industrial, social or political, implies a corresponding curtailment of freedom of the individual…..
…His economics is often confounded with austerity, if not scarcity. His discipline is confused with rigid morality, destitute of colour and beauty….—pp. v-vii.

CHRONOLOGY

The following some important points found at the end of Volume One give the chronology of Gandhiji’ life of this period (1884-86). I have selected only the information which I found important for me to know:

December 1889: Appeared for London Matriculation but failed. During the year Theosophist influence led him to read much Theosophical and other religious literature including Edwin Arnold’s The Song Celestial, and The Light of Asia, Bhagavad Gita in original and the Bible. Attended church service, and listened to famous preachers like Dr. Joseph Parker.—p. 344

July 5-9. 1891: Reached Bombay and learned with great grief of the passing away of his mother.—p. 345

July 20, 1891: Taken back into caste, though still ostracized by a section.—p. 345
May-June, 1893: Seven or eight days later proceeded to Pretoria on client’s work. During journey by train and coach had bitter experience of colour prejudice.
Resolved to fight to “root out the disease” of colour prejudice and “suffer hardships in the process”. Baker, attorney and preacher, warned him of prevalence of colour prejudice and secured him lodgings in a poor woman’s inn.
Attended Baker’s prayer meetings and was introduced to Christians like Mr. Coates, A Quaker, and Misses Harris and Gabb, who became friends.—p. 346

May-June, 1893: …refused despite pressure to sue white assailant on ground that he would never go to court for personal grievances.—p. 346

August 22, September 2, 1893: Conducted experiments in vital food. Constant contact with Mr. Coates and other Christian friends during this time prompted him to study books on Christianity and hold discussions with them, but he found difficulty in accepting their interpretation of the Bible and Christianity.—p. 346

April, 1894: At this time took to serious religious study. Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God Is within You overwhelmed him. Corresponded with Christian friends in England. Also wrote to religious thinkers in India, like Raychandbhai whose replies to his questions on Hinduism reassured him.—p. 347

September 3, 1894:…In Court (p.347) asked to remove turban, obeyed to conform to Court practice and to reserve his strength for “fighting bigger battles”.—pp. 347-48:

…Just as it is a mark of respect amongst the Europeans to take off their hats, in like manner it is in Indians to retain one’s head-dress. To appear uncovered before a gentleman is not to respect him. In England, on attending drawing-room meetings and evening parties, Indians always keep the head-dress, and the English ladies and gentlemen generally seem to appreciate the regard which we show thereby. In High Courts in India those Indian advocates who have not discarded their native head-dress invariably keep it on.— LETTER TO “THE NATAL ADVERTISER”. Durban, May 26, 1893. p. 58

{This Gandhiji wrote to that paper to the heading, “An Unwelcome Visitor” for Gandhiji’s entry to the court and didn’t remove his head-dress {turban} or salammed the Magistrate. But later when he was registered in Bar counsel to practice, he removed the head-dress in the court by saying that he has some noble cause and wanted ‘his strength for “fighting bigger battles”—db}

{Chronology continues}

November 26, 1894: Indicated growing interest in Esoteric Christianity by becoming agent for selling its literature.—p. 348

January 27, 1896: The Times, London, referred to Gandhiji as one “whose efforts on behalf of his Indian fellow-subjects in South Africa entitle him to respect”.—p. 349

Before going to the main points of this volume, it is important to note what Gandhi said about himself:

About himself

‘…But I am not a man who would, after having formed any intention, leave it easily….’—London Diary, November 12, 1888. P. 4.
…Here I must write that the fulsome flattery which I had to practice about this time had quite made me angry. Had it not been for my credulous and dearest brother, I would never have resorted to such a piece of gross flattery {who promised to help but later changed his mind}….—ibid. p. 4

Main points of this volume:

In this volume, mainly we see Gandhiji’s attempts to go to England for study, getting permission from his mother and assistant from brother, opposition by his community, his trip to England, his life at England (not much details about his studies), his involvement in Vegetarian movement at London (his ‘Guide to London’ occupies a considerable pages 66-120 in which he gives how to live economically and also as a vegetarian and study on Law), his return back to India and then going to SA, there his struggle for the rights of Indians.

Opposition to go to England

…the head Patel addressed me (in effect) in the following words: “We were your father’s friends, and therefore we feel for you; as heads of the caste you know our power. We are positively informed that you will have to eat flesh and drink wine in England; moreover, you have to cross the waters; all this you must know is against our caste rules. Therefore we command you to reconsider your decision, or else the heaviest punishment will be meted out to you. What have you to say to this?”
I replied in the following words: “I thank you for your warnings. I am sorry that I cannot alter my decision. What I have heard about England is quite different from what you say; one need not take meat and wine there. As for crossing the waters, if our brethren can go as far as Aden, why could not I go to England? I am deeply convinced that malice is at the root of all these objections.”
“Very well, then,” replied the worthy Patel in anger, “You are not the son of your father.” Then, turning to the audience, he went on: “This boy has lost his sense, and we command everyone not to have anything to do with him. He who will support him in any way or go to see him off will be treated as an outcaste, and if the boy ever returns, let him know that he shall never be taken into the caste.” —The Vegetarian Messenger, 13-6-1891. p. 46

…he {Gandhiji’s brother who supported him to go to England} has not been excommunicated….—The Vegetarian Messenger, 13-6-1891. p. 47

…Others said I might do without flesh but without wine I could not move. I would be numbed with cold. One went so far as to advise me to take eight bottles of whisky, for I should want them after leaving Aden. Another wanted me to smoke, for his friend was obliged to smoke in England. Even medical men, those who had been to England, told the same tale. But as I wanted to come at any price, I replied that I would try my best to avoid all these things, but if they were found to be absolutely necessary I did not know what I should do. I may here mention that my aversion to meat was not so strong then as it is now….My mother before consenting to my departure exacted a promise from me not to take meat. So I was bound not to take it, if only for the sake of the promise…
…At last I sealed his {friends’}tongue by telling him I would sooner die than break the promise to my mother. —The Vegetarian Messenger, 20-6-1891. p. 48

The caste opposition is as great as ever..(p.56) Religion, of course, finds no place in their arguments. Is it not almost better not to have anything to do with such fellows than to fawn upon them and wheedle their fame so that I might be considered one of them? However, I have to move with the times.—Letter to Ranchhodial Patwari, Bombay, September 5, 1892, p. 57

Seva in South Africa.

