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25. Learning from Europe
The tendency of looking to the West in order to make progress in whatever we do should be checked. If we have to go to the West to learn Nature Cure, it cannot be of much use to India. Nature Cure is a thing which everyone can practise in the home. The advice of Nature Cure experts should not be necessary for all time. It is such a simple thing that everyone can learn it. If we have to go to Europe to learn to recite Ramanama, it simply will not do. Ramanama is the very foundation of Nature Cure of my conception. Nor should it be necessary to go across the seas in order to learn the use of earth, water, ether, sun and air. This is self-evident. Whatever other knowledge is required in this direction can be had in our villages. For instance, if herbs are used, they must be village herbs. Ayurveda teachers know all about them. If some ayurvedic physicians are scoundrels, they cannot become good men and servants of the people by going abroad. The knowledge of anatomy and physiology has come from the West. It is very useful and necessary for all physicians. But there are plenty of means of learning it in our own country. In short, whatever useful contribution to knowledge has been made by the West, it has reached everywhere and can be learnt everywhere. I might add here that the knowledge of anatomy and physiology is not essential for learning Nature Cure.
The writings of Kuhne, Just and Father Kneip, are simple, popular and useful for all. It is our duty to read them. Practically every Nature Cure physician knows something about them. Nature Cure has not been taken to the villages so far. We have not thought deeply and no one has thought of it in terms of the millions. This is just the beginning. No one can say where we shall stand in the end. As in all great and good enterprises, sacrifice and dedication are required to make this successful. Instead of looking up to the West, we should turn the searchlight inwards.
Harijan, 2-6-1946