Page:Mahatma Gandhi, his life, writings and speeches.djvu/51

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It was here also that Mr. Gandhi practised a great tapasya. Bere he laid upon himself and his family the yoke of an iron discipline in daily habit. He stripped himself of all luxury in externals. He wore the coarsest raiment and for food took only so much as would suffice to keep body and soul together. He slept upon a coarse blanket in the open air. He starved the flesh and reined in the mind. And his soul waxed in joy and strength. And to those that beheld it was a marvel and a wonder.

In 1906 the Zulus broke out in rebellion and a corps of twenty Indians with Mr. Gandhi as leader was formed to help to carry the wounded to the hospital. The corps subsequently acted as nurses and Mr. Gandhi ministered in person to the wounded Zulus. The founding of the Phoenix Ashrama and the nursing of the Zulus with all their meaning in terms of the higher life were a fitting prelude to what was about to follow.

In the year 1906 the new Government of the Transvaal brought forward a new law affecting all Asiatics, which was sinister, retrograde and obnoxious in the last degree. One morning all the children of Asia in the Transvaal