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Mahatma Gandhi: The Story of My Experiments with Truth: Foreword by the Gandhi Research Foundation

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The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the autobiography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, covering his life from early childhood through to 1921. It was written and published in his journal, Navjivan from 1925 to 1929. It was initiated at the insistence of Swami Anand and other close co-workers of Gandhi, who encouraged him to explain the background of his public campaigns. The St The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the autobiography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, covering his life from early childhood through to 1921. It was written and published in his journal, Navjivan from 1925 to 1929. It was initiated at the insistence of Swami Anand and other close co-workers of Gandhi, who encouraged him to explain the background of his public campaigns. The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the personal account of the life of the man who freed India from colonization through the Satyagraha - nonviolent protest - movement. His early boyhood life, legal studies, purification, and ultimate salvation of his homeland is carefully recounted in this inspiring and critical work of insurmountable importance. In 1999, the book was designated as one of the "100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century" by a committee of global spiritual and religious authorities. With Foreword from The Gandhi Research Foundation. One volume: 634 pages.


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The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the autobiography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, covering his life from early childhood through to 1921. It was written and published in his journal, Navjivan from 1925 to 1929. It was initiated at the insistence of Swami Anand and other close co-workers of Gandhi, who encouraged him to explain the background of his public campaigns. The St The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the autobiography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, covering his life from early childhood through to 1921. It was written and published in his journal, Navjivan from 1925 to 1929. It was initiated at the insistence of Swami Anand and other close co-workers of Gandhi, who encouraged him to explain the background of his public campaigns. The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the personal account of the life of the man who freed India from colonization through the Satyagraha - nonviolent protest - movement. His early boyhood life, legal studies, purification, and ultimate salvation of his homeland is carefully recounted in this inspiring and critical work of insurmountable importance. In 1999, the book was designated as one of the "100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century" by a committee of global spiritual and religious authorities. With Foreword from The Gandhi Research Foundation. One volume: 634 pages.

30 review for Mahatma Gandhi: The Story of My Experiments with Truth: Foreword by the Gandhi Research Foundation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    fundamentally changed my view of the world... Oft In My Thought Ah, how often I have sought in my days, To emulate the great leaders, and be gently led, By their virtuous actions and well-laid plans. How often I charted the best courses to take To reach those heights of thought and action; And thought evermore of what best will portray Their everlasting influence on this humble self, That will make this world to be as they always saw, In their lofty wishes and their fanciful dreams. But all those thoughts, fundamentally changed my view of the world... Oft In My Thought Ah, how often I have sought in my days, To emulate the great leaders, and be gently led, By their virtuous actions and well-laid plans. How often I charted the best courses to take To reach those heights of thought and action; And thought evermore of what best will portray Their everlasting influence on this humble self, That will make this world to be as they always saw, In their lofty wishes and their fanciful dreams. But all those thoughts, alas, they too crumble and dry, And serve no more the masters that send them forth, Who are now but ashes or just food to now dead worms, And so are their thoughts but food to a few blind men. And this world that lets the best of it die, And leaves not even a soul or a smile behind, For what I should try, what lasting effect, When in showing the virtues, I forget them more? How to pass that time of the night, When all too familiar shame shows its head: Have you forgotten all your virtues, It asks with the malevolent sweet smiles, The dead might banish sins and conquer great heights, But will the living learn, it sneers and slips away. To what profit we move, to what end we sing, Praises of these men, and put their faces in public places? The most good, most fair and most just of men; They no longer walk this realm, what omen there? And when the young can no longer dare imagine That their footsteps once hallowed these very ruins…

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    Gandhi has no energy whatsoever. I think the main problem with him writing his own autobiography is his complete lack of ego. He is too modest. He is too accommodating. And he is too good. Wonderful characteristics for sure; they clearly served him well in his role as a civil rights leader, though they make him rather ill-equipped to write his own story. There is absolutely no passion within his writing, no fire, no strength and certainly no sense of long term goals or aspirations within the fir Gandhi has no energy whatsoever. I think the main problem with him writing his own autobiography is his complete lack of ego. He is too modest. He is too accommodating. And he is too good. Wonderful characteristics for sure; they clearly served him well in his role as a civil rights leader, though they make him rather ill-equipped to write his own story. There is absolutely no passion within his writing, no fire, no strength and certainly no sense of long term goals or aspirations within the first few hundred pages. He begins with telling the tale of his youth, a rather non-descript and ordinary upbringing. It’s mundane, full of far too much monotony and everyday trifles to warrant any remark. It’s almost like he is detached from his own experiences. Gandhi the leader, Gandhi the man who has inspired thousands, did not come across in much of the writing here. He is narrating his life retrospectively, from a position of success and influence, yet this Gandhi does not appear in the pages. There is no sense of an older, wiser, Gandhi looking at the actions of his youth and appraising or criticising his own actions. He does not evaluate the past, but tells it a bland impersonal manner with little emotion. All in all, I found it extremely hard to connect with on any level. To compare this to the compelling, convincing and rather extraordinary Autobiography of Malcolm X, Gandhi’s words are unengaging. There is no rhetoric or argument to any actual effect. Certainly, he speaks of following a pure and truthful life, though after reading his words I was never convinced with the reasons he puts forth. The merits of such a life speak for themselves, but Gandhi did not convey it here. There’s also no sense of the human struggle, of a man trying to overcome his own daemons and become a better person. There is a certain lack of emotion within the entire work. It feels cold. It is, of course, worth mentioning that I greatly admire Gandhi. His approach to life was benevolent and inspiring. Humanity has a lot to learn from him; he was an exemplifier of human values we all ought to strive for. Yet, for all his leadership skills, he couldn’t write for shit.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    This was a fascinating read. Gandhi's writing is oddly simple, even almast naive in places. He faithfully records small personal struggles, giving them the same wieght as major political battles. Gandhi's zeal and idealism comes across powerfully, as does his lifelong concern with self-discipline and purity (bramacharya). I was especially interested in his evolving understanding of satyagraha and his increasingly strict vegetarianism. His ascetism increased in direct proportion to his growing po This was a fascinating read. Gandhi's writing is oddly simple, even almast naive in places. He faithfully records small personal struggles, giving them the same wieght as major political battles. Gandhi's zeal and idealism comes across powerfully, as does his lifelong concern with self-discipline and purity (bramacharya). I was especially interested in his evolving understanding of satyagraha and his increasingly strict vegetarianism. His ascetism increased in direct proportion to his growing political power. The autobiography ends in 1920, right around the time Gandhi became an international figure. The major historical events leading up to Independence are outside the scope of the book, but it's fascinating to watch Gandhi become Gandhi during the first half of his life. Like all autobiographies, this one leaves out much helpful background information about people, places, and evets, so I frequently put down the book to Googgle. Next I would love to read a third person biography to fill in some more of the gaps.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Jones

