- Swadhyay Movement
Swadhyay Movement is a Hindu reform movement, first started in 1950s by
Swadhyay Parivar, a socio-religious organization set up by noted Indian philosopher and orator, Pandurang Shastri Athavale, also known as Dadaji, who was later awarded the Templeton Prizein 1997 and the Ramon Magsaysay Awardfor "Community Leadership" [ [http://www.rmaf.org.ph/Awardees/Biography/BiographyAthavalePan.htm Biography] " Ramon Magsaysay Award" website.] and India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushanin 1999.
Continuity of cultural realignment has been endemic to India’s civilisational impulses. What is different today is that these alternatives are playing a vital role in responding and adjusting to the main currents of secular culture that have surfaced in the second half of the nineteenth century and have permeated the public domain in general, and dominant institutions in particular. Contemporary India has seen several such efforts towards realignment of ordinary life purposes and the moral urge towards self-fulfillment. Many of these efforts have floundered because either they have lacked a coherent set of ideas to equip the people to cope with the world as it is evolving or have lacked the means and confidence to successfully implement those ideas. Of the ones that have succeeded and are apparently succeeding, [http://www.swadhyay.org Swadhyaya] readily comes to mind.
It is difficult to pinpoint any particular date or year when Swadhyaya began its journey. In the early and middle forties of the last century, one Pandurang Vaijnath Athavale Shastri (affectionately and popularly addressed as [http://www.dadaji.net Dadaji] ), a young scholar in his early twenties, began to engage his listeners in Bombay and to debate with them about the true import of
bhakti(devotion). He is the founder of and driving force behind Swadhyay. Within the framework of traditional religious discourses, Dada raised uncomfortable questions about the dilemmas of modern man and the problems of material life, individual and social. He argued that neither liberal welfarism nor socialism was capable of bridging the gulf between the haves and the havenots and that private charity or government doles only managed to erode human dignity and sense of self-worth. He rejected materialism as well as fatalism and posited that ideas expounded in Bhagavad Gitawere capable of eliminating differences between human beings. Dada’s views were further buttressed when he interacted with leading philosophers of twentieth century at the [http://sun3.lib.uci.edu/~dtsang/pollit/serials.htm Second World Philosophical Congress (Shimizu City, Japan, 1954)] . He returned from Japan with firm determination to implement his ideas at the grassroots level in India. So began Swadhyaya.
What is Swadhyaya?
Swadhyaya is frequently and formally described as a movement of social regeneration in Indian context. Swadhyay, a Sanskrit word, means self-study, but it is more than what it connotes. If movement is an inadequate description of what Swadhyaya is and what it does, it is a tribute to Dada who has founded it, nurtured it and inspired millions of people to join the Swadhyaya stream. Swadhyay is both a movement and a metaphor.
It is a movement in terms of its orientation in social and economic spheres, and a metaphor in the sense of a vision.
Active as a process of self-transformation and self-empowerment, for swadhyayees, it is a life-changing experience. For them it is an experience that gives dignity, self-respect and self-esteem. It is a network of interacting individuals and communities. They have different identities and orientations but they come forward to share a system of belief and a sense of belonging. Such integration unleashes certain impulses at individual and social level that facilitate community regeneration and healing. The germinal idea of Swadhyaya is to develop awareness of an in-dwelling God—the divine presence in every human being. Another basic idea of Swadhyaya is that bhakti (devotion) is not an introverted activity; rather it is a social force.
Bhaktiis Swadhyaya’s foundational term. Bhaktiis an understanding of man’s relationship with the divine and with others. But for bhakti to be a social force and move beyond ritualism, temple worship, scriptural learning and attending religious discourses, it would have to be transformed into action—selfless, righteous action based on devotion. Self-perfection channelised through constructive work towards collective good is seen as krutibhakti (devotional activism) that promotes the ‘we-ness’ of human family under ‘the fatherhood of God’.
Simply put, for swadyayees it is an experience called Swadhyaya. For them it has dramatically changed the way God is understood. It is not some kind of millennial kingdom that they are after. It reinterprets the received wisdom of doctrinal creed and theological traditions. It offers pragmatic ways of re-linking and drawing closer to God and others through activities that may seem farthest from spiritual pursuits. The sign of the sacred are all pragmatic. It works. It helps people to do better in their business and jobs, behave better with their families, and feel better about themselves. It is a commitment that manifests itself as an ongoing process of self-study.
