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Sri Guruji a Living Example of Spiritual Nationalism

Sri Guruji a Living Example of Spiritual Nationalism

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Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism

Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 1
AUGUST‘06 - JANUARY ‘07
Vol.-35 No.-2, 70
th
Issue
VI VEKANANDA KENDRA PATRI KA
Founder-Editor : MANANEEYA EKNATHJI RANADE
Editor : P.PARAMESWARAN
EDITORIAL OFFICE :
Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust,
5, Si ngarachari Street, Tri pl i cane,
Chennai - 600 005.
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SUBSCRIPTION RATES :
The Vivekananda Kendra Patrika is a half-
yearly cultural magazine of Vivekananda
Kendra Prakashan Trust. It is an official organ
of Vivekananda Kendra, an all-India service
mission with “service to humanity” as its sole
motto. This publication is based on the same
non-profit spirit, and proceeds from its sales
are whol l y used towards the Kendra’ s
charitable objectives.
SRI GURUJI - A LIVING EXAMPLE
OF SPIRITUAL NATIONALISM
A DISTINCTIVE CULTURAL
MAGAZI NE OF I NDI A
(A Half-Yearly Publication)
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 2
INVOCATION
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Prajahaati yadaa kaamaan sarvaanpaartha manogataan
Aatmanyevaatmanaa tushtah sthitaprajnastadocyate (2-55)
O Parthaa, when a person gives up all the desires as they appear in the mind,
and is happy in oneself, with oneself alone, that person is said to be one of
ascertained knowledge.
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Duhkhesvanudvignamanaah sukhesu vigatasprahah
Vitaraagabhayakrodhah sthitadhirmunirucyate (2-56)
The one who is not, affected by adversities, who is without yerning for
pleasures, and is free from longing, fear, and anger is said to be a wise person
whose knowledge remains.
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Yah sarvatraanabhisnehastattatpraapya subhaasubham
Naabhinandati na dvesti tasya prajna pratisthitaa (2-57)
For the one who is unattached in all situations, who neither rejoices on gaining
the preasant nor hates the unpleasant, his knowledge is well established
- Bhagavad Gita, Ch.2
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 3
Next issue: February ’07 – July ’07, Vol. 36, No. 1
CHRISTIANITY : PROSELYTISM AND CONVERSION,
with a focus on India
I II IIndia is at present at the receiving end of an intense
evangel i zi ng ef f ort by numerous Chri st i an
denominations. Strategies are fine-tuned, targets are
fixed, ground situations are minutely studied, interaction
with various social layers carefully planned, helpers are
roped in, new discourses (such as that of human rights
or religious freedom) are learned and propagandized, and
massive funds are funneled in from abroad to sustain the
numerous “soldiers of Jesus” marching upon benighted
Hindus to save their souls. With minor differences, the
same scenario can be seen in other Asian countries and
large parts of the developing world. This forthcoming
Pat ri ka wi l l di scuss t he i ssue of conversi on, i t s
fundamentals and methodology. The standpoint adopted
is that of the targeted convert: the cultural implications
of proselytism, the encroachment upon traditional
societies (especially tribal ones), the violence implicit in
the process of conversion, and the actual status of the
convert. Case studies will highlight some of the abusive
and disruptive methods used for conversion as well as its
demographic impact, in India as in other parts of Asia,
from Sri Lanka to Thailand and Korea.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 5
CONTENTS
SL.NO. TITLE AUTHOR PAGE
MESSAGES
1. Guruji Sw. Dayananda Saraswathi 8
2. Guruji-A Gem who outshone himself Sw. Tejomayananda 9
3. Guruji Bhairon Singh Shekhawat 10
4. Editorial Man P.Parameswaran 11
SECTION I - FACETS OF A LIFE DEDICATED TO NATION

5. Sri Guruji - A Vivekananda Reborn Virag SriKrishna Pachpore 16
6. A Lotus of patriotism that blossomed Prof. Sadhu Rangarajan 25
in Spiritual Lake
7. The importance of not asking for anything Amitabh Maharaj 36
8. From Yuva Sanyasi to Rashtra Rishi P.Parameswaran 38
9. Dawn of a new age Sudarsan 41
10. Tathagat our Sri Guruji Ramesh Pathande 49
11. Sri Guruji and his vision of oneness Sw. Satyamitranand Giri 54
12. A real Sanyasi Sant Prabhudutt Brahmachari 58
14. Sri Guruji - a spiritual power Ram Narayan Tripathi 62
15. A Luminous beacon of spiritualism Jai Prakash Narayan 66
16. A bodiless entity Sridhar Bhaskar Varnekar 74
17. Sri Guruji - spirituality personified Vivek Ghalsasi 76
18. A Unique pilgrimage Rangahari 96
19. Some reminiscences of Sri Guruji Ashok Singhal 100
20. That effulgence H.V.Seshadri 104
21. Some personal reminiscences of Guruji Sw. Gautamananda 109
22. Good Morning Dathopant Thengadi 112
23. Inspiring Incidents from the life of Sri Guruji Dinanath Bathra 116
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 6
SECTION II - SPIRITUAL NATIONALISM IN PRACTICE

24. Sri Guruji-A Saint who renounced his
sainthood to rebuild a mighty India S.Gurumurthy 125
25. Culture and National reconstruction
of India Jagmohan 131
26. Nation’s Dharma above politics Ram Madhav 136
27. Sri Guruji Golwalker’s historical and
momentus efforts for the abolition
of untouchability K. Suryanarayan Rao 142
28. Sri Guruji, Sri Ramakrishna-Vivekananda
thought movement, R.S.S. C.P.Bhishikar 160
29. Sri Guruji on Hindu View of Life Ma.P.Parameswaran 167
SECTION III - SRI GURUJI AND VIVEKANANDA KENDRA
30. Sri Guruji and Eknathji Nivedita Raghunath Bhide 190
31. Clarion call by Sri Guruji (appeared
in Yuva Bharati – March 1975) 200
32. Stories for Recollection K.P.Shivkumar
(appeared in Yuva Bharati June1975) 202
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 7
"RASHTRAYA SWAHA
RASHTRAYA IDAM NAMAMA"
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 8
Messages
I discovered Guruji. The year was 1958. I was in Bangalore bringing out a fortnightly
called “Tyagi”of Chinmaya Mission. The magazine was printed in a printing press called
“Yuganthara” owned by one N.D. Shankar. He was a freedom fighter and later became
one with a great commitment to communist ideology. I used to have long discussions with
him on various issues. He was out and out anti-RSS. Every Sunday I used to conduct a
satsang, which was attended by quite a few people. Among them, there was one Jaya Rao,
who was a great supporter of RSS. He used to talk to me about the organization and even
took me to one of those special discussion meetings. One day he gave me an invitation to
attend a special talk by Guruji Golwalker on a Sunday forenoon. I went to attend this
meeting and invited N.D. Shankar also. He was very critical of Guruji and insisted that I
should not attend the meeting. In spite of his protests, I attended it at the Kannada Sahitya
Parishad Hall, the venue of the talk.
The meeting was well attended. Guruji spoke initially very slowly, choosing every word.
I could feel the audience was with him after a few minutes. There was a ring of truth in his
words. Any one in the audience could recognize the real person behind the words, who
had a depth, a commitment. Whatever he spoke, he meant his words. His words had
already gathered speed and strength. I would be surprised if any one in the audience
could disagree with him. He was more than convincing.
I discovered a real person committed to the cause of Hindu Dharma and
Bharat.Afterwards, I had many occasions to meet him and offer my respects to him. Every
time I found my original discovery getting further confirmed.
GURUJI
PUJYA SWAMI DAYANANDA SARASWATI
Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati is a distinguished, traditional teacher of Vedanta.
He has been teaching Vedanta in India for more than four decades, and around the world since
1976. In his public talks abroad, Swamiji has spoken at many of the most prestigious American
universities, and has addressed international conventions, UNESCO and the United Nations. He
is the founder of ‘Arsha Vidya Gurukulam’ and ‘All India Movement for Seva’. Swami Dayananda
convened the first World Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity in Delhi.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 9
I’ve not had the privilege of personally meeting Sri Guruji Golwalkar.
But I know enough about him to admire him deeply and respect him. He was a stalwart,
who ably succeeded Shri Hedgewar.
Sri Guruji’s strength was his spiritual energy. Having been blessed by Swami
Akhanandanandaji and being inspired by Shri Hedgewar, he plunged himself headlong
into the RSS and lifelong, led the organization upfront for the cause of Hindutva.
However, his softer side offset his fierce patriotism. A humanitarian to the core, he
understood his workers and bonded with them on a very humane level. This was clearly
evident, when he penned a letter, apologizing for the hurt caused to them, willy-nilly during
the natural course of running an organization.
Although he was a devoted advocate of Hinduism, he had the heart to readily accept
and approve of the marriage of one of the Sangh workers with a non-Hindu. On that
occasion, he said, “Love rules, above all!”
The likes of him are very few and very rare. He was like a priceless diamond, which
inspired many charcoal pieces to fare better in life!
To such a leader, who drank deep of the well-springs of sacrifice and humility, I offer
my heart-felt adoration.
PUJYA SWAMI TEJOMAYANANDAJI
GURUJI – A GEM WHO OUTSHONE HIMSELF!
Swami Tejomayananda, the Chairman and Spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide, is one
of the foremost disciples of Swami Chinmayananda. He is an outstanding teacher of Vedanta and
an accomplished poet, author, and composer. Swamiji has the rare quality of bringing out the depth
of Vedanta, with devotion, in simple style from scriptural texts like Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads,
Ramacharita Manas and Srimad Bhagavatam .
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 10
I am happy to know that the Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra,
Kanyakumari is bringing out a Commemorative Volume on Shri Guruji MS Golwalkar.
Shri Guruji was a staunch nationalist and an impassioned patriot, who had contributed
immensely in varied spheres of nation building activities with great distinction. A scholar
of eminence, he symbolized the Sanatani ideals. Guruji dedicated his entire life for the
enduring welfare of the country and the people.
With his vast erudition and fine eloquence, he touched the hearts and minds of millions of
people across the country and inspired them with patriotic fervour to serve the cause of
the motherland. In his long career, he served the people with his deep knowledge, intellectual
insights and progressive ideas, which instilled humane values of compassion, sensitivity,
truthfulness and honesty in them to help eradicate misery and suffering in the society.
I pay my respectful homage to this illustrious son of India. May the Commemorative Volume
vividly reflect Guruji’s multifaceted life and ideals and inspire the future generations to
rededicate themselves in the service of the nation.
(BHAIRON SINGH SHEKHAWAT)
New Delhi
1
st
November, 2006
BHAIRON SINGH SHEKHAWAT
HONORABLE VICE PRESIDENT OF INDIA
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat is the Vice-President of India. He has served as the Chief Minister of
Rajasthan state three times and is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 11
Vivekananda Kendra offers this issue of the Kendra Patrika as a grateful
tribute to the memory of Sri Guruji Golwalkar, whose birth centenary
celebrations have been just concluded. In a very real sense the setting up
of the magnificent memorial of Swami Vivekananda, at Kanyakumari and
all the activities of the Kendra that followed it are the result of Sri Guruji’s
timely support and commitment to the cause. But for the wholehearted co-
operation of Sri Guruji, it would have been next to impossible for such a
unique memorial to be erected. There was a moment of crisis, bordering
on despair, regarding the possibility of the Rock Memorial materializing.
Confronted with almost insurmountable opposition, the local organizers
who were spearheading the move for erecting the memorial sought help
and support from Sri Guruji. He not only lent the entire organization’s
support to the worthy cause, but equally importantly, deputed Mananeeya
Eknathji Ranade, the then Sarkaryavah of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh for shouldering the responsibility of this historical task. The rest is
all a matter of recorded history. No wonder the Kendra feels a natural urge
to join the Centenary celebrations of Sri Guruji.
Sri Guruji’s endorsement and subsequent involvement in this noble work
was spontaneous and most natural. Ideologically he was indebted to Swami
Vivekananda for his deep patriotic inspiration and espousal of the cause
of Spiritual nationalism, of which he was the greatest Champion in post
independent India. His entire life and mission were dedicated to this sublime
ideal, which he had imbibed from Swamiji.
Editorial
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 12
Apart from this, the spiritual master and living embodiment of
compassion and service, Swami Akhandananda, from whom Sri Guruji had
the rare privilege to get Mantra Deeksha was one of the Gurubhais of Swami
Vivekananda. He was also personally intimate with him. Both had shared
the unique concept of “ serve man serve god” in equal measure from
Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna. Swamiji‘s admiration for his Guru Bhai Swami
Akhandananda was truly thrilling. Swamiji gave full expression to his
feelings in a letter dated 15 June 1897: - “ Accept a hundred thousand
embraces and blessings from me. Do that kind of work and I shall carry
you on my shoulders. Bravo!” It was such a great monk who had earned
the highest appreciation from Swami Vivekananda that shri Guruji had
the privilege to serve and also earn his blessing “ you will certainly gain
Brahma Jnana”
There was yet another reason as well. The country then was celebrating
the centenary year of Swami Vivekananda. The idea of setting up a memorial
for Swamiji on the rock was inspired by that occasion. The invaluable
contribution of Swamiji to the cause of India’s freedom struggle was
universally accepted. As Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari put it in his own
inimitable style “Swami Vivekananda saved Hinduism and saved India. But
for him we would have lost our religion and would not have gained our
freedom. We therefore owe everything to Swami Vivekananda.” The
seminal ideas of spiritual nationalism, concept of Bharat as the universal
Mother, total self-sacrifice in Her service, positive ideas about National
reconstruction etc., were Swamiji’s gifts to India’s freedom movement. It
was these same ideas, in their pure and unalloyed form that Dr. Hedgewar,
and following him Sri Guruji, were struggling hard to put into practice in
an organized manner, through the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. So
Swamiji’s centenary year had a very special significance to the Sangh and
also Sri Guruji. It was a God send occasion for re-vitalizing the ideological
roots and conceptual framework of Hindu Nationalism. This perfect
understanding and profound sense of obligation evoked an immediate and
wholesome response from Sri Guruji to the cause of Vivekananda Rock
memorial at the time of crisis.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 13
It was nothing but a divine dispensation that Mananeeya Ekanath
Ranade, totally and blissfully unaware of the forth coming Call, was
preparing himself, as if guided by an invisible hand, for the historic task by
thoroughly mastering and fully internalizing the life and message of Swami
Vivekananda in Kolkatta. All these factors combined together, brought
about a momentous situation where the difficulties and obstacles to the
putting up of the memorial melted away like the mist before the rising Sun.
The memorable words, which Sri Guruji wrote in the visitor’s book when
he visited the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a compressed yet eloquent
testimony of his comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the
Vivekananda Memorial.
Sri Guruji wrote in the visitors book : -
“Certainly, the elevating life of the great soul who aroused the nation
from its lethargic sleep and gave birth to an Awakened Bharat, whose
farsighted and vibrant thoughts gave inimitable power to the Nation to
shatter the chains of dependency, whose brilliant words inspired Hindu
Dharma to realize its Self, whose heroism of the miracles of the intellect of
the sages of India hoisted the flag of victory of Hindu Dharma all over the
world - of this great nation-rejuvenator, Swami Vivekananda’s rock where
he got realization, and this Memorial which gives everyone’s soul a unique
awakening message will for a long time illumine the world – this is the
auspicious thought dwelling within.” (07.02.1972)
Vivekananda Kendra is in fact trying whole-heartedly to fulfill the vision
of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Guruji through all its strenuous and varied
activities. As Ekanathji has beautifully summarized on different occasions
Vivekananda Kendra, “ is a man making - nation building mission”, “It is a
Spiritually oriented service organization” and “a Thought movement”. These
are condensed, yet significant definitions of Swamiji’s dream that is being
carried out by the Vivekananda Kendra inspired by Mananeeya Eknathji
who was specially deputed by Sri Guruji for this as the Divine instrument.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 14
Very many eminent personalities who had occasion to live and move
with Sri Guruji and who have gained deep insight into his personal life as
well as his organizational capabilities have contributed their inspiring and
illuminating experiences of Sri Guruji and his work. This issue is a very
rare and valuable collection of such contributions, which will be of immense
value to all readers, particularly to the dedicated Kendra workers, to feel
and experience the living presence of a great soul from whom they will
undoubtedly gain both inner illumination and practical wisdom and
guidance. We are indeed fortunate that almost all whom we approached
for write-ups on Sri Guruji have obliged us with their valuable contributions.
The Kendra is deeply indebted to every one of them for their quick and
timely response.
The year of Sri Guruji’s centenary celebrations is just over. The whole
country, literally from Kanyakumari to Kailas rose up as one man to
commemorate this historic occasion. The celebration was different from
the usual, familiar routine expressions of momentary euphoria. It was
unique in the sense that it was devoted to deepening the roots,
strengthening the body, consolidating the forces, clarifying the ideas and
spreading the message of Sri Guruji and the organizations he inspired. It
is bound to manifest itself in the coming years in a manner Sri Guruji really
wanted, and worked for throughout his life - a strong, prosperous, powerful,
self-respecting Bharat, firmly based on the unshakable foundation of a well-
organized Hindu Society. In this historic and Herculean task, which cuts
across all organizational or institutional barriers, Vivekananda Kendra also
offers to play its chosen part. This special issue of Vivekananda Kendra
Patrika is a humble token of that sincere desire and firm determination.
P Parameswaran
President
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 15
F FF FFA AA AACETS OF CETS OF CETS OF CETS OF CETS OF A LIFE A LIFE A LIFE A LIFE A LIFE
DEDICA DEDICA DEDICA DEDICA DEDICATED TED TED TED TED T TT TTO O O O O THE N THE N THE N THE N THE NA AA AATION TION TION TION TION
SECTION - ONE
The history of Bharat is replete with the lives of many Rishis and saints who guided
and moulded the society. One shining example among the modern day saints is Sri
Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkarji, fondly and rightly called by the people of Bharat as Sri
Guruji.
Sri Guruji is a fine example for the ideals– Renunciation and Service- held in very
high echelons in our society. He was a favourite disciple of Swami Akhandanandaji,
the brother disciple of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Akhandanandaji realized that more
than spiritual practice for individual spiritual salvation, working for creating a society
based on Dharma was the precondition for spiritual practice. If the spirituality is to
survive for the progress of humanity then the Hindu society should be organized to
fulfill its ordained mission in the world. Thus for Sri Guruji, organizing Hindu society
became the spiritual work, spiritual Sadhana.
Swami Vivekananda’s only mantra to the Hindus was organization, organization,
organization. Thus, at the instance and the guidance of Dr Hedgewarji, the founder of
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sri Guruji dedicated his life to build and expand the
work of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for organizing the Hindus. The thought of one’s
own salvation became too selfish an end when scores of Hindus were being trodden
upon, as they were unorganized and unaware of the mission of Hindu nation. We come
to know through one of the articles that Sri Guruji for the sake of serving the society
renounced the highest of positions in spiritual and religious realms namely, the peetham
of Shankaracharya. Working for building the Hindu nation became his only mission
and passion in life. The whole life was centered round this one thought. It was ‘one life
one mission.’
His dedicated life has inspired many into the path of selfless service. The following
articles narrate the circumstances, which moulded Sri Guruji into a wonderful, selfless,
dedicated personality to become source of inspiration for many!
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 16
SHRI GURUJI: A VIVEKANANDA REBORN
Very rare are the personalities who
influence each and every sphere of social and
national life in their own life span. Shri
Madhav Sadashivrao Golwalkar alias Shri
Guruji was one such great personality in the
galaxy of such persons, who not only turned
the tide but also gave it a suitable and desired
direction.
The only surviving darling son of his
parents—Bhauji and Tai—he was born in
Nagpur on February 19, 1906 i.e. on the
auspicious day of Vijaya Ekadashi Yugabda
5007. He was a brilliant student from his early
childhood and showed signs of extra-
ordinary talents. The traits of spiritual
propensity were visible from his adolescence.
He did his M.Sc. in Zoology from Benaras
Hindu University (BHU) and did research in
Fisheries at Chennai for some time but could
not complete it due to his father’s financial
situation. Later he took a teaching job at
BHU and there he was fondly and
respectfully called as “Guruji” by his
students, the epithet that stuck to him life
long. After spending some time in BHU he
returned to Nagpur; obtained a degree in
Law (LLB) and also worked for the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founded by Dr
Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in 1925. But his
quest for spirituality took him to Sargachhi
VIRAG SHRIKRISHNA PACHPORE
in West Bengal where Swami Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa’s direct disciple Swami
Akhandananda was serving the society. He
got initiated into the order of sansyasins by
Swami Akhandananda on the auspicious day
of Makar Sankranti i.e. on January 13, 1937.
Incidentally this happened to be the birth
day of Swami Vivekananda and Shri Guruji
mentioned this as a “Red Letter Day in my
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 17
life”. (Guruji…A Man and His Mission, By
Dr K M Ghatate, Vishwa Samvad Kendra
Nagpur, Yugabda 5107)
Here, in Sargachhi, Guruji was
accompanied by his colleague in the same
pursuit, Swami Amurtanand alias Amitabh
Maharaj. Looking at his devotion, dedication
and commitment Amitabh Maharaj
commented: “In Shri Guruji’s personality, the
RSS has been fortunate enough to get
another Narendra (later Swami Vivekananda)
as its leader”.
Back in Nagpur his life was completely
transformed when he came into contact with
the electrifying and magnetic personality of
Dr Hedgewar, the founder of RSS. This
touch transformed Shri Guruji into a
colossal personality dedicated to a lofty,
noble ideal. In his own words, “Though stern
and unsparing to himself, what an ocean of
life he was to each and every one of us!
Words fail to describe the depth of that pure
and selfless love. The boundless affection of
the mother’s heart, the sleepless care and
diligence of the father and the inspiring
guidance of the guru found their culmination
in that single bosom. I for one feel it is my
proud privilege to worship him as my ideal.
The worship of such a soul transcends the
worship of an individual and becomes the
worship of the ideal itself. He is verily my
chosen deity”. (The Ideal Incarnate, M S
Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, (Ed)
Rashtrotthan Sahitya, Bangalore, 1966)
His coming in contact with RSS founder
Dr Hedgewar was like young, inquisitive
Narendra meeting Sri Ramakrishna
Paramhamsa to satisfy his spiritual thirst.
And the result was also equally epoch-
making! Shri Guruji resolved to lay his life
at the feet of Doctorji. Never, was there was
any place in his thinking for things like
personal pleasures and family attachments.
Before the blaze of his passionate idealism,
the shadows of the temptations of the
mundane world automatically disappeared.
Before he left for the heavenly abode, Dr
Hedgewar, in June 1940, appointed Shri
Guruji as his successor. The post of
Sarsanghchalak is not just decorative. It was
a challenge, which required untiring efforts
to free Bharat and make this society strong
and capable of achieving total all-round
development of the nation.
Shri Guruji performed and accomplished
this seemingly difficult task, as a leader of a
Swami Akhandananda - guru of Sri Guruji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 18
team of youth of extra-ordinary capabilities
and dedication inspired by Dr Hedgewar, till
he breathed his last on June 5, 1973 in
Nagpur. He toured each part of Bharat twice
a year during his stint as Sarsanghchalak for
33 years. He exhibited deep insight into the
challenges and issues confronting the
society. Endowed with an astonishing
memory, Guruji with his extensive
correspondence inspired hundreds of
workers to dedicate and sacrifice their lives
at the altar of the motherland, as also
enthused thousands of others to serve the
society.
With his finger constantly on the nation’s
pulse, with his unceasing concern for the
good of the country, Shri Guruji was the only
leader qualified to guide the nation. Rising
above the attractions of position or power
or personal glory, his single-minded
devotion was to the nation as a whole. His
utterances therefore carried the ring of
harsh truth. He was fearless in his espousal
of the nation’s cause and made no
concessions to any individual or party.
When he took over as Chief of RSS, the
times were turbulent. The nation longed for
freedom, and under the leadership of the
Mahatma, a new era of non-violence and non-
cooperation began. At the same time there
was competition among the Congress
leaders to appease the Muslims in order to
seek their cooperation in the freedom
struggle. This one-sided appeasement policy
led to the partition of the country into
Pakistan and Hindustan. Before partition of
the country, Guruji’s warnings to the
political leaders and the people in general
echoed and re-echoed from one corner of
the land to the other. The Sangh
Swayamsevaks, at times playing with their
life, did an exemplary job of saving
thousands of Hindus and bringing them back
to Bharat safely during the tumultuous days
of partition.
Even during the 1942 Quit India
movement many RSS workers took active
part in it. Noted Congress leaders including
Nana Patil, Aruna Asaf Ali, Jayaprakash
Narayan, Sane Guruji and others were given
shelter by the RSS stalwarts like Pandit
Satwalekar, Bhausaheb Deshmukh and Lal
Hansraj Gupta, Sanghchalak of Aundh, Pune
and Delhi, respectively during those difficult
days. The Sangh workers also played a major
role in rehabilitating thousands of refugees
from the then East Paksitan and West
Pakistan. But Shri Guruji never made any
capital out of it. It was at some press
conference when a journalist passed some
caustic remarks, he retorted back saying that,
had the media taken proper note of the
sacrifices our workers had offered, each and
every person’s heart in this country would
have echoed with the glory of RSS alone.
His role in convincing the Maharaja of
Kashmir for accession of his state with
Bharat was well-known. Shri Guruji met
Maharaja Hari Singh with the help of Rai
Bahadur Dewan Badri Das, Sanghchalak of
Punjab and Barrister Narendrajit Singh and
positively convinced the Maharaja to sign the
instrument of accession, which he finally did
on October 26, 1947. That was a good
example of back door diplomacy. Sardar
Patel, the then Home Minister also played a
pivotal role in sending Shri Guruji as
emissary to convince Maharaja Hari Singh
in favour of accession to India.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 19
However, when the Nehru government
took the Kashmir issue to the United Nations,
Shri Guruji was the first to warn the
government of its futility. He publicly
declared that it would never solve the
problem but on the contrary would bring
grave harm to our country’s interests. The
country is still suffering from the perils of
ignoring that timely warning of this great
visionary. Similarly, Shri Guruji, from the
very outset, had warned the country about
the real nature and ulterior motive of the
Naga revolt. The nation ignored that also and
today the Naga issue has not only become
complicated, but it also has become a source
of inspiration to other militant and anti-
Bharat movements in the sensitive north-
eastern part of the country.
Years before our government gave out
the news of Chinese aggression, it was Shri
Guruji again who sounded a warning, way
back in the late fifties about the Yellow
danger. The Press, the People and the
Political parties joined the Government to
ridicule him as a ‘Warmonger’, ‘Madman’,
etc. When Prime Minister Nehru and the
Chinese Premier Chou-en-Lai toured the
country with a slogan of ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai-
Bhai’ Guruji also briskly moved around the
country from one corner to another laying
bare the dragon’s teeth behind this
enchanting slogan. But at the same time, he
never hesitated in extending full cooperation
of RSS to the government and exhibited a
truly nationalistic attitude in times of
national emergencies like the 1962 war with
China, and the 1965 and 1971 wars with
Pakistan.
The unfortunate episode of the
Government imposing ban on the Sangh in
1948 following the assassination of Mahatma
Gandhi provides one more shining example
of Shri Guruji’s comprehensive and
confident leadership. Knowing fully well that
the ban was totally illogical, unjust and
unwise, he still spoke to the government
leaders with sweet reasonableness appealing
to their senses of fair play and justice. In the
face of the gravest provocation and having
at his back a following of millions ready to
obey him at the wink of an eye, Shri Guruji
still maintained absolute restraint. He calmly
suffered that humiliation only to avoid
internecine schism in the nation in the wake
of the quitting of the British which would
have profited only the enemies. But the
government turned a deaf ear to his appeal
thinking that it was born out of weakness.
Having no alternative left, he called upon
the Swayamsevaks to resume the normal
shakha activities. It was a call for suffering
and sacrifice in the cause of establishing
justice and fair play in national life. In
number and in discipline the movement far
excelled all previous ones in the cause of
independence. Soon after, the government
lifted the ban unconditionally. It was an
unqualified triumph for his leadership.
Millions of our countrymen thronged
throughout the length and breadth of the
land to offer their homage to him. But even
in that moment of triumph Shri Guruji
struck the same note of national harmony –
”After all, the Government is our own. We
do not pull out our teeth, if, by chance the
tongue is bitten!”(Sangh Darshan, Prakashan
Vibhag, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,
Karnatak, Bangalore, 1964)
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 20
Doctor Hedgewar was a Rishi, a visionary,
who conceived the Mantra of Hindu
consolidation for resurgence of modern
Bharat. He diagnosed the ills that had
plagued our society and the nation. When
all the leaders were busy in devising ways
and means to achieve freedom, Doctor
Hedgewar was buried deep in thoughts to
analyzing as to how this mighty race of
Hindus became slaves of the invaders. How
could a handful of foreigners coming from
six thousand miles become our masters? This
was the question that disturbed him from
his very early age. He began to study and
scrutinize keenly the various forms of
movements going on at that time for
emancipation of the country. He came to the
conclusion that only anti-British struggles
would not prove a panacea for all the ills of
the nation.
Doctor Hedgewar believed that, Bharat
as a nation had a long history and our
country commanded homage from others in
all fields –arts and science, architecture and
literature, education and religion, social and
political sciences, diplomacy and warfare.
Pilgrims came from far and wide to have
glimpse of that glory. How then did such a
virile and mighty nation lose all power and
glory during the last one thousand years?
Why were we defeated and disgraced by a
mere handful of barbaric Muslims and the
British. We lost because we were hopelessly
weak in one vital aspect on which a nation’s
survival or death depends, and that is
national consciousness and cohesion.
With this deep thinking, Dr Hedgewar
with his fingers rightly on the pulse of the
nation, prescribed the Mantra of Hindu
Sangathan as the only medicine to rejuvenate
the nation’s health and recapture that glory
of the yore. He devised the Tantra also to
practice this Mantra. That Tantra is the daily
Shakha of the RSS, where people from all
sections would gather for one hour
forgetting all manner of superficial
distinctions of language, province, caste,
community, party or sect, as children of a
common motherland and play in her sacred
dust. The Shakha thus became a crucible,
which awakened the noble impulses of
dedicated patriotic service, binding the
Hindus together with immortal filial bonds
and imbues them with an inborn sense of
discipline.
Unfortunately, Dr Hedgewar had a very
short span of life. He could give only 15 years
for the Sangh. The responsibility to explain
and expound the Mantra and sanctify the
Tantra fell upon the young shoulders of Shri
Guruji in 1940 after Docotrji’s demise. And
he performed that responsibility with all his
capability and intellect, dedication and
devotion, strength and confidence till he
breathed his last in 1973 June. The last
speech of Shri Guruji at the concluding
session of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi
Sabha in Nagpur bears testimony to this
stupendous task he performed.
Thus, Guruji became a commentator who
made extensive comments in order to explain
the Mantra of Hindu consolidation as
conceived by Dr Hedgewar for the posterity,
as Adi Shankara wrote commentaries on
various Vedic Mantras, as Saint
Gyaneshwara explained the knowledge
concealed in the Bhagwad Gita to the
common man in his language, through his
famous Gyaneshwari. Guruji’s peculiarity
was, he seldom wrote any book or thesis
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 21
explaining the Mantra of the Hindu
consolidation. He accomplished this
seemingly difficult task through his casual
meetings, informal talks, his letters and his
discourses and personal relationship with the
Swayamsevaks.
A reference has been made earlier about
Swami Vivekananda and his guru
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. When the
British took over the reins of this great
country of Bharat, they started spreading
wrong messages in order to confuse the
Hindu society. They not only subjugated the
Hindus politically and culturally, but
ultimately converted them to their faith.
Thus, with the advent of the Englishman,
Bharat suffered political, economical,
cultural and religious domination. “The
British began training us systematically in
various ways. The first thing he taught was
that this was a great ‘continent’ and not a
country. He said we are not one people and
one nation. The Aryans came from outside,
pushed the Dravidans who were aboriginals
into the forests and hills. That is, we were
told that we had no motherland, that most
of us had come from somewhere outside and
therefore we are equally strangers and
foreigners to this country. We were also told
that we had no dharma, no philosophy no
morals worth the name; that all our past life
was just one of unrelieved darkness; that the
coming of the English here was ‘divine
dispensation’, for we could learn sitting at
their feet the first lessons in culture, religion
and orderly social and political life.” (Bunch
of Thoughts, Ed. Rashtrotthan Sahitya,
Bangalore, 1966)
Fortunately, there were attempts to
thwart this illogical and unreasonable
propaganda by the British and to create
awareness among the Hindu society about
their glorious past history, culture and
dharma, etc. This era of renaissance and
reconstruction of modern Bharat began with
the emergence and work of Raja Ram Mohan
Roy in the beginning of the 19
th
century and
continued to the present day through the
efforts of noble thinkers in many fields. Roy
or later Swami Dayananda, or even Shahu
Maharaj, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Dr
Babasaheb Ambedkar, Justice Mahadev
Govind Ranade, etc. were focused on
removing all the social ills plaguing this great
nation and its children. But, unfortunately,
all their efforts, however sincere and honest
they were, had a tinge of negation. They
believed that the root cause of these ills lay
in the Hindu dharma and therefore, they
targeted their guns in that direction. Roy
founded the Brahmo Samaj, Swami
Dayanand established the Arya Samaj,
Mahatma Phule set up the Satya Shodhak
Samaj, and Justice Ranade founded the
Prarthana Samaj. All these movements did
their best to check the advent of Christianity
and stop the tide of conversion of Hindus to
a great extent but failed to consolidate the
entire Hindu samaj as they adopted a
negationist approach to solve the problems.
The efforts to remove the scourge of
untouchability can be better seen and
analyzed from this angle.
Sri Ramakrishna gave a clue to what he
had contemplated and spiritually directed his
disciple Swami Vivekananda to expound. He
told his disciples: “While other religions
which are also true will come and go, it is
Sanatana Dharma which will ultimately
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 22
prevail”. (Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna). Taking
cue from his master, Swami Vivekananda
prescribed this mission to rebuild Bharat to
save the world from intolerance and violence
promoted by exclusive faiths, by reinstating,
reliving and protecting the Sanatana
Dharma, which was central to Sri
Ramakrishna’s experience. (Shri Guruji: A
saint who renounced his sainthood to rebuild
a mighty India, by S Gurumurthy, Organiser,
March 26, 2006)
Shri Guruji, like Vivekananda, advocated
positive Hindutva to eliminate all the ills
confronting the society remaining within the
confines of Sanatana Dharma. He believed
that “as the older, dried branches fall off a
growing tree to give place to new ones,
likewise, the Society would shed varna
vyavastha , the existing social structure at
one time and give place for a new necessary
one. This is a natural process of the
development of the society”. He said
“…perturbed social systems must be put to
an end here and now and should be destroyed
root and branch. Going further, we should
proceed to establish a pure and harmonious
society on the basis of pure nationalism”.
(Guruji and Social Harmony, by Justice Dr
M Rama Jois, Sri Guruji Janmashatabdi
Samiti, Karnatak, 2006)
It is this positive approach that made Shri
Guruji stand tallest amongst all these
stalwarts and advocates of social reforms for
one simple reason that he adopted a positive
approach to provide a better panacea for the
ills of the nation. Like Swami Vivekananda,
he defined the dharma in its true sense. He
said, “Our definition of dharma is twofold.
The first is proper rehabilitation of man’s
mind; and the second is adjustment of
various individuals for a harmonious
corporate existence, i.e. a good social order
to hold the people together. A combination
of these two definitions shows that the
establishment of dharma means the building
of an organized social life wherein each
individual has realized his oneness with
others in society and is imbued with a spirit
of sacrifice to make others’ material life
richer and happier, and develops spiritual
strength which leads to realization of the
Ultimate Truth.” (Dr. M Rama Jois, Guruji
and Social Harmony, Shri Guruji
Janmashatabdi Samiti, Karnataka, 2006)
Dharma is the most ill-defined and
wrongly understood word in Bharat. That is
mostly because of the English education
system which cut off the average Bharatiya
from his roots, and partly because of
equating Dharma with Religion in meaning.
Actually, dharma is the greatest and most
valuable contribution to humanity by Bharat
Varsha, our beloved motherland. All our
present day problems are a direct result of
disregarding Dharma under the influence of
a materialistic philosophy in the belief that
it alone can usher in the happiness and
secure the welfare of the people. We have
believed since aeons that Dharma sustains
the society, Dharma maintains the social
order, Dharma ensures the well-being and
progress of humanity and Dharma is surely
that which fulfills these objectives. The
Parashara Smriti also defines Dharma as
“which sustains and ensures progress and
welfare of all in this world and eternal Bliss
in the other world.” Dharma is promulgated
in the form of commands.
“The exposition of the meaning of Dharma
by Shri Guruji to the effect that it means
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 23
rehabilitation of man’s mind and adjustment
of various individuals for a harmonious
existence for a good social order to hold
people together, clearly shows that Dharma
was the basis for establishing a social
harmony and happiness which has been the
very purpose of Dharma.” (Ibid)
Shri Guruji clarified that Rashtradharma
and Upasanadharma cannot be intermingled.
Each individual has the right to choose the
Upasanadharma suitable to his spiritual
needs. But Rashtradharma, that is love for
the motherland and society as a whole,
cannot be compromised for Upasanadharma.
He firmly believed that our culture is the real
and abiding cornerstone of national harmony
and integration, subscribing to common
national ideals, irrespective of personal
creeds. And it is this concept as applied to
our country, that we call Hindu Rashtra, the
only rational, practical and right concept.
Shri Guruji believed that answers to social
problems were available in this concept of
nation. This concept is fundamentally
different from that of the west where society
is a collective of individual interests and their
relationship is of a social contract with it.
But in Bharatiya concept the society is
envisaged and perceived as one living
organism, the manifestation of the divine,
the Virat Purush. It was this virat smaj purush
the individuals were asked to worship in
ancient times. “Shri Guruji said it was our
duty to awaken this inner feeling of oneness
in every human being. He said it was our
bounden duty to go and work among our
deprived brethren and do our best to lift their
standards of life. We should plan and
implement schemes that would provide them
with minimum needs of life. We should open
schools, hostels and training centers for
them. We should mix with them, eat with
them, treat them with natural affection.”
(Shri Guruji inspired many social activities,
by Dr N K Trikha, Organiser Vol LVII, NO 37,
New Delhi March 26, 2006)
Shri Guruji, during his tours to various
parts of the country, apart from meeting
Swayamsevaks, took initiative to interact
with distinguished personalities and
scholars. In this way, he strived for
coordination and unanimity among various
social and religious streams of Bharatiya
society. The most significant end result of
this effort was the establishment of Vishwa
Hindu Parishad (VHP) in 1964. Saints and
seers from different religious persuasions in
the Hindu society congregated on one
platform and announced unanimously that
untouchability had no sanction in Hindu
Dharma. At the same time, they threw open
the doors for those brethren who, for some
historical or other reasons, got converted
to non-Hindu sects, and now wanted to
return to their ancestral fold. The fact that
this historical reform began to bear fruit in
the next 5-6 years, bestows on Shri Guruji
an eminent place amongst the distinguished
personalities and saints of his time.
It is often alleged that Shri Guruji was a
staunch supporter of Varna Vyavastha (caste
system) and wanted to promote the same in
Bharat. He was once asked by Swami
Karpatriji Maharaj to direct all the
Swayamsevaks to follow this Chatruvarna
strictly in daily life. To this suggestion Shri
Guruji with all humility replied in the
negative saying that the Swayamsevaks were
not his shishyas and moreover the Varna
Vyavastha has become obsolete today and
there was only one varna remaining, that is
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 24
the Shudra varna. So this suggestion was
unfounded and not viable.
At another meeting with socialist leader
from Pune, Narubhau Limaye, Shri Guruji
stressed on involving the Dharmacharyas in
this task of achieving social equality. He told
Limaye that the common Hindu still reveres
these Dharmacharyas and would take their
word as final authority on issues like
untouchability and social harmony and
equality. Therefore, when at the Udupi
session of VHP, all the dharmacharys of
various sects within the Hindu fold delivered
the historical verdict against any kind of
discrimination and untouchability, Shri
Guruji considered it the finest hour in his
life.
With aversion to publicity and
notwithstanding paucity of resources, it has
been the glorious tradition of Bharatiya
saints and social reformers to leave a long-
term and astonishing imprint on the society.
Shri Guruji was an exceedingly bright star
in that firmament. In one sense, he was a
representative of that Bharat of the last
century, which was keen on social
transformation, yet he preferred to protect
its eternal, spiritual and cultural values.
Recollection of his life and mission would
be like a humble oblation in the direction of
realizing those lofty ideals for which he
dedicated his life.
References:
Ghatate, Dr K M : Guruji: A Man and His Mission,
Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Nagpur, Yugabda 5107
Dr. M Rama Jois: Guruji and Social Harmony,
Shri Guruji Janmashatabdi Samiti, Karnataka,
2006
Sangh Darshan, Prakashan Vibhag, Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh, Karnatak, Bangalore, 1964
Trikha, Dr N K : Shri Guruji inspired many social
activities, Organiser Vol LVII, No 37, New Delhi,
March 26, 2006
Gurumurthy S: Shri Guruji: A saint who
renounced his sainthood to rebuild a mighty India,
Organiser, Vol LVII, No 37, New Delhi, March 26,
2006
Golwalkar, M S: The Ideal Incarnate, Bunch of
Thoughts, (Ed) Rashtrotthan Sahitya, Bangalore,
1966
Malkani, K R : The RSS Story, Impex India, New
Delhi, 1980.
About the author:
Virag Shrikrishna Pachpore
Presently working as Chief Sub-Editor with The
Hitavada, Central India’s Signature Newspaper
as In-Charge of Madhya Pradesh Edition.
Authored “The Indian Church” in 2001 and co-
authroed “Rashtriya Pariprekshya me Bharatiya
Muslim” in 2006.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 25
There is a saying that the quality of the
plant is seen from the sprout itself. The
quality of the sprout in turn depends on the
mother plant that produces the seed. The
mothers have often played a great role in
the making of great men and women. The
cultural and spiritual nouishment that they
give to the children along with their breast
milk plays an important role in the moulding
of the children.
Paramapoojaneeya Sri Guruji Madhavrao
Sadashiva Golwalkar, who was the second
Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh, looking back into his childhood days,
recalls the sweet experiences of the period
and shares them with us:
“The early dawn will awaken me from
sleep. At that time, my mother will be busy
doing some household work with her hands,
but at the same time, her mouth will be
reciting some prayers invoking the divine
name. The sweet and auspicious voice of
mother will be reverberating in my ears.
What a lasting and sacred impress,
irremovable by time, might have been made
on my infant mind by the sweet voice that
fell on my ears in the early hours of the day
full of peace and bliss?” It is crystal clear
that the foundation for Sri Guruji’s future
THE LOTUS OF PATRIOTISM THAT BLOSSOMED IN
SPIRITUAL LAKE
spiritual life was well laid by his mother.
Young Madhav, as a graduate student of
Hislop College, Nagpur, used to frequent the
house of Sri Mule, Head scriptures. Later
on, when he continued his post-graduate
studies in Benaras Hindu University, his
contact with Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya,
the spiritual discussions and study of
Vedantic literature created a deep impact on
his life, which manifested clearly through his
daily spiritual and religious practices like
Poojas, Yoga, meditation, Pranayama, etc.,
and also through his total detachment from
worldly affairs, a feeling of spiritual
fraternity with all and a keen interest in
SADHU PROF V RANGARAJAN
A Keen Observer
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 26
sharing the happiness and sorrow of people
around. Perhaps it was during that period
that young Madhav started contemplating
and meditating on the future course of his
life. Though during the period of his life as
a university student, he had to undergo great
financial strain, he always kept a smiling
face, which never displayed any pain or
suffering.
Coming out of the portals of the
university after completion of his higher
education, Madhav’s mind was searching for
an answer to a big question for five or six
years. He could not even think of getting
married and settling down in family life as
ordinary people do. But the question before
him was whether to renounce all ties with
the world and retire into the loneliness of
the Himalayas to pursue intense spiritual
sadhana or to live in the society fighting
against all odds and swimming against the
current to live a spiritual life. After
pondering over it for a long time, he got the
reply. In a letter dated February 28, 1929,
addressed to his friend, Sri Telang, he says:
“I have taken to renunciation, but it is not
complete now. Remaining in this very world,
facing the challenges in life, and discharging
my duties with meticulous care, I strive to
live the highest values of a perfect life of
renunciation permeating every pore of my
body. I will not go to the Himalayas now.
The Himalayas will come towards me. The
peaceful and blissful surroundings of the
mountain will be firmly established within
me. I need not go anywhere to get it.”
In another letter, Madhav says that he
knows well how much obstacles one will
come across when one goes on the path of
renunciation. He says that he has no interest
to get entangled in worldly life and he wants
to go ahead steadfast in a life of highest
ideals and dedication without ever swerving
from the path. He further says that in this
path there has been a successful saint like
Suka Brahmam who could overcome the
temptations of a celestial nymph like
Rambha, and there has also been a
Vishwamitra who fell a victim to the charms
of Menaka. However, to get scared of the
path and run away from it is cowardice. He
asserts that one should be prepared to face
the challenges that arise before enjoying the
ultimate bliss and there is no other path less
dangerous than this.
A Turning Point in Life
After serving as a Professor in the Benaras
Hindu University, when Madhav returned to
Nagpur and completed his legal studies,
there occurred a turning point in his life and
the one that caused it was Dr.Keshav Baliram
Hedgewar, the founder and first
Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh. However, it did not
occur so easily. Dr.Hedgewar, after
completing his medical education, dedicated
himself to the revolutionary movement for
the freedom of Bharatavarsha. When he
realized that, as long as the people were in
deep slumber caused by the slavery under
foreigners for centuries, the sporadic acts
of self-sacrifice by the valiant youth in
revolutionary activities will go in vain, he
joined the Congress movement to create a
mass awakening. However, he came to the
realization very soon that a people who do
not have character, discipline, intense
patriotism and deep respect and regard for
the age old values of life cherished by a
nation cannot attain independence and even
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 27
if they stumble upon it, they would not be
able to preserve it for long. In order to
control the wild waterfall called nationalism
and canalize it into a river flowing powerfully
and peacefully between two banks, he
founded the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Madhav, who had already come in contact
with the Sangh when he was Professor in
Benaras Hindu University, became closer to
Dr.Hedgewar, popularly known as Doctorji.
On the one side, Madhav who was
yearning to light the lamp of spiritualism in
his heart and on the other side, Dr.Hedgewar
who was striving to kindle the fire of
patriotism in every heart and make it into a
great conflagration—the meeting between
these two great souls turned out to be a
historic one moulding the destiny of the
nation. However, it happened after a great
turmoil in the heart of Madhav.
When Madhav returned to Nagpur from
Benaras, his mother wanted him to get
married so that the family lineage will
continue. However, her only son Madhav
made it clear to his mother, “Maa, please do
not talk about the cessation of the family
lineage. If the society will be benefited by
the cessation of lineage of many families like
ours, it is the need of the hour. I a m not
worried about the cessation of the lineage
of our family.” His parents never raised the
topic of his marriage again.
Though the contact with Dr.Hedgewar
drew Sri Guruji to the Sangh work, in the
beginning, Sri Guruji was not inclined to go
heart and soul into it. His spiritual quest
attracted him more to the Sri Ramakrishna
Math in Nagpur. Sri Guruji had a close
contact with Swami Bhaskarananda,
President of the Math. Dr.Hedgewar, who
was well aware of this contact, raised a
question in the heart of Sri Guruji—which
one is greater, whether the endeavour to
attain individual self-realization through
Sannyasa or striving for the emancipation
for the poor and downtrodden in our
country? This led Sri Guruji to leave his
home, without telling his parents, friends,
Doctorji and other Swayamsevak brethren,
in search of a preceptor. This happened in
the autumn of the year 1935.
In the Sargachi Ashram
Swami Amurtananda, who was known as
Amitabh Maharaj, and who belonged to the
Ramakrishna Order and was staying in the
Nagpur Ashram, encouraged Sri Guruji to
get deeksha from Swami Akhandananda,
President of the Sargachi Ashram in
Murshidabad District. Akhandananda had
received initiation from Holy Mother
Sharada Devi. Sri Guruji did not reveal his
plan of going to Sargachi to anyone
excepting his three close friends. He wrote
about his decision on a piece of paper and
sent it to his mother through a friend,
His mentor Doctorji - Sri Keshav Baliram Hedgewar
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 28
Deshpande.
Very few details have been obtained about
the life that Sri Guruji spent in the Sargachi
Ashram. In his later days, when he was fully
involved in the Sangh work, Sri Guruji never
related anything about his Ashram life.
However, some interesting things have come
to be known through Sri Amitabh Maharaj.
Referring to Sri Guruji’s Ashram life, Sri
Amitabh Maharaj says, “Because of that,
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh got a
Narendra (Swami Vivekananda)”. While
engaged in intense spiritual sadhanas in the
Ashram, Sri Guruji was also deeply involved
in the service of his master, Swami
Akhandananda. Unmindful of his food, sleep
and other comforts, he engaged himself in
serving his aged Guru. With enthusiasm, Sri
Guruji performed all acts of service like
serving food, giving bath, setting the
master’s bed and pressing his feet. Looking
at the beaming face of Sri Guruji and the
beautiful beard that was growing, the master
gave loving advise to Sri Guruji, who never
failed to acquire knowledge of Vedanta from
the scholars visiting the Ashram and
practicing his sadhana with meticulous care.
One day, Amitabh Maharaj told Swami
Akhandananda that the parents of Sri Guruji
were very aged and, therefore, he must be
sent back to Nagpur soon, after giving him
deeksha, in order to pursue a legal
profession. Swami Akhandananda asked
with deep foresight, “we can certainly give
him deeksha, but who could say that he
would pursue a legal profession?” Swami
Akhandananda had a clear vision of what was
going to be future course of life of Sri Guruji.
He also knew that Dr.Hedgewar was waiting
for the arrival of Sri Guruji. He says: “It is
the holiest day in my life to be noted in golden
letters. Was it not the day on which I got
the grace of the Guru as a result of the
auspicious deeds that I had performed in
millions of births? The experiences of the
day are very holy. They cannot be explained
in words. The touch of the Guru, his love
and the grace that he showered overwhelmed
me. I experienced a change within me. I
realized that I was not the same one who
existed a minute before!”
When Akhandananda’s health was
deteriorating, Amitabh Maharaj spoke to
him about Sri Guruji’s future and said that
the latter had an intense aspiration to go to
the Himalayas. In reply to it, Swami
Akhandananda said: “I believe, he will join
hands with Dr.Hedgewar in his work. He will
render pure social service. Let him certainly
visit the Himalayas, but it is to be seen that
he does not go into seclusion.” After the
Mahasamadhi of Swami Akhandananda,
Amitabh Maharaj took Sri Guruji to Calcutta
and introduced Swami Abhedananda, a
direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami
Vivekananda’s younger brother Sri
Bhupendranath Dutta and others. When Sri
Guruji was contemplating about his stay in
Belur math, Amitabh Maharaj revealed to
him his conversation with Akandananda. He
told Sri Guruji, “I will take you back to the
same place from where I brought you” and
took him back to Nagpur. Sri Guruji stayed
in the Nagpur Ashram for a month during
which period he translated the Chicago
speeches of Swami Vivekananda into
Marathi. He dedicated his work to his Guru.
Later, Amitabh Maharaj called Sri Raikar,
maternal uncle of Sri Guruji, and asked him
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 29
to take Sri Guruji to Dr.Hedgewar. Doctorji
got his future successor.
Spirituality wedded to Nationalism
Swami Vivekananda had set the path to
salvation through service to suffering beings,
even without deviating an inch from spiritual
life, through Sri Ramakrishna Movement.
Swami Akhandananda, who followed his
footsteps, while on a pilgrimage to the
Himalayas, stayed in Sargachi where he saw
the suffering people and settled down there,
setting up an Ashram and starting service
activities. Following exactly the same path,
Sri Madhavrao Sadashiva Golwalkar also took
a pledge to serve the Motherland, standing
firmly on the foundation of spirituality. He
accepted the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
founded by Dr.Hedgewar as the right
instrument to achieve the goal.
