Chaturvedi in 2008
|Born||20 April 1897 (claimed) (
117 years, 85 days)|
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
|Known for||Contributions to Indology and supercentenarian status|
Sudhakar Chaturvedi (Kannada: ಸುಧಾಕರ್ ಚತುರ್ವೇದಿ) (claims to have been born April 20, 1897) is an Indian Vedic scholar, Indologist, and alleged supercentenarian. At the claimed age of 117 years, 85 days, some Indian newspapers report him as the oldest living Indian.
Chaturvedi claims to have been born on April 20, 1897 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India (or in Kyatsandra in Tumkur according to one report). One report also claims an age of 121 in 2011, which would put his birth in 1890.
Freedom Struggle and Vedic Scholarship
Chaturvedi was given his title "Chaturvedi", which literally means "master of the four Vedas," for his knowledge of the Vedas. He is a disciple of Swami Shraddhanand at Gurukul Kangri in Haridwar, where he got his Veda Vachaspati degree (equivalent to a postgraduate degree).
Chaturvedi was a contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi, whom he first met when studying the Vedas in a gurukula in northern India. Subsequently, he became an ardent follower of Gandhian methods. He was a witness to many events in the Indian independence movement, including being an eyewitness to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He was known as Gandhiji's Postman, as he took down and delivered letters dictated by Gandhi addressed to the Viceroys or Governors-General. Gandhi called him 'Karnataki'. He lost the use of his right arm in 1938 while travelling with Gandhi, when the railwayman detached the last three compartments of the train as it was struggling to climb uphill. He took part in the freedom struggle and was arrested at least 31 times during the freedom struggle, landing in prisons all over the country from Peshawar to Vellore.
In his later life, he became a follower of Dayanand Saraswati of the Arya Samaj. He has adopted a Harijan named Arya Mitra as his son, and has three grandchildren. He has never married:
"My youth was spent in the struggle. By the time we got freedom [in 1947], I was over 50 years. Who would give me a girl then?"
As of 2009, he lives in Jayanagar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. As of 2010, he said he works for eight hours every day. This includes an hour-long lecture he gives on the Vedas every Saturday. He wakes up at 3 am or 3:30, going to bed by 7 pm. He advises people to "follow the instructions in the Vedas and a happy life awaits you." He practices a strict vegetarian diet. He says he wants to live to 300.
He was honoured by Motilal Banarsidass for his contributions to Indology, when it celebrated its centenary in 2003. The Karnataka Sahitya Anuvada Academy gave him an honorary award for 2007–08. In 2009 he was given a "Socio Economic Development Teacher Award", by the Sri Kashi Sesha Sastri Charitable Trust. He was honoured by his alma mater, Gurukul Kangri university, in 2010. In 2010 he was given a "Living Legend" Award by IDL Foundation at a public function where he pledged to donate his eyes. In March 2011 he was gifted a wheelchair by the IDL Foundation, sponsored by Lokayukta Santosh Hegde and began to use it. On Republic Day in 2010, he was felicitated by the Governor of Karnataka.
Chaturvedi has written over 40 books in the Kannada language and, as of 2008, is working on the publication of Vedic texts in 20 volumes. He was also announced in 2002 to be heading a project of the Arya Samaj to publish a 30000-page treatise in Kannada on Veda Bhashya, and by 2009, three of the four Vedas and six volumes of the Rg Veda were released.
He was the moving spirit behind the Bangalore Arya Samaj, which published the Kannada monthly magazine Veda Taranga.
- Upakarmada Bhavya Sandesha
- Halavu Nenapugalu (2007)
- Murtipooje Jignyaase
- If it works for the young man, it sure works for us, Churumuri, 12 September 2009
- Many recent newspaper accounts are consistent with an 1897 date, but the biographical sketch in Seunarine's book mentioned below gives a date of April 4, 1901
- "India's oldest man swears by meditation and Vedas", The Times of India, Jun 28, 2009 
- "Dancers leave audience spellbound", The Times of India, Jun 28, 2009
- ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಗೆ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಸಿದಂತೆ ಹೀಗೊಂದು ಪತ್ರ (A letter on the Rajyotsava Prize), November 12, 2011
- N Bhanutej (July 18, 1998), "Been there, seen that: 101-yr-old-man still rages at Dyer's "fire"", Indian Express, retrieved 2013-06-18
- "113-year-old pledges to donate eyes", NDTV (Press Trust of India), December 18, 2010
- "Be positive in outlook, pensioners told", The Hindu, Jul 1, 2007
- Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy (27 January), 117-year-young Sudhakar Chaturvedi
- "I have no desire for death: Pt Sudhakar Chaturvedi", Times of India, Oct 2, 2011
- "Pandit gifted wheelchair on birthday", Times of India, Mar 15, 2011
- "The Gandhians in our midst". The Hindu. 2003-10-02.
- "Protests held against `foreign rule'", The Hindu, May 18, 2004
- "Grand old man of Bangalore does some soul-searching", The Hindu, Mar 16, 2011
- "Scholar Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi to be honoured", Times of India (Mangalore), Aug 25, 2009
- Rakshita Adyanthaya (Mar 15, 2011), "He is the great grandfather of all 'thathas'", DNA (Bangalore)
- Book "Halavu Nenapugalu". [dead link]
- Sunitha Rao R (Apr 9, 2011), "Let it be implemented on the ground, say freedom fighters", Times of India
- "He's lived across three centuries", The Times of India, Dec 19, 2010
- "Tributes paid to Anantha Subbaraya", The Hindu, Dec 9, 2007
- "Early to bed, early to rise", Times of India, March 15, 2011
- Jayashree Nandi (Feb 22, 2010), "Living in a space of love is the ‘GREATEST POWER’", The Times of India (Bangalore): 6
- Debaashis Bhattacharya (July 11, 2010), "‘Maoists are very good people. They have zeal and... want justice’", The Telegraph (Calcutta)
- Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar (21 December 2010), "His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Great spiritual leader", Daily News (Sri Lanka)
- "Discourse on Vedas by Sudhakar Chaturvedi", Dec 30 2007
- "Publishing house celebrates centenary", The Hindu, Sep 14, 2003
- "Anuvada Academy announces awards", The Hindu (Bangalore), Jan 24, 2008
- Sandeep Rawat (June 17, 2010), "Gurukul Kangri university honours 113-year-old student", Tribune India (Haridwar)
- "City's patriarch pledges his eyes", The Hindu, Dec 19, 2010
- Ajith Samuel (14 Mar 2011), Honorable Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde and Pandith Sudhakar Chaturvedi (video)
- "Grit and service acknowledged: Individuals and organisations felicitated on Republic Day", The Hindu, January 27, 2010
- "Lyrical land", The Hindu, Sep 26, 2002
- Ananth (September 2, 2009), Message on 'Sumadhwa Seva'
- Indica, 2005, p. 129
- J. F. Seunarine (1977). "A Biographical Sketch of Paṇḍit Sudhākar Chaturvedi". Reconversion to Hinduism through śuddhi. Bangalore: Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society. pp. 96–97.