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ASSOCIATES OF MAHATMA GANDHI > VINOBA BHAVE > MY DEAR PRANAV > Preface

Preface

This book is a bunch of 52 letters written by me to Pranav Chndrasekhar, a young man of twelve.

Vinoba Bhave is a name which may not ring a bell in many young minds and especially if they happen to be educated in English medium schools.

Being a student of Vinoba's writings, I have put in my efforts in presenting his thoughts. These letters, since I wrote to Pranav, have been persued by Shri Daniel Majgaonkar and Br.Pravin Desai, life long associates of Vinoba. They found that these letters could be published for the general public. All opinions are ofcourse my own.

Since it is a bunch of letters, the reader could start at any page and read them in any order. The basic purpose of writing of these letters was that Pranav should read Vinoba's thoughts, read his books and acquaint himself with Vinoba's writings. Perhaps a different sequence and order of complexity some reader would prefer. I have not disturbed the sequence of what I wrote in 1990-91.

A person educated in the western tradition must keep in mind that Vinoba is a son of the soil in the sense that all his basic philosophical foundations are typically Indian. As Geoffrey Ostergaard has observed, "further reflection, however, has convinced me that Sarvodaya ideas, including its political ones, can be properly understood only if they are viewed within the framework of Indian religious thought and seen as a reinterpretation of a distinctively Indian conception of the self and the relation of the self to society, nature and the cosmos." My first few letters have this observation as a background.

The letters have been seen by Dr. (Mrs.) Rama Sivaram, Professor Nissim Ezikel, Ms Marjori Sykes, Shri S R Mohandas, Shri R V Joshi and several friends. I needed their help primarily because English is my second language. Shri N Paranjpe and Shri VG Potdar, my colleagues, have been helping in the typing, retyping and computerizing. I am obliged to all of them.

I have profusely quoted from various books of Vinoba and acknowledged them with gratitude. I have used Vinoba's thoughts as a property which belongs to all. Sab bhoomi Gopal ki.

Jai Jagat !

L. N. Godbole

Bombay

April, 1994