Dr.Hedgewar also never under estimated
the spiritual strength that Sri Guruji had
acquired through incessant service to his
master at Sargachi Ashram and through the
intense spiritual sadhanas. He wanted that
the noble qualities of head and heart of Sri
Guruji like his spiritual strength, his acute
intelligence, his rigorous penance, etc,
should wholly be available for the work of
the Sangh. In his meetings with Sri Guruji,
he stressed that a genius like Guruji who had
deep spiritual experiences should not spend
his capabilities for individual spiritual bliss,
but use it for the welfare of the nation and
society.
Sri Madgolkar, a renowned journalist,
once asked Sri Guruji: “I know that you had
moved away from the Sangh work for some
time and gone to the Sri Ramakrishna
Ashram out of spiritual quest. Then why did
you return to the Sangh work, leaving the
Ashram? Did you not see that the
atmosphere of the Sangh is different from
that of the Ashram?” To this unexpected
question, Sri Guruji gave a reply: “Better
than me, only Dr.Hedgewar could speak with
authority whether there is any difference
between the atmosphere of the Sangh and
that of the Ashram, because he has lived in
Calcutta when he was engaged in
revolutionary activities. He had close contact
with great revolutionaries. You might have
read the work of Sister Nivedita titled
“Aggressive Hinduism”. I believe, you know
well how much involvement she had with the
revolutionaries. Right from the beginning,
my involvement in the national integration
work has been as much as it is in spiritual
pursuit. From my experiences during my stay
in Benaras, Nagpur and Calcutta, I have
realized that I could do the work better
through the Sangh. Therefore I have
dedicated myself to the Sangh work. I believe
that this act of mine agrees with the ideals,
message and mission of Swami Vivekananda.
No other great man or philosophy could ever
exert greater influence on me than him and
his message. I have firm conviction that I
could go ahead with his work remaining in
the Sangh.”
Successor to Dr.Hedgewar
After the passing away of
Paramapoojaneeya Dr.Hedgewar, when Sri
Guruji took over the responsibility of the
Sarsanghchalak of RSS, in his very first
speech Sri Guruji made it clear that what he
has undertaken is not a political life, but a
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 30
spiritual life. Paying homage to Doctorji, he
said, “I feel proud in adoring such a great
man. To worship with flowers and sandal
paste is a cheap way. We must strive to
become one with whom we worship. That is
real worship. ‘Shivo bhootwaa shivam
yajet’—‘Worship Shiva by becoming Shiva’—
this is the greatness of our Dharma.” He
pointed out that national life was also a
spiritual life wedded to an ideal.
Sri Guruji set himself as a supreme
example to the immense self-confidence of
a person wedded to an ideal. In 1955, one
day, Sri Vishwesha Teertha, Head of the
Udipi Pejawar Mutt, asked a question to Sri
Guruji: “Will Bharat become once again
Akhand Bharat?” In reply to him, Sri Guruji
quoted the Praatasmaran verse,
“Gange cha yamune chaiva
godaavaree saraswatee
narmade sindhu kaaveree jalesmin
sannidhim kuru”
and said Hindus could never forget their
Sindhu. When the Swamiji asked how would
this Akhand Bharat come into existence, Sri
Guruji said with immense self-confidence
that the partition took place only because of
the disunity and weakness of the Hindus and
if these causes are removed, the country
would once again become Akhand”.
The Patriot-Saint who made
prison into Ashram
Sri Guruji life is an outstanding example
to the fact that, to a patriot-saint who
spiritualized nationalism, even the prison
would become an Ashram. When the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was
deliberately and falsely implicated in the
assassination of Gandhi to malign it, and Sri
Guruji was imprisoned, unmindful of the
scant facilities that were provided to him in
the jail, he maintained perfect calmness and
serenity. Keeping the premises where he was
staying in the prison neat and clean and
behaving courteously, with love and
affection, with other inmates of the jail and
prison officials, thereby capturing their
heart, and by such other actions, Sri Guruji
converted the jail into an Ashram itself.
Instead of suffering pain in the jail life, he
felt that, eighteen years after his life in
Sargachi Ashram he had once again obtained
an opportunity, by the courtesy of the
Government, to perform leisurely his
Dhyana, Dharana, Upasana and Paraayana of
scriptures. After getting up at five o’clock
in the morning and finishing his morning
ablutions, he would sit in his room and read
Bhagavad Gita, perform Sandhya Vandana
and Dhyana. Afterwards, till lunch hour, he
would read Gyaneshwari, songs of Sant
Tukaram, Valmiki Ramayan, Mahabharat,
Dasabodh, etc., and would even teach
Yogasana to fellow inmates in the jail. He
derived immense happiness in all these.
Regarding the ban on the Sangh, he said,
“This ordeal has come to us only because
Sangh has become strong. Once the Sangh
comes out of this, like gold purified in fire,
it will attain very high position.”
After coming out of the jail, the call given
by Sri Guruji to the Swayamsevaks to get
ready for a nation-wide Satyagraha
demanding the lifting of ban on the Sangh,
reflected his high spiritual sentiments:
“Our work is very great, noble and
di vi ne. The greatest achi evement of
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 31
mankind is in its fulfillment. It is the
realization of the Divine. Arise! We will
restart the work that was banned for the
last ten months. We will compensate for
the ten months lost. Truth is on our side.
To bear injustice is equal to cooperating
with it in the sinful act. We will remove
the injustice. ... meditating on Bharatmata
with full strength, extending love to Her
children, rise up and act with vigour and
enthusiasm, march ahead and stop not till
we achieve success!
“This is a battle between Dharma and
Adharma, justice and injustice, generosity
and narrow-mindedness, and love and
hatred. We will certainly win, because
wherever there is Dharma, there the Lord
is, and wherever the Lord is, success also
is certainly there.
“Therefore, raise the voice of victory of
Bharat from the bottom of your hearts to
the heights of the universal sky and arise!
Fulfill the mission! Bharatmata ki Jai!”
‘Show Mercy to the Enemy’
The eyes of the oppressive government
were opened and the ban on the Sangh was
lifted. A rousing reception was given to Sri
Guruji wherever he went when he undertook
a tour all over the country. The speeches that
he delivered in the massive congregations
reminded one of the songs of the great Tamil
poet-patriot, Mahakavi Subramania
B h a r a t i — ” P a k a i v a n u k k u
arulwaainannenje”—”Oh good heart, show
mercy to the enemy”. Sri Guruji told the
Swayamsevaks. “If our own teeth bite our
tongue or one leg dashes against another,
we do not knock out the teeth or cut of the
leg. Those who perpetrated injustice against
us are our own people. Therefore, we must
forget the past and exhibit our quality of
forgiveness.”
Explaining in clear-cut terms the spiritual
goal of the Sangh, Sri Guruji said: “World
peace is the ideal before us. That is our life
work. We have to fulfill that task. Our real
work is to teach the lessons for world peace
on the basis of spiritual life and establish
unity among the entire mankind. However,
when will it be accomplished? It will be
accomplished successfully only when we
string together in one thread crores of
people, who realize the values of life
expounded by our culture and are imbued
with noble qualities, and make them
determined to achieve the highest goal.”
The feelings of Sri Guruji, who saw the
Divine in the form of the society, are
expressed in his article that he contributed
to the journal, Purushartha: “The one that
we have to realize as ours and embrace, the
one that we have to make the object of our
service activities, is our society. Let it
garland us with flowers or put a garland of
footwear around our neck, let it praise us or
abuse us, let it do whatever it wants, but
ultimately it is our own. It is to test us that it
behaves as good or bad towards us. It is just
a test. In reality, by heart, it is our own. It
will come with us. Not only that, because of
our unique firmness, it will change into our
servant and follow us. Society is the form of
God. God has assured that He is the servant
of His devotees. All that we have to do is to
make ourselves into true devotees”.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 32
Politics and Spiritual Nationalism
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Deputy
Prime Minister of India, at the time of
Partition, insisted that we should claim land
from Pakistan to rehabilitate the Hindus who
were driven out of Pakistan and who came
as refugees to India. However, the Prime
Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru not only
refused to accept the proposal, but even
signed with the Pakistan Prime Minister
Liakhat Ali Khan, a treaty which brought
disgrace to Bharat. Opposing it, Dr.Shyama
Prasad Mukherjee resigned from the Nehru
Cabinet and with the support of Sangh, on
October 12, 1951. Sri Guruji, who extended
support by giving some gems of
Swayamsevaks from the Sangh as full time
workers to the party, however, took a firm
decision that he himself and the Sangh as an
organization will not directly take part in
party politics. When heated election
propagandas were taking place, Sri Guruji
coolly retired to the famous Simhagad Fort
of Chhatrapati Shivaji and engaged himself
in his spiritual sadhanas. There he stayed in
the house of Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
for 25 days from December 25, 1951, to
January 18, 1952. He spent the time in
reading Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and
other scriptures and in conducting classes
on Gita and holding discussions with those
who stayed with him.
Sri Guruji, however, never accepted the
stand that those who are engaged in spiritual
life should not take interest in matters
concerned with the welfare of the nation. In
October 1952, a big Sadhu Sammelan took
place in Kanpur. Sri Guruji was specially
invited to the congregation. At that time,
Sri Guruji made one thing very clear to all
the spiritual and religious leaders of the
country. There are innumerable sadhus,
sannyasins and Mutt heads in our society.
Among them many are interested only in
their personal salvation through spiritual
sadhanas like Dhyaana, Dhaarana and Pooja.
Those who think about the society are very
few. The thought about making this society
safe and secure and making it march on the
path of progress never arises in their minds.
Sri Guruji therefore insisted that the sadhus
and sannyasins should act by combining the
goal of spiritual salvation with social
upliftment. He further said, “The Bhagava
Dwaj (Ochre Flag) is the highest symbol of
Hindu culture. It is the work of the sadhus
and mahatmas to carry the message of
Bhagava Dwaj to each and every home. They
must undertake this task as a national vow.
They must create an awakening in the society
and through that make the people realize
their self-respect and glory once again.
Bhagava Dwaj is the symbol of the highest
Satvic quality. Before its Satvic power, all
wicked forces will lose their strength. Sri
Guruji also pointed out that the
disinterestedness of sadhus and sannyasins
in matters concerning social upliftment was
because of the divisions in the society, the
splits and the feelings of mutual hatred
among people. He called upon the sadhus
to undertake the work of setting right the
dilapidated condition of the society as Divine
task.
Protect the Monuments of
National Honour
In a letter to Swatantrya Veer Vinayak
Damodar Savarkar, Sri Guruji says, “It is
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 33
because of the mind-set of our people, like
indifference in the matter of the places of
our worship and shameless tolerance of the
onslaught on the worshipful cow, our
temples and pilgrim centers by the aliens,
that the people have allowed the vivisection
of our Motherland Bharat. This is a grave
sin to be condemned vehemently. And these
sinful acts still continue. We are unable to
see people with self-respect who declare that
they will rest contented only after wiping
out these blemishes. In stead, we see leaders
who justify this grave sin of vivisection of
the country. In our culture, Gomata and
Bharatmata are inseparable. Therefore, how
can those who encourage or tolerate cow
slaughter be the true devotes of Bharatmata?
It is never possible.”
In a public meeting at Mumbai, Sri Guruji
declared: “Any self-respecting nation should
take up as its first and foremost task, the
wiping out of the blemishes caused by
slavery and even the traces of name and
identity of the aggressors from this soil.
From this stand point, the reconstruction of
the Somnath temple is a great event.” He
further warned: “It seems today that the
feeling in the hearts of the ordinary citizens
that this is our motherland, and the
attachment to the values of life are
declining. We are forgetting the glorious
history of our race. Like this, if we continue
to forgetting the glorious historic centers
of our cultural heritage, there will not
remain even one place of worship for us in
the future. If it happens unfortunately, on
what basis will we build the temple of our
nation whose peak will touch the sky? How
will we achieve rising glory that will touch
the heaven?”
Sri Guruji had made it very clear that the
feeling of patriotism cannot be divorced
from spirituality. He told the Swayamsevaks,
“Only when the sacred sentiments about our
Bharatamata arise in our hearts, on that
foundation, discipline, noble qualities and
full-fledged life will arise. Only when the
individuals equipped with all these noble
virtues are created, all the plans for the
upliftment of the nation will succeed. We
can raise the power of our nation only
through this spirit of dedication, sense of
responsibility and disciplined life. Raising the
power is the work of the Sangh.”
The Smriti Mandir of Paramapoojaneeya
Dr.Hedgewar was inaugurated at Nagpur on
April 9, 1962. On the next day, addressing
thousands of Swayamsevaks who had
gathered there from different parts of the
nation, Sri Guruji made a touching speech:
“This memorial is set here not with the
intention of creating a temple and installing
him on the pedestal like a religious leader. I
have no interest in a temple built with bricks
and stones. We must look at this memorial
only as a constant source of inspiration to
us.”
Rashtra Rishi with Swatantra Veer Savarkarji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 34
A Volunteer in the Task of
Integrating the Hindu Society
By the immense efforts of Sri guruji, the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad came into existence
in the Sandeepani Ashram of Swami
Chinmayananda at Mumbai on the auspicious
Krishna Janmaashthami day of the year 1964.
As a successful achievement in an effort to
bring together all the great Hindu religious
and spiritual leaders under one banner so as
to integrate the whole society, a mammoth
conference was held at Prayag on the
occasion of Poorna Amrita Kumbha Mela on
January 22, 23 and 24, 1966. When all the
great Acharyas an spiritual leaders were
seated on the dais, Paramapoojaneeya Sri
Guruji was busy, like a humble volunteer,
looking after the arrangements for the food
and accommodation of lakhs of people who
had come to participate in the conference.
However, the Shankaracharya of Dwaraka
Peeth insisted that Sri Guruji should come
to the dais and address the gathering.
Acceding to that request, Sri Guruji made a
speech in all humility and said: “In fact, there
is no need for me to come here and make a
speech. However, two months ago, the
revered Shankaracharya of Dwaraka Peeth
wanted that I should also speak on this
occasion. I apologized to him and submitted
that my work will be to sweep and wipe the
venue of the conference and keep it neat and
clean. I can do the work very efficiently,
because I am a Swayamsevak. However, how
can I disregard the order of the Acharya?
There is no other go but to abide by his
order.”
What simplicity! What humility! What the
sadhus and sannyasins who had assembled
in the conference at Prayag saw before their
minds’ eye was the scenes of Lord Krishna
removing the discarded leaves after the
guests who had attended the Rajasuya Yoga
of Dharmaputra had dined, and the Lord
tending the horses of Arjuna in the
Mahabharata war.
It was the unique achievement of Sri
Guruji that he made the leading sadhus,
sannyasins and Jagadgurus of the country,
who attended the Vishwa Hindu Parishad
congregation at Udipi in the year 1969, pass
a resolution unanimously declaring, “There
is no place for the sin of untouchability in
Hindu Dharma” and “Hindus are all
brothers”. Sri Guruji proclaimed that it was
a golden day in the history of Hinduism.
The Journey towards Eternity
The first day of July in the year 1970 was
the day on which Sri Guruji was admitted
into the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai
for undergoing an operation for treatment
of Cancer. Sri Guruji, who had the
premonition that the journey of his life was
coming to an end, was preoccupied with the
thoughts about the work that he had yet to
finish. He did not have even an iota of worry
about his health or the fear of death. When
he was taking leave of Dr.Praful Desai, the
surgeon who performed the operation, Sri
Guruji told him: “Man, who is mortal should
not unnecessarily be concerned about health.
It is the law of nature the every life must
one day or other come to an end. Therefore,
the important thing is not how long a man
lived, but how he lived. I have a work before
me. I want to complete it. For that I appeal
to the Lord that, He should keep me in good
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 35
health till the end of my life.”
Before undergoing the surgery, Sri
Guruji made a journey to the abode of Badri
Narayana and performed his own Shradda
at Brahmakapala near the pilgrim center. He
also got an opportunity to listen to the
discourse on Srimad Bhagavata from the
mouth of the great saint of Jhusi Ashram,
Sri Prabhu Datta Brahmachari.
He had a darshan of the Mother of Sri
Aurobindo Ashram at Pondichery on March
11, 1972. That meeting happened to be a
spiritually significant one. The two spiritual
luminaries sat facing each other. Not a single
word came out of their mouths and they
conversed in the language of silence. With
folded hands both of them parted company.
Sri Guruji remarked jovially once: “The
railway compartment is my address. The
human society surrounding me on all the four
sides is my home.” He was not only aware
of the fact that his life was a long journey,
but also made it known to others.
On the Jyeshtha Shukla Panchami day in
the year 1975, Sri Guruji sat on his asana
and performed Sandhyavandhan. He had
suffocation. His personal assistant, Dr.Aba
Datte, who was by his side, rushed to give
him oxygen, but Sri Guruji appeared to be
completely peaceful. He got the nails in his
hands and legs cut. Then he sat on the chair.
Before that, he took the Kamandalu on the
right side, that he always used to keep on
the left side only. Only when he used to start
a journey, he would keep it on the right side.
Abaji realized that Sri Guruji was taking
leave of all. The doctors also declared that
Sri Guruji’s health was beyond their control.
A message was sent to Mananeeya Sri
Balasaheb Deoras who was the Sarkaryavah
of the Sangh at that time. Exactly five
minutes after nine o’clock in the night, Sri
Guruji’s soul departed from his body.
After Sri Guruji attained immortality,
three letters, which he had written and
preserved in envelopes, were opened in the
presence of all and read out. In the first letter
he had expressed his wish that Sri Balasaheb
Deoras should take over the responsibility
as Sarsanghchalak after him. In the second
letter, he said that there was no need to raise
any memorial for him. The third letter that
he had written touched the hearts of
everyone. A great man considered himself
to be an insignificant human being, and with
all humility express his feeling: “If I have ever
caused pain to anybody’s mind, I beg, with
folded hands, their forgiveness.” To make his
feelings all the more clear he had quoted a
Marathi verse of Sant Tukaram. The message
of the verse is as follows: “Oh religious
preceptors, please convey this last prayers
of mine to the Lord that He should not forget
me. What more have I to say? Everything is
conveyed to Him. Tukaram places his head
at the feet of the Lord and prays, ‘let the
shadow of your grace fall on me ever’!”
Vande Mataram! Bharat Mata ki Jai!
Sadhu Prof V Rangarajan is the Founder
Trustee of Sister Nivedita Academy in Bangalore.
He has held important positions of trust and
responsibilities in institutions like Chinmaya
Mission, Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh, Vishva
Hindu Parishad, Swami Vivekananda Medical
Mission and Vivekananda Kendra.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 36
THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT ASKING FOR ANYTHING
I heard this story from Swami
Niramayananda (1911-1984), a senior monk
of the Ramakrishna Order. He was a disciple
of Swami Akhandananda, one of those great
saintly disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. Swami
Niramayananda’s pre-monastic name was
Bibhuti. At the time of the incident I am
going to narrate, he was staying as a novice
at our Sargachhi ashrama in Bengal with his
guru.
A junior professor named Madhavrao
Golwalkar was teaching in Benares Hindu
University in the early 1930s. After teaching
at the university for three years, he resigned
his position and went to Nagpur. There he
studied law and became a lawyer. In Nagpur,
he came in contact with Swami
Bhaskareswarananda, head of the Nagpur
branch of the Ramakrishna Order. From him
he came to know that one of the disciples of
Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Akhandananda, was
then living at the Sargachhi ashrama in
Bengal. Around that time Golwalkar
developed great spiritual yearning and keenly
felt the need for a guru. So he went to the
Sargachhi ashrama to have spiritual
initiation (diksha) from the Swami. After
initiation Golwalkar continued to say on as
a brahmachari for a while and served his
guru wholeheartedly. He followed his guru
like a shadow, making himself available to
serve.
Once, late at night, Bibhuti heard Swami
Akhandananda talking aloud to someone.
Bibhuti wondered why the Swami was
talking so loudly at that hour. Curious, he
came to the door of the Swami’s room and
saw an unexpected sight. The door was open
and kerosene lantern was lighting up the
room. The Swami was seated on his bed, and
Golwalkar was kneeling on the floor, facing
the swami with his hands folded in salutation.
Apparently in response to Golwalkar’s
prayer, Swami Akhandananda was giving
him his blessings. Bibhuti heard the swami
say to Golwalkar: ‘You will have the
knowledge of Brahman!’ A few days later,
with his guru’s permission, Golwalkar left
the Ashrama. Later in life, he became
renowened in India as the leader of a well-
known idealistic youth organization.
Witnessing that incident, Bibhuti felt a
great sadness of heart, because Swami
Akhandananda had never blessed him the
way he had blessed Golwalkar.
As days passed, his sadness deepened.
SHRI AMITABH MAHARAJ
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 37
Then one day Swami Akhandananda said to
Bibhuti, ‘I have to go to the bathroom. Please
bring a pot of water so that I can rinse my
feet after I have used the bathroom.’ The
bathroom was a separate building, away from
the residential quarters of the ashrama.
Bibhuti did as he was aked. He walked
behind his guru with a pot of water. Swami
Akhandananda approached the bathroom,
but didn’t enter it. He turned around and
said to Bibhuti, ‘Bibhuti, those who don’t ask
for anything get much more.’ So saying the
Swami returned to his room.
Bibhuti understood that his guru had
come to know the whole thing, even though
he hadn’t expressed it to him. he also
understood that there was selfishness even
in asking for blessings in spiritual life. Those
who are totally selfless—and do not ask for
anything—they alone get the highest rewards
in spiritual life.
Courtesy : Vedanta Kesari March 2006
Amitabh Maharaj Later known as Swami
Amurtananda of Ramakri shna Order,
Ramakrishna Mission Nagpur, he encouraged Sri
Guruj i to get Deeksha from Swami
Akhandananda.
When words like dharma and spirituality are uttered, pat comes the remark: “Why do you bring
religion into politics?” This question stems from a misunderstanding our concept of dharma and
confusing it with the Western concept of religion. The Western countries suffered for centuries
because of their dogmatic concept of religion and the control of state by the church. Our concept
of dharma is a different from that as light is from darkness. Dharma or spirituality is not a dogma
but a view of life in its totality. It is not a separate sphere of national life just as political or
economic spheres. Spirituality is, in our view, a comprehensive vision of life that should inform
and elevate and correlate all fields of society for the fulfillment of human life in all its facets. It is
the sap of our national tree, the life-breath of our national entity.
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 38
I first met Shri Guruji in a winter camp
at Salem in 1946. I was a student doing my
honours in the University College,
Thiurvananthapuram. We were all seated in
a hall, to be addressed by Shri Guruji. Being
the first occasion, I was all expectation, if
not trepidation. As Shri Guruji entered the
hall, my eager eyes took him in. He was
young, dynamic and had the appearance of
a Yuva Sannyasi dressed in white dhoti and
kurta over which he wore a coat. He held a
staff with a metal head in his hand. Brilliant,
piercing eyes which directly enter into your
very soul and dense, dark, flowing hair and
beard completed the serene majesty of his
unique personality.
Each one of us got introduced to him by
turn. To each one, he asked a few questions.
From the answers, he could easily size up
the caliber and capacity of each one.
Everyone got some suggestion and guidance
through this informal question and answer
session. At the end we were pleasantly
surprised that Shri Guruji could call
everyone by his name. But what appeared
strange was that this meeting of the ground
level workers with the highest in the
organization was full of mirth and laughter,
even while serious matters of organisation
were raised, discussed and answered. All
felt homely, as if they
were meeting the head
of the family. It took
about one whole hour,
though we felt as if it
was not even half that
time. At the end when
Shri Guruji stood up
and left us, the living
image of his unique
personality was
indelibly carved in
everybody’s heart. It
was to remain there for
all time to come as an
object of sweet
remembrance and
respectful adoration.
Shri Guruji was
about 40 years of age
at that time. I was hardly 20. Thereafter, it
was my good fortune to meet him at least
twice every year and sometimes even more,
till he passed away in the year 1973. Every
meeting was a unique experience, each in
its own way.
Just as the first meeting is engraved on
the mind, one of the last meetings also
remains undimmed. The year may be 1970
SHRI GURUJI
FROM YUVA SANNYASI TO ‘RASHTRA RISHI’
P.PARAMESWARAN
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 39
or 1971. The venue was Calicut. Shri Guruji
had come for a baithak of senior karyakartas.
He had grown old with silvery hairs and
white beard. The staff in hand was
substituted by a Kamandalu. We were told
that it was gifted to him by his revered Guru
Swami Akhandanandaji. From the dynamic
Yuva Sannyasi that he was in 1946, he had
grown and evolved into the revered Rashtra
Rishi. We were reminded of the galaxy of
our ancient Vedic sages. Age and experience
had matured him into a loftiness beyond
human. He seemed to be in a hurry. As the
moment of departure came, we lined on
either side with folded hands to have another
look at him. Shri Guruji with his graceful
glance and an occasional word or two moved
swiftly ahead as if he was conscious that the
time left was short and the mission ahead
was beckoning him to hurry up. Yes, the life’s
journey was moving forward towards its final
end. It was as moving and unforgettable a
moment as the first meeting was.
From 1940 to 1973, was a tumultuous
period in our nation’s history. It was through
these momentous 33 years that he led the
great organisation committed to his care by
Dr.Hedgewar, steadily, swiftly and carefully
ahead. A minor mistake, a small slip, a slight
error would have landed the organisation in
irreparable chaos or calamity in that
eventful and challenging period. But he
never slipped, never erred. To err is human,
says the old proverb. By that standard Shri
Guruji was superhuman—from the time of
taking over from the founder to the time of
handing over to his successor. Shri Guruji
was wisdom and alertness incarnate. The
organisation grew from strength to
strength, spread over the whole of the
country and even abroad wherever Hindus
lived. Every area of national life was
illumined and electrified by the mantra of
Hindu Rashtra. Along with the growth of
the movement, Shri Guruji, the one-time little
known professor of the Benares Hindu
University emerged and evolved into the
stature of the Rashtra Guru, revered and
respected by one and all. Irrespective of any
other consideration, he won universal
acceptance. But he never compromised on
principles or minced words in giving
expressions to his convictions. Even those
politicians who were never tired of
criticising him in place and out of place, paid
rich tribute to his services to the nation,
when the Parliament adopted the condolence
resolution at his passing away.
Shri Guruji’s mighty personality had
combined in itself two great streams of our
ancient national life – the spiritual and the
national. It was there in its seminal form
right from the beginning of his life. In later
life, both the currents mingling into one
became a mighty flow. He had inherited the
timeless spiritual tradition of Sanatan
Dharma from Shri Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda and
Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj who was his
deeksha guru. From Lokamanya Tilak, Veer
Savarkar and Dr.Hedgewar he had inherited
the nationalistic stream, which became an
inseparable part of his very constitution.
Though at times, the spiritual dimension
gained dominance over the other, Shri
Guruji could never break away from the
nationalist moorings. At first it was an
uneasy co-existence which later evolved into
one harmonious, single, sacred flow as in
the case of Swami Vivekananda and Shri
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 40
Aurobindo. The spiritual and the national so
intermingled that they became identical and
inseparable. Worship of the motherland
became worship of the divine mother. It was
the message of the sublime spiritual
nationalism that he has bequeathed to us.
Being fully assured that therein lies India’s
unique contribution to the rest of the world,
for Shri Guruji, the work of the Sangha was
nothing but the selfless sadhana for fulfilling
this world mission of Bharat. The Bhagirathi
of Sangha sadhana flows on undeterred to
its divinely destined goal.
P. Parameswaran is a renowned thinker in
Kerala. He is the Director of Bharatiya Vichara
Kendra and the President of Vivekananda
Kendra, Kanyakumari. He was organizing sec-
retary of Jan Sangh and director of the Deendayal
Research Institute in New Delhi. In 2004 ,the In-
dian President conferred ‘Padma Shri’ upon him
as recognition of his valuable contributions to
the society. He has authored many books in
Malayalam and English. “Beyond all isms to Hu-
manism” is one of the famous works.
Be a Foundation—Stone Be a Foundation—Stone Be a Foundation—Stone Be a Foundation—Stone Be a Foundation—Stone
This attitude will generate in us the spirit of true selfless service and take us a long way in giving
purity, humility and strength to our character and save us from swollen-headedness which is the
first step to degeneration. Let the stone in the foundation be our ideal. It lies there unseen,
unadmired. It may not be beautiful, may not be polished; but all the same it is the base. If it
moves or is shaken, the whole edifice crumbles down. More important than the central done,
more important than anything else, is that stone in the foundation. However, the stone remains
there as a symbol of self-oblivious service and self-effacement. That should be the spirit with
which we have to work among the people. The desire to strut about in the limelight of name and
fame, to shine at the top only betrays one’s lack of inner worth and weakness for self-adulation.
After all, what is great about sitting at the top? Even a crow can sit at the top of a dome!
Page No.435 (Bunch of Thoughts)
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 41
The whole world is passing through a
process of total transformation. The social
scientists say that, whenever a total
transformation has to take place, its social
indicators begin to appear some 20 to 25
years before the actual event and those
indicators are
1.Alienation
2.An increase in violent crimes
3.Mental disorders
4.Social disintegration
5.An increase in religious cults.
The first four are bad indicators whereas
the fifth is a good one. These we are
witnessing all over the world. As has always
been, bad ones are caused by demonic or
evil forces and the good ones by divine
forces. The conflict between the demonic
and the divine forces is an eternal one. They
alternate, and this causes the rise and fall of
nations.
The progress of nations is always cyclical.
After every rise there is a fall and after every
fall there is a potentiality for a rise. You
concentrate on a point on the circumference
of a wheel. The point comes down and again
goes up, but the axle of the wheel moves
forward. Now, how many rounds will a
wheel take, depends upon what is the initial
energy applied to it. You push a wheel with
a certain force, it may make ten rounds, you
apply double the force, it may make 20
rounds, but if you fix a motor on to it, it
may go round and round for a considerable
length of time.
There have been nations like Greece,
Babylonia, Rome, Egypt and such others
which came into existence, progressed and
reached their pinnacle of glory, made there
contribution to world civilization, but when
they came down, they were left with no
energy to rise again and so they passed into
the pages of history. But Bharat and the
nations taking inspiration from her have
experienced many rises and falls, because the
energy driving them is spiritual, which is
never exhausted. In such countries, after
every fall there is first a spiritual awakening
and then socio-politico-economic
resurgence. The spirituality in these
countries is represented by ‘Dharma’ and
‘Sanskriti’. Both these words do not have
synonym in English language. They have been
wrongly denoted by words ‘religion’ and
‘culture’. The correct words for religion and
culture in Sanskrit are ‘pantha’ and
‘sabhyata’. Panthas represent the different
paths which lead to the same Ultimate goal,
DAWN OF A NEW AGE
KUPPAHALLI SITARAMAYYA SUDARSHANJI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 42
whereas, ‘Sabhyata’ or culture defines the
mode of living, customs and manners,
cuisines and dresses, etc which are
determined by the environment in which
they live.
‘Dharma’ or ‘Dhamma’ on the other hand
is a much more comprehensive term. It
defines individual’s relationship with the
society and with the environment, as also
the relationship between the environment
and the society. And then, there is a
relationship between an individual and the
Ultimate Reality, whatever name you may
give for that. The rules and regulations
necessary for a harmonious relationship
between these four types of existences – the
Individual, the Society, the Nature and the
Almighty – are denoted by the term
‘Dharma’.
For a harmonious relationship between
an individual and his family, everybody must
do his duty towards other members of the
family. Thus, we have ‘matridharma’,
‘pitridharma’, ‘santandharma’, ‘patnidharma’
and so on. Here Dharma stands for duties.
Similarly there are sevakdharma and
swamidharma, shikshadharma and
chhatradharma, rajadharma and
prajadharma and so on. If everybody does
his duty properly then the society will run
smoothly and make progress.
Similarly our body is a gift of nature and
hence, it must always be in harmony with
nature. This we call ‘Achar Dharma’. What
to eat, when to eat, what to wear and when
to wear, all depend upon the environment
in which we live and they come under ‘Achar
Dharma’. Then, there is the relationship
between the society and nature. We get all
our resources from Nature. But nature has
only that much which can meet our
legitimate needs, but not our greed. Hence,
the spirituality oriented people feel a
symbiotic relationship with nature and
generally call it the Mother. Just as a child
takes only that much which is essential for
its survival, so also, we must also take only
that much which will enable us to survive.
Hence our motto is – ‘Consume, but with a
sense of renunciation’. And then comes the
individual’s relationship with the Ultimate
Reality. That Ultimate reality is not easy to
comprehend and hence we try to form an
opinion about Him according to our
inclinations. We here in our organization
daily recite the shlokas
¤ = |*=| =-¤*‘’|· ¤ =|º|| ;-> ¤=
=|n|=º=|==|= ·
= *||-n=| |== ¬=|¤= = ¤ = ¬’|·* =
|=|=|* ’||-n
‘| =| ¤=|’| |’|= ;·¤=| ¬= ¤ = ”º|=|
|=Ӽ| |=|n =n =|-n
= ¬=n·||= |-=|n =| ¬¬ =|·
=n >|~=|¬ |n ¬ |===| =-n·
‘||=n |n = |¬n =|n|¬n = =|=· ==|=||n
=|n |n |¤n |n -|=·¤|
¤ ¤|·| ¤-n ¬=*||’|n|= = ¤= ¤=
¤-| =|zn|¤·'
The meaning is – “Whom the ‘mantra-
drashtra’ rishis of yore designated with
words like ‘Indra’, ‘Yama’ and ‘Matrishwan’,
the Vedantins as Brahma, the indescribable
one, whom the ‘Shaivas’ called as ‘Shiva’,
the ‘Vaishnavas’ as ‘Vishnu’, the ‘Bouddhas’
as ‘Buddha’ and the ‘Jainas’ as ‘Arhat’, the
‘Sikhs’ as ‘Sat Shri Akal’, whom some call
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 43
with devotion as ‘Shasta’ (the Ruler), some
as ‘Kumar’, some as ‘Mother’, some as
‘Father’, ‘HE’ is ultimately is one and the
same.
It is the Ultimate Reality which acts as
the binding force between the individual, the
society and Nature. The West has been
unable to identify this binding force. Some
like Socrates identified themselves with
intellect, some like Rene Descartes with the
mind – his famous sentence is ‘I exist because
I think’- and some like Marx with the body.
And the body, mind and intellect are
different in different persons. They cannot
bind the people together. Hence the West
has developed a civilization which is
competitive in nature and the driving force
in every competition, whether it is beauty
competition or boxing competition or
bodybuilding competition or sports
competition, is the desire to ‘dominate’. And
this desire often leads to adopt unfair means.
This is also the case with Semitic Religions
like the Christian Church or Jehadi Islam or
ideologies of Communism or Consumerism.
They want to dominate by any means fair or
foul. They take recourse to violence, and
conflict is the end result. The 20
th
century
had already witnessed two world-wars, the
beginning of 21
st
century is on the threshold
of a third world-war, which has already
begun in certain areas of the world and there
is every possibility of its flaring up into a
full fledged nuclear war. Whenever it
happens it may take a heavy tall of 3 to 4
billion people and the environment will also
be polluted to the hilt.
It is here that the spiritual forces have a
role to play, because it is only they who
realize that, the Ultimate Reality is present
in the form of consciousness in every
existence in the world. Some may call it as
‘Atman’, some as ‘Chetana’ and some as
‘Jiva’. Western science also, starting from
matter as the basis, has in the beginning of
21
st
century come to the conclusion that, the
whole universe has a quantum
interconnectedness, where every particle
contains every other particle, one inhering
the other, just like a seed in a tree and a tree
in a seed.
We all realize that everything in this
universe has a particular role to play and
hence they should not be destroyed, but
preserved, hence the value of ‘Ahimsa’ or
non-injury. This forms the basis of all our
spiritual traditions – Shaiva, Shakta,
Vaishnava, Boudhha, Jain, Sikh, Lingayat and
all. And hence the definition of Dharma or
Dhamma is – that which sustains. It has ten
traits –
·|‘|n· ·|=| *=| =n ¤ ,
‘|| ¬|=|->¤|== =·
·|||= n| =·¤==| ·|| , *’|= ·
|= ¬·|º|=
Patience, forgiveness, abstinence, non-
thieving, purity, controlling the senses,
intellect, knowledge, truth and absence of
anger. We are all heir to this ‘Sanskriti’ and
have evolved a unique way of cultivating
these characteristics of our ‘Sanskriti’
through our family and community life.
Today our ‘Dharma’ and ‘Sanskriti’ are
threatened by Asuric forces- demonic forces.
Hence, the need to come together laying
emphasis on the common spirituality that is
underlying all this manifest world. And as I
said in beginning, we are on the threshold
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 44
of a great transformation. If we look at the
history of our religions we shall realize that,
every religion came into the existence to
fulfill a particular purpose at a particular
juncture of time. Here we shall have to
disabuse our minds from the dates of our
spiritual leaders, which were determined by
the Western scholars with biased minds. We
shall have to peep into our own resources
with our own interpretations. So many
scholars have come forward to do this with
exciting results.
First the date of the Mahabharat war was
determined. This event occurred 5144 years
from now, i.e. 3138 year B.C. That was a
period of decline when the leaders of the
community – Brahmins and Kshatriyas, had
become corrupt and were mute witnesses to
injustices that were perpetrated. Bhagwan
Krishna delivered his message of his Gita
and laid emphasis on righteous conduct and
‘Karmayoga’. He also exhorted people to
replace ‘pashubali’ (animal sacrifice) during
Yajnas with ‘dravya’ yajna (sacrifice of
wealth), ‘tapo yajna’ (sacrifice of austerity),
yoga yajna (sacrifice by performing yoga),
swadhyaya yajna (sacrifice by silent reading
and acquiring wisdom). An age of
renaissance started, when our forefathers
went to every nook and corner of the world
with the message ‘Krinvanto
Vishwamaryam’ – we shall ennoble to whole
world. In 2004, people of these traditions had
assembled in Jaipur from all over the world,
who have preserved those traditions under
extremely adverse conditions.
This continued for a period of about 1200
years, when again the decline set in. Large
scale slaughters of animals, in the name of
performing Yajna, were indulged in, only to
mint money and satisfy their craving for non-
vegetarian dishes. Wrong interpretations of
religious texts were given to serve their
purpose. For example, ‘gomedha’ in the
Vedas was taken to mean ‘Killing of cows’,
in spite of the fact that, in hundreds of places
the cow has been declared ~º-¤|' meaning
‘not to be killed in any circumstances’. = ·|
‘medha’ word carries other meanings also
such as rearing up, nourishing and so on.
Together with ‘gomedha’ (=| = ·|) ‘pitrimedha’
(|¤n = ·|) and ‘grihamedha’ (= == ·|) are also
mentioned, but they do not mean killing the
parents or setting the house on fire.
Gomedha meant rearing and nourishing of
cows and donate them to needy persons. But
wrong interpretation led to killing of
thousands of cows and bullocks and calves,
which were forcibly collected from the
peasants, who parted with their bovine
wealth with heavy hearts and tears in the
eyes.
It was at this juncture, 1890 B.C., that
Bhagwan Budhha, compassion incarnate,
arrived in this world to set the things right.
He propagated his four ‘arya satya’, the four
truths. He had come to realize these truths
in a state of meditation. He shunned both
the extremes – one the torturing of the body
through severe penance and the other
unbridled indulgence in sex – and followed
the ‘middle-path’ (=·¤= =|= ). With his extreme
calm and his patience and convincing
arguments, he could dissuade many people
from animal-sacrifices.
The Brahmins had begun to think they
belonged to the highest ‘varna’ and they had
the right to guide all other ‘varnas’, even
tough they may not have studied the
scriptures and mastered the priestly lore.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 45
Bhagwan Buddha with his brilliant
arguments exposed the hollowness of their
claims and more and more people became
his adherents. He organized all the
‘bhikkhus’ into a ‘sangh’ i.e. organization and
made rules and regulations for its proper
functioning. Later on, the sangh adopted the
‘mantra’ – “Budhham sharanam gacchami,
dhammam sharanam gacchami and sangham
sharanam gacchami”. Buddha had
prophesied that Bouddha dhamma would
prosper for thousand years. Bhikkhus again
went to every nook and corner of Eurasia
and spread the message of Buddha, of love,
ahimsa and mutual respect. There was a
request that Bhikshunis should also be
allowed in the Sangha. Then Bhagwan
Buddha told his disciple Anand – “O Ananda,
if women are also allowed to join the sangh,
then this beneficial dhamma will last only
five hundred years”. And that was what
actually happened. Bouddha dharma began
to decline after 500 years and lasted only for
1200 years.
Then Bhagwan Mahavira appeared on the
scene and emphasized the need for restrained
consumption. He also propagated the gospel
of Ahimsa. After him Shankaracharya was
born in 509 B.C. During his time there used
to be quarrels among Shaivas, Shaktas,
Vaishnavas and other sects each claiming his
deity to be supreme. With his philosophy of
‘Vedanta’, he established harmony among
the various sects. He started the ‘panchayatna
puja’, worship of the five deities. In that set
of five deities the devotee will keep his deity
in the middle and all other deities
surrounding that one. It is thus that he
reconciled all the different sects. It is after
this that the country progressed toward
prosperity.
Again after about 1200 years, decline set
in and again wrong interpretations were
given to our religious injunctions. Sea –
voyage was considered as prohibited. They
thought it would destroy their ‘dharma’. Had
that been the case, then how could have our
forefathers spread our message to different
corners of the world? When you stop
expansion, retrogression sets in. That was
what happened. We were enslaved by the
conquering armies of Islamic empire.
Whereas all other nations, which came
under the Islamic domination were
completely converted into Islam, it was only
in Bharat that they met with stiff resistance.
Due to this even after 500 years of their rule
they could convert only 12% of the
population to Islam. Religious leaders like
Sant Jnaneshwar, Guru Nanakdev and nine
Sikh Gurus, Tulasidas, Ramananda, Kabir,
Narsi Mehta, Ramdas and scores of others
exhorted the people to cultivate divine
qualities and readied them to shed their lives
to preserve their Dharma and Sanskriti.
Warriors like Shivaji, Guru Gobind Singh,
Rana Pratap, Chhatrasal Bundhela, Lachit
Barphukan in North East, Ranjit Singh all
fought to preserve our age-old dharma and
sanskriti, and ultimately were successful in
establishing their rule to be run on the
principles of Dharma. However, before they
could consolidate their positions, the
cunning Britishers came and taking
advantage of our disunity and other
weaknesses were able to establish their sway
over this country. They also tried to convert
the whole population into Christianity. But
spiritual leaders like Swami Dayananda, Sri
Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami
Vivekananda, Sri Ramatirtha, Sister Nivedita,
Sri Narayan Guru, Maharishi Aurobindo, the
Mother all put in their efforts towards
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 46
spiritual rejuvenation and leaders like Raja
Rammohan Roy, Sir Surendranath Banerjee,
Dadabhai Navroji, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr.
Ambedkar, Veer Savarkar, Dr. Hedgewar and
Guruji addressed themselves to socio-
politico-economic resurgence.
In 1894-95, Swami Vivekananda had
written letters to his ‘gurubhais’ that, when
Sri Ramkrishna Paramhamsa was born, a
golden age had dawned. And Maharishi
Aurobindo had said that the intervening
period between the two epochs would be of
the duration of 175 years. Add 175 to 1836,
Kuppahalli Sitaramayya Sudarshanji is the
Sarsanghachalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh. He was made the prant pracharak of
Madhya Bharat at a fairly young age. Though ini-
tially he was hesitant to take up the responsibil-
ity, the then RSS Sarsanghachalak Sri Guruji
Golwalkar helped him make up his mind.
Sudarshanji was also a joint general secretary of
the organisation.
it comes to 2011, which happens to be the
dawn of a millennium of spirituality based
new world. The dawn is near. Let us prepare
ourselves to welcome the new Sun in 2011.
Y YY YYajna Symbolised ajna Symbolised ajna Symbolised ajna Symbolised ajna Symbolised
Yajna – scrifice – occupies a pivotal position in our cultural heritage. The term Yajna carries
several meanings. Offering one’s individual life in the cause of social regeneration is Yajna. To
offer as oblation all that is unworthy, undesirable and unholy in us in the fire or virutes, too, is
Yajna. And to take to a fiery path of dedication, sacrifices, service and penance is the very
essence of Yajna. The presiding deity of Yajna is fire. Flame represents the fire and the sacred
Bhagawa Flag is the symbol of the orange-coloured sacrificial fames.
Page No : 422 (Bunch of Thoughts)
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 47
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Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 49
There is an incident in the life of Sri
Guruji. Once some students studying in a
university came to meet him. Sri Guruji told
them that they should try to come in contact
with every person in the society and move
with him amicably.
One Swayamsevak replied that, there are
people of various natures in the society.
Some oppose us vehemently, some despise
us, some are apathetic, and due to this it is
difficult to maintain a pleasant frame of
mind, while coming in contact with them.
Answering him, Sri Guruji quoted one
Sloka from the Patanjali Yoga Sutra.
Maitree karunaamudhitopekshaanaam
Sukhadhukha punyaapunyavishayaanaam
Bhaavanaata ichitra prasaadhamam
The exposition of the above shloka is as
follows: In our society, there are four types
of people 1. Happy 2. Unhappy 3. Virtuous
4. Degenerate.
Those who lead their lives with a feeling
of satisfaction, remain happy. They are
generally content with their lot and express
their gratitude to God for that. They
constitute the major support to the Sangha
activities. One should develop friendship
with them.
Some people in the society tend to remain
unhappy. In spite of being endowed with a
THATHAGAT AND SRI GURUJI
SHRI RAMESH PATANGE
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 50
number of qualities, they have to face various
physical and mental problems. One should
have a feeling of compassion for such
miserable people and make efforts to
alleviate their sorrow. One should
commiserate with them, and as a result of
that, they get associated with our activities.
The third category is of virtuous people.
Due to their acts of virtue in their earlier
births, they do not face any scarcity of
wealth and are always abundant in physical
resources. One should have a feeling of
goodwill towards such affluent people and
never envy them. We should always try to
be amiable with such people.
The fourth category is of degenerate
people. They enjoy inflicting misery on
others. They also relish indulging in acts of
violence. We should discard them
considering that they are incorrigible and
cannot be rectified by us. In a nut-shell, Sri
Guruji said that in the society, we should
befriend those who are happy, sympathise
with those who are unhappy, have a feeling
of goodwill towards those who are affluent,
and have apathy for those who are wicked.
These four feelings of friendship, sympathy,
good-will and apathy will make our mental
frame pleasant.
Bhagawan Buddha has beautifully
expounded these four psychological feelings
– friendship, sympathy, delight and apathy.
Buddha was on the verge of attaining
Samadhi, on the threshold of acquiring the
supreme knowledge. A thought arose in his
mind, that the supreme knowledge was quite
abstruse and was difficult to be understood
by the masses who were always enmeshed
in worldly affairs. It would be futile to tell
them anything about it and should I not enjoy
the rest of my life in bliss. After this thought
flashed in the mind of Bhagawan Buddha,
the four psychological feelings, friendship,
compassion, good will and apathy
personified themselves as Brahma and they
appeared before him. They said that people
are plunged in darkness and follow the path
of unrighteousness and, therefore should be
taught Dharma. In the lore of Buddha, these
four mental propensities are called
Brahmavihar. As these four mental
propensities strengthened, Bhagawan
Buddha travelled to the different parts of the
country and preached his doctrine for 45
years.
Bhagwan Buddha used to exhort his
disciples, “Bhikshus, if you inscribe these
four feelings of friendship, compassion,
good-will and apathy on your heart, you will
be benefited in 11 ways 1. The person sleeps
peacefully at night 2. He wakes up peacefully
3. He does not get any nightmares 4. He is
liked by all the people 5. Even ghosts and
vampires develop a liking for him 6. The
deities protect him 7. Fire, poison and
weapons cannot harm him 8. His mental
frame remains peaceful 9. There is an
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 51
expression of bliss on his countenance 10.
He dies comfortably 11. He acquires
liberation or Nirvana. Hence, Sri Guruji
repeated the words of Thathagat Gautam
Buddha. Bhagawan Gautam Buddha was a
realized soul and so was Sri Guruji, like
Thathagat. Sri Guruji had also once
contemplated renouncing everything and
going to the Himalayas. But later, he used
say to himself, that he would not go to the
Himalayas, and that the Himalayas would
come to him. Bhagawan Gautam Buddha
travelled across the length and breadth of
this country for 45 years, to bring about the
welfare of the people. Similarly, Sri Guruji
also went to the different parts of the
country for 33 years. Sri Guruji taught what
the right Dharma (Sathdharma) is and the
Dharma for the age (Yugadharma). He also
elucidated Sathdharma and Yugadharma.
The speciality of India is that here for the
last thousands of years, there is an ancient
stream of thought flowing and elevating the
spiritual lives of the masses. Sometimes
sporadically, this flow becomes congested,
the water of spirituality becomes turbid and
pollutants get mixed in it, due to which it
has to be purified. Great men carry out this
work of purification. Bhagawan Gautam
Buddha did this work. He acquired the
supreme knowledge after profoundly
studying the ancient Yoga Scriptures. He
preached to eschew the various ills in the
society like violence, slaughter of animals,
untouchability, caste prejudice, oppression
of women and adharmic behaviour in the
name of Dharma and guided the society
along the righteous path. Sri Guruji also held
up all these values till the last breath of his
life.
There are a number of similar incidents
pertaining to the four psychological
propensities of friendship, compassion,
goodwill and apathy in the lives of Thathagat
and Sri Guruji. One should have a feeling of
friendship for everyone. Gautam Buddha has
explained the sequence in which it has to be
carried out - first with oneself, then with
friends and finally with the enemies. Gautam
Buddha’s paternal cousin Devadatta was his
sworn enemy. He had close friendship with
Ajatashatru, the emperor of Magadha. He
incited Ajatashatru and thrice tried to get
Gautam Buddha murdered. But he was
unsuccessful in his efforts. Gautama Buddha
however, did not speak one harsh word
against Devadatta. Whenever occasion
arose, the topic used to arise, he would
praise him lavishly and say that he had great
knowledge of Dharma. By his feeling of
friendship, he won him over.
In 1948 Pandit Nehruji tried to crush the
Sangha by political means. Sri Guruji was
implicated in the assassination of Gandhiji
and arrested. The Sangh was banned and the
lives of thousands of Swaymsevaks were
paralysed. But Sri Guruji always maintained
a feeling of amiability towards Pandit Nehru.
Pandit Nehru took his daughter, Indira along
with him, on his foreign tour. Some senior
Karyakartas criticized him severely for that.
To that, Sri Guruji reacted, “What kind of
people are you? You do not have any hearts.
Pandit Nehru’s wife has passed away. He does
not have any close kith and kin. In these
circumstances, if he takes his close
confidante—his daughter along with him,
what is objectionable about it?”
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 52
Thathagat Bhagawan Buddha was
compassionate towards all the living
creatures. Once he came across a naked and
an almost insane woman. Her name was
‘Patachara’ which means ripper of clothes.
She was from a high caste, but her two sons,
husband, parents, brothers and sisters had
met with unnatural deaths and this had a
highly adverse impact on her mind. She lost
her sanity and started moving about without
any clothes. Bhagwan Buddha in a highly
compassionate tone told her, “Patachara be
serene”. Surprisingly, she became tranquil.
Seeing herself naked, she felt ashamed.
Bhagawan Buddha gave her clothes and
explained the path of Dharma to her. Later
Patachara became a highly erudite
Mahapandita, an expert in dialectics.
Similarly Sri Guruji also had a deep
sympathy in his mind. Lepers are detested
in the society. One such person suffering
from leprosy, Shri Sadashiv G.Kabheji was
inspired by Sri Guruji to construct the
Kushtanivarak Sangha (Leprosy Eradication
Society). He donated his own land for that
purpose. Even now, the work of Bharteeya
Kushtanivarak Sangha is going on in Chapa,
Madhya Prdesh. Once when a neighbour of
Sri Guruji passed away, Sri Guruji was
plunged in grief. He remained sad
throughout the day. He was exclaiming that
nobody might have put a drop of water in
his mouth in his last moments.
Thathagat Gautam Buddha had a feeling
of goodwill for all the kings. He used to meet
them and also the rich traders. He never
exhorted that comforts, kingly pleasures are
despicable. The king of Magadha, Bimbisara
gifted his garden ‘Venuvan’ to him. A very
rich person named Anathpandik purchased
a garden ‘Jetvan’ and donated it to Gautam
Buddha. Buddha took on himself the
responsibility of looking after the Sangha.