Though Gandhiji went to South Africa {SA} to practice a Lawyer, later he began to serve the Indians at the cost of his personal income and even relationship with his family members. He mainly fought for the rights of Indians and the Indian trade community about which he wrote to Naoroji:

…I may mention that I am doing this without any remuneration. So you will see that I have not taken the matter up, which is beyond my ability, in order to enrich myself at the expense of the Indians. I am the only available person who can handle the question….{41. EXTRACT FROM LETTER TO DADABHAI NAOROJI2. Durban, July 5, 1894.}—p. 140
2. Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917); Statesman, often called “the Grand Old Man of India”. Thrice presided over the Congress sessions, in 1886, 1893 and 1906. Enunciated, for the first time, Congress goal as one of swaraj or independence. Member of the British Committee of the Congress in London.

He wrote several Memorials and open letters, in which he defended Indians and India in many ways. All the petitions and Memorials of Gandhiji are based on the following points.

The opposition to the Indians is mainly focused against the shopkeepers as they posed a challenge to the English shopkeepers ( pp. 207, 217). At the same time several British people and News papers pointed out the wrong understanding about Indians and strongly supported them:

…Surely, it is protection running to madness when English traders wish the State to intervene to protect them against the more successful operations of their rivals. The injustice to the Indians is so glaring that one is almost ashamed of one’s countrymen in wishing to have these men treated as Natives, simply because of their success in trade….[The Cope Times, 13th April, 1889.]—p. 209, 249

And Indians were accused of unhygienic (208, 216), Immoral (liars) ( 211, 213). And in their defence Gandhiji wrote:

…I may be allowed to say, from personal experience, that the trading community are compelled by their religion to bathe once a week at least, and have to perform ablutions i.e., wash their faces and hands up to the elbows, and their feet, every time they offer prayers. They are supposed to offer prayers for times a day, and there are very few who fail to do so at least twice a day….I will, however, beg leave to quote from the Natal Almanac: “It must be said for the Indian population that it is on the whole orderly and law-abiding.”— Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984, p. 175

But Gandhiji pointed out that Indians too are equal as the subject of the Queen (p. 213, 296 ), as per the Proclamation of 1858 which entitles British Indians to equal treatment with the Europeans (p. 296): ‘…those who are trying to unify the hearts of the two races, which are, legally and outwardly, bound together under a common flag.’— Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984, p. 176

The discrimination against Indians is based on racialism (306). See under Racialism.
.
When Indians were accused of not spending much in SA but sending money back to their home(253), Gandhiji wrote:

…In short, they earn their bread by the seat of their brow. It is difficult to see how these facts can be urged as an objection to their stopping in the Colony. Of course, they do not gamble, as a rule do not smoke, and can put up with little inconveniences; work more than eight hours a day. Should they be expected to, is it desirable that they should, abandon these virtues, and contract the terrible vices under which the Western nations are groaning, so that they may be permitted to live in the Colony without molestation?— Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984, p. 174

He also opposed the way Indians were called derogatively as ‘Coolie’(212) {It is like calling the Nepalis in India as ‘Bahadurs’ which hurt them}:

…as if “the coolie” were the legal and proper name to give to any and every Indian….— Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984, p. 185

He also opposed the bill which prevented further immigration from India to SA. Immigration Amendment Bill received Royal sanction and became Law on August 18, 1896 (p. 245.) When attempts were made to remove the Indians from exercise their franchise right, he fought for that right. Because, ‘…Indian already enjoys the franchise in Natal. An attempt is now being made to disfranchise him.’(THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895. p. 272). And lack of English is used as a weapon ‘They cannot discharge duties of a legislator due to lack of English knowledge.’(278). But Gandhiji said that they don’t want to have any share in the power to have their rights to vote. And it is interesting to read what Gandhiji about Indians interest in such political activity:

…The Indians as a class never, even in their own country, avail themselves of all their political rights. They are too much taken up with their spiritual well-being to think of taking an (p.63) active part in politics. They have no very great political aspirations….[Letter to “The Natal Advertiser”, Pretoria, September 29, 1893]—pp. 63-64.

What Gandhiji said in 1893 is true even today about Indians. But we have to replace the word ‘spiritual’ for ‘personal’ or ‘selfish’. Further he writes in his ‘PETITION TO NATAL LEGILATIVE ASSEMBLY {Durban, June 28, 1894. Colonial Office Records, No. 179, Vol. 189: Votes and Proceedings of Parliament, Natal, 1894.}against the ‘Franchise Law Amendment Bill’ that:

7.The Indian nation has known, and has exercised, the power of election from times far prior to the time when the Anglo-Saxon races first became acquainted with the principles of representation.
8. In support of the above, your Petitioners beg to draw the attention of your Honourable Assembly to Sir. Henry Sumner Maine’s1 Village Communities, where he has most clearly pointed out that the Indian races have been familiar with representative institutions almost from time immemorial. That eminent lawyer and writer has shown that the Teutonic Mark was hardly so well organized or so essentially representative as an Indian village community until the precise technical Roman form was engrafted upon it.—p. 129
1. 1822-88; eminent jurist whose works include Ancient Law and Early History of Institutions. He was a member of the India Council, 1862-69 and 1871.
9.. Every caste in every village or town has its own rules or regulations, and elects representatives, and furnishes an exact prototype of the Saxon Witans, from which have sprung the present Parliamentary institutions.—p. 130

Vagrant Law, according to which a coloured man {here Indians mostly in SA} cannot wander between 9 p.m. and 5.a.m. without a Mayor’s pass of exemption,—p. 297-98

Rest of the following points arranged under different topics (in alphabetical order):

British:

Gandhiji had a great faith in British and their rule, justice and civilization. Later his views get changed. However at this early time in his life at SA he still had some respect and acceptance for British. See below under Christianity. This we should keep in mind when we read the following views of Gandhiji:

…one of the most greatly-felt evils of the British Rule is the importation of alcohol—that enemy of mankind, that curse of civilization—in some form or another….—Vegetarian, 21-2-1891. p. 22

…Almost all Englishmen who go to India keep up their own way of living. They not only insist on having the things they had in England, but will also have them cooked in the same way….—Vol. 1. The Vegetarian Messenger, 1-6-1891. p. 37

Is this Christian-like…is this civilization [Letter to “The Natal Advertiser”, Pretoria, September 16, 1893]{Gandhiji means here British civilization}—p. 61

