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Biography of Bharat Ratna “Acharya Vinoba Brave” complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Acharya Vinoba Brave



Sarvodaya leader—”a symbol of the role of conscience in human affairs”—Vinayak Narahari Bhave, commonly known as Vinoba, was born at Gagoda, Pen taluka, Kolaba District, Maharashtra, on 11 September 1885. The Bhaves had lived there for several decades. His father. Narahari Shambhurao Bhave was a well-to-do Brahmin. Vinoba was very fond of his mother Rukminibai and she of him. Vinoba inherited her austerity, asceticism and altruism. His father, inventive and generous was a painter, a musician, a textile expert and an ardent advocate of western learning and science.

Educated at Baroda in the Government High School, Vinoba was a brilliant student and maintained high rank in his class till the 6th standard. But he soon lost interest in conventional studies. He passed the Matriculation examination in 1913 and was due to appear for the Inter media to examination in 1916 for which he had to go to Bombay. Instead of going to Bombay, he detained at Surat and proceeded to Benares, where he studied Sanskrit and became proficient in all Hindu scriptural books. He was a self-taught multi linguist. French was his second language, but he also learnt Arabic, Persian and Urdu as well as most Indian languages.

Frail, but borne along by an indomitable will, Vinoba was a man of many parts. His mastery of several languages, including

Sanskrit, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi and German enabled him to study different religions and integrate their teachings in his life and outlook.

The Acharya met Mahatma Gandhi for the first time in 1916 when he joined his Ashram at Sabarmati. After Gandhiji`s return from South Africa early in 1915, Vinoba recognised in him the kindred most of spirits and requested him to adopt himself as his spiritual son in 1916. Before this time, Vinoba had entertained the aspiration of killing at least one Englishman and crowning his career, “But Bapu cured me of that desire. “

In April 1921 Vinoba moved to Wardha from Sabarmati Ashram. In March 1930 at the time of Gandhiji’s “Dandi March”, he initiated a district movement in Ward ha against tapping toddy. His followers felled 2000 palmyra trees. He was imprisoned in 1932 for his part in the Non-Cooperation Movement.

He was deeply grieved at the partition of India and at a meeting of constructive workers at Gopuri near Wardha, he termed the decision a “Himalayan Blunder”.

The Bhoodan Movement may not have wrought the transformation of the heart nor resulted in a visible transfer of land to the landless but the revolutionary idea behind it will survive long. Acharya Vinoba Bhave, who conceived it, among many other movements like that for a ban on cow slaughter, and the change of heart of dacoits of the Chambal ravines, was not one to give up a cause because it was unpopular just as he trekked thousands of miles receiving gifts of land, he threatened to undertake a fast unto death for a total ban on cow slaughter. It was this spirit which moved the Mahatma to tell the Acharya, “I am not fit to measure your worth”. A trusted and faithful disciple of Gandhiji, Vinoba was chosen as the first volunteer to offer individual satyagraha in 1940.

The Bhoodan Yagna had its origins in a little-known Telengana village, Pochampalli, in April 1951. When some Harijans pleaded with him to get two acres of land for each of the 40 families living at Haripur, the Sarvodaya leader was seized with the idea of seeking a donation of one-sixth of the land-holding from every family and distributing it among the landless. He set a target of 50 million acres. More than the material transfer, his ambition was to make the landowners “abandon attachment to land”. Undaunted by the magnitude of the task, for 18 years he walked from village to village collecting land.

His bold attempt to carry the message of peace to the desperadoes of the Chambal ravines was of a piece with his enormous faith in transforming man through love but its success measured in everyday terms was meagre.

Vinoba was a brahmachari who saw in brahamacharya the path towards the ultimate.

As a crusader in the cause of temple entry in 1953 he was assaulted for entering the Baidyanath temple in Deogarh, Bihar, with Harijans us. He refused to visit the Guruvayur temple in June 1957, since Harijans were not permitted.

Though he retired from active life years ago to his Paunar Ashram at Ward ha, Acharya Vinoba Bhave kept himself active and was always available to those who sought his counsel. His advice was sought by politicians of different hues, who could not help perceive the virtues in his approach to problems facing the nation. Indira Gandhi visited Paunar often during the Emergency which Bhave called Anushasan Parva.

The Magsaysay Foundation announced its first award in 1958 for Vinoba for his service to the community. But he declined to go to Manila to receive the award as he was on padayatra.

Acharya Bhave participated in the Vaikom Satyagraha in Kerela under instructions from Gandhiji to campaign for the entry of Harijans into the Vaikom temple. Later he was jailed for six months in 1940 and for three years in 1942–the latter when he participated in the Quit India movement.

Beginning the ‘Bhoodan Yagna” in 1951, Acharya Bhave toured all the Indian States on foot covering 64,000 kilometres.

He received 45 lakh acres of land to be distributed among the landless, the major share coming from Bihar for which Jaya Prakash Narayan was mainly responsible.

It was on April 7, 1951, that Acharya Bhave decided to tour without police or army protection, the Telengana area of the then Hyderabad State which was terrorised at that time.

  1. Ramachandra Reddi was the first to donate 100 acres of which Acharya Bhave distributed on the spot 80 acres to the landless Harijans.

The historic Telengana tour lasted 51 days during which he covered 200 villages and received 12,200 acres.

He moved to Paunar in 1958 and established the Paramdham Ashram on the banks of the river Dham. At Paunar he learnt Arabic from a Muslim scholar.

During his padayatra of the country, the Acharya also toured Madhya Pradesh and persuaded 20 notorious dacoits belonging to the Man Singh group to surrender.

At the instance of Jawaharlal Nehru, he toured Assam in the wake of the language riots there. From Assam, he returned to West Bengal through the then East Pakistan with the permission of the then Pakistan President Ayub Khan.

The language riots in South India in February 1965 pained him so much that he undertook an indefinite fast on February 12. He did not favour the imposition of Hindi on the South nor did he agree to making the study of English compulsory in the North. The then Home Minister Gulzarilal Nanda had to rush to Paunar to persuade him to give up the fast.

Acharya Bhave commenced his year-long “maun”. (silence) from December 25, 1974 and gave up on August 25, 1975.

As a result of his campaign against cow slaughter most of the States except Kerala and West Bengal enacted laws to ban it. A clear assurance was given to him that all the States would enact legislation for this purpose before September 11, 1977. He raised the issue again in the middle of 1978 and wanted to go on a fast on January 1, 1979. The Sarvodaya workers prevailed upon him and wanted more time to mobilise public opinion in these two States. He agreed to this and at the All India Swarajya Sammelan at his Ashram on December 25, 1978 announced that he was postponing the fast. He undertook the fast on expiry of the deadline even as the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Kerala and an all-party delegation from Delhi visited him and tried to impress upon him the disadvantages of such an enactment. The fast, which began on April 22, 1979, ended on the fifth day following an assurance by the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai, that a Bill would be introduced in Parliament in that session to bring the subject of protection of cows in the Concurrent List. However, the Bill lapsed as the Government changed. Acharya Vinoba Bhave the “spiritual heir” of Mahatma Gandhi and architect of the Sarvodaya and Bhoodan Movements, died at Paunar, Maharashtra on November 15, 1982. He devoted his entire life not only to the country but to the humanity itself. His life was a source of moral and spiritual inspiration to the people. His self-discipline was of a rare kind. He was in the long line of great sages.

Nation conferred posthumously, upon him the Bharat Ratna, the highest honour, in 1983, in recognition of his great services.


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