In order to live the simple truths for himself, Gandhi established ashrams where residents would seek to guide their lives by spiritual idealism in fulfillment of practical aims. The ashrams provided the space for experimentation. In them and under his careful observation, a microcosm of humanity could evolve practical means consistent with and leading to a larger truth.
In these ashrams Gandhiji gathered together people of different religions, different classes, and different levels of education. All were equally respected.
The ashram life proved to be his laboratory for experiments with Truth. Through his own experiments with life, Mahatma Gandhi examined a course to develop the means of Satyagraha and Ahimsa within himself.