…the British Government in many respects follow in the footsteps of Akbar the Great, who ruled and lived in the 16th century. He was an Indian. The present land system is a copy of the policy of Todurmull, the great financier and an Indian, with but few modifications. If all this is the outcome, not of civilization, but of semi-barbarity, I have yet to learn what civilization means. [Letter to “The Natal Advertiser”, Pretoria, September 29, 1893]—p. 65 {Gandhiji’s criticism is against the British view in SA that Indians were not civilized to give right to vote.—db}

42. PETITION TO NATAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Durban, July 6, 1894.
…the Royal Proclamation of 1858….:

We hold ourselves bound to the Natives of our Indian territories…In their prosperity will be our strength, in their contentment our security, and in their gratitude our best reward.—p. 142
13. …Lord Macaulya: “Free and civilized as we are, it is to little purpose, if we grudge to any portion of the human race an equal portion of freedom and civilization.”—p. 143

Is their {Indian]} present treatment in accordance with the best British traditions…or with the principles of Christianity? [Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1894] p. 172

… “Is their present treatment in accordance with the best British traditions, or with the principles of justice and morality, or with the principles of Christianity?”….[ Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984] p. 185

To bring a man here on starvation wages, to hold him under bondage, and when he shows the least signs of liberty, or, is in a position to live less miserably, to wish to send him back to his home where he would become comparatively a stranger and perhaps unable to earn a living, is hardly a mark of fair play or justice characteristic of the British nation.[Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984], p.187 {the main point of this Open Letter.—db}

…the English in England have shown by their writings, speeches and deeds that they mean to unify the hearts of the two peoples, that they do not believe in colour distinctions, and that they will raise Indian with them rather than rise upon its ruins….[ Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984], p. 188

…an English constituency returning an Indian to the British House of Commons,1 in spite of the expressed wish to the contrary of the then Prime Minister, and almost the whole British Press, both Conservative and Liberal, congratulating the Indian member on the success, and expressing its approval of the unique event, and the whole House again, both Conservative and Liberal, according him a warm welcome….[ Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984], p. 188
1..The reference is to Dadabhai Naoroji’s election in 1893 from Central Finsbury.

…England does not want to let go her hold of India, and at the same time she does not want to rule her with an iron rod. Her statesmen say that they want so much endear the English rule to the Indians that they would not have any other….[LETTER TO “THE NATAL MERCURY”. Derban, Sep. 2, 1895]. p. 252

I would further draw the attention of the readers to the recently issued Native Blue-book, and there they will find that almost all the Magistrates are of the opinion that European influences have brought about a change for the worse in the moral character of the Natives.[ 79. THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895.] p. 272

…In 1893, while there were 28 convictions against Europeans in the Borough for supplying liquor, there were only 3 against Indians.[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895.] 273

The Blue-book… the speakers have invariably argued that the Indians shall not be allowed to occupy this country which has been won by Europeans blood and which has been made what it is by European hands, and show that the Indians are treated as intruders in the Colony….And surely, if the shedding of blood is any criterion of merit, and if British Colonists consider the other British dominions as portions of the British Empire, the Indians have shed their blood for Britain on many an occasion. The Chitral campaign is the most recent instance.—ibid. p. 281

Professor Seeley says:

…but if once it is admitted that the Sepoys always outnumbered the English, and that they kept pace with the English in efficiency as soldiers, the whole theory, which attributes our success to an immeasurable natural superiority in valour, falls to the ground.—Digby’s India for the Indians and for England.—ibid. p. 289

Christ, Christianity

Gandhiji’s view on Christ and Christianity is an integral part of his life:

It has given us no small satisfaction to know that, however unjust your Honour’s speech may have appeared to us from our point of view, it breathed truest sentiments of justice, morality and, what is more, Christianity….[ DEPUTATION TO NATAL PREMIER. (Colonial Office Records No. 181. Vol. 41)]p. 134

48. LETTER TO Mrs. A. M. Lewis. Durban, August 4, 1894.
…To me there is little difference between Theosophy and Esoteric Christianity…
I propose that the E. C. U. {Esoteric Christian Union} should send me a selection of books to be sold here. I would sell the books at cost price plus the postage and 5% commission to be kept by me. As to the price, however, I should be left free to use my discretion. I would send up the sale proceeds of the books every three months. The advertisement charges will be borne by me. If at the end of one year nothing is sold, I would return the books at my cost….—p.160
If you do not think much of the Souls, what position is the book to occupy in respectable literature? If the author has written what is absolutely true from personal observation, the book cannot be lightly treated. If it is an attempt to delude the people into a belief in real truths by fascinating falsehoods, the book deserves the highest condemnation possible. For we will not learn truth by means of falsehoods. Of course I write this without meaning the slightest disrespect for the author of whom I know nothing….—p. 161

{Gandhiji order some books and sold them:}

Bible’s Own Account of Itself, 1/-
The New Gospel of Interpretation, 1/– BOOKS FOR SALE. p. 192.

50. LETTER TO “THE TIMES OF NATAL”1 . Durban, October 25, 1894.

…To you the lip-prayer of the Pharisee, because he is one, is more acceptable than the sincere repentance of the publican, and this, I presume, you would call Christianity. You may; it is not Christ’s.—p. 167

… “Suffer little children to come unto me,” said the master. His disciples (?) in the Colony would improve upon the saying by inserting “white” after “little”. During the children’s fete, organized by the Mayor of Durban, I am told there was not a single coloured child to be seen in the procession. Was this a punishment for the sin of being born of coloured parents? Is this an incident of the qualified citizenship you would accord to the hated “Rammysammy$?”
If He came among us, will He not say to many of us, “I know you not”? Sir, may I venture to offer a suggestion? Will you read your New Testament?….Will you then say you can reconcile it with the Bible teaching or the best British traditions? If you have washed your hands clean of both Christ and British traditions, I can have nothing to say; I gladly withdraw what I have written….—p. 167
This was published unter the title “Rammysammy”. {$I think this is a derogative word for ‘Ramasamy’ the name of the Tamilians in SA.—db}

52. LETTER TO “THE NATAL MERCURY”. Durban, November 26, 1894.1
1.. This was circulated among Europeans in Natal on December 19, 1894.

