Acharya Vinoba Bhave

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Many tall women and men have walked this land. My salutations to all of them. One of the tallest was Vinoba Bhave.

Vinobaji literally walked this land. More, he walked his talk - like very few did. What he says therefore carries conviction.

Although his thoughts are available in a number of books, little has been written about him. Dr. L. N. Godbole, a dear friend of our family, has ably filled this void. And in two ways.

One is to convey to the young audience the meaning of a spiritual citizen as conveyed by Vinoba Bhave. The other is a glimpse of the great leader himself.

We all concede that spirituality is one of the legs of the three legged stool as represented by our lives. Yet very few understand what it means and implies. One of the highlights of these letters is that this aspect of life is brought out clearly and convincingly.

Dr. Godbole addressed these letters - one a week for 52 weeks - to my son Pranav, a young man of 12. With little anecdotes and stories that lace every letter, he conveys to him and every reader of his age or older, the approaches to the pursuit of excellence for a citizen, drawn from the teachings in the Gita, the Upanishads and the Vedas. The subject can normally be heavy for a 12 year old but it has been conveyed with such simplicity that it becomes interesting reading and rereading.

I feel honoured and indebted to Dr. Godbole for having taken time off to give the benefit of his great erudition and scholarship in 52 letters to my son. I would like to make this rich gift available to thousands of young people like him.

Vinobaji pursued excellence, human excellence. Many would like to know how he thought and what he did, so they too may take the journey in that direction and less flateringly. It is in the fitness of things, therefore, that this book is being published by the Indian Centre for Encouraging Excellence.

Usha Chndrasekhar

April 1994 Forward page contents