Mahatma Ghandi 1869 - 1947 #
Born to a Hindu caste family in India, decaying for centuries, constantly making itself archaic, had closed up; and the rules of Gandhi’s Gujarati merchant caste—at one time great travelers—now forbade travel to foreign countries. Foreign countries were polluting to pious Hindus; and no one of the caste had been to England before. Ghandi left in 1888 to study law. To please his mother Gandhi had taken vows not to touch wine, meat, or women while abroad.
Gandhi grew up in a home steeped in religion, and he took for granted religious tolerance and the doctrine of ahimsa (noninjury to all living beings). At only 13 years old, marries Kasturba Kapadia, who is also 13. They had four sons.
He studied law in England from 1888 to 1891, and in 1893 he took a job with an Indian firm in South Africa. There he became an effective advocate for Indian rights.
in 1915 he returned to India and within a few years became the leader of a nationwide struggle for Indian home rule. Gandhi’s position on nonviolence was absolute. Aggression could never be returned. He did not believe that women should resist rape, but preferred that they should ‘defeat’ their assailants by remaining passive and silent. Correspondingly, he did not believe that the victims of war should resist attackers by physical force, but rather ought to offer satyagraha – that is, noncompliance with the invaders.
1919 Gandhi becomes a leader in the Indian National Congress political party. He campaigns for swaraj, or “self-rule.” He works to reconcile all classes and religious sects, especially Hindus and Muslims.
India achieved dominion status in 1947, but the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan was a great disappointment to Gandhi, who had long worked for Hindu-Muslim unity. In September 1947 he ended rioting in Calcutta (Kolkata) by fasting. Known as the Mahatma (“Great-Souled”), Gandhi had won the affection and loyalty of millions. In January 1948 he was shot and killed by a young Hindu fanatic.
By 1906, Gandhi had taken the Hindu vow of brahmacharya - chastity. At the age of 36, he was determined to be celibate.
Although he proclaimed his abstinence, he still managed to be extremely intimate with many of his women.
Disgusted by his innate lust, Gandhi would try to distance himself from the women - but he was soon sleeping next to them again - and, what’s more, blaming his surrender on them. ‘I could not bear the tears of Sushila,’ he said.
He deliberately put himself into increasingly arousing situations to prove mind over matter.
He would often sleep next to naked nubile young women to test himself; each failure merely meant a renewed attempt was inevitable.