    Excuse the ramblings of a mind coping to understand...this really is a book review...of sorts. Yesterday, a man in Oslo set off a bomb that killed seven people then went to a kid's camp and killed eighty four young people. The world is sickened. Why do these things happen? Details are still coming out. At first I heard an Islamic militant group had claimed responsibility. Now it seems that the killer may be an extreme anti-islamic; a christian fundamentalist. What is clear is that somehow he was Excuse the ramblings of a mind coping to understand...this really is a book review...of sorts. Yesterday, a man in Oslo set off a bomb that killed seven people then went to a kid's camp and killed eighty four young people. The world is sickened. Why do these things happen? Details are still coming out. At first I heard an Islamic militant group had claimed responsibility. Now it seems that the killer may be an extreme anti-islamic; a christian fundamentalist. What is clear is that somehow he was able to justify his actions because human life was less valuable to him than his ideals. Societies sometimes justify violence (war, torture, capital punishment...) by saying they are protecting certain ideals. When violence is justified on such large levels, it can not be too surprising when an individual finds ways to justify violence as well. It could be a single man in Oslo. It could be a million men who beat their wives and children. Violence is violence. In its most extreme and violent manifestations, we can plainly see that it is senseless, but in its more commonplace variations it can be tolerated or ignored. It seems that to many of us there is some line between acceptable and unacceptable violence and maybe this is part of the problem; we can compartmentalize and label the violence we do not like as the work of the evil or insane. Back in university I read this book by Gandhi. Those who think that they cannot defend or promote ideals without the use of violence are either ignorant or (more likely) lazy, because the non-violent path is much, much harder to walk than the violent one. Violence is easy. Revenge is natural. But Gandhi was able to lead an entire nation to freedom without bombing police stations. The writing of Gandhi is all about the individual having dignity and independence - that self respect comes from respecting others. Gandhi's writing is a roadmap to a better world. I think that those who have not read Gandhi have an overly simplified vision of the man; that he was simply a pacifist or an unrealistic dreamer. I know that's what I used to think. But he was primarily concerned with erasing social injustice; non-violence was simply the best means to his ends. The best and most difficult. It is time for us to reject "by any means necessary" and revenge seeking and punishing and all the eye-for-an-eye bullshit. All this generally condoned social violence just seeps into individuals where it collects as pure hate.

  5. 5 out of 5

    طَيْف

    وتحطمت الأسطورة!!!0 ما يلي هو وجهة نظر شخصية بحتة معرضة للنقص والقصور...مع احترامي لجميع وجهات النظر الأخرى ما الذي كنت أعرفه عن غاندي قبل قراءة هذه السيرة؟؟وما الذي أضافته لي قراءتها؟؟؟ قرأت سابقا عن الظروف التي ظهر فيها غاندي في الهند، وعن الأسباب الحقيقية التي جعلت منه أسطورة الهند وروحها، وعن الأهداف التي مهدت لظهوره، وعن علاقته ببريطانيا وتعاونه معهم من خلال الحاكم البريطاني "ريدينج" لكسر شوكة المسلمين في الهند، من أجل ضمان تسلم الهندوس لمقاليد الحكم فيها...غاندي الذي دعا للرجوع إلى الحضارة ال وتحطمت الأسطورة!!!0 ما يلي هو وجهة نظر شخصية بحتة معرضة للنقص والقصور...مع احترامي لجميع وجهات النظر الأخرى ما الذي كنت أعرفه عن غاندي قبل قراءة هذه السيرة؟؟وما الذي أضافته لي قراءتها؟؟؟ قرأت سابقا عن الظروف التي ظهر فيها غاندي في الهند، وعن الأسباب الحقيقية التي جعلت منه أسطورة الهند وروحها، وعن الأهداف التي مهدت لظهوره، وعن علاقته ببريطانيا وتعاونه معهم من خلال الحاكم البريطاني "ريدينج" لكسر شوكة المسلمين في الهند، من أجل ضمان تسلم الهندوس لمقاليد الحكم فيها...غاندي الذي دعا للرجوع إلى الحضارة الهندية حربا على الحضارة الإسلامية التي عاشت على أرض الهند أربعة عشر قرنا...وهو يمثل دورا مهما فيما سماه المقاومة السلمية أو اللاعنف أما المبادئ التي ادعى أنه توصل إليها وتبناها فهي الدعوة للاعنف، ولمقاومة الظلم سلميا، وللاعتماد على الذات اقتصاديا، وللمعاناة الجسدية كوسيلة لتطهير الروح...وللعيش وفق نمط حياة بسيط يعتمد على الطعام النباتي...وللبحث الدائم عن الحقيقة دعوني أكون على الأقل مثله باحثة عن الحقيقة وهو أقل ما تعلمني إياه هذه السيرة أين تكمن الحقيقة؟؟ وجدت غاندي بناء على كلماته يتبنى مجموعة من الأفكار الغريبة...فبينما يدعي أنه لا يكتب سيرة ذاتية وإنما قصة بحث عن الحقيقة، لم أجد إلا سيرة ذاتية تقليدية بكثير من التفاصيل التي تبعث على الملل...وبقليل من التفاصيل المهمة عن توجهاته وأفكاره السياسية. وعلى الرغم من ادعائه الدائم أن هدفه في الحياة الوصول لله، فلم يبذل جهدا في الممارسة الحقيقية لأي ديانة، بل يبتدع "الساتياجراها"!!0 وحين أراد تقديم نفسه كقدوة ومثل أخلاقي أعلى ونموذج هندوسي يمثل الديانة الهندوسية ومبادئها...ابتعد بالكثير من مبادئه عن الفطرة الإنسانية بل ناقضها...بدءا من علاقته بزوجته والتي تعد حكاية لوحدها، فهو يعتقد بأن الجنس يفسد الحب، ويتخذ كل القرارات نيابة عنها، ويحرمها من أبسط وسائل العيش المريحة في سبيل أمته ووطنه!!!!!!بس فهموني العلاقة بينهم!!!!!!!0 أو حتى تجاربه الغذائية المقتصرة على تناول الأطعمة النباتية، وتجاربه الطبية في المعالجة الذاتية التي لم تثبت كفاءتها واعتبرها من بين الحقائق التي اقتنع بجدواها!! وحتى تجاربه مع أبنائه في قضية تعليمهم...تراه يشيد بالخط الجيد وأثر التعليم فيه، مع إصراره على حرمان أبنائه من التعليم الرسمي...حتى قال عنه أحد أبنائه: "إنه الأب الأعظم للأمة الهندية ولكن أيضاً الأب الذي لم أكن أتمناه"...وقال له: "في مختبرك للتجارب لسوء الحظ أنا الحقيقة الوحيدة التي بدت خطأ"!!0 لو أردت أن أحكم على غاندي من خلال كلماته، فلن أقول إلا أنه إنسان يمنح الفقر تقديسا ويظهر مثالية عالية لا تتسق مع الواقع أو الطبيعة السليمة للبشر، ورغم ذلك يدعي امتلاكه للحقيقة وتوصله إليها ولا في لحظة شعرت بتواضعه الحقيقي...بل بغطرسته وهو يلقي حقائقه علينا وكأنها تعليمات مقدسة، رأى أنها تستحق أن تتحول لقواعد حياتية في الـ "ساتياجراها"!!0 عذرا غاندي...ما استطعت إقناعي باقترابك في هذه السيرة من الحقيقة.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Lanter

    After seeing the movie biopic, I knew I needed to find out more about Gandhi so I picked this up. Don't let the width of the book fool you, it isn't a thousand pages like it appears. The translation of the book is actually pretty good and it reads easily. For the most part, Gandhi spends time talking about the little details in his life before he became famous. That is sort of the opposite of what you would expect in an autobiography, but as he says, his life was well known by then. This may lea After seeing the movie biopic, I knew I needed to find out more about Gandhi so I picked this up. Don't let the width of the book fool you, it isn't a thousand pages like it appears. The translation of the book is actually pretty good and it reads easily. For the most part, Gandhi spends time talking about the little details in his life before he became famous. That is sort of the opposite of what you would expect in an autobiography, but as he says, his life was well known by then. This may lead some people to feel like the book is meandering. I can understand this feeling, but I think his sincerity and honesty outweighs that. While this book does not talk a lot about his theories on non-violence or his time in South Africa (I believe there is a separate book for that), it is impossible not to walk away from reading this book and feel inspired. Gandhi's humility has changed my outlook on many things and his passion for finding life's truths is infectious. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you'll appreciate his details and struggles about this as well. Ultimately, I think this book can make you a better person if you have an interest in Gandhi's life and philosophies and approach with an open mind and persist through the small amount of less relevant information.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fiya

