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The Philanthropist

"How to gain the capacity for selfless love? How to fill this dry and parched shell with the milk of kindness? By striving for knowledge and praying for Grace – how else?


So let us come to feel more and more within us how all this is one, by applying the spiritual words we have heard to our personal experience, by contemplating the real or

unreal nature of our pleasures and possessions. Love must remain the substratum upon which activity is super-imposed.


The world will reward us with an awareness

of the effulgent Self if we humbly go to it

with selfless love. The perfect one, whoever he is, is not known by outward signs. He is ever natural, and sees naturalness alone everywhere. To those that have misunderstood themselves to be cripples, he will reveal the potent power of their own limbs. He tempts us with crutches only to make us walk on our legs. He rids us of our self imposed defeatism."


- Dwaraknath Reddy

About the Founder 

Dwaraknath Reddy was born in 1924, in a rural agricultural family living in Pulicherla village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. He studied at the Rishi Valley School, (founded by J Krishnamurthy), graduated from Madras University and went on to get a post-graduate degree from the Louisiana State University in America.


With a modest capital he founded the Nutrine Confectionery Company, which became one of the most successful companies in that field. 

At the height of his success in business he handed over the family-owned company to the younger generation and gave himself totally to the pursuit of spiritual enquiry. In 1983 he settled down near Ramanashram in Tiruvannamalai, pursuing the teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.


It is his words, deeds and life that inspire and guide the Ramanarpanam Trust.


In his own words: 

“I know too well the face of Death. He has been a frequent visitor to this family.

He came calling for those I said were too young, and he came to clasp those I said were not too old. I have remained the survivor, but the first visitation that shattered my youthful complacency was reminder enough - my turn will come. There was no despair, only an awakening. The law of life includes death. Law means justice, equal and consistent, always and for all.

I should never again be caught confused and victimized, frightened and helpless. I must be consciously aware of the laws that govern creation and I must harmonize with them.

That resolve stayed with me. Self-enquiry was my inner life and it became my strength and support. Outwardly my work was laid out. I had to fill the gaps left by the departed, care for the young, build up a nascent family-owned industrial enterprise, earn and provide. Success came. Wealth grew. At the same time my quest after ultimate values endowed me with detachment and peace inwardly and dynamism outwardly.

"In 1983, when the younger generation seemed equipped to take over the management

of the business and the family, I quietly sought retreat at Tiruvannamalai (Arunachala) in Tamil Nadu, where the great sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi, had spent most of His life.


His words filled my being and my longing; He was to me the indisputable proof and fulfillment of the wisdom and the promise of all scriptures. Therefore a home near Ramanashram was my natural destination.


Staying alone and without any involvement, I arrived at an age of late seventies. Growth of the business had enhanced the value of my “residual wealth”, left as mine after I had done my duty towards members of the family. All of them were reasonably prosperous.

I saw no merit, no righteousness, in bequeathing my share again to sons

and daughters and grand children as a matter of course; instead, I sought to give it the status of virtuous tradition.  


It belonged to Bharath, my country, in which millions lived in poverty. An uncaring society negligently denied them support to live with dignity. Willing hands could find no work, willing minds had no access to education, healthy bodies turned feeble through starvation and in-sanitation, and the sick had nowhere to turn.​

There is this little but profound narration in The Song of the Bird by Anthony De Mello:

On the street I saw a naked child, hungry and shivering in the cold.

I became angry and said to God, “Why do you allow this? Why don’t you do something?” God did not reply.

That night he said, quite suddenly, “I certainly did something. I made you.” I suppose I likewise burst out, “Bhagavan Ramana, why don’t you do something?” And he gently said to me, “I did. I gave Anita as a daughter to you.I slowly understood what it meant.​"

I made a trust out of my personal funds, grateful to Ramana Maharshi for guiding me on this path it is named “Ramanarpanam Trust”. A problem still remained. For any enterprise on that scale, a sound plan of action was essential. Goals must be clearly identified, priorities must be set, ambition and prudence must be balanced, duties and demand must co-exist, and there must be a management that is committed, dedicated and answerable. 


The cause must be the Master, the Trust the willing servant. How was this to be ensured, while evidently I could not be a participant, given my age and my life of introspection?


In creation there are no islands in isolation. In mankind, there are no individual pools, separate from the stream of humanity. Cosmic happenings are an interwoven web of one fabric, and not separate, unrelated strands of random events. Long before I even knew the direction my life may take, Bhagavan’s integrated plan had seen to it that when my material wealth grew, and my mind could offer it to the needy, I had also been blessed with a daughter who had grown in service and could use it scrupulously and intelligently for the welfare of the downtrodden. I had the answer.


The problem was solved. I would entrust Anita with the sacred task of turning this wealth into worship."

Hear more about Mr. Dwaraknath Reddy from his daughter - Anita Reddy

Over the years, under his guidance and support of the Trust DWARAKA Foundation (heritage Kalamkari art revival movement to empower the rural artisans and women for livelihood opportunities) and DRIK Foundation (knowledge institutes for rights based education and education beyond schooling) was established and led under the leadership of Anita Reddy. 

As a spiritual guide and social thinker, his deep thoughts are captured in his quotes and several books that he has authored. 

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