Shakhas of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and shakhas of Rashtra Sevika Samiti are designed for men and women respectively. However, both work cohesively for the pristine glory of Bharat. ( Telugu Talk )
Shakhas of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and shakhas of Rashtra Sevika Samiti are designed for men and women respectively. However, both work cohesively for the pristine glory of Bharat. ( Telugu Talk )
Debate between Congress ( #INC) Telangana Spokesperson, Sri Addanki Dayakar and #RSS Telangana Prant Prachaar Pramukh , Sri Ayush Nadimpalli
For obvious reasons, it has become necessary for us to reflect once again on Indian life values at this juncture. So long as we were subjugated nation, the dominant thought in Indian minds was about our country, our nation, our identity. It was generally believed that attainment of our nation a’s freedom, and its reconstruction, called for the services of virtuous people – people who were free from blemishes, selfless, full of sacrifice and devotion. In those days, workers of political parties used to live a life of simplicity and sacrifice. None ever dreamt of any departure from this tradition. When the leadership of the nation rested in the hands of such eminent men of high character, integrity, and selfless nature, our nation could manifest its sacred and glorious tradition and would reach the height of prosperity, it was believed. But unbridled power brings in its wake many a vice. It is said that of the many intoxicants, the toxic effect of power is the most harmful. It can be said that in today’s public life qualities like simplicity, selflessness and sacrifice have become conspicuous by their absence. Corruption is rampant. Without quoting specific instances, it can generally be stated that of the people in public life today, there are many whose public activities are strikingly at variance with the well-recognized standards.
Since a few years back, it is being said that is a “Crisis of Character” in our country. But nobody takes seriously to the task of character-building. We expect ordinary men to be of good character, full of virtues and of a selfless nature. That is why, probably, even acts of misfeasance were made punishable under our Penal Code. But nobody seems to be concerned about the many major scandals involving persons in high positions. This is indeed a paradox!
In order that the day-to-day activities of the common man may be carried on and his family and the society may be properly sustained, it is necessary that their primary needs are guaranteed. Arrangements for meeting the requirements of material prosperity should commence from those who are at the bottom. Only after satisfying the elementary wants of the people at the lower strata of society, should we turn our attention to those in the higher strata. In order to achieve this, even if it becomes necessary for those at the top to reduce some of their luxuries and even necessaries, it should be done ungrudgingly. They should willingly accept this kind of self-imposed control on their consumption, for the sake of the general good. But in the matter of character-building, the order is reversed. There is need for is to have people at the top who are the very models in self-control, simplicity and virtuous conduct so that these essential qualities percolate down to the foundation and saturate the various strata below. But it is seen today that whilst the higher classes are indulging in all kinds of luxuries, they expect ordinary men, near the base to be fill of character, and self-control. This is quite opposite of what it ought to be. This way it is not possible to have real progress and proper sustenance of society.
It is also seen that, so long as we were under subjugation, on account of our national self-respect, endeavours were made to mould our lives according to our tradition. At that time, the compulsions of the situation inevitably brought us into contact with foreigners, and the impact it produced on our minds, was one of antagonism to foreign rule. But as soon as foreign rule came to an end, the great inspiration that kept the foreign influences under check, also gave way. Our entire life pattern was transformed. Whilst it is understandable that contacts with different people of the world call for some kind of ‘give and take’ which is so necessary in this business, it was a one-way traffic in our case. We were at the receiving end, and we have been receiving things indiscriminately; even unworthy things we did not reject. If we had emulated an Englishman’s patriotism, his other special characteristics such as devotion to duty, duty consciousness, his unbounded energy, etc. there was nothing wrong. But we only copied undesirable aspects, like their outward life-style, their mode of living, etc, with the result that we started condemning everything that is our own, that reflected our ‘self’. This indiscriminate copying is vitiating the whole social life today at very fast rate. This transformation is harmful for our life-style, character building and a sense of duty. In such a situation, it has become essential for us to be reminded of on identity.
