Ashram Observances in Action

Ashram here means a community of men of religion. Looking at the past in the light of the present, I feel that an ashram was a necessary of life for me. As soon as I had a house of my own, my house was an ashram in this sense, for my life as a householder was not one of enjoyment but of duty discharged from day to day. Again besides the members of my family I always had some friends or others living with me, whose relation with me was spiritual from the first or became such later on. This went on unconsciously till 1904 when I read Ruskin’s Unto This Last, which made a deep impression on me. I determined to take Indian Opinion into a forest where I should live with the workers as members of my family. I purchased 100 acres of land and founded Phoenix Settlement, which neither we nor anyone else called an ashram. It had a religious basis, but the visible object was purity of body and mind as well as economic equality. I did not then consider brahmacharya (chastity) to be essential; on the other hand it was expected that co-workers would live as family men and have children. A brief account of Phoenix will be found in Satyagraha in South Africa.

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Ashram here means a community of men of religion. Looking at the past in the light of the present, I feel that an ashram was a necessary of life for me. As soon as I had a house of my own, my house was an ashram in this sense, for my life as a householder was not one of enjoyment but of duty discharged from day to day. Again besides the members of my family I always had some friends or others living with me, whose relation with me was spiritual from the first or became such later on. This went on unconsciously till 1904 when I read Ruskin’s Unto This Last, which made a deep impression on me. I determined to take Indian Opinion into a forest where I should live with the workers as members of my family. I purchased 100 acres of land and founded Phoenix Settlement, which neither we nor anyone else called an ashram. It had a religious basis, but the visible object was purity of body and mind as well as economic equality. I did not then consider brahmacharya (chastity) to be essential; on the other hand it was expected that co-workers would live as family men and have children. A brief account of Phoenix will be found in Satyagraha in South Africa.

Language

Book Type

Author

M. K. Gandhi

Publisher

Navajivan Publishing House

Series

Gandhiji Series

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