Sathiya Sodhani, Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography, is one book that instructs you on what is right and bad. Above all, the author should have gone through all of this. Gujarati was the original language, which was afterwards translated into English and other Indian languages. The book is divided into five parts, beginning with his birth and ending in 1921. “My life from this moment forth has become so public that there is almost anything about it that people do not know,” he writes in the final chapter.
According to the preface, “Self-realization, seeing God face to face, and attaining Moksha are what I wish to achieve – what I have been trying and longing for the past thirty years. I live, move, and exist in order to achieve this aim.”
Interpretation Of The Text
The structure of Gandhi’s autobiography is as follows: an introduction, five parts containing chapters, and a conclusion. The majority of the chapters are short and cover a single occurrence in his life. His account is almost entirely chronological. The introduction describes his search for truth, and the conclusion summarises it, demonstrating the overall message.
Gandhi’s birth (October 2, 1869), childhood, adolescence, and period in England are all covered in Part One. His religiously tolerant political official father and devoted mother affected him as a child. He’s married to Kasturbai in a child marriage at the age of 13, which means she’s also a youngster and their parents are the ones who determine they should marry.
She becomes pregnant with the first of Gandhi’s four children after a few years. When Gandhi’s father dies, a family friend advises Gandhi to study law in England in order to retain the family’s high position. His caste, on the other hand, claims that travelling overseas is against their religion.
Meanwhile, his mother is concerned that he may become disoriented in a foreign society and begin to drink beer, eat meat (his family is vegetarian), and sleep with women other than his wife, who will remain at home in India while her husband goes on his big trip. Gandhi informs his caste that he intends to travel to England and that they are free to expel him…which they do.
Gandhi takes serious pledges not to touch alcohol, meat, or other women in response to his mother’s fears. He’s now on his way to England. He returns to India after being called to the bar (i.e., after becoming a lawyer).
Part Two details his experience in South Africa, where he goes to work for a law business. He is thrown off a train owing to “colour prejudice” (his term for racism), and he chooses to fight back—albeit non-violently. He pursues his religious studies and establishes the Natal Indian Congress. He returns to India for a while, where he sees his master Gokhale and others, but is quickly summoned back to South Africa to continue his “public labour,” as he refers to today’s agitation.
In Part Three, Gandhi deepens his spiritual practise of self-control by accepting the brahmacharya vow of celibacy—by this time, he’s had four kids, all with Kasturbai—and by commanding an Indian hospital corps in the Boer War. He travels to India and stays with his guru, Gokhale, at the Indian National Congress. He also works as an attorney there. Gandhi opposes the doctor’s request to give his second son beef broth when he becomes ill, demonstrating how seriously our author takes his religious convictions. Gandhi is definitely on the move at this moment.
Gandhi fights the Asiatic Department in the Transvaal, provides legal guidance to Johannesburg Indians in property acquisition disputes, organises an Indian Volunteer Corps for the Great War, and more in Part Four. He talks about his religious studies, diet trials (dang, only fruits and nuts), and his opinions on the brahmacharya vow. He enjoys being celibate, describing sex as “insipid and animal-like.” He considers celibacy to be a purifying discipline that helps him become a better seeker of truth.
Part five depicts Gandhi at his most powerful political moment. He founds the Satyagraha Ashram in Ahmedabad, secures assistance for peasants in Champaran, opposes the Rowlatt Act, suspends Satyagraha when people become violent, edits newspapers, and convinces the Nagpur Congress to pass a non-cooperation resolution. And that’s only a sample of his political activities.
There’s also his decision to drink goat’s milk when a doctor suggested it as a treatment for a severe illness. Like vegans today, Gandhi saw all milk as an animal product, but he determined he needed strength for his public job and that his commitment to his mother not to touch milk only applied to buffalo and cow milk. Gandhi says that while drinking goat’s milk does not contradict the text of his commitment, it does break the spirit, and he is conflicted and distressed by his decision.
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My Truth Experiments: An Autobiography
The Story of My Experiments with Truth is Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography, which spans his life from boyhood through 1921. It was published in his periodical Navjivan from 1925 to 1929 in weekly instalments. It was also published in instalments in his other publication, Young India, in English. “That is why the acclaim of the world fails to touch me; in fact, it frequently stings me. Conquering the subtle passions is incomparably more difficult than conquering the world by force of guns.”
Gandhi explains in his “Farewell” to the audience that he never intended his autobiography to be an autobiography, but rather a story about life and truth experiments.
“In my conclusion, I look at the significance of food in M.K. Gandhi’s My Autobiography or the Story of My Experiments with Truth, read alongside non-fictional and fictional texts by V.S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie, as well as critique by Parama Roy, Colin Spencer, and Leela Gandhi.” The politics of hunger strike are also examined, both in Gandhi’s writings and in Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children. The chapter finishes with an overview of how paying more attention to food and eating in the novels of the four authors studied in this book opens up new ways of thinking about identity, empire, and its legacies in addition to reading them.