Sri Guruji used to meet all the rich people
of this country with a friendly attitude. He
used to enable them to get associated with
the work of organizing the Sangha. Seth
Dayakji of Mumbai, Lala Hansraj Gupta of
Delhi, Barrister Narendranathji are some of
them. He never impugned the wealthy
section of the society. Similarly, he displayed
reverence for all the saints and sages,
Shankaracharyas, etc. and used to prostrate
before them. By this friendly attitude he
enabled the Sadhus and saints of India to
get associated with social work. Several
times, Gautam Buddha fell a prey to the
strictures of his critics. Some people never
even hesitated to abuse him. Once while
seeking alms one householder hurled a
number of vituperative epithets on him. He
quietly listened to all those abuses. When
that person stopped abusing him, then
Thathagat asked him, “Gentleman may I ask
you a question?” He assented to it. Thathagat
asked him, “Guests may be coming to your
home and you might be giving some gifts to
them.” The householder answered in the
affirmative. Buddha asked him, “If they do
not accept your gifts, then where do those
gifts go?” The householder said, “They
remain with me”. Bhagawan Buddha replied,
“I do not accept the abuses you showered
on me. Hence they will remain with you.”
Intrigued by the nonchalant logic of the
Thathagat, that householder repented for his
mistake and became Buddha’s disciple.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 53
During his life time, Sri Guruji was also
maligned and branded as ‘communalist’,
‘fascist’, ‘parochialist’. ‘anti-Dalit’,
‘manuvadi’, etc. Sri Guruji used to respect
even those people who abused him and never
countered their onslaughts. Once some
Karyakartas thought of filing litigations
against those who made false allegations
against him. They wrote a letter to Sri
Guruji, seeking his permission for that Sri
Guruji replied, “Such kind of people should
be ignored. At the time of Holi, if somebody
abuses it is not considered to be a crime.
Similarly, during elections, if someone
speaks in an uncivilized manner, one should
not bother about it. We should ignore all
this”. After his release from imprisonment
in 1947, grand programmes were held to
accord a glorious welcome to him. Many
people expected that Sri Guruji would lash
out at the government. But he did not utter
one harsh word. On the contrary, he said,
“if the tongue gets injured by the teeth, one
does not break ones teeth. All are our own
people.”
Sri Guruji practically implemented this
four psychological propensities of
friendship, compassion, goodwill and apathy
in his daily life. In the Bhagawad Geeta, Lord
Shri Krishna has explained the
characteristics of a great person by using
the words. ‘nirvera sarvabhooteshu.” One
has to follow a very hard discipline to reach
this lofty state of mind. It is very easy to
write, read, speak or listen to these words,
but very difficult to imbibe and practice.
Thathagat and Sri Guruji had reached this
supernatural state.
Looking at the present scenario in the
world and whenever the topic of clash of
civilizations arises, we realize the great
importance of these four psychological
tendencies, friendship, compassion, goodwill
and apathy. These four propensities
counteract the feelings of hatred, malice,
immorality, violence, greed, covetousness for
materialistic assets, production of weapons
of mass destruction. These four tendencies
are like a lamp, like illumination. Where there
is light, darkness cannot exist. Besides light,
there are no other means to remove
darkness. Hence, the sloka is of paramount
importance for world peace. To repeat the
sloka,
Maitree karunaamudhitopekshaanaam
Sukhadhukha punyaapunyavishayaanaam
Bhaavanaata ichitra prasaadhamam
Shri Ramesh Patange is the Editor of the Marathi
weekly “VIVEK” published from Mumbai. A se-
nior activist, thinker and ideologue of Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh, he is deeply involved in
the Dalit problems and is a leader and one of the
founders of the Samajik Samarasata Munch.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 54
‘Ishaavasyamidam Sarvam’ – Everything
that exists here, is pervaded by God Himself.
If one has to summarise Indian philosophy
in a nutshell, this is the gist. This is the base
of the Indian philosophy. The Rishis and
sages of India have given the world a theme
which expresses the undercurrent of unity
and oneness that is ever present throughout
the universe. By proclaiming ‘Sarvam
Khalvidam Brahma’, the Indian seers
dispelled all duality and indicated that there
is no place for separatism, discordance or
disharmony in this world created by God.
This is the ancient knowledge of the Vedas
and the Upanishads. Indian thinkers dived
deep within and brought back the precious
jewels of Supreme Knowledge from the
ocean of Bliss.
There has been a great lineage of holy
seers, noble thinkers and divine preachers
in India who have handed down this
immortal heritage, this divine legacy to the
following generations for centuries after
centuries. In every age, there have been such
divine personalities who where born solely
for the propagation and spread of this sacred
knowledge. Shri Guruji (Shri Madhav
Sadashiv Golwalkar) was also one such
torchbearer of this sacred legacy who was
a gifted soul with the vision of a ‘Rishi’ and
the aptitude of a ‘Jan Nayak’. His entire life
has been one of an exemplary illustration of
the Vedantic theories preached by those
noble souls. In him we witness a personality
totally dedicated to the motherland, a soul
SRI GURUJI AND HIS VISION OF ONENESS
SWAMI SATYAMITRANAND GIRI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 55
who had descended on the earth only to
serve and uplift his fellow brethren, a great
Karma Yogi in the true spirit of the term as
professed by the Gita, a great son of the soil
that Mother India ever produced.
His entire life is like an open book through
which any one can read the text of divine
knowledge, patriotism, yogic forbearance,
selfless service, universal outlook, and a
sense of oneness with everyone. Born in 1906,
he was the ninth child of his parents who
had lost their earlier eight progenies. When
young Madhav Rao attained the age of
marriage, his mother urged him to marry.
For both his father and mother, he was their
only hope to continue their family lineage.
But Madhav Rao very plainly but strongly
refused the proposal. He said, “The nation
should live on, even at the cost of the
termination of thousands of family lineages.”
Such was his single-minded dedication to
serve the cause of the Motherland.
Otherwise, he was a staunch Matri-Bhakta
(devoted to his mother). He had a very strong
attachment for his mother. Later on, when
she passed away, he was completely grief-
stricken. But the Senior Shankaracharya of
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham dispatched a
message of condolence to him which read
thus:, “Your mother of flesh and bone is no
more. But from time immemorial, you and
good sons like you have been blessed by the
holy Motherland, the Bharatmata. You are
already serving Her selflessly. Hence, it is
impossible that you experience the pains of
bereavement.” This provided him a great
relief. Such a soul is hard to be witnessed in
the recent history of India.
A visionary par excellence, he was also a
profound thinker. He was born at the turn
of the century (1906). During the first half of
the 20
th
century, the world was passing
through a transitory phase. There was an air
of turmoil everywhere. The world had
witnessed two Great Wars. As a result, there
was a school of thought which was
promoting the idea that ‘nationalism’ was
harmful for the concept of world unity.
Russians tried to justify and promote the
theory of Communism under the guise of this
theme. But Shri Guruji was quick to foresee
the failure of this movement. He also
thought that the idea of wiping out
‘nationalism’ was not practically perfect. It
was soon evident. After the first euphoria
was over, it was seen that the common
Russian lacked enthusiasm to work any
further under the newly created ‘Soviet
Union’. The reason was that they lacked
‘motivation’. They did not have any country
of their own to sweat for. On several
occasions, they were forced to work under
the gunpoint. Finally, when the German tanks
entered the Russian territory during the 2
nd
World War, people were unwilling to fight.
The Russian rulers realized their folly. They
had to urge the people to fight for the
honour of their past heroes and for the sake
of their motherland. Referring to this, Guruji
said, “It is impossible to wipe out the notion
of ‘nationalism’ as it is one of the basic
features of the human society. Nationalism
is deeply rooted in the psyche of man. Just
like Communism, we can see that the
experiment of the ‘League of Nations’ has
also failed. The UNO is also not proving
much effective, as we can see it from our
experience of the ‘Kashmir’ issue.”
When asked, ‘Is there no remedy to this
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 56
problem? Can the world be never at peace?
Will there be no Oneness or Unity among
mankind?’, Guruji proudly replied, “Only we
Hindus have the solution for this menace.
History stands witness that Hindus have
successfully and most amicably dealt with
this burning problem.” He was then accused
of being pro-Hindu in such times when the
world at large wanted to look beyond all such
narrow barriers of nationalism, religion,
caste and creed. But Guruji was firm and
confident about his policies and goals. He
was ready to debate with anybody to clarify
his stand.
He discerned — only the formation of a
Hindu Rashtra can solve all the problems of
not only the Indians but also of the world.
Our theme is ‘Unity in Diversity’. As Hindus,
we understand in a better way what is ‘unity’
and what is ‘diversity’. Just as each individual
has a separate identity and existence, each
nation also has a separate entity. Each nation
has a particular role to play in the global
scheme of the world. All of them, along with
their varied cultures and social ethos, are
developing and progressing in accordance
with their typical individuality. All are
moving towards one common goal. Any
artificial attempt to forestall or eliminate this
individuality will prove suicidal and
detrimental to mankind.
At the same time, we Hindus are aware
that there is a certain ‘inner bond / internal
relation’ which binds all of us together on
the spiritual level. Each religion of the world
advises its followers to love each other. But
so far, no philosophy has given any logical
explanation to this principle that why a man
should love, help and cooperate with others?
We Hindus know for sure that the individual
‘self’ (Atman) of one person is the same like
the ‘self’ of another person. In situations like
happiness or sorrow, this ‘self ' in one man
reacts in the same manner, just as any other
‘self’. This ‘realisation’ is common to
everybody. And it is the direct result of the
fact that we all are ‘projections’ of one and
the same universal ‘Self’. This is the unique
spiritual inner bond that we share with each
other. This is the only common ground where
humanity can come together on one footing.
This is the ultimate unity. It is the secret
behind the theme of ‘Unity in Diversity’. We
are one and unified spiritually, and separate
and diversified materially. This theme can
simultaneously bring all nations together
and at the same time can retain their
individual identity.
Thus we can see that Shri Guruji was the
pioneer of the spiritually-rooted cultural
nationalism of Bharatvarsha. It was for the
furtherance of this theme that he deputed
Shri Eknathji Ranade to Kanyakumari to
oversee and implement the project of the
Vivekananda Rock Memorial there and saw
that the Memorial got completed at all costs.
He also worked to bring the converts back
to the fold of Hinduism. He termed this
activity as ‘Paravartan’ (Coming Back) instead
of 'Shuddhi' (Purification). He also worked
for the upliftment of the Hindu
Untouchables.
A patriot beyond compare, he invoked the
esteem and regard of the likes of Pt.Nehru
and others. On several occasions, Pt.Nehru
and later, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri invited
him for discussions on matters of national
security. Due to his full fledged support to
the government during the Chinese invasion,
Pt.Nehru invited the Swayamsevaks of RSS
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 57
to participate in the Republic Day Parade of
1963. A contingent of 3000 uniformed
Swayamsevaks marched in rhythm with the
Indian security forces that year. The BBC
once reported that ‘Shri Guruji’ is a shining
star on the Indian horizon. Pt.Nehru is the
only other person who attracts such huge
crowds’.
He was a saint, in white robes. A great
Karma Yogi and an Atma-Gyani, the last
dream that was very dear to his heart was
Swami Satyamitranand Giri is founder of
Bharat Mata Mandir, patron of the VHP UK and
VHP International, and a key figure in both VHP
and RSS activities in India. He was President of
“Sri Guruji Shatabdi Samaroh Samiti.”
that of a reunited Bharatvarsha. He always
wished for the cancellation of the partition
of the Motherland and wanted to see India
united once again. It is the most sacred duty
of every Indian to work towards the
fulfilment of this goal and ensure the
resurgence of Mother India. Vande Mataram.
Bharat-Mata has been, in fact, the central theme of our national life all through. She has
nourished us as the mother with her soil, air and water and all the various objects for our
sustenance and happiness. Like a father she has arranged protection to us through the
impregnable Himalayas in the north, and various mountain ranges like Aravali, Vindhya and
Sahyadri interspersed all over the country the afforded our freedom-fighters protection and
shelter in the past. And she had acted as our spiritual preceptor in her capacity as Dharmabhoomi,
Karmabhoomi and Moksha-bhoomi. Our motherland has verily been a mother, a father and a
teacher – mata, pita and guru – all rolled into one.
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 58
We seldom come across such great souls
who leave an impact on the era in which
they live; blessed is the age in which they
appear. The family in which they are born
gets sanctified. The parents who beget such
epoch making personalities accomplish a
great objective in their life. The land on
which they are born gets consecrated. They
do not belong to any country or caste, but
to the whole world. Guruji Golwalkar was
one such magnificent personality. Such
divine people are the jewels adorning Bharat
Mata. Golwalkarji had a pious disposition
and always treaded the path of humanity.
He practiced all the ten tenets of Dharma.
A real Sanyasi
He shunned those aspirations to whose
lure others succumb, such as status, fame,
wealth, power etc. We who label ourselves
as saints are always enmeshed in he web of
monasteries, temples, ashrams, money and
reputation. After having become the
sarsanghachalak of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh, he was always
occupied with the thoughts of how to serve
it in the best possible way, but was not
attached to that organization. Detachment
was his natural propensity. Once somebody
offered to donate 1 lakh rupees to him.
Inspite of the financial problems the Sangha
was facing then, he politiely declined the
offer, and suggested the donor to give that
donation to some other Swamiji’s Ashram,
which in his opinion was in a greater need
of money. He never kept money with himself,
A REAL SANNYASI
PRABHUDATT BRAHMACHARI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 59
never sought financial help from anybody
and never set aside anything for the future.
One Kamandal and one cloth were his only
possessions and like a Parivrajak Sanyasi,
he traveled across the length and breadth of
our motherland twice in a year, for 30 years.
He was obsessed with his peregrination. Like
a Sanyasi, he took shelter and food from
anybody who offered it to him. Once he told
me “Maharaj some people feel that my
activities are gimmicks, aimed at enabling
me to become the president. I will never
accept any post and will always remain
indigent. He left the Sangha in the same
cloak which he had worn while entering it
30 years ago, without besmirching it.
An epitome of modesty
He had a great reverence for Sadhus. He
always paid his obeisances to all Sadhus,
including those who spiritualism was
confined only to their vestments.
He had an immense respect for me and
prostrated before me, in the presence of
everybody. He had a great virtue of
venerating others. A person who respects
other is nobler than the one to whom respect
is given Sensualism was remote from him.
He did not have the slightest inkling of desire
for home, family or wealth. I had visited his
house in Nagpur. It was a rented house,
characteristic of the poverty of his
occupants. He only had his father and mother
and no brothers or sisters. He maintained
his relations with that house only for the sake
of his parents happiness. He daily visited his
sister and brother in law. His parents were
simple, pious people and I had met them in
my ashram, when they had visited. From the
appearance of that house, nobody could
guess that it was the abode of such a great
soul. He was related to that house as long as
his parents were alive. After they left the
mortal plane, he made his home, office etc.
in some corner of the Sangha office. He was
a living embodiment of renunciation.
Never favoured calumny
He completely ignored the drawbacks in
other people. After the elections, in which I
was pitted against Nehru, he came to the
ashram. A pandit recited some mantras to
allude, that Nehru had won the elections by
using Kashmiri girls as his armour for self
defence. On hearing that, he got displeased.
He could not bear to see anyone getting
maligned.
The only aim of his life was to organize
the Hindu society which had swerved off the
path of its mission and he wanted to
accomplish that aim, with his entire heart
and soul. He strove with his mind and heart
to his maximum capacity to serve our
Motherland.
A listener par excellence
Whenever he got time, he studied the
Bhagwad Geeta and other scriptures. He had
initially made his impression on me as a
social worker interested in serving the
masses.
When I narrated the story of the
Brahmargeet of the Bhagawad Charit, I
found out that his heart was already suffused
with devotion for the Bhagawad. For five
days, as long as I narrated the story, his eyes
overflowed with tears. In my entire life, I
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 60
have never met another such listener. I
wanted to narrate the story for the whole
week, but where did he have the time for it?
When he was sick, I wrote, “I want to
narrate the story for a week”. He replied,
“Maharajji! You are an incarnation of
Sukhdeva, but I am not like Parikshit. If you
do the favour of narrating the story to me,
then all the arrangements according to your
desire will be made here”.
He was not in a position to sit for a long
time. Had I narrated the story throughout
the week, he somehow would have managed
to sit through. Due to this, the other
attendants would have developed a
resentment against me. Hence I did not go
to Nagpur. I replied, “Once your normal
health is restored, I shall narrate”. But he
left the mortal plane soon after that. Then
considering Rajju Bhaiya as his
representative, I narrated the story for an
entire week in the Sankirtan Bhawan of
Jhunsi thinking that it will bring peace to
the departed soul. On his qualities, I feel that
the exhortations made by Gokarnji to his
father Atmadeva in the Srimad Bhagwat
Mahatmaya to relentlessly follow Dharma
and renounce the worldly ways, acquire the
company of the holy people and renounce
sensualism, got imprinted on Guruji’s mind
, as a result of which it could be clearly seen
that he became oblivious of the virtues and
vices in other people, relentlessly carrying
out his service.
Endeavour without bothering about
the consequences of your efforts
Dr. Hedgewar sowed the seeds of the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha in the
interest of the Hindu society. This seed had
not fully germinated, when he handed it over
in its infancy to Guruji Golwalkar and left
the mortal plane. At that time, Golwalkarji
was very young, he was a young man, 30-32
years old. However he nurtured that seed
and brought about its growth. When it
blossomed, bloomed and finally bore fruits,
then keeping in mind the shloka of Bhagwad
Geeta “Ma Phaleshu Kadaachana…..” which
means—never desire the fruits, he passed
away without tasting those fruits.
Made others like himself
100-150 students live with us. Hardly any
of them is eager to follow our instructions.
However the Swayamsevaks of the Sangha
after having performed their worldly chores
are always involved in serving others. One
of my colleagues amazingly asked,
“Maharajji! Only God knows what medicine
is administered by Sri Guruji to the
Swayamsevaks, that they always long to
sacrifice everything in serving others. They
never leave the Sangha”. There are numerous
great Saints who sacrificed immensely but
one who has made others like himself is
rarely seen. Hence a poet has said
“A saint , like the philosopher's stone is
rare to find. Philosopher's stone is one that
converts iron to gold and a saint makes
others like himself”.
Hence Bhartrahariji has said:
Why should we praise the Sumeru
mountain made of gold and the Kailash
mountain made of silver as the trees on those
mountains continue to remain as trees? We
extol the Malaya mountains and consider
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 61
them to be hallowed as the trees like Neem,
Kankal and Kutaj on it, also become like
Sandalwood.
—Nitishak - 75
Prabhudatt Brahmachari has his ashrams in
Allahabad and in Vrindaban, and has lead the
agitation for cow protection.
W WW WWeak Links Do Not Mak eak Links Do Not Mak eak Links Do Not Mak eak Links Do Not Mak eak Links Do Not Make a Str e a Str e a Str e a Str e a Strong Chain ong Chain ong Chain ong Chain ong Chain
Let us now look for the source of such a strength. Where does it reside? We say, it lies in the
organized life of the people. But, what type of people? They should be such as are imbued with
unity of mind and thought, bound together with a common code of morality and faith in each other,
and filled with absolute loyalty to the nation. Unless they are such, their organized strength is not
likely to protect the nation. On the other hand, it may prove to be a menace to national life. (For
example, selfish and antisocial elements and even thieves and dacoits got themselves organized.)
We also find that it is easier to gather together selfish people without character for purposes which
are detrimental to social welfare. Today, such groups having their own sectarian or other narrow
interests are coming up throughout the country. In order to satisfy their selfish interests they are
even prepared to destroy the sanctity and unity of our national life. Such persons can come
together very easily. That is the lowest stratum of organized life. In the lower strata of life, organistion
is very simple, very easy. A whole flock of crows assembles if we just throw a piece of flesh. That is
the herd instinct. This instinct comes into play when the wider grasp of or some such things reign
supreme in the mind. But we should not take to this line simply because it is easy.
Therefore, we conclude that organized strength has to be built up by the bringing together of
proper persons. Then, what are the qualities required of individuals who will form the living limbs of
such an organized strength?
Page No: 48-49 (Bunch of Thoughts)
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 62
Like Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, Sri Madhavrao
Sadashivrao Golwalkar popularly known as
Sri Guruji possessed an enormous spiritual
prowess. In the religious environment
created by his pious parents and his elder
brother Amrit, the seed of spiritualism was
sown in his conscience, when he was a
child. At that time, he heard the ‘Ram Raksha
Stotra’ being recited by his father three-four
times and memorized it. He meticulously
cultivated the habit of regularly performing
the Sandhyaupasana (prayers in the evening)
and yoga. During his stay in Kashi as a
student of M.Sc, he came in contact with
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and various
other philosophers and saints. In their
sanctified company his spiritual propensities
intensified. During his sojourn in Kashi, both
as a student and a teacher, his erudite nature
enabled him to probe the depths of all the
great scriptures and assimilate their essence.
He did not confine the study of his subject—
Zoology only to textbooks but transcended
their purview to examine the relationship
between the animate and the inanimate
world, so as to draw analogical comparisons
between the Advaita philosophy and the
modern science.
A holistic vision of humanity
During this period, he developed
amicable relationship with the Theosophical
society of the Banaras Hindu University and
became very friendly with Mr.Desai who was
a famous composer, poet and singer of
devotional songs and this provided a further
impetus to his spiritual tendencies.
Right from his childhood, due to the
frequent transfers of his father in connection
with his job and his studies in various places
like Nagpur, Chennai and Kashi, he had
SRI GURUJI—A SPIRITUAL POWER
RAM NARAYAN TRIPATHI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 63
grown seeing glimpses of the holistic
humanity and that had left a deep impression
on his mind. Those glimpses became more
crystallized after his visit to Himachal
Pradesh.
An irrevocable resolution
In June 1933 after coming back to Nagpur
from Kashi, he came in intimate contact, on
the one hand, with Dr.Keshav Baliram
Hedgewar, the Sangha Sansthapak, and on
the other hand, with Sri Amitabh Maharaj
(Swami Amritananda) and the revered
Swami Bhaskareshvarananda of the
Ramakrishna Mission. Eventually in 1936, he
expressed his desire to Sri Amitabh Maharaj,
of dedicating himself completely at the feet
of the revered Swami Akhandananda, who
was a great soul and had attained the state
of Samadhi. In response to that Sri Amitabh
Maharaj tried to find out whether he could
renounce everything like fame, prestige,
home, etc. Sri Guruji immediately articulated
his Bhishma Sankalp (irrevocable resolution)
and assented to it.
Initiation (Deeksha)
After that, due to the efforts made by Sri
Amitabh Maharaj, Sri Guruji was able to
reach the Sargachi Ashram of Ramakrishna
Mission in September 1936 for seeing the
revered Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj
who was the illustrious disciple of Sri
Ramkrishna Paramhamsa and Guru-Bhai of
Swami Vivekananda. When Swami
Akhandanandaji Maharaj saw that Sri Guruji
had attained great heights of spirituality,
where he had renounced both attachment
and ego, and purified himself, he gave him
Deeksha on Makar Sankranti, Samvat 1664,
corresponding to 13
th
January 1937.
No trace of arrogance
The complete absence of ego in Sri Guruji
can be easily elucidated by one incident of
his life published in the year book of ‘Times
of India’. His reaction to the publishing of
his life-profile in it was as follows:
“I am not interested in getting my name
included in the list of those special people
who have attained reputation, because I am
not good enough to belong to that category.
Hence I request you not to include my life
profile in that list. I hope you will give heed
to my humble request and do me a favour.”
Similarly, in a felicitation programme held
on his 51
st
birthday, he insisted on not taking
any photograph of his and he covered his
countenance with his scarf (Angocha)
Destined for divine work
The revered Swami Akhandanandaji was
fully aware of the fact that the great cosmic
power which controls Nature, had sent Sri
Guruji on this earth, to the sacred land of
India on some special mission. Due to this,
in spite of giving the initiation into Sannyasa,
the revered Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj
gave the following injunction to Sri Amitabh
Maharaj.
“Madhavrao has an ardent desire to go
to the Himalayas. But he has to be sent back
to his parents in Nagpur. He will work along
with Dr.Hedgewar. His life will be dedicated
to selfless service of the society, and in
worshipping the masses, considering them
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 64
to be divinity. Be careful when his desire to
go to the Himalayas becomes intense. He can
surely visit Badrinath and other places of
pilgrimage in the Himalayas, but has to be
restrained from living in solitude there. You
have to carry out this work.”
Sri Guruji got overjoyed on meeting
Swami Abhedananda who was another
Gurubhai of Swami Vivekananda. Handing
over his autographed picture to Sri Guruji,
he told Sri Guruji, “You will lead your life
like a renunciate.”
History bears witness to the fact that
Guruji obeyed the order of the revered
Swami Akhandanandaji and returned to
Nagpur, along with Sri Amitabh Maharaj.
For one month, he stayed at the Ramakrishna
Mission Ashram there and did the Marathi
translation of the book ‘Chicago Addresses’,
by Swami Vivekananda. After that he went
to the Sangha-Sansthapak Dr.Keshav
Baliram Hedgewar and placed himself at his
disposal.
Spiritual foundation
In 1937, after returning to Nagpur from
the Sargachi Ashram and taking the mighty
oath of serving the society through the
medium of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangha, Sri Guruji was not only at its
forefront, but after the demise of the revered
Dr.Hedgewarji, the Sangha founder in June
1940, he discharged the responsibility of the
Sarsanghachalak entrusted to him
dedicatedly and got fully involved in
unflinching service to the entire nation and
the humanity till his last breath in 1973. By
the strength of his spiritual evolution, he
made innumerable youth experience the
truth in the words of his guide and torch-
bearer Dr.Hedgewar, “The work of Sangha
is the work of God.”
The Peeth of Shankaracharya
As a result of the deep spiritual affinities
suffused on his countenance, Poojya
Shankaracharya Swami Sri Bharati
Krishnatirtha Maharaj of the prestigious
Govardhan Peeth, Jagannathpuri wanted Sri
Guruji to succeed him as the next
Shankaracharya and expressed his deep-
cherished desire in the following words
“After me, Guruji (M.S.Golwalkar) will be
the Shankaracharya of the Govardhan Peeth”.
Reacting to his statement, Sri Guruji said, “I
had promised to the Sangha founder
Dr.Hedgewarji that I shall discharge the
responsibilities of the Sangha work. I have
to fulfil that promise and the oath I had
taken at the feet of my revered Guru, Sri
Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj”.
Commenting on the resolve taken by Sri
Guruji, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Poojya
Swami Niranjandevtirtha Maharaj said,
“Modestly declining to accept the peeth of
Shankaracharya shows a great spirit of
sacrifice”.
After his Deeksha by Poojya Swami
Akhandanandaji and obeying his commands
entirely, Sri Guruji dedicated his complete
life in accordance with the wishes of the
Sangha founder Poojya Dr.Hedgewar, at the
sacred feet of Bharat Mata through the
medium of the R.S.S. This arouses the
curiosity of a number of people, even
intellectuals, who find it amazing. But Sri
Guruji did not find it unnatural, because that
was the command of his Poojya Guru Swami
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 65
Akhandanandaji. He was well familiar with
the exhortation by the illustrious Guru-bhai
of Poojya Swami Akhandnandaji the great
Swami Vivekanandaji, “For the next 50 years
forget all the Gods and Goddesses. Exert all
your energies for serving the living Bharat
Mata and make all efforts to uplift Her.”
Giving paramount importance to these
words and fulfilling the dream of
Dr.Hedgewar that the work of the Sangha is
sacred, Sri Guruji laid his entire life at the
consecrated feet of Bharat Mata. He carried
his spiritual dedication by worshipping the
images of the great master, Poojya Swami
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sri Sarada Ma
and Swami Vivekanandaji and set an
excellent example in his life, which can serve
as a highly useful guide to the Sadhus and
Sannyasis in this country.
One close associate of the Poojya
Dr.Hedgewar, Shri Appaji Joshi has
recorded one incident which speaks volumes
of Sri Guruji’s spiritual prowess. It is as
follows: “After the assassination of Mahatma
Gandhi, I and Sri Guruji were imprisoned in
Nagpur. By coincidence, we were in the same
cell. Everyone knows that Sri Guruji used to
meditate. By tying the bedsheets across the
bars of the jail, we used to make temporary
places of seclusion where we used to
meditate and occasionally gossip.
“Sometimes the cloth tied to the bars
used to get blown out by the gusts of wind
and we had to tie it again. Once the curtains
got blown out by the strong gusts of wind
and I went to tie them again. Suddenly I
happened to look at his countenance. There
was a divine effulgence suffused on it. His
eyes were half-open. There was an expression
of peace and divine satisfaction on his face.
That scene is still engraved on my heart. My
conscience always tells me that he was in
divine communion then. I have myself seen
that extraordinary divine sight. This makes
me feel proud and experience a divine joy.”
Always the nation and never me
Sri Guruji’s ideal of his life dedicated to
his motherland was, “Always the Nation and
never me”. Before completing his life, he
went to the Brahmakapal in the Himalayas
for peforming his own Shraadha (funeral
rites) and wrote in his last letter. “After my
death, do not erect my memorial”. After
hearing this statement a number of people
got stupefied and a prominent communist
leader of Kerala, Shir M.P.Balachandra
Menon commented as follows:
“Your Golwalkar was great in his lifetime.
After his death, he became still greater. For
a departed soul, the image created in the
future and its cumulative effect are the
parameters of greatness. The departed
Golwalkar is much more charismatic than
what the living Golwalkar was”.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 66
Poojya Sri Guruji was an ascetic. His
entire life was a model of dedication for us.
The greatest of all ideals is the ideal of
sacrifice. He was a virtual epitome of
sacrifice. Poojya Guruji belongs to the
tradition of great souls, like Mahatma
Gandhi. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha is
a very large national organization and Sri
Guruji was the sole leader of it. But he did
not forsake the ideal of simplicity because
he knew that it would mean further
impoverishment of the already poverty
stricken masses.
My health is in a precarious condition.
Even now, I am running out of breath. I do
not go anywhere. But the reverence which I
have for Sri Guruji is ineffable and cannot
be easily articulated. Sri Guruji had an
extraordinary personality and this is attested
by the presence of representatives of
numerous parties. I am overjoyed on
hearing the words of my Marxist friend.
However the absence of any representatives
from the Congress and Communist parties
is perturbing me. When the President Shri
Giri and the Prime Minister Smt.Indira
Gandhi came to the forefront for expressing
their condolences, they should not have had
any kind of hesitations.
Sri Poojya Guruji was an embodiment of
diligence. There is a lack of assiduousness
in our country. The ideal of diligence which
Guruji lived upto is exemplary. I had
frequent contacts with the Swayamsevaks of
the Sangha. Whatever relief operations they
carried out during famine was par
excellence. Whenever I reminisce that, I
develop a feeling of veneration for them.
Sri Guruji was a spiritual giant. It is great
that we are Indians and our culture is
thousands of years old and the building up
of India will be on Indian foundations, no
matter how modern we may become. We
shall not be branded as American, French,
English or German. We will remain Indian.
This eternal truth was evoked in the hearts
of innumerable youth by Poojya Guruji. I
hope that Shri Balasaheb Deoras will
perpetuate the glorious tradition initiated by
Poojya Guruji.
LOKNAYAK SHRI JAYAPRAKASH NARAYAN
A LUMINOUS BEACON OF SPIRITUALISM
Jayaprakash Narayan was an Indian freedom
fighter and political leader. He wrote several
books, notably ‘Reconstruction of Indian Polity’
and promoted Hindu revivalism. He was post-
humously awarded the Bharat Ratna award in
recognition of his social work. Other awards in-
clude the Magsaysay award for Public Service.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 67
The life of Sri Guruji so to say moved in three dimensions of Motherhood; the
mother, who gave birth, the motherland, who nurtured his mind and soul and the
Mother of Universe, the very source of our being. In the initial stages the pull of all
the three mothers is seen in his life. At one stage in the search of the Mother of the
Universe, he even ignored his own mother and the call of the motherland. On 4 Oct
1969, at Pune, while talking at the function of release of a book “Matrupoojan”, he
gives a very graphic description of how he had gone away to Sargachi Ashram without
even informing his mother. But as his contemplation deepened, insight perfected, then
by the grace of the two great personalities: Swami Akhandananda, President of
Ramakrishna Mission and Dr Hedgewar the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,
he could see the harmonious blending of all the three mothers in Motherland. The pull
of both the mothers; the mother who gave birth and the Mother of the universe got
balanced in the service of Motherland. He secured the blessings of the other two
manifestations of Mother in the service of the motherland. There was no more the pull
of the three mothers on him, but it was the life of dedication in the service of
Motherhood expressed fully in Bharatmata.
He even secured the support of his mother in this task. He was the only surviving
son of his mother among the nine children. Naturally, how much she must be attached
to him and having expectations from him! Only after he had come back from Sargachi,
he realized that what a shock it had been for his mother that her only surviving son
had disappeared. He never repeated it. Later he always saw to it that he would not go
anywhere without her permission. But he also saw to it that his mother became his
great supporter in the service of motherland and so gave him permission whenever
and wherever he had to go.
Once Sri Guruji had to go on his planned tour. But when he went home he found
mother was sick. The doctor accompanying Sri Guruji told that it was an attack of
paralysis. At such a time, leaving his mother he had to go on tour. The incident is
worth knowing in his own words, which he narrated in the same function mentioned
above. “I asked mother, ‘shall I go?’ She said ‘no’. So, I told ‘Alright’. And I thought, to
cancel the planned programmes, telegrams would have to be sent to all the places. But,
then I thought, I should take decision after some time. Around 11 - 11.30, I again asked
mother. And she said ‘Go’. It is to be pondered over that how she must have felt at that
time. Would she have thought, that, her only son need not be with her even in such
‘MOTHER’ IN LIFE OF SRI GURUJI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 68
difficult illness? No, it is not like that. The point is that she did not want in any way a
break in the work that I had undertaken. So she gave me permission. She also told
this, “The life and death of a person is not dependent on anyone staying or not staying
near that person.” Listening to this no one should think that she was a great yogini etc.
Yes, surely she was a devotee. And because of that she had great courage in the heart.
I shared these reminiscences not because I am great Matrubhakta. But, yes, my mother
was a real mother. She did not allow even her sickness to become an obstacle in my
duty.” (Sri Guruji Samagra Darshan (H)Vol 5 p 101)
The commitment of Sri Guruji to Motherland was so great and motivating that
his own mother became his great supporter. She not only reconciled to the fact that
her son had dedicated himself for motherland and so was not going to marry; she
even supported his cause of service to motherland. Sri Guruji gave one more incident
in that very lecture. “Once a mother of a Swayamsevak went to my mother with a
complaint that her second son was refusing to get married. My mother listened to all
her woes calmly and then pacifying her she told, “Your second son is not getting
married, but the first one is already married. See, my only son is not getting married
and yet I am not unhappy. Why should you get upset?” I thought, ‘Good! One more
Pracharak for service of the motherland!’ Like this my mother helped me in the Sangha-
Karya. …My mother was a real Mother. She had all those characteristics what we call
as duties of mother or qualities of motherhood. But I cannot be called as devoted son
of my mother. I am not worthy of it. But yes, if as a son of such great mother if you
have called me, then it is befitting.” (Sri Guruji Samagra Darshan (H)Vol 5 p 102)
While writing a letter of condolence to Sri Sadashivarao Barv,e minister of
Maharashtra when he lost his mother, Sri Guruji wrote, “…There is no pain like loss
of mother...Where is the time for one to grieve, who has taken the vow of service of
nation and worship of motherland? A mother who gave birth is lost but she is still
there showering her abundant affection and accepting contentedly our little bit of
service, she is ever ready to bless us always in the form of our dear motherland. This
awareness would enable us to calm down our longing heart and urge us to be engaged
in performing our duty. By your good fortune you are the recipient of the strengthening
affection of Motherland, so my inadequate words are superfluous to console you.”
(Patraroop Sri Guruji (M) p 139)
He explained how this attitude of seeing and perceiving Mother in all that which
nurtures, denotes the more and more evolved state of living beings. He said, “Now,
how did this concept of ‘mother’ blossom from out of ‘stones and clay’? We know that
as living species evolve and progress, they begin to invoke the sentiments of mother
in those things, animate or inanimate, which feed and nourish them. Take a frog or a
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 69
snake for example. They have no idea of mother at all. They are also not aware as to
what happens to their offspring. Neither the offspring nor the mother look upon each
other in that relationship. Gradually, as life evolves, we come to mammals where the
mother feeds her young ones in their childhood. Birds take care of their eggs and the
small ones until they become strong enough to fly about. When the usefulness of the
mother is no more felt, the offspring forget their mother and thereafter they are entire
strangers to one another. Man is supposed to be at the top in the scale of evolution. If
he is cultured, his love and adoration for his mother continues even after she ceases to
be physically useful to him. In fact, he will serve and revere her all the more, if she
becomes very old, blind and bodily out of use.
As human life evolves, the concept of mother also takes a wider and more sublime
form. When man looks around with his discerning intellect, he sees so many other
things to which he owes a debt of gratitude. He begins to look upon them also as
mother. He sees the rivers, which give him food and water. He calls them mother.
Once he outgrows the use of his mother’s milk, he sees the cow, which feeds him with
her milk throughout his life. He calls her mother-cow. And then he reaches the state of
understanding that it is the mother soil which nourishes him, protects him and takes
him in her bosom after he breathes his last. He becomes conscious that she is his great
mother. Thus to look upon one’s land of birth as mother is a sign of a high state of
human evolution. The Vedas declare:
e k r k Hk wf e % i q= k s· g e ~ I k ‘ f F k O; k %
‘The Earth is my mother, I am her child.’
Dynamic Devotion to Motherland
Therefore, it is up to us to keep aglow that highly evolved concept of divine
motherhood towards our land. Now, how are we to express our devotion to her?
There are two ways. The one is the formal method of worshipping with flowers, lights,
chanting of hymns etc. Our people have been doing this even today in a spirit of
religious devotion. They go round the country on pilgrimage, follow the religious
injunctions, recite hymns, worship and offer flowers and take bath in the various holy
rivers. They do all this with the sole purpose of acquiring personal religious merit.
This is in a way the passive aspect of devotion.
The dynamic aspect of devotion is to manifest in practical national life, a spirit of
readiness to sacrifice our all for the protection of the freedom and honour of every
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 70
speck of this motherland. It is this active manifestation that counts in this hard matter-
of-fact world. A heart fired with such devotion can never tolerate the slightest affront
to the object of its devotion, i.e., the motherland. It takes on a terrible form and rests
not till the aggressive elements responsible for the insult no more remain in a position
to commit the sacrilege a second time. A divine discontent to undo all the past insults
and humiliations burns in such a heart.
Without this dynamic, conquering spirit, even devotion to a divine cause will be of
little avail. In this hard world, which is an arena for trial of strength with brute forces,
mere goodness or noble virtues, i.e., the passive aspect of sattva, will not hold the field
even for a single moment. That is why we find that in spite of all the piety, goodness
and devotion to God all through the past thousand years, we were trampled under the
feet by foreign aggressors who, though total strangers to goodness and virtue, had a
passion for heroic action and organized effort, i.e., full of rajas. Our history also bears
witness to the fact that, whenever our people became charged with the conquering
spirit - charged with the dynamic aspect of sattva - then all those demonic empires of
the enemy were reduced to shambles.
That is also the lesson of our puranas, which depict the stories of the struggle between
devas (gods) and rakshasas (demons). We often see devas, in spite of their divinity,
being beaten down by the organized and aggressive rakshasas. And it was only when
devas roused themselves to heroic action that they could triumph over the rakshasas. It
is activity, dynamism and heroism that rule the world. Indeed, “Veerabhogya
Vasundhara” (This Earth is for the valiant) sums up the philosophy of a successful life
in this world.” (BOT - p120-122)
Thus, for him the devotion to Jagatjanani was worship of motherland. The worship
of motherland was not to be with just flowers, but with heroic deeds coupled with
sterling character. His whole life, thus became a great offering to develop an
organization of men of sterling character who undertook heroic efforts to rebuild
nation in various fields.
See Mother in all
When he was molding Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - a cadre based organization
of men, who dedicated their life for the nation, it would have been natural if women
were viewed as an obstacle, as temptress. No one would have blamed him if he had
advised the Pracharak not to look at women or to consider them as evils. But when
one realizes ‘Mother’ he sees only Her in all. So to the young Pracharak he advised to
do the Sadhana of seeing Mother everywhere. He wrote, “Everyone cannot be Swami
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 71
Vivekananda or Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Many drawbacks are there in any ordinary
person. If we strive to pray regularly to Parameshwar in a form dear to us then our life
gets purified gradually. Even if we do not see the desired result immediately, we should
keep praying everyday regularly in the morning and before going to bed. Whenever it
is felt that the unwanted thoughts are spoiling the mind, that time remember God and
pray for removal of those thoughts.
Purity of mind is an instrument in achieving the desired goal. It was asked of me that
what you should do to do Sadhana in the best way. Sincere efforts are always successful.
Moreover, our Sangh-Karya itself is a pure Sadhana. To keep brotherly attitude
about all is natural in this Sangh-Karya. When brotherly feeling is widened then it is
experienced that the mothers and sisters in the homes of all become our mothers and
sisters too. This is the easiest way. But with commitment, and feeling from the heart,
the mind should be engaged in the Sangh-Karya. Try to experience.”( Patrarup Guruji
p 83 translated from Marathi)
Though, in principle, it is true that Mother is manifested in all women, still at
behavioral level he always took care that the limits were not crossed. In one of his
letters he wrote to a lady working in the field of child education, “Read your letter.
Tried to think over it. Why you have taken it that I am angry I could not understand.
Any work can continue only if it stands on its own strength. If the plans are made based
on some help from others or expecting such help, and are executed with all enthusiasm
even then are not fruitful. With this thought and also the help that was given by the
Swayamsevak there and while giving that help, the limits of discretion that were crossed,
I told you to execute your plans without the help of Sangh Swayamsevak. I also told that
I would give instructions that no Swayamsevak should participate in your schemes.
Please understand the motive of this.” (Patrarup Guruji p188 translated from Marathi)
Ahuti of all in the Rashtra Yagna
We see very little of references to women in his writings. It is not because he
considered them inferior or less important or insignificant but because the life mission
of Sri Guruji was to organize Hindu society. For that he was building a cadre-based
organization of men. Naturally his lectures, letters were all for this. His was really
‘one life-one mission’. His whole life was dedicated for the service of motherland;
there were neither diversions nor pretensions of high spiritual claims in his life.
For example in a letter-dated 23.11.49 to Vatsala Modak he wrote, “What is Mukti
and what are its characteristics etc., I do not know anything apart from some available
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 72
written words. I am an ordinary person in the practical life and in that I experience
that man moulds his character by staying in Sangh-Karya and to a large extent conquers
the small-mindedness. That is adequate for me. …It is true that Sangh is working only
for the Hindus. The Sangh’s work is only to awaken their culture in their hearts, and
make their life higher, nobler and stronger. At least today, it is not in the agenda of
Sangh to work for culturing the whole humanity.” (Patrarup Guruji - p163. Translated
from Marathi)
Tirelessly he kept working, touring, writing and building an organization. There
was no rest or respite. Once he wrote to one Indu at Madras in 19.2.51, “…As long
as this great motherland of ours, this dear Bharatmata- does not come up with all her
glory and as long as all the people in the world do not adore her till then not even a
mention of rest.” (Patrarup Guruji - p166 Translated from Marathi)
His concern was only motherland and her regeneration, her greatness. But one
more subtle reason is also there for not finding many references to the problems of
women in his writings. He never differentiated between men and women. Generally
only a gender-conscious person would specifically talk of the gender problems. As
once said by Swami Vivekananda, “Do you remember how Yajnavalkya was questioned
at the Court of King Janaka? His principal examiner was Vachaknavi, the maiden
orator - Brahmavadini, as the word of the day was. ‘Like two shining arrows in the
hand of the skilled archer,’ she says, ‘are my questions.’ Her sex is not even commented
upon!”
Sri Guruji never viewed women as problem, nor did he compartmentalize the
problems of the society into the problems of the women, villages etc. According to
him, the problem was only due to the degradation of the character of the man and
the lack of organization of the Hindus. When we read him, we do not feel anywhere
that he had a lesser place in mind for women or that he considered them of less
importance in the task of nation building.
Sri Aurobindo has said, “Not only is nature directing the sentient and the insentient
towards perfection, she is also inducing them to self-fulfilment through self-dedication.
A thing that has become perfect does not go to waste; nor does it rest isolated. It
presents itself in its completeness to be made use of by other entities that are wending
their way towards fulfillment. Things and beings are all inter-related, inter-dependent
and inter-acting. The flowers and the fruits may be cited as examples of this august
cosmic plan. …The perfection seeker, when he entertains an individualistic outlook,
becomes small. Parts perish, while the whole persists. The glory of the part lies in its
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 73
giving itself over to the whole for self-fulfillment. The leaves fulfill themselves by
contributing to the growth of the tree. Good citizens are they that have dedicated
themselves for the good and the continuity of the community.” Whether men or
women, Sri Guruji wanted them to offer themselves in the service of Bharatmata as
he himself - the only son of his parents- had done.
Sri Guruji expected from men and women, this process of self-development so
as to dedicate oneself for the service of the country. Moreover he felt if the women
do that, then they would be much more effective to stop the decay of the society.
Sri Guruji said, “I am sure, if our mothers make a resolve to uplift the society,
then there is no power, either in this world or the other, which can defeat them. The
ideal of Savitri, before whom even the Lord of Death accepted defeat, is before them.
May they all invoke within themselves such single-minded devotion to the ideal,
such purity of character and such peerless heroism!
Once we do this, I am sure, the long night will pass and a new dawn will spread
its golden hue over the horizon of not only Bharat, but over the entire world with the
renewed effulgence of our Dharma.” (BOT - p493)
Once, when it was asked to Swami Vivekananda that what his message was to
women. He too said, “Why, to the women of this country, I would say exactly what
I say to the men. Believe in India and in our Indian faith. Be strong and hopeful and
unashamed, and remember that with something to take, Hindus have immeasurably
more to give than any other people in the world.” (Rousing Call to Hindu Nation p
100)
In the tradition of all the great Rishis of this land, the life and message of Sri
Guruji - a great Tapasvi - is also a beckoning call for all of us to dedicate our time,
our life itself for the service of our great motherland, so as to pay the Matrurina, as
well as to attain the Divine Mother.
Excerpts from the book “Sri Guruji and Matrushakti”
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 74
Once Sri Guruji narrated an incident from
the life of Sri Ramana Maharishi. Before
performing a surgery on him, the doctors
tried to administer chloroform, so that he
would not experience any pain. As soon as
the Maharishi came to know about it, he told
the doctors that there was no need to give
chloroform and as long as the surgery would
go on, he would concentrate his mind
outside the body and due to the separation
of the mind from the body, no experience of
physical pain would occur.
No communication between
the mind and the body
The doctors carried out the surgery on
his body, but not even a trace of malaise
could be discerned on the countenance of
the Maharishi. The reason for this was already
explained by the Maharishi—the mind had
lost its contact with the body.
A terrible lack of precaution
I heard this incident from Sri Guruji and
also saw how he practiced this principle. In
his life an incident from the life of Sri Guruji
shows that he could keep himself oblivious
of the body consciousness. After having
undergone surgery for cancer, Sri Guruji was
staying in the house of Mananeeya Sri
Babasaheb Ghatate in Nagpur. As
Dr.Paranjpe was dressing his wounds, Sri
Guruji was laughing and joking. Everyone
was getting enchanted by that mellifluous
A BODILESS ENTITY
SRIDHAR BHASKAR VARNEKAR
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 75
laughter. Not only ordinary people, but also
Dr.Paranjpe was getting carried away by that
laughter and jovialism. In the midst of that
jocularism and mirth Dr.Paranjpe
inadvertently committed a mistake.
Dr.Paranjpe who was nursing his wounds,
was drawing out a piece of cotton soaked
with blood from his wound. It so happened,
instead of the piece of cotton, a lump of flesh
was caught in between the forceps and
bleeding started. On seeing this everyone
shrieked vehemently. Dr.Paranjpe’s mind was
filled with remorse and he apologized
humbly to Sri Guruji for his mistake.
Reaction of Sri Guruji
Soothing the feelings of Dr.Paranjpe, Sri
Guruji answered serenely, “You are
unnecessarily troubling your mind. There is
no difference between a piece of cotton and
flesh for me. For me, both are the same. As
long as you are dressing, my mind remains
detached from the body due to which I do
not experience any physical pain.”
Principle of no body consciousness
We got highly impressed on witnessing
the spiritual prowess of Sri Guruji. There was
a marked contrast between our obsessions
with our bodies and his total oblivion of it.
There could be no comparison between us
and him. Everyone knew that after
undergoing the surgery for cancer, a burning
sensation used to prevail in his body and he
was undergoing excruciating discomforts,
but nobody could guess how much misery
he was experiencing. After visiting Sri
Guruji, people used to return not with the
memory of his disease-ridden body, but with
the bliss and contentment suffused on his
countenance.
Shridhar Bhaskar Varnekar was one of the
most prolific scholars of Sanskrit, Sanskrit lit-
erature and ancient scriptures. He was a
Swayamsevak serving the country in various
capacities.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 76
As I stand before this august audience to
interlace the Third Flower in the Three Day
Lecture Series, organized to commemorate
the birth centenary of Sar sanghchalak par
excellence, most revered Golwalkar Guruji,
my heart is laden with diverse reflective
feelings. First, to me, the presence of
venerated Nanasaheb on this occasion is a
matter of immense happiness. The pleasure
that I will be deriving as a devout pupil
(Sadhak) of Varkari Sampradaya of
Maharashtra, while reflecting upon one of
the important facets of Guruji’s life, which
in essence relates to the tenets of Varkari
Sampradaya, is inestimable And, the very
presence of the two great virtuous
dignitaries on this momentous occasion is
not just a matter of some pleasure to me,
but I think it is a bestowal of divine blessings
upon me. On the first day, Sarkaryavah Shri
Mohanji Bhagwat was present. And I said
to honourable Dr. Shiledar rather
lightheartedly that the Sangh Karyalaya
seems to have received some favourable
reports about me. Because, on the next day,
I was blessed with the benevolent presence
of Param Poojya Sarsanghchalak Shri
Sudarshanji. Even today he is present and
to me personally, it is a momentous occasion.
Particularly, in a sense that I am a third
generation Swayamsevak. My father
belonged to the first generation and my elder
brother belonged to the second generation
of Swayamsewaks and now I consider myself
extremely fortunate and blessed to carry this
proud lineage to the third generation. The
family that considered no service or sacrifice
too great in the cause of Rashtriya
SHRI GURUJI – SPIRITUALITY PERSONIFIED
SHRI VIVEK GHALSASI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 77
Swayamsevak Sangh and as a member of this
proud family of Swayamsevaks, the pat of
admiration on my back that I received from
Param Poojya Sudarshanji is greater than
any material reward of this world. I pray at
the feet of revered Guruji that I be refrained
from committing any deed that will render
me unworthy of the admiration that I have
received from respected Sarsanghchalak,
Shri Sudarshanji. And if I ever get tempted
to commit such an act, let my life cease to
exist before my conduct becomes cause of
an insult to the affection that I received from
him.
Further, there is one more reason for me
to be happy about. Param Poojya Guruji had
drawn great spiritual inspiration from the
Ramkrishna Mutt of Nagpur. And today, the
divine presence of the Head Priest of the
Holy Mutt, His Holiness Swami
Brahmahasthanandji amongst us, is a
gratifying symbol of God’s blessings on this
solemn occasion. I am indeed grateful to the
organizers of both, P.M.G. Society and
Committee for the Birth Centenary of Param
Poojya Guruji, for reposing their trust in me
and I would like to humbly express my
sincere gratitude.
Dnyaneshwar Mauli has said, “What good
a speaker he is without audience?” On the
first day, the climate was not favourable and
the second day was rather hot and unpleasant
and yet, your presence was so overwhelming
that I cannot but express my humble
gratitude to you. I also deeply appreciate the
affection I received from my journalist
friends.
For three days, I ventured a little to touch
the three facets of Guruji’s personality. On
the first day, we took an overview of Guruji’s
organizational capabilities, and how the
entire world envisioned him an “
accomplished organizer”. Yesterday, we
tried to understand Guruji’s iconic character
as “ Rashtra Purush”, and today, we shall
reflect upon yet another aspect of Guruji’s
life as “Shri Guruji—the Spiritualist”.
