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  • Created by: Muy
  • Created on: 02-05-16 17:42


  • His eldest brother and a group of children that knew English ways were impressed by the physical strength of the ruling race
  • Gandhi brothers were encouraged to eat meat and break Hindu taboo in order to acquire this strength
  • Although Gandhi’s parents tolerance of all religions into him, he developed a dislike of Christianity as Protestant missionaries were intolerant to Hindu beliefs
  • Gandhi’s brother took him to the adviser of his father and the Brahmin said no one could succeed their father without education ->   Brahmin mentioned that a barrister came back from England and had a high status
  • Gandhi wanted to acquire status in society and experience first hand acquaintance with ‘civilisation’ 
  • Gandhi initially wanted to pursue the medical profession -> his brother said that his father opposed a Vaishnavite dissecting dead bodies 
  • It had been difficult to get his mother's permission to cross the oceans to a country whose customs she feared would pollute his soul
  • Jain monk had finally settled her fears by having her youngest and favorite son take a sacred oath to touch neither meat, alcohol, nor women while away from India
  • Referred to Britain as the ‘very centre of civilisation’ BUT his assimilation of English ideas had been limited by the boundaries he had accepted when he took the triple vow in order to win his mother's permission
  • Readiness to accept the punishment for his disobedience -> the status of outcaste from that group
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  • Discovered a vegetarian restaurant and in its window a pamphlet explaining the importance of the diet he had vowed to stick to -> Henry Salt's A Plea for Vegetarianism
  • Thoreau "It is a part of the destiny of the human race to leave off eating animals"
  • The vegetarians in England were inspired by India-> Indophiles were struck by the care shown to animal and Indian soldiers seemed to fight well on a diet of lentils
  • Gandhi reminisced, "from the date of reading this book, I may claim to have become a vegetarian by choice"
  • Came into contact with poorer Indian students and learned from their examples on how to live more simply
  • A friend from Manchester gave him a copy of the Bible, he promised to read it but disliked the Exodus e.g. it stated that God would massacre all the first-bom in the land of Egypt
  • Acquaintance with Europeans interested in the culture of ancient India -> personal contact with several of London's Theosophists, who were enthusiastic about Hinduism -> helped him resolve some of his doubts about his ancestral faith
  • Two theosophists asked Gandhi to read the Bhagavad Gita -> found himself studying one of his homeland's classical scriptures
  • Gandhi encountered some of his countrymen's favorite scriptures in Arnold's English renditions, -> Arnold "had worked out for himself a full-scale synthesis of Buddhism, Christianity and Victorian science" -> a fusion of facets from East and West -> influened Gandhi
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  • Arnold Hills & Josiah Hills ->  the elder was chairman of Thames Iron Works, and founder of the Vegetarian -> Hills espoused themes that Gandhi would emphasise e.g. simple living, sexual purity, minimum government
  • Oldfield would naturally have told the younger and less certain Gandhi about his deeply held convictions -> reminisced that "we lived in the same diggings and shared the same table"
  • Hills's employee Josiah Oldfield became Gandhi's closest friend during the latter's last year in London
  • An English doctor told Gandhi a vegetarian diet wasn’t sufficient in the cold climate and exclaimed “You must either take beef-tea or die” in which Gandhi answered if he dies then he must die
  • Oldfield said Gandhi courageous for not breaking his sacred oath by drinking the beef tea 
  • Oldfield believed in "the presence of a Universal Law", of which any transgression is inexorably punished" -> similar to the Hindu concept of dharma 
  • Gandhi compared the Bible to the Gita and concluded that renunciation was the highest form of religion
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  • An aspiring lawyer recalled “Gandhi wore a high silk top hat, a fine striped silk shirt”
  • Abdul Karim was asked to tutor the Qureen in Hindustani -> Gandhi said "The Queen's attempt to banish racial prejudice by royal example, was no mean one."
  • Gandhi probably heard James Routledge's long speech in Exeter Hall -> James advised that "the first condition of the success which sages and true teachers of whatever name have accepted as real, is to live for others
  • Routledge also praised handloom weaving and hand labour in general - themes Gandhi emphasised in the latter half of his life
  • A doctor's 40 day fast and an article on "How to Fast" appeared in the Vegetarian -> reading about strenuous fasts in the vegetarians'  may have given him incentive to do so
  • Kenneth Romanes -> "trueness to the Higher Self! This is the essence of all Christ's religion. Jew or Gentile, theist or atheist, whosoever seeks Truth is pure" -> prefigured Gandhi's later attachment to "Truth" as his favorite name for God
  • The contributors in the Vegetarian journal insisted on constant progress toward moral and spiritual perfection -> the same message Gandhi would emphasise
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The end

  • Oldfield convinced Gandhi to spend his last days in London writing for the 'Vegetarian’ 
  • Gandhi’s essays sought to eradicated common myths e.g. Hindus were not weak because of the absence of meat in their diet and he blamed it on the custom of infant marriage
  • The Vegetarian audience implicated that he had to make the facts coherent and easy for the English audience to comprehend
  • The close friendships with English -> expanded his mind, taught him to relate to different people, provided him with his first public platform
  • In the first year in England, Gandhi’s living expenses were £12 a month, in his second it was £4 -> stopped starching his shirts, walked everywhere, shaved himself, stopped buying newspapers
  • His frugal living was somewhat encouraged by some Englishmen e.g. Cardinal Manning’s meal consisted of a bit of bread and water and he was considered intellectual     
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