Simple living is actually a by-product of a life with spiritual purpose.
Examples- Adi Sankaracharya, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
It is not an end in itself, not even the means, but a by-product- result of the realisation of temporal nature of material acquisitions.
Gandhi, in retrospect, seems to have tried to model himself after the spiritual greats by borrowing their words, phrases and actions.
He perhaps believed that is the way to live life.
But life is not really for modelling it after somebody else.
It is for experiencing it oneself.
In today’s world many people often model their lives after others. And experience life through the lives of others. Movies, television, books, reality shows, video games, are all mediums that encourage people to live their lives through other’s.
With the result that many people lose a sense of self, often merging it with a collage of their many icons and with the need to be seen conforming to the latest fad.
Life degenerates to imitation. And success in life, to receiving approbation in society.
And austerity assumes importance for its own sake and for public display.
—————-This post is based on comment posted elsewhere———