GANDHI, Mohandas K. (1869-1948). A series of 8 autograph letters signed, 3 autograph letters without signature, 9 letters signed, one letter without signature, 16 autograph postcards signed and ten postcards signed to Dr Behram Navroji Khambatta, Sabarmati, Vardha, Yeravada prison and other places, 21 October 1921 - 20 March 1942, in Gujurati, altogether approximately 30 pages, various sizes, in autograph, and 17 pages, various sizes, in other hands; with four postcards written by members of Gandhi's circle on his behalf; with translations.
A SERIES GIVING CLOSE ATTENTION TO MATTERS OF HEALTH, BOTH KHAMBATTA'S AND GANDHI'S OWN, WITH MANY REVEALING INSIGHTS INTO GANDHI'S CONCEPTION OF THE RIGHT TREATMENT OF THE BODY: 'I would advise you to consult a doctor and take proper treatment ... There is nothing wrong in looking after one's health, but to forsake your religion to maintain your body is a great sin. Consider the body to be an instrument for the release of the soul, and try any remedy that has no side-effects'. In March 1928 the advice concerns Khambatta's son Jal (see subsequent lot): 'Your son has my blessings. I do not see the need to panic and leave for Europe. We must have faith in God ... If the doctors at the jail are afraid to take the chance or if you are not at peace, you may certainly go to Europe ... We must not act impulsively, and remember the body is not immortal so one must not be excessively attached'. Frequently, letters from Gandhi respond to advice on the treatment of his troublesome hands, include massage and the use of liniments: 'I am not aware that I have a habit of sleeping with my arm under my head. Perhaps I do sometimes ... As a precautionary measure, I have again stopped writing with the right hand, yet it hurts'; 'no matter how much self-control I exercise, there is some disease within me that is showing up in the form of the pain in my hand'; there is a characteristic resignation to circumstances -- 'But I am filling up the letter with this. Fasting helps, but ultimately we are at the mercy of God'. A number of letters invite the Khambattas to stay with Gandhi at Sabarmati, and give spiritual advice -- 'As you keep getting detached from the body, you will be calmer and more relaxed' -- as well as cautioning Khambatta against excessive enthusiasm for the cause: 'You are anxious to take part in the struggle, but at the moment, don't be hasty -- spare a thought for Tehmina's feelings ... She will also join you in this final struggle. I believe the women will eventually have to join'; in September 1932 Gandhi writes of the fate of a companion in the independence struggle: 'There is cause to be happy, not fearful. God has given a colleague a beautiful chance to take the final step of non-violence. It is necessary for us all to pray to God that the step we have taken in His name, He should give us the strength to carry out properly'. (51)