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Mahamana as a Social Reformer

He gave a pravachan (discourse on a dharmic subject) at the age of seven to the pilgrims at the Kumbh Mela Again at the age of sixteen, he made an eloquent and clear exposition of a dharmic subject (in a debate amongst the learned) at the age of sixteen in his uncle Gadhadhar's house at Mirzapur. He again gave a discourse on dharmic ideals at the Magh Mela in 1882, without heeding the fun and mockery of his friends. It is said that there was no platform orsammelan where he did not speak on Hindu Dharma and its ideals, during his student days. Even after his B.A., he wanted to pursue an M.A. in Sanskrit and be a regular kathavachak, to give discourses on dharmic subjects.

It is well known that while he was in jail, he gave some discourses on the Bhagavat to Gandhiji. He was also very particular in arranging and giving weekly talks on the Gita or spiritual subjects to the students of the Banras Hindu University. He had to debate with the traditional pundits of Kashi and Calcutta to convince them of the need to uplift the dalits by giving them facilities in society. He used to quote extensively from various scriptures to show that no shastra asked them to treat the dalits.

Malaviyaji was involved in many organizations connected with spreading the ideals of Sanatan Dharma among Hindus. He was active in Hindu Samaj (1880) and Madhya Hindu Samaj (1885). He, along with Deen Dayal Sharma, started the Go Varnashram Hitaishi Ganga Dharma Sabha in 1887. This was later renamed the Bharat Dharma Mahamandal during the Sanatana Dharma conference at Haridwar. He organized many sammelans. In 1906, he became the president of the Prayag unit of the Sanatan Dharma Sabha and was a trustee for ten years of the Rishikul Brahmacharya Ashram, Haridwar started by the Sabha. He also presided over the sessions of the Sabha in 1924 and 1928. Malaviyaji toured many branches of the Provincial Sanatan Dharma Sabha of Punjab during 1925 and 1928 to motivate them and educate them on the problem of untouchability. He also presided over the Rawalpindi Sabha in 1924. Malaviyaji was essentially a religious person and to him nothing was dearer than a life of piety and dharma. He was the embodiment of this ancient virtue of dharma, which guided him all his life. He had truly integrated the various facets of dharma in all walks of life.

Amidst all the bustle and turmoil of an active life, he maintained the serenity and calm of a sage. Malaviyaji was the a living embodiment of Sanatan Dharma.


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