Bhagvad Gita and Swadhyay Movement.

Many Management schools are turning to the Holy Books and scriptures on Yoga and Gita, to give lessons on moral values and instil confidence in honest work.

This subject brings to my mind the name of a great Social Reformer of our time Shri Pandurang Shastri Athavale (Oct,19,1920-Oct,25,2003) who had done yeomen service in this direction..

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Inspired by the message of Bhagvad Gita , Shri Pandurang Vaijnath Shastri Athavale, lovingly called as Dadaji, founded Swadhyay Movement a Social reformist, self knowledge movement in 1954 and spread the message amongst thousands of villages in rural Maharashtra and Gujarat, and changed the lives of over millions of downtrodden untouchables, poor fishermen and outcasts.

Born in a Brahmin family, the seeds of serving God through serving humanity were sown in childhood from hearing Gita discourses from his father and Grand father. Shri Athavale has achieved a social reform through his revolutionary Swadhyay movement to move outcasts into the mainstream of society "Followers of Swadhyay range from fishermen and farmers to politicians and industrialists. At a meeting of Swadhyayees at Chowpatty Beach to celebrate Dada's (as Athavale is known) 70th birthday, over five hundred thousand people - from within the country and abroad - turned up. Rich and the poor mingled freely among themselves in the true spirit of Swadhyay. One Aagri speaker told the audience about how life for their community had changed after Swadhyay and how they, an illiterate lot, had begun to spout shlokas from the Geeta. Another said, "Mahatma Gandhi gave us sympathy, Dr Ambedkar gave us our basic rights, but you (Dada) have drawn us close."

Athavale was a recipient of many Awards and honours including Padmavibhushan, Ramon Magsaysay Award, Mahatma Gandhi Award, Templeton Prize and many others. He never aspired for money.
At the awards ceremony in USA, one of the Rockefellers asked what they could do to help him. Athavale replied, "Nothing." The surprised member of the billionaire family replied that no one had ever before answered that way to a Rockefeller. The fame and prestige had not made a dent in Athavale's frugal way of life. "He led a Spartan lifestyle;he kept his needs bare minimum. He was a man who enjoyed ideas, not possessions." He lived with his wife in a meager one-bedroom apartment in Mumbai, in the same place where he had lived for 45 years.

I wish our members read more about Swadhyay Movement in their website to understand the great work done by Dadaji.