These three subjects may appear different
on a cursory level, but these are mutually
supportive and when we touch one, it
illuminates the other. The great
accomplishments of Guruji as an organizer
are, inspired to a great extent by
Ramakrishna Mutt, as also by Poojya Doctorji
and from the customary functions of Sangh,
are indeed manifestations of his thoughts on
Nationhood. Even though his day-to-day
functions manifested spiritual inspirations,
he took enough care that people should not
view him as some godly or saintly or a Guru-
like person. Instead, he was always aware
and ensured throughout his life span of 67
years that the unflinching faith of the people
should be aimed and directed towards the
only goal of nation building and the entire
life of Param-Poojya Guruji is an open book
before all of us. In every deed, his spirituality
is manifested. In every step, his
organizational capabilities are revealed. And
as I said in my discourse of the first day, the
new concepts in managements, human
relationships, which have been emerging in
today’s world, are akin to the entire
philosophical tenets of the Sangh and these
concepts had manifested in totality, in the
demeanour and conduct of Poojya Doctorji
and Poojya Guruji. Thoughts of Nationhood,
organizational responsibilities and
foundations of spirituality were the three
basic values which shaped the life and
character of Shri Guruji and while fathoming
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 78
Guruji’s personality, we are bound to ponder
over as to how and where these three life
streams got intermingled. Where do they
appear different? And when these
intermingled, what was that stream which
still remained?
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Countless life streams when descended
on earth,
Converged with the waters of Ganga,
Jamuna, none was apart.
And when all the divine streams of
Guruji’s personality mingled into one, an
extremely matured and celestial persona
emerged before the nation and the world.
With great awareness for organizational
ethics and utmost prudence, Guruji built this
extraordinarily great organization, based on
robust spiritual foundations.
I recall an incident in Thane during a
baithak, and which I distinctly remember I
had heard from my respected seniors. Poojya
Guruji once noticed an absence of a
Swamsewak, who otherwise was quite
regular in attendance and Guruji enquired
why the gentleman was not seen in the
baithak, what was the matter? There can be
some persons in the group, who have the
habit of never taking anything seriously and
one amongst such replied, “The karyakarta
had fused off.” It caused a mild laughter in
the baithak. But Guruji was quiet and said, “
We should see whether the worker had fused
off or the contact was loose?” For any
organization, it was a bad sign that the
worker “had fused off” and the organization
cannot afford it. It is not a fault of the
worker; instead, we must think that there is
something wrong with us and such
understanding is vital for the organization
and there is a spiritual angle to this episode
also. It must be kept in mind that even our
simple talking can spoil the atmosphere and
which in turn will blemish the piety and
solemnity of the divine task that we have
undertaken. We should not allow that to
happen and this kind of consciousness can
only be achieved through spirituality. Such
feelings of contentment, tranquility, the
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 79
signs of neutrality are not possible without
a spiritual foundation.
When a Swayamsevak would describe any
not-so-significant event as, “something is
better than nothing”, this steadfast and
awakened leader would tell them that this
tendency of gaining conveniences by saying
that something is better than nothing, is
quite undesirable. Because, if we consider
this “something” as desirable, then it would
ultimately lead us to make compromises that
would take us nowhere. And so Poojya
Guruji stated that, “Nothing is also better than
nonsense.” It is always prudent to do nothing
instead of doing things with foolhardiness.
Only those have courage to say things like
these, who are absolutely mindful of what is
the best among the best.
We will be discovering quite an unusual
aspect of a life of the accomplished organizer
and the sage of nation, while trying to grasp
his life. My mind was a little tensed while
discussing the subject of “Spiritual Guruji”
with some knowledgeable persons and we
were rather apprehensive that while
elaborating this subject, would we be
inadvertently narrating miracles. We also
discussed whether to choose this subject or
not. Because, we did not, even accidentally,
want to trounce upon the ideals, which
Poojya Guruji had cherished all through his
life. Fretful was I that no such incident that
Guruji didn’t mean or which Guruji would
have not liked should be uttered by me. The
tension is more intense as I am standing in
the presence of Param Poojaniya
Sarsanghchalak, who has been the intimate
witness of the entire journey. So, I cannot
go overboard in a fit of emotions and swank.
But, at the same time, I am unable to move
forward without touching the spiritual
aspect of Guruji’s personality. There might
be hearsay stories, which are best left out.
But the incidents and references, which are
necessary in this context, have to be taken.
But while explaining the spiritual angle of
Guruji’s personality, if any such aspect or
incidence customarily surfaces, we should
be listening to it, setting aside the feeling
that perhaps, Guruji would not have liked
it. We should listen to it but remember the
context. Whatever Guruji had said, is worth
cherishing. We must remember that before
we go from here. Otherwise, it would be like
offending the very ethics that Guruji had
treasured for life.
What does “Spiritual Personality” mean?
What does it mean to be a spiritual person?
Was it something akin to mystic, mystery,
sorcery, tantra-mantra, and black magic? The
antagonists of Guruji often used to think that
Guruji was some kind of a mysterious person,
a mystic personality, a sort of monk or a
Sadhu–Sanyasi. And because of this title of
Guruji, many thought that the
Swayamsevaks call him Guruji because he is
some Guru or Sadguru to them. Even Guruji
himself, at some places, had jokingly said
Sri Guruji with Swami Chinmayananda and other Swamijis
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 80
some funny things about his outer
demeanour. Guruji never liked anyone
touching his feet and if any Swayamsevak
would attempt a Charansparsh, he would
stop him from doing so. But people did it
because of the reverence they had for him.
Once in a Bouddhik meeting he said, that
the number of those who wanted to do
Charansparsh was increasing and because of
his long flowing beard and moustache, more
and more people were now offering
Namaskar and he had to accept them. That
was Guruji. He never allowed any feelings
of divinity about his beard and moustache
to set in, in anybody’s mind by nudging a
slight fun at it and dispelling any mystery
associated with it. And, if any Swayamsevak
nurtured such view, he always discouraged
it.
Once, someone asked him, “Guruji, why
did you grow your hair and beard so long?”
Guruji replied to him, “ I was practising
law but since I did not get any ‘case’, I started
growing Kesh (hair)”. Guruji had,
throughout his lifetime, taken great care that
people should not form any mystical views
about his outer demeanour. I am talking
about this time and again because I want
you to understand that, throughout his
lifetime and in the life of the organization,
there were many problems and dangers
difficult to solve which Guruji had faced with
courage, calm and fortitude, only because
he had blended the spirituality and
nationality into one and on this rock-hard
foundation, had built the organization. If we
remember this aspect, I think that will be
enough.
What is then the Spiritual Personality?
Whom should we call a Spiritual
Personality? The foundation of this
spirituality is the Bramhajnan, Knowledge
of the Bramhan. When did Poojya Guruji
acquire this knowledge? Right from his
childhood, he had this deep and innermost
desire to know about the eternal, ancient
truth in the form of Sat-Chit-Anand, that
was the basis of this cosmos. His restlessness
is quite apparent in all his letters, which he
had written when he was a university student,
or in the letters he had written from
Chennai. His letters clearly manifest the
restiveness caused by the calamitous
situation of the nation at that time, and they
reflect the intensity of his mind. In quest of
the purpose and aim of his life, Guruji was
trying to discover himself and his role in the
nation at that time. This is the normal
attitude of a man of the world, not confined
to any boundaries, who knows no
An Ideal Spiritual Personality
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 81
differences, no ups and downs. He does not
distinguish yours and mine. Guruji had
repeatedly stated that he was enlarging an
idea of the universal brotherhood and that
he always viewed the whole universe as one.
Here was this young man who
impassioned to see the whole universe as one
entity. But at the same time, he was keenly
observing so many activities and events that
were taking place in politics, especially the
acts of revolt of armed revolutionaries
aroused his interest and appreciation. He
thought in his mind that he should applaud
and congratulate Lalaji, because there was
at least one place, from where an explosion
against the tyrannical British rule was taking
place and he was happy to see that a British
officer was killed. The self-analysis however,
was also going on. It was an indication to
become spiritual. One should be prepared
for self-analysis. Non-spiritual persons never
look into themselves and are not prepared
for self-examination. They look toward
others and evaluate them. But the first
attribute of the spiritual person is that, he
has mastered the art of tranquility and
concentrating inwardly. It comes naturally
to him and he seeks himself. Poojya Guruji
had, from his early youth, sought after his
own self. And he was meditating to find
whom he would seek inspiration from, which
places or philosophy would answer his
quests. Such was his journey to seek the
knowledge of Brahman.
The renowned English Physiologist, Sir
Charles Sherrington, who had won the
Nobel Prize for Physiology, had presented a
very unique hypothesis. While presenting his
theory, he said that he observed that human
body was formed of innumerable small and
big cells. Some of these cells had short life
span while others had longer life. But one
interesting thing, which Sir Charles
Sherrington observed about the movements
of these cells, was that each cell had some
definite purpose assigned to it and even the
cell with shorter life span did not make a
move without a purpose and it is destined
to its goal. Sherrington stopped there and
Poojya Guruji starts thinking from that point.
But Guruji had not acquired the title of
Guruji at that time, he was still “Madhu” to
his friends, kiths and kin, and he is pondering
over a thought about the goal, purpose of
his life. If a short-lived cell had a purpose,
then did my body, which is formed with
innumerable such cells, not have a definite
purpose? Yes, and that purpose, that goal is
to perceive and experience the eternal,
ancient bliss, Sat-Chit-Anand.
And to achieve that goal, let me leave
behind my home and friends and go to the
Himalayas for the solitude, ekant. Was that
not an extraordinary step for a young man
to take? The spiritual person is more
comfortable in solitude than in the crowd.
This comes naturally to him. He loves
loneliness and Guruji too, was peaceful with
himself in solitude. But destiny had some
strange plans for him. When he received
Diksha from Swami Akhandanand, he and
his colleagues were commanded to accept
society as their God and Madhavrao should
commence his Sadhana by serving the
society. And while doing this, he must
observe one maxim; he was never to seek
solitude at any time. Because once retreated
to solitude, he would never come back to
people. But he was naturally inclined
towards loneliness. And whatever moments
he could get in his solitude, he was trying to
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 82
grasp the real and definite purpose of his
life, desperately trying to take hold of the
destination. Whatever be the task, the only
question that lingered in his mind was, “ Why
was I born?” “What could be the purpose of
my life?” Now he was in pursuit of the
Bramhajnan. When we call Poojya Guruji as
the spiritual person, we should try to
understand that Guruji had attained
spirituality of the highest eminence. Because
in his personality, the Triputi had completely
dissolved. In the discipline of spiritual,
Triputi means three different things, Drushya
- the panorama, Drashta - the visionary and
Darshan - the philosophy. When these three,
the Triputi, vanish, one experiences the
oneness, the Advaita. Guruji had experienced
this pristine oneness in the very early stage
of his life. And when he observed things, he
observed and perceived them with this
pristine feeling of oneness.
The Upanishads also teach us about the
same oneness, the Advaita. And the entire
life of Guruji was centered on attaining the
complete oneness through his spiritual
thinking. Guruji was striving hard for that,
because he knew that unless oneness is
established, his life would not be complete.
And so, when we read his letters in the light
of his inner journey towards spirituality we
can easily understand the meaning of words
written by an extraordinary Sadhak, who was
intense in his quest to attain the absolute
completeness. Param Poojya Guruji was such
a great spirit, who had attained the absolute
completeness in his spiritual journey.
Our philosophical tenets say that three
things can achieve this completeness. One
is, T 6T t46l the other is ¬l6¬l6-46l and the
third is 9l89l8-46l. There are three paths that
lead us to Spirituality. One is Karmayoga,
by doing one’s destined duty, the second is
Jnanayoga, by seeking knowledge, and the
third is Bhaktiyoga, by worshipping. I know
it is a bit difficult and complex to
comprehend, but we should try to
understand these terms, because we are
reflecting upon the memory of that great
sage, who had, in the initial stages of his life,
sailed on the voyage of absolute
completeness. This is an unavoidable
destination of every Hindu life and this is
the only purpose that has been bestowed
upon him by nature. He has to experience
the stage of absolute completeness. I am
doing my duty, my karma, and when I
experience that the things are blissfully
getting done just naturally and the conceited
feeling of ‘I am’ doing this goes away, then I
experience the Akarma, and at that stage I
attain the fulfillment. The feeling of “I am
the doer” must vanish and things would
happen just easily and naturally.
Do we not see the signs of this absolute
Sri Guruji addressing a gathering
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 83
completeness in Guruji’s life? Haven’t we
seen these extraordinary examples
happening in Guruji’s life? The answer is,
Yes. Whenever there would be any discussion
about the working of the Sangh in the
society, or when some journalist or a curious
person would ask him how he was able to
do so much, Guruji often used to assert, “do
not say 'you', you should say ‘we all’. To what
extent had this thought permeated?
Whenever any invitations were printed for
the customary functions of the Sangh at
different towns, the words “ From the Shakha
of Our Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh” used
to be printed. Where did this word OUR
come from? It was the outcome of Guruji’s
experience of fulfilment, the feelings of
Akarma. This shining aspect of the spiritual
life of Guruji, which had provided
enlightenment to the organization, had
seeped to the lowest rungs of the Sangh, till
the last UP-Shakha. It was insisted that the
words, “Our Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh”
must be used on every invitation printed. Is
it necessary to print the news of mother’s
love and devotion towards her offspring?
Should a mother’s Seva be published?
Whatever we do in the Sangh is just a
customary and daily chore that should not
be termed as social service. Even while
informing about the Swayamsevaks, who
tirelessly worked on the borders risking their
own lives, always played it down. There was
only the feeling of having performed the
necessary and natural duty in the service of
motherland, nothing more. Not a trace of
smug feeling of a “doer”. Only great souls,
devoid of such self-esteemed feelings, can
reach to this first stage of completeness. This
is Karmayoga. There was Akarma in Karma.
In Jnanayoga, only one soul is manifested
in all living creatures. This is
Gnyatagnyatvyata.
I am experiencing one soul, one Atma, in
all living things. Once, Guruji was asked to
give his autograph and a message for a
journal to be published. He could have
written so many things. Even, when an
amateur speaker at the annual school
gathering is asked to give a message, he will
write not less than five or six lines, which
no one will remember. But, here in case of
Guruji, we observe another aspect of his
absolute completeness. He sees one soul in
all living things and so he writes, “I am not
me, it’s you”. He is the one everywhere. He
is in me, so am I in you and we are all
manifestations of one Soul. In the
philosophy of spiritualism it is stated that, if
one is able to attain any one of the three
Yogas, i.e. Jnanayoga, Karmayoga and
Bhaktiyoga, the other two invariably come
to him and one will consequentially attain
completeness. But here we see that Poojya
Guruji had perfected all three Yogas.
And the third aspect is, seeing God in
every thing. I recall one incident, which I
had read. Once, while coming out of a
Boudhhik meeting, Guruji folded his hands
in Namaskar to the chappals before he put
his feet into it. The bewildered swayamsevaks
asked him why he did that. To which Guruji
replied that this chappal had borne and
carried the load of his body and was getting
worn out. Should he not pay his gratitude
to it? This is not blind logic. It is the
sensitivity that something is getting worn
out, because I have been using it for my sake.
Whoever can achieve this he attains the
absolute completeness. What is the life-code
of a person who has attained such absolute
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 84
completeness? That, this entire world is a
form of Lord Vishnu. A Vaishnava believes
in the life-code that the entire world is
Vishnumaya, it’s Lord Vishnu’s
omnipresence everywhere. And so, what is
the Karma of this life-code? That one must
work for the well-being of all mankind, as
well as, material things.
Poojya Guruji was often described as
Ajata-Shatru, a man with no enemy, because
for him, there was no enmity. Of course,
there were some who considered Guruji as
their enemy, but Guruji never had no feelings
of enmity towards them. That was the reason
many of his opponents later became his
disciples.
Dnyaneshwar Mauli has described the
signs of a true devotee. He said, “Anyone
who comes to me, I will bestow upon him
my affection.”
‘¬l4Tl =4l+ T ¬l Tl =l Gl 7l44l “l4 “l¬l, (l ”l 9T¬l
Bl 7¬l 4 ¬ ( = Bl’. 9l=l 64l ¬l 7 , ¬l=l 64l T7 ,
+4 ¬l ¬l, = Bl Tl ²¬¸ ( 7 ’.
Does the sugarcane ever taste bitter to
the one who squeezes it and sweet to one
who sows and nurtures it? No, it gives its
sweetness to everyone. Likewise, the tree
will provide cool shade and shelter to the
one who has sown it, as well as to the one
who fells it with axe. The tree never
discriminates between the nurturer and the
feller. The sugarcane and the tree will
generously give whatever best they have
been endowed with by nature, to everyone
who comes to them. Guruji was like this.
Throughout his life, he always gave whatever
best he had to the society. This was the
hallmark of his spiritual personality. Were
there not persons who groused enmity
towards Guruji? Yes, there were. He had a
fair share of both, friends and enemies. But
Guruji was always very gentle and
affectionate with about even those who
nurtured feelings of enmity towards him.
‘6 Tl ¹(T Tl ó 7(l¹ P ”l H±l, PHl 6 9l |T6l
¬l6Tl¬l’.
How thirsty were those who came in to
Guruji’s contact? Because, once the cloud
starts pouring out, it does not restrict itself,
just empties the water it has been holding.
Like the clouds, Poojya Guruji had given
everything, without restricting himself or
without withholding anything. He possessed
all qualities and dispositions of the spiritual
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 85
soul, which were unforced, natural and
effortless for him and in that sense, he was
truly a great spiritual person. He just
disregarded that he was great and therein
lies his greatness.
Once, while taking leave of a
Swayamsevak in Delhi, he saw into the eyes
of his little daughter, and instantly
understood her feelings. He recognized that
this little toddler wanted to come to station
with him. At that moment, this great soul
got down from the car and took her on his
lap and at the railway station while seeing
off, he told her, “ my little doll, do not forget
me!” How natural, effortless and
spontaneous one could be? Guruji was able
to instantly and naturally connect himself
with effortless ease with whoever that came
into his contact. This can only happen to
those who have attained the discipline of
complete oneness, the Advaitic state. Poojya
Guruji was one such spiritual soul.
The Bhagawat Gita describes the divine
qualities. Guruji’s personality is laden with
all such divine qualities. But to approach such
qualities and think over it is a near
impossible task. But it is said that, a simple
touch by a spiritual soul can calm one down
and all pains vanish. Can it not happen? Yes,
it can. The Swayamsevaks who came into
Guruji’s contact have experienced this
phenomenon and many among us must also
have experienced it. Many Swayamsewaks
have shared this experience that, whenever
they happened to touch the feet of Poojya
Guruji, all their fatigue and pains had
inexplicably disappeared. These
Swayamsevaks had expressed their feelings
among themselves and not publicly, so there
was no reason to disbelieve them. Why was
this happening? Was it some magic? In fact,
Guruji himself never claimed having any such
powers, nor did he encourage such talks
about him. On the contrary, he firmly cut
down on such talk wherever it took place.
He used to immediately put an end to such
conversation even before it began. I am not
ready to believe that those Swayamsevaks
and senior colleagues who were blessed with
the opportunity of living in the presence of
Guruji had never had the divine experiences,
emanating from such an extraordinary
spiritual soul. But none of these people
uttered a single word about it. Because, this
great man was aware that the Hindu society
had the tendency of running irrationally
after such things and if again the Hindu
society would behave in the same manner, it
could obstruct the objective of the divine task
that Poojya Doctorji had started - the
objective of resurrecting the Hindu valour
and vigour. It is easy to erect a Mutt. All it
takes is some whispering of dubious divinity,
spreading hearsay and the people would
throng to the Mutt. Because, there are many
people in the society, deeply grieved and
distressed by some make-believe sufferings,
who want some place or other where they
could lower their heads in hope and evade
the responsibility of using the head with
purpose.
‘(³l6³l+ 9³l ¹ ¬¸ +l, =³l ¤|¹Bl Tl |H¹l, Pól¬l 7óló 4
Tl T¹l’
But Guruji never allowed that to happen,
though he was capable of doing so. And he
did it consciously, because the concern for
the future of the nation was paramount in
his thinking, perhaps he had the ability to
look into the future. This was what an
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 86
ordinary Swayamsevak had once witnessed.
Shiv Shahir Babasaheb Purandare was once
in Nagpur. Guruji enquired about his
whereabouts and the Swayamsevaks ran the
errand to Babasaheb Purandare and
presented him before Guruji. Guruji asked
him, why was he there, and whether he met
his mother before leaving for Nagpur and
how she was, etc. and asked him to
immediately go to Pune. He didn’t stop at
that and arranged for the rail ticket and
boarding the train at Nagpur station. And
even before Babasaheb Purandare could
reach Pune, the telegram was received at
Nagpur, informing of the sad demise of his
mother in Pune. There are many witnesses
to this incident, including Babasaheb
himself and Shri Rajabhau Kulkarni of
Sahitya Prachar Kendra, who was
accompanying Babasaheb at that time. This
is not a fabricated or hearsay tale. Such kind
of sensitivity does exist and one is capable
of seeing things beyond the realm of the
present. This is the hallmark of a truly
Spiritual Person, who has attained the
Absolute Oneness.
The attributes like paranormal, non-
violence, humility, and tranquillity were all
evident in Guruji’s personality. But the main
amongst the special attributes, which are
often referred to in the philosophy of
spiritualism, is Sthitha-Pragnyata, a person
not affected by any happenings around him
and who always remains calm and
unwavering in every situation, be it grief or
delight, triumph or defeat. As a true
Spiritual Person, as well as an accomplished
organizer and the protector of the Nation,
this was the most important characteristic
of Guruji. ‘†7 = Bl Tl |+4l 6l¬l (l9¸ ’. Steadfast
mind, not wavering even slightly. The
situation could be extremely adverse and
come what may, his resolve was never
dithering. And along with the Sthitha-
Pragnyata, the other attributes were Dhruti
and Anasakti, absolute detachment. We can
see examples of each one of these qualities.
The scholars of Adhyatma-Shastra have said
that one can recognize the Spiritual
Personality by these five qualities. These
qualities are |F¤69¬6l, ¤ 6l H+lB±l, HTlP6l,
TlP|4(l+6l, |6|6¬l, 9Hl 66l. We have seen the
Sthitha-Pragnyata in Guruji’s life on many
occasions. Let me narrate one such incident.
Immediately after India’s independence, the
Government of the day had imposed ban on
the Sangh and many Swayamsevaks including
Guruji were imprisoned. After eighteen
months, the ban was lifted and the
imprisoned Swayamsevaks were set free.
People were extremely anxious that a
Sri Guruji hoisting the sacred flag
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 87
nationalist and patriot organization was
unnecessarily victimized and oppressed. And
now, what the leader of such an organization,
who had to undergo this trauma would say?
Guruji is Stitha-Pragnya, unwavering. When
he came out of the prison, there was a sea
of humanity out over there to greet him and
was curious to hear what Guruji would now
say. The massive crowd is the most
intoxicating thing for any reasonably good
leader. The effect of it can cause one to loose
his head and one can’t predict what the
leaders might say after seeing such a huge
crowd. But here was Guruji, whose resolve
was honed with the hardship he had endured
and who was set free by the seemingly
apologetic government. He went before the
gigantic crowd and addressed it with calm
and composure. He said, “do we extract our
tooth if our tongue sometimes gets bitten by
it? Those who did injustice to us and made
us suffer are our own people; so do not
harbour any bitterness about them in your
minds. We must remain calm in such
situations and concentrate on our task.” This
is Stitha-Pragnyata.
In the Eknathi Bhagwat, another example
describing the Spirituality is narrated. ‘|+=l ¬l
¬l¬6l |+= T¹, +l ól 4l ¤ µ 9l¬l 7Jl¹’. If we get
struck with our own hand, or if our own hand
slaps us, do we get angry? We never utter a
word of anger or hate against our hand.
‘|+=ltP6l =l ( G ¬¹l¬¹, Hl 6l t4l¬ “¹, F4 |¹”’.Why
should I hate anyone? Should I cut off my
own hand because it has harmed me? Should
I extract my tooth if it bites my tongue? No
hatred, no bitterness for anyone. Let us
forget all and move ahead in our destined
task. And the same conviction was reflected
by Poojya Balasaheb, after imposition of ban
during emergency. “Forget, forgive and let
us work”. These are the seeds sown by
Guruji. This was the solid foundation on
which he had built the organization. No fear,
no anger, no hatred. This Sthitha-Pragnya is
free from all these ills.
Do I have the need to give example of
Guruji’s Anasakti, absolute detachment?
How much detached can one become? No
allurement for wealth, no home or spouse
or children. There was one thin thread that
bound him to Tai and Bhauji. But once that
severed, he was totally detached and
impassive. Even when Tai and Bhauji were
alive, the thread that bound him to family
was no stronger than the thread, which tied
him up with the organization. Even when Tai
was sick, Guruji never broke off his pre-
arranged journey. When he desperately
needed employment and which he ultimately
got, albeit temporary, he spent his salary on
books, which he bought for other
Swayamsevaks. He never thought of saving
a rupee or two for himself. It was because
any kind of enticement could never touch
his mind. Such absolute detachment! In
those days, his name was aired as probable
successor of Shankarachrya of Govardhan
Peeth, Jagannathpuri. But Guruji declined
saying that he was not interested in
becoming a Shankaracharya. Any other
person with such spiritual inclination would
have become elated if offered the seat or
title of such a renowned Peetha. But Guruji
was firm in his resolve. He said that he had
to accomplish the task for which he had
received blessings from Swami
Akhandananda and the spark of inspiration
which was ignited by Poojya Doctor
Hedgewar. I now want nothing from this
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 88
world. Such was his resolve, his
determination and his detachment.
One Swayamsevak had written his
experience. At Madras airport, Guruji was
waiting for his luggage to arrive. This
Swaymsevak had gone to the airport to
receive him. He noticed that at the edge of
Guruji’s Dhoti, near his foot, the cloth had a
stain of fresh blood and his foot was
bleeding. The Swayamsevak asked Guruji
whether he was wounded and to which
Guruji ordered him to keep quiet and said
that if we would start talking about the
wound, everyone would have no other
business but to talk about the wound. Guruji
then calmly collected his baggage and
started walking. Here was this spiritual
leader who had accepted his wounds like
flowers, he just ignored injuries caused to
him with a thought that he must tolerate all
the pain of not only such minor types, but if
the body received more grave injuries, he
had to accept those too and tolerate.
I am sure the senior Swayamsevaks of
Nagpur must be remembering the incidents
in the aftermath of Gandhiji’s assignation.
There was the angry mob that came to attack
the house in which Guruji lived and there
were a handful of Swayamsevaks who stood
before the mob. And when this great saintly
man felt that the people would clash with
each other, he came forward and stopped
his Swayamsevaks and said that he would not
allow the blood of his own brethren to spill
in front of his home. He said, that whatever
he had been doing was for the greater good
of the society and if society did not approve
it, then he would willingly face the wrath of
the people and bear the consequences. This
kind of supreme tolerance could not be
achieved unless there was a strong spiritual
base. Such was the supreme equanimity and
composure, to remain unwavering at all
times, in the face of utmost provocation and
adversity! ‘=¹l 9lTl 6 T ¬l H9Tl¹ 6¹l ¸7 + ¹(T (l
+¹, H9Tl4l 4¹l 79Tl¹ 9Hl 6l 9Tl¹ 4l +l4’.
If anyone became ungrateful or behaved
maliciously, Guruji would never lose his
kindness and benevolence. But this did not
mean than Guruji could take any injustice in
his stride. And, particularly, if any act that
could cause injustice or harm to the esteem
of the nation, or if it could blight the very
sovereignty and integrity of the nation, then
such an act was to be firmly resisted and
fought with. That was what this great
Spiritual Leader always asserted, because he
believed that while protecting the Sadhus,
the virtuous men, it was also imperative at
the same time, to destroy the evil forces.
(Marathi) When there was a need to create
harmony, he would play the harmonious
tune on the flute and when one was on the
Kurukhsetra, the battlefield, he must be able
to give call to the war by blowing the
“Panchjanya” and the one who could
accomplish such feats was Yogeshwar
Krishna. Guruji, the Madhava was like that
Yogeshwara. Guruji was a complete and
absolute Spiritual Leader with all attributes
of spirituality in him. He saw Vasudeva
everywhere; he knew that there was only one
Chaitanya in everyone around him. And,
when Swami Akhandananda gave Deeksha
to the young seeker of Absolute Truth on 13
January 1937, Guruji’s spiritual sate was akin
to that Sadhaka, whose Ashta-Satwik-Bhawa
was already awakened.
Yesterday, I had mentioned an incident
that when Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 89
touched Vivekananda’s shoulder with the
thumb of his foot, the young Narendra had
gone into a divine trance. And Guruji too
had experienced the same kind of acute and
forceful divine trance at the time of his
Deeksha. He performed ceaseless Sewa for
three months. He came into contact with
Swami Akhandananda here, in Nagpur in
Ramakrishna Mutt and when the subject of
Deeksha ever cropped up, Swamiji told him
that when the opportune time would come,
he would call him. Since then, Guruji had
only one intense desire and often thought
when that opportune time would arrive and
he would receive Deeksha from Swamiji,
sitting at his holy feet. And when he was
invited at Sargachi, the state of his mind
could be well compared with the narrative
of a devotee on his way to meeting his God
described in the Upanishads. It was like the
fervour and excitement of a wife meeting
her husband. The same intensity and
excitement is experienced by the Sadhak
while going to meet his Sadguru or like a
soul going to merge with Shiva. With great
intensity and excitement and without telling
anyone about it, Guruji responded to the
invitation and went on to his journey to
Sargachi. He had described the trance, the
spell that befell on him when he received
Deeksha. His Ashta-Satwik-Bhawa were
awakened, tears rolled down and for the
entire day, Guruji was in some kind of a
divine stupor. For three months, Guruji
presented his Sewa to the Sadguru.
I have heard that in Guruji’s previous
birth, all his Sadhana had attained fulfilment.
When Bhakta Prahlada, after attaining
absolute fulfilment of his Sadhana, had this
faintest desire of living a princely life after
seeing the King and the Queen, he had to
take birth in the royal family. So, he again
had to perform Sadhana for six months and
then had the Darshana of Bhagawan.
No proof can be given about Guruji’s pre-
birth existence, if you would ask me to
provide one. An ordinary student like me,
would then take refuge in the lines uttered
by Tukaram Maharaj, ‘Bt4l HBt4lHl P+ T ¬
¹4l(l, Pl+l4¬ +l(l 4¸P6l’.
Do not think of what people say or where
is the evidence. But think of the awakening
experience, which the people got while
treading the path of divinity when you look
at such saintly, persons and that is most
important. So, it was believed by many that
in the previous birth itself, Guruji’s Sadhana
had attained absolute fulfilment. But once
he had some difference of opinion with his
Sadguru, who was supremely erudite,
endowed with great wisdom and his Mukti,
his deliverance was thus postponed. And so,
he had to perform more Seva to his Sadguru
in the present birth to atone for the fault in
the previous birth. It was not in Guruji’s
disposition to accept things as they were
told. We had heard of the meeting at Sindi,
where once, he even argued with Poojya
Doctorji on some matter.
Swami Akhandananda told him that this
was his atonement and his Mukti, the
deliverance. When Guruji experienced this
divine state of mind, he said he had no words
to describe how he felt. When we go to the
Samadhi of Sant Gyaneshwar at Alandi and
place our forehead on it, how do we feel?
Can we describe it? I remember of an
anecdote. Once, a very prominent ideologue
of communism and a renowned publisher
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 90
Mr. V. V. Bhat, had come to Pandharpur to
me. His publishing company, Abhinav
Prakashan in Mumbai, used to publish books
and literature about communism. I offered
to take him to the temple of Lord Vithhal
but he declined saying that such things did
not interest him very much. I said to him
that it was the only place of interest in
Pandharpur and I could not dare show such
eminent guest from Mumbai the small
narrow by-lanes of my town. So I urged him
to visit the temple to at least see the
sculptures, to which he agreed. I took him
to the temple and started showing around
and we entered the sanctuary and stood
before the image (murthy) of Lord Vitthal. I
still vividly remember the incident. There he
stood still, tears rolling down incessantly.
Bewildered, I asked him what was the
matter? Why was he weeping? Was it an
over excitement of seeing this image or was
it with disappointment to see the rough and
rudimentary statue of someone resembling
an ordinary Marathi person, instead of some
handsome and exquisite sculpture, which
you might have expected to see? He said that
he was unable to express how he felt, but
he wanted to cry freely at this place. When
one attains such state of mind, the words
are no more relevant. This conversation
needs no words because words and
sentences have their own limits. And when
a divinely spiritual person, Swami
Akhandananda touched him, the experience
was beyond words. Guruji said that he could
not describe in words, such an extra
ordinary experience, such divine pleasure,
feeling of complete emptiness. He felt so
relieved, rescued, freed, cleared of all. Now
he wanted to know nothing more, as he had
attained the Param Satya, the Supreme Truth.
However, Swamiji told him that he should
not stay there any longer, nor was he allowed
to go to the Himalayas. He must go to
Nagpur. Because in Nagpur he would meet
another great Sadguru, Dr. Keshav Baliram
Hedgewar, who was to guide his providence.
Guruji then came to Nagpur and he served
Doctor Hedgewar with the same dedication.
How divine that a disciple, the Shishya
blessed with the divine opportunity of
serving two Sadgurus in one birth! ‘B 4l (
4¬T… 7 B|P¤lBP (P =¬ ’
This is not just a thought of serving the
society, but the enlightened would see it as
a Sewa performed in the service of the
Samajpurush, who was regarded as the
Sadguru and dedicating the entire life in that
service. ‘|H4 ¬l4 =l4l¬l B 4l’.
Seeing the One God everywhere, Yatra
Tatra Sarvatra, and dedicating the whole life
in the service of That God! While doing so,
living a material life traverses in parallel with
the fundamental idealism of the mission. It
is like intermingling with the society for
which this mission was undertaken, without
developing attachment for material benefits.
This was the ultimate Mukti!
The Boudhik meeting was going on in
Pune. Poojya Guruji was delivering his
discourse and twice or thrice, his shoulders
moved in a strange way. Hon’ble Baba Bhide,
sitting next to him had the inclination that,
either there was some pain or something was
biting into Guruji’s body. The Boudhik over,
when Baba Bhide asked him, Guruji lifted
his shirt and Baba Bhide was stunned to see
the whip-marks on his back. At that time,
the Portuguese police were flogging
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 91
Jagannathrao Joshi in Goa, who was taking
part in the Satyagraha to liberate Goa, and
the whip marks surfaced on Guruji’s back in
Pune! “How much should Jagannath
endure?” Guruji asked. This incident was
narrated by Dadasaheb Vernekar. This is the
ONENESS I talked about, while describing
Tukoba. While a Swayamsevak was being
tortured at some faraway place, the marks
of torture surfaced on Guruji’s back. This
was not magic or sorcery. It was complete
and absolute integration, a complete
Oneness.
There was a south Indian Swayamsevak
from Banglore, Shri Ranganath Rao, who
worked in the stores of the Sangh. Some
large blisters had grown on his body. He
was given multiple treatments for this
ailment, but to no avail. He was later shifted
to Pune, but there too, his ailment remained
uncured. And then, Guruji gave him some
medications and surprisingly, he was
completely cured! This Ranganath Rao was
later assigned the responsibility of looking
after the publication of Bharat-Bharati. But,
in the meantime, there occurred one
incident, about which I am unsure, whether
I should narrate it or not. But let me tell you
this. When Ranganath Rao Rao realized that
his staying in Pune was in vain and he was
not getting cured, he sent a message to
Guruji through Yadavrao Joshi that he
wanted to go back to Bangalore. But Guruji
refused permission and said that he was not
going to Bangalore for a holiday and that he
was contemplating on committing suicide,
so he should not be allowed to go. Guruji
then called on Ranganath Rao and started
treating him. Ranganath Rao had recounted
that whenever Guruji used to go out of
Nagpur, he would go to the stores to meet
him. Why did this happen? What made it
possible?
The Guru of present Shankaracharya of
Kanchi KamaKoti, Shri Jayendra Saraswati,
had made a strict rule. After the preset time
of Darshan was over, he would never open
the doors of his room, even to Lord Brahma.
Once when he had closed the doors and was
performing his Sadhana, Poojya Guruji went
there to meet the seer. He requested the
disciples to convey his arrival to the
Shankaracharya and try to seek permission
for a meeting. Such humility from a person
of great authority! We often experience the
arrogance of even a patwari, or a junior
Govt. official, when he comes to meet. But
here a spiritual leader of great eminence and
authority is humbly requesting for
permission to meet. ‘6 P 7=4¬ |(P|HG¹BP ( 46l
Tl |(-4 ¬|¹Pl
6 P F44 (l 4+ ¬4 ¤ \4 4 Tl BlTl¹ 9|6Pl’ The
disciples are telling that once the doors are
closed, no one can enter in. The disciples
also know who has come to meet, but they
are duty-bound to follow tradition, observe
rules and discipline. All are silent, anxious
to see what will happen now. Suddenly, the
Mahaswami opened the doors and took
Guruji inside and made him sit on the
wooden pedestal. All the disciples were
bewildered and asked the Mahaswami, as to
why rules were not observed this time. And
that great seer and an authority on
Spiritualism, the Shankaracharya replied,
that how could he remain behind closed
doors when the Madhava, whom he had been
worshipping, had himself come to meet. He
saw Madhava, the Lord in Guruji. Many have
been blessed to have such Darshan of Guruji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 92
sometimes, in some incident or other. They
have treasures of such divine experience. But
it was Guruji’s extraordinary greatness that
he consciously discouraged such stories to
circulate around. And then, he just naturally
merged and mingled with millions like us.
His tenure of 33 years as Sarsanghchalak and
67 yeas of a life of a Sadhaka, was testimony
to this intermingling, this absolute oneness,
the Advaita.
His was a life of complete fulfillment,
absolute oneness, selfless gratitude, which
he dedicated to the nation. This Great Yogi,
always asserted to himself and told everyone
who came into his contact that
²( + PP ²( + PP ²( + PP ²( + PP ²( + PP, ¹l7 l4 F4l(l ¹l7 l4 F4l(l ¹l7 l4 F4l(l ¹l7 l4 F4l(l ¹l7 l4 F4l(l
This is not mine, dedicated to nation.
We were indeed fortunate that we
received his guidance. We could live in his
benevolent acquaintance. And, it is the great
fortune of this Hindu Rashtra that today, we
are celebrating his birth centenary. If I am
required to describe the greatness of this
Spiritual Leader in one couplet, which
words should I use. ‘=l H( Tl¹l6 ( 7 |+, BT=
TlPl Bl 7 |+, |4¬¹ |4H (l 7+l, |4H¬l PlH ’
He was the one who was universal, who
imbibed all the piety and kindness of the
universe, respected these and even though
he was blessed with supreme powers, he
intermingled with all of us with natural
ease. Were we not like Arjuna, who seldom
realized the greatness of Krishna?
There is an article in the issue of Sanskar
Bharati written by Yadavrao Deshmukh.
While travelling, he met a virtuous soul, who
asked to him, “ You are the Swayamsevaks
of RSS, do you know Guruji Golwalkar?” To
which he replied that yes, he knew him. The
pious traveller again asked,” Do you really
know him well?”. And then, the question
cropped up in Yadavarao’s mind, “ Do I really
know him well enough?” As a child, I played
on his lap and when I grew older, insisted
on dining with him sitting next to him. Asked
him innumerable silly questions. To marry
or not? Which task should I accept in the
Pariwar? Should I send my son as Pracharak?
How many times did I interrupt his Sadhana
with stupid questions? But, that sweet smile
from Guruji’s lips never faded. I could never
understand the greatness of a man with
whom I behaved with such impishness. I was
like Arjuna. But when I witness this colossal
persona, the Virat Rupa, the words come to
me:
‘BG |6Pt4l 9B¬ 4¸±P¸, ( T !T, ( 4l(4, ( BG |6,
H=l+6l P|(Pl+ 9(l4 P4l 9Pl(l6¸ , 9T4 +¸ , 4l5|9’
Sthitha-Pragnyata
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 93
“O Madhava, I could never understand
the great man that you were. And what not
we did with you in our state of ignorance
and with love, affection and fondness. We
played with you, we swore on you, we rolled
on your bed, and we had a pillow fight with
you. How were we to know that here was a
supremely noble Spiritual Leader, who was
showering the ceaseless joy and happiness
upon us that emanated from his heart?
O Madhava, the divine Yogi, today, in
your memory, we pray in the words of the
saints, with our hands folded:
‘=4 =4 H & 7(l¹ 9|B& H+4¹6 Hl+ ( 49 |6 4 ’
You showered us with divine pleasures
when we were with you, and now, those
Vivek Ghalsasi is a noted Scholar and Social
worker, and ex-editor of ‘Dainik Tarun Bharat’.
He is a powerful speaker on spirituality, nation,
culture and the saint tradition of Maharashtra.
memories are a great source of joy and
happiness for us. The time has arrived when
the Hindu Rashtra will be at the helm of the
world, be it 2011 or 2020. When Bharat will
assume the leadership of this world, or of
the universe, what pleasure you would have?
With the vow to give you that pleasure, I
proffer the flowers of words at the feet of
Bharat Mata and I pray before Poojya
Swamiji, Param Poojya Sarsanghchalak and
revered Nanasaheb to grant us the
inspiration and bless us, that we attain the
wisdom, capability and fortitude so that we
fulfil the desires of all as soon as possible.
Our young men must be made feel proud of being born in the great lineage of rishis and yogis.
If We have to live up to their legacy, we must live as Hindus, we must appear as Hindus and also
we must make ourselves felt by the whole world as Hindus. It is only when we learn to respect
ourselves, our national customs and manners that we can hope to command respect from the
outside world also. In fact the world wants us to be true to ourselves and not to become mere
carbon copies of some X, Y or Z.
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 94
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Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 96
While going through some twelve
thousand or more letters written by Shri
Guruji, so as to select a few important ones
for the “Shri Guruji Samagra”, three letters
attracted my special attention. All the three
letters were connected with his private
Pooja Articles. After undergoing surgery for
cancer in 1970, Shri Guruji, who was the
personification of equipoise, sensing his
impending death, wrote a letter on
September 27, 1971, to Swami
Amurthanandaji, his colleague at the
Saragachhi Ashram, in which he said: “On
coming November 11 I will reach Mumbai
from Khedeghat. So, if you make it
convenient to reach there that day, I will be
very happy. I would like to have your
guidance on where I should arrange to
install the sacred objects in my possession...”
After one-and-a-half years, on April 3, 1973,
Shri Guruji wrote to his cousin, Vasudeva
Ramachandra Golwalkar: “When we met last
time, you had volunteered to accept my Pooja
Articles with pleasure and dedication.
However, in view of the opinion, ‘why so
much hurry’, expressed by my Gurubhai,
Amurthanandaji, I continued to retain them
in Nagpur. But now I feel that there should
be no more delay. I will reach them to you
at the earliest through a reliable person. You
have to install them on an oval-shaped plank.
Every day, after taking bath, you have to place
a Bilwa Patra on it; burn an incense stick
before it. At twilight, after washing your
hands and feet, simply burn an incense stick
before it. You need do only this much.”
Exactly after one month, on 3rd May, Shri
Guruji wrote to his Gurubhai: “I have sent
my Pooja Articles, enclosed in a sandalwood
case, to Shri. Vasudeva Golwalkar as directed
by your holiness. It was carried by revered
Dr. Seetharam of Jeshpur to Pune on 20th
A UNIQUE PILGRIMAGE
SHRI RANGAHARI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 97
April. My brother, who acknowledged its
receipt, has also assured that he would carry
out my instructions. I am writing this letter
only to inform that an important work has
been accomplished.”
These three inter-related letters piqued
my curiosity. “What are those Pooja
Articles?” “Those sacred Articles?” I was
eager to see them. “Will Shri Vasudeva
Golwalkar show them to me?” At my
instance, the son of Shri Guruji’s niece, who
is a Pracharak in Nagpur, telephoned Shri
Vasudeva Golwalkar. I had to attend a pre-
arranged programme at Pune on Sunday
February 13, 2005. So, I reached Pune on
February 11. Keeping in mind the
instructions and the spirit of Shri Guruji’s
letter, next day, Saturday, February 12, after
taking my bath, along with a senior
Swayamsevak, who was also a common
acquaintance, I reached my destination. 81
years old Shri Vasudeva Golwalkar, who was
totally informal, took us inside. His
daughter-in-law, Smt. Neha, served us
drinking water. As if prodded by the
impatience that was brimming in my heart,
Shri. Vasudeva Golwalkar straightaway went
into his Pooja room and returned with a case
covered with an ochre cloth, and a bundle.
All the three of us sat on the floor. Shri
Guruji’s heir unwrapped the ochre covering.
The plastic cover placed atop the case
contained a neatly folded woollen blanket
used by Swami Akhandanandaji. I touched
and saluted the blanket with reverence. The
ochre silken dhoti used by the Swamiji was
also kept along with the blanket. I touched
and saluted that too with reverence. The
case, exactly twelve inches square and four
inches thick, was extremely smooth. The
emblem of Shri Ramakrishna Ashram, with
a swan encircled by a serpent and the maxim,
“Tanno hamsah prachodayat,” given beneath
it, was imprinted on the case. Shri Vasudeva
Rao himself opened the case. On the left side
there were three covered chambers of equal
size, having a width of 3 inches. In the
remaining main portion a life-size
photograph of Srimad Akhandananda
Swamiji, autographed by the Swamiji
himself, was kept on the top. I touched and
saluted the photograph reverentially. Then
there were two square type towels of 18
inches size, one of dark ochre colour and
the other of light ochre colour. In between
these two there were two white towels of
square type of 15 inches size. On both towels
foot impressions in vermilion of both legs
could be seen. That is, a pair of foot
impressions of both legs. They were the
imprints of the Holy Feet of Swami
Akhandanandaji. I touched and saluted both
the towels with great respect. Shri Vasudeva
Rao placed with utmost care and reverence
each of the articles on the piece of white
cloth spread on the floor. When he kept aside
the white towels containing the foot-prints
of the Swamiji, I could notice the “Sapatas”.
These were neither sandals nor foot-wear but
a socks like material made with the hide of
black buck, used while walking indoors to
protect the feet from cold. Both of them
remained there in a mute state. Very next to
them was a spoon, a bit smaller than a
teaspoon, with the word Brazilian engraved
on it. This spoon was used by the Guru, while
his disciple was serving him. As if a
companion to the spoon, there was also a
wooden clip used while drying clothes. I
could notice some papers inside the
transparent plastic cover kept at the bottom
of the case. The custodian of the most
invaluable treasure allowed us to peruse the
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 98
contents of those letters one by one. So as
to avoid even a slightest harm or damage to
those decades-old papers, I was extra-
cautious in handling them. The first was a
post card with a value of three fourths of an
Anna (equivalent to present day 4 paise). It
was written by Swami Akhandanandaji to
Ananda Chaitanya (Amitabh in brackets) -
who later on became Amurthananda - from
Saragachhi to Nagpur Ramakrishna Ashram
on January 22, 1933. I could not read that
letter written in Bengali (I secured a
photostat copy thereof and I was hopeful,
once read, that would prove to be of
historical importance). In addition to this post
card there were two other letters. One, the
original letter written by Shri Guruji on April
3, 1973, which has already been mentioned.
The second letter was written by Shri. Abaji
Thatte, Shri Guruji’s personal secretary,
while sending the Pooja Articles on April
20, 1973. There was yet another small piece
of paper which I thought would be of rarest
importance and greatness. It was the Gayatri
Mantra written on Swami Vivekananda by
Swami Akhandanandaji, in Shri Guruji’s hand
writing.
Om Veereshwaraya vidmahe
Vivekanandaya dhimahi
Tanno veerah prachodayat
Om Veereshwaraya Vivekanandaya
namah om.
Holding that paper in hand, with my eyes
shut, I repeated that mantra thrice. I secured
the photostat copy of that paper also. Below
the materials referred to above, at the
bottom of the main chamber, was placed dry
Bilwa and Tulasi leaves secured from the
Belur Shi Ramakrishna Ashram, which were
perfectly in-tact. I touched and saluted these
with utmost devotion.
Next, my eyes moved to the other
chambers. Sri Vasudeva Rao first opened the
lower-most chamber in which was kept a
gold coin presented to the Swamiji by one
of his devotees as an offering. When I rubbed
it clean of its vermilion coating, I could see
on one side of the 50 paise size coin the
Engligh letter T embossed inside a small
circle and the word Tola embossed below it.
In the outer circle the word “Guaranteed
Fine Gold” was embossed in a circular form.
On the other side of the coin the image of
an elephant was embossed inside the central
circle and in the outer circle the name
“Kirtilal Jeshinglal S.W. Bombay” was
imprinted. While opening the next chamber
I could notice a marked change in the facial
expression of Shri Vasudeva Rao. My ears
could sense the change in the tone of his
voice also. He took out a small packet from
that chamber, on which the following words
were written in Marathi: “Holy hair of Sri
Ramakrishna handed over to Amitabh
Maharaj by Swami Akhandanandaji, and
handed over by the Maharaj to Shri Guruji:”
That small plastic packet contained a few
hairs, both black and white, of Sri.
Ramakrishna. I was seeing the deathless
relics of an incarnation, who attained
“Brahmapada” 119 year ago; not in a dream
but in a thoroughtly waking state. I kept the
sacred relic over my head for a moment and
saluted it with utmost reverence. The next
packet contained Swami Akhandanandaji’s
sacred hair. There were both black and white
in more numbers. I saluted this sacred relic
also with devotion. I was really transported
to a new extra-terrestrial world. The next
packet contained the ashes and a small piece
of bone of Swami Akhandanandaji, who
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 99
attained Samadhi on February 7, 1937. I kept
that also on top on my head for a moment
and saluted it with reverence.
With this, the curiosity generated in my
mind by those three letters was satiated. But,
still yet another truth remained. A family
secret, a family truth that found expression
in no letter. Shri. Vasudeva Golwalkar
continued: “This won’t suffice. You have to
offer worship to Shri Guruji’s, our familiy
deity, seated in front of the deity.” I had never
expected this. Every pore of my body was
brimming with joy. “Which is your family
deity?” I asked with hesitation. “Ambabai of
Kolhapur-Mahalakshmi,” he said. Now, even
before I could stand up to offer my worship,
he narrated a story: “I am 18 years younger
to Shri Guruji. I got married here (Pune) on
January, 1951. My father’s elder brother,
Tauji, and Thayiji (Shri. Guruji’s parents)
came here weeks before. Guruji also had
come adjusting his tour programme.
Knowing that the householder tradition of
the Golwalkar family will continue through
me, immediately after the marriage
ceremony, Tauji and Thayiji called both
myself and my spouse and instructed thus:
‘Now onwards it is your duty to protect the
‘family tradition’. We are now handing over
to you the family deities we have been
worshipping all these years without break.’
Both of us together accepted the image of
the goddess. And ever since, we have been
offering worship to the deity without break.
I was overwhelmed by a rush of emotions. I
got up, with words literally failing me. Seated
on the oval-shaped plank I offered the
flowers I had brought at the Lotus Feet of
the resplendent diety and prostrated before
it. When we came out of the pooja room,
Smt. Neha Golwalkar, along with Kausthubh
Golwalkar and Apurva Golwalkar of the
budding generation, was waiting to touch
my feet as a mark of respect in keeping with
the tradition of the family.
Yes, for me it was a pilgrimage; a strange
pilgrimage. A pilgrimage that took me
before the deity quite unexpectedly. It was a
pilgrimage into the past - i.e; to 1886 - on
the wheel of time that moved in the reverse
direction. The pilgrimage that took me to
the Sargachhi of 1936-37. A pilgrimage that
took me before the pyre that burnt on the
banks of the Ganga, flowing by the side of
the Belur Math, on February 7, 1937. The
pilgrimage commenced when that case left
Hedgewar Bhavan and which took me to the
holy presence of the presiding deity of the
Golwalkar family, where the case reached.
The pilgrimage to the ecsatic moment of the
consummation of my intense longing!