It is an everyday experience which swadhyayees find edifying because they feel they have entered a special community graced by God. It is a parivar (family), which does not admit of dichotomy between spiritual and material, and where self-achievement gets a new meaning by working through family processes. It endows the individual with anew kind of integrity and a sense of responsibility; it means returning the best you have to collective good. It is a celebration of life and not life-denial. It is a context in which everyone has one’s own nipunta (skill and efficiency) or capital in the broad sense and no one is poor. Belonging to such a parivar gives a sense of security and equality. Status of the individual no longer depends on wealth but comes from commitment to a lived idea of divine presence. It is, what swadhyayees term as, ‘divine brotherhood’.
Swadhyaya in action
Swadhyaya is non-political and maintains a low profile, notably in ‘development community’. Its approach is primarily (but neither exclusively nor dogmatically) inspired by insights culled from India’s classical wisdom (Gita and the Upanishads)—adumbrating the common divinity dwelling within every one. Emphasis is placed on using personal efficiency and time as a devotional offering, generating, what is called, apaurusheya Laxmi (‘impersonal wealth’). These insights are used to generate and sustain self-esteem and counteract conventional ills (alcoholism, domestic violence, practice of untouchability, gambling, petty crime, ethnic violence, etc).
The idea of impersonal wealth is not the end of Swadhyaya but it is perhaps its starting point. It is regulated neither by need nor by expediency. It is not about equity; it is about culture. Its appeal is based on the belief that unless cultural barriers between human beings are removed through the idea of divine brotherhood and experiments promoting ego-moderation, equality in other realms is nearly impossible to achieve.
Swadhyay, then, is the great accommodation of the material with the spiritual and between the individual and the social. This cohesion is achieved and its continuity is maintained by relating small concrete programmes to the larger frame of ideas and beliefs that is reflected in each of its activities.
Activities of Swadhyaya are based on a range of original economic and social ‘experiments’ (many designed to generate impersonal wealth and self-esteem in participating villages) including:
Trikal Sandhya: [http://www.hinduism.co.za/thanks.htm Trikal Sandhya] is an individual activity for personal betterment. Who better to show our gratitudes to than God. Sri Pandurang Shastri Athawale exhorts everyone to remember God at least three times a day. We should pray God at least three times and thank God all those times for what God does for us. We should do Morning Prayers when we wake up, Food Prayers before we Eat, Sleeping Prayers before going to Sleep. At dawn , when one awakes, God bestows the Gift of memory which fills human life with joy of living. At the time of meal, once again, the Divine touch can be felt, when God energizes by converting meal of whatever kind into life energy. At night, God endows blessings of sleep to mankind whereby he imparts serenity from hassles of this world by this God rejuvenates us to become ready for next day's play. The practice of Trikal Sandhya will fill our lifes with gratitude towards God leading towards a positive psychology and happiness.
Bhaktipheri and teerthyatra: [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/Bhaktipheri.htm Swadhyaya] places very high value on face to face personal contacts in contrast to impersonal, formal contacts. Volunteers (over 200,000), travel repeatedly on their own initiative (at least two days in a month, spending their own money) far and near to establish living contacts and intimate caring ties with other people and to utilize these contacts for spreading God’s love. Such a swadhyayee activist, whatever be his or her station in life, carries his or her own food, accepts hospitality from none, and travels with unfailing regularity. It is strictly a self-imposed obligation. It is through bhaktipheri that the fellowship of Swadhyaya begins to grow, expand and consolidate. Proselytizing is strictly discouraged; no effort is made to impose any pattern of activity or belief. These swadhyayee volunteers refuse all hospitality other than simple shelter. Within this framework, swadhyaya encourages its adherents to undertake a novel kind of teerthyatra (pilgrimage), to supplement the usual bhaktipheris. It is undertaken by a small group, mostly couples, for a longer duration, say, one week. Over this period they visit various parts of the village and discuss the message of swadhyaya with individuals and groups. At the end of it all, these pilgrims assemble at a predesignated place to show their gratitude to God. The reiterative nature of bhaktipheri and teerthyatra are two crucial modes for integrating myriad local communities into [http://www.swadhyay.org/main.htm Swadhyaya] parivar.
