Self-Restraint V. Self-Indulgence
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Self-Restraint V. Self-Indulgence

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Item Code: NAH043
Author: M.K. Gandhi
Publisher: Navajivan Publishing House
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 8172291205
Pages: 219
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 220 gm
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 and Sample Pages**











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