But this re-awakening of self-consciousness is not very easy. There are many a difficulties in the way, one being occasioned by the system of education of the past years. The crafty Englishman who introduced this system of education for us had said, “We shall have black Englishmen, here, in India”. Most of us today answer more or less to this description. They despise everything India. If anybody were to say that we in India have great principles of life which are beneficial to the whole of humanity, the educated amongst us, whose only concern is with his self-advancement, is not even prepared to believe it. We should be grateful to God that on some occasions at least our leaders refer to our national life as centuries old. But this is merely confined to talk. Mere words these. Behind these words, there is no sincerity, or determination to place these luminous thoughts before the people or effort to manifest them in their own lives. Therefore, they are mere hollow words, a veil, or a mask.
On account of the influence of the West, it has become fashionable to say, “I do not believe in God, or Dharma”. It is needless to have faith in these things.” It has become fashionable to negate the very fundamentals of our life-structure. There is, need, therefore, for us to ponder whether these people –English Men – who have made these kinds of impressions on our minds, have any higher philosophy, or any philosophy at all to offer.
From the philosophical standpoint, Communism is much talked of today. Let us see what it really means to us. It has propounded certain doctrines. It talks of certain ideas for a social order, and propagate these ideas with great fanfare. They speak about the need of creating a system for distributing happiness equitably. Non-communist countries of the west do not have any such philosophy except perhaps the much-talked of French Revolution declarations like Democracy, Equality, Fraternity, etc., and their wish to model their political, economic and social systems on these principles. But the statement that all men are equal, its one that is contrary to our experience. As we see it, no two individuals are identical; even twins are no alike. True, there can be identity in their physical needs. But to talk of equality in intellect and physical and mental qualities would be contrary to reality of experience. That is why there is a certain fallacy in their philosophy.
Taking their cue from this philosophy – this declaration of equality – the Communists also endeavour to being in an order where equality would prevail. It may be relevant to ask in this context whether human life is confined to this world alone. Is it that man wants only food, shelter and things pleasing to the mind? Is production and distribution of these is only goal in life? The so called democracies and Communist countries of the west differ only in terminologies and nothing else; both declare that life is confined to matter of this world. It means that it is wealth-oriented. Today the main thrust of life is on wealth (artha) and pleasure (kama) artistic and cultural life. After acquiring wealth, it is necessary to protect and enrich it, because desires are never satiated.
As is well-known, life today is full of wealth-producing activity. Preservation and accumulation of wealth is necessary because nobody feels happy merely by entertaining a desire only once. Therefore, it is said, “न जातु कामः कामानां उपभोगेन शाम्यति” – na jatuh kamah kamaanam upbhogena shamyati.” When wood is thrown into the fire, the fire flares up. Similarly our desires also rebound with great force when satisfied. It is our everyday experience that in spite of physical incapacity to enjoy various pleasures, the thirst for them continues to persist. That is why it has been said, “What shall we do Sir, whilst we have grown old, our desires remain young,”तृष्णा न जीर्णा वयमेव जीर्णाः – trushna na jirna vayamev jirnah.” No passion is completely is satiated. It is therefore, that, to satiate these desires, more and more means are acquired and hoarded, and even the property of other is encroached on, when one’s own is not enough. The form of imperialism that we see in the contemporary world is the culmination of man’s unrestrained lust. This tendency gives birth to the desire to occupy other countries by force. As such, there is no hope for peace in the world. It is inevitable that restlessness in man’s mind should manifest itself in his outward activities. Unfulfilled desires lead to a restless mind. That is one of the causes for conflicts in the world. That is one of the causes for conflicts in the world. It has never been seen that by man’s satisfying all kinds of desires, peace will be attained, or the thirst for enjoyment will be over.
In the 16th chapter of the Gita, there is a description of two types of men, the “divine” type and the “demoniac” type. We see in the world today, men in their greed for their wealth pouncing upon each other; nations pouncing upon each other to grab wealth and establish (their) sovereignty over others. This is demoniac tendency – “I have killed X today, I will kill Y tomorrow. Now I have snatched X’s wealth, tomorrow I will deprive Z of his belongings. I am great. I am philanthropist. I sacrifice. There is nobody equal to me.” Even today, on account of a preponderance of “artha” and “kama”, people egoistically proclaim their being Socialists, Communists, Democrats, etc.
