On March 1, 1949, a call for “Real Freedom” was made by Acharya Tulsi. During his conversations with the political, social, religious leaders – like Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, President Rajendra Prasad, Abul Kalam Azad, Vinoba Bhave, S Radhakrishnan, Jaiprakash Narayan, C Rajagopalachari, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Madhavrao Golwalkar – of the newly independent India, he emphasized that the need for Independent India is indispensable but more important is character building and instilling moral values which will make each individual strong and hence our nation.
With these objectives, Acharya Tulsi launched the Anuvrat Movement (anu = small, vrat=vow, Anuvratas are the limited version of the Mahavratas for the monks), based on the five Jain principles Truth, Nonviolence, Non-possession, Non-stealing and Celibacy as applied in their limited version for common people. The movement encouraged people to apply the Anuvratas in their personal lives, even when dealing with non-religious aspects of the society.
Anuvrat promotes a lifestyle of self-restraint and self-discipline by adopting small vows in one’s day to day life. It suggests eleven basic vows and practical ways for self-transformation (which we will be elaborating upon in our subsequent articles).
Every week The South Asian Times will be sharing an article highlighting a small (anu) story – of how followers of Anuvrat brought systematic changes in their lives which left a significant social impact.
If you have a personal experience or a story of Anuvrat and would like to share you are welcome to send it to [email protected]