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SATYA KE PRAYOG & BRAHMCHARYA KE PRAYOG - Two highly recommended books related with Mahatma Gandhi. (Book Review by Bobby Sing)

20 Apr, 2014 | Articles on Music, Poetry and Life

Satya Ke Prayog - Mahatma GandhiOne of the most famous/important books both in ‘World History’ and ‘Spiritual’ category, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Satya Ke Prayog) is the autobiography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, respectably remembered as ‘Father of the Nation” in India as well as all over the world.
Honestly, its really difficult to assume that one might not have heard about the book till now and still the other fact remains that many of us must have not read this book too, despite having it in our collection or seeing it several times on the shelf of a library or a decent book store. Probably the reason for this wide ignorance is that most of us strongly believe that we already know all about Gandhi from many other sources, so the book can be easily skipped just like that saving us a lot of time. However the reality is that if you haven’t read the two books mentioned below about Mahatma Gandhi, then you probably have only a vague picture of the person, his works, his spiritual journey, his oath of celibacy and his personal life other than the valuable contribution he made in the Indian movement of Independence.
Actually “Satya Ke Prayog / My Experiments With Truth” is not a complete autobiography (as popularly believed) but covers Gandhi’s life from early childhood to 1921 only, before he actively started participating in the Independence movement returning to the country (around 1915). It was reportedly written as a weekly feature in his published journals after 1925 and the process got initiated on the personal requests & encouragement of many associate workers and close friends. The book in its various chapters, mainly focuses on his childhood, the struggle in South Africa, the discovery of many new facts of life there, his experiments with medicine, food and then the beginning of civil disobedience movement as Satyagraha, meaning “holding on to the truth”. It reveals many unknown instances which helped Gandhi in discovering and experimenting with his own beliefs & principles living in South Africa.
Translated in almost all languages of the world, becoming one of the all-time bestsellers, the book is also included in the “Most Important and Best Spiritual Books of the 20th   Century” by many political, spiritual and religious authorities. So the inspirational document surely needs to be read as a must to know how it all started as a journey towards becoming a Mahatma or the father of a nation. And the book does feature some really amazing incidents, teaching you many valuable lessons of life related to truth, simplicity and decades lived without any material possessions at all.
Brahmcharaya Ke Prayog - Mahamta GandhiThe second book to be essentially read on the life of Mahatma Gandhi is “Brahmcharya Ke Prayog / Experiments of Celibacy” by Dayashankar Shukl Sagar which will actually introduce you to one of the most truthful personalities ever, who never felt shy of speaking about these rare sexual experiments and his close association with various women in his letters and public meetings in front of everyone openly.
This exclusive books mainly talks about the time when Gandhi’s life went completely public and he was just living for the people and his nation only with a clear objective. In other words it begins where “Satya Ke Prayog” ends and thus needs to be studied along with the autobigrophy to clear all the hidden controversies and doubts one might be having regarding this sensitive issue. An authentic study based on Gandhi’s own thoughts, public meetings, journals and writing of his close associates, the book enlightens you about what his tryst with Brahmcharya actually was even after marriage, when he took his vow around 1905. In Gandhi’s own words, it was an attempt to get closer to the divine power and seek purity thorough non-violence and celibacy, which did put many of his followers as well as close ones in double minds. And that is the reason why many a times the matter also resulted in few serious outbursts in the ashram as well in the public too in those important years.
Reading about these astonishing incidents for the first time is truly a remarkable experience, particularly studying the way Gandhi used to remain visibly undisturbed and tackled it all with his famous meaningful silence and calm attitude like a saint. But unfortunately what’s most disappointing about these precious references is that Gandhi didn’t reveal, talk or write about any particular result of these experiments in the end or maybe he didn’t get time to share more about the same due to his untimely murder.
The book effectively tries to analyze it with an honest or unbiased perspective and thus can easily be called a psychological biography studying the lesser talked about life-aspect of one of the greatest man of the recent world history.
Now admittedly, the rare revelations in the book are bound to be interpreted in different ways by the readers having their own set of perceptions which might be positive as well as negative. But without going into the negative mode, for me these books consolidated one major fact for sure that Mahatma Gandhi was undoubtedly one of the most truthful persons indeed who perfectly knew how to live the truth he used to preach in an unbelievably fearless manner and had no intentions to hide anything at all from anyone, just like an open book.
Hence do try to read these books to know more about Mahatma Gandhi and his various important experiments of life, keeping aside his more famous image of a non-violent freedom fighter and an influential political leader.
('Satya Ke Prayog' is available in various publications & translations, whereas "Brahmcharya Ke Prayog" has been published by Vani Prakashan, Delhi)

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20 Apr 2014 / Comment ( 0 )
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