We see the living picture of the 16th Chapter of the Gita depicting the divine and demoniac tendencies in human nature. We do not see any divine power or divine qualities in the west. We shall now have to chalk out our way through this kind of a world. Various people have tried to find out various ways. People wanted to mould their lives according to the doctrine of their religious ideal but that did not satisfy them because those religions did not have any fundamental principles or basic philosophy. “There is only one God and he has a Messenger. Have faith in the Messenger and pray to God devotedly and ask for deliverance from all sins”, they say. But why should a person, who is fully engrossed in the pursuit of “artha” and “kama” and does not believe in God, ask forgiveness? In spite of this, he is asked to have faith. Ordinarily, an intelligent man is unable to have such a faith. First his intellect has to be satisfied; then talk to him about faith. “All your intellectual exercises have reached their end. Intellect cannot go any further”. This has to be the way of approach. He believes only what is intellectually supported. If in the beginning they are told to have faith intelligent men would find it unacceptable. Faith can come only when their intellect is satisfied and when they find it can take them no further.
We see various persons from the west engaged in proselytizing activities here in India. In their own countries, Churches are empty and very few people visit them. People have lost faith in them. They arouse no emotions in their inmost beings. They do not feel inspired. We shall have to offer them a formula that will enable them to restrain their demoniac way of life based on wealth and passion (artha and kama).
Let us see if our national and social traditions can show the way. To me, there is no doubt that they can. Our seers and sages of yore have comprehensively deliberated on these problems and have proclaimed that life based exclusively on artha and kama is the life of an animal, is demoniac and therefore to be abandoned. But they also know that it is not possible for one to free oneself completely from artha and kama. The desire for these will continue to occupy men’s minds to some extent. But it is necessary to find out ways and means to see that man may not become demoniac by allowing unrestrained play to artha and kama. That is why we have been told that desires are not satiated by indulging in them. And secondly, man’s expectation of getting happiness by the acquisition of things is illusory as they by themselves are incapable of giving them happiness. Happiness lies within oneself. It is not external. It is on account of our ignorance that we attribute happiness to some external objects, whereas in reality we only use the external object as a medium to taste happiness from the infinite ocean of bliss which is within us.
It is human destiny to experience this state of delight which is within. This is the fundamental principle which our sages have propounded. The one who rids himself of all wordly ties, one who remains unaffected by the attractions of outside objects, he alone can reach this state of eternal happiness. He is a liberated soul. This is ultimate goal of man. But until he reaches that goal, he will have to exert to some extent in this world, in order to satisfy his worldly desires. We shall, however have to ensure, by having proper checks and balances, that this exercise does not transgress the bounds of decency.
To achieve this goal, we have been told to follow the path of Dharma. Of all the definitions of Dharma, the one widely held and accepted, has the following to say: Just as it is necessary for a man to have mental peace and concentration of mind to experience happiness, so also for an individual to live a safe and secure life, a well-ordered social set up is necessary. If the society is well-organised, is united and which, while allowing different types of people freedom to engage themselves in the pursuit of their respective occupations, motivates them to work for their prosperity, security and a high and noble life for the entire society in a spirit of mutual cooperation – that is Dharma. Creating conditions for the sustenance of society is one of the functions of Dharma. The second function is to prompt men to act according to Dharma. Our scriptures tell us that: “To follow the Vedas, to act according to the fundamental principles of our scriptures, to entertain truthful and pious thoughts and thus to develop the virtues in us is Dharma”. To act according to whatever is necessary and conducive to the realization of the eternal truth, the Soul within us is also Dharma.