    Intended for a very limited audience My copy of the book had torn spine, small print, dog-eared cover and the quality of paper so inferior, that it set a new precedent for me -- but I shouldn't complain because a friend of mine had lent it to me. Let me first clarify something about this book's genre. Gandhi says in the foreword that this book was a memoir of 'his experiments with truth', thus the subtitle; but he particularly says that this was not an autobiography. He gives his reasons for t Intended for a very limited audience My copy of the book had torn spine, small print, dog-eared cover and the quality of paper so inferior, that it set a new precedent for me -- but I shouldn't complain because a friend of mine had lent it to me. Let me first clarify something about this book's genre. Gandhi says in the foreword that this book was a memoir of 'his experiments with truth', thus the subtitle; but he particularly says that this was not an autobiography. He gives his reasons for this. First, he did not like this 'Western' genre: There was a general prejudice against West during his time. Second, he thought that the idea of a man writing his own life was conceited. So you might ask, Is it not an autobiography? It is. It is a straight-forward, old-school autobiography that begins with birth and leads up to the moment the author is writing the book. My own dislike for the book is rooted in the fact that I am not the audience Gandhi had in mind. In the book you realize that he wants to present himself as an ideal for the kids in India, particularly the Hindus, of that era. The reason I say this is that the book was originally published in Gandhi's native language and most of the book's content is about moral teachings. Moral from his perspective. His morality is deeply rooted in Indian culture and Hindu religion. But some of his principles are plain weird. Here's an example. He doesn't fight (out of timidity I think because he started doing this quite early); he praises good handwriting; renounces tea (apparently, doctors then had evidence against it); praises unworthy teachers. Furthermore, he never quite justifies, or may be he didn't even understand, his superstitious nature. There is nothing wrong, per say, with this approach. But, this mode of writing becomes trite: everything has ethical overtone. Most of what he writes is judged through the prism of right and wrong. And after a point, it just sounds stupid. We are taught from childhood to follow a rigid set of rules; parents have their own ideas of ethics, teachers theirs, and if you're affiliated with any religion then it's a whole new level of rules you have to follow. But as humans, we all have individuality: we live our unique lives. But not Gandhi. He chose to follow whatever his parents, teachers, or anyone he considered worthy enough to be placed on a peddle, tells him. He followed these rules to the T. Honestly, if you want me to judge Gandhi from this book, I'll say he is like a lonely person who lacked self-esteem; someone without an iota of individuality. That, ofcourse, is the impression from the book. Now I know that Gandhi was more than this. But he had to appear an idealist. About the English -- It was archaic, with structures and words that I could not help laugh at! The English could have been simpler, more direct and less cumbersome. It could have used Strunk and White. These days the autobiography genre is written as creative non-fiction, and not as a linear chronology of life, as was the case with this book. So I can't complain about it being slightly boring. You know how it is: Starting from childhood all the way upto the moment you're penning the very book. Now I know that some people will revere this book. This may be because they're the kind of audience Gandhi was writing for. I am not one of them. So I am critiquing this book from my perspective, which is what we always do, which is what anyone can do. Selling this translated edition to the world when its intended audience was a India of a particular epoch is a mistake.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Francisco

    One of those books that needs to be read periodically if only to remind yourself that someone out there sometime thought that transformation, liberation, hell just plain living, without violence was possible. It's not the violence that scares me personally as much as the anger. There's still some restrictions on the use of violence but anger's got the world's green light. Be angry even as you defend peace. Be angry on behalf of goodness and beauty. Be angry or you don't care. So you read about G One of those books that needs to be read periodically if only to remind yourself that someone out there sometime thought that transformation, liberation, hell just plain living, without violence was possible. It's not the violence that scares me personally as much as the anger. There's still some restrictions on the use of violence but anger's got the world's green light. Be angry even as you defend peace. Be angry on behalf of goodness and beauty. Be angry or you don't care. So you read about Gandhi's spiritual journey which began with, of all things, anger at the injustice he perceived, and gradually the anger was transformed into another much more powerful energy. The energy of ahimsa, an inner force he discovered in the discipline of self denial. Ahimsa: It is not enough not to strike another person but something much, much harder- the elimination of all the hostility in your heart. A way of life, really, that encompassed all you did. And this is what the man Gandhi believed: that unless that hostility disappeared and was replaced by this other power, any social good you could achieve would not be lasting, would not even be worth it. These thoughts seem so old fashioned, don't they? Like when your mother told you that you needed to wait three hours after eating before swimming. No one believes these kind of ideas anymore. Is the truth of nonviolence that Gandhi lived, not believed but lived - is that truth not believable or livable anymore? Where do people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and so many others get the notion that the only response to hatred is love? Look around you? Do you think this is still possible? In this world? Some biographies inspire but the good ones challenge. What would it be like for you and me to fight the biggest battle, the one Gandhi fought, the one that takes place inside of you, the one between your Self and the anger that fills you? And what would it take for you to believe that that's the one battle that will truly make this world a better place?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bettie☯

    Description: In 1999, this book was designated as one of the ''100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century'' by HarperCollins Publishers. ''When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, always.'' -- Gandhi A holy man to Hindus, a hero to Muslims, and a criminal to the British, Mohandas K. Gandhi was an inspiring Description: In 1999, this book was designated as one of the ''100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century'' by HarperCollins Publishers. ''When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, always.'' -- Gandhi A holy man to Hindus, a hero to Muslims, and a criminal to the British, Mohandas K. Gandhi was an inspiring figure of the twentieth century, a man whose quest to live in accord with God's highest truth led him to initiate massive campaigns against racism, violence, and colonialism. From his youthful rebellion against vegetarianism, to his successful law practice in South Africa, his struggle with his own sexual excesses, and his leadership of the movement to free India from British rule, Gandhi describes the story of his life as a series of spiritual ''experiments'' and explains how he developed his concept of active nonviolent resistance, which propelled the Indian struggle for independence and inspired countless other nonviolent struggles. (Translated from the original in Gujarati by Mahadev Desai.) Narrator - Bill Wallace Gasp! And there he was, meeting teh Blavatsky and Annie Besant... I picked this up primarily wanting to know the reverse of Letter To A Hindu, not particularly wishing to find the spiritual but not willing to diss that aspect out of hand when faced full-on. This is wonderful, we get to find that the man was, as a youngster, a thief, a liar, and a con artist. From such humble beginnings came a great human being. Blinking marvellous read. We were only given the snippiest snippet of his pernickety character/early life in the Attenborough film so it was lovely to acquaint myself with his version of events. Fully recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hajer Fahad

    أحب قراءة السيّر لأنها تمنحنا حياة آخرى و تجارب أكثر , و سيرة غاندي من أروع السير الحياتيه.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Miles Kaufman

