Vinoba Bhave

Vinoba Bhave

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Vinoba Bhave”. This topic has relevance in the History section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

About Vinoba Bhave?

For Mains:

GS 1: History 

Contributions of Vinoba Bhave?

Why in the news:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday paid tributes to Acharya Vinoba Bhave on his birth anniversary


About Vinoba Bhave:

  • Vinoba Bhave, originally named Vinayak Narahari Bhave, was born on September 11, 1895, in Gagoji (now known as Gagode Budruk), Maharashtra, India.
  • His father, Narahari Shambhu Rao, was a skilled weaver employed in Baroda, while his mother, Rukmani Devi, was a deeply religious woman.
  • Bhave’s upbringing was characterised by a family that embraced modern rationalism, fostering a mindset of critical thinking and pragmatism.

Spiritual Awakening 

  • At a young age, Vinoba Bhave was exposed to spiritual concepts and discussions, primarily influenced by his mother’s religious beliefs.
  • His profound spiritual awakening occurred when he read the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu scripture, which had a lasting and transformative effect on his life.


Association with Mahatma Gandhi

  • In 1916, Vinoba Bhave’s life took a momentous turn when he came across Mahatma Gandhi’s speech at Banaras Hindu University. Deeply moved, he decided to discontinue his studies and reached out to Gandhi through a letter, leading to their eventual meeting at the Kochrab Ashram in Ahmedabad.


Role in India’s Freedom Struggle

  • Vinoba Bhave actively participated in civil disobedience movements and endured imprisonment. During the 1940s, he was incarcerated for five years due to his nonviolent resistance against British colonial rule.
  • In 1940, Mahatma Gandhi selected him as the first individual Satyagrahi, emphasising his growing national stature.


Religious and Social Work

  • Sarvodaya Movement: He championed the Sarvodaya movement, aiming to uplift the lives of ordinary Indians in villages by integrating strong spiritual foundations.
  • Bhoodan Movement: Initiated in 1951, the Bhoodan Movement focused on soliciting land donations from landowners to distribute to landless individuals, addressing land reform issues and rural poverty.
  • Advocate for Nonviolence and Compassion: Vinoba Bhave actively campaigned against cow slaughter, promoting nonviolence and compassion as central societal principles.


Literary Contributions

  • Vinoba Bhave was a prolific writer and translator known for his efforts to make Sanskrit texts accessible to the ordinary person.
  • He translated the Bhagavad Gita into Marathi, making the revered scripture more understandable for a wider audience.
  • His work “Talks on the Gita” has been translated into multiple languages and continues to serve as a source of inspiration for readers worldwide.


Later Life 

  • In his later years, Vinoba Bhave resided at his Brahma Vidya Mandir ashram in Paunar, Wardha district, Maharashtra, where he continued his spiritual and social work.
  • Vinoba Bhave passed away on November 15, 1982. His death came after he embraced “Samadhi Maran” or “Santhara,” a practice in Jainism where an individual voluntarily refrains from consuming food and medicine.



  • Vinoba Bhave faced criticism from certain quarters, including acclaimed author V.S. Naipaul, who questioned his rationality and noted what he considered an excessive imitation of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals.
  • Bhave’s support for Indira Gandhi’s government during the Indian Emergency (1975-1977) drew controversy. It earned him the nickname “Sarkari Sant” (Government Saint), as some saw his stance aligning with the government’s actions during that period.


Awards and Recognition

  • First Recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award: In 1958, Vinoba Bhave became the inaugural recipient of the international Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, recognizing his outstanding contributions to society.
  • Posthumous Bharat Ratna: He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, in 1983, acknowledging his significant and enduring impact on the nation’s social and spiritual landscape.



Yojna daily current affairs eng med 12th Sep 2023


Q.1 Vinoba Bhave is related to which of the following:

  1. Sarvodaya Movement
  2. Bhoodan Movement
  3. Tibhagha Movement

Choose the correct answer:

(a) 1 and 2 only 

(b) 2 and 3 only 

(c) 1, 2 and 3 

(d) 1 and 3 only




Q.2 With reference to Vinoba Bhave, consider the following statements:

  1. One of his famous literary work is “Talks on the Gita”.
  2. He performed Santhara.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2




Q.3 Discuss the life, contributions, and legacy of Vinoba Bhave in the context of India’s struggle for independence and social reform.

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