To achieve it, we have been asked to cultivate various virtues, to endeavour to manifest them in our daily lives. Now these virtues have been explained at length in our scriptures. We have been advised to cultivate the ten divine qualities of righteous conduct. The BhagavadGita, the most popularly acknowledged scripture, also clearly mentions at various places the different virtues that we should strive to attain. We should read these, think and meditate on them. Let us introspect and find out whether we have them in the requisite measure and if there is any deficiency in us, let us try to make it good. Let us turn our back on all evils. Let us discipline our intellect. This is how each one has been told to lead s full and orderly life.
To bring about a healthy and well-balances mental condition properly restraining our emotions and evil tendencies is also the meaning and function of “DHARMA”. Considering this “DHARMA” as the VERY FOUNDATION of life, and ordering “artha” and “kama’, in accordance with it and fully manifesting in out lives all the virtuous qualities and regularly pursuing the Ultimate Goal, to strive for “Moksha”, the last and final “Purushartha” – this is the while picture of life. This, in short, is the concept of an Integrated Man. This is a task which requires consistency. A person who is solely concerned with “artha” and “kama” is a dissipated man. The one who thinks about the sustenance of the society, one who possesses qualities essential for the integrity of the social order, one who earns wealth and enjoys pleasures without upsetting the balance of society, and one who with restrained and concentrated mind purses any path of worship suited to his aptitude, and by adoring any one of the forms of God, strives to attain the final good of life, is a total or Integrated Man.
In the strife-torn world of today, the spirit to brotherhood is totally lacking. For putting an end to this sorry state of affairs and to bring about a condition of world-peace we will have to take recourse to this fourfold “Purushartha”. There is no other alternative. For this, we should ourselves become worthy of telling the whole world that eternal truth lies in the fourfold “Purushartha”. It is our responsibility to see that by our example and conduct, we educate the whole humanity in the subject of the eternal truth.
This is absolutely necessary. We shall never make any headway in this by indiscriminately aping the west or by the pursuit of unrestrained “Earth Kama”. We shall have to devise ways and means to keep under check this tendency so that a well-ordered society based on the fourfold system, where we shall have opportunities for bringing out the best in us emerges. This alone will do good for the world as a whole.
The Communist today boast that they alone have world philosophy on the strength of which their call for ‘unit of the Proletariat of the World’ is based. Indian philosophy does not discriminate between the working and non-working classes. It calls upon every individual to develop himself into an integral man by following the fourfold “Purushartha”. That is why we say that our traditional life-values and culture have the inherent power of addressing the whole humanity without any discrimination. To acquire this capacity within ourselves, to equip each one of us for this noble task, for the welfare of the world – so that we become better instruments to carry out the Divine Purpose of establishing a well-ordered, well-knit and integrated society, where men will be truthful and self-confident and worthy followers of the fourfold “Purushartha”, is the prime need of the hour.
The world will not follow our ideas, however great, by our merely proclaiming them. It will be of no avail to explain our noble principles to a world which has become totally indifferent to the gentle qualities of humanity, because of its being power-drunk and overwhelmed by affluence and pleasure-seeking; we may have to use the sanctions of force also in our endeavour to persuade them to follow the truth, so that the animal instincts in them could be curbed. Today we see the preponderance of animal instincts in men. Man is no more than a domesticated animal. Only one who has the inward and outward capacity, one who has realized himself, had acquired mastery over his senses, is virtuous, can influence others, can attract them on account of his inner Soul-power and guide them. We must create individuals endowed with such qualities; this ultimate objective in our view, we should organize the society and make it strong and powerful in such a way that it will be happy but not pleasure-seeking, will be prosperous but not directionless.
Prompted by the this kind of high ideology, let us discourage people pursuing demoniac ways in their eagerness to ape the west, inspiring them at the same time to develop their divine nature. Only then they will be competent to show the path of wisdom to our country, society and the humanity. He, who makes it a life mission to devote to this task according to his ability and capacity, is a servant of humanity, a great benefactor of his country. It will be an ideal thing if we engage ourselves in such an endeavour. This propounder of the concept of Integral Humanism Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya was a great thinker and philosopher. He clearly showed us what an Integral Man is. Creation of such an Integral Man was his mission.
