There are three monumental legacies of Mahatma Gandhi, Nishkam, Karamyoga and Sarvodaya. The word Sarvodaya’ is purely a Hindi word, emanated from the holy lips of Mahatma Gandhi. The word ‘Sarvodaya’ means the all sided progress or the progress of all human beings irrespective of caste, creed and colour. The Mahatma lived and died for others and specially for the down-trodden and the oppressed masses. Riesling above self, which is a peculiar thing in the age of extreme materialism, he worked day and night for the all round progress of the people who had been neglected and exploited by their fellow human beings. In short, the Sarvodaya Movement is that movement, which was started by Mahatma Gandhi for the uplift of the poor, needy and exploited masses in India and which is being carried on by his disciples like Vinoba Bhave and Lok Nayaka Jaya Prakash Narain.
The Concept of Sarvodaya
The concept of Sarvodaya is based on truth which is equal to a huge tree yielding more and more prints as more one nurtures it. Mahatma Gandhi believed in simple living, high thinking and selfless service. The Sarvodaya movement aims at the prolongation of those three principles of the Mahatma into act ion. Non-violence, before the advent of Mahatma brought the force of non-violence, a religious basis in politics. For the Mahatma, politics was not the last resort of a scoundrel, but a means to serve the human society of the motherland. For him, “there is no politics bereft of religion. “For him, the means justified the ends, not the vice versa. He said, “the means may be linked to a seed, the end to a tree, and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree.” Further, he said “not for the good of the few, not even the good of the many, but it is the good of all that we are made to promise.” The above lines throw lucid light upon the philosophy of the Sarvodaya movement Actually speaking, Sarvodaya is not a philosophy but a way of life which aims at the elevations of human character and elimination of the suffering of humanity at large.
Vinoba Bhave and Sarvodaya
Mahatma Gandhi left us in the lurch as his life was cut short. He could not translate his philosophy of Sarvodaya in life. His greatest spiritual heir or disciple, Vinoba Bhave is making all possible efforts to complete the mission of his Guru. If Mahatma Gandhi had lived for some years more, he would have changed the Indian society remarkably. Luckily, if he had been spared for twenty years more, his political successors would not have indulged in acts of corruption, repotism, favouritism and meanness. With his limited capacity Vinoba Bhave is rendering great service to India by materializing the dreams of the Mahatma through Sarvodaya.
The Bhoodan Movement
The Bhoodan Movement initiated by Vinoba Bhave in 1951 is the backbone of the Sarvodaya Movement. India is a land of agriculturists. Unfortunately, land is not equally divided as some people have so much of land that they cannot manage it properly. The Bhoodan Movement aims at the equal distribution of land. Binoba Bhave goes from village to village walking on foot and ask the land-owners to look upon him as one of their sons and give him his share of the land. By means of his spiritual force he persuades the land-owners and gets land from them. In this way, he has collected lakhs of acres of land to be distributed among the landless. The Bhoodan Movement in India has minimized the chances of a bloody revolution of the type of the French Revolution or the October Revolution in Russia Vinoba’s programme of Bhoodan aims at the building of a new social order in India. He has enunciated three basic principles for such a society. First, no power should be dominant in the society. Secondly all faculties of the individuals are to be dedicated to the society, which must provide the individual with opportunity for development. Thirdly, the moral, social and economic value of all sorts of callings performed honestly to one’s strength, should be the same. Vinoba has given a very impressive name to the society-Samayrga, In this society. there will be no distinction between men and it will be a society having a perfect equality. He writes. We want an order of society which will be free not only from exploitation but also from every Government authority. The power of Government will be decentralized and distributed among the villages. Every village will be a state itself, the centre will have only nominal authority over them. In this way, gradually we will reach a stage when authority in every form will have become unnecessary and it will, therefore, fade away giving rise to a perfect free society.”
Sarvodaya and feudalism
The Sarvodaya Movement aims at the negation of feudalism, India, during the last many centuries, have lived and flourished under feudalism. The pivotal point of feudalism is exploitations. In this connection Mahatma Gandhi wrote, ‘All exploitations whether through wealth or power is violence and wherever there is violence, untruth is bound to creep in. Individual freedom comes from observing the laws of self-purification.” The Mahatma had dreamt to build up in every village a Sarvodaya society through mutual love, sympathy and pity.
Besides the Bhoodan Movement, the Sarvodaya takes into its programme the literacy of the masses, regeneration of women, cultivation of moral character and the practical approach to simple living and high thinking. The real salvation of India lies in Sarvodaya.