From the beginning of his involvement in South Africa, Gandhi adopted the personal philosophy of selflessness. A public man he might be, but he refused to accept any payment for his work on behalf of the Indian population, preferring to support himself with his law practice alone (which was primarily sustained, it must be noted, by Indians: twenty Indian merchants contracted with it to manage their affairs.) His central idea was self-denial in the service of his fellow men, which he, as a follower of the Sermon on the Mount and the Bhagavad-Gita, regarded as not being self-denial at all, but rather a higher form of self-fulfillment. This philosophical clarity coexisted with intense spiritual turmoil, as Gandhi struggled to define his religious beliefs. It was during this period that Gandhi enjoyed a wonderful
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