(Based on a speech of Sri Guruji at the Deendayal Upadhaya Sanatana Dharma Vidyalaya, Kanpur on 22nd Dec., 1972).
Courtesy: Deendayal Upadhyaya’s Integral Humanism: documents, interpretations, comparisons, New Delhi: Deendayal Research Institute, 1992, M.S.Golwalkar “Integral Man: Bharatiya Concept, pg:63-69, Edited by Sri Devendra Swarup.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has dominated the social scene in all spheres of life today. Its opponents are worried over its ever increasing strength and they miss no opportunity to malign its name and fame. But in spite of all their attempts to defame the organisation, this ‘Rashtra Shakti’ is on the rise complicating their worries. On the other hand, the nationalist forces are happy and assured at the bright future of the country with its growing strength. They are willing to join and cooperate the RSS or any of its social welfare activity, and contribute their might in the process of nation building.
It has been observed that the number of those willing to join the RSS on internet was 1000 per month in 2012. It increased to 2500 per month in 2013 and 9000 in 2014! This is sufficient to indicate the growth of RSS. The secret of this growth lies in the pure national outlook of RSS and a chain of selfless, devoted, dedicated and committed workers.
While this huge Banyan tree, called RSS, is touching new heights, its roots are penetrating deeper and deeper searching new sources of the elixir of life. The very idea about the seed of such a huge Banyan tree enthuse our minds. It was Dr Hedgewar whose 125th birth anniversary coincides this year’s ‘Varsh Pratipada’. How was that seed?
Born on the auspicious occasion of Varsh Pratipada (April 1, 1889) Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was a born patriot. He came from an orthodox Brahmin family, which had no connection with the freedom struggle nor was there any major movement for freedom in the Central Provinces then. But the spark of freedom burnt in the heart of young Keshav and his heart throbbed for freedom. This urge of freedom became visible through many incidents of his childhood days. Noteworthy amongst them were throwing away the sweet box distributed to the students on diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria; or refusing to go for enjoying lighting and decoration on the government buildings to commemorate the arrival of George Vth in India, and many more such examples.
Young Keshav was the mastermind of ripping through the infamous Risley Circular that prohibited the singing of Vande Mataram in 1907 against the background of “Bang-Bhang” movement. When the School Inspector entered a classroom he was greeted with a shout of “Vande Mataram”. Obviously, Keshav was the inspiration of this protest. He opted for Calcutta to pursue his studies in Medicine as Calcutta happened to be the core centre of revolutionary activities then. He joined the Anusheelan Samiti, the topmost revolutionary outfit, and soon admitted to its inner most circles. After completing his medical studies and obtaining licence to practice, he came back to Nagpur but did not get involved in practice nor did he think for entering into a married life. His life aim was to free the motherland and he plunged into the freedom struggle then.
Dr. Hedgewar was entrusted with the responsibility of a volunteer corps of 1920 Congress Session in Nagpur. He raised the volunteer force of 1200 for it. Besides, he proposed two resolutions to the Draft Committee. One of them was related to full freedom of India. And the other was freeing other countries of the world from the clutches of imperialism. However, these resolutions could not see the light of the day. But when Congress passed a resolution of full freedom in 1930, Dr Hedgewar wrote to all the RSS Shakhas to congratulate the Congress. This showed his all encompassing vision.
Despite his differences he was of the opinion that all should join hands to throw off the shackles of slavery without weakening the movement. Due to this thinking he did not express his displeasure on Congress support to ‘Khilafat’ Movement, though he had differences with Mahatma Gandhi on this issue. He participated under the leadership of Gandhi in the non-cooperation movement and suffered jail term.
To achieve Independence is very important for any society but to create a society infused with national values, ethos and character to uphold and protect the freedom was more necessary and fundamental. Dr Hedgewar realised this and decided to start the RSS in 1925. He mingled with the youths and led them by his example through the technique of daily shakha, which happens to be real forte of RSS. Worship of strength, collectivism, discipline, patriotism, national pride and love and compassion for entire society and work selflessly for the society with full dedication were some of the virtues he wanted to inject and infuse into the Hindu society through the technique of daily shakha. Traversing the entire country in spite of his falling health, he succeeded in spreading the countrywide network of RSS in the short span of 15 years.
