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Acharya Vinoba Bhave Biography

Vinoba Bhave occupies a place of pride in the annals of Indian history for his Bhoodan (Gift of the Land) movement launched on April 18, 1951. Revered all through the country as Acharya Vinoba Bhave, he was born as Vinayak Narahari Bhave on September 11, 1895 in the village of Gagoda in Kolaba district of Maharashtra.

Young Bhave was greatly influenced by his mother Rukmini Devi. At an young age, he immersed himself in studying the works of Maharashtra’s saints and philosophers. Life had a deeper meaning for him as he was no ordinary soul. While on his way to Mumbai to appear in the intermediate examination in 1916, he changed his mind and reached Varanasi and began to study ancient Sanskrit texts.

He exchanged a few letters with Mahatma Gandhi after which the Mahatma called him for a personal meeting. This meeting in June 1916 was to change the course of Vinoba Bhave’s life. He became a disciple of Gandhi and began to participate in the day-to-day activities in Gandhi’s ashram.

Vinoba Bhave brought out the `Maharashtra Dharma’, a monthly in Marathi in 1923 and became deeply involved with Gandhiji’s activities. He moved to the Paramdham Ashram in Paunar in 1938, which became his headquarters. He actively participated in India’s freedom struggle and in India’s post-independence era started social reform movements like the Bhoodan Movement and the Sarvodaya Movement. Besides, he undertook fasts to protest against cow slaughter. He passed away on November 15, 1982 and was posthumously honored with the Bharat Ratna in 1984.