…with regard to the Esoteric Christian Union…is not, by any means, a new system but a recovery of the old, presented in a form acceptable to the modern mind. It is, moreover, a system of religion which teaches universality, and is based on eternal verities and not on phenomena or historical facts merely. In that system, there is no reviling Mahomed or Buddha in order to prove the superiority of Jesus. On the other hand, it reconciles the other religions with Christianity which, in the opinion of the authors, is nothing but one more (among many) of presentation of the same eternal truth. The many puzzles of the Old Testament find herein a solution at once complete and satisfactory.—p.169

…As to the particular instances of insolvency, I would only say, without meaning in the least to defend them {Indians}, “Let those that are without sin first cast a stone”. Please examine the records of the Insolvency Court.— Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 198, p. 174

That the treatment of the Indians is contrary to the teaching of Christianity needs hardly any argument. The Man, who taught us to love our enemies and to give our cloak to the one who wanted the coat, and to hold out the right cheek when the left was smitten, and who swept away the distinction between the Jew and the Gentile, would never brook a disposition that causes a man to be so proud of himself as to consider himself polluted even by the touch of a fellow-being.[Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984], p. 187

…If you are a clergyman, inasmuch as you represent the teaching of Jesus, it must be your duty to see that you are in no way, directly or indirectly, countenancing a treatment of your fellow-being that would not be pleasing to Jesus….[LETTER TO EUROPEANS. Durban, December 19, 1894], p. 189

…return from the materialistic tendencies, which have made us so cruelly selfish, to the unadulterated esoteric teachings of not only Jesus Christ, but also of Buddha, Zoroaster and Mahomed, who are no longer so generally denounced by the civilized world as false prophets, but whose and Jesus’ teachings are beginning to be acknowledged to be complementary of one another.[LETTER TO “THE NATAL ADVERTISER”. Durban, January 21, 1895]. p. 190

I would conclude with what Rev. John Pulsford, D.D., has to say with regard to the teaching of the E.C.U. {Esoteric Christian Union}:

It is impossible for a spiritually intelligent reader to doubt that these teachings were received from within the astral veil. They are full of the concentrated and compact wisdom of the Holy Heavens, and of God. If the Christians knew their own religion, they would find in these priceless records Lord Christ and His vital process abundantly illustrated and confirmed. That such communications are possible, and are permitted to be given to the world, is a sign, and a most promising sing, of our age.[ LETTER TO “THE NATAL ADVERTISER”. Durban, January 21, 1895]. p. 191

…Why should the Clergy remain silent on this momentous question, momentous because it affects the future of South Africa?…Is such indifference sanctioned by Christ’s Christianity?[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895], p. 287

…a lady, who corresponded with me in connection with Esoteric Christianity, became angry on finding that Esoteric Christianity had anything to do with vegetarianism. She was so disgusted that she returned the books let her without reading them….[VEGETARIANISM IN NATAL ] p. 291

…The Christian vegetarians claim that Jesus was also a vegetarian, and there does not seem to be anything to oppose that view, except the reference to His having eaten broiled fish after the Resurrection. The most successful missionaries in South Africa {the Trappists} are vegetarians….—ibid. p. 292

…The Spiritualists hold, and the practice of the religious teachers of all the religions, except, perhaps, the generality of Protestant teachers shows, that nothing is more detrimental to the spiritual faculty of man than the gross feeding on flesh….—ibid. p. 292

….I submit the following for the consideration of those who believe in the Bible. Before the “Fall” we were vegetarians….—ibid. p. 294 {Here Gandhiji quotes from OT where God gives only herb as food to Adam—db}

There may be some excuse for the unconverted partaking of meat, but for those who say they are “born again”, vegetarian Christians claim, there can be none; because their state surely should be equal, if not superior, to that of the people before the “Fall”. Again, in time of Restitution:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…. [(p. 294) {Here Gandhiji quotes from Book of Revelation where wolf shall dwell with lamb etc.—db}—ibid. p. 294-95

These times may be far off yet for the whole world. But why cannot those who know and can—the Christians—enact them for themselves at any rate? There can be no harm in anticipating them, and, may be, thereby their approach may be considerably hastened.–The Natal Mercury, 3-2-1896]. P.295

Congress:

Indian Congress in SA

…Nearly 1,000 letters have been written to the friends of the Indians in England and India in connection with the Franchise petition, Transvaal petition and the Immigration petition to the Home Government.[REPORT OF THE NATAL INDIAN COGRESS. August, 1895.] p. 248

…The Congress had not yet made itself officially known to the public because it was thought advisable not to do so unless it was assured of a permanent existence. It has worked very quietly.[REPORT OF THE NATAL INDIAN COGRESS. August, 1895]. p. 250 {But later when it was accused of the same reason as a secret body, Gandhiji made it clear that how even English people were later invited for the meeting of the Congress.—db}

…No attempts have been made to keep it {Natal Indian Congress} secret. On the other hand, its organizers even invited those Europeans who were considered to be sympathetic….[LETTER TO “THE NATAL ADVERTISER”. Durban, Sep. 23, 1895]. p. 257

Nor has the Congress in any shape or form intended or attempted to “exercise strong political power”. The following are the objects of the Congress:
“7.. And generally to do everything that would tend to put the Indians on a better footing morally, socially, intellectually, and politically.”[ MEMORIAL TO J. CHAMBERLAIN. Durban, May 22, 1896.] p. 326

On Conversion:

Gandhiji has talked and wrote a lot about conversion. That we will see in the coming volumes. But this one is from Vol. One:

…Mr. Quilliam has become Haji Abdullah because he has become a Mahomedan. Mr. Webb, the late Consul General of Manica, also adopted a Mahomedan name, on adopting the Mahomedan faith. Not only the Christian name but the Christian dress also is an offence for an Indian, according to the view of the constables. And now, according to the Superintendent’s view, change of religion would render an Indian liable to suspicion. But why should this be so, assuming, of course, that the change is a result of honest belief and not a dodge to evade the law? In the present case I assume that both the defendants {two Indian Christians, who were also Sunday School teachers, who were arrested for wandering after 9.00 p.m. without Mayor’s pass of exemption, as per the Vagrant Law} are honest Christians because I am told both are respected by Dr. Booth. {Head of St. Aidan’s Mission, Durban}. Of course, the Superintendent will retort, “But how is a man to know whether a man is an honest Christian or a Satan in the Christian garb?” This is a difficult question to answer….[LETTER TO “THE NATAL MERCURY’. Durban, March 2, 1896]. p. 298

Critic, comments

Gandhiji was an ardent reader. This one can note from the extensive points that he quoted in all his writings. And he was a good critic also:

…To me there is little difference between Theosophy and Esoteric Christianity…(p.160)
If you do not think much of the Souls, what position is the book to occupy in respectable literature? If the author has written what is absolutely true from personal observation, the book cannot be lightly treated. If it is an attempt to delude the people into a belief in real truths by fascinating falsehoods, the book deserves the highest condemnation possible. For we will not learn truth by means of falsehoods. Of course I write this without meaning the slightest disrespect for the author of whom I know nothing….[48. LETTER TO Mrs. A. M. Lewis. Durban, August 4, 1894.]—p. 161