(This is the English translation of the original
Malayalam article of Shri. Ranga Hariji)
Shri Rangahari is Pracharak of RSS who held
various responsibilities like Akhil Bharatiya
Baudhik Pramukh. He edited the complete works
of Sri Guruji on the eve of Sri Guruji Birth
centenary celebrations. Now he is writing
comprehensive biography of Sri Guruji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 100
It was in 1951, venerable Sri Guruji
arrived in Prayag and stayed in my house. A
function was organized in Anglo-Bengali
College. Our Prant Sanghachalak
Mananeeya Barrister Saheb had also come
to attend the function. At that time I was
the Pracharak of the Sangha in Kashi. I was
given the responsibility of escorting Sri
Guruji to the Anglo-Bengali College and
bring him back. When we returned, Barrister
Saheb told me that I had driven the car very
slowly. Sri Guruji said that we had reached
in time and added that if he had driven the
car, then it would have definitely ended up
in an accident. After that he narrated one
incident from his life. When he was studying
in Kashi, he often used to go to offer his
prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Once his cycle got entangled between the
legs of the horse of a Tonga and a crowd
gathered around him. People reprimanded,
“Can’t he see?” and some even started
hurling invective epithets on him. “The fact
was that, I suddenly lost the ability to see
and that resulted in the accident. After that
people extricated me”. Then Sri Guruji said
that Ashok at least did not meet with any
accident. Barrister Saheb said that even
when he goes for a long drive in his car, he
starts losing the power of sight. Sri Guruji
attributed that to drowsiness and said that
in his case drowsiness was not the cause.
I started thinking that when eyes are open
and the person stops seeing, then it is the
state of Samadhi. Only after the
understanding becomes stable, one stops
seeing. This was an entirely new matter for
me. Every Swayamsevak knew that Sri Guruji
was a spiritual person, but his spiritual
achievement had manifested in his student
SOME REMINISCENCES
ASHOK SINGHAL
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 101
days. He might have definitely brought with
him, the merits of his earlier births. For
attaining that spiritual level in this life,
probably he did not have to strain much. He
narrated that incident in his life to instruct
me in achieving the goal of my life and like
an inscription carved on rock, it got
ingrained in me. Bharat Mata was always
present as the living mother in the heart of
Sri Guruji. Any distress which Bharat Mata
was suffering from or would suffer from
could not remain concealed from Sri Guruji.
He could acquire intuitive consciousness
about it. When slogans of ‘Hindi Chini Bhai
Bhai’ were resounding in the country, he
acquired a presentiment of startling secrets
according to which China had captured and
taken in its control, thousands of square
miles of land in Aksai Chin and NEFA which
is presently called Arunachal Pradesh. It was
Sri Guruji, who first told about this to India.
Those whom we were calling our brothers
were misleading Indians, were enemies of
India, were aggressors. After that the
government realized its mistake and Shri
Nehru was not in a position to answer any
questions in the parliament.
******
Once in the Sangha Shiksha Varga in
Pune, Sri Guruji suddenly said that they have
been invited by Sri Gulvaniji Maharaj. Shri
Abbaji Thate got perplexed that he did not
receive any information about the invitation
and wondered when that invitation came.
However, he along with a few colleagues
went to Sri Gulvaniji Maharaj. Prasad was
being distributed and at that moment
Gulvani Maharaj asked us whether we knew
the secret of when the invitation was made
to Sri Guruji. Sri Gulvani Maharaj was a
spiritually accomplished person. When he
started telling, Sri Guruji made a sign to him
to refrain from doing so. However he
disclosed a great secret before us. He said
that they can mentally communicate with
each other regardless of where Sri Guruji is
and while the telepathic communication was
going on, Sri Guruji accepted the invitation.
Everyone was amazed.
Sri Gulvani Maharaj’s disciple, Sri
Taranekarji had initiated Shri Dattopant
Thengadi. This was told to me by Shri
Bhaiyaji Kasture. Shri Kastureji wandered
about for 24 years in the region close to the
river Narmada and chanted Gayatri Mantra
24 lakh times. His younger brother Vishnu
who was later ordained as Prakashananda
learnt under the tutelage of Shri
Akhandanandji of Chitrakoot who not only
made him complete his secular education but
also gave him spiritual training.
******
Nowadays we raise the slogan, “Where
Mukherji attained his martyrdom, that
Kashmir is ours”. Sheikh Abdullah gave a
slogan of a separate status, separate laws and
separate emblem for Kashmir and launched
a campaign aimed at seceding Kashmir from
India. In retaliation against it, Bharateeya
Jana Sangha launched a campaign for
protecting it’s sovereignty and integrity. It
sent its Founder-chairman Dr.Shyamprasad
Mukherjee to carry out Satyagraha in
Kashmir. Before he left Sri Guruji wrote a
letter to Shyam Pabu advising him not to go
to Kashmir and warned him that if he went,
he would not be able to return. However that
letter remained with Shri Vasantrao Oakji
and he did not give that letter to Shri
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 102
Shyamprasadji as he thought that it might
slacken the campaign. However the
prophecy made by Shri Guruji came true and
the martyrdom of Shri Shyamprasadji proved
inevitable.
******
In the war in 1964, Pakistan suffered a
crushing defeat at the hands of India. Russia
took in its hands the work of effecting a
treaty between the two nations. The leaders
of both India and Pakistan were invited to
Russia. The Prime Minister of India, Shri Lal
Bahadur Shastri agreed to go there for the
treaty. At that time at a public programme
in Kanpur, Sri Guruji in his speech clearly
said that Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri should not
go to Russia and if he did, he would not be
able to return. His prophecy came true and
only the mortal remains of Shastriji were sent
back to India. The scheme of making Indira
Gandhi occupy the place of Shri Lal Bahadur
Shastri was successfully accomplished.
******
Sri Guruji attended the first conference
of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and remained
there all the time when he severely
condemned some social customs such as
untouchability. Revered Sri Niranjandevji got
infuriated and fulminated that religious
scriptures and traditions can not be
tampered with. It seemed as if the
conference will end up in a fiasco. At night
Shri Guruji had a personal discussion with
Poojya Sri Niranjandevji who got pleased
by that. On 7
th
November 1966, he took a
resolve that he along with all the audience
would participate in a huge rally for the
protection of cows. This was possible only
due to the benevolence of Sri Guruji.
On 7
th
November 1966, Sant Sri
Niranjandevji and a large number of people
went to Delhi for participating in that rally.
Everyone got surprised by the conspicuous
absence of Sri Guruji., when all other
outstanding personalities were there. In a
short while, the secret got unravelled. The
supporters of cow-slaughter had hatched a
big conspiracy. They had set to flames several
vehicles parked close to the parliament. Their
aim was to instigate the police to fire teargas
shells and bullets at the agitating saints and
they wanted Sri Guruji as the first victim to
succumb to their nefarious designs. By Sri
Guruji not participating in this rally, their
evil scheme failed. Sri Guruji could
clairvoyantly visualise the impending
calamities.
******
Once Poojya Sri Niranjandevji before
going for his pilgrimage had come to Nagpur
for attending the religious discourses of
Poojya Sri Bharathi Krishna Tirthaji, who
was the Shankaracharya of the Govardhan
Peeth. Sri Guruji used to regularly attend
his discourses. Poojya Niranjandevji felt that
Sri Guruji was a good listener and expressed
his desire to meet him. Sri Guruji asked him
to come to his office. While carrying out a
discussion on spiritual matters, he felt that
Sri Guruji was at a much higher spiritual
plane than him. He got astonished and could
not help asking him whether he had seen
God. Sri Guruji did not reply. When Poojya
Sri Niranjandevji insisted, Sri Guruji replied
that he would tell everything on the
condition that he would not divulge it to
anybody. On receiving that promise, Sri
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 103
Guruji said that when the Sangha was
banned, he had piteously prayed to God;
“Param Poojya Shri Doctor Saheb had
handed over to me the responsibility of the
Sangha, but today, innumerable
Swayamsevaks are imprisoned in various
jails all over the country. Sangha Shakhas
are closed. Will the total liquidation of the
Sangha occur during my life time?” Then I
had a vision of Ma-Bhagawati and received
her blessings.
The jailor of Betul came to tell him that
after having read the newspapers, it seemed
that the central government would not lift
Ashok Singhal is the international working
President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and has
led a movement for the “restoration” of the birth-
place of Lord Rama at Ayodhya.
the ban on the Sangha and a strict action
was in store for them. Sri Guruji casually
replied that the next day he would be
released. The jailor got astonished. The
release warrant did come the next day.
All these secrets came to light only after
Poojya Guruji shed away his mortal coil.
Ideal Society as God Ideal Society as God Ideal Society as God Ideal Society as God Ideal Society as God
We look upon the society as the living manifestation of Almighty. And we have attributed to the
Almighty the capacity of feeding all the living creatures under his care. He is therefore called
Vishwambhara. There is a pauranic story which I heard from a keertankar. Once, it seems, it
occurred to Narada to test Lord Vishnu Himself. He caught hold of a few ants, shut them up in a
small box and kept it in his safe custody. Then he went out on his usual rounds singing the praise
of Vishnu. After a while, he came to Lord Vishnu and casually enquired whether the Lord had his
food. Vishnu replied that he had done so after attending to the feeding of all the living creation.
Narada then took out his box saying, “Well, these poor creatures seem to have escaped your
Lord’s notice!” Vishnu appeared taken aback apologised and requested Narada to open the
box. And lo! When the box was opened, the ants came out each with a particle of sugar in its
mouth!
Imaginary though the story may be, it beautifully depicts the state of an idea society which will
take care of he needs of every living being under its shelter. In fact, the description of our
ancient society approximated to this state. No individual, however low and humble he may be,
was left to suffer with hunger, thirst or want of shelter. The animals and birds near about also
were cared for. Some had even taken a vow of feeding the ants before taking their food.
(page No. 230-231) (Bunch of Thoughts)
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 104
20
th
June 1940 Nagpur – Dr.Keshav
Baliram Hedgewar, the founder of the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha was in a
critical condition. He had started getting the
premonition, that his end was about to come.
He called Guruji and other important
members of the Sangha to his bedside and
addressing Guruji, he said, “From now on,
you have to bear the entire responsibility of
the Sangha”. The next day, he left his mortal
coil.
Nearly 33 years had elapsed since that
incident. On 6
th
June 1973, after sunset, the
night has set in but the Resham Baugh
ground of Nagpur is illuminated. What was
that illumination for?
A Radiant Personality
A temple has been constructed in
memory of Dr.Hedgewar at the place of his
Samadhi. A grand life size statue of his is
housed in that temple. He is sitting and
gazing towards the East. Everyday his eyes
which see the sunrays in the dawn are seeing
the same golden rays at dusk. What kind of
light is it? It is a cremation fire. It is the
cremation fire of Sri Guruji to whom
Dr.Hedgewarji had entrusted the entire
responsibility of the Sangha. For
accomplishing the work entrusted by
Dr.Hedgewar, he dedicated his entire life to
that national Yagna. Now that Sri Guruji had
made an offering of his complete personality,
this flame bears testimony to it! This is the
effulgence of the flame produced by the
complete offering of his life to the national
Yagna for the fulfilment of its objectives. It
is that golden illumination that has
converted the night into a day. It is not
confined only to the radiance which was
THAT EFFULGENCE
HONGASANDRA VENKATARAMAIAH SHESHADRI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 105
witnessed in Resham Baugh on 6th June. The
scintillation of that effulgence is
extraordinary and infinite. The strength of
that effulgence is such that it can transcend
the limitations of time and space. It is not
merely the fire of the sandalwood logs but
the effulgence produced by 67 years of
intense devotion.
An Extraordinary Sight
What was the nature of that dedication?
For accomplishing which work was it
shown? Was it from a desire for attaining
heaven for himself? Was it for attaining
salvation? Was it for experiencing divinity?
No, No! It was for none of these. This
dedication was for making the Indian people
attain the joys of heaven, in their earthly
existence. It was for eliminating the
numerous problems and difficulties afflicting
our nation. That dedication was shown for
providing the real knowledge of their
national duties to the present generation who
were wallowing in the darkness of ignorance
about their spiritualism and dignity. That
dedication was aimed at making the nation
conscious of her divinity.
Ascent To The Pinnacle
In 1925 Poojya Dr.Hedgewar sowed the
seeds of the Sangha on the Vijayadasami day
in Nagpur. He gave the mantra of a Hindu
organization, for the regeneration of the
nation. For realizing that mantra, an
organization of committed brave individuals
was formed. He also gave clear directions
to be followed, for the realization of that
mantra. For 15 years he dedicated his entire
life, his entire energy for bringing that
mantra to fruition. Before shedding his
mortal coil, he handed over the flame of the
mantra of the Hindu organization to his
successor, Sri Guruji. The word ‘Hindu
Organization’ has two parts. The first is
Hindu. Just as it indicates our community, it
is also an indicator of our national objective.
What characterized Sri Guruji’s life are the
efforts made by him to obliterate all the
problems which eclipse the concept of
national objectives in the minds of our
people.
The Culmination of Nationalism
If we hope that without venerating the
mantra of Hindutva, Bharat will emerge as
the World Guru in the field of human ideals
and spiritualism, it will be an illusion. Hence,
Sri Guruji emphasized on showing full
commitment towards revering it. On that
day, when Dr.Hedgewarji gave the mantra
of the Hindu organization, no trace of
Hinduism was visible in any of the fields of
our national life. A feeling of hatred and
contempt for Hinduism was pervading
everywhere. People used to feel ashamed of
calling themselves ‘Hindu’ and used to
grimace at the word ‘Hindu’. But today,
circumstances have changed. The fragrance
of Hinduism has spread in various fields like
education, labour, religion, politics,
literature, etc. Thousands of committed
Karyakartas are endeavouring in every field
of human activity in all places. In our entire
national life the true nationalism of our
motherland is resounding everywhere. The
attractive coverings of the antinational
slogans have started getting uprooted.
Bharat has become luminiscent with its own
light and is rising. The light of that cremation
fire which had illumined the countenance of
the Poojya Dr.Hedgewarji, was a
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 106
representative of India’s light. It was the
nectarine fruition of the intense devotion
which Sri Guruji had shown for 33 years.
In the term ‘Hindu organization’, the
word ‘organization’ is another main aspect
of it. The Hindus apart from acquiring
inspiration for attaining the national
objectives, should relinquish the tendencies
of social disintegration and imbalance
prevalent in them and make relentless
efforts for bringing about a massive
integrated social regeneration.
Unfortunate Times
Before Dr.Hedgewarji left his mortal coil,
the activities of the Hindu organization were
confined mostly to Maharashtra and
Vidharba. It had just started in the other
parts of the country. From then onwards
under the leadership of Sri Guruji the
organization underwent a huge
development. It spread all over the country.
Thousands of centres were started in every
province. Thousands of dedicated
Karyakartas were brought together. After
entering politics, Mahatma Gandhi had said,
“An average Hindu is a coward and an
average Muslim is a bully”. But nowadays
no one has got the audacity to speak about
Hindus in such a way. The time when Hindus
would cry after getting beaten, is long over.
Image Of The Dawn
The light of the cremation fire which
illumined the image of Dr.Hedgewarji on the
evening of the 6
th
June was the image of the
dawn of spiritual life of the Hindus. It is the
great offering (Mahaprasad) of the Yagna,
which Sri Guruji performed throughout his
life.
The more we think of Sri Guruji, the more
clearly we can visualize the picture of his
refulgent national personality. It is such a
limpid, illuminated picture like our nation,
which does not bear any trace of vested
interest and is free from any personal
feelings of love or hatred. Swami Ram Tirtha
while describing a consummate patriot said,
“If you want to be a patriot then be one in
love with your country and her people”. The
shadow of your personality should not bear
an identity different from those of the people
of this country. I am this country, I am this
complete nation. Think in this way. My status
is so glorious. When I move, then India
moves. My voice is the voice of Bharat. My
breath is the breath of Bharat. I am Lord
Shiva. This is true Vedanta. This is true
patriotism. The life of Sri Guruji was a living
embodiment of this ideal.
The voice of Sri Guruji used to remain
prominent, like the lamp post of India’s
spirituality, even in the midst of political,
economic, social problems gripping this
country. While offering his tributes to Sri
Guruji, Shri Vinobha Bhave said, “Sri
Guruji’s national feelings and vision are
gigantic and his faith in spiritualism is very
deep”. Even the political leaders who
regarded Sri Guruji as their rival, lavishly
paid similar tributes to him. Prime Minister
Smt.Indira Gandhi said, “By his effective
personality and his intense commitment to
his ideals Sri Guruji occupied a revered
status in our nation”. Even in this, his
national personality is reflected.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 107
Invaluable Gift
Apart from having an extraordinary
ability for mobilizing people and moulding
their lives and his organizational ability, his
extraordinary mental acumen enabled him
to merge his personality entirely in the
national life. Before shedding his mortal coil,
Swami Vivekananda drew a beautiful picture
of the future, “And a number of
Vivekanandas will be born”. Sri Guruji
succeeded brilliantly in fulfilling that
glorious dream of Swami Vivekananda and
those efforts of Sri Guruji certainly might
have made Swami Vivekananda’s soul feel
proud. The greatest gift of Sri Guruji, which
he dedicated to this nation was the casting
of brilliant young men committed to serving
this nation in the mould of Swami
Vivekananda’s firebrand life.
The Quintessential Dedication
For evaluating the success of any great
man, we have to view him from two points
of view. The first is his personal virtues,
ideals of life, the institutions founded by
him, the literature created by him, etc. The
second point of view is more significant; the
tradition of perpetuating those ideals after
him by dedicated, intelligent Karyakartas.
Even from the second point of view, there
is no doubt that the accomplishments of Sri
Guruji, are par excellence. This is the
quintessential, loftiest dedication of Sri
Guruji and is based on his great abilities.
While offering their tributes to Sri Guruji,
leaders of different parties, at different
places described, “After Gandhiji, Sri Guruji
was the leader who could illuminate India
at the same level”.
From this point of view, what was the
prowess of Sri Guruji? Gandhiji sounded the
bugle for the freedom struggle to uproot the
political slavery imposed by the foreigners.
But even after the liberation from the political
slavery, the mental slavery was pervading all
over the country. Sri Guruji sounded the
bugle of the freedom struggle against it. For
attaining success in his efforts, he called
upon his country brethren to adopt the
austere, diligent method for incorporating
the pristine, national culture, into their lives,
removed from any kind of politics.
Another great achievement of Sri Guruji
was the creation of a successful tradition to
ensure the perpetuation of this work after
him. Dr.Hedgewarji with an extraordinary
foresight created such people, who were
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 108
committed to their objectives. The process
of the creation of national character started
by him was made a nationwide movement
by Sri Guruji. Free from the germs of power,
fame, success, publicity, wealth, status,
political rivalry and selfishness, he moulded
the lives of his companions in an atmosphere
of morality and dedication.
It is an effulgent light
“It is the height of such emotions
touching our hearts, that we feel that Sri
Guruji is offering all the success in his life
to Dr.Hedgewar. The light of that cremation
fire is not only illumining the countenance
of the image of his leader, but also
illumining the heart of that leader with joy
Hongasandra Venkataramaiah Sheshadri was
Sarkaryavah and Akhil Bharatiya Pracharak
Pramukh of the RSS. He was involved in many
social welfare and social service activities, and
served several noble nationalist causes, provid-
ing a strong and sustained inspiration and guid-
ance to more than two generations of youth in
all parts of India.
and pride. Apart from that, it will also
illumine every heart which longs for a
glorious future for his beloved Hindu nation,
for times immemorial. It was that light, which
will always illumine its tradition, bring joy
to new hearts and bring glory to our future.”
(Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya of Puri)
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
As far as the national tradition of this land is concerned, it never considers that with a change
in the way of worship, an individual ceases to be the son of the soil and should be treated as
an alien. Here, in this land, there can be no objection to God being called by any name
whatever. Ingrained in this soil is love and respect for all faiths and religious beliefs. He cannot
be a son of this soil at all who is intolerant of others faiths. So, all that is expected of our
muslim and Christian co-citizens is the shedding of the notions of their being ‘religious minori-
ties’ as also their foreign mental complexion and merging themselves in the common national
stream of this oil.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 109
My first meeting with Golwalkar Guruji
was perhaps in May 1966 at Police Bazar area
at Shillong of then K & J Hills District of
Assam (the present Meghalaya). It was in a
public meeting organized by RSS Workers.
I was at that time a worker of our
Cherrapunji Centre. I was in the audience.
Guruji’s speech addressing the public,
most of whom were Khasi Tribals, was in
strong and clear Hindi. Fiery words against
the East Pakistan’s evil intentions against
India. I was astonished at his courage. He
was ‘unguarded’. None dared to criticize
East Pakistan like that because the Khasis
had commercial relations with East Pakistan
and the Christian Missionaries there were
also against any Hindu influence on the
public in that area.
The next incident I remember is the RSS
Youth Training Camp of 2 weeks at Kampur
near Guwahati. I sent one young man, Salong
Roy, a Jaintia Tribal of Nartiang, studying in
Class IX or X in our hostel at Chena. He
impressed all by his disciplined behaviour.
Guruji had noticed him. Some one year later,
Guruji was at Shillong. I was also at Shillong
staying in our Ashrama in the nearby
Laitmukrah. He was in a friend’s house.
Holding a Press Conference at 12.30 p.m. or
SOME PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF GURUJI
SWAMI GAUTAMANANDA MAHARAJ
1.00 p.m., he sent word for me. I was just a
young Sanyasi of our Order, ordained just
one year before. He welcomed me with a
devoted ‘Namaskar’ and made me sit by him.
He was several years senior to me in age. I
was stunned by his humility and generosity
to show such deep respect even to a junior.
He further surprised me by asking by name
about the Jaintia boy. He said, ‘How is
Salong? What is he doing now?’ I was
astonished by his strong memory.
In Deep Contemplation
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 110
Then it was about 1.00 p.m. which is the
usual ‘rest’ hour in our Ramakrishna Mission
Centres. He was not at all bothered about
his rest. He was fresh and was sitting in
Padmasan position, answering the questions
of the journalists. I remember he passed on
a question from them to me to answer. I
remember he was answering questions
regarding the use of beef by the Hindus of
Vedic times.
The third time I met him was perhaps in
1970-71 at the Ramakrishna Mission, Khar,
Bombay. Swami Hiranmayanandaji was the
Head of our Ashrama there. Shri Golwalkarji
was his long time friend. Shri Golwalkarji
was in Bombay for some RSS Conference, I
believe. He wanted to spend the day of
Krishna Janmashtami, which was coming
the next day, in our Mission’s guest house.
It was arranged accordingly. He came in the
evening and met Swami Hiranmayanandaji.
I was also with them in our Ashrama parlour.
After the usual greetings, Shri Golwalkarji
started requesting Swami
Hiranmayanandaji, ‘Maharaj’, I have
received the grace of Ramakrishna Mission
personally, but I want it to be showered on
my organization (RSS) too’. Swami
Hiranmayanandaji replied suitably meaning
that it was there, though not in an explicit
way.
The night came. It was observed that
Guruji was having fever and our doctor was
called in. Guruji was running 99+
temperature. The doctor advised him
medicine and complete rest. Guruji said that
he was to fast the next day on account of
Krishna Janmashtami. Our doctor would not
approve it. But Guruji was adamant. He did
keep up the fast the whole of next day. We
Sadhus of the Math were a little worried too.
When the whole day went off peacefully and
on the next morning Guruji was ready to
leave, we saw that he was completely free
from fever, even without any medicine. He
had kept the fast also! I wondered at his
stong will-power, his faith in God and his
Nistha (dedication) to keep up his spiritual
routine against all odds. I can never forget
the tremendous influence of this facet of
Guruji’s personality on me.
I have referred to Guruji saying, ‘I have
received the grace of the Mission personally’
earlier. I can now give some details in this
regard. When Guruji was a student at
Benaras Hindu University, he had met Swami
Akhandanandaji, a direct disciple of Sri
Ramakrishna and beloved brother disciple
of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda
had a special love for him because of his
daredevil courage by which he crossed over
to Tibet barefoot and for his compassionate
heart to serve the poor, the ignorant and the
neglected people as gods. Guruji was
initiated by such a great enlightened
Sannyasin Guru. He would go during
vacations in Benaras Hindu University to the
Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama of his ailing
Guru, Swami Akhandanandaji, in the village
Sargachhi, Murshidabad Dist., West Bengal.
He served him with utmost devotion, even
forgetting his own food, bath etc. for weeks
together. Our Swamis were amazed to see
his Guru-bhakti.
One day he was seen kneeling before his
Guru (Swami Akhandanandaji) and begging
for his grace to attain the highest knowledge
of Brahman. Swami Niramayanandaji, who
was Swami Akhandanandaji’s Secretary,
noticed that Swami Akhandanandaji blessed
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 111
Guruji saying, ‘Tumhara Brahma Jnan ho
jayega.’ (You will realize the knowledge of
Brahman). I am reminded here of Katha
Upanishad’s saying ‘Ananyaprokthe
gatirathra nasthi’. (All doubts disappear
when this Atman is taught by one who has
realized his own oneness with it). So Guruji
had the blessings from his Guru Swami
Akhandanandaji that he would be a
Brahmajnani in the course of time. What
greater blessing can anyone expect in human
life?
I remember Guruji as one of the finest
saint-patriots who dedicated his life for God
H.H. Swami Gautamananda Maharaj is the
President of Sri Ramakrishna Math in Chennai
and a trustee of the Ramakrishna Math &
Mission. Swamiji speaks and writes on the
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda philosophy and on
Indian culture. He has lectured extensively on
Vedanta throughout India and abroad.
and for our dear Bharat. He was a true
follower of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda
and was hence an ideal Hindu.
May the Supreme Lord shower his
choicest blessings on this saintly lover of
Bharat is my heartfelt prayer to HIM.
It is at once clear that the basis of our national existence was not political power. Otherwise, our
fate would have been no better than that of those nations which remain today as only museum
exhibits. The political rulers were never the standard-bearers of our society. They were never
taken as the props of our national life. Saints and sages, who had risen above the mundane
temptations of pelf and power and had dedicated themselves wholly for establishing a happy,
virtuous and integrated state of society, were its constant touch-bearers. They represented the
dharmasatta. The king was only an ardent follower of that higher moral authority. Many a king-
ship licked the dust owing to various adverse and aggressive forces. But the dharmasatta contin-
ued to hold the people together.
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 112
The high tower is engulfed in the
mysterious silence of night. Loud-speakers
on the near-by square are already mute. The
last compositors in the newspaper offices
have long since thrown themselves in their
table-beds, and the hotel-boys who are the
first to wake up are still tossing under their
worn-out blankets. Streets of Nagpur are fast
asleep. Even the ever-alert workers of the
cultural organisation are interrupting their
sleep on the down -floor only to pick up
another cover against the growing cold of
the midnight. The whole earth is dead silent.
Only the tower-room watching affectionately
the historic plains of the Mohite Shakha is
showing signs of life. Foot-steps are audible,
and in the green-bluish light of the dim table-
lamp is visible a person strolling leisurely,
as if sleep at that hour appeared to be the
most awkward thing for him. He is the
Sentinel of Bharat. Through his window
admitting but the faintest light of the distant
electric lamp on the street, his mind is
glancing over the vast territory extending
from the Hindukush to the Hindu Ocean.
Millions can sleep, because he is keeping
awake.
Yes, he is a vigilant sentinel guarding
their destinies in this moment of their self-
oblivion. He is watching intently the
darkness of the hour with his remarkable
eyes that are bright and affectionate. His
serene soul is peeping out through them. In
this world, to use Gautier’s phraseology,
there is nothing like those eyes. They have
life, brilliance and magnetism. Despite his
nightly vigils, the whites of his eyes are as
DATTOPANT THENGADIJI
GOOD MORNING
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 113
clear and transparent as those of a child.
Eyes to see through hills and hearts, to
subdue animals; the eyes of a leader, of a
conqueror.
Conqueror he is - not of lifeless lands,
but of human hearts. And it is but proper
that it should be so. For, is not his own heart
but a vast mirror in which are reflected
clearly the smiles and tears of his
innumerable countrymen? Every one knows
that there is nothing personal about his
thoughts and feelings, - so thoroughly he is
identified with his Motherland and his
people.
**
Now the dawn is gradually descending
upon the earth riding the smooth chariot of
the gentle breeze. Life is slowly awakening
the land. The chill breeze is happily sporting
with his saintly beard. The saint is simply
smiling at its childlike hide-and-seek.
Number of innocently naughty children are
accustomed to enjoy this graceful smile. To
their little minds, he is just another, but more
agreeable playmate. They never suspect that
he is anything more than an amicable
member of their little world.
The grown-ups know that, age
notwithstanding, he is the peter-pantheism
personified.
Within a minute or two, a boy from the
down-stairs will knock his door, and convey
him that one of his best friends is waiting
for him eagerly in the kitchen-room. Who is
that fortunate ‘friend’? One may enquire.
Well, he hails from Assam, and is popularly
known as Mr. Tea.
**
A psycho-analyst himself, his mind has
been a riddle for many a psycho-analyst. Is
he a spiritualist? Yes, but unlike most of the
spiritualists, he does not keep himself far
from the maddening crowd. Is he a
materialist? No, but his aptitude for nicest
details of any subject that is of the earth,
earthy, could have easily earned for him the
distinction of being a thorough and scientific
materialist. He is a nationalist to the core;
but his spiritual love has sublimated his mind
not only into internationalism, but also into
universalism.
Slowly but surely, brick by brick, he is
laying the foundation of an enduring social
structure, and yet, curiously enough, it is
presumed in certain quarters that he is
lacking in faculty for ‘Constructive’ work.
He has a rare gift for appreciating an
adversary’s view-point and of taking a
charitable view of the latter’s uncharitable
gestures. And still his idealism has never
been dilute. He is firm without being fanatic,
quick without being hasty, cautious without
being sluggish, calculating without being
cold, affectionate without being attached,
and non-attached without being indifferent.
He loves, but does not fondle; is strict,
but not harsh; a disciplinarian full of
humanism. He takes a sympathetic view of
human weaknesses, though for himself he is
unsparing.
He is one of the few practical leaders this
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 114
age has produced. But for his constant pre-
occupation with the organisational work, he
could have easily equalled Manu.
He is a versatile genius; yet his life is a
noteworthy example of one-pointed
devotion. Though destined to cause historic
changes in the course of events, his own life
is regarded as the least ‘eventful’ in the crude
sense of the term.
He is equally at ease in society, as well as
in solitude. The conflict between senses and
soul, has long since been settled. This cannot
but reflect upon all his words and deeds.
His mission has become his dominating
passion. And yet in December, 1941, when
one of his first lieutenants offered to
withdraw from the district Sangh-
Chalakship, he posed a counter question,
‘Who am I to accept your offer? It is you all
who have entrusted me with this work. If
you choose to withdraw, well, I will have
nothing to do with all this. I can retire still
earlier. For me, the hills and dales of the
Himalayas have a greater fascination.’
**
Tea is being served. The inmates of
Karyalaya are in good cheer. They are
enjoying the usual yet unique privilege of
free and friendly talk with the Master. The
range of discussions is wide enough. No
subject is too small to be ignored or too big
to be avoided. All are freely participating in
the tea-talk. The Master is unreserved,
though discreet. As a conversationalist, he
is extremely charming. And as a listener, few
would surpass him in patience and liveliness.
Even casual remarks of Bal Swayamsevaks
do not escape his minute attention.
By the side of the Master is seated the
General Secretary of the Organisation. But
nobody seems to be mindful of his official
status. He himself is not. Even youngsters
can cut joke with or give a retort to him.
And he receives in good-humour. Tea-talk is
the best equalizer. All officialdom is melted
down in a fine cup of tea. Temperamentally,
the Master is democratic. Constitutionally,
he occupies no official position. Voluntarily,
they accept his word as Law. He never
commands. But millions get themselves
commanded by him.
Quite informally a number of subjects are
being dealt with …Ramu is sick, and medical
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 115
aid is to be arranged…Jagdish from Bardi
Shakha is to get married this evening, and
Krishnarao should visit his place earlier to
organise reception….Certain remarks of Pt.
Nehru in his last speech are likely to offend
the linguistic communalists…’One World’
concept is impracticable unless it is
pioneered by the Sanyasins of the Hindu
pattern…Andhra has ordered more caps this
year…Our Bhandar is running short of the
caps…Indiscreet use of streptomycin must
be discouraged…Dr. Jekyl and Mr Hyde
normally reside in the same abode….
And, in the meanwhile, Warly anxiously
furnishes the Master with a piece of
information which, according to him, is most
valuable. His buffalo, he declares, has ceased
to take anything since a couple of days.
Warly seems to be convinced that his
declaration would be as shocking to all as
that of the third Global War.
The Master is equally attentive, without
losing for a moment his supreme sense of
proportion.
His presence is enlightening; his talk
interesting as well as instructive. The whole
atmosphere is surcharged with enthusiasm.
Every heart is throbbing with innocent joy
and redoubled vigour and determination.
With the Master in our midst, this is indeed
a blessed morning, a Good Morning, indeed!
**
From the Karyalaya, he proceeds
homewards. Not a few rush to accompany
him on the way. One does not know what all
one would lose by staying away for a while
from this mine of gold, every particle of
which is dedicated to the service of the
Motherland. This is her invaluable treasure,
- most precious and least glittering. They
believe there is much to learn even from his
casual gestures. They learn, often without
knowing it. He teaches, usually without any
conscious efforts. Is the nightingale
conscious of the sweetness of her voice? It
is all spontaneous, instinctive, natural.
Nature has moulded him into ‘Guruji’;
people were not slow to recognise Her
design.
He enters the old-styled residence in an
old-styled lane of Nagpur. It is neither
pompous nor spacious. Old roof sheltering
young generations! Here his mother is
eagerly awaiting his arrival. Her slightly
shivering hands are the two mighty pillars
of the Hindu Nation.
Bath and ablution over, he is about to
enter his private study - his sanctum-
sanctorum. Let us leave him at its threshold
which is the demarcating line between the
objective world and the subjective self. Here,
in the innermost depths of his soul, he will
present himself before his revered Gurudev,
Swami Akhandanandaji, who admitted him
twenty years before, to the Aristocracy of
Divinity. Here, the Master will settle his
accounts with God. He and God are in the
constant conspiracy. Glory of the Hindu and
Human Race is assured, since God and
Guruji are conspiring for it.
Dattopant Thengadi was the founder of the
Swadeshi Jagran Manch that advocates indig-
enous industry and economy. A Hindu ideologue,
who waged a crusade against globalisation and
entry of foreign players in India. He started
Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh, the biggest labour
union in the world.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 116
Param Poojya Sri Guruji was addressing
a meeting of Karyakartas of the Uttar
Kshetra (northern territory) in the huge hall
of Kurukshetra Vidyalaya. Before starting
the conversation, he was seeking
introduction from all the Karyakartas
present. When a Swayamsevak from Simla
rose to introduce himself, Sri Guruji asked
him about the Sanghchalak of Simla, Shri
Chatkara. The Karyakarta informed Guruji
about his demise. On hearing that, Sri
Guruji got visibly shocked and keeping his
hand on his forehead, observed silence for
a minute. The entire gathering became still
and quiet.
Sri Guruji raised his neck and uttered,
“One brother of our family has departed and
the head of the family is ignorant about it”.
The meeting commenced then. There was a
question-answer series. After the conclusion
of the meeting, he came to my house where
he was staying and sat on the floor instead
of the bed and wrote a letter to Shri
Chatkara’s family, expressing his condolences
and sorrow over the demise. He directed me
to put the letter in the post box. No sooner
did he hear the name of any town, than he
would reminisce all its Karyakartas and
become eager to know about their welfare.
Sri Guruji had such feelings of affection and
communion.
****
I was the organizer in the Rohtak
education department and was entrusted
with the responsibility of distribution of
refreshments. Poojya Sri Guruji arrived
there. Some experienced Karyakartas were
serving food to him. Everything seemed to
be okay.
SHRI DINA NATH BATRA
INSPIRING INCIDENTS FROM THE LIFE OF SRI GURUJI
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 117
At night, during the meeting of the
organizers, information about them and their
responsibilities was being sought. When my
turn came, I introduced myself and the
responsibility shouldered by me. Sri Guruji
said, “So you are in charge of distribution
of food”. On hearing that, I got startled. I
had a vague feeling that while serving food,
something might have gone wrong. My
apprehension turned out to be correct. With
an expression of satisfaction on his
countenance. Sri Guruji said, “I enjoyed my
meals today. I found the corpse of a fly in
the vegetable dish”. The unrestrained
laughter of Sri Guruji enchanted everybody.
Only I could understand the predicament. I
was in Sri Guruji had taken out the fly from
his meals and silently had his meals. He did
not allow anybody to become aware of it.
He was not at all vexed or irritated. What a
great personality he had! His character,
simplicity and grace were lofty and sublime.
My Pranam (salutation) to that realized soul.
****
In 1946 Sri Guruji laid the foundation
stone of the Srimad Bhagwad Geeta Higher
Secondary School. Sri Guruji again visited
the school on its silver jubilee anniversary
celebrations. An elaborate plan for a grand
function on this occasion was made. When
Sri Guruji saw the outline of that plan, he
found that he had to inspect the parade of
N.C..C cadets from the stage. He asked me
how he was supposed to do that. I explained
that the cadets would salute by bringing their
hands to the right corner of their foreheads
and he could accept their salutes in the way
he liked. Sri Guruji replied that he would
follow the tradition followed in the military
for accepting their salutes. The salute made
by Sri Guruji in response to the salutes of
the N.C.C. cadets is captured in a superb
photograph.
Mannayavar Shri Moghe was our Pranth
pracharak. He asked us the duration of the
function. I replied that it would be 2 hours
and 50 minutes. Shri Moghe replied in a
slightly irritated tone that he had instructed
me not to allow the duration of the function
to exceed 2 hours. Sri Guruji intervened and
coming to my rescue said, “This function is
being celebrated after 25 years and let it be
held in this way”. I felt internally relieved.
The function lasted for 3 hours. As it was
January, it was extremely cold. I was not
knowing that Poojya Sri Guruji was suffering
from cancer. After the function was over,
he went to his home. He started experiencing
acute pain in the hand medical treatment was
given. I got so much impressed by his
personality that I am at a loss for words to
describe the greatness of his stature. At least
by recollecting such inspiring incidents I can
pay homage to his dedication, his sage-like
life, his extraordinary power of
concentration as well as tolerance, and
consider myself blessed. Whenever I
reminisce over those divine moments, my
heart gets imbued with devotion.
****
A programme of the Sangha was attended
by Sri Guruji. He was sitting in a row for
having his meals. In the two rows ahead of
him, ten Swayamsevaks were serving food.
One Swayamsevak was squatting at the end
of the row in which Sri Guruji was sitting
for having for his meals. When Sri Guruji
saw him, he got from his place and went near
him. He asked him why he was not serving
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 118
food and whether he was sick. Lowering his
eyes, the Swayamsevak said softly,”I am from
a scheduled caste, and I hesitate to serve
food to people like you.” Sri Guruji caught
that young man’s hand and told him, “After
serving the vegetable in my plate, serve it to
all the Swayamsevaks sitting in the row.
There is no place for of high and low
differences in the Sangha. We are all children
of Bharat Mata and hence are brothers. From
now on, be careful not to allow such filthy
thoughts to enter your mind.”
Those who talk about bringing social
equality and harmony should develop a
feeling of communion with every member
of the society. Only then can amity prevail
in our society. We attain our small or great
status not by our birth but by our Karma.
Untouchability is a great sin. Always keep
this in mind. Sri Guruji, during his lifetime,
made us realize that. Let us now imbibe it in
our lives and put it into practice.
All Hindus are brothers and sisters;
A Hindu never gets polluted;
The aim of my life is to protect Hindus;
I believe in equality.
***
Shri Dina Nath Batra is the national convenor
of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samit. General
Secretary of Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya
Siksha Sansthan which guides around 20,000
schools in Bharat.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 119
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SPIRITU SPIRITU SPIRITU SPIRITU SPIRITUAL N AL N AL N AL N AL NA AA AATION TION TION TION TIONALISM IN PRA ALISM IN PRA ALISM IN PRA ALISM IN PRA ALISM IN PRACTICE CTICE CTICE CTICE CTICE
Since the Vedic time the concept of nation in India is spiritual, cultural. It
was never just territorial or state-nation concept. The Hindu ethos is ‘One
has manifested as many’ and therefore each and every thing is sacred.
Thus this inclusive approach of Hindutva makes it possible for a Hindu to
be highly spiritual and universal and at the same time intensely nationalistic.
The last century alone saw some spiritual giants, like Swami Vivekananda,
Maharshi Aurobindo and Sri Guruji who were also great nationalist. That
Spirituality sans Nationalism is incomplete and unsustainable is a fact
proven by history. Verily for this reason, our society has been exhorted
time and again by Sri Krishna in the beginning of Kali Yuga, Sri Adi
Sankara, Swami Samartha Ramdas, Sri Vallabacharya, Sri Vidyaranya,
Sri Guru Gobind Singh in the past few centuries, right up to Swami
Vivekananda, Maharshi Aurobindo and Sri Guruji in the last century, to
shun the tamasic inaction in the guise of spirituality and fight to uphold
and protect Dharma. For them, spirituality is the content and nationalism
is the container.
Working for the cause of humanity is the greatest form of worship.
Unlike many reactionary reformers, Sri Guruji took the sane decision of
sticking to the value system, while working to reform the society ridden
by many evils, which parade under the garb of religion. Swami
Vivekananda had told “Elevate the masses without injuring their religion”
Sri Guruji through various initiatives in RSS or through RSS put this principle
given by swami Vivekananda in practice.
Spirituality is vision of Oneness, feeling from the heart for all expressed
in the actions as service for all. In the life of Sri Guruji we see this expressed
even at he national level. The following articles will clearly exemplify the
wonderful approach of Sri Guruji in reforming the society, his spiritual
nationalism in practice.
SECTION - TWO
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 125
India, Maharishi Aurobindo said, is not
just a geographic piece. It is ‘Parashakti’
concealed in physical landscape. It would
require more than mere reason and intellect
to understand the consciousness that is
India. A seeker who endeavours to explore
the consciousness of India has to transcend
the limits of reason. He has to travel into
mystic and metaphysical domains to capture
her deeper and mysterious inner personality.
This is the substance of Maharishi
Aurobindo’s understanding of India. The
course of her history too cannot be grasped
without understanding this mystic
dimension of her personality. Her survival –
when all her sister civilisations had been
reduced to archival materials by armies
driven by religious fanaticism that marched
across the face of the earth – and her re-
emergence are not explainable except by the
mystic element in the Indian civilisation that
seems to guarantee a kind of durability and
continuity to the Indian civilisation,
something which destiny seems to have
denied to others.
Even the way the freedom movement of
India evolved cannot be captured purely in
rational terms. It needs penetrative
contemplation to see the drive of mystic India
behind the physical and manifested India in
empowering the freedom movement. The
Indian people let down by its divided
traditional military and intellectual
leadership and fatigued for nearly a century,
suddenly woke up and worked themselves
to kinetic effect and rose up to win freedom
in the 20
th
century. That is, the masses of
India, substituting for their traditional
leaders, rose up and agitated to free India.
How did this happen? Was it just an accident
of history or the reassertion of the Soul of
India?
SHRI GURUJI: A SAINT WHO RENOUNCED HIS
SAINTHOOD TO RE-BUILD A MIGHTY INDIA
SHRI S. GURUMURTHY
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 126
The rise of the Indian people to assert
their nationalism was not an accident of
history. There were mystic powers working
to drive India’s freedom. There was of
course, a direct and perceivable link
between Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and
Swami Vivekananda who rearticulated the
idea of this ancient nation in the modern
world. But, there was a mystic and unseen
link between the spiritual penance and
mission of Sri Ramakrishna-Vivekananda in
the 19
th
century and the intense wave of
nationalism that swept across India in the
20
th
century. It is this subtle link – not fully
comprehended by Indian intellectuals – that
triggered massive and exponential growth
of nationalist activities that eventually led
to freedom. A rational or superficial study
of Sri Ramakrishna, without factoring this
mystic phenomenon, would hardly link him
to the nationalist movement to free India,
while a deeper contemplation would make
it difficult to de-link his disciple and
rebellious Hindu Monk, Swami Vivekananda,
from the nationalist spirit that constituted
the soul of the freedom movement. While
the spiritual penance of Sri Ramakrishna
constituted the secret reservoir of energy
for the nationalist drive of Swami
Vivekananda, the explosive ideas of Swami
Vivekananda became the inspiration for
hundreds and thousands of nationalist
initiatives all over India.
Perceived from this domain of mystic
India, one of the silent, but most powerful,
initiatives in the cause of this ancient nation,
that was subtly, but, not explicitly, linked to
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda spiritual-
nationalist tradition was the emergence of
the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS]. It
is undeniable that the ideology of the RSS is
clearly and explicitly traceable to the
gigantic nationalist ideas and thoughts that
emanated from Swami Vivekananda. But
apart from this ideological inspiration, that
there was a live and direct spiritual link
between the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda
spiritual nationalist penance and the
evolution of the RSS, is least noticed in
Indian intellectual discourses. The bridge
that constituted this direct spiritual link
between Sri Ramakrishna-Vivekananda
tradition and the RSS was Sri Guruji
Golwalkar, the second Sarsanghachalak of
the RSS who shaped the intellectual and
spiritual foundations of the RSS. But this
subtle, least known, link between the kinetic
RSS and spiritually potent Sri Ramakrishna
Order is not within comprehension of
rational India which does not recognise
mystic aspects of existence.
The spiritual vision to rebuild the ancient
nation in India, which had slipped into
centuries of drift re-emerged in the advent
of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Sri
Ramakrishna was among the greatest of the
saints of India who lived and demonstrated
that all faiths are ultimately harmonisable.
But the condition for harmony is mutual and
true respect among the different faiths. The
mutual respect of different and even
differing faiths towards one another is the
essence of Sanatana Dharma, the timeless
Indian wisdom for all times and its unique
contribution for the entire humankind. The
absence of true, mutual respect of faiths
leads to civilisational, cultural and religious
clashes. But the mutual respect has to be
rooted in the faiths themselves, not to be
left to the option of the faithful. This is the
essence of Sanatana Dharma. As Swami
Vivekananda said, Sri Ramakrishna
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 127
Paramahamsa took ‘avatara’ to save Sanatana
Dharma which, decades later, Maharishi
Aurobindo defined as the nationalism of the
Indian nation. Sri Ramakrishna was the
answer to the urge of the times in the 19
th
century that called for consolidating the
scattered spiritual forces of India. Sri
Ramakrishna, the potential energy, turned
kinetic in form through Swami Vivekananda
to prepare the ancient nation to battle for
freedom to pursue its mission. Sri
Ramakrishna spoke of Sanatana Dharma,
but, not of the Indian nation. But, Swami
Vivekananda who constituted the expression
of the soul of Sri Ramakrishna emphasised
and mandated the worship of the nation, the
Hindu nation, as the only God for the next
fifty years, for Sanatana Dharma to re-
emerge. Maharishi Aurobindo’s conception
that Sanatana Dharma and India are one and
the same and they cannot be severed and one
cannot survive without the other explains
that, when Sri Ramakrishna spoke of
Sanatana Dharma he actually spoke of India
and when Vivekananda spoke of India he
actually spoke of Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana
Dharma constituted the potential of which
India was the kinetic effect; if Sanatana
Dharma was the contemplative thought India
was its action-platform. So if Sri
Ramakrishna’s work constituted the
contemplation, Swami Vivekananda’s work
was the resultant action based on the
contemplation. When Swami Vivekananda
gave Indians the mission to rebuild India and
to position India as the spiritual guide to the
world, the ‘Jagat Guru’, he was saying what
Sri Ramakrishna had left unsaid for his
chosen disciple to say. But Sri Ramakrishna
did give a clue to what he had contemplated
and spiritually directed his disciple Swami
Vivekananda to expound. He told his
disciples that ‘while other religions which
are also true will come and go it is Sanatana
Dharma which will ultimately prevail’
[Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna dt October 20,
1884]. So taking cue from his Master, Swami
Vivekananda prescribed this mission to
rebuild India to save the world from
intolerance and violence promoted by
exclusive faiths, by reinstating, reliving and
protecting Sanatana Dharma, which was
central to Sri Ramakrishna’s experience.
Swamiji also made this mission of India clear
in his spectacular address to the World
Parliament of Religions.
However, this expansive mission that
Swami Vivekananda called upon this nation
to undertake was not to be the exclusive task
of the Ramakrishna Order. It would appear
from how in his address at Madras Swami
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 128
Vivekananda wanted the Hindu society to be
organised, namely through man-making
training for youth. The instrument that was
chosen by destiny to concretise the mission
of Swami Vivekananda on the field and to
spiritualise and consolidate the patriotic
forces of India was the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS]. The mystic and
spiritual link between this clarion call of
Swami Vivekananda and the RSS was Sri
Guruji as Shri Madhav Sadhasiv Golwalkar
was first known to his students in Benaras
Hindu University. Before destiny willed him
to carry on, on the ground, the mission
unveiled by Swami Vivekananda in his
lecture titled ‘My Plan of Campaign’ at
Madras through the RSS, he had been
initiated into the spiritual stream of
Ramakrishna Mission by Swami
Akhandananda, a direct disciple of Sri
Ramakrishna. Given his deep spiritual
leaning, had Guruji been born in early part
of the 19
th
Century, he would perhaps have
become a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa and also perhaps a monk in
the Ramakrishna Order. Had he been born
in the later part of the 19
th
century he would
have become a companion-disciple of Swami
Vivekananda. But, he was born in the 20
th
century when the need of the times had
changed from consolidation of spiritual
forces into the kinetic task of rebuilding the
ancient nation, the Hindu India. This called
for more intense physical activity on the
ground than a monastic order could engage
in. So the potential energy of Sri
Ramakrishna transformed into kinetic energy
in Swami Vivekananda who began urging
particularly the youth of India to undertake
the work of nation-building. The mandate
of Swami Vivekananda became the agenda
for the forces fighting for Indian freedom.
The freedom movement which took shape
in diverse ways — from revolutionary
dimensions of Maharishi Aurobindo to the
extremist politics of Balgangadhara Tilak to
the moderate campaign of Mahatma Gandhi
— was undeniably influenced by Swami
Vivekananda’s idea of worship of
Bharatmata, the Motherland. Whether it was
Gandhi or Tilak, Nehru or Rajaji, all were
one in acknowledging that Swami
Vivekananda had laid the moral and
intellectual basis for the Indian freedom
movement. Thus, the movement for Indian
freedom was only apparently political but
its real foundation was rooted in the spiritual
dimensions implicit in Sanatana Dharma.
While those who fought for freedom only
thought how to win freedom, one of the
freedom fighters, Dr Keshav Baliram
Hedgewar, was deeply disturbed by another
issue and that was how India lost its freedom.
He diagnosed that lack of unity, even
strategic unity, among the Hindus was the
reason why we lost freedom. He wanted to
address this lacuna in the national character
of Hindus which made conquest of India by
foreign and colonial forces possible. He
intensely contemplated for a remedy for this
structural weakness of the Hindu society.
The result was that Dr Hedgewar founded
the RSS to repair and remove this distortion
in the national psyche. He set as mission of
the RSS man-making and nation-building
which Swami Vivekananda had mandated for
India and its global mission. Sri Guruji came
in contact with Dr Hedgewar a little more
than a decade after Dr Hedgewar had
founded the RSS. Thus Guruji met Dr
Hedgewar not as an impressionable child or
as a boy, but as a grown up man and as the
initiated disciple of the Ramakrishna Order.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 129
Guruji soon began experiencing Dr
Hedgewar as a spiritualist in intense action,
a Karma Yogi. So he decided to dedicate
himself to the mission that Dr Hedgewar
wanted to hand over to Guruji, namely, the
mission of RSS. Just as a young and
rebellious Narendra, who came in contact
with Sri Ramakrishna, got spiritually
transformed into Vivekananda, a saint, the
touch of Dr Hedgewar transformed Guruji,
the other way, from a saint-in-the-making
into a servant and worshipper of mother
India.
