GANDHIJI-In England


Posted on 16th Feb 2014 07:03 pm by admin

After completing his High School studies, Gandhi joined the Samaldas College, Bhavnagar and continued his studies for some time. One day, a Swamiji who came to Gandhi's house remarked: "Why don't you send this boy to England for studies? The family can regain its honor." This appealed to Gandhi. He had a great desire to study medical science; but his brother was not in favor of it. Further, in those days it was supposed to be, against religion to cross the sea. His mother too did not consent. Her fear was that her son might take to liquor and meat eating. At last, Gandhi gave his word to his mother that he would not do anything immoral, and got her consent. His brother agreed to bear the burden of the expenses, though he was not a rich man. It was finally decided that Gandhi should go to England and study Law to become a Barrister. Gandhi was only nineteen years old then. He was to leave for England onSeptember 4, 1888. The elders of his caste learnt this. They opposed his journey. But Gandhi disobeyed them and left. The elders declared that Gandhi was an outcaste. Gandhi had learnt from some elders about life in London as also about manners to be
observed in English society. Friends had told him that it was difficult to live without
drinking wine and eating meat, in a cold country like England. But Gandhi tried hard to keep his promise to his mother. He went in search of vegetarian hotels, and was content to eat whatever food he got there. Every day he had to walk a long distance from his residence to the hotel. But he never felt it a hardship. In the end, he decided to cook his food himself. Gandhi also tried to practice English gentlemen's ways and manners and to learn to speak French, dancing and the art of public speaking. His expenses increased. Neither could he learn any of them. And then the realization came to him that his brother was struggling hard tosend him money. Then he gave up all needless expenses, and began to live a simple life. His studies became his sole aim. Gandhi developed great intimacy with an English family. He pretended to be an unmarried man. He used to be quite free with the two-grownup daughters of the family. It looked as if the friendship would go beyond the proper limits. It was a testing time for Gandhiji. At that hour, he remembered the promise he had made to his mother. It saved him from a moral fall. He felt repentant, and wrote a letter of apology to the lady of the house, confessing that he was a married man and the father of a child. Gandhi stayed in England for two years and eight months. He obtained the degree of Barrister-at-Law. Without staying even for a day more, he started on the return journey to India, on June 12, 1891. During his stay in England, Gandhi tried some experiments in vegetarian diet. He came to the conclusion that a human being should not eat non-vegetarian food for any reason. He got acquainted with some great persons of the day, like Dadabhai Naoroji and Dr. Beasant. But there was no indication at all that some day Gandhi would become a great man. For the first time Gandhi read the Bhagavad Gita, in the company of two English Theosophist friends. Together they studied 'The Song Celestial' (the English translation of the Gita) by Sir Edwin Arnold. This roused Gandhi's interest in the Holy Books of the Hindu religion; and his interest grew with time.The teaching of the Gita was a source of spiritual strength to Gandhi.

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