Doctrines

Gandhji’s belief in various Hindu doctrines are traditional one, though he moved along with the time:

…the acceptance by Professor Max Muller of the doctrine of reincarnation so conclusively demonstrated in The Perfect Way, his statement that it was gaining ground among the thinking minds in England and elsewhere, and the publication of The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ….[LETTER TO “THE NATAL ADVERTISER”. Durban, January 21, 1895]. p. 190

Festivals

Gandhiji’s views on the normal of Indians in general and Hindus in particular will help us to understand his sense of observance about the life of ordinary people:

…Like every other thing, this {Divali} festival, too, may have, and probably has, its black side, but that had better be left alone. Certainly the good that it does far outweighs the evil.—Vol. 1. The Vegetarian, 4-4-1991. p. 33

Gita

For Gandjiji Gita is his mother. He derived his spiritual inspiration more from Gita than from any other scripture. In time of trouble, he said Gita consoled and guided him:

…At times when I think of these things, I thoroughly despair of fruits of works. A verse from the Bhagavad Gita saves me from utter despair and consequent inaction—a verse which enjoins freedom from attachment to fruits of works.[LETTER TO Mrs. A. M. Lewis. Durban, August 4, 1894]. p. 161

Hindu Muslim unity

Gandhiji in his whole life fought for the unity between Hindus and Muslims. It is interesting to note that this started even from his life in SA:

But it had been said, and that to by responsible persons, that a few Indians want political power and that these few are Mahomedan agitators and that the Hindus should learn from past experience that the Mahomedan rule will be ruinous for them….
[this] is an attempt to set the Hindus against the Mahomedans in the Colony….[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895]. p. 278

Hygiene

Gandhiji wrote a lot about the importance and need of personal and community hygiene. He insisted on having fresh and open air, taking bath, keeping the house and surrounding clean. He wrote extensively about the steps to be taken during the spread of epidemic disease and wrote against drinking tea and smoking:

No smoking shall be allowed at any Committee meeting.[ CONSTITUTION OF THE NATAL INDIAN CONGRESS. (Established 22nd August, 1894)]—p. 165

About India and Indians

Some of the other comments that Gandhiji made about Indians and India are important to understand his mind at this period in SA. So I am giving few selected ones, not mentioning and immediate context of them:

…In India everyone, no matter how remotely connected, thinks that he has a right o poke his nose into another’s affairs….[The Vegetarian Messenger, 13-6-1891]. p. 44

…the British Government in many respects follow in the footsteps of Akbar the Great, who ruled and lived in the 16th century. He was an Indian. The present land system is a copy of the policy of Todurmull, the great financier and an Indian, with but few modifications. If all this is the outcome, not of civilization, but of semi-barbarity, I have yet to learn what civilization means.—p. 65 {Gandhiji’s criticism is against the British view in SA that Indians were not civilized to give right to vote.—db}

…there is nothing to prevent you from leading a purely Hindu life {in London}….Again, to perform the everyday ceremonies, to dine bare-bodied, to sit in contemplation bare-bodied for hours together would be impossible for a poor man, but a rich man who is prepared to spend any amount of money can perform each and every religious ceremony that can be performed in India…I should like to know how many students are there who find time or have the mind to perform all the ceremonies even in India. If they are not performed here, some of them may well be left out in London without shocking the pious and elderly persons, as even our scriptures make certain exemptions in favour of travelers and students. A distinguished yogi told me that he forwent most of the usual ceremonies while traveling.[GUIDE TO LONDON. (1983-84)] p. 93

36. PETITION TO NATAL LEGILATIVE ASSEMBLY. Durban, June 28, 1894. {This petition was made against the ‘Franchise Law Amendment Bill’. Colonial Office Records, No. 179, Vol. 189: Votes and Proceedings of Parliament, Natal, 1894.}

20.. Sir George Birdwood1, writing on the general character of the people of India, thus sums up:

The people of India are in no intrinsic sense our inferiors, while in things measured by some of the false standards, false to ourselves, we pretend to believe in, they are our superiors. –p.131
1..1832-1917; served in the Bombay Medical Service in 1854, and later for thirty years in the India Office, London. Author of Report on the Miscellaneous Old Records of the India Office and The Industrial Arts of India.

21.. Says Sir Thomas Munro, one of the Governors of Madras: (p.131)

I do not know what is meant by civilizing the people of India. In the theory and practice of good government they may be deficient; but if a good system of agriculture, if unrivalled manufacture…if the establishment of schools for reading and writing, if the general practice of kindness and hospitality…are amongst the points that denote a civilized people, then they are not inferior in civilization to the people of Europe.—pp. 131-32

22.. Professor Max Muller thus speaks of the much abused and more misunderstood Indian:

If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problem of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India.—p. 132

With greatest respect to Your Honour, we beg to point out that both the Anglo-Saxon and the Indian races belong to the same stock….Max Muller, Morris, Greene and a host of other writers with one voice seem to show very clearly that both the races have sprung from the same Aryan stock, or rather the Indo-European as many call it. We have no wish whatever to thrust ourselves as members of a brother (p.133) nation on a nation that would be unwilling to receive us as such, but we may be pardoned if we state the real facts, the alleged absence of which has been put forward as an argument to pronounce us as unfit for the exercise of the franchise.[DEPUTATION TO NATAL PREMIER. [Colonial Office Records No. 181. Vol. 41], pp. 133-34

…I, however, quote as follows from Sir W. W. Hunter’s Indian Empire:

The forefathers of the Greek and the Roman, of the Englishman and the Hindoo, dwelt together in Asia, spoke the same tongue and worshipped the same gods.
The ancient religions of Europe and India had a similar origin.[Open Letter. Durban. Before December 19, 1984], p. 176

I take the following again from Hunter’s Indian Empire:

The Greek ambassador (Megasthenes) observed with admiration the absence of slavery in India…no Indian was ever known to tell a lie….— Open Letter…. p. 181

Of the family relations, thus speaks Sir W. W. Hunter:

There is simply no comparison between Englishmen and Hindus with respect to the place occupied by family interests and family affections in their minds. The love of parents for children and of children for parents has scarcely any counterpart in England. Parental and filial affection occupies among our Eastern fellow-citizens the place which is taken in this country by the passion between the sexes.—ibid. Open Letter….p. 182

And Mr. Pincott thinks that:

In all social matters the English are far more fitted to sit at the feet of Hindus and learn as disciples than to attempt to become masters.—ibid. Open Letter…. p. 182