    In Gandhi’s Autobiography (which was hand written by someone else, but told supposedly word-for-word by Gandhi.) the book starts off with Gandhi as a child and his recollections. From here to his teenage years its pretty exciting and an overall page turner. I don’t want to give away anything, but his childhood was pretty weird in comparison to the American lifestyle. Anyway I found that the chapters later on that involved his life in England overall drab and boring. Gandhi seemed to recall borin In Gandhi’s Autobiography (which was hand written by someone else, but told supposedly word-for-word by Gandhi.) the book starts off with Gandhi as a child and his recollections. From here to his teenage years its pretty exciting and an overall page turner. I don’t want to give away anything, but his childhood was pretty weird in comparison to the American lifestyle. Anyway I found that the chapters later on that involved his life in England overall drab and boring. Gandhi seemed to recall boring court cases, as well as persistently mention his shyness for public speaking. One thing that I found unbelievably interesting is that as lawyer he completely refused to defend any clients who committed the deed they were convicted of, even friends. However in the case of his friends he wouldn’t defend their case, but moreover persuade others to let the case drop (if he believed the convicted had already suffered enough shame.) The ending of the book is by far the best, where all ends meet and the impossible is occurring. I hate to say it, but in the end even I was feeling the hate toward England (while acknowledging that this took place years before my time.) Overall this is one of the books I remember the most, (read this in 9th grade) I decided to reread it because of the SAT writing section (which this is great for) but found myself enjoying this book again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    Having read Fischer's biography of him in high school led to reading a whole lot of Gandhi's own writing in college--until, that is, hitting his commentaries on the Gita--starting with his early autobiographical My Experiments with Truth. My primary interest in Gandhi was his pacifism and his reasons for it. The United States' invasion of the south of Vietnam had been going on since my childhood and I had become a draft counselor in college and, ultimately, a draft resister after I'd started fill Having read Fischer's biography of him in high school led to reading a whole lot of Gandhi's own writing in college--until, that is, hitting his commentaries on the Gita--starting with his early autobiographical My Experiments with Truth. My primary interest in Gandhi was his pacifism and his reasons for it. The United States' invasion of the south of Vietnam had been going on since my childhood and I had become a draft counselor in college and, ultimately, a draft resister after I'd started filling out the conscientious objector forms and found that I certainly didn't qualify by governmental criteria. This, of course, raised questions. The C.O. status was only granted then for persons subscribing to a theistic faith tradition opposed to violence. I was no theist in their sense, nor was Gandhi. What would he have to say? Well, on that score Gandhi was a disappointment. His pacifism appeared rooted in his character and in his emotional feeling for such traditions and behavior. I shared the emotion and found Gandhi a kindred soul, but I failed to find an intellectually satisfying argument which could hold up against, say, a sociopath's or a politician's reasonings. What I did find was a very engaging fellow, conversant with the West and their traditions, as well as with his own culture, a cosmopolitan from the other side of the world who conveys a sense of utter guilelessness yet whom you know was a practical and very successful politician on terms substantially of his own choosing. In this light, an anecdote: When Gandhi, in 1931, stopped for an audience with Italy's head of state, he was met by Mussolini and his family. As ever, Gandhi was scantily attired and accompanied by his goat. Mussolini's sons sniggered. After the audience the Duce is reported to have glared at them, saying "that man and his goat are shaking the British Empire."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nasser Moh'd

    غاندي والحقيقة أُعجبت بشخصية غاندي الفذة ، الصبوره ، المثابرة ، الذكيه ، الصلبة بمبادئها ، (ولو اني كنت ارى بان هذه المباديء تشكل عائقاً امامه ، لكن بوجهة نظر غاندي ان المباديء ما هي الا حقائق تشكل إلهٌ واحد) ومن هنا يجب علينا ان ننظر بأن غاندي معذور ان ضحى بنفسه من اجل مبدأ واحد وبما ان الكتاب أشبه بالسيره الذاتيه فانا ساحاول جاهداً ان اكتب فقط عن شخص غاندي لا غير ....ب غاندي الرجل الطيب ، المتواضع، المحب والواثق للاخرين، الصادق ، المؤمن ، الزاهد بالدنيا ، ، المحب والغيور على وطنه، كل هذه الصفات تج غاندي والحقيقة أُعجبت بشخصية غاندي الفذة ، الصبوره ، المثابرة ، الذكيه ، الصلبة بمبادئها ، (ولو اني كنت ارى بان هذه المباديء تشكل عائقاً امامه ، لكن بوجهة نظر غاندي ان المباديء ما هي الا حقائق تشكل إلهٌ واحد) ومن هنا يجب علينا ان ننظر بأن غاندي معذور ان ضحى بنفسه من اجل مبدأ واحد وبما ان الكتاب أشبه بالسيره الذاتيه فانا ساحاول جاهداً ان اكتب فقط عن شخص غاندي لا غير ....ب غاندي الرجل الطيب ، المتواضع، المحب والواثق للاخرين، الصادق ، المؤمن ، الزاهد بالدنيا ، ، المحب والغيور على وطنه، كل هذه الصفات تجتمع بشخص ذكي . وأنا اعتقد من اسباب نجاح غاندي هو بياض قلبة وصفاء نيته كل هذه الصفات الجميله سرت الي من قلبي من خلال كتاباته، غاندي يقدم التضحيات للاخرين ويحبهم ويتمنى لهم الخير ، وكل ذلك يعود عليه بالخير مبدأ العطاء لدى غاندي عالي القيمة فهو يعطي من روحه ولا يتعب بل يتلذذ . واعتقد ايضاً من اسباب النجاح التي يجب ان اكشفها هو ان غاندي يمتلك عقل نقدي ( تحليلي) وهذه النظرة النقديه لا تكون إلا بالشخص الهائم بالحقائق ، المصر على تحقيقها ، فهو يكره الراحه ويعشق القلق يقلق الى ان تنكشف له الحقيقه من غشاوتها، فيهيب للانقضاض عليها ، كمن انقض على صناديق الذهب والمجوهرات، وان أدى ذلك إلى زجة في السجون فهو امتع وألذ إليه ، من بقاءه عاله على الحقيقه ، زائداً على الحياة وفعلاً غاندي كان من الناجحين ، حقق لنفسه شعبيه من غير سعي وراء مال وسلطه ، اشترط على الظروف ان يكون صادقاً زاهداً محب لناس فخارت قوى الظروف امامه ليحقق اهدافه،. غاندي مثال حي لشخص المؤمن بمبادئه والمثابر والمصر من اجل تحقيقها مستخدماً طريق الشرف و النباله .. ويستحق غاندي ان يكون قدوة لكل شخص وكل انسان اراد المثابرة في الحياه، وبطرق نزيهه وسلميه ، وناصعة البياض ***واجهت ملل في بعض احداث السيرة علاوةً على صعوبة الاسماء الهنديه

