Swami Satyabhakta
(10th November 1899 – 10th December 1998)

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Swami Satyabhakta the prophet of the age was born on Friday the 7th Kartik moonday of Vikrami 1956 falling on 10th November 1899 or Chinga, the 6th 11899 (the Historica Samvat commenced by the Swamiji) at Shahpur in the Sagar District of the present Madhya Pradesh. He had to come to Damoh on account of the sudden death of his mother in his early childhood. He was educated there up to the primary stage. He learnt Sanskrit at Sagar and Banaras. He got the degree of Nyaytirth and was appointed teacher in the famous Syadvad Jain Vidyalaya, Banaras on 29th February 1919. He taught there up to Shastri standard and came to Indore in the same capacity at the end of 1920 and worked there for six years. He actively participated in the non-cooperation movement of 1921 and propagated the congress ideals in Indore city and its suburban village. When the noncooperation movements cooled down, he was attracted towards the social revolution and started a movement to throw off the caste system. He wrote about a hundred articles against their system. He travelled city after city to defy the system, held discussions and carried on correspondence and took all pains to achieve success in frustrating the caste system. This tendency led his opponents to try to deprive him of his livelihood. Finally, the authorities of Indore Vidyalaya asked him to either stop his movement or to resign from the post. He resigned from the Vidyalaya in 1926 and there was a financial chaos for a while in his life. Fortunately he got a job of Rs. 215 per month in Bombay. He lived for ten years in Bombay. He edited many papers there and taught Ardhmagadhi to the students of post Graduate classes and the course of Nyaya Tirth to others. He agitated vehemently against caste system and other restrictive social customs. He propagated widow remarriage. He toured the country to peep inside into the world and preached the above ideas among the masses. He created a storm by publishing article, poems, stories and other literature trying to reshape the society on modern lines. He spoke hundreds of times on these topics. He promised himself in 1932 to dedicate his life to the service of humanity but only after he accumulated ten thousand rupees for his livelihood or after having worked for a livelihood for a maximum period of five years. He had in mind only social revolution until now. However, he later devoted himself toward religious revolution. He began to write a series of article on Jainism in magazines, which continued for three and half years. These were later published in three volumes covering about 1200 pages. He brought about a revolution in Jainism by discussing every topic on modern lines and giving extraordinary arguments and proofs for the same. He turned out to be an equalitarian (to all religions) after his constant study and deep thoughts for writing the above series of article. The egalitarianism view of his with respect to caste, creed and religion later on led him to establish the Satya Samaj or society based on truth and reform in every sphere of society in 1934. He then began to propagate his ideals by composing poems and producing suitable literature, both for the masses and the intelligentsia and touring various parts of the country and establishing branches of the society. He faced opposition for this. By now, he had finished his fourth years after the promise of 1932 and had collected enough money. So he resigned from service on the 1st May 1936 and came to Wardha to establish his Satyashram there on the 2nd of May 1936. He also succeeded in building an equalitarian temple of Gods called Satyar Mandir, a Satyeshwar press with a library attached to it, Satya Sandesh book service and Satyashram building for the Satyasamaj people by now and also got his institution registered by the government. Satyashram has been working since then (1936) in spite of financial troubles. He has thrown extraordinary light practically on all subject like religion, society, politics, economics science, language and their characters in a scientific way through his articles published in the magazines: Satya Sandesh, Nai Duniya and Sangam edited by him. He has written more than 150 books and thousands of articles. He worked day and night both physically and mentally and performed all sorts of duties from the lowest to the highest for preaching his ideas. He never took rest except sleeping for six or seven hours in night. Sometimes he begins to write articles late in the night and continues to do so until the early hours of dawn. In spite of all the labour, he kept sound health through controlled diets. He considered sickness as a sin or a crime. Generally he has spent his life in devotion for knowledge and propagation of truth, but he had a hard life of penance specially since he started Satyashram in 1936. He had a wonderful capacity of expressing the truth in an original and impartial way that he proved by excellent illustration and extraordinarily fine arguments. One cannot understand the originality of his ideas without studying his literature or the back issues of Sangam a monthly magazine. The UP Government in 1953 awarded him the first prize of Rs. 1200 for his books. He sacrificed his entire life to the propagation and devotion of truth. On occasions, he opposed every sort of religion, society, sect, political party