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What are some NSFW history facts that are left out the classroom?(r/AskReddit)
>Yeah, he wasn’t always successful at abstaining.
He had an extraordinary and extreme complex about lust. He was a product of both Victorian-era Hindu and British prudishness and did not want to get married, but his parents forced him to when he was 13. When he discovered sex for the first time, with his wife, his ascetic inclinations got pushed to the wayside and he reveled in it as any teen would. Then his father got sick and was slowly dying in the hospital. Gandhi would visit him every day, but as he had just been married, wouldn’t spend much time at the hospital because, as he himself wrote, he wanted to run home and have sex with his wife. His father ended up dying one night shortly after Gandhi left to go home and have sex. He developed a massive amount of guilt, feeling that he had failed in his duty as a son by letting his father die alone because of his lust. At the same time, his pregnant wife miscarried, which Gandhi saw as punishment for his immorality. After that he entrenched himself firmly in asceticism, and developed an Augustine- level hatred of lust and desired to conquer it in accordance with the teachings of the ascetic strain of Hinduism. His own wife reported that he would become physically disgusted by the act of sex. He eventually took a vow of celibacy.
Later on, around the time his wife died, he began testing himself in these extreme, ascetic ways by asking young women to sleep next to him to prove to himself that he had conquered lust completely and wouldn’t even be mildly tempted by desire for them. It was absolutely inappropriate in several ways and obviously indefensible, but it’s also important to note (contrary to the accusations of certain partisan groups) that he never had sex with them, according to their own testimony and that of others (his entire entourage, male and female, slept in the same room, partially because he wanted to be absolutely sure they were all celibate, too.) He never even touched them.
Furthermore, this wasn’t some secret that was uncovered after investigative work. All the people closest to him knew about it, including other political leaders in the independence movement, most of whom disapproved and publicly criticized it. Eventually, it became public knowledge, and some of the publishers of his works resigned because they didn’t want to print his writings advocating these sleeping arrangement experiments. Gandhi himself still wrote publicly about it and defended the practice, but eventually, in 1947, he bowed to pressure and stopped doing it.
EDIT: Several people have understandably asked for sources. Pretty much every major biography of Gandhi has at least some of this information in it, including his own autobiography. Try:
Lal, Vinay (Jan–Apr 2000). “Nakedness, Nonviolence, and Brahmacharya: Gandhi’s Experiments in Celibate Sexuality”. Journal of the History of Sexuality 9 (1/2): 105–36. JSTOR 3704634.
EDIT: Thanks for the gold, whoever you are!