“If you do not get Him here, then I will break the jail sentence and go out to meet Him” – Sarman Munja. A don of yester years spending his life sentence in jail talking to the Superintendent of the jail. His life had transformed. He had repented for his crimes and given himself up to the law of the land and accepted the punishment. He is talking and longing to meet that person whose thoughts have transformed his life, Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale, fondly called as Dadaji.
The world today knows Dadaji as the receipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership and the most coveted Templeton Prize for Innovation in Religion. He has been awarded the second highest civilian honour Padma Vibhushan, given by the Government of India and many more awards.
His thoughts have transformed life of many a people, from a commoner to the most notorious. The superintendent approached Dadaji through his seniors and Dadaji agreed to visit the jail to meet Sarman Munja.
The city of Porbandar, the city where Mahatma Gandhi was born, after independence had become a city of crime. It was a witness to the most dreadful crimes. The animosity between the Kharwas and the Mehers was bearing its brunt on the city. The state government and the local administration had resigned to this fact and accepted this was of life instead of finding a way out.
At this juncture, Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale and His Swadhyay thoughts and work reached the common people of Porbandar. With the thought of God residing in the every Heart and Divine Brotherhood under the Fatherhood of God, Dadaji’s thoughts and love resonated with the local communities in Porbandar and slowly but surely brought about a transformation. As the people changed, so did their leaders and Dadaji was able to remove the animosity between the two warring communities. Slowly they gained confidence in one another that they sat side by side to perform the Satnarayan Pooja as envisaged by Dadaji.
Pandurang Dada has brought about a revolutionary change in more than 10000 villages in India through his thought of Swadhyay (self introspection). He has put the philosophy of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta into action and throught it brought about a change in a person’s life. Through it, we can see the changes in the social fabric of the society.
The crux of all this is the transformation of Humanity with God at it’s centre. The change in the individual. The change not through beheading but through the changing of the thoughts in ones minds and brain. This is true revolution. And so Swadhyayee’s celebrate Dadaji’s birthday as Human Dignity Day. His human centric life is always like a lighhouse in the vast ocean.
Today I bow down upon this Modern Rishi on his 101th birthday.
Wishing you all a very Happy Human Dignity Day.