Gandhiji had very early in life lost faith in modern medicine. He was convinced that for good health all that was necessary was to live according to the laws of Nature in regard to diet, fresh air, exercise, clean surroundings and a pure heart. Instead of this, man was tempted by modern medical knowledge to indulge himself to his heart's content, break every law of health and morality and then seek a cure through commercialized drugs. In revolt from this Gandhiji sought to discover for himself a sane way of overcoming disease without the use of medicines.
tends to treat disease as merely a matter concerning the body. But
Gandhiji viewing man as a whole finds that disease of the body is
chiefly due to mental or spiritual causes and can be permanently cured
only when man's entire attitude to life is changed. The cure of bodily
disease must therefore, according to him, be sought primarily in the
realm of the spirit, in self-discipline and self-mastery through
brahmacharya, in a thoughtful observance of the laws of Nature in
regard to health, and in bringing about a physical and social
environment conducive to the development of a sound body and a sound
mind. Gandhiji's conception of Nature Cure is therefore much wider than
what is generally understood by that term. It is not merely a cure of
disease after it has occurred but an attempt to prevent disease
altogether by living according to the laws of Nature which, according
to him, are the same as the laws of God. Accordingly it involves not
only the use of earth, water, air, sunlight, fasts and such like to cure
disease, but even more a transformation of one's entire life —physical,
mental, moral and social — through Ramanama or faith in God, alias
His Law. Rama- nama is not, therefore, for him mere magic which when
uttered through the lips will work wonders of itself. It signifies, as
already said, a complete change in the heart and mode of life of the
individual, whereby the individual comes to be in tune with the infinite
and so obtains never-failing disease- conquering life and strength from
the Source of all life.
Gandhiji's writings under chapters, it seemed well not to interrupt the
thought by giving the titles of articles. Not all the articles or
speeches are given in full, as repetitions had to be omitted.
Gandhiji's weeklies —the Young India and the Harijan have
dates affixed to them. So far as the other extracts go, they are from
Hind Swaraj, written in 1908, Autobiography, written in 1925
and on, and Key to Health, written in jail during 1942 to 1944.
Extracts from his
letters to workers at the Uruli Kanchan Nature Cure Clinic and
information about that Centre have been given in the form of Appendices.
The letters were translated by Shri A. L. Mazumdar from the original
Those desirous of
pursuing further Gandhiji's ideas in regard to health should supplement
this book by reading his Key to Health and Diet and Diet