Says M. Louis Jacolliot:

Soil of ancient India, cradle of humanity, hail! Hail, venerable and efficient nurse, whom centuries of brutal invasions have not yet buried under the dust of oblivion. Hail, fatherland of faith, of love, of poetry, and of science! May we hail a revival of thy past in our Western future!—ibid. Open Letter….p. 182

Add to this the facts that India has produced a Buddha, whose life some consider the best and the holiest lived by a mortal, and some to be second only to that lived by Jesus….—ibid. Open Letter….p. 182

India is not Africa, and that it is a civilized country in the truest sense of the term civilization.—ibid. Open Letter….p. 183

…Everyone I have met with in the Colony has dwelt upon the untruthfulness of the Indians. To a limited extent I admit the charge. It will be very small satisfaction for me to show, in reply to the objection, that other classes do not fare much better in this respect, especially if and when they are placed in the position of the unfortunate Indians. And yet, I am afraid, I shall have to fall back upon argument of that sort….—ibid. Open Letter…. p. 183

…The moment they leave India they remain throughout life, if they settle in the Colony, without any moral education. Whether they are Hindus or Mahommedans, they are absolutely without any moral or religious instruction worthy of the name. They have not learnt enough to educate themselves without any outside help. Placed thus, they are apt to yield to the slightest temptation to tell a lie. After some time, lying with them becomes a habit and a disease. They would lie without any reason, without any prospect of bettering themselves materially, indeed, without knowing what they are doing. They reach a stage in life when their moral faculties have completely collapsed owing to neglect. There is also a very sad form of lying. They cannot dare tell the truth, even for their wantonly ill-treated brother, for fear of receiving ill-treatment from their master. They are not philosophic enough to look with equanimity on the threatened reduction in their miserable rations and severe corporal punishment, did they dare to give evidence against their master. Are these men, then, more to be despised than pitied? Are they to be treated as scoundrels, deserving no mercy, or are they to be treated as helpless creatures, badly in need of sympathy? Is there any class of people who would not do as they are doing under similar circumstances?
But I will be asked what I can have to say in defence of the traders, who, too, are equally good liars. As to this, I beg to submit that the charge against them is without foundation, and that they do not lie more than the other classes do for the purposes of trade or law….—ibid. Open Letter…. p. 184

Then Gandhiji says that at court due to language problem as there were ‘not a single Gujarati interpreter…Gujarati-speaking witness’ struggle ‘to make himself understood’….then the ‘Judge makes up his mind not to believe’ him {Indian} ‘and puts him down for a liar.’—ibid. Open Letter…. p.185

…What, however, I do submit with the greatest deference is this, that if the Indians must be kept in the Colony, then let them receive such treatment as by their ability and integrity they may be fit to receive, that is to say, give them what is their due, and what is the least that a sense of justice, unalloyed by partiality or prejudice, should prompt you to give them.—ibid. Open Letter….p. 187

20. … As these men [Indians] enter the State without wives or female relatives the result is obvious. Their religion teaches them to consider all women as soulless and Christians as natural prey (Green book No. 1, 1894, p. 30)—[PETITION TO LORD RIPON. Pretoria, (Before May 5, 1895)] p. 207. {from the memorial presented to the Volksraad of the Orange Free State against the Indians}

…The Tamil members have not shown much zeal in the Congress work. They might, at any rate, have made up for the laxity in paying by attending punctually and regularly….[69. REPORT OF THE NATAL INDIAN COGRESS. August, 1895]. p. 250

…By persistent indifference, or retrogressive legislation, the Indian would be degraded lower still in the Colony, and thus may constitute a real danger which he was not before. Shunned, despised, cursed, he will only do and be what others in similar positions have done and been. Loved and well treated, he is capable of rising higher like any member of every other nationality….[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895]. p. 269

…Centuries of foreign rule and oppression have failed to make him a dangerous member of society. Wherever he goes, and under whatever conditions he is placed, he bows to the decision of the majority represented by those in authority over him. For, he knows no one can be in authority over him, unless he is tolerated there by a majority of the body to which he belongs. This principle is so ingrained in the Indian heart that even the most despotic princes of the Indian States feel that they are to rule for the people. It is true that they do not all act up to that principle. The causes need not be discussed here. And the most astounding fact is that, even when nominally there is a monarchical government, the Panchayat is the supreme body. The actions of its members are regulated in accordance with the wish of the majority….[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895]. p. 270

… Indian already enjoys the franchise in Natal. An attempt is now being made to disfranchise him.[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895]. p. 270

…No one can regret more than myself to see any Indian found drunk or supplying liquor to Natives….[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895]. p. 271

…in the opinion of the Commissioners, the Indians in India are free from the habit of drinking and that they learn it here….[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895]. p. 272

…In 1893, while there were 28 convictions against Europeans in the Borough for supplying liquor, there were only 3 against Indians.[THE INDIAN FRANCHISE. Beech Grove, Durban, December 16, 1895] p..273

…had not, in fact, an attempt been (p.277) made to keep them for ever “hewers of wood and drawers of water”….—ibid. p. 278

…Leave them to follow their legitimate pursuits, do not attempt to degrade them, treat them with ordinary kindness and there would be no franchise question, simply because they would not even take the trouble to have their names on the Voters’ Roll.—ibid. p. 278

But it had been said, and that to by responsible persons, that a few Indians want political power and that these few are Mahomedan agitators and that the Hindus should learn from past experience that the Mahomedan rule will be ruinous for them….
{this}is an attempt to set the Hindus against the Mahomedans in the Colony….—ibid. p. 278

The Blue-book… the speakers have invariably argued that the Indians shall not be allowed to occupy this country which has been won by Europeans blood and which has been made what it is by European hands, and show that the Indians are treated as intruders in the Colony….And surely, if the shedding of blood is any criterion of merit, and if British Colonists consider the other British dominions as portions of the British Empire, the Indians have shed their blood for Britain on many an occasion. The Chitral campaign is the most recent instance.—ibid. p. 281

…India belongs to England and England does not wish to lose her hold of India. Every act done by a Briton towards an Indian cannot but have some effect in moulding the final relations between Britons and Indians. It is, moreover, a fact that the Indian is in South Africa because he is a British subject; he has to be tolerated whether one likes it or not. Is it not then better that nothing should be done that would unnecessarily embitter the feelings between the two communities? By coming to a hasty conclusion, or by forming conclusions on groundless assumptions, it is not at all unlikely that injustice may unintentionally be done to the Indians.
The question in the minds of all reasonable men, I submit, should be not how to drive away the Indians from the Colony (for that is impossible), but how to bring about satisfactory relations between the two communities….no good can result from an attitude of unfriendliness and hatred towards the Indians,….Such a policy is repugnant to….British sense of justice….to the spirit of Christianity which is professed by the objectors to the Indian franchise.—ibid. p. 286

