An Autobiography or The Story of my Experiments with Truth

Free texts and images.
Jump to: navigation, search

An Autobiography
or The Story of my Experiments with Truth

written by Mohandas K. Gandhi, translated by Mahadev Desai
1927–1929. An Autobiography in PDF format, see also [1].

Translator's Preface

The first edition of Gandhiji's Autobiography was published in two volumes, Vol. I in 1927 and Vol. II in 1929. The original in Gujarati which was priced at Re. 1/- has run through five editions, nearly 50,000 copies having been sold. The price of the English translation (only issued in library edition) was prohibitive for the Indian reader, and a cheap edition has long been needed.

It is now being issued in one volume. The translation, as it appeared serially in Young India, had, it may be noted, the benefit of Gandhiji's revision. It has now undergone careful revision, and from the point of view of language, it has had the benefit of careful revision by a revered friend, who, among many other things, has the reputation of being an eminent English scholar. Before undertaking the task, he made it a condition that his name should on no account be given out. I accept the condition. It is needless to say it heightens my sense of gratitude to him.

Chapters XXIX-XLIII of Part V were translated by my friend and colleague Pyarelal during my absence in Bardoli at the time of the Bardoli Agrarian Inquiry by the Broomfield Committee in 1928-29.

Mahadev Desai, 1940.



Part I

I. Birth and Parentage

II. Childhood

III. Child Marriage

IV. Playing the Husband

V. At the High School

VI. A Tragedy

VII. A Tragedy (Continued)

VIII. Stealing and Atonement

IX. My Father's Death and My Double Shame

X. Glimpses of Religion

XI. Preparation for England

XII. Outcaste

XIII. In London at Last

XIV. My Choice

XV. Playing the English Gentleman

XVI. Changes

XVII. Experiments in Dietetics

XVIII. Shyness My Shield

XIX. The Canker of Untruth

XX. Acquaintance with Religions

XXI. 'Nirbal Ke Bala Rama'

XXII. Narayan Hemchandra

XXIII. The Great Exhibition

XXIV. 'Called', but then ?

XXV. My Helplessness

Part II

I. Raychandbhai

II. How I Began Life

III. The First Case

IV. The First Shock

V. Preparing for South Africa

VI. Arrival in Natal

VII. Some Experiences

VIII. On the Way to Pretoria

IX. More Hardships

X. First Day in Pretoria

XI. Christian Contacts

XII. Seeking Touch with Indians

XIII. What it is to be a 'Coolie'

XIV. Preparation for the Case

XV. Religious Ferment

XVI. Man Proposes, God Disposes

XVII. Settled in Natal

XVIII. Colour Bar

XIX. Natal Indian Congress

XX. Balasundaram

XXI. The £3 Tax

XXII. Comparative Study of Religions

XXIII. As a Householder

XXIV. Homeward

XXV. In India

XXVI. Two Passions

XXVII. The Bombay Meeting

XXVIII. Poona and Madras

XXIX. 'Return Soon'

Part III

I. Rumblings of the Storm

II. The Storm

III. The Test

IV. The Calm After The Storm

V. Education of Children

VI. Spirit of Service

VII. Brahmacharya I

VIII. Brahmacharya II

IX. Simple Life

X. The Boer War

XI. Sanitary Reform and Famine Relief

XII. Return to India

XIII. In India Again

XIV. Clear and Bearer

XV. In the Congress

XVI. Lord Curzon's Darbar

XVII. A Month with Gokhale I

XVIII. A Month with Gokhale II

XIX. A Month with Gokhale III

XX. In Benares

XXI. Settled in Bombay ?

XXII. Faith on Its Trial

XXIII. To South Africa Again

Part IV

I. 'Love's Labour's Lost' ?

II. Autocrats from Asia

III. Pocketed the Insult

IV. Quickened Spirit of Sacrifice

V. Result of Introspection

VI. A Sacrifice to Vegetarianism

VII. Experiments in Earth and Water Treatment

VIII. A Warning

IX. A Tussle with Power

X. A Sacred Recollection and Penance

XI. Intimate European Contacts

XII. European Contacts (Continued)

XIII. Indian Opinion

XIV. Coolie Locations or Ghettoes ?

XV. The Black Plague I

XVI. The Black Plague II

XVII. Location in Flames

XVIII. The Magic Spell of a Book

XIX. The Phoenix Settlement

XX. The First Night

XXI. Polak Takes the Plunge

XXII. Whom God Protects

XXIII. A Peep into the Household

XXIV. The Zulu 'Rebellion'

XXV. Heart Searchings

XXVI. The Birth of Satyagraha

XXVII. More Experiments in Dietetics

XXVIII. Kasturbai's Courage

XXIX. Domestic Satyagraha

XXX. Towards Self-Restraint

XXXI. Fasting

XXXII. As Schoolmaster

XXXIII. Literary Training

XXXIV. Training of the Spirit

XXXV. Tares Among the Wheat

XXXVI. Fasting as Penance

XXXVII. To Meet Gokhale

XXXVIII. My Part in the War

XXXIX. A Spiritual Dilemma

XL. Miniature Satyagraha

XLI. Gokhale's Charity

XLII. Treatment of Pleurisy

XLIII. Homeward

XLIV. Some Reminiscences of the Bar

XLV. Sharp Practice ?

XLVI. Clients Turned Co-Workers

XLVII. How a Client was Saved

Part V

I. The First Experience

II. With Gokhale in Poona

III. Was it a Threat ?

IV. Shantiniketan

V. Woes of Third Class Passengers

VI. Wooing

VII. Kumbha Mela

VIII. Lakshman Jhula

IX. Founding of the Ashram

X. On the Anvil

XI. Abolition of Indentured Emigration

XII. The Stain of Indigo

XIII. The Gentle Bihari

XIV. Face to Face with Ahimsa

XV. Case Withdrawn

XVI. Methods of Work

XVII. Companions

XVIII. Penetrating the Villages

XIX. When a Governor is Good

XX. In Touch with Labour

XXI. A Peep into the Ashram

XXII. The Fast

XXIII. The Kheda Satyagraha

XXIV. 'The Onion Thief'

XXV. End of Kheda Satyagraha

XXVI. Passion for Unity

XXVII. Recruiting Campaign

XXVIII. Near Death's Door

XXIX. The Rowlatt Bills and my Dilemma

XXX. That Wonderful Spectacle !

XXXI. That Memorable Week ! I

XXXII. That Memorable Week ! II

XXXIII. 'A Himalayan Miscalculation'

XXXIV. Navajivan and Young India

XXXV. In the Punjab

XXXVI. The Khilafat Against Cow Protection ?

XXXVII. The Amritsar Congress

XXXVIII. Congress Initiation

XXXIX. The Birth of Khadi

XL. Found at Last !

XLI. An Instructive Dialogue

XLII. Its Rising Tide

XLIII. At Nagpur




Public domain This work is now in the public domain because it originates from India and its term of copyright has expired. According to The Indian Copyright Act, 1957, all literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works (other than photographs) published within the lifetime of the author (s. 22) enter the public domain after sixty years counted from the beginning of the following calendar year (ie. as of 2019, prior to 1 January 1959) after the death of the author. Posthumous works (s. 24), photographs (s. 25), cinematograph films (s. 26), and sound recordings (s. 27) enter the public domain sixty years after the first publication.
Flag of India.svg

SemiPD-icon.svg Works by this author are in the public domain in countries where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. cs | de | en | eo | es | fr | he | pl | ru | zh
  ▲ top