Thus, Guruji subsumed his high personal
spiritual stature and abandoned his penance
for personal spiritual advancement, which
would have led him to sainthood, to
undertake the more and perhaps the most
arduous dimension of Swami Vivekananda’s
agenda, namely, man-making and nation-
building through the RSS. This decision of
Guruji might have in effect denied him his
rightful place among the great saints of
India. Renunciates give up normal life, name
and fame, but they are eternally elevated to
rank among the revered saints. But Guruji
consciously and gladly renounced sainthood
and turned a social scavenger to rid the
Hindu society of the evils which it had
accumulated over centuries. So, apart from
renouncing fame which would have accrued
to him as a saint, he willingly accepted, as
gift for the nation-building he committed
himself to, the dirt with which his uninitiated
detractors smeared him. He knew that a
nation, that was undermined by invasions
and colonialism and a nation, that had a
message for harmony of faiths and cultures
of the world cannot rise to give that
message to the world without experiencing
excruciating pain for its transformation and
undergoing great sacrifices.
He unreservedly accepted Dr Hedgewar’s
diagnosis that a nation is only as great as its
ordinary people are, and not as great as its
great men are. So, he accepted with
determination the onerous challenge of man-
making and character-building work among
ordinary Hindus for re-establishing Sanatana
Dharma by unifying Hindus with a non-
conflicting and assimilating agenda. He was
firm in his convictions that all who were born
in India are Hindus by culture irrespective
of whatever faith and worship practices they
followed as suited to their spiritual needs.
He saw no conflict between worship
practices of different faiths and cultural
nationalism of this ancient nation. This, he
believed, is the real assimilation and
integration. This is the assimilative concept
which the Western countries commend to
themselves and practice today for
assimilating and integrating the minorities
into the mainstream culture and identity of
the respective nations. It was precisely for
this noble assimilative thought and the
concept of cultural nationalism based on it
– which Guruji articulated perhaps ahead of
times – that the Indian establishment led by
powerful men like Pandit Nehru
undermined, even delegitimised, Guruji and
his work. But Guruji stood by his conviction
that was good for all times and not by
convenience of times. In this sense, he
substantially moved away from
contemporaneity to see and work on the
future of not just his motherland, but also
the whole world. Now, the whole world,
whether it is the West or the Rest, seems to
be inclined to accept his view that minorities
should be assimilated into the mainstream
of a nation for unity and integrity of nations.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 130
Guruji was thus, both a spiritualist and a
nationalist visionary who considered
atomised spiritualism as only an individual’s
selfish advancement when Sanatana Dharma
was under pressure unless it was practised
for promoting and preserving Sanatana
Dharma for the collective good of the
society. Guruji thus renounced personal
spiritual pursuits and sainthood that would
have made him reverent and famous. Thus,
abandoning his spiritual pursuits he turned
into an ordinary servant of mother India. He,
a saint, dwarfed himself into a mason for
nation-building through the mighty effort of
RSS. Now, it is the rising India and its global
influence which is the result of the
organisation’s work, that will stand high,
not even the name of the organisation, nor
the names of millions who were inspired by
Sri Guruji or Guruji, the architect and mason
of the temple of Mother India, himself. All
of them, including Sri Guruji, will remain
anonymous unless future history, fairly
written, chooses to record their great work.
If history did its job fairly it would do credit
to it, as a truthful discipline. But that would
not make any difference to Sri Guruji who
commanded his colleagues not to make any
memorial for him. This is real renunciation,
real sainthood, and Guruji, the real saint.
When great leaders like Rajaji and
Jayaprakash Narayan paid tributes to Guruji
they particularly referred to him and revered
him as a saint. Yes, Guruji was a saint, but
he was not just a saint in the sense of one
who pursued Moksha for himself. But, he was
a saint who renounced his sainthood also,
in the mission of re-establishing Sanatana
Dharma which Maharishi Aurobindo
defined as the soul and the very idea of
Indian nationalism. The motto of his life was
‘Rashtraya Swaha; Idam Namaha’.
S Gurumurthy is convener of Swadeshi
Jagran Manch and noted chartered ac-
countant. He is an acclaimed writer whose
columns have found place on several dai-
lies and periodicals. He is known for his radi-
cal views and opinions while his intense
combination of words and moods are a tes-
timony of his passion towards raging issues.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 131
Guruji was, perhaps, the only leader of
the post-independence period who had the
vision to fully realize the importance of social
and cultural forces in shaping the political
and civilisational destiny of India. He knew
that India’s unity had been effectuated by
its culture and that these cultural forces
alone could strengthen this unity further.
He was never tired of emphasizing: “Our
culture is the real and abiding cornerstone
of national harmony and integration,
subscribing to common national ideals
irrespective of personal creeds”.
An Example: Kashmir
Whenever the above fundamental reality
of India was lost sight of, the country came
to grief. Take, for example, the case of
Kashmir. Few in our country realise that
Kashmir’s relationship with the rest of India
is based not merely on the Instrument of
Accession and Articles 1 and 370 of the
Constitution of India; it is rooted in far more
potent and enduring forces whom neither
the turbulence and tornadoes of the past nor
the negativism and nihilism of the present-
day politics can really destroy. It is a
relationship of mind and soul that has existed
from time immemorial and found ample
expression in common avenues of intellect
and emotions, poetry and literature,
philosophy and outlook. Every green pasture
that you walk around in Kashmir, every
silvery peak that you watch from
pleasurable distance, every stream that sings
its song by your side, every enchanting lake
that you come across now and then and every
little town and city that you visit, has some
CULTURE AND NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION OF INDIA
SHRI JAGMOHAN
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 132
signpost or the other of this deep and abiding
relationship. Kalhana was not off the mark
when he observed in the Rajtarangini that
there was hardly any place in Kashmir that
was not a tirtha. And Vincent Smith rightly
pointed out that ancient India had nothing
more worthy of its early civilisation than the
grand ruins of Kashmir.
To understand in depth Kashmir’s
relationship with the rest of India, it is
necessary to address ourselves to a few basic
questions.
What were the forces that brought into
existence, about 4,000 years ago, a quiet little
temple on what is now known as the
Sankaracharya Hill? What made the great
Kashmiri King Lalitaditya (721-761) to build
the glorious temple in honour of Surya, the
Sun Lord, at Martanda, and Avanti Verrman
(855-883) to construct equally splendid
temples at Avantipura? What inner urges did
these constructions symbolise? What
philosophy, what temper of mind, did they
represent? Were these inner urges, these
tempers of mind, not products of the same
cultural forces that prevailed in other parts
of India?
How is it that for thousands of years, the
learned Brahmins of South India have, on
getting up from bed, folded their hands,
looked northward and prayed: Namaste
Saradadevi, Kashmira Mandala Vaasini (I
salute the Goddess of Sarda, who resides in
Kashmir). Why is it that even now parents
tell their children to seek the blessings of
this Goddess of Learning who has her abode
in North Kashmir in the Valley of
Kishanganga?
What made Sankara, when he wanted to
rejuvenate the spirit of India, to travel from
a small hut of Kaladi in Kerala, all the way
to the distant hills in Kashmir? And what
made him stay there for quite some time and
compose his famous poem, Soundarya
Lahari, propounding his philosophy of Shakti
and Shiva? Why is it that Abinava Gupta,
the great savant of Kashmir Shaivism, is also
called ‘Sankaracharya of Kashmir’, and how
is it that he draws his philosophic thought
from the same cultural spring as that of
Sankara?
What were the forces that attracted
Swami Vivekananda from Calcutta to
Kanyakumari and then to Kashmir? What
made him, standing before the holy Cave of
Amarnath, experience one of the highest
stages of spiritual ecstasy? Why was he so
captivated by the sight in the cave that for
days, to use the words of Sister Nivedita, he
could speak of nothing else but the image of
Shiva and proclaim that he had never been
so greatly inspired as then?
What do the various landmarks on the
route, from Pahalgam to the Cave of
Amarnath – Chandanwari, Pishu Ghati,
Seshnag, Panchtarni – stand for? Are they
not some of the most important symbols of
Indian culture and beliefs?
How is it that Kashmir had always an
innate attraction for Indian saints and sages,
poets and philosophers, and provided them
with perennial inspiration? What, in
moments of poetic intensity, made Kalidasa
see the ‘laughter of Shiva’ in the Himalayas
and Subramania Bharati think of Kashmir as
the Crown of Mother India?
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 133
The answer to all these questions is one
and only one: Kashmir, for thousands of
years, has been a part of the Indian vision –
a silent and serene, yet solid and strong part;
an integral and inseparable part.
Even when Islam came to Kashmir, it did
not alter the ethos of the common folk. Most
of the Islamic teachings were just grafted
on Vedantic beliefs and thoughts. The central
message of Kashmir’s patron saint and
founder of the Rishi Order, Sheikh
Nooruddin Noorani was: “There is one God/
But with a hundred names/There is not a
single blade of grass/Which does not
worship Him”.
Sheikh Nooruddin himself was deeply
influenced by Lal Ded, who “saw Shiva and
Shakti sealed in one” and whose outlook was
permeated with some of the finest
components of Indian thought and tradition.
Both Sheikh Nooruddin and Lal Ded were
endowed “with vision which increases the
power of speech and with inspired speech
that makes vision penetrating”. It was their
inspired speech and their penetrating vision,
coupled with earthy sense and rub of life,
that kept the Kashmiri ethos within the
overall cultural mainstream of India even
after a very large part of the Valley’s
population had been brought under the fold
of Islam. The followers of the Rishi Order
abhorred killing. Like the Jains, they were
careful not to cause harm even to insects.
Sheikh Nooruddin went to the extent of
refusing to walk on the grass lest it should
be damaged. Poet Mohammad Iqbal, who
was a Kashmiri by descent, also noted in one
of his Persian couplets, the habit of Kashmiri
Muslims to carve out ‘moortis’ even from
the stones of graves.
The list of the living symbols and
signposts of Kashmir’s relationship with the
rest of India is long and virtually unending.
But for our policy-makers it does not exist.
No mention of it is ever made, either inside
or outside the country. No child is taught a
word about it. No pressman writes a line on
the subject. All that is spoken of or written
about, almost ad nauseam, is the special
relationship, the need to continue and
strengthen Article 370, and of giving more
and more autonomy – ‘anything short of
Azadi’ – promoting thereby a separatist
psyche and according a tacit approval to
the ‘two nations’ or ‘three nations’ theory.
The Indian decision-makers have been
going astray at every turning point of
Kashmir’s contemporary history, as they
have neither any clear idea about the true
vision of India nor of Kashmir’s place in that
vision. The few, who in the past have
entertained such a vision, for one reason or
the other, not been able to project it
effectively at the national and international
scene or secure its materialisation on the
ground.
It is time that those who control the
political power-structure of India listen to
the sagely advice of Guruji, rectify their past
errors and assign key role to the cultural
forces in building a strong and united India.
Tragic failure
One of the tragic failures of the post-1947
India has been its inability to rekindle the
power and profundity of the Indian culture
and use it as a propelling force for fashioning
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 134
out a new design of life, a new set of polity
and a new form of governance. She has
remained without a great inspiration,
without an elevating philosophy, which
should have served as a guiding star for her
activities in various walks of life. For a short
while, her leadership, at the dawn of
independence, spoke of the opportunity
which the ‘long suppressed soul of India’ got
to express itself; but, later on, forgot all about
it. India’s mind leaned heavily towards
imitation. She started following, first the
prescription given by the ‘welfare
economists’ of the West and then the one
written for her by the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund.
Consequently, India today is a pale
shadow of what it could have been. Instead
of reconstructing the elevating forces of her
culture, recreating her own life-nurturing
functions, delving deep into her ancient
nobility of temper and refining her elevating
ideals and concepts, evolved after years of
contemplation, she began to be led by the
crass materialism of others and follow the
notions which were coined elsewhere in
different sets of circumstances and in
different social and cultural milieu. She took
the wrong direction and embarked upon a
journey during the course of which she has
been accumulating more and more rotten
eggs in her baggage without unburdening
any of her previously collected junk. She has
been hurtling downwards in many spheres
of governance and polity.
Around 1947, India stood at the
crossroads of destiny, shaken by the tragedy
of partition and wounded badly by the
chopping of her wings. She should have
learnt her lessons and thought of the great
assets that the ancient power and profundity
of her culture had provided. She should have
invested those assets in the ventures suited
to her conditions and built a new India with
an original and independent approach and
with an animation and values of her own. A
culture of contemplation, contentment,
compassion, balance and harmony, backed
by creative and constructive impulse, should
have constituted the core motivation of her
intellectual, social and political leadership.
But nothing of that sort happened. And India
now resembles an old and worn out ship,
overloaded by hordes of people with all their
messy baggages. The ship itself is buffeted
by the turbulent winds and waters that swirl
around it. In the worst of scenarios, the ship
may break up, and in the best, it may move
permanently towards the shores of the Third
World and anchor there.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 135
Blueprint for Reforms
Before a point of no return is reached,
the nation must realise the dangers to which
it is exposed, make a fresh beginning, and
draw up a blueprint for reforms, the
contours of which are shaped by the re-
ignited power of the Indian culture and
coloured by the vigour, vitality and purity
of an awakened soul.
For this bluepint of reforms and
regeneration, the illuminating ideas of
Guruji have to be kept at the centre of our
thoughts and deeds. Let us also draw
inspiration from the numerous works of
social and cultural reconstruction which he
and his dedicated band of followers have
performed in various walks of life. Let us all
honour his great legacy, get together, move
forward to inject his ideals in the machinery
of governance and prove how right was he
when he observed: “We believe that the
Shri Jagmohan was Lt. Governor of Delhi, Lt.-
Governor of Goa, Daman and Diu and Governor
of Jammu and Kashmir. He was awarded Padma
Shri and Padma Bhushan for his services to the
country. He was also given a cultural award by
the Australian Government. Shri Jagmohan’s
published works include over 50 articles in lead-
ing newspapers and journals and four books:
Rebuilding Shahjahanabad: The Walled City of
Delhi; Island of Truth; The Challenge of Our Cit-
ies. “My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir” which
has run into several editions and translated in
eleven regional languages. He also formulated
and carried out the historic reform of ‘Mata
Vaishno Devi Shrine’.
present perversions and misconceptions are
only a passing phase. Our cultural roots are
too firm and too deeply struck into the
springs of immortality to be easily dried up.
They are bound to assert their age old vigour
and vitality and throw out the parasitic
growth of the past few centuries and sprout
forth once again in all their pristine purity
and grandeur”.
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 136
“The RSS is very difficult to understand;
and very easy to misunderstand,” said Prof
Walter Anderson, American political
scientist and the author of the book, The
Brotherhood in Saffron. What is the core
idea of the Sangh? What is Hindutva? Is it a
vision of a theocratic state? Is it a Fascist
movement? Political pundits have been
debating these issues ever since the RSS
became a formidable force in Indian public
life.
That a movement of gigantic proportions
like the RSS can remain apolitical is difficult
for many to comprehend. It is essentially
because of the prevalent political climate in
the world where political power is held
supreme. Politicians are loath to the
existence of any power other than political.
Franklin D Roosevelt once said: “The liberty
of a democracy is not safe if the people
tolerate the growth of private power to a
point where it becomes stronger than their
democratic state itself. That, in its essence,
is Fascism; ownership by an individual, by a
group or by any controlling private power.”
The RSS, on the other hand, believed in
the age-old Hindu dictum of the supremacy
of dharma over the supremacy of the king/
emperor. Its Hindu rashtra is essentially a
‘dharmocratic’ idea - superior to the popular
political idea of democracy.
To understand the RSS one must study
Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, also called
Guruji, the second chief of the organisation
NATION’S DHARMA ABOVE POLITICS
RAM MADHAV
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 137
whose birth centenary is being celebrated
this year. While Keshavram Baliram
Hedgewar had laid the foundation of the RSS
in 1925, it was Golwalkar who gave it a firm
philosophical basis during his tenure as its
chief between 1940 and 1973.
Plato talked about Philosopher Kings. But
India has had a long tradition of philosopher-
guided kings. While kings ruled landscapes,
saints and recluses ruled over kings and
steered social mindscapes. They made
dharma and culture the guiding posts of the
social life, not politics. We come across one
Chanakya, one Samartha Ramdas and one
Vidyaranya in history. We find in recent
times leaders like Mahatma Gandhi,
Jayaprakash Narayan, among others,
personifying the same ideal.
Unfortunately, post-Independence,
politicians became supreme in our public life
and statesmen were discounted. Politics took
precedence over everything including
dharmic and cultural values of the nation.
The RSS was born essentially to restore the
supremacy of dharma and culture in our
public life. There is an imminent conflict
between modern-day political ideas, which
considered political power as supreme and
argued over what form - democracy,
dictatorship, monarchy, aristocracy - of
political power is the best; and an essentially
Hindu idea of a ‘dharmocracy’ - an idea that
upholds dharma and culture as the core
identity of the nation and tries to build all
institutions including political power around
these.
Golwalkar articulated this ideal of
dharmic supremacy very forcefully. He
reiterated the fact that a nation is not just a
geo-political idea; it is a product of historical
evolution. Our nation is Hindu because its
history and tradition is Hindu.
Underscoring the fault-lines in the
Western nation-state concept, he wrote:
“The first requisite for a nation is a
contiguous piece of land delimited as far as
possible by natural boundaries to serve as
the substratum on which the nation has to
live, grow and prosper. Then the second
requisite is the people living in that particular
territory should have developed love and
adoration for it as their motherland, as the
place of their sustenance, security and
prosperity. In short, they should feel that they
are the children of that soil. Then, they
should have evolved a definite way of life
molded by community of life-ideals, of
culture, of feelings, sentiments, faith and
traditions. If people thus become united in
a well-ordered society having common
traditions and aspirations, a common
memory of the happy and unhappy
experience of their past life, common
feelings of friendship and hostility, and their
interests intertwined in one identical whole
- then such people living as children of that
particular territory may be termed a
‘nation’.”
It is interesting to note that after all the
experiments and experiences of the 20th
century, many Western political scientists are
coming round to the same view. “No nation
exists in the absence of a national history,
enshrining in the minds of its people
common memories of their travails and
triumphs; heroes and villains; enemies and
wars; defeats and victories,” wrote Prof
Samuel Huntington in his latest book, Who
Are We.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 138
Golwalkar was just 35 when he took over
the reins of the RSS in 1940. The country
was preparing for freedom. What should be
the direction of free India? Not many leaders
were bothered about this question. For many,
freedom meant constitutional government
and creation of various political institutions.
Yet, there were some who felt the nation is
not about politics alone. Gandhi had talked
about Ram Rajya and Golwalkar articulated
his Hindu rashtra thesis.
Golwalkar was not a politician; he was
essentially a statesman-saint. He believed in
creating a social power based on dharma.
Naturally, politicians like Nehru who
were seeped in the Rooseveltian belief in
people’s power, saw in him a threat. “I will
crush the RSS under my own feet,” Nehru
once said. “I will crush this crushing
mentality,” replied Golwalkar.
In those days Golwalkar was the only
leader in the country who could match
Nehru in popularity. “Sri Guruji is a shining
star on the Indian horizon. Pandit Nehru is
the only other person in India who attracts
such a huge crowd,” commented the BBC
in 1949. It was essentially a clash between a
politician wanting to establish the supremacy
of politics and a statesman-saint who was
committed to establishing the supremacy of
dharma.
For the RSS and Golwalkar himself, the
period immediately after his taking over as
Sangh chief was the most difficult and
challenging.
There was severe communal strife leading
to partition. Hindus had suffered greatly and
needed protection that was not forthcoming
from the Government. Then came the
scandalous allegation of the assasination of
Gandhi followed by an 18-month ban on the
RSS. A campaign of calumny was let loose
on the organisation as ‘communal’, fascist,
anti-Muslim, etc.
The entire machinery of the Government
was directed towards defaming the RSS. Any
other organisation would have crumbled. But
the RSS did not; instead, it emerged stronger.
Golwalkar always looked at the problems
confronting the nation as a statesman and
cautioned the leaders periodically. It is
another matter that, arrogant as politicians
of his times were, they seldom lent their ears
to his sage counsel and the nation had to
pay a heavy price for it.
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 139
“China is expansionist in nature and is
very likely to attack Bharat soon,” Golwalkar
warned in 1951. “It has been a terribly
blunderous act to gift away Tibet to China.
It is one blunder that even the British did
not commit.” While congratulating the
Indian Army for its spectacular victory over
Pakistan in 1971 he did not forget to tell the
nation about the impending danger from
Bangladesh. “If the present friendly
Bangladesh turns to an extremist Islamic
regime, we would have two independent
enemies in the East and North-East.”
Golwalkar detested reactionary
tendencies in Hinduism. While he opposed
the Congress’s brand of hybrid nationalism,
he was opposed equally to rabid Hinduism.
Thus he wrote: “Once a gentleman asked me
whether we are organising Hindus in order
to counteract the various activities of the
Muslims. I simply told him that even if
Prophet Mohammed had not been born and
Islam had not come into existence, we would
have taken up this work just as we are doing
it today, if we had found Hindus in the same
disorganised, self-forgetful condition as at
present.”
Mark Twain once said, “In the beginning
of a change, the patriot is a scarce man,
brave, hated, and scorned. When his
cause succeeds, however, the timid join
him, for then it costs nothing to be a
patriot.”
It happened with Golwalkar as well.
Those who reviled him and wanted to crush
his organisation had to recognise the great
potential that he and his organisation had
for the country. The RSS was invited to
undertake a march-past shoulder to shoulder
with the armed forces in the Republic Day
parade in 1963 by Nehru himself.
Golwalkar was adored by millions but
abhorred by a handful. Yet, when he passed
away, the same politicians who opposed him
had to pay rich tribute to him. “We have lost
in Guru Golwalkar a famous personality. He
held a respected position in the nation by
the force of his personality and the intensity
of his convictions,” said Indira Gandhi, the
then Prime Minister.
Ram Madhav is Pracharak of Rashtri ya
Swayamsevak Sangh and the member of its
national level Karyakarini. Ram Madhav belongs
to the younger generation of swayamsevaks who
can hold forth on not only the Sangh’s ideology,
but also on all pressing issues of the day.
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 140
LAKSHMI
SEVA
SANGHAM
ADVT
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 141
HYDERABAD
INDUSTRIES
ADVT
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 142
Our Motherland Bharat, since ancient
times has stood for all inclusive universal
principles of equality and oneness. But
unfortunately some perversions like the
feeling of high and low, touchable and
untouchable have prevailed in the country.
Many religious and social reformers made
great efforts to set right these pernicious
practices but the evil customs prevailed.
Regrettably, the traditionally established
religious leaders of various sampradayas and
sects – the Dharmacharyas, as well as the
community heads of several castes and sub-
castes of Hindu Society, had not come
forward to tackle this problem and rectify
the perversities.
The pioneers of the modern Hindu
renaissance like Maharishi Dayananda
Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda,
Swatantryaveer Savarkar and Mahatma
Gandhi had strived hard to bring an
awareness about these perversions and
discriminations crept into the Hindu Society
and correct them.
THE RSS WAY
Dr.Keshav Baliram Hedgewar founded
the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) to
organize the Hindu Society and for getting
rid of all its defects. He trained the
Swayamsevaks to recognize every
countryman of ours as a Hindu, without
making any distinction on the basis of region,
language, class or caste. When Mahatma
Gandhiji and Dr.Ambedkar visited the RSS
camps in the nineteen thirties they were
pleased to experience total equality and
integrity with complete absence of
untouchability or any discrimination
amongst the Swayamsevaks. Whereas
outside, the Hindus in general were victims
SRI GURUJI GOLWALKAR’S HISTORICAL AND
MOMENTOUS EFFORTS FOR THE ABOLITION OF
UNTOUCHABILITY
SHRI K.SURYA NARAYAN RAO
Sri Guruji with Sri Suryanarayan Raoji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 143
of the age-old evil custom. Even after
independence, this obnoxious practice of
untouchability has persisted in spite of a law
being enacted making the practice of
untouchability punishable. In this situation,
the Christian and Muslim hawks got an
excellent opportunity to feed upon the
deprived and discriminated sections.
Sri Guruji Golwalkar, the second
Sarsanghachalak of RSS made a thorough
and an in-depth study of this problem. By
and large the Hindus are religious. A certain
amount of religious sentiment is associated
with this practice of untouchability. The
guidance of Dharmagurus and Acharyas who
are traditionally revered by the common
Hindu people, will be very much useful in
tackling this matter. Such authorities on
Hindu way of life and religion should be
involved in this uphill task, was the analysis
of Sri Guruji. He inspired and promoted the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in 1964, which
had the objective of bringing together all
heads of the religious institutions of various
sampradayas, sects and castes of Hindu
Society. A common forum was provided for
them to think and act as one Hindu family.
UDIPI CONFERENCE
The first Karnataka Provincial VHP
conference was held at Udipi in December
1969. It had an amazing response with more
than 15000 registered delegates from 1200
places in the State with an equal number of
visiting participants, beyond all expectations.
The Conference was graced and blessed by
about 40 heads of major religious
denominations like Shaiva, Vaishnava,
Lingayat, Jaina, Boudha and Sikh
Sampradayas and about a hundred other
Sadhus. Sri Guruji was totally involved in
this conference and felt that it was the right
moment to get the approval and blessings
of the Dharmacharyas for practicing equality
amongst all Hindus without any
discrimination of high and low, touchability
and untouchability in their social and
religious affairs. Prior to the conference
itself Sri Guruji had appealed to all the
Dharmacharyas to give a directive to the
Hindu Society in this regard. Some of the
Jagadgurus, Mahamandaleswars, Acharyas
and Munis had issued a signed statement to
the effect that “in pursuance of the objective
of VHP to integrate the whole of the Hindu
Society, the entire Hindu Society should
consolidated with the spirit of indivisible
oneness and that there should be no
disintegration in it because of the tendencies
and sentiments like touchability and
untouchability, the Hindus all over the World
should maintain the spirit of unity and
equality in their mutual interaction”.
HAPPIEST MOMENT IN
GURUJI’S LIFE
After the inaugural session, this was the
first subject taken up for discussion. This
session was presided over by Sri
R.Bharanaiah, a learned IAS (Retd) and
sitting member of the Public Service
Commission of the State, himself born in a
so-called untouchable caste. After a few
persons spoke about the problem of
untouchability and the signed directive of
the Dharmagurus was read out to the
assembly, the President Sri R.Bharanaiah
moved a resolution that “In keeping with
considered directions of the Revered
Dharmagurus and Acharyas, this conference
appeals to the Hindus to abandon any
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 144
discriminatory feeling of high and low,
touchable and untouchable and conduct all
their religious and social affairs, on the basis
of one single common Hindu brotherhood
irrespective of caste, creed, birth, etc”.
As soon as the President completed
reading the resolution, the entire assembly
burst into cheers and claps in acclamation
of the resolution. All the Dharmagurus
seated on the dais heartily blessed the same.
Indeed, this was a moment of history worthy
to be carved in letters of Gold. It was a
moment which proved once again that the
Hindu Society is a dynamic race nourished
with the nectar of immortality.
The entire assembly felt that it was
passing through – indeed created – a great
moment of history. Sri Guruji, the Chief
Architect of this unique moment was
naturally extremely happy. He desired that
there should be an expression of gratitude
to the Dharmagurus for having brought this
remarkable moment. Sri Guruji instructed
the Secretary to go up the dais and offer
compliments to the Dharmacharyas with
gratitude. Accordingly, the Secretary spoke
about the worthy role of the Dharmagurus
in this historic decision. Immediately full
throated shouts of “Victory to our
Dharmagurus! Long live Hindu Unity!” rent
the skies. Even Parama Poojaneeya Sri Guruji
participated in this Jayakar of Dharmagurus
and clapped which he does not do usually.
The Pejawar Swamiji declared “HINDAWAH
SODARAH SARVE” – all Hindus are
brothers and sisters, erasing the disgraceful
blot of untouchability in the Hindu Society.
A sentimental hurdle in the way of
consolidation of Hindus was successfully
removed. It was established that religion or
our Shastras have nothing to do with this
pernicious custom and the social evil
prevailing for a long time. The discerning
and judicious efforts of Sri Guruji Golwalkar
were victorious once again. This was one of
the happiest moments in Sri Guruji’s life.
TEARS OF SRI BHARANAIAH
Sri R.Bharanaiah had adjusted his busy
schedule of official tour, so that he may be
present on the first day to preside over the
session, when this particular subject was to
be discussed and immediately leave Udipi for
his next destination. But the proceedings of
the session and the overwhelming support
the issue received from all sections including
the orthodox, made him change his mind and
he requested the Secretary to permit him to
stay till the conference concluded on the next
day evening.
In the concluding session, Sri Guruji gave
a stirring call, “now that our Dharmagurus
themselves have directed us to give up
untouchability, it is the bounden duty of every
one of us to obey the directive in our own
lives. We have to look upon every son of this
soil, every adherent of our Dharma and
Samskriti as our own brother and never
enquire to what caste he or she belongs. It
is only when we emphasize the unifying
factors and ignore the differences that we
can bring about lasting cohesion and
harmony. I am telling this from my own
experience in the organization—Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh. By practising the above
golden rule in the Sangh, we find no trace
of any dissension because of caste or sect or
language or on any other score”.
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 145
In his final benedictory message Pujya
Pejawar Swamiji announced his dedication
to the service of the lowly, the downtrodden
and the outcast. In the end the full recitation
of Vande Mataram sent the audience into
silent raptures. One by one, the dignitaries
on the dais started dispersing. Sri Guruji was
standing below the dais near the steps and
bidding farewell personally to every one of
them. All having dispersed, Sri Bharanaiah
remained alone on the dais, immersed in
emotions. He was reminded that the session
was over. As he came down and saw Sri
Guruji waiting, with joyous tears gushing
from his eyes he firmly embraced Sri Guruji.
There was silence all round for a few
seconds. Then Sri Bharanaiah exclaimed in
a voice choking with emotion “Oh! How
good of you that at last you have come to
our rescue and taken up this mission for our
sake!”. Sri Guruji softly remarked, “what of
me, the whole society is with you and has
taken up the cause”. The ecstasy of joy and
gratitude for an act, which had washed off
the blot of injustice and humiliation of
centuries, had found an expression in the
tears of Sri Bharanaiah.
SRI KRISHNA ADMONISHES
It was a marvellous and nice coincidence
that the massive assembly of Dharmacharyas
and Hindu representatives, took this decision
to throw away this evil practice of high and
low, touchability and untouchability at the
holy pilgrimage center – Udipi. Normally, the
main door of every Hindu temple faces the
East and the main Deity in the Garbhagriha
also faces East. But the presiding Deity Sri
Krishna at Udipi faces the West. Even
though the temple faces the East, all
devotees have Sri Krishna’s Darshan only
from the Western side! There is a history
behind this. About four hundred years ago
a great Saint and bard by name, Kanakadasa
from the Northern part of Karnataka came
to Udipi with an earnest desire to have the
Darshan of Sri Krishna. When he came to
the entrance of the temple, some orthodox
persons accosted him and did not allow him
into the temple, telling that he being a low
caste person, cannot enter the temple. He
walked to the backside of the temple and
started singing songs with great devotion,
playing on his Tambura. The high caste
persons inside the temple experienced an
exciting and amazing phenomenon. All of a
sudden, the presiding Deity Sri Krishna
turned West and both the walls of the
Garbhagriha and the outer prakara, on the
Western side cracked and through that Sri
Krishna gave Darshan to Kanakadasa singing
from outside the back wall of the temple,
and to the astonishment of all Sri Krishna
has never reverted back and even today He
stands facing the West as a testimony and
symbolically admonishing everyone not to
practice the discrimination of high and low.
SRI GURUJI’S ACTION PLAN
Just a month later, on the Makara
Sankraman day (14
th
January 1970) Sri Guruji
gave a down to the earth and timely guidance
to the workers, through a letter to the
Secretary in which he has exhorted that, “not
to be complacent with the success of the
conference alone. All things will not change
for the better immediately as if by magic.
Centuries old prejudices do not disappear
by words or wishful thinking. Hard work,
right propaganda have to be undertaken
from town to town, village to village, house
to house and people have to be educated to
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 146
accept and practise what has been resolved,
not merely as a concession to the pressure
of modern times, but as an abiding principle
and way of life, in an humble spirit of
atonement for past mistakes. A change of
heart, a moral and emotional change in the
attitudes and behaviour has to be brought
about. What we should desire and strive for
is not, merely economic and political
“equality” – we want a real change, a
complete integration. This change is beyond
the power of politics of Governmental plans.
It is impossible to achieve it by a clever
manipulation of political parties dealing in
patch work in the name of integration.
Strenuous work, springing from the heart
and manifesting itself in day to day
behaviour, work on a spiritual, moral and
social plane is called for and all participants
in the conference, as well as all who had
extended sympathy and support, must come
forward to put their shoulders to the wheel
and with one mighty stroke, shatter to pieces
the age long pernicious prejudices. And may
our actions succeed in bringing out the glory
and effulgence of our eternal Sanathana
Dharma.”
Sri Guruji used to say that untouchability
is in the hearts and minds of the so-called
upper caste people, who feel superior and
treat others as inferior and low. The greatest
effort needed is to set right this mindset. The
Sangha Swayamsevaks along with our well
wishers are working among such distanced
and neglected sections and trying to bridge
the yawning gap, through thousands of Seva
Karyas, spread over all parts of the country
instilling self-confidence, self-reliance and
self-respect amongst the deprived sections,
and at the same time involving the so-called
upper caste people in this work and making
them discard their superiority complex, as
well as the feeling of high and low. Only
through this day to day hard work, spreading
the message of love, equality and harmony,
can there be the fulfilment and total success
to the sincere and tireless endeavours of Sri
Guruji.
K. Surya Narayan Rao heads the Social Ser-
vice Projects, run by Rastriya Swayamsevak
Sangh. He was the organizing Secretary of the
first RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad Conference
in Karnataka. From 1984 to 1990, he was orga-
nizer of all four southern states of India.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 147
The raising of oneself is always possible if one becomes contributing factor for
others around. Thus empowerment of women is not in how much they indulge
themselves in selfish ends but in how much with self-confidence and self-respect
they too contribute for the ‘Whole’ ie for the society and nation. Sri Guruji did not
make any differentiation in men or women when it came to performing one’s duty
to Man-making, for establishment of Dharma. Each one had a role to play in moulding
man. Sri Guruji acknowledged the contribution of women in three ways as Matrushakti
in family, extending that matrushakti for the society in individual capacity and
ultimately working in an organization for the progress of the society.
i) As Matrushakti in family
When everything ultimately comes to ‘moulding of man’ then the importance of
home and naturally mother cannot be stressed enough. Sri Guruji too considered
home as moulding centers. The whole life of Guruji was to mould men who would
serve society. Naturally he expected this from mothers too. The message of Sri Guruji
in this regard is very practical. It was a not a big talk or a flowery language but very
simple and practical hints for the mothers to mould their children.
Let children wake up to the devotional chanting
In one of the Sammelans for mothers he told, “Our mothers have a special
responsibility of rearing up the budding generations of our society. Now, what does
“rearing up” really imply? Is feeding and clothing the children and sending them to
schools, the only thing to be done? On the contrary, the essential aspect is to inculcate
in them the right type of samskars such as devotion to duty, spirit of personal
endeavour, love of the motherland and readiness for service to society. Our mothers
have to attend to this aspect of character formation as their first duty. And for this
purpose, they have to be mindful of the many little things which go to fashion the
young minds.
When I remember my childhood days I am enveloped in very tender and sweet
memories. When I used to be woken up in the mornings, I used to listen to the sweet
melody of some stotras and chantings of god’s names being sung by my mother even
as she was engaged in her morning chores. What deep and holy imprints those
melodies must have left on my young mind, coming as they did in those calm and
THE CONTRIBUTION OF WOMEN
Sri Guruji's view on women
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 148
serene mornings! Just contrast this with the so-called modern homes. The mothers
neither wake up their children in the early mornings nor do they sing divine chantings.
Not un-often, the children start their day listening to some obscene cinema songs and
humming those tunes. I know of an instance where a young mother, not an uneducated
girl, was singing third-rate songs, while working in the kitchen and rocking the child
to sleep. If children find this behaviour in their parents, they have every reason to
copy the same. And in such homes, where children grow without a cultural background,
they fall an easy prey to Christian propaganda also.
There was a case of a child aged 8 or 9 who came in holidays to the house. On
being told to observe vrata on Krishna Janmashtami Day, the child asked the parents,
“Why do you celebrate the birthday of such an adulterous fellow? Why not celebrate
the birthday of Christ?” Can you imagine a child of 8 or 9 confronting its parents with
such obnoxious questions? Let our mothers make the children wake up early in the
morning, make them salute the elders in the family and offer worship to the family
deity. The sacred responsibility of instilling Matrubhakti, Deshabhakti and Daivabhakti
in every Hindu boy and girl is upon our mothers. (BOT – p 485-486)
One of our ancient customs is to get up early in the morning before sunrise. Once
a sadhu described to me his early childhood, how his mother used to get up early in
the morning and, while doing the normal household duties, would be reciting in her
melodious voice various hymns describing the glory of the Divine Mother of the
Universe, and how she would awaken him with words invoking Her holy blessings.
The sadhu said, “Those holy words which I used to hear immediately after I woke up
from my sleep went deep into my being, purified me, gave me faith and strength to
resist all worldly temptations and devote myself to the service of the Mother.” This is
Hindu Samskar. Let us thus mould our life with an attitude of discipline throughout
the day, from morning till night. A Hindu is born to be trained in a life-long course of
discipline and self-restraint, which purify and strengthen him to reach the Supreme
Goal in life.
Let us not say that these are small things about which we need not worry. It is only
such little things that go to discipline our life and give shape and strength to our
character.
But, unfortunately, what do we see at present? All such benevolent customs and
codes of conduct are ridiculed as superstition. A revealing incident took place recently.
A student had gone to America from our country. He stayed as a paying guest in one
of the ordinary families there. On the first day, when he sat for meals at the table
along with the members of the family, he immediately started serving himself. Then
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 149
the lady of the house gently requested him to wait for a minute and explained that it
was their custom to pray to God before taking food. Remember, that young man had
gone from a land, which is considered to be a land of spirituality, a land of God, to a
land, which is supposed to be a land of Mammon worship, a land of gross
materialism!” (BOT-p 81-82)
Even dress mold the mind
“Then about the dress. It must be borne in mind that the dress and decorative
items also leave their imprints on the young minds. Mothers should see to it that the
children acquire traits of our culture through these things also.
I am again reminded of my early childhood. I had long, thick and curly hairs. My
mother would often do my hair and stick a peacock feather over it in such a fashion
as to make me appear as Bala Krishna. She would put on a garland round my neck
and tell others, “See, how our Madhu appears, exactly like the child Krishna.” Such
things apparently though small, help to mould the child’s psychology in tune with
our cultural standards. If, on the other hand, the children are brought up in the
European style, the impressions carried by them will also be coloured similarly.
Seeds of intense devotion to the motherland and its cherished values would not
sprout on such a mental background.
Sometimes, people have no idea as to what a decisive influence the garment would
have on the mind. There is an interesting incident during the days of First World
War. The English, who were ruling here, promulgated an emergency order recalling
all the old and retired soldiers to join the army at once. There was a soldier who had
no desire to go back to the army. He remained in his village. The police came with a
search warrant to take him away. When the soldier came to know of this he put on a
woman’s clothes and hid himself in the house. When the police came, his wife told
them that he was not in the house and that she and her sister alone were in the
house. But the police suspected deception. They called out that “sister”, found out
the truth and took him away. The soldier was sent to his old platoon. He was then
given the army dress and made to join the ranks. When he stood there with the
soldier’s dress on, he was asked whether he would like to return home. He replied
with a new resolve in his voice that he was now a soldier, that there was no question
of his going to the house; he would now only go to battle-field. Indeed, the dress had
made all that world of difference!” (BOT – p 486-488)
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 150
Westernization in the garb of modernization
Leaving our practices, we are falling prey to the so-called modernism. This is
what has happened to many non-western societies. Samuel Huntington in his very
scholarly thesis “Clash of the Civilisation” says that the non-western societies in
the first phase of modernization tend to give up their cultural practices. But as
their economical condition improves and the confidence is built up, then in the
second phase of modernization these societies become culturally assertive. Hindu
society as it is improving economically; it would become culturally vibrant too.
But cultural vibrancy is not in clichés or in exhibitions. In this regard Sri Guruji’s
guidance that culture is in restraint of mind and not in exhibitionism is very
important. He said, “And then about our family traditions and devotional practices.
Whatever be our personal or family deities, we have to conduct its worship with
great devotion and keep aglow our holy family traditions. How tragic it is to see
these things disappearing nowadays! In the South, at least, we often see the Tulasi
Brindavan in front of our houses. As dusk sets in, our mothers light a lamp in front
of it. Often we listen to the sweet sounds of bells in the pooja-griha and witness the
devotional worship going on there. But in the North, this has become a rare sight to
see. “Modernism” has verily banished God from our homes.
“Modernism” is taking the toll of many more of our cherished values of life. A
couplet in Jnaneshwari says, “A pious man spreads a cover of modesty over his
good actions just as a virtuous lady covers her body.” It describes the nature of
virtuous womanhood. But “Modern” women think that “modernism” lies in exposing
their body more and more to the public gaze. What a fall!(BOT – p488)
We also see many of our leading ‘cultural men’ associating themselves as judges
in the ‘Miss India’ beauty contests. It seems, in their concept of our culture, of the
ideal of our womanhood, a Sita or a Savitri, a Padmini or a Nivedita has no place. In
that contest, indeed we miss the real beauty of India!(BOT-p54)
It appears modernism has come to mean, in our country, only blind aping of the
West and nothing else. In many of the modern families the children address their
mothers as ‘mummy’. Do we know what the word originally conveyed? In Egypt,
there are massive cemeteries entombing their old kings. They are called pyramids.
The corpses placed inside are called ‘mummies’! And here we address our living,
loving mothers as mummies! (BOT – p488)
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 151
Use Swadeshi for right Samskar
“Further, let there be the impress of national pride in all that is ours. Make a vow
of Swadeshi in all the daily household uses. That will make for unsullied national
character. Aping of the glare of Western civilization would spell ruin to the matchless
traditions of nobility and chastity set up by the daughters of this soil.
The Hindu was known for his unflinching devotion to truth and sterling character.
But these days even our big leaders have become notorious for their corruption and
moral decay. It is up to our mothers to save our younger generation from such
corrosive influences. They should so cultivate the atmosphere in home as would make
one gladly prefer to forego a meal, rather than accept immoral gratification. The
family as a whole should pledge themselves not to partake of the sinful food procured
by corruption.
If our mothers were to inculcate such wholesome and heroic traits in their children,
surely the coming generation would be able to successfully meet the various challenges
being faced by our country.” (BOT-p490)”
Let children be confident constituents of society
Samskars of devotion are very important. The
mothers also have to mould children to be the
functioning parts of the society. The children
should become society oriented, they should
contribute to the strength of the society and
also feel the strength of the society is with them.
The organized society alone can face the
challenges; protect the individuals, nurture the
culture and also can contribute for the
betterment of the humanity. Sri Guruji said,
“Then, there is the question of our attitude
towards the society. It is clear that the security
and happiness of personal and family life depend
very much upon the well-being of the society.
Indeed without social peace and security even
the moral and spiritual advancement of individuals become beset with obstacles. It
becomes difficult even for the spiritually great to survive if society disintegrates. As
such, it is a duty of first importance for us to see that social life is made healthy.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 152
In the past, we ignored this aspect of keeping our social life intact, free and self-
respecting. We forgot that we have to live as one integrated entity. Notwithstanding
our tremendous manpower we succumbed to the feeling of being ‘alone’. Once there
was a mammoth meeting of 20 thousand people in Nagpur. All of a sudden someone
raised the cry ‘Oh, they have come!’ Immediately the huge crowd began to disperse in
frantic hurry. People fled leaving behind their chappals. Someone asked a fleeing
person what had happened. He said, ‘I do not know. All were scared and I too ran.’
‘But why did you not stop and inquire what it was all about?’ To that he replied: ‘What
could I do? I was all alone!’
That is the result of the absence of the feeling of oneness, of our being the children
of one single society who have to share the joys and sorrows of each other. Our love
and adoration for society must be expressed in a concrete shape. For instance, there
are so many in our society who go without their daily food. Do we feel for them? Do
we strive to do something for them? In the past there used to be Balivaishwadeva
Yajna where the poor and the hungry used to be fed first, then the rest. Today, we can,
and we should, at least keep apart a handful of grains every day to feed the hungry in
society and then only take our food. That would be the real Balivaishwadeva sacrifice.”
(BOT – p490-491)
Mould children to stand for nation
The mothers have also to be ‘mothers of heroes’. And that is possible only when
they inculcate such samskars in their children. They have to mould their young ones
not as crying babies or the soft dolls or the chicken-hearted grown up babies, but
the ones who are proud of their motherland and her culture and are ready to stand
for her, work for her and if required even to sacrifice for her. Sri Guruji explained
this as, “As we are well aware, our nation is beset with ever so many perils. Attempts
to undermine the integrity of our motherland and our society are on. Challenges to
the time-honoured values of our spiritual heritage are mounting. Conflicts and
confrontations are thick in the air. Under such conditions, what is the type of training
that we have to impart to our children? Shall we teach them to seek safety in their
homes and not to stir out? Should we harp upon things pertaining to their own
happiness and future and ask them not to “dabble in other things?” What shall we
teach?
There is a beautiful anecdote narrated in Mahabharata. There was a queen by
name Vidula. She sent her son Sanjay to the war-field but the fellow became nervous
and terror-stricken. He turned his back to the enemies and galloped to his capital.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 153
When Vidula saw her son in that crestfallen state she closed the entrance to the fort and
severely chastised him. That conversation between the mother and the son has become
famous as Vidula-Sanjay-Samvad, wherein Vidula instructs her son as to how a brave
warrior should conduct himself on the battle-field. She then orders him to go back to
war and return as a victorious hero. As the story goes, Sanjay sallied forth into the
battle-field, displayed exemplary valour and came back to be received by his mother
with honour.
The words of Kunti when the five Pandavas came to seek her blessings before
proceeding to fight battle are remarkable for their heroic tone. She says:
; n F kZa { kf = ; k l wr s r L ; d ky ks· ; e kx r %A
u f g o Sj a l e kl k| l hn af r i q# ” k” kZHkk%A A
‘The moment has arrived for which Kshatriya mothers give birth to sons. Lion-hearted
men are not cowed down in the face of enemies.’
There is one more couplet in Mahabharata which says: May no woman give birth to
one who would mutely suffer insults, who is devoid of vigour and manly prowess and
one who would bring joy to the enemies.” (BOT – p 488-490)
ii) As Matrushakti of society
Of course, Sri Guruji did not limit the role of a woman only to her home but
extended it to the service of the society and the nation through her rightly moulded
progeny. The Indian ethos has been to consider the whole world as a family - o l q/ kSo o l q/ kSo o l q/ kSo o l q/ kSo o l q/ kSo
d qV qEc d e ~A d qV qEc d e ~A d qV qEc d e ~A d qV qEc d e ~A d qV qEc d e ~A A woman is expected to shower her motherly affection not only on her
own family within the four walls but also the on the society around. Sri Guruji expected
them to take care of the needy in the society. He said, “There is a special burden upon
our mothers of serving our needy sisters in society. True, a majority of our mothers will
not be in a position to go to far-off places to carry on social work among the distressed
and the destitute. However, this does not mean that they should sit back in their homes
all the while. They could establish useful contacts among the womenfolk in their own
neighbourhood and carry out programmes, which would inculcate our cherished ideas
among them and their children. The spirit of mutual help and service would also have
to be made popular through our day-to-day social intercourse. Our womenfolk should
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 154
not be allowed to develop inferiority complex or a feeling of helplessness. They
should be taught that they are the living emblems of Parashakti.
There are quite a few of our educated mothers who have spare time and energy,
which is often wasted in gossip of fashionable clubs. Here is one useful hint for
them. There will be many small boys and girls in their neighbourhood who do not
go to schools. They can make such children gather either in their own house or in
some other convenient place and engage them in games, stories, songs, etc.
We see scattered all around us a number of our sisters who are either engaged in
physical labour or are totally helpless and handicapped. When we see such a sight
our hearts should melt and well up with deep compassion and motherly affection.
We have to chalk out suitable projects, which would give them some useful
employment and enable them to earn a livelihood. It is our sacred duty to see that
none of our sisters and mothers will be left on the streets uncared for.
Literacy campaign among women is one more important programme, which our
educated mothers alone can successfully tackle. But here also, inculcating noble
samskars in them should be given the priority; teaching of alphabets should come
second. In order to do this, instill in them a spirit of pure devotion to our motherland,
faith in our Dharma and pride in our history. Show them the map of our sacred
motherland, the holy streams and mountains, the Tirthas and temples stretching
right from the Himalayas to the Kanyakumari. Introduce them to the rich variety of
our national life in language, literature, art and social traditions. Thus make them
become intimate with the true spirit of our national being.” (BOT – p 491-493)
iii) Matrushakti to organize society
In the service of motherland Sri Guruji saw and revered all women as mothers.
He viewed women as manifestation of Shakti and capable of solving their own
problems. There was no male ego of meddling in their affairs or preaching them as
if only he understood what is good for them. In the life of Swami Vivekananda also
once when it was asked to him with respect to the problems of the women, he said,
“ Women must be put in a position to solve their own problems in their own way.
No one can or ought to do this for them. And our Indian women are as capable of
doing it as any in the world.”
As instruments in nation-building, Sri Guruji did not differentiate in men and
women. He did not expect women to limit their role only to their family or service
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 155
to the society as an individual. He was also confident like Swami Vivekananda
that not only women can solve their own problems but they should also contribute
in solving the problems of the society. Only a person who has no differentiation
in mind, no gender bias and has complete confidence about them could say it.
Thus, Sri Guruji envisaged the role of women in nation building as
i. A mother who can mould the children as heroes, cultivate in them
devotion to god and love for country, service attitude to society.
ii. Mother in the house should not limit her role to her home only but in
her individual capacity should care for the less fortunate women in
the society, for the children in the vicinity.
iii. Women can and should also work in an organized way. Organized
work alone can increase the pace of work in the society. He did not
interfere or offer advises. Even when asked for advises he only shared
his views without any insistence that he should be listened to. Only a
person who does not merely talk but consider women capable as
organizers could have done that.
Some of his letters in that respect are worth mentioning. When one
Rajlakshmidevi as an individual asked his advise he wrote on 18.11.50, “You desire
that I should advise you. In that respect I have very little to tell. All of you as an
individual as well as organic part of the society should try to live ideal life. As an
individual, a spotless character is the most valuable possession that one should
have. I would say that is the only thing to be acquired and imbibed in ourselves.
As an organic part of the society, service, selfless service is the only thing that is
essential. The great ones only have told this and I am just repeating their words.”
(Patrarup Guruji p165 translated from Marathi)
When Kala and Sheela from Hyderabad (Sindh) who had started work in an
organized way, sought his guidance, in his reply to them in a letter dated 22.11.43
he wrote, “From a letter received from Sri Rajpal Puri I came to know that a
Shakha of Rashtra Sevika Samiti has started in Hyderabad. From your letter I got
the extensive information about it. I was very happy to know this that without
allowing withering away of the thought of starting Shakha, you have actually exerted
to start the work. I do not know how much those mothers present in get-together
have owned this work. It is really difficult to create the supportive mental make up
of the people with respect to the right understanding of the work and its
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 156
implementation. But with respect to the work, my faith is in the younger generation
and I am confident that they would understand this work in right perspective and
work hard with devout heart to prove it as a successful experience. There should
be no hurry to advertise and spread our work or to increase the numbers. First,
strive to create a small team of committed workers like you. When such teams are
created, then your confidence would also increase to bring the persons known to
you for this work with right understanding. This would be a proper method to
spread the work. The deepening of commitment for the work and the increase in
number of workers should progress simultaneously. The headquarters of your work
is in Wardha. I am sending your letter there. You establish the contact through
correspondence with Smt Lakshmibai Kelkar who is the Pramukh Sanchalika…”
(Akshar Pratima I -p 18 translated from Hindi)
We can see in this letter the concern that Sri Guruji had as a nationalist for the
work started by these two sisters who were trying to work in an organized way in
difficult region at difficult times. At the same time he also wrote to them that
‘your headquarters is at Wardha’. One can very clearly see his foresight and
confidence on women of India. Just to put in the perspective of time frame, Sri
Guruji was writing this letter when the women of United States of America had
no voting rights, as they were not considered capable of judgment of ‘right’ voting.
