S.V. Govindan spinning and talking about his days with Vinoba Bhave, Berlin, May 1985.
Sri S.V. Govindan was born in the village Manassery in Ottapalan, situated in the Palghat district of Kerala in Southern India. Born on December 24, 1924, he was the youngest son in a family of five children. He spent his childhood and adolescence in Kerala where he was educated by his brothers who were school teachers at the time.
In his early twenties Govindan joined India's independence movement. He lived and worked with Mahatma Gandhi in his Sevagram Ashram in central India and became an associate of Vinoba Bhave, Gandhi's spiritual successor. Collecting land donations for the poor (bhoodan/gramdan movement) they walked India by foot in the 1950s and 60s. Sri Govindan has been an active social worker and gathered valuable experience not only as a teacher in various Khadi Vidyalas (centers for handspun and handwoven fabrics) in the country, but more so as an expert masseur with a healing and sympathetic hand. In the mid 60s he joined Vinoba's Ashram Brahma Vidya Mandir in Paunar, Maharashtra, where he deepened his knowledge in yoga, massage, urin therapy and ayurveda. The usefulness, scientific reliability, and simplicity of massage as a way to serve the masses attracted him. When Sri Govindan was initiated into this field of massage by none other than Sri K. Kelappan, a national leader from Kerala, he realized that it was one of his missions to promote this useful technique by study and propagation. By reading and observation he learned the theory and practice of massage. Encouraged by Vinoba Bhave, Govindanji wrote his first publication in Hindi Maalish ka Marma. The practicality of the book attracted many ... read more