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nawal Al-Qussyer

    كتاب ضخم ان صح التعبير.. يحتوي علي تفاصيل دقيقة عن حياة المهاتما غاندي وسيرته الذاتية في حقل المحاماة وتجارب الدراسة في بريطانيا و العمل في جنوب افريقيا والبقية تأتي. بدت في البداية ممتعة، وممتعة جدا حتى أني تجاوزت المائة صفحة في مدة وجيزة، سرني أن أتعرف عن قرب على جزء من المجتمع الهندي وهم الهندوس وبعض عاداتهم في القرن الماضي.. الجزء الأول تحدث عن طفولته وصباه بشكل مركز ودقيق. وعن شعوره وبعض مغامراته.. ودراسته وزواجه المبكر جدا والذي أحززني كما أحزنه.. ومن ثم انطلاقه للحياة في بداية التجربة للد كتاب ضخم ان صح التعبير.. يحتوي علي تفاصيل دقيقة عن حياة المهاتما غاندي وسيرته الذاتية في حقل المحاماة وتجارب الدراسة في بريطانيا و العمل في جنوب افريقيا والبقية تأتي. بدت في البداية ممتعة، وممتعة جدا حتى أني تجاوزت المائة صفحة في مدة وجيزة، سرني أن أتعرف عن قرب على جزء من المجتمع الهندي وهم الهندوس وبعض عاداتهم في القرن الماضي.. الجزء الأول تحدث عن طفولته وصباه بشكل مركز ودقيق. وعن شعوره وبعض مغامراته.. ودراسته وزواجه المبكر جدا والذي أحززني كما أحزنه.. ومن ثم انطلاقه للحياة في بداية التجربة للدراسة بالخارج وتدبر اموره والعهد الذي قطعه بأن لايأكل اللحوم ولا يلمس النساء ولا يشرب المسكرات. ثم بدأت تصبح مملة ومحشوة كثيرا بأحداث و مقاطع غير ضرورية . إضافة إلي التكرار الكثير في مجمل كلامه وبعض المواقف. مما جعلني اشعر بالملل والفتور.. وكنت أقفز بعض المقاطع من شدة الملل. الأسلوب في الترجمة لم يكن كما تمنيت. شعرت أنه ينقصه من السلاسة الشيء الكثير.. لا أعلم لم لكني فعلا وأنا أقرأ أشعر أن في الجمل شيء من عدم السهولة او الوضوح او المباشرة، في حين كان بامكان المترجم أن يكون أكثر سلاسة.. ربما لأني سمعت عن ترجمات منير بعلبكي المحترفة فتوقعت شيئا أكثر.. لكن لم يسعني الا ان الاحظ ان الترجمة كانت احد انتقاداتي للكتاب. طباعة النسخة غير جيدة و وغير واضحة مع ان نسختي جديدة وبتغليفها البلاستيكي لكن وجدت الكثير من الصفحات علي وشك التمزق.. وبعض النقط الغير واضح مكانها.. المهم كانت سيرة محملة بالمواقف والعبر والدروس.. عرفت ان الذي لايستسلم هو الذي ينتصر . وان الثبات على المبدأ بحد ذاته انجاز.. هالني ما رأيته منه في حين كانت زوجته - هو - اولاده أقرب للموت لكنه يرفض التداوي بمرق اللحم او قطع الدجاج . بسبب مبدأه الديني. على الرغم من اني لا اوافقه طبعا لكن ثباته على المبدأ مذهل حقيقة.. بدا لي ان المهاتما جدا متسامح مع الاديان ومنفتح، كان خلوقا جدا ويظهر ذلك جليا في تبنيه لللاعنف والذي انقذ الهند من الاحتلال البريطاني.. أعجبني جدا أنه لم يأبه كثيرا بكلام طائفته حين قرر السفر للدراسة في حين انهم قاطعوه واعتبروه منبوذا.. في هذه السيرة الكثير من الاشياء المحفزة والمملة والعظيمة والعادية. والاشياء التي تجعلك جدا سعيد لان العظماء او الذين فعلوا شيئا عظيما بدأوا حياة عادية لهم نقائص وشكوك وماضي. هم بشر قبل أي شيء اخر.. وجدت انه جدا جدا صريح بخصوص عيوبه. مثل كثرة الشهوة وعلاقته الزوجية وتربيته لابنائه الذي يعتقد انه قصر في الجانب الادبي خصوصا، وحين تركهم لمدة طويلة.. لا أظن أني سأعود لقرائتها مرة أخرى.. كانت عملية مرهقة مع هذه الطباعة. لكني علمت الكثير من المقاطع للرجوع لها منفردة

  15. 4 out of 5

    gumireddy srikanth

    I owe my life to Mahatma Gandhi, This is a life-changing book. When we think of Gandhi, we think of a man who must’ve been perfect, I have learn’t about Gandhi at my school nobody discussed about this flaws , We were only taught about his extraordinary simple principles ,But in his autobiography, I learned that he had his own flaws . But his immense determination to overcome his problems , slowly and and persistently stuck me . I have learned lot of simple extra ordinary principles like Women de I owe my life to Mahatma Gandhi, This is a life-changing book. When we think of Gandhi, we think of a man who must’ve been perfect, I have learn’t about Gandhi at my school nobody discussed about this flaws , We were only taught about his extraordinary simple principles ,But in his autobiography, I learned that he had his own flaws . But his immense determination to overcome his problems , slowly and and persistently stuck me . I have learned lot of simple extra ordinary principles like Women deserve lot of respect and love , He has changed the way i think about women , being a youngster i always thought they were just fun , Today i feel ashamed , broken about the idea i had about Women . His princples about vegetarianism was amazing experience , I believe every one of us need to follow him . The core principle of all this ideas will change your life forever as mine . The search for TRUTH , Believe me this would be a breath taking experience which would change your life forever , As Mahatma Gandhi says every body needs a Guru , I have chosen Mahatma Gandhi as my Guru being his Student , I am in search of TRUTH and I have started My Experiments with Truth . Would update my experiments here . I would like to make a small request for people who have read this blog post , Please you will find ample amount of time why don’t you change your life Information about this autobiography http://www.mkgandhi.org/autobio/autob... http://www.navajivantrust.org/

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gorab Jain

    First thing - This rating and review is not for Gandhiji and his persona, albeit the way this autobiography is written. Its not very easy to describe conflicting thoughts and dilemmas. And yet Gandhiji has described his concepts of life in a lucid way. "Experiments" is the highlight, and the content does justice to the title. He has captured in details the experiments on food, treatment with mud and water, way of life, thought process on indulgence and abstinence. Also commendable are the details First thing - This rating and review is not for Gandhiji and his persona, albeit the way this autobiography is written. Its not very easy to describe conflicting thoughts and dilemmas. And yet Gandhiji has described his concepts of life in a lucid way. "Experiments" is the highlight, and the content does justice to the title. He has captured in details the experiments on food, treatment with mud and water, way of life, thought process on indulgence and abstinence. Also commendable are the details on the way he instils leadership by demonstration of his own actions. Positives: - The book structure - Division in five apt parts - Numerous small chapters with titles for each of them - Frank and honest. Thrashes self without hesitation. - Descriptions about falling for lust, visiting prostitutes, giving in to drinking and smoking, eating meat ... etc are uninhibited. - Moral dilemmas, and how he coped with them. - The evolution of Satyagraha ideology. Negatives: - Egotist narration. (Duh! Its an autobiography!) - Could be better if there are more encounters about his relation with wife and kids (which appears neglected) - Lagged in some parts of South Africa where it turned to only factual descriptions and no insights. Overall: A prized and cherishable read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    لونا

    قد يستغرب البعض لما سأقوله هنا أنا "لست" من المعجبين بشخصية غاندي .. .. وخلال قراءة هذا الكتاب تأكدت من ذلك شخصيته الانطوائية، شديدة الخجل وسأكون جريئة وأقول سلبية حققت ما لم يحققه الكثير وخلقت مفهوم جديد للمقاومة لماذا إذا منحت الكتاب 4 نجوم؟! لأن الكتاب يندرج تحت تصنيف الكتب التي تتربع على عرش نوعيتي المفضلة "السيرة الذاتية" وأيضاً الكتاب مكتوب بطريقة جميلة .. .. والأهم من ذلك أن تأثير غاندي الإيجابي في العالم بمقاومته السلبية أمر يدعو للإعجاب سواء شئت أم أبيت

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dimple

    "My experiments with truth" describes perfectly the stoic life of Gandhiji! How he developed himself through 'good company', 'good books' and 'self-will'. This writing is an Apotheosis for showing,"Winners are not born, they are made!" I thought this book will be more about British East India and our Freedom struggle but its basically about "experiments" of Gandhiji in his journey and it's remarkable how he sticked to his beliefs! Though many of his beliefs or rules I didn't find right(or orthodox, "My experiments with truth" describes perfectly the stoic life of Gandhiji! How he developed himself through 'good company', 'good books' and 'self-will'. This writing is an Apotheosis for showing,"Winners are not born, they are made!" I thought this book will be more about British East India and our Freedom struggle but its basically about "experiments" of Gandhiji in his journey and it's remarkable how he sticked to his beliefs! Though many of his beliefs or rules I didn't find right(or orthodox, sometimes too rigid and impractical), it does not deter my respect for him in any way! He is the man who has truly devoted his life for society with his philosophy,"Simple living high thinking!" He has bequeathed us with two most powerful instruments for peaceful life: Truth and Ahimsa; and his conviction in them is inspiring. One thing I learned is "trial and error" method is not only for Maths questions but also for Life Questions! "To err is human."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jijo Varghese

