Selected Letters of Gandhi : Part-2

A collection of Mahatma Gandhi letters.

Chapter-57: Hinduism

Faith in truth and non-violence to the exclusion of other things and cow protection are the chief elements of Hinduism. Whoever does not believe in these two principles cannot claim to be a Hindu. I do not see the necessity of putting on the sacred.
Provides from day to day just enough food for all in just medicinal doses. We are all of the tribes of full-mealers. Instinctively to know the medicinal does required is a Herculean task, for by parental training we are gluttons. Then, when it is almost too late, it dawns upon some of us that food is made not to sustain the body as our slave. It becomes from that moment a grim fight against the inherited and acquired habit of eating for pleasure. Hence the necessity for a complete fast at intervals and partial fasts for ever. Partial fast is the meager or measured food of the Gita. Thus “There is no prayer without fasting” is a scientific proposition capable of verification by experiments and experience.’

Bapu’s letter to Mira, Letter No. 198, pp.241-2.

Thread (yajnopavita), but I would not insist on people discarding it. He who is not true to the character of a Brahmans cannot claim the privileges attaching to Brahmanhood. Why feed such Brahmans in name only? The only essential part of the ceremony of marriage is the recitation of some Vedic mantras (verses). These have been printed in Navajivan. I do not believe in the ceremony of shraddha (offering to ancestors) as practiced nowadays.

Recorded under January 8, 1933; ibid., pp. 29-30; translated from the Hindi.