and even prominent leaders. In spite of such opposition, he has respectfully described the quality found in them. However, it is a fact that people boycotted him for his fearless life ideals and he had to suffer poverty too. Troubles arose and hard labour had to be put in to overcome them. In spite of all such troubles and labour he never trod an inch against his ideal of truth. He had been a victim of the fury of the British Regime due to his political articles and had to close down the publication of Satya Sandesh, a monthly magazine. Nevertheless, his mind did not rest. He started another magazine called ‘Nai Dunia’ four month later. This paper was also victimized by British rule. It was also closed and then he started ‘Sangam’. This magazine had also to face the wrath of British rule. He was prosecuted on some pretext and was penalized to pay Rs. 200 or to suffer a three-month jail. He worked a lot during 1942 movement, but in such a cautious way that the foreign rulers could not succeed in getting him arrested. He was saved once when two Ashramites were arrested but were released because of insufficient proof for their punishment. In the days of emergency the August 1975 edition of Sangam was confiscated by Indira government. Police raided the Ashram. On this Swamiji wrote to home minister and protested against this terming this as wrong precensorship behavior. The Home Minister replied to him in detail telling him his situation. There has always been an influx of visits of great leaders to his Ashram, right from those at the top as such Dr. Rajendra Prasad India’s then President, to all sorts of scholars saints, sanyasis and wealthy people who talked with Swamiji, who had a profound influence over them. Swamiji was treated by Mahatma Gandhiji with great love and respect whenever he visited sevagram. He met Shri Vinoba Bhave just once in his lifetime. Shri Maulana Azad, Shri Govind Vallabh Pant, Shri Morarji Desai, Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpai, Shri Bachhrajji Vyas, Shri Punjabraoji Deshmukh, Shri Sahjanandji Saraswati, Dr. Ambedkarji, Shri Raj Narayanji, Swami Krishnanandji Sokhta etc greatly respected him after meeting him or after interacting with him via letters. Shri Khobragade, Shri Aavde, Shri Deendayal Gupt, Shri Narendraji Tidke etc were important audience of his discourses and lectures. Shri Wartlet of American embassy and Shri Varanikov of Russian embassy were his great admirers. Shri Maithlisharan Gupt, Shri Siyaramsharan Gupt praised him a lot after they came to meet him. He proceeded to Africa to propagate his mission of truth in 1951 where he lived for four months. He delivered more than hundred speeches in Uganda and Kenya. He also made influential speeches in Runhgiri of Belgium. He delivered more than 40 speeches in Zinza the source of the Nile River. His mission had been sufficiently successful as the seed sown by him there is gradually growing and budding forth. He has some followers there too. Almost every province in India has some of his disciples. His birth and death anniversaries are celebrated in a grand manner in almost every province of this country and in Africa every year. Some gifts are also presented to him on these occasions, which are utilized for the activities of the Ashram. Swamiji declared the formation of a new institution of saints on the occasion of his 51st birthday in 1949 This institution aims at preparing such public servants who would like to offer greater service to the cause of society in proportion to what they get from it and who will be looking over their estates as that belonging to the society. Issueless families can also be accommodated in this institution if they happen to be true public servants and can perform duties with full responsibilities in any sphere: social, religious, economical, political, medical teaching and administrative. They should be men of integrity and honesty, be public spirited and be of a sacrificing nature. They should not demonstrate penance but should not lag behind in bearing troubles when necessary. He made this declaration since he was himself a devotee of this type. Swamji tried to reform almost all institution of saints of various communities. He follows first and teaches later. There is unity between his words and actions. It is written that Swami Satyabhakta is “A gifted scholar of extraordinary intelligence, a great thinker, a good philosopher and debater, a successful and experienced editor, a vehement critic, a noted poet and writer, a worthy story writer and an eminent dramatist, an eloquent speaker, a social and religious revolutionist, founder of a new philosophy, an intensive planner, a heart touching wit, an ideal student of world politics and economy, destroyer of blind faith, inventor of human language to establish unity among the people of the world, modified telegraphy and script, a good scientist established amicable relation between religion and science, a wonderful world lover, ideal saint, firm minded, an idol of physical, vocal and mental labour, a prophet of the God of truth, self controlled founder of new religion and a man of age in the end.” There is no exaggeration in this short introduction to Swamiji. Every attribute has been added after considerable pains to understand him. All the qualities attributed to him can be proved true if one studies his vast literature and work in some details.

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