Vayasth Sanchalans: [http://www.swadhyay.org/happenings/VayasthaSanchalanCanada.htm Vayasth Sanchalans] are kind of training camps or workshops for more mature swadhyayees in the eighteen-to-forty age group. These are for three or four days and held each year at the district or regional level. Till 1996 more than nine hundred swadhyayees have participated these sessions. As the individual swadhyayees move from one encounter to another, they gain a sense of learning and co-discovery. The community involvement thereby becomes an educational process for the people involved and they feel that it gives them an experience of life, which no school seems capable of imparting. On June 16th Vayasth Sanchalan was held at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Where the mayor announced that June 16 will be known as Swadyay Family Day.
Loknath Amritalayams (eternal abode of the Lord of the world): To restore the temples to their original role as socio-economic centers of the village, Swadhyaya has taken a new initiative of non-sectarian temple-building called [http://www.swadhyay.org/recognition/LokShikshak.htm Loknath Amritalayam] . Built from locally available material and with voluntary labour of the swadhyayees, Amritalayams are simple, semi-permanent structures without walls, but mostly with gardens around them.
Each village couple, irrespective of caste origin, gets a chance to work as priest (pujari) for a few days in the year. Villagers gather in Amritalayam every morning and evening for prayers. A Hindu can recite the Gita with the same freedom as Moslem the Koran or Christian, the Bible. After the evening community prayer, the assembly discusses individual and collective problems and attempts to sort them out informally. It reviews the progress of Swadhyay activities running in the village. At regular intervals the swadhyayee villagers offer to God a portion of their earnings; they do so anonymously and voluntarily. The collections so received are distributed to the needy as benediction (prasad) of Loknath, and the surplus is spent on infrastructural needs of the village as a whole.
More than a place for remembering God, Amritalayam becomes focus of an alternative world of learning and culture, of personal and social renewal, and of community life independent of the state institutions and processes. These are centers where grievances and social problems are sorted out in the spirit of give and take, spirit of mutual help is reinforced, and initiatives are taken for innovations and reforms. Swadhyaya projects an outlook that is sought to be internalised at all levels and Amritalayam is one of the facilitating institutions of swadhyaya. The first Amritalayam was built in 1980. Such villages where ninety per cent people are committed swadhyayees are allowed to build them. There are now about 150 of them and an equal number of villages have graduated to that stage.
Yogeshwar Krishi (divine farming): [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/YogeshwarKrishi.htm Yogeshwar Krishi] is the practice of collective farming of a single field (normally of three to five acres) in a village by the villagers who each offer devotional labour, possibly for one or two days per cropping season. The resulting crop belongs to no one except God. No one can claim ownership of the produce. The labour input is the offering of the peasant in their role as priests. The wealth generated by the sale of the output belongs to God and hence apaurusheya or impersonal. Shrambhakti (labour contributed as devotional offering) is the key instrument for generation of internal resources. The benefits of the harvest are redistributed in the village for common good as well as individual need—one-third is used to meet short-term needs of the indigent, not as loan or charity, but as divine grace (prasad). The recipient is under no obligation to repay it, and definitely no interest has to be paid on such sums. Giving and receiving of these sums is done so discreetly and with such subtle grace that it obviates any sense of inferiority on the part of recipients. The remaining two-thirds of the income is kept in a trust fund called Madhavi Raksha Sankalap (an interest-free savings fund derived from earnings) to meet long term needs of the local community and to buy agricultural inputs needed for yogeshwar krushi from time to time. Currently there are some 3500 such devotional farming experiments.
Swadhyay is not involved in questions of property relations and peasant rights, but it tries to create a common ground where disinterested action aiming at the good of all is possible. The very opening up of this space projects the possibility of deepening its impact to transform traditionally anchored mindsets. Its initial effort is to rid the farmers of docility and the lower strata of servility and instill in them a feeling of self-respect. The farming community also learns self-reliance and escapes dependence on the state or anybody else.
