This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. (May 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article may contain wording that promotes the subject through exaggeration of unnoteworthy facts. Please help improve it by removing or replacing such wording. (January 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Satpal Maharaj
Satpal Maharaj
Cabinet Minister to the Government of Uttarakhand
In office
March 2017 – March 2022
MLA of Uttarakhand
In office
2017–2022
Preceded byTirath Singh Rawat
ConstituencyChaubattakhal
Personal details
Born (1951-09-21) 21 September 1951 (age 70)
Kankhal, Uttar Pradesh, India
(now Uttarakhand, India)
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)Amrita Rawat
ChildrenShraddhey, Suyesh
Parent(s)
  • Rajeshwari Devi (mother)
ResidenceDehradun, Uttarakhand and Punjabi Bagh, Delhi
Websitewww.satpalmaharaj.in

Satpal Maharaj (born 21 September 1951) is a spiritual master and an Indian politician, serving as the current PWD, tourism, cultural and irrigation minister in the cabinet of Government of Uttarakhand. He is born to Shri Hans Ji Maharaj and Shrimati Rajeshwari Devi Ji. He is also a National Executive Member of BJP.[1] He is the founder of Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti.

Early life

Childhood

Satpal Maharaj was born as the eldest son of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, a spiritual guru, and his second wife Rajeshwari Devi in a small town named Kankhal in Haridwar district. Since childhood ages, he had a keen interest in spirituality and often used to practice deep meditation techniques.

He was sent to St. George's College, Mussorie for formal education to learn different languages and sciences. He manifested his interest for philosophical debates and practical sciences and won prizes for the same.[2][3]

Discovery as a Spiritual Master

His father passed away in 1966, bequeathing him with the task of communicating the spiritual knowledge unto the world. Though earlier, he was not in the limelight, he was like a dynamo, the source of energy and light for the entire movement (established by his father), which picked up momentum under his mother's guidance. He used to address a large crowd of followers with his spiritual discourses at very young ages. His message is "God is neither Hindu, nor Muslim, nor Christian. God is one and is our father.[4]

Young Satpal Maharaj often used to deliver spiritual discourses to awaken human values from within and used to tell about the great souls who are born to celebrate the victory of righteousness over wickedness, and they are born unto this world whose mission is to re-establishing man's existence on this planet as a spiritual being. It is believed amongst his followers that the purpose of his birth is not merely the upholding of "dharma", but is above all for the exaltation of man in his most divine nature and state of consciousness, thus playing a role of mother, giving a new birth by awakening the spirit that lies dormant in him, in spite of physical birth. By revealing the pure self-effulgent light and the holy name (which are considered as the manifestations of the cosmic consciousness).[5]

Recognition as a Social Figure

Satpal Maharaj is a very unassuming and non-violent person of a resigning will. He has a natural love for the poor and the innocent. His heart would never bear the miseries of others and he would immediately share the sufferings of others.[6]

Since the early ages of his life, he has been a major social activist, bringing reforms for the betterment of the society. He had opened many non-profit clinics, stay homes, and bought other important services near to the people of remote areas, who do not have access to government schemes due to their geographical conditions. Until his teenage, he became familiar with the problems faced by people living in mountainous remote areas of then Uttar Pradesh, and he out-reached people living in such areas and stood with their demand of a separate state of Uttarakhand. He walked many marches with massive support for social causes. Also, he wanted to manifest the unmanifested in man by uniting the man's limited consciousness with the primordial, cosmic vibration. So, he set-up a socio-spiritual society, with the objective to the uplift man from the morass of ignorance and superstition. The society is called "Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti", with its headquarters in Delhi, India.[7]

Socio-Spiritual Initiatives

He has taken many measures to bring about changes in the society, by the means of preaching spiritual knowledge, and establishment of a socio-spiritual organization Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti.

Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti

He founded Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti. With the motive of preaching the meditation techniques called "Knowledge".[8] He draws millions of people to his main ashrams in Haridwar and New Delhi.[9] The Society stands for sanskritizing the lower classes in the society and sharing with them the joys and sorrows of life as brethren by providing them with spiritual succor. It fights for their enjoying all rights and atrocities on the lower castes and condemns depriving their entry into the place of worship. The society is proud that its following is derived from all communities. Community lunch and commune living is a common feature of society.[10]

Padyatras (Foot Marches)

He headed many padayatras, both nationally and internationally, many noble social causes, and to bring awareness and peace in mankind. He is deeply connected to the motive of building a better, healthy, and contented society and has made many efforts to this end, as listed below:

