Vinoba Bhave

Vinoba Bhave

Vinoba Bhave,( विनोबा भावे ), born Vinayak Narahari Bhave (September 11, 1895 - November 15 1982) often called "Acharya" (In Sanskrit and Hindi means teacher), was an Indian freedom fighter. He is considered as a "National Teacher of India" and the spiritual successor of Mahatma Gandhi. [ [ The King of Kindness (Vinoba Bhave, Bhoodan, Gramdan, Sarvodaya, Gandhi Movement) ] ]

Early life

He was born in Gagode, Maharashtra on September 11, 1895 into a pious family of the Chitpavan Brahmin clan. He was highly inspired after reading the Bhagavad Gita at a very early age.

His two brothers, Balkoba Bhave and Shivaji Bhave, were also bachelors devoted to social work.

Freedom struggle

He was associated with Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian independence movement. In 1932 he was sent to jail by the British colonial government because of his fight against British rule. There he gave a series of talks on the Gita, in his native language Marathi, to his fellow prisoners.

These highly inspiring talks were later published as the book "Talks on the Gita", and it has been translated to many languages both in India and elsewhere. Vinoba felt that the source of these talks was something above and he believed that its influence will endure even if his other works were forgotten.

In 1940 he was chosen by Gandhi to be the first Individual Satyagrahi (an Individual standing up for Truth instead of a collective action) against the British rule. Bhave also participated in the Quit India Movement.

Religious and social work

Vinoba's religious outlook was very broad and it synthesized the truths of many religions. This can be seen in one of his hymns "Om Tat" which contains symbols of many religions.

Vinoba observed the life of the average Indian living in a village and tried to find solutions for the problems he faced with a firm spiritual foundation. This formed the core of his Sarvodaya (Awakening of all potentials) movement. Another example of this is the Bhoodan (land gift) movement. He walked all across India asking people with land to consider him as one of their sons and so give him a portion of their land which he then distributed to landless poor. Non-violence and compassion being a hallmark of his philosophy, he also campaigned against the slaughtering of cows.

Vinoba's literary genius

Vinoba was a scholar, thinker, writer who produced numerous books, translator who made Sanskrit texts accessible to common man, orator, linguist who had excellent command of several languages (Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, English, Sanskrit), and a social reformer. He wrote brief introductions to, and criticisms of, several religious and philosophical works like Geeta, Vedaanta, works of Adi Shankaracharya, Bible, Quran. His critic of Dnyaneshwar's poetry as also the output by other Marathi saints is quite brilliant and a testimony to the sweep of his intellect.

Later life and death

Vinoba spent the later part of his life at his ashram in Paunar, Maharashtra. He controversially backed the Indian Emergency imposed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, calling it "Anushasana Parva" ("Time for Discipline").

He fell ill in November 1982 and decided to end his life. He died on November 15, 1982 after refusing food and medicine for a few days. Some Indians have identified this as sallekhana or Praayopaveshan (renouncing life by refusing food and water).


V. S. Naipaul has given scathing criticism of Bhave in his collection of essays citing his lack of connection with rationality and excessive imitation of Gandhi. Even some of his admirers find fault with the extent of his devotion to Gandhiji. Much more controversial was his support, ranging from covert to open, to Congress Party's Govt under Indira Gandhi which was fast becoming unpopular.


In 1958 Vinoba was the first recipient of the international Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1983.


* "Geeta Pravachane" (in all Indian languages)
* "Vichar Pothi" (in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and also translated into English by Vasant Nargolkar.)
* "Sthitapragnya Darshan" (Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati also translated in English)
* "Madhukar" (collection and compilation of his articles written over the years (before freedom was achieved.)
* "Krant Darshan" (as no. 4)
* "Teesri Shakti or The Third Power" (his views on political life of the nation)
* "Swarajya Shastra" (his political treatise)
* "Bhoodan Ganga" - in 9/10 volumes, (in Marathi, Hindi) collection and compilation of his speeches from 18 April 1951)
* "Manushasanam", (his selections from Manusmruti,


