Shripad Damodar Satwalekar

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Padmabhushan Pandit Shripad Damodar Satwalekar was an author, proponent of Surya Namaskar, and Vedic values. He was also the founder of the Swadhyay Mandal.


Shripad Damodar Satwalekar was born on 19 September 1867[1], at Sawantawadi, District Ratnagiri in the erstwhile Bombay presidency, India. His parents were Damodar Pant and Lakshmi Bai. He learnt painting at the J J School of Art in Bombay and worked for six months at the same institute as a tutor. Satwalekar began his career as an artist, painter, and photographer with a studio in Lahore, Punjab State. He mainly painted portraits of Maharajas and other prominent personalities of the day.[2] He moved to the Princely State of Aundh with a strong patronage offered by the then Maharaja of the State. In 1900, he opened his own painting studio in South Hyderabad.[1]

Satwalekar was a follower of Indian Nationalist Leader, Lokamanya Tilak and attended the Surat Congress session in 1905. He supported Gadar and Home Rule movements and activities of Quit India movement. For this he was prosecuted on many occasions by the then British Raj authorities.

He was interested in both individual and social health, Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedas[3] (particularly in the analysis of the Vedas at the level of adhibhuta) and wrote several books on these subjects, including Vaidika Yajña Saṃsthā, Sparśāsparśa, Agni-devatā Mantra-saṅgraha, Indra-devatā Mantra-saṅgraha, Āgama-nibandha-mālā, Yoga-sādhanā-grantha-mālā, the Vaidika vyākhyāna-mālā series, Subodha Bhāṣya, etc.[1] He translated Dayananda Saraswati's Satyaartha Prakaasha and Rigveda Bhaashya Bhoomika into Marathi. Sanskrit Svayam Shikshak (संस्कृत स्वयं-शिक्षक) is a book he wrote for Sanskrit self-learning through the medium of Hindi.

The Government of India assigned the task of translating the constituted text of the Mahabharata published by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute to Satwalekar. After his death, the task was taken up by Shrutisheel Sharma.[4]

He was associated with several social service and outreach activities. As early as in 1884, he started an institute for Sanskrit enthusiasts, Samskruta Vyaakhyaana Mandala. He established the Vivekavardhini Vidyaalaya, a public lecture hall, a gymnasium for young people, and so forth. For years he was associated with the Arya Samaj and the Theosophical Society. At one point of time, he served as a teacher of Vedas and painting at Kangadi Gurukula in Haridwar.[1]

Satwalekar was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1968.[5] He was conferred the Mayo Award twice, once for painting and once for sculpting.[1]


Satwalekar's son, Madhav Satwalekar was also a renowned painter and artist in his own right.


  1. ^ a b c d e S R, Ramaswamy (1980). ಶ್ರೀಪಾದ ದಾಮೋದರ ಸಾತವಳೇಕರ್. Bangalore: Bharata-Bharati.
  2. ^ Ramaswamy, Sumathi (1 January 2009). The Goddess and the Nation: Mapping Mother India. Duke University Press. pp. 24, 25, 378. ISBN 9780822391531. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  3. ^ YajurVed Title: Vaidika vyakhyana mala Author: Satwalekar, Shripad Damodar, 1873?- Volume: 2 Subject: Vedas Publisher: Pra Svdhyya Maala Language: Hindi Call number: AAA-7707 Digitizing sponsor: University of Toronto Book contributor: Robarts - University of Toronto
  4. ^ S R, Ramaswamy (1972). ಮಹಾಭಾರತದ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆ. Mysore: Kavyalaya Publishers.
  5. ^ "Year-Wise List" (PDF). Padma Awards Directory (1954-2011). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.