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Caution: This is my view about Gandhi after reading his book. During childhood(may be age also matters- I read it when I was 15) I read Malayalam version of it given by one of my friend who got this book as a gift.This review its strictly my own understanding of him, and has nothing to do with the way others understands & respects him. May be I have done terrific mistake by not understanding him the way all of you had.This is not to impose or sling anything on Mr.Gandhi and your exalted view Caution: This is my view about Gandhi after reading his book. During childhood(may be age also matters- I read it when I was 15) I read Malayalam version of it given by one of my friend who got this book as a gift.This review its strictly my own understanding of him, and has nothing to do with the way others understands & respects him. May be I have done terrific mistake by not understanding him the way all of you had.This is not to impose or sling anything on Mr.Gandhi and your exalted view of him. It's my fault, my fault and my own fault.. 06.02.15: I will not be defending my views now on by replying comment s posted below this thread (I think I have already done it with all my might). Happy reading folks..Cheers & GD Luck Gandhi..called as Mahatma??? A self deceiver can be called as Mahatma?? I call him self deceiver only because of his rules and regulations which was maintained or still maintaining in his ashram.. He calls Gita his mother!!then what about Quran or Bible?? What about Buddhist scriptures?? And there are still people who goes on calling these people as Mahatmas???People like him were always against rebels..I calls him traditional..the very stupid mediocre mind of vedic period..and this so called Mahatmas have been curse of India..very own root curse..They goes on telling about simplicity..or shows simplicity..See there are millions in India whom cant even wear a dhoty Gandhi used to wear..there are millions again who cant even think about one time food..there are again thousands who eat their daily bread by cleaning toilets..but when all of this were done by a Gandhi..he is Mahatma!! Thats why I calls them self deceivers..just giving poor people a feeling that they are doing much for them..very much so that they dont feel any inferiority complex. Just other day I read an article written buy an American saying that even beggars in India are content and happy but America is so tensed.. This has been the slogan of all leaders of India..India is spiritual so it is content and happy..This is called a mediocre mind..Beggars in India are happy because they have a hope for better future..better tomorrow and America is unhappy because they have known all things of life..money..power..fame..I met a man during my tour to Rishikesh who stays there for nearly last five years practicing Sadhana..and he says nothing fails like success..it's just a mirage for a desert traveler.But to realize that one has to taste it..then come out of it..without knowing what is success or money..or fame how you can lead a life against it. This type of people have great visions for nourishing villages; and strange enough we Indians follow these principles and nothing happened..It's sinking deep and deep. India can win only if people get out of the clutches of these kind of people..parasites..blood suckers..It needs a revolution both spiritual and material.. It needs a revolution which is both religious and scientific..It needs revolution of Capitalism and birth control..Capitalism in my sense is freedom for every individual out of dogmas of religion..caste..all which is oppressive and repressive. People like Gandhi were against this type of revolutions..he is spiritual in "Indian sense" but not materialist..He is religious again "in so called Indian sense"..but not scientific..and always We Indian's have there own way of approaching things..and result was of "CONTINUOUS SLAVERYOF 2000 YEARS"..and of course we have a great name for it"HOSPITALITY".. When India can wake from it's stupid safeties of Caste..Religion..then only it have future..or again there will be Mahatmas to dig grave for India..

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elliot Ratzman

    Orwell: “Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proven innocent.” Gandhi may be a saint, but he is one fussy holy man. His autobiography only takes us to 1927, before the campaign to free India of British rule. He had become famous for leading a civil rights movement for Indians in South Africa where he lived for years before taking the “satyagraha” movement back to India. On the way, he is a young anglophile who admires the Empire, studies law in London and sides with the colonial Orwell: “Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proven innocent.” Gandhi may be a saint, but he is one fussy holy man. His autobiography only takes us to 1927, before the campaign to free India of British rule. He had become famous for leading a civil rights movement for Indians in South Africa where he lived for years before taking the “satyagraha” movement back to India. On the way, he is a young anglophile who admires the Empire, studies law in London and sides with the colonial powers during the Boer wars and WWI. The autobio is important because it narrates his “experiments” in diet, fasting, simple living, and back-to-the-land projects. He falls in with all sorts of vegetarian quacks in Victorian London and learns about world religions, including his own, from Western sources: Max Muller, Tolstoy, Ruskin, and Madame Blavatsky! We find a Gandhi who is as cruel and controlling to his wife and children as he is kind and subordinate to strangers, the poor and the sick.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pawan

    http://iandbooks.wordpress.com/ This is the first post I am writing on my blog where I want to write about the books that I have read and how they have changed my life or sometimes just given me moments of happiness in otherwise stressed life. There cannot be a better book than “My Experiments with Truth” to start this journey. A book that helped me 20 years ago when I had read it for the first time and now again when I read it last month. The author of the book “Mahatma Gandhi” is probably one p http://iandbooks.wordpress.com/ This is the first post I am writing on my blog where I want to write about the books that I have read and how they have changed my life or sometimes just given me moments of happiness in otherwise stressed life. There cannot be a better book than “My Experiments with Truth” to start this journey. A book that helped me 20 years ago when I had read it for the first time and now again when I read it last month. The author of the book “Mahatma Gandhi” is probably one person whom I have admired more than anybody else. There have been many other people whom I have admired and looked up to but then all of them have failed in my eyes at some time or other but not Mahatma Gandhi. This does not mean that he has not made mistakes in life. There are parts of his biography where I do not agree with him, where he has made mistakes. But at no point I find him going against his conviction. He is always the first to admit his mistakes. His whole character has an integrity which is flawless. He is doing what he is preaching and he is preaching only what he firmly believes in. There are no two faces to him. The book which is his autobiography brings out this aspect in such an inspiring way that you feel wonder at his frankness. Last time when I read his book, I was at a stage in life where my confidence was at all time low. I was shy, introvert, could not speak in groups. I used to feel that all my friends are much ahead of me in life and I have lost all hope in life and I will never be able to catch up with them in the race of life and I was 16 years old. I guess lot of people at that stage suffer from this. The life when it is just starting looks as ending already. This book brought in me that confidence and faith which I needed at that time. The fact that the person who being a lawyer could not speak facing a judge could move 30 crore Indians with his speach later in life told me that life is not over for me. What is important is to follow your convictions and desires and the results will come out some day. I have seen this change happenning in me over the years. I have found that in the end it is my faith and conviction which has seen me through the darkest times. I know there are lot of people out there who do not agree for what he has written in this book and in fact criticize him for his experiments on education, medicine, celibacy, religion, freedom struggle. But he still did those experiments with courage that is unparallel. He was the biggest scientist in that sense doing his experiments. Many of his experiments did not give results. But who says that a person has to be right all the time. Yes, he must have failed and in some cases even if he succeeded there were no followers for those results but that is what makes him a human being, a scientist. He is not saying that he is telling sacred words which have to be followed like words of God. All he is telling is about his experiments. The idea that they are experiments mean that they can be wrong or may not give results. But the fact remains Satya and Ahimsa did bear the results for India and its people. In the end, I would say it is a great book by a great human being and I thank him for giving us this gift. Till next time

