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Gandhi's Views On Environment
Nature Cure & Holistic Treatment

Gandhiji explained the spontaneous working system of Nature in Indian Opinion dated 11-1-1913:

". . .Nature has provided within the body itself the means of cleansing it, so that when illness occurs, we should realize that there exists impure matter in th6 body and that she has commenced her cleansing process."

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J In a letter written to N.M Samarth on 20-8-1918, Gandhiji talked about the main cause of the diseases:

". . .I believe also in nature cure and fasting. Nature cure is hydropathy and enema. The only food I am taking is fruit juices, principally orange juice. I am free to confess that nature cure means to that extent want of faith in the purely religious cure. I have not the courage to keep myself exclusively to the latter when I know that the disease is due to a breach of nature's laws."

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In his speech at Ashtanga Ayurveda Vidyalaya in Calcutta on 6-5-1925, Gandhiji said:

". . . I belong to that noble, growing, but the still small school of thought which believes more in prevention than in cure, which believes in Nature doing things for herself even for suffering humanity if we would but let Nature take her course. I believe in that school of thought which considers that the less interference there is on the part of doctors, on the part of physicians and surgeons, the better it is for humanity and its morals. . . I found that our Ayurvedic and Unani Physicians lack sanity. They lack the humility. Instead of that I found in them an arrogance that they knew everything (laughter), that there was no disease which they could not cure."

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Gandhiji wrote about his experiments and expertise in nature cure treatment in Satyagraha in South Africa:

". . . I have been fond for about the last thirty-five years of making experiments in dietetics from the religious, economic and hygienic standpoints. This predilection for food reform still persists. People around me would naturally be influenced by my experiments. Side by side with dietetics, I made experiments in treating diseases with natural curative agents only such as earth and water and without recourse to drugs. When I practised as a barrister, cordial relations were established with my clients so that we looked upon one another almost as members of the same family. The clients therefore made me a partner in their joys and sorrows. Some of them sought my advice being familiar with my experiments in nature-cure. . . I made many such experiments on the Farm, and I do not remember to have failed in even a single case."

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Gandhiji declared in Harijan on 11-8-1946, his ultimate faith in nature cure and criticized western medicine as it involves violence:

"My love of nature cure and of indigenous systems does not blind me to the advance that Western medicine has made in spite of the fact that I have stigmatized it as black magic. I have used the harsh term and I do not withdraw it, because of the fact that it has countenanced vivisection and all the awfulness it means and because it will stop at no practice. . . I cling to nature cure inspite of its great limitations and inspite of the lazy pretensions of nature-curists. Above all, in nature cure, everybody can be his or her own doctor, not so in various system of medicine."

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In a letter written to Dinshaw Mehta from Uruli Kanchan, on 4-8-1946, Gandhiji proposed his intention to spread nature cure in villages:

"My idea of developing nature cure in Uruli Kanchan and the villages of India is fast expanding. It means teaching the hygiene of the body, mind and soul of the individual and society. Thus the workers in Uruli Kanchan have, besides cleaning the streets of the village, and attending to their bodily ailments through the judicious use of earth, sun, ether, light and water, to attend to the pauperism of the criminal tribes called the Garudis-described in law as one of the criminal tribes of India."

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Copyright 2004 Mani Bhavan