Shree Darshanam (divine communes): [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/ShreeDarshanam.htm Swadhyaya] believes that when the change of ownership takes place before the change in the psychology of man, the egotism of economic man is bound to dominate and thwart the emergence of the self-sufficient satyagrahi or the socially motivated trustee or the enlightened socialist. As equalization of possession does not necessarily eradicate avarice and acquisitiveness, socialization of ownership is no answer to man’s economic predicament. The answer lies not in novel means of egalitarian divisions of property or wealth but in selfless collective action grounded in the belief that God is with me and is my co-partner in my daily life. Such collective efforts are organised not in the framework of competition and fear, but the framework of devotional offering, brotherhood, harmony and selfless action.
To confirm this belief, Swadhyaya has introduced the idea of shree darshanam (vision of prosperity) in recent years, where swadhyayees from about twenty villages come together to work on a single large farm of twenty acre or more. The produce of such divine communes, now about 24, is redistributed for the larger good of the community, even outside the villages involved in the experiment. But more than the economics of it, the idea is to build selfless relations among the neighbouring villages, inspire the people to sublimate their egos, and extend the inclusiveness of community, cutting across deeply rooted primordial affiliations.
Matsyagandha: In a similar manner, [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/Matsyagandha.htm Swadhyaya] has brought a cultural and socio-economic transformation to the fishing communities living in the coastal region of western India, extending from Goa to Okha. The stereotypical image of these sons and daughters of the sea, sagarputras and sagarputris in Swadhyaya idiom, was typical of marginal and disinherited groups. Aggressive, adventurous and sturdy, they were notorious for heavy drinking, gambling, smuggling and all kinds of petty and major crimes. They were despised by others for their profligacy and for their supposed criminal tendencies.
These children of the sea started offering a portion of their earnings (normally a day’s catch each month) at the feet of God. Soon enough they had substantial resources. A productive use of their capital and skill (sailing and fishing) had to be found. Ultimately suggestion came from Dada that with these funds, belonging to one but God, they could buy motorised boats, more efficient tools and tackle. Fishing could be their way to express their devotion to the Creator.
Thus, the experiment called matsyagandha (after a legendary fisherwoman) took its shape. The sagarputras treat these matsyagandha boats as floating temples. A crew of six to ten swadhyayee fishermen is onboard each boat. Fishing goes on all year except for a three-month pause during the monsoon period, which is used, for repairs and refitting the boats. The volunteers are many more than the matsyagandha boats. No individual fisherman gets a chance for more than one trip (of 24 hours) in a year. And when the boat is docked during the monsoon, the seamen among the swadhyayees take over the job of repairs and refitting the boats.
The experiment in generating impersonal wealth through fishing on motorised boats and trawlers, and dredging sand from the estuary bed, is similar to yogeshwar krishi. There is no employer and no employee; there are no owners and no workers; none has claim over what he has willingly offered to God. Each fisherman and seaman is a pujari, while he is on his floating temple. The disbursement of wealth created by matsyagandha is similar to that of yogeshwar krishi. To date there are 100 vessels and few more are added each year. An open sea-going cargo ship, S.S. Jayashree Sagar, was launched in October 1996 which regularly plies between India’s west coast and Persian Gulf States. The estimated number of swadhyayee fishermen and women exceeds one million. Over two million rupees are distributed to the needy fishermen as prasad every year who are using it even for non-fishing entrepreneurial activities in such as cyber cafés, trucking and restaurant business.
Vrkshmandirs (tree temples): [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/Vrikshmandir.htm Vrkshmandir] is yet another extremely important experiment that reflects Swadhyaya’s reverence for the environment and the belief in the omnipresence of God and unity of everyone and everything in divine creation. For Swadhyaya, trees are living testament to the omnipresence of God. Acting on this idea, swadhyayees have started renting large pieces of barren lands on long-term lease, or outright purchase, and turning them into upavans (orchards and woodlands) and naming them after an ancient sage. After acquiring an upavan plot, swadhyayees from fifteen to twenty villages around the upavan and from neighbouring towns first rehabilitate its land, dig wells for its irrigation, and then dig the pits for saplings. Most are fruit trees. Finally the day arrives when at a given time, thousand of swadhyayees, from far and near, stand with a sapling in their hands to lower them into the pits. In about five minutes, planting of an orchard of, say, forty acres, is complete.
