Acharya Tulsi - Fifty Years Of Selfless Dedication: Total Revolution and the Anuvrat Movement

Published: 05.09.2012


Some people are traditional while others are revolutionary. Which of the two according to you can do good to themselves and to the country?


In my opinion no individual can live entirely on traditions and similarly no one can be an exclusive medium of revolutionary ideas. All revolutions need something to base themselves on. A revolution without a base can momen­tarily cause an upheaval in people's lives but in the end its results can be neither pleasant nor stable. Therefore, I believe that individuals are indebted to some tradition or another even in the field of bringing about a new intellectual awakening. It is a different matter whether they have a direct or a remote link with tradition.

The Sanskrit word for revolution is kranti, which etymologically is derived from a root meaning 'putting the step' or 'kicking with the foot'. Disturbing the existing condition and bringing about a change in it is the first step to revolution. For a developing consciousness it is necessary that it should use its capacity for creative purposes. If none of a man's activities is used creatively it should be taken as a sign of his lack of power. But it is not desirable for a man to be vainly conscious of his power. Therefore, I prefer a revolution which takes place against the background of a living and strong tradition.


A conventional revolution takes place on the basis of pressure and power. A revolution brought about under pressure gives rise to endless counter­revolutions.   Do you agree with the above formulation?


I do not approve of the use of pressure and power even for preserving a tradition because traditions can endure only if they are willingly accepted. A tradition subscribed to under fear, temptation or pressure can at any time be broken. That which is thoughtfully accepted is both stable and dynamic. So far as a revolution is concerned, it can be sustained under pressure or fear but such a thing hardly deserves to be called a revolution.

The Turkish Emperor, Kamal Pasha, brought about a revolution in his country. He declared that all the women should give up their burkas before dawn; else they would be shot dead. It created an unprecedented terror among the women. They hardly got time to think of the purpose behind the giving up of the burka. All they could see were the guns aimed at them and their very thought made them tremble with fear. They gave up the burkas unthinkingly. Some people remarked that Kamal Pasha had brought about a major revolution. Outwardly it did seem so. Once the fear was over the whole environment could change. On the other hand this change would have been much better accomplished if it had been brought about after explaining the defects and evil results of using the burka to every woman and after bringing about a change in their thinking.

At this point one can argue that if one were to explain an intended change to everybody and to effect it gradually, how could it be termed a revolution? For revolution implies a change at one go. The question is quite valid in its own context. There can be no revolution without a change at one go. But change at one go is not the same as total change. A totality of change will automatically neutralize pressure, fear and temptation.


Your Anuvrat Movement is also a revolutionary movement. You are making all-out efforts to change the moribund values in society and to establish dynamic values of life in their place. Do you imagine the dream of total revolution can be realized through the Anuvrat Movement?


I have a vision of the future, but I do not believe in over-optimism. The outlines of a society in which people live according to the ideals of Anuvrat are very much before me, but to change them into a colourful picture more time and energy would  be needed  besides refining the technique of adjustment. Anuvrat has always been committed to the carrying out of its objective. It has brought within the reach of millions of people the basic code of conduct for development of life. Thousands of them have changed the course of their lives by adopting it. I think it has played an unexpectedly big role in bringing about a revolution in ideas. But according to me a revolution is incomplete unless it emerges in a concrete shape before the people. The objectives of total revolution and Anuvrat are different. Therefore, I do not think the former can take place using the platform of Anuvrat. But I am sure total revolution can fructify whenever and wherever the Anuvrat philosophy is effectively reflected in the life of the people.

It is true that Anuvrat has the potentiality of making a contribution to the establishment of moral values in the entire world. But I consider it an exaggerated claim. Every movement has its own limitations and a unique mode of working. Within its own limits Anuvrat has brought about a revolution and will continue to do so. It is my opinion that if the Anuvrat Movement can take a lead in the field of moral and spiritual revolution, it will successfully pave the way for other revolutions.


What are the chief components of the revolution likely to be brought about by Anuvrat?


Anuvrat wants first of all to bridge the gap between knowledge and behaviour. Unless principles theoretically approved by people become a part of their behaviour, no revolution can take place.

Anuvrat is presenting basic religious truths in the form of people's religion. Through it narrow sectarian attitudes can become liberal and all-embracing. That would constitute a solid foundation for human unity and world brotherhood.

Freedom from addiction and freedom from tension are important aspects of the Anuvrat Revolution. A society rid of addictions can form the basis of total revolution. So long as the human race is a prey to even a single addiction, it cannot attain the height of its ideals.

Tension is the most complex problem of the present age. Anuvrat has presented a practical way of achieving freedom from tension in the form of its experiment in Preksha Dhyan (Preksha Meditation). Dedicated practice in Preksha Meditation automatically results in the Anuvrat principles becoming a part of one's life. It will be the finest hour for the Anuvrat Revolution when man attains mental peace by combining the Anuvrat and Preksha experiments in his life. The meaningfulness and effectiveness of a revolution do not lie in a sudden explosive upheaval but in the building of a healthy and developed social order. For achieving this end the Anuvrat Movement has to work with greater vigour and effectiveness.

Acharya Tulsi - Fifty Years Of Selfless Dedication
Jain Vishva Bharati Ladnun
Shrichand Bengani


R.P. Bhatnagar


● S.L. Gandhi
● Rajul Bhargava, Department of English, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur
● Ashok K. Jha, Department of English, LBS College, Jaipur

First Edition, 1985-2000

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  1. Anuvrat
  2. Anuvrat Movement
  3. Consciousness
  4. Dhyan
  5. Environment
  6. Fear
  7. Meditation
  8. Preksha
  9. Preksha Dhyan
  10. Preksha Meditation
  11. Sanskrit
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