Moraridas Prabhudas Hariyani or Sant Morari Bapu was in the news recently for delivering a Ram Katha at UAE’s first Hindu temple. So I thought a little bit of a bio of this wonderful man would not be out of place.
Morari Bapu was born in Gujarat. He grew up listening to folk tales from his grandmother and memorizing verses of Ramcharitamanas every day under the guidance of his grandfather who was a devotee of Ram. His grandfather’s brother was the head of Kailash Ashram at Rishikesh.
He started as a school teacher and practiced Ram Kathas. He is seen as a progressive spiritual leader who propagates universal democratic values. He does not discriminate based on communities, religions, sects and castes.
His ashram is in Mahua, Bhavnagar, Gujarat. He has performed more than 800, 9-day kathas in Indonesia, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Australia, Japan and Jerusalem. He has held katha sessions at Kailash. He was invited to Iran as a state guest in 2012.
His narration is interlaced with examples and jokes, mixed with emotions to drive the point.
Every year at his ashram he hosts a 2-day event Sadbhavana Parva, organized to celebrate the culture of communal harmony in our country. This is a conference in which 300 Christian, Muslim and Hindu delegates discuss ways to foster harmony among their faith traditions.
Morari Bapu argues that the concept of future God will be one who will not require any weapons. In his village temple Morari Bapu has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman and Hanuman without their weapons
Bapu organized the ‘World Religions Dialogue and Symphony Conference’ in Mahuva in 2009, inaugurated by Dalai Lama.
During his Ram-Katha in California, he asked the audience to donate one crore to the sufferers of Uttarakhand calamity, and by that evening, the donation reached Rs. 3.14 crore.
Recently in January 2019, Morari bapu held Ram Katha in Ayodhya for sex workers and raised funds to provide medical care for them. This stirred a controversy over whether it is right to do Ram katha for sex workers and whether Ayodhya is a correct venue for such an event. After Pulwama, he announced Rs 1 lakh for each family of the slain jawans.