Once a vrkshamandir is set up, swadhyayees from neighbouring villages and towns take turns tending these saplings and trees for 24 hours, twice or three times in a year, in a spirit of devotion as pujaris. These pujaris number nearly 100,000. As a result, large plots of totally desolate and barren land are now turning into beautiful lush green orchards, where the survival rate of plants is claimed to be nearly 100 per cent. The first vrkshmandir was raised in July 1979. Now there are 24, covering an area over 500 acres (2 km²). These orchards uniting the rich and the poor, the high castes and the low castes, the erstwhile neighbourhood enemies, the learned and the illiterate into closely knit fabric of Swadhyaya brotherhood. A work of this magnitude under the government social forestry scheme costs million of rupees, with a high loss rate of plants and numerous complaints against it from those who are supposed to be its beneficiaries.
Water conservation: [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/WaterConservation.htm] Through Bhugarbh Jal Sanchay and Nirmal Neer, the twin projects of water conservation and management, Swadhyaya is changing the face of large tracts of semi-arid parts of western Gujrat where underground water resources have been all but exhausted. Overuse and blind use of underground water resources has pushed the water table even lower than convert|500|ft|m|-1. By recharging abandoned wells (through replenishing the aquifers) and impounding run-off water in ponds, Swadhyaya has produced dramatic results. Since 1992 it has recharged over 100,000 wells and built or renovated over five hundred ponds. Besides raising farm productivity between 100 and 300 per cent, the cost incurred by Swadhyaya in recharging a well (about five hundred rupees) is nearly one tenth of the cost incurred by official agencies (five thousand rupees). By spending nearly five million man-hours of shrambhakti on this initiative of water harvesting, by 1996-97 Swadhyayya has freed 28,995,320 km² of land from dependence on rain-fed irrigation alone.
Using devotional motivation and experience of local communities, the Swadhyaya family has shown considerable creativity and capacity for constructive activities to reinforce the idea of human dignity. These activities, which can be classified under two dozen heads, are too numerous to elaborate. These mainly relate to enriching diets of marginal groups who are victims of chronic malnutrition; improving the quality of village life through better sanitation and better drainage; enlarging the supply of potable water in the villages; raising farm productivity and rural incomes through eco-friendly techniques, vocational training and occupational diversification; facilitating harmony between farmers and farm labourers, etc. Some of these activities have become quite large and need some mention.
Highly skilled swadhyayee medical professionals take turns each day of the year and spend 24 hours in remote hinterlands for empathy and health care of the forest dwellers. These health care centers are called Patanjali Chikatsalays. There are over a dozen voluntarily managed general merchandise stores, called Parivar stores, in large villages and cities that serve as outlet for the sale of swadhyayee villagers’ surplus produce, homemade soaps, matchsticks, milk products, candles and other provisions. Then there is the experiment of Gauras (centre for dairy products) to ensure that the villagers have the first claim over the milk produced in the village and that only the surplus is sold to outside agencies as dairy products. All these centres and activities are responses to urgent community needs.
These activities, when replicated over time and over large areas, have the potential to become a major programme. Swadhyayees also make efforts to conserve what is best in local tradition though it may not carry a label such as ‘sustainable development’ or ‘greening the earth’. To cite one example, in the month of July, many swadhyayee couples plant sapling around their homes and tend them on regular basis. They call it Madhav Vrund. Since 1993 more than eight million saplings have been sown.
The importance of these programmes, whatever evocative name is given to them, lies in their capacity to avoid routinisation, dullness, alienation, greed and competition, and in blending bhav (sentiment) and kriti (performance) for various experiments. The reason why these ideas seem to be succeeding lies in the nature of participation, problem solving, distributing the benefits of the solution and the sense of efficacy it generates. In this sense, the idea of impersonal wealth reflects Swadhyaya’s attempt to reduce the gap between its theory and practice.
