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Self-Restraint V. Self-Indulgence

Self-Restraint V. Self-Indulgence

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  • SKU: NAH043
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  • Publishers: Navajivan Publishing House
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Description

Specifications:

  • Dimensions:8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
  • Edition:2007
  • Author:M.K. Gandhi
  • Publisher:Navajivan Publishing House
  • ISBN:8172291205
  • Cover Type:Paperback
  • Number of Pages:219
  • Back of The Book

    Those who believe in self-restraint must not become hypochondriacs. The letters that come to me show that many correspondents brood over their ill-success in the exercise of self-restraint. Like everything else that is good, self-restraint too requires an inexhaustible store of patience. There is absolutely no reason to despond, and there must be no brooding. There should be no conscious effort to drive away evil thoughts. That process is itself a kind of indulgence.

    The best prescription perhaps is non-resistance, i.e., ignoring the existence of evil thoughts and a continuous pre-occupation with duties that lie in front of one. This presupposes the existence of some kind of all-absorbing service requiring the concentration of mind, soul and body upon it. “Idle hands some mischief still will ever find do to”, is never so applicable as in this case. Evil thoughts, much more evil deeds are impossible when we are thus pre-occupied. Strenuous labour in accordance with one’s physical capacity is, therefore, absolutely necessary for those who will obey the law of self-restraint which is indispensable for individual as well as universal progress.

     

    Publisher’s Note

    Till now this book was issued in two separate volumes; the reader will find in this new edition both of them issued in one. The collection has been revised and brought up-to-date. Thus, the reader will find, collected under one cover, all the writings of Gandhiji on this important subject.

     

    Preface To The Third Edition

    It is gratifying to note that the third edition of this volume is required by the public, I wish that I had time to add one or more chapters to the volume, but I cannot delay publication so that I might add the chapters, I would have done so if I could be sure of finding the time needed for it.

    From what, however, I have discovered from the letters that regularly come to me from inquires, I would like to issue this definite warning: Those who believe in self-restraint must not become hypochondriacs. The letters that come to me show that many correspondents brood over their ill-success in the exercise of self-restraint. Like everything else that is good, self-restraint too requires an inexhaustible store of patience. There is absolutely no reason to despond, and there must be no brooding. There should be no conscious effort to drive away evil thoughts. That process is itself a kind of indulgence.

    The best prescription perhaps is non-resistance, i.e., ignoring the existence of evil thoughts and a continuous pre-occupation with duties that lie in front of one. This presupposes the existence of some kind of all-absorbing service requiring the concentration of mind, soul and body upon it. “Idle hands some mischief still will ever find to do”, is never so applicable as in this case. Evil thoughts, much more evil deeds are impossible when we are thus pre-occupied. Strenuous labour in accordance with one’s physical capacity is, therefore, absolutely necessary for those who will obey the law of self-restraint which is indispensable for individual as well as universal progress.

     

    Preface To The Second Edition

    That the first edition was sold out practically within a week of its publication, is a matter of joy to me. The correspondence that the series of articles collected in this volume has given rise to, shows the need of such a publication. May those who have not made self-indulgence a religion, but who are struggling to regain lost self-control which should under normal conditions be our natural state, find some help from a perusal of these pages. For their guidance the following instructions may prove needful:

    1. Remember if you are married that your wife is your friend, companion and co-worker, not an instrument of sexual enjoyment.

    2. Self-control is the law of your being. Therefore, the sexual act can be performed only when both desire it, and that too subject to rules which in their lucidity both may have agreed upon.

    3. If you are unmarried you owe it to yourself, to society and to your future partner to keep yourself pure. If you cultivate this sense of loyalty, you will find it as an infallible protection against all temptation.

    4. Think always of that Unseen Power which, though we may never see, we all feel within us as watching and noting every impure thought, and you will find that Power ever helping you.

    5. Laws governing a life of self-restraint must be necessarily different from a life of self-indulgence. Therefore you will regulate your society, your reading, your haunts of recreation and your food.

    You will seek the society of the good and the pure. You will resolutely refrain from reading passion-breeding novels and magazines and read the works that sustain humanity. You will make one book your constant companion for reference and guidance.

    You will avoid theatres and cinemas. Recreation is where you may not dissipate yourself but recreate yourself. You will, therefore, attend bhajan-mandalis where the word and the tune uplift the soul.

    You will eat not to satisfy your palate but your hunger. A self-indulgent man lives to eat; a self-restrained man eats to live. Therefore, you will abstain from all irritating condiments, alcohol which excites the nerves, and narcotics which deaden the sense of right and wrong. You will regulate the quantity and time of your meals.

    6. When your passions threaten to get the better of you, go down on your knees and cry out to God for help. Ramanama is my infallible help. As extraneous aid take a hip-bath, i.e., sit in a tub full of cold water with your legs out of it, and you will find your passions have immediately cooled. Sit in it for a few minutes unless you are weak and there is danger of a chill.

    7. Take brisk walking exercise in the open air early in the morning and at night before going to bed.

    8. ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,’ is a sound proverb. 9 o’ clock to bed and 4 o’clock to rise is a good rule. Go to bed on an empty stomach. Therefore, your last meal must not be after 6 p.m.

    9. Remember that man is a representative of God to serve all that lives and thus to express God’s dignity and love. Let service be your sole joy, and you will need no other enjoyment in life.

     

    Contents

     

      Prefaces iv
    1. Towards Moral Bankruptcy' 3
    2. Birth Control 35
    3. Some Arguments Considered 37
    4. On the Necessity of Continence 44
    5. Self-control 52
    6. Brahmacharya 55
    7. Truth v. Brahmacharya 59
    8. Purity 62
    9. In Confidence 64
    10. Abolish Marriage! 68
    11. Conservation of Vital Energy 71
    12. Influence of Attitudes 74
    13. A Moral Struggle 78
    14. Vow of Brahmacharya 80
    15. Startling Conclusions' 84
    16. Brahmacharya or Chastity 86
    17. Birth Control (I) 89
    18. Birth Control (II) 92
    19. Married Brahmacharya 94
    20. The Cause of It 97
    21. For Contraceptives 99
    22. For Women Reformers 103
    23. Self-control again 106
    24. Birth Control through Self-control 109
    25. What it is like 111
    26. A Witness from America 113
    27. A Voice in the Wilderness' 114
    28. Wonderful if True 116
    29. Sexual Perversion 117
    30. A Growing Vice? 119
    31. Duty of Reformers 120
    32. For the Young 122
    33. Heading for Promiscuity 125
    34. A Youth's Difficulty 127
    35. For Students 129
    36. A Moral Dilemma 132
    37. The Marriage Ideal 134
    38. Sex Education 137
    39. An Unnatural Father 140
    40. A Renunciation 141
    41. Nothing without Grace 143
    42. How Non-violence Works 146
    43. Students' Shame 150
    44. The Modern Girl 154
    45. Obscene Advertisements 156
    46. How to Stop Obscene Advertisements? 158
    47. Famines and Birth Rate 159
    48. Self-restraint in Marriage 160
    49. How did I Begin It? 162
    50. Walls of Protection 164
    51. A Perplexity 166
    52. In Defence 168
    53. On Contraceptives 170
      Part II Extracts from Mahadev Desai's Weekly Letters  
    I. On the Threshold of Married Life 173
    II. A Birth Control Enthusiast 177
    III. Problem of Birth Control 180
    IV. Mrs. Sanger and Birth Control 182
    V. Wrong Apotheosis of Women 191
      Appendices  
    1. Generation and Regeneration 193
    2. Chastity and Sensuality 208
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