He did not have slightest of hesitation to use modern means to obtain desired results even though he had deep faith in our age-old culture and traditions. He always used to project his comrades to the forefront of the work and it was this style of his that laid a very strong, unshakable foundation of the RSS.
He not only kept in touch with various movements in the society aimed at Independence of the country even after he founded the RSS, but he also participated in them. In 1930, he participated in Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience Movement and participated in ‘Jungle Satyagraha’ in Vidarbha and suffered a nine-month jail term at Akola. But he also took care of RSS and appointed Dr LW Paranjape, his close associate as Sarsanghachalak and made arrangements of senior swayamsevaks to look after the Sangh work. The society was then divided in Congress, Revolutionary, Tilakites, Gandhites, Hindu Mahasabhaites and so on. Dr Hedgewar kept himself aloof from all such fractions yet he had good cordial relations with all of them. He sailed the RSS through such turbulences like an expert captain.
He ensured that RSS does not become yet another organisation in the society. He developed RSS as an organisation of the entire society. He introduced the tradition of ‘Guru Dakshina’ to make RSS self-reliant and self-sufficient. He placed the traditional ‘Bhagwa Dhwaj’, a symbol of dedication, renunciation, and selfless service, as the ideal ‘guru’. He was against projecting any individual as “guru” because he was aware of the shortcomings of an individual. That is why the RSS work is spreading to new areas and constituencies even after nine decades without diversions.
Dr Hedgewar was free from the ego of being the founder of RSS. Though he agreed to be Sarsanghachalak on the requests of his colleagues in 1929, he expressed his mind in 1933 meeting of the Sanghachalaks thus:
“I am fully aware of the fact that I am not the father or founder of the RSS; I am only performing the duties of a foster-mother of RSS as per your wish and would continue to do this so long as you wish and desire.
I would not care for any difficulty, problem or insult, etc. “Whenever you feel that RSS is suffering owing to my incompatibility you are free to appoint any proper and competent person to the post. I will owe my allegiance to the new incumbent and work as a devoted swayamsevak as happily as I have opted to work as per your order. For me personality does not matter. It is the mission of Sangh that matters, therefore, I would not hesitate to do any work in the interest of the Sangh”.
These thoughts of RSS founder Dr Hedgewar throw sufficient light on his unattached attitude and dedicated personality.
Dr Hedgewar introduced common uniform, route march, band, military drill, camps etc. to inculcate virtues like collective discipline, and rising above the self attitude amongst the swayamsevaks.
This was a very revolutionary and radical thought considering the social condition of his time. He did not give much importance to criticism against RSS, avoided debates and discussions and insisted on established cordial relations even with his opponents.
He followed the Sanskrit dictum that said ‘avoid debate’ and ‘sans opposition from all’. He remained firm in praise and criticism. Nothing could dislodge or dissociate him from his chosen path. He would accept the praise as inspiration to speed up Sangh work and criticism as ignorance of the critics.
In 1936, Shankaracharya Vidyashankar Bharati honoured him with the title of “Rashtra Senapati”. This news got wide publicity and letters started pouring in. But he directed all the swayamsevaks to refrain from using this honorary title as this would be in contrast with our nature. He even discouraged those who wanted to write his biography. “The nation first” attitude he created thus in the RSS.
He would teach not with words but with actions. He used to say that people would judge and like the RSS as they experience the RSS and not by publicity. We have sown the seed, now without discussing or publicising it we should work for nurturing it. The fruits would make the identity of the person who had sown the seeds known.
Therefore, even after his death, in spite of the difficulties, upheavals in national life, the RSS is marching on its chartered course undisturbed, unfazed encompassing the entire society. This success story of RSS is in fact the success story of Doctor Hedgewar’s dedicated, epoch-making, and meaningful life as an organiser par excellence.
Dr Manmohan Vaidya (The writer is Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh of RSS)