  22. 4 out of 5

    Razan Alghriafi

    لم أستطع التوقف عن القراءة .. لأن غاندي اختار أسلوباً لا أستطيع الفكاك منه " الإسلوب القصصي " وإلا فإن هذا الكتاب قد كان الأطول وقتاً والأكثر ثقلاً والكثير جهداً أتعبني غاندي .. فلم أستطع التماشي مع معتقداته ومبادئه التي لطالما قرأتها في اقتباساتٍ له أو حكم ولكن، يبدوا بأنه يجيد لكّ الكلمة في فاههِ فقط ساعده كثيراً عناده وفراسته للوصول لمتطلعاته التي كثيراً ما شعرتُ بتورطه فيها أصلاً فقد كان يعلمُ جيداً كيف يظل في دائرة الحظ ويستخدمُ الأشخاص المناسبين في الوقت المناسب وهذا ما ميزه وفيما يتعلق عن بحثه عن الحق لم أستطع التوقف عن القراءة .. لأن غاندي اختار أسلوباً لا أستطيع الفكاك منه " الإسلوب القصصي " وإلا فإن هذا الكتاب قد كان الأطول وقتاً والأكثر ثقلاً والكثير جهداً أتعبني غاندي .. فلم أستطع التماشي مع معتقداته ومبادئه التي لطالما قرأتها في اقتباساتٍ له أو حكم ولكن، يبدوا بأنه يجيد لكّ الكلمة في فاههِ فقط ساعده كثيراً عناده وفراسته للوصول لمتطلعاته التي كثيراً ما شعرتُ بتورطه فيها أصلاً فقد كان يعلمُ جيداً كيف يظل في دائرة الحظ ويستخدمُ الأشخاص المناسبين في الوقت المناسب وهذا ما ميزه وفيما يتعلق عن بحثه عن الحقيقة .. فلو فك عناء القارئ باقتصاره على الفصول الأولى والأخيرة فقط لكفى دون إتعابٍ في أحداث لم تزد حقيقتهُ إلا وهناً فقد كان غاندي يجيد الأعذار كثيراً، كما أجاد بنظره هو البحث عن الحقيقة لم يتلقى أولاده تعليماً أكاديمياً، بحجّةِ أنه لم يكن يرى أهلية التعليم المُقدم في الهند فقرر تدريسهم .. وككثيرٍ من الأمور التي كان يودّ الإلتزام بها مع عائلته فهو لم يلتزم فانتهى به الأمر لعدم تعليمهم ولا أستطيع تجاوز التعجبِ أيضاً من إيمانه الذي كان يدفعه بالإكتفاء بالنباتية والتي أدخلته في مآزق صحية كثيره له ولعائلته ولا زال مقتنعاً بأهلية هذا النظام الغذائي ختاماً غاندي شخصٌ أحدثَ فرقاً لكنهُ ليس قدوة

  23. 4 out of 5

    James

    Self-revealing and fascinating to read alongside Erik Erikson's at-a-distance psychoanalysis of the saint, Gandhi's Truth (1960). The autobiography is full of surprises: At one point in his youth, Gandhi became convinced that India was behind the times because of vegetarianism, so he vowed to convert all of his homeland to carnivorious wisdom. Perhaps the only vow he did not keep. Would that his teachings on non-violent resistance (satyagraha) were more widely applied. Detractors argue, however, Self-revealing and fascinating to read alongside Erik Erikson's at-a-distance psychoanalysis of the saint, Gandhi's Truth (1960). The autobiography is full of surprises: At one point in his youth, Gandhi became convinced that India was behind the times because of vegetarianism, so he vowed to convert all of his homeland to carnivorious wisdom. Perhaps the only vow he did not keep. Would that his teachings on non-violent resistance (satyagraha) were more widely applied. Detractors argue, however, that this strategy could really work only in India, where it appeals to such deeply ingrained cultural foundations as Patanjali's ahimsa (non-violence), itself a Hindu appropriation of a Jainist principle. If, for a just cause, one goes on a hunger strike in India, one is appealing to a long tradition of fasting associated with saintlyness and right action. In some other cultures, where those associations do not exist, nobody would much notice or care.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hadrian

    Extremely interesting view of the growth and spiritual development of one of the most illuminating figures of the last century. Covers a wide variety of topics. A shame that it only ends in the 1920s (but what autobiography could ever be called complete?), but it is still a fascinating portrait of the man.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Apelger

    I should probably wait till I actually finished the book to write a review. But I feel like writting now because I've got something to say now. I tentaivley picked up this book and that is how I am making my way through the pages. I've only just begun, Gandhi is about thirteen. But I find myself angry at him. I can't get through a page without watching his struggle with a thought, idea or truth. His life, from the very early stages, reveals his struggle towards ahimsa,non-violence, and brahmacha I should probably wait till I actually finished the book to write a review. But I feel like writting now because I've got something to say now. I tentaivley picked up this book and that is how I am making my way through the pages. I've only just begun, Gandhi is about thirteen. But I find myself angry at him. I can't get through a page without watching his struggle with a thought, idea or truth. His life, from the very early stages, reveals his struggle towards ahimsa,non-violence, and brahmacharya, conduct that leads one to God. His life is lived pursuing God and he illustrates that it is the hardest way to live. I'm angry because to persue God is hard, and I haven't been doing anything hard. I'm angry because I don't feel like doing anything hard, and this will always be hard. And Im mad because to persue God changes everything else in your life. So, at page 37 I'm mad and only a little wistful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    ريفيّة

    محامي، هندوسي، ملتزم بتعاليم دينه، نباتي، يسعى إلى حياة بلا عنف، يقدم مصلحة الجماعة على مصلحته ومصلحة عائلته، من ركاب الدرجة الثالثة في القطار، وفي أحيان نادرة من ركاب الدرجة الأولى. لم يفاجئني في شيء، لم أرَ أنه تميّز في شيء، كان عادياً جداً، بل و مملاً بالنسبة لي، كل ما حدث أن هذا الإنسان وُهِب من العالم فرصة أن يكون مشهوراً. لا أرىٰ أن الإلتزام و الإخلاص للديانة و تعاليمها شيءٌ صعب، ولا أرىٰ كون الإنسان نباتيٌّ جداً، شيء مميز، ببساطة حتى تكون نباتياً فكل ما عليك هو الإستغناء عن قطعة "الستيك" ف محامي، هندوسي، ملتزم بتعاليم دينه، نباتي، يسعى إلى حياة بلا عنف، يقدم مصلحة الجماعة على مصلحته ومصلحة عائلته، من ركاب الدرجة الثالثة في القطار، وفي أحيان نادرة من ركاب الدرجة الأولى. لم يفاجئني في شيء، لم أرَ أنه تميّز في شيء، كان عادياً جداً، بل و مملاً بالنسبة لي، كل ما حدث أن هذا الإنسان وُهِب من العالم فرصة أن يكون مشهوراً. لا أرىٰ أن الإلتزام و الإخلاص للديانة و تعاليمها شيءٌ صعب، ولا أرىٰ كون الإنسان نباتيٌّ جداً، شيء مميز، ببساطة حتى تكون نباتياً فكل ما عليك هو الإستغناء عن قطعة "الستيك" في وجبتك! الكتاب حشوٌ مكرر، لم تنقل لي هذه السيرة صورة عن شيء قيّم في شخصية غاندي بقدر ما أشبعتني بوقائع أشبه بيوميات رجل عادي وسجالات مطوّلة لا أرى أن إدراجها أمراً ضرورياً، أو قد يهمّني شخصياً.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Kay Silva