Name of March Date Started Date Ended Place From Place To Distance Covered (Approx. in km.) Description
Bharat Jago Padyatra (Wake Up India Foot March) 24 September 1983 28 October 1983 Badrinath, Uttarakhand Boat Club, Delhi 710 km. This foot march traversed from the often dangerous mountainous terrain and walked through 500 villages, Maharaj Ji met more than 3,00,000 people along the way, talking with them and listening to their grievances. The poor and needy were given medicines and blankets. At each of the 24 stops along the way, evening programs were held to discuss the problems of the local people and to inform them of the aims of the padayatra. The march culminated with a gathering of 60,000, calling for social and political awakening. A campaign to clean up the polluted Ganges also began during this march.[11][12]
Jan Jagran Padyatra (Awaken The People Foot March) 11 March 1985 Date unknown Gandhi Maidan, Siliguri, West Bengal Gangtok, Sikkim 250 km. The aim of this foot march was to inspire youth to create a congenial atmosphere for the development of the hilly region and demand the Government to recognize and alleviate the endemic problems of the hill areas and to listen to the grievances of the local people, who felt ignored and neglected by the authorities. It also supported and re-ignited the long-standing demand for recognition of the Nepali language, which was ultimately successful with its inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India.[11][12]
Janata Jage Padyatra (People Awake Foot March) Somewhere in February 1986 somewhere in 1986 Bodh gaya, Bihar Patna, Bihar 230 km. The foot march was held in the poverty-stricken and violence-ridden state of Bihar, it called upon the people to reawaken the humanitarian ideals of peace and harmony embodied in the teachings of Buddha and Mahavir Swami and promote caste and communal harmony. Satpal Maharaj said, "The best way to pay tribute to Lord Buddha is to follow his teachings and refrain from doing anything to the contrary. Nothing is achieved through violence and crime. Society can only be changed when we change ourselves." The aim of this padayatra was to help the masses, especially young people, realize that a law-abiding atmosphere is essential for economic and social progress.[11][12]
Gandhi Yatra (A Car Rally Dedicated to Non-Violence) Somewhere in October 1993 somewhere in 1993 Maghar, Uttar Pradesh Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 600 km. To rekindle interest in the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and to promote harmony among religious communities, Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj led "Gandhi-Yatra". This was a 'car rally' in which 350 cars took part. It started where St Kabir was cremated and where a temple and mosque share a common wall. After rallies in many of the main cities of Uttar Pradesh, the yatra finished in Lucknow, where crowds surged into the streets to welcome the participants. A mammoth rally in the historic Begum Hazrat Mahal Park was preceded by a 4 km silent march.[11][12]
Shrandhanjali Padyatra (Tribute Foot March) Somewhere in 1995 somewhere in 1995 Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand Muzzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh 350 km. This march was dedicated to commemorating the martyrs who lost their lives while demonstrating peacefully for a separate state of Uttarakhand. This region has specific problems that the state of Uttar Pradesh seemed unable to address. Maharaj Ji actively supported the Uttarakhand Movement and felt that the ultimate way to honor the dead would be to secure this separate state. When he was Minister of State for Railways in the Devegowda Government, he got the chance to convince the Prime Minister to grant statehood, which was announced during Independence Day celebrations on 15 August 1996.[11][12]
Sadbhawana Padyatra (Goodwill Foot March) Somewhere in November 2002 Somewhere in December 2002 Dandi, Gujarat Sabarmati, Gujarat 350 km. The aim of this march was to promote healing and goodwill between Hindus and Muslims in riot-torn Gujarat after horrific violence, as well as to address the issue of divisive politics that was tearing the social fabric apart. Maharaj Ji voiced the opinion that Gandhi's home state should stand out as a beacon of economic progress and human development and that its social ethos and climate must be congenial for industry and investment to flourish. The procession stretched for 350 km and went for 22 days. It attracted people from different faiths who joined in with great enthusiasm.[11][12]
Gandhi Rainbow Peace March Somewhere in 2005 Somewhere in 2005 Pietermaritzburg, South Africa Durban, South Africa 100 km. The march started where Mahatma Gandhi was evicted from a train for daring to sit in a 'Whites only' carriage and ended at City Hall, Durban, with a civic reception from the Mayor. Shri Maharaj Ji presented the Deputy Mayor of Pietermaritzburg and assembled dignitaries with a bust of Gandhi as a young barrister, to be installed at the railway station.[11][12]

Other Social Initiatives

Shri Satpal Maharaj Ji has undertaken many social initiatives by the means of the M.U.S.S., time to time and day by day, every initiative aimed at either meant to uplift one spiritually or to elevate mankind.

Mission Education

This initiative was taken under the guidance of his son, Shri Shradhey Maharaj Ji, where they developed a model to supply the recurring stationery to the underprivileged of the society, who drop school due to lack of stationery. Under this initiative, the aim is to create a value system amongst the student of well-to-do families to care for the underprivileged and donate the excess of their stuff. This initiative focused collection items from well-off institutions and create awareness, and then making kits of necessary involved, and distributing them in underprivileged schools, so, there is no money involved at all. This is being run at the international level. In May 2019, this initiative became the world's quickest and largest system to donate the stationery, making Search guinness world record.[13]

Political career

Shri Satpal Maharaj is the current Cabinet Minister in the State of Government of Uttarakhand, serving as the Minister of Tourism, Irrigation, Culture.[14]


Works in Uttarakhand

Role in the formation of Uttarakhand

He had played a vital role in the formation of Uttarakhand.