The Indians have many blemishes and they are themselves, no doubt, to blame to some extent for the present unsatisfactory state of feelings between the two peoples. My object is to induce you to believe that the blame does not entirely lie on one side alone.—ibid. p. 286

…History says that the Aryans’ home was not India but they came from Central Asia, and one family migrated to India and colonized, it, the others to Europe. The government of that day was, so history says, a civilized government in the truest sense of the term. The whole Aryans literature grew up then. The India of Alexander’s time was India on the decline. When other nations were hardly formed, India was at its zenith, and the Indians of this age are descendants of that race. To say, therefore, that the Indians have been ever under servitude is hardly correct. India certainly has not proved unconquerable. If that be reason for disfranchisement, I have nothing to say except this, that every nation will, unfortunately, be found wanting in this respect. It is true England “wafts her scepter” over India. The Indians are not ashamed of that fact. They are proud to be under the British Crown, because they think that England will prove India’s deliverer. The wonder of all wonders seems to be that the Indians, like the favoured nation of the Bible, are irrepressible in spite of centuries of oppression and bondage. And many British writers think that India is under England with her consent.—ibid. p. 289

Professor Seeley says:

…but if once it is admitted that the Sepoys always outnumbered the English, and that they kept pace with the English in efficiency as soldiers, the whole theory, which attributes our success to an immeasurable natural superiority in valour, falls to the ground.—Digby’s India for the Indians and for England.—ibid. p. 289

Mr. Schwann, M. P., …. ‘Most of our civilization has come from India….[MEMORIAL TO NATAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. Durban, April 27, 1896]. p. 316

Politicians

Gandhiji, though was a politicians, he rose above that vocation and proved himself a born leader whose life cannot be defined by the narrow frame of politics. At the same time his views and role as a politician are important for us to understand his life and views:

…even strong little parties representing diverse minor interests can effect very little in the in the Imperial Parliament. They can only heckle the First Lord with a few questions, and have the satisfaction of seeing their names appear in the next morning’s papers…[Letter to “The Natal Advertiser”, Pretoria, September 29, 1893]—p. 64 {How true is it even today in India—db}

Racialism

…separate entrances for the Europeans and Natives and Asiatics at the Post Office.[ REPORT OF THE NATAL INDIAN COGRESS. August, 1895]. p. 249

…I humbly submit that such an achievement is worth a little ridicule that the pioneers will be subjected to. To separate the two communities is easy enough, to unite them by the ‘silken cord’ of love is equally difficult. But then, everything that is worth having is also worth a great deal of trouble and anxiety.—ibid. p. 288

The Government organ…in a …article says:
…The fact of the matter is that apart from numbers altogether the superior race will always hold the reins of Government….[MEMORIAL TO J. CHAMBERLAIN. Durban, May 22, 1896]. p. 327

Religion

Till the end of his life Gandjiji was a spiritual person in which religion has a great role:

35. QUESTIONS ON RELIGION. [Pretoria, Before June, 1894]

What is the Soul? Does it perform actions? Do past actions impede its progress or not?
What is God? Is He the Creator of the universe?
What is moksha?
Is it possible for a person to know for certain, while he is still living, whether or not he will attain moksha?
It is said that after his death, a man may, according to his actions, be reborn as an animal, a tree, or even a stone. Is that so?
What is Arya Dharma? Do all Indian religions originate from the Vedas?
Who composed the Vedas? Are they anadi? If so, what does anadi [without origin or beginning] mean?
Who is the author of the Gita? Is God its author? Is there any evidence that He is?
Does any merit accrue from the sacrifice of animals and other things?
If a claim is put forward that a particular religion is the best, may we not ask the claimant for proof? (p.127)
Do you know anything about Christianity? If so, what do you think of it?
The Christians hold that the Bible is divinely inspired and that Christ was an incarnation of God, being His son. What He?
Were all the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Christ?
Can anyone remember his past lives or have an idea of his future lives?
If yes, who can?
You have given the names of some who have attained moksha. What is the authority for this statement?
What makes you say that even Buddha did not attain moksha?
What will finally happen to this world?
Will the world be morally better off in the future?
Is there anything like total destruction of the world?
Can an illiterate person attain moksha by bhakti alone?
Rama and Krishna are described as incarnations of God. What does that mean? Where they God Himself or only a part of Him? Can we attain salvation through faith in them?
Who were Brahma, Vishnu and Siva?
If a snake is about to bite me, should I allow myself to be bitten or should I kill it, supposing that that is the only way in which I can save myself? [From Gujarati]—pp. 127-28
1.. Gandhiji put Raychandbhai some questions in a letter written sometime before June 1894. The original being untraceable the questions have been extracted from Raychandbhai’s reply. The source indicates that a few more questions asked were omitted and hence their text is not available. For Raychandbhai’s answers, vide vol. XXXII, Appendix I; also An Autobiography, Pt. II, Ch. I..

…It proves conclusively, to my mind, that a religion appears (p.227) divine or devilish, according as its professors choose to make it appear.[A BAND OF VEGETARIAN MISSIONARIES]. pp. 227-28

Sayings

Though Gandiji often quoted from others, yet one can find GREAT thoughts came from his mind.

…How hopeful, yet how often disappointed, is the human mind! We live in hopes.[The Vegetarian Messenger, 16-4-1891]. P. 56

…Cool judgment and a dispassionate and impartial enquiry are essential to a right view of the whole matter.[LETTER TO “THE NATAL ADVERTISER”. Pretoria, Sep. 29, 1893], p. 63 {Gandhi’s approach is remained like this. All his enquiry were impartial and cool judgment which was even appreciated by British News Papers.—see for this in vol. II–db}

…Men have been known to consent to do far worse things in order to be free from immediately pressing difficulties….[PETITION TO NATAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Durban, (Before June 26, 1895)] p. 231

Vegetarianism

The following points are Gandhiji’s view and active involvement Vegetarianism:

…It is a comparison between strength and strength, and not between strength and strength plus intelligence, for my attempt for the moment is simply to disprove that Indian vegetarians are physically weak on account of their vegetarianism.
Eat what food you will, it is impossible, it seems, to make physical and mental strength go together except, perhaps, in rare cases. The law of compensation will require that what is gained in mental power must be lost in bodily power…And granting the argument that a substitute is required for vegetables in the present state of society, is it conclusively proved that flesh or meat is that substitute?[The Vegetarian, 28-2-1891]. P. 25

