Born in 1947, Morari Bapu, reverantly and affectionately known as ‘Bapu’, lives a simple and humble life, with a single ambition to spread a message of Truth, Love and Compassion. It is his listeners, rather than he, who speak of his achievements, perhaps most powerfully evidenced in the positive transformation of their own lives.
Remarkably Bapu had memorised the scriptures by the time he was twelve. Two years later, his first recital, known as “katha’, was attended by three villagers in his home town in Gujarat, India in 1960. Bapu has now spoken to millions at over 750 kathas in every major city in India and in many countries around the world, including the United States, Vatican City, Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi and in the foothills of Mount Kailas in Tibet.
Bapu is refreshingly practical, denouncing religious conversions and complicated rituals, instead urging listeners to be open, in head and heart. He promotes unity, integration and respect for all, including groups that have traditionally been shunned and marginalised. For example, he has delivered kathas for the global transgender population, for prisoners and one that was dedicated to the conservation for the endangered Whale Shark. Bapu speaks of gender equality, recognising and honouring the strength and value of women – specifically challenging ‘age-old’ cultural ‘norms’ for example, that daughters cannot perform their parents’ last rites or inherit parents’ wealth.
"In person Bapu is very quiet and incredibly serene, yet in katha, on stage in front of thousands, an extraordinarily exuberant man appears. In his quest to make the lessons of the Ramayana relevant and modern, he will at times use a humorous analogy or anecdote, causing ripples of laughter in the sea of people sitting at his feet. Throughout katha he will spontaneously break into song, his traveling musicians accompanying him and his followers rising to dance, their arms in the air, smiles on their faces. This ability to simultaneously share profound wisdom and ebullient joy is a rare and special gift. In essence, katha teaches you to love and that love is the prayer.” More