His letter to Smt Lakshmibai Kelkar, the founder Sanchalika of Rashtra Sevika
Samiti - an organization for women - also shows his deep respect to women who
were nation-builders. “Received your letter and Rakhi sent on the Rakshabandhan
day. For Sangh Swayamsevaks to get Rakhi from you is getting the victorious
blessings of the Matrushakti. For that I am very thankful and express my gratitude
with my Namaskar to you.” (Akshar Pratima I -p 56 translated from Hindi)
In a reply dated 4.9.66 to Sindhutai Phatak an adhikari of Rashtra Sevika Samiti
, he wrote, “Work is difficult. The experiments are going on regarding how should
be its nature. It would be fruitful to follow that method which gives success. But it
is true that now the work is in experimental stage.
Those who have taken modern education or are taking such education can
understand the Nation, organization etc. But this education moulds and motivates
the life away from one’s Dharma and culture and gives different ideas about
entertainment and social work. Therefore it becomes difficult to plant the seeds
of our work in their mind. Those who are away from the modern education do not
comprehend our work. Their all strength and intelligence is exhausted only in
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 157
somehow taking care of the family. Taking all this into account the work would have
to be evolved. Unless the men and children in the family understand the work and
give full-hearted support, no one can continue to work. Getting totally independent
woman is difficult. It may not be expected even that such women should be there.
Taking all this into consideration the way has to be found out.
You can think about it. While working through trial and tribulations it is essential
that you and your colleagues give a deep thought to this. I do not think I am of any
use in it. Only sometimes may be if time is convenient and favorable then it can be
thought of.” (Patrarup Guruji p184 translated from Marathi) In this letter Sri Guruji
makes is clear that for organizing women a purposeful and fruitful method would
have to be found out. With deep thinking and some efforts such method women can
find out. Women cannot apply the western methods of solving the problems like
coming out of the family. In India our worldview is organic. As we are organic parts
of the society, we cannot break the family and come out for work. Thus the Indian
women would have to find out the Indian methods for solving the problems of
women as well as that of organizing them for nation building. This is the challenge
of time for the women of India and Sri Guruji was confident that the women would
take it up successfully and would evolve gradually the effective methods with Indian
perspective. Not that he totally refused to become the part of this thinking when
asked, but he also had no pretensions that only he could do that and the women
could not. In the later years when Sri Eknathji Ranade ventured on a very difficult
experiment in those days: to start Vivekananda Kendra - an organization where
there would be a cadre consisting of men and women, Sri Guruji gave his blessings
for that too.
Excerpts from "Sri Guruji and Matrushakti"
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 158
CORPORA-
TION
BANK
ADVT
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 159
ANDHRA
BANK
ADVT
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 160
Dr. K.B. Hedgewar founder of Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh before giving up his
diseased body, handed over the charge of
Sangh work to Sri M.S. Golwalkar alias Sri
Guruji. Then he peacefully faced death.
None in the Sangh was surprised at this
decision. All Swayamsevaks had firm faith
in the fact that Doctorji was good in
assessing men and hence, his choice would
be the best and in the interest of the Sangh.
The Karyakartas who were moulded in
Doctorji’s presence and who were
experienced and capable being on the
forefront of work had also come to know
the uncommon qualities of Sri Guruji -
through his lectures, stay with Doctorji in
tours, as in-charge (Sarvadhikari) of Sangh
Shiksha Varga and from his participation in
the long meeting at Sindi in 1939.
Sri Balasaheb Deoras in his first ever
speech as third Sarsanghachalak of Sangh
had explained all this in detail and had told
that Sri Guruji and Doctorji had become one.
However, those well-wishers in Nagpur
who were not involved in the daily work of
Sangh were not happy with this choice.
Apparently Sri Guruji had nothing in similar
with Doctorji. The background of both their
lives was totally different. Since childhood
Doctorji had participated vigorously in the
freedom movement. He longed for the
freedom of the country. These persons used
to think that Doctorji had founded RSS only
to strengthen the freedom movement. The
impression about Doctorji in Nagpur -
Vidarbha region was of one who actively
agitated for freedom. Doctorji’s whole life
was dedicated to the nation and was full of
struggles. Therefore, these well-wishers felt
that Doctorji should have chosen a leader
from same strain - a leader who was valiant,
well-known in society and experienced. Their
feelings cannot be called incorrect or
unnatural, because these people have no idea
of what it means to build or lead the
SRI GURUJI, SRI RAMAKRISHNA - VIVEKANANDA
THOUGHT MOVEMENT AND RSS
C.P. BHISHIKAR
Sri Guruji at Vivekananda Rock Memorial. With
him are Sri Eknathji and Sri Suryanarayan Raoji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 161
organisation, or how much commitment,
restraint and alertness is required to awaken
a self-forgetful society and strengthen it
while containing the agitation that comes
occasionally due to temporary causes. Their
actions was generally reactionary.
The work of Sangh is to mould men with
national consciousness, to improve the
outlook of the society and to express again
in the national life, the higher values of
Hindutva. The life center of India is
spirituality, Dharma and culture, and not
politics or economy. It is Hindus who
developed India on these lines over
thousands of years of time and therefore this
is a Hindu nation. This was Doctorji’s firm
principle. To actualise this principle into
practice Doctorji founded Sangh. Those who
did not understand this spirit of Sangh work,
cannot be blamed for not liking the choice
of a detached person like Sri Guruji, who
was unknown to society, whose life had deep
imprints of spirituality and who was initiated
by a Sadguru, to lead the Sangh.
Doctorji - The Visionary
Mananeeya Balasaheb has explained how
the choice by Doctorji of Sri Guruji as
Sarsanghachalak got crystalised. One more
point needs to be considered. Great
visionaries like Doctorji can read the coming
time. For that time what qualities would be
required to lead the organisation ably is
thought over by them in advance. Once
while talking to Balasaheb a very suggestive
statement came from Doctorji. He said, ‘I
was in search of a person who along with
Marathi is eloquent in English and Hindi too.
Such a person now we have got.’ He was
clearly indicating Sri Guruji. After this
Balasaheb felt that his worry was reduced
to a large extent.
Towards Sargachi
This time a great transformation was
coming in Sri Guruji’s feelings towards
Doctorji and towards his approach to the
Sangh. His contact with Sangh happened
during his professorship at Banaras Hindu
University, started by Malviyaji and though
it continued more or less during his stay at
Kashi, Sangh then, was not most the
important factor in his life. After coming to
Nagpur, he was given some responsibilities
in Sangh. He was also made over-all in-
charge of Sangh Shiksha Varga at Akola. Still
the inner pull towards Ramakrishna Math
kept increasing in him. He longed to meet
Sadguru. Ultimately, with the help of
Ramakrishna Math, Nagpur, without
informing any one else, one day he went
straight to the Ashram of Swami
Akhandananda at Sargachi. Leaving behind
Nagpur, Sangh, Dr. Hedgewar, parents,
home and everything, he got immersed on
the service of Sadguru and spiritual Sadhana.
He turned his back completely on worldly
matters. Even the thought of returning back
to all this was not entertained by his mind.
He had reached a very high and blissful state
of spiritual Sadhana.
Peaceful Surrender
Shortly after the Diksha (initiation) of Sri
Guruji, Sadguru gave up his body. What
next? Stay in Ramakrishna Math or go
towards the peaks of Himalayas which
offered divine peace? But his elderly brother
disciple, Sri Amitabh Maharaj told that
Sadguru had closed both these options and
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 162
had instructed that Sri Guruji should return
to Nagpur. The most revolutionary moment
in the life of Sri Guruji! He returned to
Nagpur and once again came into contact
with Doctorji. After that he never turned
back. May be some divine power or the
providence totally pulled him to the flow of
Sanghkarya. The attraction about Doctorji
was irresistable. The experience of Doctorji’s
boundless affection, his day and night
striving for national regeneration, his total
oneness with nation &andsociety, became a
deciding factor.
As he had surrendered to Sadguru Swami
Akhandanandaji, he surrendered now to
Doctorji. Though these were two different
fields or two different dimensions of life, still
the surrender was equally peaceful. Later,
what he said in his first ever speech as
Sarsanghchalak, is very important and
indicative of his feelings. He had said,
‘Doctorji did not remain as an individual. He
had become one with the work. So his
worship cannot be termed at all as worship
of an individual (Vyaktipooja) and it does not
matter even if some one calls it worship of
an individual. One who cannot bow before
the personality of Doctorji just cannot do
anything in life.'
For some time, there must have been
some dilemma in Sri Guruji’s mind. The
dilemma of whether Sadhana of Samadhi for
the most supreme bliss or Sangh Sadhana
for eternal happiness of this ancient nation
and society, must surely have existed in his
heart. Of course, with deep understanding
he must have removed this dilemma. He
must have come to some harmonising
conclusions after deep reflection on various
dimensions of the long history of Bharat -
the periods of glory and down fall, the
purpose of Bharat, the connections between
the work of spiritual personalities and the
all round well-being.
Undoubtedly, in this thinking he must
have experienced the complimentary
relationship between teachings of Sri
Ramakrishna - Swami Vivekananda and the
necessity of the organisational work of Dr.
Hedgewar.
Regeneration follows spiritual
awakening
Decisively, we get support for this in the
speeches and writings of Sri Guruji. He used
to put forward one conclusion of the study
of history.That, in Bharat before the
regeneration in the political, social and
religious fields, many great spiritual
personalities would be born who would
bring spiritual awakening. In Punjab, there
was a spiritual awakening from the first
Guru, Sri Guru Nanak to the tenth Guru, Sri
Guru Gobind Singh. Later, this power of
protection of Dharma expressed through
Daggars fighting successfully with the
invaders. Thus an Empire was created by
Ranjit Singh, which spread up to Gandhar
(today’s Muslim Afganistan). The Hindu
empire at Vijaynagar had the inspiration of
Sayanacharya and Madhwacharya. Before
the announcement of the Hindu Empire of
Sri Chatrapati Sivaji Maharaj was done from
Raigarh, the ethos of people were molded
by the tradition of Saints starting from Sant
Jnaneshwar to Samartha Ramadas. In some
flow, he used to tell that before the freedom
movement became powerful in our country
during the modern age, an atmosphere of
spiritual awakening was created by great
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 163
spiritual personalities like Swami Dayananda
Saraswati, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,
Swami Vivekananda with his brother
disciples, Srimanta Sankerdev from Assam,
Sri Narayana Guru of Kerala, Sri Ramana
Maharishi, Mahayogi Sri Aurbindo Ghosh,
the Mother of Arvindashram and many
others.
Terrible Self-forgetfulness and
failure in practice of Dharma
Sri Guruji had spoken in Vivekananda
Ashram of Raipur on 11 Jan. 1960 on the eve
of the birth anniversary of Swami
Vivekananda. The topic was ‘The
contribution of Sri Ramakrishna - Swami
Vivekananda.’ In that speech, Sri Guruji has
described in detail that how in those days in
Bengal educated and elite persons from good
families, but suffering from self-forgetfulness
and inferiority complex used to accept
Christian religion. One good poet - Sri
Madhusudan Dutta converted to Christianity
and started using the name ‘Michel’for
himself. Once this Michel Madusudan Dutta
had gone to meet Sri Ramakrishna. Sri
Ramakrishna asked him, "Why did you
become Christian?" The reply was, “For a
few selfish interests, I have become
Christian”. Turning his back on Madhusudan
Dutta, Sri Ramakrishna said "It is a sin to
see the face of one who leaves his Dharma
for selfish interests." (Complete works of Sri
Guruji Vol. 1, p 105). That period was a time
of tremendous degeneration in our
understanding of Dharma. Whole of Bengal
would have become Christian, if Sri
Ramakrishna - Swami Vivekananda were not
born. Sri Guruji used to give this conclusion
of the study of history. That if this nation is
Hindu, in spite of so many barbarous
invasions and difficult periods, then the
credit of it goes mainly to the great saints
who stressed devotion and not to kings and
rulers or social reformers. During British
rule, most of those who called themselves
progressive and modern, considered
fulfillment in blindly imitating the
conquerors. They forgot - lost their identity
and the higher values of Indian culture, while
imitating the materialism and consumeristic
life style of west.
Oneness with all beings
Protecting the Hindu Dharma and Hindu
Culture - work for the freedom of Hindu
nation - this aspect of the thinking of
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was therefore
given special stress by Sri Guruji. Sri Guruji
insisted very much that spirituality should
be the foundation of all the efforts for
material well-being in this country. Always
he used to ask a simple question to those
materialistic thinkers who talked and
bragged about humanity. He used to ask, ‘Do
you have an answer that why a man should
love another man?' Though there is a
difference between capitalists and
communist ideologies both are materialistic.
There is no basis in materialism for human
love and feelings of brotherhood. In
materialism, even if they talk of humanity,
only bad tendencies like competition,
jealousy, envy, selfishness grow in men. On
the other hand, Sri Guruji often explained
that, the principle of oneness, of all being
same Atmatatwa in Hindu philosophy helps
in nurturing qualities like love, brotherhood,
sacrifice, forgiveness etc. amongst men. Sri
Guruji, in 1972 at his last Abhyas shibir at
Thane, stressed again and again that in all
the fields of national life the harmonious and
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 164
complimentary systems need to be created
on this philosophical foundation.
The Principles of Sangh
Doctorji never discussed spirituality. He
did not allow any religious rituals to enter
either in personal life or in organisational
work. But in the Sangh, Parameshwar is
there. The thought that Sangh Karya is God’s
work is there, the resolve to take the nation
to supreme glory by protecting Dharma is
also there and the seeking of God’s grace is
also very much there. It means that the
foundation of Ishwara for Sangh work is
given by Doctorji from the beginning.
Culture is the soul of our nation. The work
of Sangha is Ishwara’s work - God’s work.
Even though, there is tremendous diversity
this society of ours has one soul. Such
principles are a very important part of
Sangh’s philosophical foundations. All this
excellently harmonised with Sri Guruji’s
spiritual view. In his 33 years of work as
Sarsanghachalak, Sri Guruji explained the
multidimensional characteristics of Hindu
Culture to Swayamsevaks and the society.
He appealed to create in the form of an
organisation, an invincible power, which has
overwhelming love and oneness for our
culture.
Sri Guruji had the conviction that the
Sanghakarya of awakening the spirituality of
India was the fulfillment of the aspirations
of Swami Vivekananda and Maharshi
Aurobindo who stood for spiritual
nationalism. This conviction of his, is clearly
experienced in one incident to which
Doctorji himself was the witness. Once, Sri
G.T. Madkholkar, who was a famous writer
working at that time with Newspaper
‘Maharashtra’ published from Nagpur, went
to meet Sri Doctorji and Sri Guruji for some
work. After the work was over, unexpectedly
Sri Madkholkar asked Sri Guruji a question.
The question was, why Sri Guruji after
getting initiated from a spiritual guru and
while living a life like a Sanyasi, had
dedicated himself for the worldly
organisational work of Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh. As soon as this
question was asked, Sri Guruji became
serious and quiet for some time. Then he
said ‘The work of Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh is the fulfillment of Swamiji’s work. I
have come to the conclusion that work of
Sangh is relevant to the message and
expectations of Swamiji. No one has
influenced my life and thinking like Swami
Vivekananda has done.’ Sri Madkholkar
himself wrote about this incident in a detailed
article in 1973, in ‘Tarun Bharat’ of Nagpur
under title Triveni Sangam.
Captivating everybody with his forceful thoughts
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 165
Divine qualities spring from
spirituality
This signifies that Sri Guruji never felt
that his spiritual aspirations were affected,
when he had to combine the worldly action
- flow of organisational work started by
Doctorji for the re-building of Hindu nation
- with the thought flow of Sri Ramakrishna -
Swami Vivekananda. On the other hand he
saw in i Sangh Karya the fulfillment of
spiritual awakening and strengthening of
Bharat as was dearly expected by Swami
Vivekananda. In 1963, the birth centenary
year of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Guruji spoke
on the life and message of Swami
Vivekananda at various places. In those
speeches he stressed on the Hindu nation as
effected in the message of Swami
Vivekananda. He also gave stress on those
principles enunciated by Swami
Vivekananda, which explain how every
Hindu as an individual and Hindu society as
a whole should work in worldly life, so as to
establish Bharat again on the throne of
Jagadguru.
In that, we can clearly see the reflection
of divine qualities in Hindu tradition. More
importantly, as we see these Divine qualities
expressed in the life of Swami Vivekananda.
Such qualities are also seen in the life of
Doctorji too. May be Doctorji never gave
lectures on spirituality, but like Swami
Vivekananda he too lived fully Hindu life-
principles. He had made his own life as an
ideal in front of society. In his life were seen
the qualities like fearlessness, strength,
selfless service of God in the form of man
without any expectations, purity at all levels
in life, continuously working without
personal expectation, the worship by one’s
action. Motherland and society as the
expressed form of God, boundless affection,
forbearance, tremendous enthusiasm, living
the outward life like and ordinary person (not
showing one’s extra-ordinariness),
equanimity of mind in grief and happiness,
in success as well as failure. Sri Guruji used
to explain all these in detail with examples
to all.
Work of Sangha Practical Vedanta
If we think on all this then no doubt
remains as to why Sri Guruji accepted Sangh
work as his life mission, how he saw the
practical Vedanta of Vivekananda in work
of Sangh, why he considered Doctorji as
ideal materialised and why he saw the
fulfillment of Swami Vivekananda’s work in
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 166
the work of Sangh. No contradiction remains
in the ordained mission of Bharat and
Universal Brotherhood of Ramakrishna
thought flow and the nationality enunciated
by RSS and universal brotherhood. In the
present times, the rebuilding of Hindu nation
should culminate only in the good of
humanity and universal brotherhood. The
problem of today is that, there is no support
of strength to the ideas of Hindu nation.
Kshatra power is also required along with
C.P. Bhishikar was associated with the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh and was editor of Tarun
Bharat, a newspaper published from Pune. He
has authored many books.
Brahma power. In one of the songs of Sangh
it is said, - “we have to be eternal worshipers
of Brahma - power and Kshatra power -
Brahmatejas, Kshatratejas Amar Poojari
Banana hai”. On the eve of Sri Guruji's birth
centenary, we should understand properly
the philosophical basis of his work and
Stick to National Genius Stick to National Genius Stick to National Genius Stick to National Genius Stick to National Genius
That is the grand ideal we have envisaged-the building up of the omnipotent power of the
people which shall eternally sustain the society amidst all the vicissitudes of external factors
and vivify and irradiate all fields of our national life.
Rember that the ancient spirit is not dead. That race spirit, which has survivied all the shocks
of centuries of aggression and has time and again thrown up great spiritual and national
heroes, is bound to reassert itself. Let us fashion our life on the pattern or those ancient
torch-bearers, those cultural luminaries of our land. Let us revive that glorious tradition which
produced a Vasishtha, a Vishwamitra, a Chanakya, a Vidyaranya and a Samartha, that blossomed
forth in a Sri Rama, a Chandragupta, a Krishnadevaraya and a Shivaji.
Let us stand like a rock on this conviction amidst all the tempo of outside propaganda for
short-cuts and distractions of political lures. Let us remain true to our dream of reinstating
our Bharat Mata as the Cultural Guide of the world, by making our people once again take to
the path of our national genius. It is only when we stand up to this conviction unshaken like the
great Himalayas that holy streams like Ganga and Yamuna of true national resurgence and
cultural values will flow from us. Let that sublime vision continue to stir our hearts forever and
let us prepare ourselves for that historic mission, regardless of the time and energy that we
may be required to dedicate.
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 167
1. The Authentic Voice
Sister Nivedita in her foreward to the
Complete works of Swami Vivekananda
wrote in the year 1906, “What Hinduism
needed, amidst the general disintegration
of the modern era, was a rock where she
could lie at anchor, an authoritative
utterance in which she might recognise
herself. And this was given to her, in these
words and writings of the Swami
Vivekananda” (page ix - Introduction - The
Complete works of Swami Vivekananda Vol
I). More or less in the same words could be
described the message that Sri Guruji gave
to his countrymen during the three decades
of his Sarsanghachalakship of the RSS. Like
Swami Vivekananda, Shri Guriji’s ideas have
come down to us mostly through the
lectures he delivered and the letters he wrote
on innumerable occasions. He neither had
the time nor the inclination to sit down and
write any book as such, though his skill,
ability, scholarship and mastery over
language for the task were unquestionable.
To the question why in spite of his thorough
knowledge of history, he did not write down
a book on history, Sri Guruji’s reply was
typical. “We are here to make history. It is
for others to write.” In his endless travels,
and meetings with people from all strata of
society – rich and poor, intellectuals and
illiterate – and in his almost daily lectures
and discourses, Sri Guruji dealt with every
aspect of life, both in their practical and
philosophical dimensions. He was eminently
qualified for such a daunting job.
These viewpoints have a unique
significance. They are not mere philosophical
treatises. Sri Guruji was not just an academic
philosopher. No doubt, he had mastered the
crux and complexities of the Hindu
philosophy. But, as a down-to-earth,
practical leader of men, guide and
philosopher of a multi-faceted countrywide
SRI GURUJI ON “HINDU VIEW OF LIFE”
P. PARAMESWARAN
Sri Guruji with Sri Parameshwaranji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 168
movement, he had tested his philosophical
wisdom by experience and experiment in his
every day life and contact. He never lost
touch with concrete situations and burning
problems. As such, his viewpoint, while
remaining deeply rooted in the Hindu
spiritual tradition, had intense practical
relevance.
But, Sri Guruji never got stuck up in the
problems and travails of the immediate
present. Though he never failed to give
practical guidelines for the immediate
problems of the organisations and the Hindu
society, he had always kept a long-term
perspective and never swerved from the
national and the spiritual angle. Even while
guiding politicians who approached him for
advice, Sri Guruji never counselled
expediency or unprincipled compromise. He
belonged to the tradition of the Rishis who
were the safe custodians of unerring wisdom.
All this was possible because he lived and
worked during what could be termed a Yuga
Sandhi. He belonged as much to the glorious
traditions of the past as to the future with
its immense possibilities. He was born into
a family tradition enriched itself by rigorous
and austere religious practices. His
parentage left a deep and indelible impress
of uncompromising spiritual values, of strict
and rigorous adherence to religious
practices and observances. His education at
the most famous university – Benares Hindu
University – where the atmosphere was
throbbing with the living presence of
Mahamana Malaviyaji molded him in a
manner not possible elsewhere. The rare
privilege to come under the spiritual
magnetism of Swami Akhandanandaji, a
direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa and the Gurubhai of Swami
Vivekananda, gave Sri Guruji a unique
opportunity to nourish his in-born spiritual
tendencies to the fullest extent. To add to all
these, Sri Guruji came into intimate contact
with Dr. Hedgewar who was the very
personification of dedication to Hindu
nation. The touch of Dr. Hedgewar gradually
transformed and finally decided the direction
of Sri Guruji’s momentuous life. In him, we
find a blending of the influences of the life
and teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Sri
Aurobindo and also Lokamanya Tilak, the
father of Indian unrest. This was a rare
combination pregnant with tremendous
possibilities. As Guruji’s life unfolded
through its various stages, the world
witnessed the presence of an organizer, a
transformer, a philosopher and a prophet,
all rolled into one. Sri Dattopant Thengadi
with his intuitive perception described Sri
Guruji as “The great sentinel”. With genuine
poetic inspiration Sri Thengadiji sang the
glory of Sri Guruji in the following couplets.
O Mighty master!
To the tune of Thy finger
The oceans dance
and the mountains move
Crowns are raised
and melted down
Thou art supreme,
- Here and Above.
(… p5, The Great Sentinel)
2. The Mission
The mission, the destiny, entrusted to Sri
Guruji as the head of the Rashtriya Swayam
Sevak Sangh was to bring about national
regeneration. This required a restatement of
the tenets and practices, views and objectives
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 169
of Sanatana Dharma in terms of the new
Yuga Dharma, in a manner both intelligible
and applicable to the modern generation.
Moreover, this had to be done in the context
of the emerging world situation. No country,
much less an important one like Bharat,
could live in isolation. The way Bharat shaped
itself was of critical relevance to the shaping
up of the world. Sri Guruji knew it only too
well. Though his prime concern was national
resurgence and reconstruction, Sri Guruji
knew that Bharat had a global role to play.
The international situation that presented
itself at that time was one of great peril.
There seemed to be no option left before the
world. It was in the grip of two conflicting
systems and ideologies – capitalism and
communism - locked in a no holds barred
combat, each claiming to be the sole
custodian of a world redeeming philosophy
and a model for humanity.
Many people falsely believed that the
Hindu regeneration movement had nothing
to offer to mitigate the distress or to resolve
the dilemma faced by the world. To them,
the approach of Sri Guruji was based on
narrow Hindu sectarianism whereas the
situation demanded an alternate worldview,
which could provide hope and cheer for the
future of all humanity.
Sri Guruji unambiguously stated that
much before capitalism and communism
were even thought of, our forefathers in
India had been thinking about the whole
world and its all-round welfare. The prayer
on their lips was “Lokassamasta Sukhino
Bhavantu”. Let the whole world be happy.
While the west based its philosophy on
principles of competition and conflict, and
envisaged survival only for the fittest, the
Hindu paradigm visualized the entire world
as one family. The highest that the west could
promise was the greatest good of the
greatest number. Bharat wanted to ensure
that every one however small or insignificant
had a proper and worthy place in the scheme
of life. According to Sri Guruji, the different
western views were incapable of offering a
way of life, wherein not only human beings
but the entire creation will find a safe and
secure place to occupy. This is inherent in
their philosophy whether it is capitalist or
communist. Both are compartmental and not
comprehensive, because they are based on
gross materialistic approach. Neither
capitalism, nor communism that came as a
reaction to the capitalism, could provide a
lasting and peaceful solution because both
were essentially materialistic. It was only the
Hindu approach based on a spiritual view of
things that could provide the real alternative.
Spirituality does not compartmentalise. It
does not reject material needs and
requirements of man. It only locates and
evaluates them in the total context. It gives
a new view and vision of life, which includes
both material welfare and spiritual
enlightenment. Materialism does not ensure
full growth of man. It indeed dwarfs him by
abolishing the spiritual dimension
altogether. For the materialist, whether a
capitalist or a communist, man is essentially
a body with or without a soul whereas
spirituality envisages man as an embodied
Divine spark or soul. It encompasses both
the aspects and envisages a perfect or an
integral man. Sri Guruji called him ‘Poorna
Manav’. This concept of ‘Poorna Manav’,
which Sri Guruji invoked was the
cornerstone of the philosophy of integral
humanism elaborately propounded by Pandit
Deendayal Upadhyaya. “Integral humanism”
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 170
was indeed a restatement of the Hindu social
philosophy based on Sanatana Dharma in the
context of the present situation which is
posited not merely as another alternative or
just a Third Way but as the real way ahead
for humanity sandwiched between
capitalism and communism in those days.
3. Not by Materialism Alone
Sri Guruji was of the firm view that
neither communism nor capitalism could
ever unite the world. The reason he gave is
fundamental. Materialistic philosophy which
considers man as basically a physical animal
and which considers the fulfillment of
material desires and wants as the supreme
need of man can only generate competition
and conflict and not Unity and Harmony. The
reason is simple. At the material plane, there
is only diversity and difference. They foster
concepts of separatism and exclusivism. For
people who see only at the level of material
reality there is nothing that unifies or
integrates. There is no reason why they
should think of cooperation. It is only when
we look beneath the apparent diversities that
we come to realize that there is an
underlying unity though subtle which unites
all these gross entities into one integrated
whole.
Sri Guruji stated :
“From the materialistic point of view we
are all gross entities, each separate and
exclusive in itself, who can have no bonds
of mutual affinity or affection. There can also
be no inner restraint in such beings which
can make them control their selfishness from
running amuck in the interest of the
humanity as a whole.
“After all, any arrangement evolved for
achieving world welfare can be fruitful only
to the extent the men behind them would
mould their individual and national conduct
in tune with the welfare of humanity.
Without that supreme urge, any scheme,
however good its purpose may be, will only
provide one more alluring mask for the
aggrandizement of power-drunk nations.
That has been the uniform verdict of history
right up to the present times.
“Our ancient Hindu philosophers,
therefore, had turned their gaze to a plane
higher than materialism. They delved deep
into the mysteries of the human soul, well
beyond the reach of material science, and
discovered the Ultimate Reality which
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 171
pervades all Creation, the one great common
principle present in all beings whatever the
name we may give it - Soul, God, Truth,
Reality or Nothingness. It is the occasional
realization of this common entity that
inspires us to strive for the happiness of
others. The ‘I’ in me, being the same as the
‘I’ in the other beings, makes me react to
the joys and sorrows of my fellow living
beings just as I react to my own. This genuine
feeling of identity born out of the community
of the inner entity is the real driving force
behind our natural urge for human unity and
brotherhood. Thus it is evident that world
unity and human welfare can be made real
only to the extent mankind realises this
common Inner Bond which alone can subdue
the passions and discords stemming from
materialism, broaden the horizon of the
human mind and harmonise the individual
and national aspirations with the welfare of
mankind.”
Sri Guruji was of the considered view
that the Bharateeya system was the only one
which ensured individual freedom without
compromising social development “The
West relies on two systems: democracy and
communism. Democracy, as we see, has led
to the growth of selfishness and set up man
against man. There is no peace to man.
Spirituality has no chance to grow there. The
self-praise and the condemnations of others
which are normally indulged in during
elections kill spirituality.
Communism on the other hand has led
to the regimentation of mind; it destroys the
individuality of man. But man is not a mere
animal to be content with eating and
procreating. He has an urge which goes
beyond that, which cannot be met merely
by the material things.
In our system, individual liberty and
social solidarity were both ensured. The
individual was freed from the shackles of
economic bondage, because he was assured
of a profession from his very birth. Even in
the West, thinkers have begun pondering on
these lines. This system ensures a clear way
to rise to Godhead, devoid of the worry for
worldly needs. Thus it was that among all
the castes, saints of the highest order were
born. This is a wonderful democracy on the
spiritual basis. All are one on that basis”.
4. The Hindu Framework
Sri Guruji had solutions for every
problem. Though his life was dedicated to
the task of organising Hindu society, people
from every walk of life, approached him with
problems of every kind ranging from
personal to the international. Since Sri
Guruji’s philosophy and view of life was
based on the sound and scientific principles
of Sanatana Dharma, his view and vision
were clear and unambiguous. That is not to
say that his opinions were rigidly conditioned
by principles enunciated ages ago. Unlike the
Semitic religions, Hindu Dharma has always
been flexible and adaptive. Sanatana Dharma
was basic and eternal. At the same time our
sages had taken account of the inevitability
of changes due to unceasing flow of time.
So, principles of Sanatana Dharma had to
be applied, not blindly and fanatically, but
taking into view the requirements of
changing situations. Sri Guruji understood
this very well and gave guidance accordingly.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 172
Society is in continuous flux. No social
order can remain unaffected by the flux. The
wisdom of the leaders lies in evolving suitable
norms without sacrificing the fundamental
laws. This has to take into account the
individual aspirations also. Sri Guruji
believed that the aim and object of the Hindu
social order was to create perfected
individuals – Poorna Manav – and then take
them further up, lift Nara into Narayana.
This could be achieved only if the entire
social order is built up to create the
environment suited to this. In-depth analysis
of human psychology led Guruji to the same
conclusion as envisaged by our ancient Rishis
and scriptures. Man is in search of
happiness. But he does not know the real
source of happiness. So, he goes about
searching for it in the external world under
the impression that acquisition of various
objects will give him the happiness he is
seeking for. But, after innumerable trials and
errors, he comes to the conclusion that after
all happiness is a state of mind and it is within
oneself to seek for. The temporary joys he
gets from outside objects are not only
evanescent but also produce reaction and
revulsion. Unalloyed Bliss is lodged within
one’s own soul. Along with this realisation
comes another realisation that this soul is
the same in every human being. So, he
realises the essential unity of all. The limited
‘I’ becomes unlimited and engrosses
everything. It is this broadening of the ego
and its identification with the ‘All’ is really
what is called liberation or Moksha. That is
the ultimate objective of every human being.
Such a liberated soul is a Poorna Manav.
But, then, this liberation is not to be
achieved in another world or in another
birth. It is to be achieved now and here, not
in isolation but in the society in which we
are born and brought up. Liberation is not
from the society but from the prison of ego
and selfishness. Such liberated individuals
are the cream of the society –the salt of the
earth, the true leaders and path breakers.
Sri Guruji believed that such perfection
of individual is possible only if the society
around him provides the congenial
environment. Our ancient Hindu society was,
in fact, built up with this as the final aim.
Moksha was considered the ultimate goal of
the individual. But, no one can attain Moksha
unaided, at one go. The human personality
is constituted in such a way that during its
journey to the goal, acquisition of wealth
and enjoyment of happiness are in-built
necessities for a total development of the
personality. Only then could one be qualified
for the ultimate step. So, society had to make
arrangements for the creation of wealth as
well as opportunities for enjoyment. These
were called Artha and Kama. But, by the
very nature of the limitations inherent it is
evident that there could be no unlimited
wealth or enjoyment. Therefore, our
ancestors insisted that there must be a law
and a system which would regulate wealth
and enjoyment in such a way that no one
will be at a disadvantage. This rule and
system was called Dharma. It is only a society
based on Dharma, allowing legitimate scope
for every individual to acquire wealth and
enjoy life with restraint that can provide the
atmosphere for deserving individuals to go
beyond and graduate for liberation. Only
such a society could be called a perfect
society. This was the scheme of life, which
was evolved in our country right from the
beginning. These were called the four-fold
Purusharthas. Guruji considered this to be
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 173
the cornerstone of an ideal social order.
These have nothing sectarian or parochial.
They are indeed universal.
Along with this, the four-fold divisions
into four varnas, and the four stages of life
in the form of the ashramas were also part
of the Hindu social organisation; they
sustained Hindu society for long. But now
times have changed. Sri Guruji was realistic
enough to recognize that the Varna
Vyavastha and the Ashrama Vyavastha could
not be practiced under the existing
circumstances. So, he categorically stated,
“As the older, dried branches fall off a
growing tree to give place to new ones,
likewise, the society would shed Varna
Vyavastha the existing social structure at one
time and give place for a new necessary one.
This is a natural process of the development
of the society.”
Similarly, the Ashrama Vyavastha also
could be introduced with suitable
modifications to the best advantage of the
individual as well as the society. That would
give occasion for the utilisation of immense
amount of social capital which is wasted
under the present unplanned, chaotic
condition. It is encouraging to find that the
concept of ‘Vanaprastha’ is slowly catching
the imagination of the society.
Sri Guruji was of the confirmed view that
the Hindu social order based on Sanatana
Dharma with suitable modifications has very
great relevance today. It has none of the
weaknesses of either capitalism or
communism but has, at the same time, the
advantages which they claim to possess. The
Hindu social order combines individual
initiative with social discipline. It does not
stifle the individual like the communism nor
does it place society at the mercy of
individual self-aggrandisement. Sri Guruji
believed that such a social order, if
established in India, could be a source of
inspiration for other
countries as well.
Based on these
f u n d a m e n t a l
principles Sri Guruji
had also given us hints
regarding the
economic and political
system which we
should evolve in order
to give free and full
expression to our national personality and
its aspirations.
5. In the Rishi Tradition – Manthra
Drishta of Hindu Nation
Imbibing the Rishi tradition and carrying
it forward Sri Guruji looked upon the
Motherland as a manifestation of Divinity.
This was a unique tradition from the dawn
of history in Bharat. The ‘Vedic Suktas’ have
hymns singing the glory of the Motherland.
This reverential attitude continued,
uninterrupted through the ages.
Bankimchandra’s ‘ Vande Mataram’
describing Bharat as Lakshmi, Durga and
Saraswati was only a new version of the age
long sentiment. Sri Guruji fully absorbed
this. Every little drop of water from our
rivers and every little bit of sand, every
mountain and every lake – in fact everything
related to and reminding us of the
Motherland, was the flesh of his flesh and
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 174
the blood of his blood. There was total
identification. The various languages
spoken, the various forms of worship
followed, the variety of dresses and dishes
conveyed to him the richness and
colourfulness of the beauty of India’s soul.
The history – be it one of sorrow and shame
or success and joy reverberated in his mind
with the same resonance as it did at that time
to the people who experienced it. All these
together constituted Hindu nationalism
which was identical with ‘Sanatana Dharma’.
It was the protection, preservation and
promotion of this eternal nationalism that
was the life mission which Sri Guruji
inherited and worked hard to carry forward.
More than everything else it was this
undying spirit of Hindu nationalism that was
dear to his heart, because he knew that it
constituted the national soul. Economics and
politics, state and its administration,
Constitution and Governance, all the limbs
and organs of the state were, in a sense,
subservient to this great ideal. Not that they
are unimportant or insignificant. Each of
them has a vital role, but only if and when it
serves the purpose of the health and vitality
of the nation. Sri Guruji looked upon the
work of the ‘Rashtreeya Swayamsevak
Sangh’ as embodying the national identity.
Every other activity started by
Swayamsevaks is meant to serve one aspect
are other of this all-embracing national
pursuit.
From a deep and intimate study of the
history of our nation both from experience
and academic sources Sri Guruji realized that
the real strength of Bharat lay in its
spirituality and Dharma. The Hindu society
could overcome all the vicissitudes of history
by relying on these factors. Her history was
made, her socio-economic evolution was
shaped, her value system was formulated by
Dharma & spirituality. This shraddha made
her capable of climbing the highest reaches
of al-round achievements and success. Even
in periods of decline and downfall it was
these inner reserves of strength that helped
India to survive and also to regain the lost
glory. Sri Guruji also realized that this was
possible only because India had produced
an unbroken succession of saints and sages,
who were known in our tradition as the
‘Rishis’. Rishis were people, wholly devoted
to the acquisition and spread of knowledge
and its propagation in the society. They were
the custodians of the norms, values and
virtues of our social and collective life. They
coveted neither power nor wealth. They
scrupulously remained away from these two.
That enhanced their moral authority and hold
on the society. Even the kings and rulers paid
respect to them and took instructions from
them, not only in spiritual matters but also
in mundane affairs, because everything had
to be governed by Dharma. Being totally
unselfish, the Rishis could be trusted to give
right guidance at the right time. Sri Guruji
in his speeches has often pointed out, how
right from the time of Rama and Krishna,
this tradition was established in our country.
Later on Buddha and Sankara, Vidyaranya
and Samartha Ramadas carried on this
unique tradition. In recent times again it was
persons like Swami Vivekananda and Shri
Aurobindo, who were modern Rishis in the
true sense of the term, that gave guidance
to the nation.
Whenever there was internal decay of
dharma within the society these Rishis came
forward to re-interpret Sanatana dharma
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 175
and propagated suitable value systems and
patterns of bahaviour keeping the living
touch with the roots of our culture intact.
Whenever the society was faced with foreign
aggression or overpowered by unhealthy
alien cultural influences, it was again the
Rishis who made necessary adjustments
possible while sticking firmly to spirituality
and Dharma. The Rishi tradition was the
backbone of this ancient society. It had to
be maintained.
It was from this point of view Sri Guruji
looked upon the Sangh. The main
responsibility of the Sangh was to create an
organized strength of the Hindu society on
the basis of Dharma. It is indeed a divine
work. It will invigorate every aspect of
national life without getting involved or
identifying with, any one of them. Its
capacity to inspire and guide is strictly moral.
Sri Guruji visualized the Sangh to play the
vital role which the Rishi tradition had played
in our society and see that the nation does
not deviate from the path of Dharma. For
this, it has to be above party politics and
politics of power, above the corrupting
influence of wealth, name and fame.
Swayamsevaks as members of the society and
nationals of this country have the right and
duty to involve themselves and play their role
in all the areas of their life and work. But
Sangh as such would remain away and aloof
from partisan involvements of any kind, only
guiding by its moral strength invoking the
national interests. This is a delicate and
difficult job which has to be undertaken with
great care and sagacity. Pit-falls are many
and are to be avoided. By whatever name it
is called, this unique Rishi tradition alone is
the guarantee for India to be faithful to the
national soul and carry its mission forward
under all circumstances.
6. A Platform for Dharmacharyas
Another insight that Sri Guruji brought
into the activities of Sangh was the key role
that Sanyasins and Dharma Gurus belonging
to various sects and sampradayas had to
undertake. Sanyasins were always held in the
highest respect by the Hindu society
everywhere, at all levels. They have a
tremendous influence over the people’s
psyche. Their words and lives mould people
and determine social values and behaviour.
Every religious sect has its own head who is
a Sanyasin or a Dharma Guru to whom all
its member pay obeisance. To a very large
extent the Hindu social organisation is their
making. There are innumerable such sects
under the respective Sanyasins. Sri Guruji,
knowing the pulse of the people, realized
that the Hindu society could be effectively
organized only if these large number of
Sanyasins are taken into confidence and they
Sri Guruji with Sri Narsinhachar, Sri Somaiyyaji,
Sri Suryanarayana Raoji and Sri Ramagopalanji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 176
also accept the need for an organized Hindu
society. Social changes and reforms could
be effectively brought about if these heads
tune their activities in that direction. No
worthwhile change for the better could be
forced down the throat of the people by
mere legislation. In India it had always been
the responsibility of Dharmacharyas to bring
about social changes. Evil customs could be
abolished, new practices could be introduced
and social integration could be brought
about easily and smoothly if the
Dharmacharyas took the lead. Sri Guruji saw
that the Hindu society was in very bad shape.
Outdated customs still prevailed;
untouchability continued. There was
stagnation all around. Masses of people were
getting converted. Service mentality was
lacking. Organized effort could not be
initiated. Social consciousness and inner
dynamism were lacking. More over new
spiritual organisations where springing up
with modern outlook while the older ones,
were unable to adjust themselves to modern
requirements. Even the Mutt heads and
mission heads were finding it impossible to
come together due to age-old beliefs and
traditions. Unity of purpose of the various
spiritual heads was the need of the hour. To
bring them together on a common platform
was a Herculean task, but that was the only
way to strengthen the Hindu society. As
Swami Vivekanada had stated, in order to
achieve true national unity the scattered
spiritual forces had to be brought together.
Sri Guruji attempted the impossible and
made it possible. Not only did they come
together on a common platform, but also
adopted unanimous resolutions and pledged
to work for common objectives like the
abolition of untouchability and social
inequalities. In fact through the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad Sri Guruji revived the
millennia old practice of all the sampradayas
and their heads coming together, explaining
to each other their respective view points
and creating a national consensus on the
fundamental principles Sanatana Dharma
while cherishing and nourishing the natural
healthy diversities of beliefs, customs and
practices. That was a unique contribution for
which Sri Guruji will be remembered for all
time to come.
7. Problems of Hindu Society
Apart form the philosophical framework
of the Hindu approach to life and its
problems, Sri Guruji had expressed his views
on almost all aspects and problems
confronting the contemporary world. They
are too numerous to be included in the
compass of a small book of this size. We shall
only try to select some from among them,
which are illustrative in character.
Sri Guruji with Dharmacharyas. With him are Sant Tukadoji
Maharaj , Pej awarpeeth Swami Vi shweshateerth,
Shankaracharya of Dwarkapuri, Swami Chinmayanand and other
religious dignitaries, at the time of Kumbha Mela in Prayag
during the First Vishwa Hindu Sammelan. (1966, Prayag)
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 177
Regarding the much misunderstood word
“Hindu” Sri Guruji was of the view that ‘the
Hindu’ denotes a society. It is a word that is
found in our Shastras. It is formed with the
letter Hi from the Himalayas and Indu
Sarovar, conveying the entire stretch of our
Motherland. Sri Guruji quotes from the
Bruhaspati Aagama.
Himaalayam samaarabhya yaavad-indu-
sarovaram
Tam devanirmitam desam Hindusthaanam
prachakshate.
Though the word Arya is an old and proud
name, Sri Guruji was not in favour of using
that word in view of the “Cooked-up Aryan-
Dravidian controversy”. The word
Bharateeya, though very ancient and
normally unobjectionable it has acquired a
connotation slightly different and ambivalent
and as such cannot be a substitute or
equivalent to the word Hindu.
Hindu Rashtra, according to Sri Guruji
is not merely a religious concept. He defines
Hindu Rashtra in the following terms. “ Let
me try to clear, at the very outset, one
misconception about ‘Hindu Rashtra’. The
word Hindu is not merely ‘religious’. It
denotes a ‘people’ and their highest values
of life. We, therefore, in our concept of
nation, emphasize a few basic things:
unqualified devotion to the motherland and
our cultural ideals, pride in our history which
is very ancient, respect for our great
forefathers, and lastly, a determination in
every one of us to build up a common life of
prosperity and security. All this comes under
the one caption: ‘Hindu Rashtra’. We are not
concerned with an individual’s mode of
worship”.
When he was asked the question whether
he opted for a Hindu state, Sri Guruji
explained his concept in very simple terms “
The word 'Hindu state' is unnecessarily
misinterpreted as a theocratic one which
would wipe out all other sects. Our present
state is in a way a Hindu State. When the
vast majority of people are Hindus, the State
is democratically Hindu. It is also a secular
state and all those who are now non-Hindus
have also equal rights to live here. The State
does not exclude any one who lives here from
occupying any position of honour in the
State. It is unnecessary to call ours a Hindu
State or a secular state”.
Many people, supposed to be very
intelligent and highly learned are confused
about the fundamental unity of Hindu
society on account of the multitude of faiths,
sects, castes, languages, customs and habits.
They look upon Hindu society as a
conglomerate of disparate and even
conflicting elements. But Sri Guruji
disagrees. He says, “ Well, this question
stems from a superficial view of our Hindu
life. A tree, for example, appears to be full
of heterogeneous parts like the branches,
leaves, flowers and fruits. The trunk differs
from the branches, the branches from the
leaves- all as if entirely different from one
another. But we know that all these apparent
diversities are only the varied manifestations
of the same tree. The same sap runs through
and nourishes all those parts. So is the case
with the diversities of our social life which
have been evolved down these millennia.
They are no more a source of dissension and
disruption than a leaf or a flower is in the
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 178
case of a tree. This kind of natural evolution
has been a unique feature of our social life”.
Sri Guruji’s views about the role of war
in settling conflicts among nations and place
of violence in society are clear and specific.
According to Hindu Dharma war is the last
resort, not to be undertaken lightly at the
very first provocation. “It should be used as
a surgeon’s knife. Even as a surgeon uses
his knife to perform an operation to get rid
of an infected portion to save the patient, so
also violence in certain extraordinary
circumstances can be used to cure the society
of any malady that needs such a surgical
intervention. Further, certain other
conditions should be fulfilled. One who
applies violence should have perfect control
over it, should know when, where, to what
extent and how far to apply it, when to end
it and how to repair the damage caused, if
any”
He was absolutely non-dogmatic about
certain things which people very often
consider to be basic to Hindu Dharma. On
the question of vegetarianism Sri Guruji is
of the view that our Shastras have taken the
comprehensive nature of the world into
consideration and made rules for different
living being to suit their different tastes,
attitudes etc. They have not made a flat rule
applicable to one and all.
Regarding cow slaughter Sri Guruji looks
upon cow as a special case which cannot be
classed with other animals. Even in the
Vedas cow is called that which should not
be killed (Aghnya).
Sri Guruji considered that Cow slaughter
began in our country by the foreign invader
to stamp out every vestige of self-respect in
Hindus. It is a sign of slavery which should
be removed in the interest of national self-
respect. There are other reasons also why
Cow slaughter should be put an end to. There
are so many grounds on which a ban is not
only justified but also necessary. Even from
the point of view of economics Cow
slaughter is a bad bargain if not suicidal. Sri
Guruji felt that all these should be explained
to the people. “ However, I look at it from
another standpoint also. Cow slaughter
began in this country with foreign
domination. The Mohamedans started it and
the Britishers continued it. Therefore it is a
stigma on us. We have now achieved
independence and with it all such stigmas
ought to be removed. Otherwise we will be
still labouring under mental slavery. Now
instead of being removed it has increased
manifold”.
Regarding the unique characteristics of
Hinduism, which are not found in other
religions. Sri Guruji makes the following
points. “ The idea of Ekam sad vipraah
bahudhaa vadanti (Truth is one, sages call it
variously) is one of unique ideas of Hinduism.
Secondly, while the others have been
pursuing an outward search for happiness,
our philosophy has concentrated on the
inward search. It is this inward happiness
that has been termed as shreyas. The social
order, if it has to secure maximum happiness
to all, must be able to ensure shreyas to one
and all. The philosophical basis for the
incentive to do this lies in our concept of
the ‘community of soul’ and its realization.
Bhagavad-Geeta has said Ishwarah sarva-
bhootaanaam hriddesherjuna tishthati. Such
a categorical assertion of the identity of soul
in all living beings is found nowhere else”.
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 179
Sri Guruji was not taken in by the “Great
upsurge of religious fervour in the country”
His considered view was that one has to
judge it from the point of view of the effect
it produces on the society. Sri Guruji asked.
“ Are they able to instill in the people’s mind
a noble resolve to put an end to their
present-day self-centered life and to live up
to those sacred teachings of character,
service and scarifies? I feel the answer is
clearly a ‘no’.
Mere momentary upsurges of emotion
will not build character, Often, effusion of
emotions will only shatter the nerves and
make the person weaker than before, leaving
him a moral wreck. It is just like a liquor-
addict who is left imbecile after the effects
of liquor subside”. A tree has to be judged
by its fruits, not merely by its foliage.
On the question of “Akhanda Bharat” Sri
Guruji accepted that it was his dream and
there was nothing to be apologetic about it.
Explaining it further he said; “Our national
prosperity and happiness were razed to dust
when we thought of Brahma satyam
jaganmithyaa only. A similar fate overtook
us when we were immersed in our narrow
personal and family life alone. So, both these
extremes – ativyaapti and avyaapti – must be
avoided and a middle path adopted. We get
that balance, when we take up the golden
mean between the two extremes in the form
of ‘nation’".
8. Sanatana Dharma Vs Other
Religions
Sri Guruji’s personality was essentially
spiritual. Naturally, his outlook on every
subject had the spiritual orientation. The
spiritual enlightenment, which pervaded his
whole life was the result of intense
Swadhyaya and Sadhana. But, he never gave
spiritual discourses or even answered
questions on spirituality or spiritual
experiences. Only people very close and
intimate with him could get occasional
glimpses of his Sadhana or Siddhi. But,
people in the spiritual field and those who
were heads of spiritual institutions were
aware of this dimension of Sri Guruji which
he zealously kept away from the public gaze.
Such people had a high esteem of Sri
Guruji’s attainments, so much so that when
the Peetha of Sankaracharya of Dwaraka fell
vacant and had no immediate successor, the
name that was suggested by the concerned
people was that of Sri Guruji. They wrote to
him imploring to accept the great seat.
Nobody had any doubt about Sri Guruji’s
spiritual qualification for the high office. But
Sri Guruji politely turned down the offer on
the ground of his being too small and instead
suggested the name of a person who
according to Sri Guruji was qualified
enough. The suggestion was accepted.
Sri Guruji’s views on religion were truly
in the Hindu tradition, reestablished and
reinstated by the Sri Ramakrishna
Vivekananda order. Contrary to the image
that is sought to be given to Sri Guruji by
vested interests, Sri Guruji was no fanatic ,
because Hinduism by its very nature is liberal
and inclusive. It had no difficulty in accepting
the validity of any form of faith or religion
so long as it catered to the moral and spiritual
evolution of its followers. Even the attitude
of certain religions which claim exclusive
possession of the ultimate truth can be
understood so long as it does not impinge
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 180
on the religious freedom of others who hold
a contrary belief. What is objectionable is
deliberate, organised effort to impose one’s
religion upon others. This was Sri Guruji’s
attitude also.
“We Hindus believe that each individual
can worship the Form of his choice in his
own way. All can attain Him - if the effort
be sincere and honest. And that is why
Hinduism is not a proselytizing religion. The
very idea of conversion starts with the
assumption that mine is the only sure and
correct way and all others must be converted
to it. Do you believe in this? This, if said in
respect of attainment of God, will be
speaking too low of Him. In fact in Hinduism
we not only tolerate another man’s religion
or way of worship, but we have a respect
for it. It is not ‘conversion’ into Hinduism.
It is only giving an opportunity for those
who had been made to change the faith by
force of circumstances in the past, to return
to their ancestral faith. Is it not a fact that
only a handful of Muslims came to our
country from outside? All the rest have only
changed their faith for well-known reasons.
Returning to one’s ancestral faith is not
conversion at all, it is merely home-coming”.
