Thursday, February 14, 2013




( Bakshi Ghulam Mohd with Vinoba Bhave Ji In Kashmir )

                                  ( Bakshi Ghulam Mohd with Vinoba ji at Baramulla )




Vinoba Bhave was well known  freedom fighter ,Gandhian thinker, philosopher , social reformer,a saint and above all a compassionate human being. Vinoba Bhave's most notable contribution was the creation of the Bhoodaan (land gift) movement whereby acres of fertile agricultural land was donated by rich landlords to the poor and landless in villages across the country. Acharya Vinoba Bhave (1895-1982), the founder of the movement, walked about 70 thousand kilometres in 14 years and received about 42 lakh acres of land in donation for landless farmers. It is worthwhile to mention that in 1951 when he visited Telangana villages ( ridden with the armed uprising of poor landless ) and addressed the rich landlords with his Bhoodaan message, one farmer handed over 100 acres of fertile land to Vinoba Bhave there and then. He visited Pakistan where a rich landlord donated 15 acres of land to poor farmers of his village when he addressed a group of rich farmers over there. His visit to Chambal ravines made many dreaded dacoits including Maan Singh, Ram Avtar, Lachchi Pandit, Daku Lukka and Tehsildar Singh surrender and lay arms at his feet.

He was a Sanskrit scholar who is also considered an authority on Upnishads, Vedas and more specifically the Bhagwad Gita. His commentaries on Mahabharata, Manusmriti, Ramayana, Bhagwad Gita, Quran and Bible are worth reading. These commentaries exude positive vibrations and bear the stamp of a scholarly mind. Vinoba  was proficient in Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, Gujrati, Bengali, Punjabi and many more Indian languages. He also had a fairly good working knowledge of French and German. Vinoba's knowledge of the Quran made many Maulavis blush when he would correct them in their Arabic pronunciation of certain words.

Vinoba's book ' The Essence of Quran ' is a great effort to unite the hearts of men. He learnt Arabic to compile this book. Gandhi Ji would often ask Vinoba to explain verses from Bhagwad Gita, as well as chapters from the Quran, revealed at Mecca. Many Muslim visitors to Gandhi Ji's Ashram, especially Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Maulana Azad were amazed at the depth and the clarity of the religious knowledge of Vinoba. About his book 'The Essence of Quran ', Maulana Masoodi, a scholar and leader from Kashmir once said this-:

“ Even if a committee of experts were formed to do this sort of work on the Quran that Vinoba Ji has done, it would take them years. ”

Vinoba Bhave visited Kashmir during the summer of 1959. On August 2, 1959, he entered the Kashmir valley via Gulmarg after visiting Poonch. He came to spread the message of Bhoodaan. He stayed in J&K state for about four months and during this period, he visited Sopore, Baramulla, Bandipore, and Handwara in North Kashmir. He also visited many places in the Anantnag district as it existed during that time. He visited schools, and colleges and addressed many gatherings spreading the message of peace, unity, Bhoodaan and Sarvodaya. He returned via Banihaal and travelled on foot for 21 days addressing people who thronged to see him at Banihaal, Ramsoo, Ramban, Chenani, Batote and Udhampur.

Under the caption ‘In the Beautiful Land of Lalla (Kashmir)’ ,this is what Vinoba Bhave writes about his visit to Kashmir :-

No words could describe the joy I felt when (in May 1959) I entered the state of Kashmir. Some Muslim brothers came to Pathankot to meet me, and nothing could have been better than the gift which they brought me. It was a beautiful copy of the Koran, and I took it as a blessing on my entry into Kashmir. I told the people there what I hoped to do.  ‘I want to do three things: I want to see, I want to hear, and I want to love. I want to use, here in Kashmir, the whole power of loving with which God has endowed me.’ During my travels I usually covered nine or ten miles each day, and it was my custom to eat something in the early morning before starting my walk. On the day I entered Kashmir however I gave up eating one meal. My stomach does not allow me to eat double at the second meal when I have given up the first, so I cannot make up for what I have missed. Still, I thought, I will fast a little and so purify myself. So I gave up one meal in the name of Kashmir.To enter the Vale of Kashmir one must cross the Pir-Panjal pass. Before I reached it I was held up by rain for six days in the market town of Loran. I decided that if the rain continued and we could not cross the mountain range, I would take it as a sign from God that I should not enter Kashmir itself, and I would return to Punjab. I am guided by such signs, and made up my mind that if I could not cross the Pir-Panjal range I would not go by any other route. But in the end the rains stopped, and I was able to cross the mountains and go ahead.

A man came one day to give me land because his wife had told him to do so. She had seen a photograph in some newspaper which showed someone giving me a hand to help me over a difficult stretch of road. The picture made her feel that when a man is taking so much trouble to help the poor, it would not be right to refuse him land. That woman, who was inspired by that picture to do something for the poor, was she at all wanting in culture? In my view, her human stature touched greater heights than that Pir-Panjal which I had crossed at an altitude of 13,500 feet ! I am happy to say that every group I had the opportunity to meet, political, religious or social, large or small, all of them felt me to be one of themselves, to whom they could open their hearts and speak their minds without misgiving. They trusted me and told me what they thought, so I was able to get what I wished, and hear what I wanted to know.

My third aim was to love, and during those four months I know of no occasion when anything but love entered my mind. By the grace of God, my wish to love was fulfilled. The people there reminded me three or four times that Shankaracharya had once come to Kashmir on the same kind of mission as mine. I agreed with them that my mission could be compared with his in its purpose, but I cannot be compared with him. He was a great master; I am a mere servant, a slave of Allah. I claim no knowledge, but I do claim to practise the little that I know. I myself am nothing, but the mission on which I have come is not nothing, it is something which offers freedom not only to Kashmir, but to India and to the world as well.

When I entered the state of Jammu-Kashmir I was given a book, an English translation of the sayings of Lalla. Lalla lived six hundred years ago, but even today the people have not forgotten her. In the meanwhile many rulers have come and gone, but which of them do the people remember? Everyone remembers the name of Lalla, the Saint, the great Soul. “ ……..(source……Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal And Gandhi Research Foundation)


Vinoba's vision was a new social order or a non-violent society based on love, compassion and human values. Sarvodaya, as he explained, was a society in which the good of everyone was achievable. His spirit, his endurance, patience, humility, scholarship, devotion to public causes - all these qualities amazed anyone who met him. Untouched by publicity and attention, Vinoba had continued his efforts for a just and equitable society. Vinoba Bhave  spent the later part of his life at his Brahma Vidya Mandir ashram in Paunar in Wardha district of Maharashtra. In November 1982, Vinoba fell seriously ill and  died on 15 November 1982 after refusing food and medicine for a few days by accepting "Samadhi Maran" / "Santhara" as described in Jainism. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1983.

I conclude with a quote of Vinobha Bhave :-

“ A man of steadfast wisdom has three combined traits inherent to his personality. Recognize him by these traits which are knowledge ( Gyaana ), feeling ( Bhaava ) and activity ( Kriya ). These traits are complementary to each other and not antagonistic. He deals with any issue through this rainbow of traits .”

( Avtar Mota )

Based on a work at http:\\\.

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