Mahatma Gandhi’s Book – A Guide to Health published 1921

Mahatma Gandhi 1921 book

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Title: A Guide to Health

Author: Mahatma Gandhi

Translator: A. Rama Iyer

Release Date: July 30, 2012 [EBook #40373]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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A GUIDE TO HEALTH

BY

MAHATMA GANDHI

Translated from the Hindi
BY

A. RAMA IYER, M.A.

printer’s mark
1921

S. GANESAN., PUBLISHER,

TRIPLICANE . . . . .  MADRAS, S.E.


[Pg v]

CONTENTS

Page
Translator’s Note vii
Introduction 1
Part I: General
Chap. I. The Meaning of Health 9
Chap. II. The Human Body 11
Chap. III. Air 14
Chap. IV. Water 25
Chap. V. Food 29
Chap. VI.

How much and how many times should we eat?

55
Chap. VII. Exercise 59
Chap. VIII. Dress 64
Chap. IX. Sexual Relations 69
Part II: Some Simple Treatments
Chap. I. Air Treatment 83
Chap. II. Water Cure 86
Chap. III. The Use of Earth 95
Chap. IV. Fever and its Cures 98
Chap. V. Constipation, Dysentery, etc. 101
[Pg vi]Chap. VI. Contagious Diseases Smallpox 104
Chap. VII. Other Contagious Diseases 112
Chap. VIII. Maternity and Child-Birth 117
Chap. IX. Care of Child 121
Chap. X. Accidents —Drowning 127
Chap. XI. Do —Burns and Scalds 130
Chap. XII. Do —Snake Bite 132
Chap. XIII. Do —Scorpion-sting, etc. 140
Chap. XIV. Conclusion 142





TRANSLATOR’S NOTE

In these days when the name of Mahatma Gandhi is identified with the momentous question of Non-Co-operation, it may come with a shock of surprise to most readers to be told that he is something of an authority on matters of Health and Disease as well. Very few of us perhaps are aware that he is the author of quite an original little Health-book in Gujarati. Those who think of him as a dreamy idealist or an unpractical visionary, with his head always in the clouds, will certainly be undeceived when they read this book replete from cover to cover with practical observations on the most practicalquestion of Health. His views are of course radically different from the ordinary views that find expression in the pages of such books; in many cases, indeed, his doctrines must be pronounced revolutionary, and will doubtless be regarded by a certain class of readers as wholly impracticable. Even the most revolutionary of his doctrines, however, are based, not on the shifting quicksands of mere theory, but on the solid foundation of deep study, backed up by personal experience of nearly thirty years. He himself recognises that many of his views will hardly be accepted by the ordinary [Pg vi]reader, but he has felt himself impelled by a stern sense of duty to give publicity to his convictions formed after so much of study and experience. Some at least however, of those who read his book cannot help being profoundly influenced by it. Such, at any rate, has been the case with me; and I have ventured to translate the book into English in the hope that others may also be benefitted likewise.

I should perhaps explain that I am not a student of Gujarati, the language of the original. I have used instead one of the two Hindi versions of the book. I should also point out that I have not attempted a literal or close translation, but only a very free rendering into English. In some cases, whole passages have been omitted; and occasionally only the general sense of a passage has been given. It is hoped, however, that, in no single instance has there been a misinterpretation of the original words.

I am aware that many errors might have crept in, as the translation had to be done in a hurry, and there was hardly anytime for revision. I hope to make a thorough revision of the book, in case a second edition is called for.

National College,
Trichinopoly,
July 1921.
}
A. RAMA IYER.

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