Mahatma Gandhi’s Guide to Health | Naturopathy Podcasts

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Now, onto today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from the book “A Guide to Health” by Mahatma Gandhi, published in 1921.

For more than twenty years, I have been paying special attention to the question of Health, and I have arrived at certain definite conclusions from that experience, and now set them down for the benefit of my readers.

As the familiar saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” It is far easier and safer to prevent illness by the observance of the laws of health than to set about curing an illness which has been brought on by our own ignorance and carelessness. Hence it is the duty of all thoughtful people to understand aright the laws of health.

As Milton says, the mind can make a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell. So heaven is not somewhere above the clouds, nor hell somewhere underneath the earth. This same idea is expressed in the Sanskrit saying that humankind’s captivity or freedom is dependent on the state of our mind. From this it follows that whether you are healthy or unhealthy depends on you. Illness is the result not only of our actions but also of our thoughts. As has been said by a famous doctor, more people die for fear of diseases like small-pox, cholera, and plague than out of those diseases themselves.

Ignorance is one of the root-causes of disease. Very often we get bewildered at the most ordinary diseases out of sheer ignorance, and in our anxiety to get better, we simply make matters worse. Our ignorance of the most elementary laws of health leads us to adopt wrong remedies or drives us into the hands of absolute quacks.

How strange (and yet how true it is) that we know much less about things near at hand than things at a distance. We take so much trouble to learn the names of stars and constellations, while we hardly think it worthwhile to know the things that are in our own homes and neighborhoods. We never care a jot for the splendid pageantry of Nature before our very eyes, while we are so anxious to witness the puerile escapades of popular culture.

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