Gandhiji had been taught as a child to take Ramanama, i.e., the Name of Rama or God, when in trouble. As a Satyagrahi, or one who holds fast to Truth or God all the twenty-four hours of the day. Gandhiji discovered that God was his constant solace and support in every difficulty — physical, mental or spiritual. One of his earliest trials was in connection with the practice of brahmacharya or chastity. He tells us that Ramanama was his greatest help in resisting impure thought. Ramanama saw him through the agony of his fasts, and through all the lonely struggles of soul, which fell to his lot as a pioneer in the political, social, economic and religious spheres. But his last discovery, as he threw himself more and more on God was that Ramanama was a remedy also for physical ailments.
In his quest for Truth and eagerness to relieve human suffering,
Gandhiji had long discovered simple, inexpensive methods of treating
disease through fresh air, massage, baths, fasts, diet, earth-bandages
and such like. These methods, he believed, were according to Nature, or
in conformity with the laws of God. rather than the innumerable drugs
manufactured today on a commercial scale, which, he held, had in the end
a harmful effect on the human system.
But man being more than body, mere physical treatment of his ailments,
Gandhiji was convinced, was not enough. The patient's mind and soul
required to be treated also. When these were whole, the body of itself
became whole. Gandhiji found that towards this end nothing was so
efficacious as Ramanama, or a devout faith in, and reliance on. the
Great Physician. When a man put himself completely in God's hands, lived
according to God's laws in respect of food, personal hygiene, control of
passions in particular and of self in general, and in respect of his
relationships with his fellow men, Gandhiji was certain that he would be
free from disease. It was ever towards such a state that he was himself
striving, and to help others towards the same end he established the
last of his institutions, the Nature Cure Clinic at Uruli Kanchan, where
besides Nature Cure as practised by himself, the patients would be
taught the efficacy of Ramanama. This little book seeks to put briefly
before the reader Gandhiji's thoughts and experience in this regard in
his own words.