There is a certain rhythm in these activities and this is constantly renewed through listening to Sunday discourses of Dada at Bhawad Gita Pathshala (Pathshala in short). Dada uses its platform as a philosopher’s chair and not as a pulpit for a ministry. Dada starts with an hour-long talk. These talks at Pathshala typically attract some ten thousand people—followed by an innovative pattern of social interaction of brainstorming, planning or reviewing of ongoing work or just for intimate conversations. Pathshala is microcosm of Swadhyaya universe. This continuous circulation and dialogues of activists from Dada down to the village-level worker drives the momentum of Swadhyaya. Larger gatherings on important occasions such as Human Dignity Day (usually 19 October or thereabout) or anniversary of some landmark in the life of Swadhyaya attract over a million people.
Then, there is Tattvajnana Vidyapith. Swadhyayees consider Vidyapith as their mother institution. It is a residential school of philosophy and humanities. Dada established it in Thane, near Bombay, on a thirteen acres site in 1956. It currently enrolls nearly 200 non-paying graduate and post-graduate students, from India and abroad, responsible in groups by turn for cooking and infrastructure care, during a two-year course. Professors offer courses on a voluntary basis. This institution is run without any support from the government or philanthropic subvention. Its main programmatic thrust is to combine the best in traditional knowledge and the conventional philosophy curriculum pursued in a liberal arts college. Besides the Vidyapith, Swadhyaya has set up several residential higher secondary schools and vocational training centers in Maharashtra and Gujrat at the instance of local swadhyayees. However despite the best efforts and innovative ideas, the linkage with the state education system has proved to be problematic, particularly in terms of curriculum and the recruitment of motivated teachers of rishi (sages) tradition. While links with state educational apparatus are maintained for reasons of certification, there is a continuous effort to inculcate Swadhyaya values through greater emphasis on non-formal education. There are year-round programmes of seminars and training courses for different age groups and for people with different levels of academic achievement. There is also a well-developed and popular seven-year non-degree course at Bhav Nirjhar, a Swadhyaya institution at Ahemdabad. It combines traditional and modern course material as well as vocational training for rural students who enter at the level of eighth standard with the intention that they will take up their family vocations and Swadhyaya work after completing the course. This is the center where the brainwash people. People go in with career goals and come out with hopes and dreams erased.
The most extensive programme of informal education under Swadhyaya is called Vidya Prem Vardhan (seeking knowledge for the love of it). Under this programme annually some 100,000 candidates worldwide sit for examinations on cultural and philosophical topics, notably vedic knowledge, at seven levels. Successful candidates are awarded certificates of merit. This programme of extramural studies began in 1967.
Other special centres in villages and urban precincts include Bal Sanskar Kendras (centre of value education for children) and Mahila Kendra (centre for women) have been working for several decades. Children’s centres meet every day, mostly under the supervision of young swadhyayee teachers who supervise their curricular and extracurricular activities. The schedule for meetings of swadhyayee women is decided by themselves. They meet in the afternoons to teach and help each other in domestic skills. Many of these activities revolve around the amritalayam or Swadhyaya Kendra.
Similar programmes of outreach based on devotion have been initiated among the youth of India in the form of Divine Brain Trust (DBT in short). It began with the meetings of swadhyayee students and youngsters in Bombay. Many senior swadhyayees would join these meetings and in an open forum encourage frank and free discussion on contemporary issues. Some meetings consisted of discussions on pre-arranged topics involving society, politics and religion. [http://www.swadhyay.org/main.htm Swadhyayees] expressed their points of view and encouraged questions, opened the floor for discussions and debate. The activity began to spread. In 1971, the activity had to be given a more organised shape and thus was born DBT. Divided into two groups—junior and senior, the aim has remained the same. To meet for discussions and for planning activities, to question, soul-search, and seek answers and to direct their endeavours in constructive ways. As of now, there are hundreds of such senior and junior centres for postgraduates, undergraduates, college and senior school students. These students add up to thousands.
The above listed activities are part of a number of other social processes that help transcendence from individuation and pursuit of self-interest to blending with collective good. This is seen as essential accompaniment in the journey to seek God within. For Swadhyaya, spiritually an individual is incomplete without developing a social commitment and concomitant action in social and economic realms. Swadhyaya’s leit-motif is constant experience of ‘we-ness’ with others. This, then, becomes the contexuating aspect of Swadhyaya that relates the individual to humanity at large. Swadhyayees describe it as the ‘divine brotherhood under the fatherhood of God’.
