ABRIDGED EDITION OF
MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
Four or five years ago, at the instance of some of my nearest co-workers, I agreed to write ray autobiography. I made the start, but scarcely had I turned over the first sheet when riots broke out in Bombay and the work remained at a standstill. Then followed a series of events which culminated in my imprisonment at Yeravda. I should indeed have finished the autobiography had I gone through my full term of imprisonment at Yeravda, for there was still a year left to complete the task, when I was discharged. Swami Anand has now repealed the proposal, and as I have finished the history of Satyagraha in South Africa, I am tempted to undertake the autobiography for Navajivan.
It is not my purpose to attempt a real autobiography. I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments; it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography. My experiments in the political field are now known, not only to India, but to a certain extent to the ‘civilized’ world. But I should certainly like to narrate my experiments in the spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived such power as I possess for working in the political field. If the experiments are really spiritual, then there can be no room for self-praise. They can only add to my humility. The more I reflect and look back on the past, the more vividly do I feel my limitations.
Only those matters of religion that can be comprehended as much by children as by older people, will be included in this story, if I can narrate them in a dispassionate and humble spirit, many other experiments will find in them provision for their onward march. Far be it from me to claim any degree of perfection for these experiments. I claim for them nothing more than does a scientist who, though he conducts his experiments with the utmost accuracy,...