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Biography of A.T. Ariyaratne

A.T. Ariyaratne
Curriculum Vitae

Born November 5, 1931, Ahangamage Tudor Ariyaratne is the founder of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka. A former high school teacher at Nalanda College, he conducted the first shramadana work camp in 1958, eventually leading the largest non-government organization in the country. The father of six distinguished adult children, he has led tens of thousands of “family gatherings” and meditations with millions of people throughout Sri Lanka and other parts of the world.

Doctor of Humanities (D.H.) degree, Emilo Aguinaldo College, Philippines
Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) degree, Sri Jayawardenapura University, Sri Lanka
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Economics, Sinhala and Education, Vidyodaya University, Sri Lanka

International Awards
Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize, India, 1996
Hubert H. Humphrey Award, USA, 1996
IL-GA Memorial Award for Public Service, Korea, 1995
Niwano Peace Prize, Japan, 1992
Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Propagating Gandhian Values Outside India, 1990
Forel Award, Good Templar Movement for Promoting Temperance, Denmark,1990
Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award,Brown University, USA, 1986
King Boudouin Award for International Development, Belgium, 1982
Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, Philippines, 1969

Honorary International Appointments
A President of World Parliament of Religions, 1993
An International President, World Conference on Religion and Peace, 1994
Member, Club of Budapest, Hungary
Fellow, World Academy of Arts and Science, Minnesota, USA
Advisor Interaction Council
Board of Director Peacemaker Circle International
Former Chair, Asian and Pacific Bureau of Adult Education
Former Chair, Approtech Asia, Philippines
Former Chair, Asian Institute of Rural Development, India
Third International Advisory Council, Auroville (India) 1999-present

Sri Lankan Awards
Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
Deshabandu Award for Distinguished National Service from the President, Sri Lanka
Vishwa Prasadini Award from the Prime Minister, Sri Lanka, 1996

The seven volumes to date of A.T. Ariyaratne’s Collected Works provide a comprehensive collection of his speeches and writing in more than 1200 pages. Print and CD versions are available through Sarvodaya USA.

Further comprehension of A.T. Ariyaratne’s additions to the spiritual and intellectual wealth of the world can be drawn from Buddhist Economics in Practice: The Schumacher Lectures, (Vishva Lekha, 1999). A new book on Sarvodaya by Northwestern University Prof. George Bond, will be available in November, 2003 from Kumarian Press,

Bhava Thanha: An Autobiography, Vol. 1, (Vishva Lekha, 2001) offers both a personal and a historical context for understanding the essence of the man and his contribution. Amidst the details of years of humanitarian work, he describes “the Age of Science and Spirituality,” relating it to the purity of means, failures of socialism, imperialism, sectarian violence and other social forces. Fittingly, the book begins with a definition of Bhava Thanha—“the desire for becoming”—and ends with bestowal of merit to others, describing how colleagues, Sarvodaya villagers, and even his opponents influenced his thinking.


  1. Ravi Pandya

    We are impressed and humbled at the same time to read the grace ,beauty,spirituality and enlightenment of the founders of your movement and thier vision when one despairs at the hopelessness and despair in the global community of killings and strife and suffering.
    on the other hand when one comes accross an organisation and saints of the Sarodya organisation one is uplifted and feels that there is hope for humanity and mankind.regards.Ravi

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