Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/67

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52
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

simply the prescribed way of readmission to caste society and caste privileges. Nasik, in the Western Ghats, was chosen as the sacred spot. The returned prodigal was bathed, a priest chanted mantras and when the ceremony, involving an expenditure of about Rs. 50, was complete, a caste dinner was held, and without any reference being made to the subject which occasioned it, he was admitted and welcomed as one of the company.

The practice of the law, in Rajkot, and the study of the law in the High Court of Bombay, together with a more systematic research into the old Hindu faith under a learned Jain, occupied Mr. Gandhi for some eighteen months. Then an invitation came, through his brother, to go to South Africa. A firm in Porbandar, with a branch in Pretoria, offered him a twelve months' engagement to undertake an important law-suit, in which a number of Indians were involved. The offer was accepted, and this is how, in 1893, Mr. Gandhi made his first acquaintance with South Africa. It was not altogether happy, but it accurately foreshadowed what has been his experience ever since.

His first day in Natal disillusioned him. He said, "I have made a mistake in coming. My clients