Acharya Vinoba Bhave, who was declared by Mahatma Gandhi as his spiritual predecessor and the foremost Satyagrahi, proclaimer of the slogan ‘Jai Jagat’, took birth in Gagode village in Pen (District – Raigad, State – Maharashtra) on September 11, 1895. His family moved to Baroda where he pursued further education. In the following years, he made the decision to join Gandhiji with whom he says he ‘found peace and revolution together’!
In 1921, Gandhiji sent him to Wardha to establish and run the Sevagram Ashram. Vinoba participated in the freedom movement and was imprisoned several times. After the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba founded the ‘Sarvodaya Samaj’ in 1948. From 1951 to 1964 he walked across India asking rich landowners to donate land that could be distributed among the landless. In this historic ‘Bhoodan’ movement he received 47 lakh acres of land donation. This stands to be the only nonviolent revolutionary act of its kind in the world.
Vinoba was deeply spiritual. He studied all religions and brought the teachings of all religions together in a summarized form. His most popular book ‘Geeta Pravachane’ is translated in all Indian and many other foreign languages. His entire writing is published in 10 volumes comprising nearly ten thousand pages.
Vinoba was the first winner of ‘Magsaysay Award’ and also was awarded the ‘Bharatratna’ posthumously.
On 15th November 1982, he sacrificed his life by doing ‘Prayopaveshan’ (abandoning food and water). His choice to consciously approach and welcome ‘death’ is said to be the highest achievement of his spiritual life!