In this brief overview, an effort has been made to show that [http://www.swadhyay.org Swadhyaya] is a new kind of non-sectarian social creativity. It is difficult to judge the significance of [http://www.swadhyay.org Swadhyaya] either by it spatial spread or its sheer numbers; it is neither a project of identity articulation or of resource mobilization. It is a project of inner transformation and redefining human relationships. For millions of its followers, it has dramatically changed the way God is understood. God is felt not as an external authority but as an internal presence. The sacred becomes more personal and serviceable in meeting individual and community needs. These are not material needs. These are needs of love, identity, humility, self-acceptance, and self-esteem. Though it is an inwardly focussed spirituality, its main concern is human life.
In terms of the scale of incorporation, participation, solidarity, and restitution outside the state framework, [http://www.swadhyay.org Swadhyaya] can rightly claim to be a unique contemporary phenomenon, though it makes no such claim. Since the idea of separation of the secular and the ecclesiastical is deeply ingrained in critical minds the world-over, religion-oriented visions are avoided in most public discourse. [http://www.swadhyay.org Swadhyaya] not only intrudes into public discourse, but also claims a place in public square because it is both a state of being and a state of action.
In 1991, noted film director,
Shyam Benegal, directed a film, "Antarnaad" (The Inner Voice), based on the Swadhyay Movement of the Swadhyay Parivar, with Shabana Azmiand Girish Karnadin lead roles [imdb title|0155499|Antarnaad] . In 2004, director, Abir Bazaz made a documentary, "Swadhyaya", on the life and works of Pandurang Shastri Athavale [ [http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040905/spectrum/main2.htm A week-long festival of documentaries in New Delhi] " The Tribune", September 5, 2004.] .
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/philosophy/BalSanskarKendra.htm BalSanskar Kendra]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/philosophy/MahilaKendra.htm Mahila Kendra]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/philosophy/YuvaKendra.htm Yuva Kendra]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/Bhaktipheri.htm Bhaktipheri]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/LoknathAmrutalayam.htm Loknath Amrutalayam]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/Matsyagandha.htm Matsyagandha]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/ShreeDarshanam.htm Shree Darshanam]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/Vrikshmandir.htm Vrikshmandir]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/WaterConservation.htm Water Conservation]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/prayogo/YogeshwarKrishi.htm Yogeshwar Krishi]
* [http://www.swadhyay.org/ The Official web portal of the Swadhyay Parivar]
* [http://www.rmaf.org.ph/Awardees/Biography/BiographyAthavalePan.htm] Ramon magsaysay site introduction of Pandurang Shastri Athavale
* [http://www.templetonprize.org/bios_recent.html] Templeton award web-site referencing Pandurang Shastri Athavale's work
* [http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/s_es/s_es_rukma_hope.htm] : Turmoil, Hope and the Swadhyaya
* [http://www.factbites.com/topics/Pandurang-Shastri-Athavale] : Facts on Pandurang Shastri Athavale
* [http://www.rmaf.org.ph/Awardees/Biography/BiographyAthavalePan.htm] : BIOGRAPHY of Pandurang Shastri Athavale
* [http://www.lifepositive.com/Spirit/new-age-catalysts/athavale/athavale-shastri.asp] : DIVINE TRUTH
* [http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs/swadhya.php] : Challenges to Learning from the Swadhyaya Movement
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0KZH/is_3_9/ai_30379848] : Renewal in village India - Swadhyaya move
* [http://www.iias.nl/iiasn/23/theme/23T3.html] : Globalization of Swadhyay
* [http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1997/6/1997-6-14.shtml] : Love Letter From God
* [http://www.goodnewsindia.com/Pages/content/newsclip/swadhyayaPankajJain.html] : The Swadhyaya Phenomenon
* [http://www.goodnewsindia.com/index.php/Supplement/article/the-importance-of-master-p-s-athavale/] : The Importance of Pandurang Shashtri Athavale
* [http://www.globalideasbank.org/site/bank/idea.php?ideaId=2706] : Swadhyaya - a movement for interrelation and selflessness
* [http://www.unicef.org/specialsession/activities/religious-leaders.htm] : United Nations Special Session on Children
* [http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/resources_gupta2.html] : SWADHYAYA - THE ALTERNATIVE PARADIGM
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