Sarvodaya: Building a Nonviolent and Cooperative World

A Dialogue with A. T. Ariyaratne

Monday, October 10, 2005, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Cal Poly Pomona
CLA Building 98-P2-07

Directions & Map

icon_acrobatDownload the PDF version of this page

Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne is the founder and president of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka, the world's largest spiritually-based people's development movement. Starting his professional life as a school teacher, he has become internationally renowned for his exemplary contributions to promoting social and political change through nonviolence.

Founded on Buddhist and Gandhian principles, the Sarvodaya Movement works in 15.000 villages for social and economic justice for the poorest of the poor in Sri Lanka. Started 47 years ago by Dr. Ariyaratne, Sarvodaya has mobilized tens of thousands of people to create housing, water projects, solar energy, food production, pre-school programs, legal services, women's projects, orphanages, child welfare agencies, village banks, and more.

Sarvodaya means "the awakening of all," and Shramadana means gift or sharing of labor. The essence of the movement is that "Everybody wakes up through sharing labor, energy, resources, and love." Dr. Ariyaratne describes the goal of Sarvodaya as a dual awakening: the awakening of the individual and the awakening of society.

Dr. Ariyaratne has also led some of the world's largest peace marches and meditations to address the conflict in his country, with 650,000 people gathering in Sri Lanka in 2004. For his development work and his peace activities, he has received numerous international awards, including: the Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership from the Philippines (1969), the King Boudouin Award for International Development from Belgium (1982), the Niwano Peace Prize from Japan (1992), and the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize from the Government of India (1996).

Guided by Dr. Ariyaratne’s vision, Sarvodaya seeks to unite all people to work together in building a nonviolent and cooperative society.

For more information, visit:

Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne


For more information, contact: Professor Tara Sethia, Director, Ahimsa Center (909) 869-3868 or

icon_acrobatDownload the PDF version of this page Top