* "All revolutions are spiritual at the source. All my activities have the sole purpose of achieving a union of hearts."
* "Peace is something mental and spiritual. If there be peace in our (personal) life, it will affect the whole world"
* "Jai Jagat! — Victory to the world!"
* "It is a curious phenomena that God has made the hearts of the poor rich, and those of the rich poor."
* "What we should aim at is the creation of people power, which is opposed to the power of violence and is different from the coercive power of state."
* "A country should be defended not by arms, but by ethical behavior."
* "We cannot fight new wars with old weapons."
* "There is no need for me to protest against the government’s faults, it is against its good deeds that my protests are needed."
* "Do not allow yourself to imagine that revolutionary thinking can be propagated by governmental power."
* "I beg you not to adopt any "go slow" methods of nonviolence. In nonviolence you must go full steam ahead, if you want the good to come speedily you must go about it with vigor. A merely soft, spineless ineffective kind of nonviolence will actually encourage the growth of the status quo and all the forces of a violent system which we deplore."

ee also

* Mohandas Gandhi
* Gandhism
* Lanza del Vasto


External links

* [ The King of Kindness: Vinoba Bhave and His Nonviolent Revolution]
* [ "Talks on The Gita" by Vinoba Bhave]
* [ Citation for 1958 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership]
* [ Pen and Ink Portrait of Vinoba Bhave]
* [ Vinoba Bahve - his work on leprosy (with photo 1979)]

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  • Vinoba Bhave — (gebürtig Vinayak Narahari Bhave; Marathi: विनोबा भावे, Vinobā Bhāve; * 11. September 1895 in Gagode, Maharashtra; † 15. November 1982 in Paunar, Maharashtra) war ein indischer Freiheitskämpfer und Anhänger Gandhis. Er sah sich als dessen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vinoba Bhave — (विनोबा भावे), né le 11 septembre 1895 et mort le 15 novembre 1982, est un disciple de Gandhi, dont il a poursuivi et amplifié le travail après sa mort. En effet, bien que Gandhi ne dissociât jamais de son œuvre émancipatrice… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vinoba Bhave University — Infobox University name = Vinoba Bhave University established = 1990 free label = Vice Chancellor free = Prof. M.P.Singh city = Hazaribagh country = India affiliations = UGC campus = Urban website= [ ] The Vinoba Bhave… …   Wikipedia

  • BHAVE (V.) — BHAVE VINOBA (1895 1982) Héritier spirituel de Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave est, après celui ci, le plus connu des apôtres de la non violence en Inde; il sut, tout en restant fidèle à la pensée du Mahatma, la mener plus loin. Vinoba s’est surtout attaché …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Vinoba — Bhave, gebürtig Vinayak Narahari Bhave (* 11. September 1895 in Gagode, Maharashtra; † 15. November 1982), genannt Acharya (Lehrer) gilt als spiritueller Nachfolger Mahatma Gandhis. Er wurde in eine brahmanische Familie geboren. Er war mit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bhave — Vinoba Bhave, gebürtig Vinayak Narahari Bhave (* 11. September 1895 in Gagode, Maharashtra; † 15. November 1982), genannt Acharya (Lehrer) gilt als spiritueller Nachfolger Mahatma Gandhis. Er wurde in eine brahmanische Familie geboren. Er war mit …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bhave, Vinoba — (1885–1982)    leader in the Indian independence movementVinoba Bhave, a prominent nonviolent leader of the Indian independence movement, was a pro lific popular writer and a tireless organizer for land redistribution and social reform. He contin …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Bhave — Bhave,   Vinoba, genannt Acharya Bhave [ tʃ ; Sanskrit »der Meister Bhave«], indischer Sozialreformer, * Gagoda (Maharashtra) 11. 9. 1895, ✝ Paunar Ashram 15. 11. 1982; aus einer Brahmanenfamilie; schloss sich 1916 der Bewegung Mahatma Gandhis an …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Bhave, Vinoba — ▪ Indian social reformer byname of  Vinayak Narahari Bhave  born Sept. 11, 1895, Gagode, Gujarat, India died Nov. 15, 1982, Wardha, Maharashtra       one of India s best known social reformers and a widely venerated disciple of Mahatma Gandhi… …   Universalium

  • Bhave — /bah vay/, n. Vinoba /vee noh beuh/, 1895 1982, Indian religious leader and mystic. * * * …   Universalium