…vegetarianism is not only not injurious, but on the contrary is conducive to bodily strength and that attributing the Hindu weakness to vegetarianism is simply based on a fallacy.—ibid. p. 25

…an Indian vegetarian…does not take eggs, because he thinks that in taking an egg he would kill a would-be life. (I am sorry to say I have been taking eggs for about a month and half.)….[The Vegetarian Messenger, 1-6-1891]. p. 36

…Diet cure or hygiene is a comparatively recent discovery in England. In India we have been practicing this from time out of mind. Native physicians, no doubt, use drugs, too, but they depend more upon change of diet than upon the efficacy of the drugs they prescribe….—ibid. p. 39

…I first bought some vegetarian literature among which was a copy of A Plea for Vegetarianism by H. S. Salt, after reading which I adopted vegetarianism from principle.
Till then I considered flesh to be a superior diet from a scientific point of view. Moreover, it was there that I came to know the existence of the Vegetarian Society of Manchester….[The Vegetarian Messenger, 20-6-1891], p. 49

…during my nearly three years’ stay in England…I shall go back without having taken meat or wine, and that I know from personal experience that there are so many vegetarians in England. —ibid. p. 49

…They claim that anatomically, physiologically, economically and morally vegetarianism is far superior to meat-eating.[GUIDE TO LONDON. (1983-84)]
p. 92

…An ordinary vegetarian in England does not exclude eggs from his dietary, while an Indian vegetarian would. As a counterpart, there are vegetarians (p.92) in England who do not take even milk and butter, they being animal products.—ibid. pp. 92-93

…My acquaintance with the vital food theory was very superficial indeed….
…These remarks apply especially to those vegetarians who base their creed on the grand basis of humanitarianism—who are vegetarians because they consider it wrong, nay, even sinful, to kill animals for their food….[AN EXPERIMENT IN VITAL FOOD]. p. 123

…Vital food may have its grand possibilities in store; (p.123) but it will surely not make our perishable bodies immortal. That any considerable majority of human beings would ever do away with cooking does not seem feasible. The vital food will not, cannot, as such, minister to the wants of the soul. And if the highest aim, indeed, the only aim of this life, be to know the soul, then, it is humbly submitted, anything that takes away from our opportunities of knowing the soul, and therefore, also playing with the vital food and other such experiments, is playing away, to that extent, the only desirable aim in life.— [AN EXPERIMENT IN VITAL FOOD]. pp. 123-24

The reasons which led me to try the vital food were its extreme simplicity….But what a sacrifice of time and trouble to achieve what is after all a selfish end, which falls short of the highest! Life seems too short for these things.[The Vegetarian, 24-3-1894].

(3) The vegetarian movement will indirectly aid India politically also, inasmuch as the English vegetarians will more readily sympathize with the Indian aspirations (that is my personal experience).—p. 125 {How mere diet will make one people to sympathize with the aspirations of another people, particularly the ruler and ruled?—db}

(4) Looking at the question even from a purely selfish point of view, you will thereby be able to have a large circle of vegetarian friends who ought to be more acceptable than others.[LETTER TO “THE VEGETAIAN”1. Pretoria. The Vegetarian, 28-4-1894].—p.125

…Trappists of Mariann Hill near Pinetown, are a standing testimony to the truth of the above remarks.[A BAND OF VEGETARIAN MISSIONARIES, The Vegetarian, 18-5-1895]. p. 223 {a colony of Trappists, Monks of the Cistercian order founded in 1140 A.D. at Soligny-la-Trappe and noted for silence and other austerities}.

…If some men of means, and well up in vegetarian literature, were to travel in different parts of the world, explore the resources of the different countries, report upon their possibilities from a vegetarian standpoint, and invite vegetarians to migrate to those countries which they may consider suitable for vegetarian propaganda, and, at the same time, worth settling in from a pecuniary point of view, much vegetarian work can be done, openings can be found for poor vegetarians, and real centres of vegetarianism can be established in various parts of the world.
But then vegetarianism, in order to do this, should be a religion, and not merely a hygienic convenience. The platform will have to be shifted much higher.[Vegetariansim in Natal, The Vegetarian, 21-12-1895]—p. 292

… But for the unfortunate characteristic of this “self-indulgent” age, in which “nothing is more common than to hear men warmly supporting a theory in the abstract (p.292) without any intention of submitting to it in practice,” we should all be vegetarians.[ LETTER TO “THE NATAL MERCURY”. Durban, February 3, 1896]. pp. 292-93

…The Christian vegetarians claim that Jesus was also a vegetarian, and there does not seem to be anything to oppose that view, except the reference to His having eaten broiled fish after the Resurrection. The most successful missionaries in South Africa (the Trappists) are vegetarians….—ibid. p. 292

…The Spiritualists hold, and the practice of the religious teachers of all the religions, except, perhaps, the generality of Protestant teachers shows, that nothing is more detrimental to the spiritual faculty of man than the gross feeding on flesh….—ibid. p. 292

…Vegetarian admirers of the intellectual in man point to the whole host of the most intellectual men of the world, who were invariably abstemious in their habits, especially at the time of writing their best works, to demonstrate the sufficiency, if not the superiority, of the vegetarian diet from an intellectual standpoint…..—ibid. p. 292

…Muscular vegetarians demonstrate the superiority of their diet by pointing out that the peasantry of the world are practically vegetarians, and that the strongest and most useful animal, the horse, is a vegetarian, while the most ferocious and practically useless animal, the lion, is a carnivore….—ibid. p. 292

…without the stimulants of flesh foods and wine it is difficult enough to restrain our passions and escape Satan’s clutches, and not to add to those difficulties by resorting to meats and drinks which, as a rule, go hand in hand….—ibid. p. 292

….I submit the following for the consideration of those who believe in the Bible. Before the “Fall” we were vegetarians….—ibid. p. 294 {Here Gandhiji quotes from OT where God gives only herb as food to Adam—db}

There may be some excuse for the unconverted partaking of meat, but for those who say they are “born again”, vegetarian Christians claim, there can be none; because their state surely should be equal, if not superior, to that of the people before the “Fall”. Again, in time of Restitution:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…. [(p. 294) {Here Gandhiji quotes from Book of Revelation where wolf shall dwell with lamb etc.—db}—ibid. p. 294-95