Pandurang Shastri Athavale (19 October 1920 – 25 October 2003), also known as Dadaji, which literally translates as “elder brother” in Marathi, was an Indian philosopher, spiritual leader, social activist and Hinduism reformist, who founded the Swadhyaya Parivar (Swadhyaya Family) in 1954. Swadhyaya is a self-study process based on the Bhagavad Gita which has spread across nearly 100,000 villages in India, with over 5 million adherents. He was also noted for his discourses on the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas and the Upanishads.
He was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1997 and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, along with India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan Award, in 1999.
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