    The complexity of Mahatma Gandhi as a person astounds me. An autobiography gives the reader a chance to see really deeply into the ideas and suppositions that create the self. When we think of a person we often think of a character, like that in a story. Sometimes authors write characters that are consistent in their actions. These type of characters often have a certain personality type or ethical vantage point from which they view the world and their actions are constant and understandable wit The complexity of Mahatma Gandhi as a person astounds me. An autobiography gives the reader a chance to see really deeply into the ideas and suppositions that create the self. When we think of a person we often think of a character, like that in a story. Sometimes authors write characters that are consistent in their actions. These type of characters often have a certain personality type or ethical vantage point from which they view the world and their actions are constant and understandable within that framework. Other authors write characters that are complex and show multidimensional personalities and depth in the different decisions they make throughout a work. I think that how these characters are viewed depends strongly on the reader. Does the reader believe that people are as they are deep down? Or does the reader believe that people can change? If the reader believes that a person possesses a genuine core that is unchangeable then a complex characters actions will be labeled as "not fitting with the personality type" or untrue to the nature of that character. On the other hand if the reader believes that people genuinely change then they can accept even strong opposing actions and behavior throughout a work. People who see the world in this way will often view the first type as "predictable or flat" and people who view the world through the eyes of the first type will question the believability of a character with too many facets, or with widely juxtaposed responses to similar situations. When we look at Gandhis life through his own eyes we see the absolute complexity of him as a person despite his desire for consistency and his search for what he calls "truth". We watch a man who begins his life as a British educated lawyer and still carries with him an ego despite his constant debasement of it and we see him metamorphose into the epitome of stoicism and Buddhist acceptance through the various courses that his life takes. We watch him genuinely change as he strives for meaning and understanding of self. We watch him inconsistently make actions such as supporting the combatants in World War 1 after previously speaking strongly about approaching issues through a path of non violence. We watch him wrestle with his vegan beliefs as his wife battles against death and the doctor prescribes milk as the answer. We watch him become deified and hated by various populations. We watch him go from supporting the rule of the white British to then actively fighting against racism not only between the light and dark but also between different caste systems. It seems then to me that Gandhi will either be seen as a man who constantly strove for his "true self" and who was fighting against his baser nature to find that deeper person within. Or he will be seen as being the one who through his own choices and actions created the self and lived a life of complexity through his strivings and through his seeking against striving until the end. The autobiography is told from the vantage point of an ultimate truth that he is consistently seeking. A truth that he believes transcends self and transcends religion but we are not told if he feels that he has found this in the end. Its impossible to read without feeling that he had hit upon something very strongly throughout his life and that it grew with him as each of his life's choices further shaped him as a person. Though whether that person already lived within him or whether that person was of his own creating it can not be known. Thinking of his assassination and jailings and his hardships when he gave so much to humanity is beyond heartbreaking. May you rest in peace Gandhi traveler you inspire us all both through your journey and path. May you have found your truth.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mike Moore

    I had trouble deciding whether to give this four stars or five. This book poses major problems for a contemporary western audience. It frequently alludes to another volume (Satyagraha in South Africa) which I have been unable to procure as a necessary companion volume. The final part (of five) assumes a more thorough knowledge of the birth of India as an independent nation and the events and persons that were involved in it than I possess. It becomes clear in this section that Gandhi was writing I had trouble deciding whether to give this four stars or five. This book poses major problems for a contemporary western audience. It frequently alludes to another volume (Satyagraha in South Africa) which I have been unable to procure as a necessary companion volume. The final part (of five) assumes a more thorough knowledge of the birth of India as an independent nation and the events and persons that were involved in it than I possess. It becomes clear in this section that Gandhi was writing for the benefit of the people in his own day, and so assumes that they are already intimately acquainted with things that were distant and obscure to me. However, I'm going to let my admiration for Gandhi and my appreciation for what has been accomplished in this work override my sense of its shortcomings. This is a wonderful book, detailing as it does the progression of a man from a youth of uncertainty and insecurity to a maturity of discipline, rigor and tremendous emotional strength. Whether one agrees with Gandhi's views is beside the point when considering the power and accomplishment of self-creation that is Gandhi's life. An honest autobiography by such a person is a treasure of literature. As I mentioned before, the work is divided into five parts, each of which presents a remarkably contained statement of a stage on Gandhi's way, especially given the rather loose chronological treatment. To wit, the first part deals with Gandhi's personal origins and weaknesses. The second with the formative experiences that would define his social and political worldview. The third finds him defining himself as a part of this society, injecting discipline and rigor into a life that becomes centered on his duty. In the fourth, Gandhi is a leader in the struggles of South African Indians and is actively changing the social and political orders which he has embraced so thoroughly. Part five details his attempts to generalize the lessons of the South Africa experience in India. The first four sections are quick and engaging reads (though the fourth was frustrating given the lack of the aforementioned companion volume). However, the fifth section was hard going. This was due in part to my lack of contextual familiarity, but I think the section also suffers from an uncertainty in how the story ends, as if Gandhi felt that Part 5 was being written prematurely because the fruits of the struggle had not been realized. Many of his attempts at Satyagraha in India are unsuccessful or unsatisfying to him, and there's an underlying uncertainty of how the masses can be taught to be "firm in truth" without sacrificing non-violence. As such, part five adheres closely to the subtitle of the book: these could almost be the lab notes of a social experimenter. However, all complaints that I might level are dwarfed by the pleasure and satisfaction I have in getting to know Gandhi better through his autobiography. He was a great man, and this work is a wonderfully candid account of what a great man works on, struggles with and thinks about.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    Gandhi's autobiography is one of those books that you just have to read, a story of developing oneself and raising the conscience of a people. The Mahatma (Great Soul, name apparently first used in relation with Gandhi by the great Indian poet Tagore) presents with a great deal of detail his life and development of beliefs such as vegetarianism (then fruitarianism), simplicity, brahmacharya (abstinence), non-violence, and pursuit of truth; there are also slight mentions of swaraj (right of self Gandhi's autobiography is one of those books that you just have to read, a story of developing oneself and raising the conscience of a people. The Mahatma (Great Soul, name apparently first used in relation with Gandhi by the great Indian poet Tagore) presents with a great deal of detail his life and development of beliefs such as vegetarianism (then fruitarianism), simplicity, brahmacharya (abstinence), non-violence, and pursuit of truth; there are also slight mentions of swaraj (right of self governance) and the related Indian uprisings. On the negative side, the autobiography is very difficult to read---the writing is long, often boring, with a curious structure, full of incomplete and/or incomprehensible references to Gandhi's previous writings, argumentative, and sometimes plain contradictory (to previous chapters). Moreover, for this reader the presentation managed to abscond most of the message, and in particular its political aspect. Overall, a must read but don't expect an easy read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    woodshadows

    This is not what I expected from a book entitled "My experiments with truth", written by Gandhi himself. A better title might perhaps be "I am really obsessed with nutrition and weirdo fad diets and enjoy privation as a means of feeling in control, including my strange aversion - but huge (did I mention huge?) huge, passion for - sex!" I was expecting lots of satyagraha, lots of moral wisdom, lots of practical info on how Gandhi implemented his sociological victories. Instead we are presented wi This is not what I expected from a book entitled "My experiments with truth", written by Gandhi himself. A better title might perhaps be "I am really obsessed with nutrition and weirdo fad diets and enjoy privation as a means of feeling in control, including my strange aversion - but huge (did I mention huge?) huge, passion for - sex!" I was expecting lots of satyagraha, lots of moral wisdom, lots of practical info on how Gandhi implemented his sociological victories. Instead we are presented with a quaint look into the simpler parts of this man's mind and soul. If I wasn't told this story was written about Gandhi and by Gandhi, I would assume it was a very long webpage entry by some kook who was into weirdo diet fads and liked to travel a lot trying to do social justice missions while being supported financially by a family who worked. I like this book, Gandhi is very sincere and real, not the megastar of history, just another regular man.

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