Rail Line Project

He inaugurated a survey to this project as a Union Minister, and Minister of Railways of State of Uttar Pradesh (Now, in Uttarakhand) way back in 1996.[15][16][17] This project got budget allocation and other clearances from the government, it is said to be the longest tunnel rail project in the country, which will play a vital role in the security of the country, and livelihood of the people of uttarakhand.[18] The Rishikesh to Karnprayag Rail Line is proposed to serve a very vital role in the country, for prompt movement of Army (as the geographical location of the line is near India-China Border), pilgrims and locals.[19] The foundation stone for the project survey was led down by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, way back on 9 November 2011[20] at Rishikesh, this was a 125-kilometer railway line project. The survey of the project completed somewhere by the year 2013,[21] however, the project was delayed as the state ministers delayed to provide necessary land to Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) for the commencement of the project construction due to nonfinalization of land acquisition rules of Uttarakhand.[22]

Private bill in 8th schedule

He brought a private member's bill to include Garhwali and Kumaoni language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India.[23]

Protein Revolution

Maharaj with his wife and dignitaries of Peru.
Maharaj with his wife and dignitaries of Peru.

Uttarakhand Government has inked a tourism promotion cum horticulture research agreement with Peru. State Government will have intergovernmental interaction of scientific communities from both the countries in order to boost horticulture and wool production in the State. According to Maharaj Peru, the president will visit Uttarakhand in January to explore the possibilities and economic opportunities here. The MoU for tourism promotion was signed between the Uttarakhand tourism minister Amrita Rawat and Peru president Carlos Canales in the presence of the vice president of India Mohammed Hamid Ansari in their recent visit to Peru. As per agreement tourism officials and other related agencies of Peru will visit the State to study tourism activities and further possibilities of promotional chances here. Besides this Uttarakhand will also import seeds of Peru's native protein-rich high altitude cereal crop Quinoa to cultivate it here.[24][25]

Satpal Maharaj Bust Donation at Africa.
Satpal Maharaj Bust Donation at Africa.

International activities

1. On 17 October 2011, He also delivered his Speech at 66th United Nations General Assembly session held in New York City on the topic "Sport for Peace and Development".[26]

2. On 19 October 2011, he presented the statement by India in the First Committee Thematic Debate on Conventional Weapons at 66th United Nations General Assembly session held in New York City.[26]

3. He and his wife Smt. Amrita Rawat jointly donated a bust of Mahatma Gandhi to KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, the bust was to be installed at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station; a station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of the train.[27]

COVID-19 disease

Satpal Maharaj, his wife, and his 22 family and staff members were tested positive for Covid-19 on 30 May 2020. Satpal Maharaj and his wife had been admitted to AIIMS hospital, Rishikesh and the couple recovered from novel coronavirus within 3 weeks of time and got discharged from AIIMS hospital, Rishikesh on 17 June 2020.[28]

References

  1. ^ "National Executive Members List".
  2. ^ Mangalwadi (1992), pp. 135–136
  3. ^ Life Portrait of Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj (1979), p.4
  4. ^ Life Portrait of Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj (1979), p.5
  5. ^ Life Portrait of Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj (1979), p.2,3
  6. ^ Life Portrait of Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj (1979), p.3
  7. ^ Life Portrait of Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj (1979), p.6
  8. ^ McKean 1996, pp. 53-57
  9. ^ McKean 1996, p. 54
  10. ^ Life Portrait of Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj (1979), p.8
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "shree Satpal Maharaj padyatras" (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Shree Satpal Maharaj padyatras". Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  13. ^ "Guinness World Record Mission Education". Guinness World Record. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  14. ^ "11 members of previous cabinet take oath as U'khand ministers along with Chief Minister". Yahoo News. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Railway Ministers". IRFCA. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Several Rail Projects Yet To Take Off in State".
  17. ^ "Rishikesh Karnprayag Project". Tribune India. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  18. ^ "Coming soon: India's longest railway tunnel on Rishikesh-Karnprayag route". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  19. ^ "Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail line priority project: MP". Tribune India. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  20. ^ "Work on Rishikesh-Karnaprayag rail line to commence soon: Satpal Maharaj". meri news. Retrieved 6 April 2016. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ "Alignment plan finalized for Rishikesh-Karnaprayag railway line". Zee News. Retrieved 6 April 2016. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  22. ^ "Rail project caught in unsavory political controversy". business-standard. Retrieved 6 April 2016. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. ^ "Make Kumaoni, Garhwali State languages, says Satpal Maharaj". The Hindu. 21 August 2011. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  24. ^ "Peru keen on importing Basmati crop tech, Asian buffaloes from U'khand". www.dailypioneer.com. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  25. ^ Rolan. "Alcalde de Cusco recibió reconocimiento de uno de los más importantes líderes de la India". El Diario del Cusco. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  26. ^ a b "UNO Brochure.pdf" (PDF).
  27. ^ "Mahatma Gandhi's bust gathering dust in South Africa". The Hindu. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  28. ^ "Uttarakhand minister Satpal Maharaj, family test positive for COVID-19". The Hindustantimes. Retrieved 30 May 2020.

Bibliography