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Ashram Observances In Action

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First published January 1, 2006

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About the author

Mahatma Gandhi

529 books6,320 followers
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world.

The son of a senior government official, Gandhi was born and raised in a Hindu Bania community in coastal Gujarat, and trained in law in London. Gandhi became famous by fighting for the civil rights of Muslim and Hindu Indians in South Africa, using new techniques of non-violent civil disobedience that he developed. Returning to India in 1915, he set about organizing peasants to protest excessive land-taxes. A lifelong opponent of "communalism" (i.e. basing politics on religion) he reached out widely to all religious groups. He became a leader of Muslims protesting the declining status of the Caliphate. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, increasing economic self-reliance, and above all for achieving Swaraj—the independence of India from British domination. His spiritual teacher was the Jain philosopher/poet Shrimad Rajchandra.

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Displaying 1 of 1 review
9 reviews1 follower
August 31, 2019
Lately have become very interested in knowing Gandhiji from his life he led when he was not doing freedom movements.

It is a book when Phoneix Settlement/ Tolystoy Farm/ Satyagraha Ashram were established and what were the principles followed. It describes how fasting has a spiritual meaning, what is Truth, why should we pray. I was deeply moved to know the meaning of fasting. According to Gandhiji, if a person follows untruth, he and the worker in charge would fast to purify the mind. Now you would think how can torturing yourself can purify your mind. But his thinking is, food gives us the power to think, and if some corrupt thought has overpowered your brain, fasting can be a means to an end. This is what I understood, I am open for correction.

Again, some of the principles every Indian Student learns about Gandhiji can be found being practiced with sincerity in the ashram - Non stealing, bramhcharya, ahimsa etc. Ashramites also used to pray to God. They had prayer session 430 in morning/evening, prayers were fixed it is included in another book called - Ashram Bhajanavali.

On questioning the presence of God, Gandhiji said, "Fundamentally God is indescribable in words. We mortals must of necessity depend upon the imagination which makes us. Prarthana means to ask for something in the spirit of humility.... My ignorance is my salvation. It is enough that I know my God and although I have to still realize His living presence, I am on the right path to my destination.. It made me rethink of my own rejections of the presence of some higher power.

Another excerpt on prayer says :
In heartfelt prayer the worshipper's attention is concentrated on the object of worship so much so that he is not conscious of anything else besides. The worshipper has well been compared to a lover. The lover forgets the whole world and even himself in the presence of the beloved. The identification of the worshipper with God should be closer still. It comes only after much striving, self-suffering (tapas) and self-discipline. In a place which such a worshipper sanctifies by his presence, no inducements need be offered to people for attending prayers, as they are drawn to the house of prayer by the force of his devotion

I believe fasting and prayer made a huge difference, I have incorporated both into my life and I am grateful I came across this book.
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