|Thursday July 31, 2014||Honorary Graduates > Monday 27 July 2009 afternoon ceremony (Cornwall)|
Monday 27 July 2009 afternoon ceremony (Cornwall)
Satish Kumar (LLD)
When he was only nine years old, Satish Kumar renounced the world and joined the wandering brotherhood of Jain monks. Dissuaded from his path by an inner voice at the age of eighteen, he left the monastic order and became a campaigner for land reform, working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a peaceful world into reality.
Fired by the example of Bertrand Russell, he undertook an 8,000 mile peace pilgrimage, walking from India to America without any money, through deserts, mountains, storms and snow. It was an adventure during which he was thrown into jail in France, faced a loaded gun in America – and delivered packets of ‘peace tea’ to the leaders of the four nuclear powers.
In 1973, he settled in England, taking the Editorship of Resurgence magazine. He has been the editor ever since. He is the guiding spirit behind a number of ecological, spiritual and educational ventures in Britain. He founded the Small School in Hartland, a pioneering secondary school, which brings ecological and spiritual values into its curriculum. He is also the Director of Programmes at Schumacher College, a residential international centre for the study of ecological and spiritual values.
Following Indian tradition, in his fiftieth year, he undertook another pilgrimage: again carrying no money, he walked 2,000 miles to the holy places of Britain – Glastonbury, Canterbury, Lindisfarne and Iona. Meeting old friends and making new ones along the way, this pilgrimage was a celebration of his love of life and nature.
In 2000, Satish was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Plymouth and in 2001, an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of Lancaster. Also in 2001 he was presented with the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Abroad.
His autobiography, No Destination, has sold 50,000 copies and Satish has three other books in print, You Are, Therefore I Am – A Declaration of Dependence, The Buddha and the Terrorist and Spiritual Compass.
In 2008, Satish Kumar presented a 50-minute documentary on the BBC as part of the Natural World series. In the programme Satish introduced the Dartmoor scenes and sights that most inspire him and contemplated the lessons they hold for humanity. A highly acclaimed documentary that mixed eastern philosophy with the western landscape of Dartmoor; the programme was watched by over 3.6 million people.
The University of Exeter, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QJ
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