Athavale, Pandurang Vaijnath Shastri

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Athavale, Pandurang Vaijnath Shastri (1920– ), known as Dadaji, founder of the Hindu movement, Swadhyaya. Born in Maharashtra, he reacted against formal and institutional religion, regarding these as leading to intolerance and divisiveness. He urged people instead to make a total offering of their time and creative energy to God, taking as their focus the recognition of God in others. Swadhyaya draws people together so that this endeavour is reinforced in cooperation. In 1997, he received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.