What Guruji objected to was the abuse
of religion as a separatist ideology by vested
political interests. Sri Guruji firmly asserted
“politicians are playing their own game by
dividing the people more and more. In all
such communal matters, the villain of the
peace is the politician. Persons of great
merit, character and devotion to God, who
should have been the real leaders of the
people are nowhere.”
The same attitude could be extended to
Christians and Christianity also. Sri Guruji’s
approach was not one of expediency but one
based on principles of Hindu culture and
philosophy. Wherever he has criticised or
condemned Muslims or Christians, it would
be seen that the target of criticism was not
religion as such but the abuse of religion by
politicians who promoted separatism and
even anti-nationalism.
When the heated question about the
controversial issue of a common civil code
arose, Sri Guruji did not lend his support to
that idea. Guruji said that while a
humanitarian and reformist attitude in these
matters is alright, a mechanical levellers-
attitude would not be correct. Guruji said
that he will be happy if the Muslims arrived
at the conclusion that polygamy is not good
for them. He would not like compulsion. His
view (or conviction) was that India always
had infinite variety and still for long stretches
of time India was one strong nation. What
was needed was Unity and Harmony and not
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 181
Uniformity. True to the spirit of Sanatana
Dharma, Sri Guruji stated “We must respect,
not merely tolerate all other faiths. Ours is
not Sahishnutavad but Sammanavad”(not
tolerance but respect).
Sri Guruji firmly believed that when
religion is used for political purposes or
religion looks for political support for its
existence or expression, it is bound to lose
its purity and capacity to sure the goal which
the founders had set before them; it becomes
a handmaid of power, degenerates and
causes ruin all around.
“ Even after understanding all this, there
are some who feel that political power is
essential even to spread our dharmic
ideology. In the past, Christianity and Islam,
they say, spread far and wide because of the
political power they wielded. But on a closer
study, we will find that ultimately political
power will never solve the problem. For
instance, the Government and most of the
people were ranged against that single
individual, Jesus Christ. After he was
crucified on the cross, his disciples had no
one to guide them. But their hearts were
charged with idealism. Fired with the spirit
of Christ, with the faith and zeal of their new
realization, they spread far and wide in the
world. And the world bowed at their feet.
Then they had no political power. But when,
in course of time, their successors fell a prey
to the lure of political power, corruption and
degradation entered their ranks. The present
plight of Christianity, rendered powerless to
mould the life of its own Christian countries
and even made a tool in the hands of
imperialistic political powers, is the direct
outcome of the pollution of their ranks with
political ambition. The perversion of Islam
at the hands of its power-drunk followers -
miscalled the spread of Islam - is too well
known. It had nothing to do with the
awakening of the spiritual values of life”.
9. Various Issues and their Solutions
Sri Guruji was not a saint who saw a sin
in every social evil. He was a social scientist
who looked for the cause – effect relationship
and sought to remedy the bad effect by
removing the root cause. When the editor
of the illustrated weekly of India told Sri
Guruji that his next issue will be on the
subject of prostitution and expressed the
fear, that Guruji would not even touch it with
a pair of tongs, Sri Guruji disarmed him by
a candid explanation. Sri Guruji said, “ It all
depends upon how you bring out the issue,
and what will be the idea behind it. If it is
done only with a view to appeal to the low
tastes of the public, then definitely no decent
man will relish it. If it is brought out to throw
light on the problem from various angles,
then it should be read by one and all. It
should also be recognized that this practice
stems from a human weakness which has
made this profession a social need for
thousands of years. As such, it is well nigh
impossible to root out completely this
profession. Then, the only approach to this
problem would be to improve the conditions
of those women who are in this profession,
give them education, make them devoted to
Dharma and God”.
Sri Guruji believed that every Hindu,
belonging to whichever caste, has a right for
‘Yajnopaveta’ and ‘Gotra’. If they do not
know their ‘Gotra’, have lost touch with it,
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 182
they can be given the ‘Gotra’ of the priest.
That was being done in the olden days and
has sanction of the Shastras. Sri Guruji
pointed out that in the shastras, it is also
said that all those who do not come under
any ‘Gotra’ belong to ‘Kaasyap Gotra’,
because all are supposed to have been born
from ‘Kaasyap’. They should be give equal
rights and footings in the matter of religious
rites in temple worship, in the study of Vedas
and in general in all our social and religious
affairs. This according to him was the only
right solution for all the problems of castism
found in the Hindu society. Sri Guruji also
submitted these suggestions to all the
Sankaraachaaryas. Going a step further Sri
Guruji was willing to accept Muslims and
Christians desirous of returning to Hindu
fold by giving them a ’Gotra’ with some little
‘Praayaschitha’.
Sri Guruji had given considerable thought
to serious questions of economic
development like industrialisation and had
expressed his views which are in tune with
our age old Bharateeya culture, fully taking
into account the changed situation. For
example, on the question of the pattern of
industrialization Sri Guruji said, “
Nationalisation of industries means State
Capitalism which is as good or as bad as
Capitalism. I look forward to a system of
Industrial Cooperatives wherein every
member of the Cooperatives – why every
member of the society at large – would
understand both his responsibilities and
obligations more than his rights and the way
to evade duties. Bharatiya culture lays stress
on the duties and obligations of oneself to
the community. I would like free Bharat to
recapture that spirit. Small scale and home
industries should be spread everywhere.
They should feed the bigger centers of
industry. For example, Japan’s industrial
structure is like that. In cycle industry each
part can be separately made and assemblage
can be done at one center. Only some
specified industries pertaining to Defense
etc, may be single large-scale endeavours.
This alone will ensure a harmonious build
up of agriculture and industry. It will also
help to eliminate the growing disparity
between village and city life”.
Sri Guruji was not in agreement with
those who considered industrialization,
mechanization and economic progress as
almost synonymous. To a question whether
this approach is right, Sri Guruji replied, “
That is the reason why the world is heading
towards conflicts and wars. In the
competition for the disposal of surplus
production to other countries, conflict for
markets develops after a stage. Fight ensues.
Secondly, men are thrown out of work by
machines. But this should not be. The
Western theory of creating multiplicity of
wants, more machinery to meet them and
so on, will only result in making man the
slave of machine. It should be clear that
machine is for the happiness of man. It is
like Bhasmaasur, and will destroy the maker
if not held in control. Persons with moral
force and wisdom can alone control and
direct such a Bhasmaasur. Men with such
sovereign authority must be able to guide
the destiny of man”.
Sri Guruji’s well considered view on how
to impart religious values in our school
curriculum without bringing in any
particular religion as such is worth
recollecting. “Certain fundamentals can be
accepted, viz., belief in a Universal Being
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 183
pervading the entire universe, and having the
realization of that Supreme Principle as one’s
aim of life. There are many. But broadly
speaking, whatever may be the way,
controlling the mind and preventing it from
going the evil way is the basis. The principles
of Yoga form the basis for all religious life,
whatever the denomination of one’s faith be.
Concentration of mind requires some
training in Yoga. Emphasis should be on
instilling shama damaadi shatsampatti (the
six-fold virtues like tranquility, self-restraint)
in the children. Now, in the present system,
only some information and bread-earning
tuition is all that is imparted “. He has also
suggested certain courses that can easily
adopted for this purpose.
“ Education on a mass-scale is giving the
right understanding of religion –not the non-
religious education that is being imparted
nowadays by our politicians, but good,
religious education. Give people true
knowledge of Islam. Give people true
knowledge of Hinduism. Educate them to
know that all religions teach man to be
selfless, holy and pious. Then, teach history
as it is. Set right the present distortions. If
there was aggression from the Muslim
invaders in the past, say so, and also that
the aggressors were foreigners and have
nothing in common with the Muslims here.
Let our Muslims here say that they are of
this land and that the past aggressors and
their aggressions are not part of their
heritage. Instead of being taught what is
true, the Muslims now are taught the
distorted version. Truth cannot be hidden for
long. However long you hide it, ultimately
it comes out and creates only far worse
feelings. Therefore I say teach history as it
is. If Afzal Khan was killed by Shivaji, say
that a foreign aggressor was killed by a
national hero”.
On the matter of teaching Sanskrit to
students Sri Guruji regretted that there was
no attempt even up to the college level to
make the students speak simple Sanskrit, as
it is done in the case of English. His mind
revolted against the practice of even thesis
for Doctorate be written in English. Sanskrit
is a living language. There are many who
speak it. Even today, books and papers are
published in Sanskrit. With all these, Sri
Guruji wondered why Sanskrit is taboo.
Sri Guruji had very clear ideas about the
special features of the Hindu concept of
education. He says “ Recognising and
bringing out the diverse talents latent in man
is taken as the cornerstone of modern
education. The modern system has yielded
substantial results too. We find men of great
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 184
achievement in the various fields of arts and
sciences in all modern countries. Merely
stuffing of information into the brain and
making it a lumber room, as is done in our
country, is not its aim. The Hindu concept
of education goes further. It does not
content itself by merely drawing out the
latent physical and intellectual faculties in
man. According to us life is not a mere
bundle of desires and passions; there is an
Ultimate Reality residing within us. To realize
and manifest That, is the basic aim of our
system of education”.
Sri Guruji’s view on our leaders
proclaiming India ‘secular’ is both
interesting and instructive “ Emphasising a
state as secular, from the point of view of a
Hindu, is superfluous. All these centuries in
the past, we have been able to maintain
religious harmony in the country. The state
was only keeping a close watch to see that
the people did not fall out and thus render
the state weak. Otherwise all had their
freedom of worship etc. That was the
concept followed by Hindu ideology. But it
was only in the interim period of Buddhistic
era that the state was non-secular, i.e.,
theocratic. During that period, the resources
of the state were being used for propagation
of a particular persuasion and dissuading
others from practicing their own. All these
unfortunate things were done by the state
in the name of Lord Buddha, i.e., out of a
misunderstanding of what he had said. This
was only an exception to the great current
of our national life. Therefore the qualifying
word ‘secular’ is superfluous and unwanted
from our point of view”.
Even on a subject like our constitution
and the various amendments brought in
frequently Sri Guruji’s views are extremely
sound. “ My only regret is that the
Government is setting bad precedents in the
formative years of free Bharat. The articles
of people’s faith and objects of their
reverence are being weakened one by one.
The Constitution could have been made into
a unifying and strengthening factor. They
began wrongly by framing an elaborate
Constitution too cumbrous for reverence.
Even so it could have been developed into
an object of respect if the Government itself
had any regard for it. But nothing of the sort
exists. There is an amendment every year.
People get the impression that you can play
with the Constitution as you like. Its sanctity
has been violated. I wish they had given an
honest trial to the Constitution for at least
10 to 15 years. Then we would have known
how it worked as it was and where to amend
it for improvement. Actually the
Government has been hammering away at
it with out any second thoughts. That is why
I said that the Government is setting bad
precedents”.
10. Ideal Hindu Women
Sri Guruji believes that women had a very
vital role in bringing about social cohesion
and also in building up character in the
society. For this what was necessary was to
emulate the heroic examples of womanhood
in our history. It was not necessary nor is it
advisable to borrow foreign models which
have no relevance in our country. On the
contrary it will only disrupt our society and
destroy our values. Two role models of
women who could be emulated with great
advantage, often quoted by Sri Guruji are
‘Vidula’ and ‘Savitri’. About ‘Vidula’ he says,
“ There is a beautiful anecdote narrated in
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 185
Mahabharata. There was a queen by name
‘Vidula’. She sent her son Sanjay to the war-
field but the fellow became nervous and
terror-stricken. He turned his back to the
enemies and galloped to his capital. When
Vidula saw her son in that crestfallen state
she closed the then orders him to go back
to war and return as a victorious hero. As
the story goes, Sanjay sallied forth into the
battlefield, displayed exemplary valour and
came back to be received by his mother with
honour. The words of Kunti when the five
Pandavas came to seek her blessings before
proceeding to give battle are remarkable for
their heroic tone. She says:
Yadartham kshatriya soote tasya
kaloyamagata:
Na hi vairam samanaddhya sidamti
purusharshabha:
(The moment has arrived for which
Kshatriya mothers give birth to sons. Lion-
hearted men are not cowed down in the face
of enemies.)
“I am sure, if our mothers make a resolve
to uplift the society, then there is no power,
either in this world or the other, which can
defeat them. The ideal of Savitri, before
whom even the Lord of Death accepted
defeat, is before them. May they all invoke
within themselves such single-minded
devotion to the ideal, such purity of
character and such peerless heroism! Once
we do this, I am sure, the long night will
pass and a new dawn will spread its golden
hue over the horizon of not only Bharat but
over the entire world with the renewed
effulgence of our Dharma”.
There is one more couplet in Mahabharata
which says: May no woman give birth to one
who would mutely suffer insults, who is
devoid of vigour and manly prowess and one
who would bring joy to the enemies”.
With the great qualities of Motherhood
ingrained in them women could play a
tremendously effective role in transforming
the society, even working well within the
limitations imposed on them by their
domestic responsibilities. Sri Guruji
suggested that “ They could establish useful
contacts among the womenfolk in their own
nighbourhood and carry out programmes
which would inculcate our cherished ideas
among them and their children. The spirit
of mutual help and service would also have
to be made popular through our day-to-day
social intercourse. Our womenfolk should
not be allowed to develop inferiority
complex or a feeling of helplessness. They
should be taught that they are the living
emblems of Parashakti. There are quite a few
of our educated mothers who have spare
time and energy, which is often wasted in
gossip or fashionable clubs. Here is one
useful hint for them. There will be many
small boys and girls in their nighbourhood
who do not go to schools. They can make
such children gather either in their own
house or in some other convenient place and
engage them in games, stories, songs, etc”.
Though the duty and responsibility of
looking after the home and preserving its
purity and sanctity mainly rested on the
women along with the inescapable
commitment to bring up children in an ideal
way, Sri Guruji believed that women have a
special role to the society for which they are
eminently fitted. He was neither a votary of
seclusion of women nor an advocate of
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 186
modern feminism. He wanted women to be
well educated and socially oriented. He has
given certain tips which could be well
absorbed and regularly practiced by our
enlightened Mothers and Sisters. “ Literacy
campaign among women is one more
important programme, which our educated
mothers alone can successfully tackle. But
here also, inculcating noble samskars in them
should be given the priority, teaching of
alphabets should come second. In order to
do this, instill in them a spirit of pure
devotion to our motherland, faith in our
Dharma and pride in our history. Show them
the map of our sacred Motherland, the holy
streams and mountains, the Tirthas and
Temples stretching right from the Himalayas
to Kanyakumari. Introduce them to the rich
variety of our national life in language,
literature, art and social traditions. Thus
make them become intimate with the true
spirit of our national being”.
11. A Living Embodiment
Sri Guruji had tremendous faith in the
future of our country. But he also believed
that mere faith and hope are not enough to
carve out a golden era. His diagnosis of the
situation was realistic - neither pessimistic
nor optimistic. This is how he summed up
his vision about our future and the way to
achieve it. “ The real trouble with us in this
country is that we do not have a goal before
us. There is no sense of mission. Without it
no country can become great. We must not
merely exist, we must live. Bharat must show
to the world that spirituality does not deny
worldly life; it, in fact, fulfils it. Unless we
as a nation adopt such an exalted goal, and
strive for it, people’s energies will not be
released, and there will be no great
achievements. The tragedy of the present
situation is that those with patriotic instincts
who ought to work do not work at all and
the anti-national forces work with
tremendous energy. Ravana was very active;
he fought in the three worlds and conquered
everything. But Janaka and so many other
good people were only sitting,
contemplating on the Absolute or doing
penance and sacrifices. And only when a
very active man, Rama, came on the scene
could things be reversed. He traveled
throughout the country in the name of
Vanavaasa, gathered a large army and
defeated Ravana. It only means that it is not
enough for persons to be good, they should
become active and dynamic; then only evil
can be checked. Our future is what we make
of it. Everything depends upon how we will
and strive for it. You must have heard of the
Subhaashita:
Udyamena hi siddhyanti kaaryaani na
manorathaih
Na hi suptasya simhasya pravishanti mukhe
mrigaah.
(It is only through effort that works are
accomplished, not through just desires. The
prey won’t enter into the sleeping lion’s
mouth of their own accord).
Samartha Ramadas has declared: ‘Effort is
Almighty’.”
12. For Sadhana and Swadhyaya
As we all know, Sri Guruji was the very
embodiment of all the qualities which he
preached for the good of the society. We
hardly come across a person who devoted
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 187
every moment of his life and every iota of
his energy for the fulfillment of the great
vision of a resurgent Bharat. The highest
glory of Bharat was the only goal before him.
A strong and well-organized Hindu society
was the sure means for achieving this.
Creating a network of Swayamsevaks in every
nook and corner of the country who are
imbued with this patriotic fervour,
disciplined and dedicated, imbued with
personal and national character, ever ready
and willing to surrender themselves at the
alter of the nation, was a sacred task for
which Sri Guruji devoted his entire life. Like
Sree Sankaracharya and Swami Vivekananda,
he traveled from one end of the country to
the other preaching this gospel of Hindu
unity and national glory. No other leader has
traveled across the country as many times
as Sri Guruji has done. He was an eternal
traveler, a pilgrim always on the move. As
Swami Vivekananda had visualized, the
Queen of his adoration was ‘Bharat Mata’.
The Mantra on his lips was ‘Victory to the
Mother’ (Bharat Mata ki Jai). True to his
commitment, Sri Guruji passed away with
the same Mantra on his lips. Naturally his
life is a burning flame of inspiration for any
anyone who has a desire to serve Mother
India.
To know Sri Guruji is to know the soul of
India, and to follow him is to make one’s life
a ‘Saadhana in Patriotism’. His lectures, his
writings, his letters and his conversations,
all are the genuine expression of the
multifaceted greatness and glory of this
great country. As we celebrate the
hundredth year of Sri Guruji, it is a proud
achievement that the Sangh could bring out
a bunch of twelve volumes which contain
almost all the available literature which he
has bequeathed to us. They are the windows
to a great mansion, the fragrance of a rare
flower, a perennial source of strength for
all those who are fortunate enough to read
them. It is the latest addition to world’s
classical literature to be treasured for all time
to come.
P. Parameswaran is a renowned thinker in
Kerala. He is the Director of Bharatiya Vichara
Kendra and the President of Vivekananda
Kendra, Kanyakumari. He was organizing sec-
retary of Jan Sangh and director of the Deendayal
Research Institute in New Delhi. In 2004 ,the
Indian President conferred ‘Padma Shri’ upon him
as recognition of his valuable contributions to
the society. He has authored many books in
Malayalam and English. “Beyond all isms to Hu-
manism” is one of the famous works.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 188
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 189
SRI GUR SRI GUR SRI GUR SRI GUR SRI GURUJI UJI UJI UJI UJI AND AND AND AND AND VIVEKAN VIVEKAN VIVEKAN VIVEKAN VIVEKANAND AND AND AND ANDA KENDRA A KENDRA A KENDRA A KENDRA A KENDRA
SECTION - THREE
Mananeeya Eknathji the founder of Vivekananda Kendra had
undertaken the work of Vivekananda Rock Memorial and later
Vivekananda Kendra at the instance of Sri Guruji. Swami Vivekananda
and Sri Guruji were the two great sources of strength for Eknathji.
Sri Parameshwarnji, President of Vivekananda Kendra has very
aptly written in the editorial of this issue that, “Vivekananda Kendra
offers this issue of the Kendra Patrika as a grateful tribute to the
memory of Sri Guruji Golwalkar, whose birth centenary celebrations
have been just concluded. In a very real sense the setting up of the
magnificent memorial of Swami Vivekananda, at Kanyakumari and all
the activities of the Kendra that followed it are the result of Sri Guruji’s
timely support and commitment to the cause. But for the wholehearted
co-operation of Sri Guruji, it would have been next to impossible for
such a unique memorial to be erected. There was a moment of crisis,
bordering on despair, regarding the possibility of the Rock Memorial
materializing. Confronted with almost insurmountable opposition, the
local organizers who were spearheading the move for erecting the
memorial sought help and support from Sri Guruji. He not only lent
the entire organization’s support to the worthy cause, but equally
importantly, deputed Mananeeya Eknathji Ranade, the then
Sarkaryavah of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for shouldering
the responsibility of this historical task. The rest is all a matter of
recorded history. No wonder the Kendra feels a natural urge to join
the Centenary celebrations of Sri Guruji.”
This third section in this Kendra Patrika tries to capture in brief the
association of Vivekananda Kendra with Sri Guruji whose guidance
and support was vital for the erection of Vivekananda Rock Memorial
and Vivekananda Kendra.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 190
The life of Sri Guruji was like a Rishi. It
was a life of unasked and unlimited giving
for the sake of motherland. So he created
such an atmosphere that persons around him
dedicated their lives for the sake of nation.
Those with burning flame of patriotism when
worked with Sri Guruji became a wonderful
confluence of commitment and competence.
Sri Eknathji as a child started attending
Shakha in 1926. By the time Eknathji was
giving his matriculation examination his
decision to be a Pracharak was already made,
though he had to wait till he completed his
BA (Hon) in philosophy. In 1938, Eknathji
became Pracharak. It was that time that Sri
Guruji had come back from Sargachi with a
resolve that his life was for nation. In 1940,
Guruji became Sarkaryavah and then
Sarsanghachalak. Thus Eknathji since he
started working as Pracharak he worked
under the guidance of Guruji. As an
organizational discipline, obedience to
Sarsanghachalak is natural. But always there
are some moments when one surrenders to
the great leader from within. In Guruji’s life
that moment was when he was with doctorji
during his sickness. Even during the sickness
the ‘Karyaiknishtha’ of Doctorji completely
won him over. In Eknathji’s life such
moment of total surrender to Guruji came
in 1948.
Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on
30th January, 1948. Eknathji’s describes in
“The Story of the Vivekananda Rock
Memorial” the lectures given to the
Karyakartas of Kendra
“That day, I was going to Jabalpur. …Then
instead of going to Jabalpur, I went straight
to Nagpur. …Guruji was under house arrest.
…Guruji sent a message to all the
Swayamsevaks: ‘keep calm under all
provocations’. That was the wire given to all
SRI GURUJI AND EKNATHJI
NIVEDITA RAGHUNATH BHIDE
Sri Guruji at Vivekanandapuram. Kshetriya Karyakari Baithak
- 1972. Standing 4th from Left is Sri Eknathji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 191
the branches in the country. Now as soon as
I reached, our workers met me and told …that
the same night there was going to be a public
meeting in Chitnis Park, near Guruji’s house,
hardly a furlong away. So I was told that the
speakers would attack Guruji personally in
their speeches and instigate the masses, so
that after the meeting they could go straight
to his house and do whatever they wanted.
And the police also was a party to it, i.e. the
Superintendent of police. …Just before the
meeting was to disperse, the armed guards
were to be taken away, so that there would
be nobody to guard Guruji’s house.
So, what to do? With my limited
intelligence, I thought that if Guruji could be
persuaded to leave the house and taken to
some safer place, perhaps the catastrophe
could be averted. Swayamsevaks also planted
themselves in the nearby houses. If something
happened they could come and help. Guruji
got the smell of it and sent word “On my
account not even a drop of blood should spill.
…You vacate the whole locality. I don’t want
any Swayamsevak here. Leave me to myself.
I don’t want that any fight should take place
on my account”.
So the problem before the Swayamsevaks
was …if something happened to him
personally how to keep the people under
control? …This catastrophe has to be avoided.
So I thought somehow I must meet Guruji.
How to meet him? At about 7 o’ clock, when
it was dark, from the neighbours house I
climbed over the roof and went from one
house roof to another and I came to the roof
of Guruji’s house, descended down and met
him. There were armed guards at the
entrance and because of darkness nobody
could notice me. I told Guruji that we had
made certain arrangements. These armed
guards would be removed at about 9.30 and
after the meeting was over by 10 o’ clock,
the entire mob would be here. And there
would be great repercussions in the country
Sri Guruji offering flowers at the Lotus feet of Swamiji
Looking the work being done at Rock Memorial
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 192
…So if you think it proper, at 9.30 hours as
soon as the guards are removed, a car would
be ready and we should go from here.” I was
all agitated….
But he said very calmly, ‘you seem to be
agitated and perturbed. Where shall I go?
And why should I go? These are my people.
I have lived in Nagpur. If they want my life I
am prepared to give it. I have been working
for them; not only that, even if I go, I shall be
going to my people. If my people don’t want
me, let them take my life. Perhaps that may
be the Divine design. It may be in the interest
of our country, who knows? I am not going
anywhere…. Guards or no guards, I am here
and let them come straight to my room. Now
that you have told me that they are going to
come, it is only a question of an hour or so.
So should you not give me time to do at least
my Sayam Sandhya? So now you go. I will
be finishing my Sayam Sandhya… and be
ready.’
It was this calm answer and poise of
Guruji that made a lasting impact on
Eknathji. It was a defining moment. Eknathji
said even under highest provocation nothing
could disturb him because he had a living
faith in immortal nature of soul.
Eknathji bowed to that great man and
withdrew quietly from the house of course
praying that nothing untoward should
happen. He always quoted this incident to
explain that if we have the conviction in our
Upanishadic truths “Each soul is potentially
divine” and “There is no death for soul” then
we get great strength to face the difficult
situations in life. It was since then that
Guruji became the permanent source of
inspiration for Eknathji. Even a presence of
Guruji, his compassionate look was enough
for Eknathji to carry on with work in spite
of any number of difficulties.
After the ban was lifted unconditionally
by the government, Guruji toured whole of
India. Everywhere he was welcomed,
Eknathji who was with him in some
important places saw the way the public
waited for hours together to welcome
Guruji. Eknathji saw in that moment also
Guruji’s not getting carried away by the
public veneration neither he saw any
bitterness in Guruji about government.
Guruji only stressed on the importance of
doing work more vigorously to compensate
the damage caused during the ban. How a
person should remain focused on the goal
in spite of rejection or adoration by the
people – Guruji was a living example.
Guruji had faith in competence of
Eknathji. When a very difficult situation
arose in Delhi due to the behaviour of a
Sri Guruji being taken around the Rock Memorial
by Sri Eknathji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 193
Karyakarta, Eknathji was asked to solve the
problem in such a way that neither work
suffers nor the worker is lost. Eknathji also
stood true to the faith reposed in him by Sri
Guruji.
For six years, Eknathji as Sarkaryavah of
Sangh must have worked closely with Guruji.
Those were difficult times for Sangh. Many
felt that Sangh should enter in politics. Sri
Guruji was firm that the organizing of Hindu
society was a more durable work than the
vagaries of politics. Eknathji was also of the
firm conviction that Sangh should have
nothing to do with politics. He felt that
having some connection with politics would
make it a three-leg race neither the political
party nor Sangh would be able to move
ahead at the pace required for Hindu
interest. He felt that if Sangh remains totally
apolitical then it can appeal to all the well-
meaning persons in all parties for the issues
of national importance. But if Sangh is
identified with one political party then it
would not be possible. Eknathji was quite
firm on his opinion and always conveyed it
in very strong words too. It was in those days
Guruji had to assign another challenging
task to Eknathji.
Being the disciple of Swami
Akhandananda, the celebration of birth
centenary of Swami Vivekananda had an
added importance for Guruji. At
Kanyakumari under the guidance of Guruji
the local people were planning for
memorial at the mid-sea rock where Swami
Vivekananda had discovered the mission of
his life. Guruji knowing how explosive the
issue of memorial was becoming, deputed
Eknathji for the work. Eknathji filled with
Swamiji’s spirit believed that a real lasting
memorial was possible only in the hearts of
people. That would be possible, only when a
fitting living memorial - a service
organisation - also was established. If he
were to take up the work of Memorial, he
wanted to know from Sri Guruji whether he
would be permitted to do that too. Sri Guruji
who knew Eknathji well, agreed to relieve
him from the active work of Sangh at least
till the work took shape. When Sri Appaji
Joshi came to know that Eknathji was going
to take up the work of memorial, he
commented, “Now Swami Vivekananda has
to go and stand on the rock.” At every step
Sri Eknathji kept Sri Guruji informed. A very
grand memorial came up at Kanyakumari.
Guruji visited the memorial during the
two-month inauguration ceremony. Sri
Thangaswami recalled that when the worker
attending on Sri Guruji went to the room
where Eknathji was sitting with Sri Guruji,
he saw the tears of fulfillment were flowing
on the cheeks of Eknathji. He had completed
a milestone in the work given by Sri Guruji.
For Eknathji, the Memorial was completed
Enjoying the artistic splendour at Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 194
because of the blessings of Divine, which he
felt flowed to him through Sri Guruji. It
appeared as if, with the tears in his eyes,
Eknathji was offering the merit of
completion of Rock Memorial at the feet of
Sri Guruji.
Sangh wished Eknathji to return and
resume his responsibility in the RSS. Some
Sangh Adhikaris felt, some one else could
take up the work initiated by him. But
Eknathji must have felt committed to the
nation and the prominent persons in the
country, as he had discussed with them the
plans of the second phase of the memorial.
Sri Guruji understood his inner feelings and
public commitment. Eknathji’s Shraddha for
Sri Guruji was so total that he would not
have so consistently discussed and planned
about Vivekananda Kendra since 1965
without the consent of Sri Guruji.
Guruji was a perennial source of strength
and inspiration to Eknathji. Once, Eknathji
came to Calcutta in early 1970s from
Guwahati. Dr. Sujit Dhar and others were at
the airport to receive. Eknathji was hurrying
them up, saying, “Time is too short, hurry
up; I have to meet Param Poojaneeya Sri
Guruji. He is leaving shortly by train and I
have lot many things to convey”. He was
taken to where Sri Guruji was staying.
Eknathji prostrated before him. Guruji
enquired in Marathi about when and where
he came from his tour, etc. Eknathji was
merely replying to the general queries of
Guruji. By that time, Sri Abaji Thatte, came
and told Guruji that it was time to get ready
to leave for station. Sri Guruji got up, and
then left for station. Dr. Sujit Dhar asked,
“Eknathji, the way you hurried to meet Sri
Guruji, it appeared as if you had a lot to
discuss but you hardly spoke to him”.
Eknathji replied smilingly, “Do you know
the baby tortoise? When it nears its mother,
it gets everything from her eyes. It needs
nothing else”.
Once, Eknathji told, “Look! Whenever I
am in difficulty, I go and have a darshan of
Param Poojaneeya Sri Guruji and then I get
all the strength I need. Therefore, once in a
year and also whenever I am in difficulty I
just see Param Poojaneeya Sri Guruji”.
There is another incident of how Eknathji
had total Shraddha in Guruji. In June 1973
at Kanpur, in a Baithak, Karyavah Dr.
Kanhaiyasingh asked a question to Eknathji,
which created a hushed silence among all
the Swayamsevaks present. He said in a round
about way but the point he raised hesitantly
was, “Would it not have been better, in the
present circumstances if the organisation
had your guidance”? Without waiting for a
moment Eknathji answered, “See, as far as I
am concerned I am always ready with my
Sri Eknathji showing the work in progress to Sri Guruji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 195
luggage packed. To come from there would
not take even two minutes. But if you have
faith in the great (Alaukik) personality of
Param Poojaneeya Sri Guruji, then accept
that whatever arrangements he has made are
for the good of the organisation”. Such a
clear-cut reply from Eknathji gladdened the
hearts of all who were there.
Even in his last days, Eknathji said about
Sri Guruji, “He was so great that persons
like us cannot fathom his greatness”. While
saying so, tears welled up in his eyes. The
deep reverence that Eknathji - a person of
strong-will and great achievement had for
Guruji cannot be fathomed by us too.
Nivedita Raghunath Bhide is Jeevanvrati of
Vivekananda Kendra having the responsibility of
All India Vice President in Vivekananda Kendra,
Kanyakumari. She was Member of General Body
of National Council for Teacher Education and
has participated in several seminars and
conferences at national and international level.
The Books written by her include Educating a
child, Bharateeya Womanhood through ages,
Eknathji and Swami Vivekananda in America.
She is the recipient of Vandaneeya Saraswatitai
Apte award for sustained work in the society.
This wonderful Memorial was made possible by the timely intervention of Sri Guruji
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 196
SUNDHARAM
FINANCE
LIMITED
ADVT
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 197
NAVODHAYA
----------------
BRAKES
INDIA
ADVTS
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 198
It is always the selfless, self-confident and
devoted band of missionaries, intensely
proud of their national ethos, who have
roused the sleeping manliness in our nation
in times of adversity and made our nations
rise gloriously from a heap of ruins. Verily
such men have been the true salt of this soil.
Even in ancient times, the educated and
intelligent young men came forward in an
unbroken succession to serve and elevate
society giving up all thought of personal
comforts and enjoyments. They were the very
embodiment of the spirit of selfless service,
sacrifice and character. They would live on
roots or collect a morsel going from door
to door and somehow carry on their physical
existence. And all their energies were bent
to the single purpose of bringing about the
welfare of the common people. They would
mix with them, share in their joys and
sorrows, try to alleviate their physical wants
and miseries and infuse in them the higher
values of life. They—the young, the
intelligent, the self-sacrificing hearts—were
the pinnacles from which the streams of
cultural and spiritual values flowed and
permeated all levels of our society. They
formed the perennial springs that made both
these streams, i.e., of cultural sublimity and
physical prosperity, flow to the brim in
national life and made our nation a light-
THE CLARION CALL
house of material and spiritual glory.
Let us relive those great ideals. Let us
shake off all the present-day emasculating
notions and become real living men,
bubbling with national pride, living and
breathing the grand ideas of service, self-
reliance and dedication in the cause of our
dear and sacred motherland. Only such a
band of young men fired with a missionary
zeal can rouse our people to action and ward
off the grave perils threatening our country
from inside and outside.
Let us feel ourselves fortunate to have
been born in the present trying situation.
Some may deem it a stroke of rare good luck
to come into the world in a nation of peace
and plenty of power and glory. There are so
many in our country today who feel in that
manner and go away to America, England
etc., lured by the luxuries there. But men
with a ring of real heroism think otherwise
and thank God that during their sojourn here
they are faced with hardships, scarcity,
adversity and trouble, through which they
have to struggle on to prosperity. In times
of affluence, our life will probably mean
nothing more than ‘to be born, to live
happily for some time and die one day’. But
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 199
in adverse circumstances we get an
opportunity to put forth the best in us, to
test our manliness and to stand before the
world as a colossal personality full of
grandeur. We are offered the chance to rise
to our full stature, to soar to heights beyond
the highest flights of human imagination.
Today, more than anything else, Mother
needs such men—young, intelligent,
dedicated, and more than all virile and
masculine. When Narayana—eternal
knowledge—and Nara—eternal manliness-
combine, victory is ensured. And such are
the men who make history—the men with
capital ‘M’.
—Sri GURUJI GOLWALKAR
Be Living, Dynamic Emblems Be Living, Dynamic Emblems Be Living, Dynamic Emblems Be Living, Dynamic Emblems Be Living, Dynamic Emblems
These are just a few basic features which go to make us real, positive Hindus. It is only when we pay
special attention to them, imbibe them, manifest them in our life, and stand up as real, living an
dynamic emblems of those glorious concepts that our taking birth in the divine Hindu heritage will
not have been in vain.
Can we, then, say confidently that we are such real, positive Hindus? Let us ask ourselves. How do
we live? What are the ideals before us? What are our feelings? Are we Hindus only by the force of
circumstances or by ‘accident of birth’? Or because we have remained untouched by conversion to
Islam or Christianity, as the proselytisers were very few and we were very large in numbers? Is that
the only meaning of our being Hindus? There is no use merely saying “Oh! We have a great
culture.” What do we know of it? How do we practise it? Do we look at our individual life as an offering
to society? Do we feel that we should not merely run after pelf and power but should hold aloft
virtues in life? Do we feel that we should really be such men that as soon as anyone looks at us, he
must be able to say, “Here is a man, who is seeking perfection in all that go to make a real human
being?” Let us introspect on these lines and gradually assimilate all those distinctive Hindu traits
so that we can stand before the world as positive, dynamic Hindus. Let us live up to our philosophy,
our dharma, and all those great qualities which have moulded our lives for countless generations.
Therefore, though the idea of organizing the Hindu Society may appear to be very simple, it really
means that first of all we should be keenly conscious in our day-to-day life of our Hindu heritage
and should mould every little aspect of our life in keeping with those great traditional values. In all
that we do, in our dress, in our behaviour and in all walks of our life, that stamp of positive conviction
should be vividly manifest. This is the prime responsibility that rests upon us. (Page 58-59) (Bunch
of Thoughts)
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
(Article by Sri Guruji which appeared in Yuva
Bharati March 1975)
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 200
Numaligarh
advts
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 201
CITY
UNION
BANK
COLOUR
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 202
MADRAS
CEMENTS
COLOUR
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 203
Just as the twinkling stars and the
multicoloured rays of dispersed sunlight
adorn the firmament every dawn and dusk
to gratify man’s sense of beauty, stories form
the most purposeful and decorative
monuments in the annals of literature. While
music is enchanting and gives rise to quick
emotions, stories have a slow and sustained
way of driving home the thoughts and ideals
contained in them; and once it is done, it
remains there in the brain permanently
nailed up, and in the case of certain persons,
it acts as a perennial source of inspiration.
The spirit and ambition of Chatrapati Shivaji
and Rani Lakshmi Bai, for instance, were kept
ablaze to the point of indomitability by the
seeds that were sown into them by stories
of chivalry from the immortal epics of
Ramayana and Mahabharata. Whether in a
classroom or on a public platform, stories
have an almost unfailing appeal.
Our Upanishads are flooded with stories.
The teachings of Sri Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa are better understood through
his parables. Wonderful is Swami
Chinmayananda’s gift of story telling! And
so was it, it is said, with Guruji Golwalkar
whose speeches were exquisitely
ornamented by stories. Let us now recollect
a couple of interesting stories narrated by
K.P. SHIVKUMAR
STORIES FOR RECOLLECTION
this multisplendoured man among men, SRI
GURUJI GOLWALKAR.
In order to highlight the fact that the
various forces such as the economic force
and political force are subordinate and weak
before the overall dynamism of the society,
he narrated the following story from the
Upanishads.
Once the Devas were very haughty about
their victory over the Asuras. The Almighty
decided to dispel their haughtiness. He
appeared before them assuming an
unimaginably large form. They were shocked
to see that strange form which proclaimed
itself to be a demi-god. The God of Wind
was first deputed to detect the real identity
of the form in question. The latter put a blade
of grass before the God of Wind and
behested him to blow it away. This God, who
is powerful enough to twist and toss the
whole world, could hardly shake even the
tip of the grass. He thus returned badly
defeated.
Subsequently, the God of Fire was sent
to get acquaintance of that strange form.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 204
Unable to burn the grass, as was bidden, in
spite of his all-consuming might, he too
returned shamefully.
Then Indra, the Lord of the Devas himself
set out on the mission. But then the form
vanished. Totally failing in his attempts to
know what it was, Lord Indra also returned
over whelmed with shame. It then occurred
to him that it was none but the Almighty
alone who appeared in that form, and out of
whose mercy they could get a glimpse of His
infinite strength.
To point out that friendship between
unequal powers will spell insecurity and
danger to the weaker party, Sri Guruji
narrated the following story:
Once a brave man and a coward became
friends. They set-out for gaining adventurous
experiences. They reached a forest where
they saw a group of dacoits sharing among
themselves their looted properties. The brave
man fought with the dacoits and drove them
away. He collected whatever wealth they
threw behind while fleeing for life. In the
scuffle that ensued, the coward lost one
hand, and that was his lot.
A few days later the two friends ventured
out for some other kind of adventure. This
time they went to attack a fort wherein a
tyrant king was keeping slaves and kept
people under severe oppression. The brave
man assassinated the despotic ruler and
liberated the people from their thraldom for
which deed, the people, filled with gratitude,
crowned him as their King. This time, in the
confrontation in the front, the coward lost
one leg.
The timid, cursing his own misfortune
and envying the good fortune of the other,
resolved that some store of wealth should
be set by for himself. With this
determination he once again set out with his
friend. Incidentally, on the way they saw a
few ruffians carrying by force a Princess, on
a horse back. Here too the man of stronger
nerves made capital of the situation by
saving the Princess and leaving her back to
the care of her father. Bound by gratitude,
the king gave his daughter in marriage to
the chivalrous man in addition to presenting
him the entire kingdom. In this mission of
mercy the coward lost one eye. Thus there
was an ocean of difference in the qualities
of the brave and timid. In the light of this
story Guruji used to say that similar would
be the consequences if a weaker nation tried
to follow the ways of a stronger nation.
We know the easy, relaxed and casual
way in which a grandma tells stories to her
grandchildren. But, when a dynamic figure
of national importance from whom people
look for inspiration and guidance tells a story,
he pours his heart and soul into the
narration in order to make it as purposeful
and educative as possible, and to inculcate
the noblest thought and ideals in the minds
of the people. If one succeeds in it, he is an
inspiring leader, and not a mere story-teller.
And people know what a leader par
excellence Guruji was.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 205
"The positive conviction that this is my
Hindu Rashtra, this is my dharma, this is
my philosophy which I have was to live
and which I have to set up as a standard
for all other nations to follow—well, this
(Article on Sri Guruji which appeared in Yuva
Bharati June 1975)
should be the solid basis for Hindu
reorganisation".
Sri Guruji Golwalkar.
Duty to Countr Duty to Countr Duty to Countr Duty to Countr Duty to Countr y Fir y Fir y Fir y Fir y Fir st st st st st
There may be occasions when conflicts arise in our mind while fixing priorities among our
several duties. Then we will have to discriminate, take a detached view and respond to the
supreme call of the ideal that we have chosen for our life. The martyrdom of Tanaji Malasure
is a shining example in this regard . when Shivaji sent word to him and assigned him the
challenging task of winning the formidable Kondana fort (Later called Sinhagad), Tanaji was
busy making preparations for his son’s marriage. But at the word, of Shivaji, Tanaji gave up
the thought of the marriage saying, “My son’s marriage may well wait for some time; I will first
carry out command of my king. My first duty is towards the Swaraj.” Without a moment’s
hesitation Tanaji proceeded to conquer Kondana. The heroic attempt was crowned with success,
but it claimed as a its price the life of Tanaji himself.
It is when we bend all our energies towards this fundmental process – the great process of
man-making – that our ancient and sacred nation can once again attain its original position
of greatness and glory, shedding pece and plenty culture and character all-round.
Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur Sri Gur uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Ex uji - Excellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expr cellence in Expression ession ession ession ession
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 206
NOT I, BUT YOU
Sri Guruji [Sri M.S.Golwalkar (1902-1973)], was the sarsanghachalak of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh from 1940-1973. Though his life mission was the consolidation of
the great Hindu society through the medium of the R.S.S., his expressions and remarks
about the contemporary trends were as valuable as they were sparkling with wit and
humour. Here are a few memorable anecdotes from his life.
----
Madhav Rao had just joined the Inter class in the Hislop College, Nagpur. It was run
by a Christian missionary. The daily recital of the Bible was compulsory there. Madhav
Rao did not let go this opportunity. He got by heart the complete Bible in a matter of
days. Once Professor Gardiner, during one of his lectures, quoted a certain portion of
the Bible in the classroom to support a point. Madhav Rao rose and suggested that
another portion of the Bible, and not the one quoted by the Professor, would be better
in the context. The Professor was taken aback when Madhav Rao recited the portion of
his own choice. A copy of the Bible was brought, and on verification, Madhav Rao’s
face beamed a victorious smile. As one who had been reciting the Bible countless
times over a number of years, the aged Professor was amazed at the subtle grasp of
the Bible which the Hindu youth, Madhav Rao, possessed. He took the boy aside and
patted him heartily.
That was the nature of Madhav Rao. He would lose himself in any work that he took
up. Studying with the examination in mind was never his practice. It never once occurred
to him to graduate somehow or other and take to pen-pushing for a livelihood. His
intimacy with books was, for many years to come, only knowledge-oriented.
----
Baba Rao Savarkar, brother of Veer Savarkar, had written a book, Rashtra Mimansa in
Marathi. It remained to be translated into English by someone. The proposition
‘Hinduism is our nationhood’ had been given a logical foundation in that work.
Vishwanath Rao Kelkar, a lawyer of Nagpur, subscribed to this thought. Therefore,
Baba Rao Savarkar entrusted the translation to Kelkar. But Kelkar could not find
sufficient leisure to complete the task. So, he requested Bhaiyaji Dhani, who was then
the Sarkaryawah (General Secretary) of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, to find a suitable
person for the purpose. Shri Guruji’s name was suggested by Dhani.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 207
The Marathi book, along with a bundle of white sheets, was sent to Shri Guruji. The
very next day, Shri Guruji knocked at Kelkar’s door. He was holding the bundle of
sheets and the Marathi book in his hands. On seeing him in this manner, Kelkar
thought for himself : ‘Oh! This gentleman also seems to be here for returning the
material with some excuse or other …’
Imagine his stupefaction when he found that the bundle of papers was not blank
sheets, but was the English translation of the book in its entirety. Kelkar was beside
himself when he ran his eyes over the translation; the work was simply excellent. It is
no wonder that Kelkar was wonder struck with Shri Guruji’s enormous power of
concentration on the job, because the book was of 107 pages.
During one of his countrywide tours as the Sarsanghachalak of the R.S.S. , Shri
Guruji visited Tirunelveli. He was invited by a Swayamsevak by name Ramanan for
tea at his house. Guruji went there. At the time of leaving the house, Sri Guruji
prostrated before the aged father of the Swayamsevak. Blessing him, the elder said
in a voice choked with emotion, “We are pleased to have your darshan. It is my great
fortune to have had your company though for a short while”.
“Oh! What is this, Sir! Darshan and all that! We meet in connection with our sacred
mission. But this is not the first time that we meet”.
“Is that so? Have we met before? It is only last year that I learnt about R.S.S.After
that, you also visited this place for the first time now. Then how is it…?”
“Have you ever been in Nagpur?”
“Yes”.
“You stayed in the Saraipali area for sometime; is that corret?”
“Yes, of course”.
“Was it not at the house of a school-master there that you were put up?”
“Y….e....s!” the old gentleman was wondering how Shri Guruji was conversant with
those minor details.
“In those days,” continued Shri Guruji “was there a little boy of ten or twelve by
name Madhav in the house of that school master?”
“Yes! Yes! There was, I remember”.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 208
“I am that Madhav!”
The old gentleman was speechless.
----
In his student days, at the Benares Hindu University, Shri Guruji was once stung by a
scorpion on his leg. He was then busy preparing for the approaching examinations.
He applied medicine to the sting and continued with his preparations. To those who
wondered as to how he could apply his mind to the books, when the sting continued
to give him severe pain, he said, “After all, the sting is on the leg. Not on the brain!”
----
In the spate of ceaseless activity, Shri Guruji utilised whatever free time he found to
pay visits to spiritual centers like temples, Mutts etc. He would become one with the
elevating atmosphere prevailing at such places. He would politely but firmly refuse to
be garlanded in temples. Once, when he was in the Meenakshi temple at Madurai, the
Archaka came to garland him. Declining to accept the honour, Shri Guruji said: “At
the house of the Divine, mortals like me are not entitled to be garlanded”.
----
He would never allow pride to pollute his mind even for a second. While replying to
a grand reception accorded to him in Bombay, he said, “How ridiculous it would be if
the mouse, running before a camel, holding the loose end of the reins hanging, from
the camel’s nose, thinks that it alone was leading the camel! My place in the
organization, too, is similar to that of the mouse”. It was in this background that he
shunned garlands and shouts of “Jai” and silently concentrated all through is life on
the furtherance of the Sangh work.
----
He was as indifferent to brickbats as he was to bouquets. With a witty remark, he
would dismiss them from his mind. Once, in Indore, some persons were heard shouting
“Guruji Murdabad” (meaning ‘Guruji down! down!’) Shri Guruji told the workers
nearby: “What they actually mean is that my murda (corpse) too would be abad (great)”.
On another occasion, at the railway station in Davangere in Karnataka a bunch of
people shouted ‘Sanghi goonda hain” (Sangh people are goondas) and passed by the
compartment in which Shri Guruji was sitting. Shri Guruji remarked with a twinkle in
the eyes: “A few persons in Davangere are capable of speaking at least one sentence
in our Rashtra Bhasha; I am really delighted at this”.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 209
Sometime after his return from the Saragachi Ashram, Shri Guruji went to the
school for the blind in Nagpur to meet one Vaman Rao Wadegaonagar, an old
friend of his. At the school a blind teacher asked of Shri Guruji with a friendly
smile, “We are told that you have started growing long hair. Is it true?” Laughing
loudly, Shri Guruji jokingly replied: “I could not get any case, I thought, why don’t
try my hand at growing my own case”. (This Marathi word of the same
pronounciation means ‘hair’). Though he had the talents for the advocate’s
profession in full, his lack of interest in that led him to this situation.
During the first ban on the R.S.S., Shri Guruji was kept a prisoner in Betul jail. On
June 19, 1949 his father and mother met him. They were pained to see the poor
physical condition of their eminent son. On her return, Shri Guruji’s mother said:
“Even because of the enormous growth of the sangh work, his health was not so
much affected. The jail life tells upon his health”. This news evoked the deep concern
of the Swayamsevaks throughout the country. The Government received a very
large number of letters and telegrams, expressing concern over the deteriorating
health of Shri Guruji in detention. Upon this, on the 6
th of
July, the State Government
ordered an enquiry into the health level of the detained leader. Justice
Mangalamurthy was appointed to conduct the enquiry. On knowing this
appointment, Shri Guruji jocularly remarked: “So they are sending a judge of the
High court to probe into my health condition. For the first time I have the
opportunity of learning that a judge also can examine the physical condition of
people”,
----
When Shri Guruji was arrested soon after the first ban on the R.S.S. was imposed
the police officer, looking at the frail frame of Shri Guruji, deridingly exclaimed:
“I thought the R.S.S. chief would be somewhat rough, hefty and strong,” shri
Guruji duly paid him back: “Yes, the founder of the R.S.S., Dr.Hedgewar, did not
have your wisdom in matters like this. Had he been you, he would have nominated
a burly bloke of an officer like you or a buffalo to succeed him”.
----
Shri Guruji and some others visited the house of Swayamsevak, not very well off.
The host in all earnest affection, set out to prepare tea for the venerable guest. He
did not even have filter for he purpose. He took out a not-so-clean towel and
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 210
filtered tea with it. The other visitors somehow avoided taking the tea served to
them. But Shri Guruji enthusiastically sipped his share. When they were returning,
others asked Shri Guruji whether he noticed how the tea had been prepared. Shri
Guruji said “yes”. “Then why did you take tea there?” Shri Guruji replied: “I did not
see the dirty towel; I saw his loving heart.”
----
Shri Guruji was a constant seeker of the Omnipresent. When he was asked about
the beauty of the idol of Kanyakumari in the temple, he replied, “:I am helpless. As
soon as I stand before the idol of any deity, I close my eyes; my mind opens up and
gets merged with the principle of idol. How can I describe the artistic beauty of
sculptural excellence in the idol?”
----
About the un-Indian “Beauty contests”, Shri Guruji used to say: “We see many of
our leading ‘Cultural men’, associating themselves as judges in the ‘Miss India’
beauty contests. In that contest, indeed we miss the real beauty of India!”
----
Shri Guruji had been to Kerala to undergo Ayurvedic treatment. Before the
commencement of the treatment, the Vaidya conducted a pooja and requested Shri
Guruji to pray for his own speedy recovery. Calmness descended on Shri Guruji’s
face. He said: “I cannot pray for my sake. I have never done that in my life. I have
never asked anything for myself. If you so wish, you may pray for the successful
completion of your treatment”. That was Shri Guruji.
----
His self-effacement was so complete that, once when on tour in Kerala, he was
invited to Shri Ramakrishna Ashram. He refused to sit on the Vyasa-peetha (dais)
decorated with the portraits of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sarada Devi and Swami
Vivekananda. He went and sat among the audience. When requested to speak, he
went to mike spoke and came back to his seat among the audience. While returning
the Sanghachalak of the place asked Shri Guruji why he did not sit on the dais got
specially for him. Shri Guruji replied: “There should be a presence for every man to
bow down and pray. Shri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda gave
such a Presence for us”.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 211
In 1955, Dharmayug, the popular Hindi weekly, wrote to all eminent persons
requesting them to convey in a minimum number of words the central theme of
their life. In just four words Shri Guruji said: “Mai nahi tu hi” (Not I, but you). At
a time when people of little or no achievement strutted about in the lime-light,
here was Shri Guruji, with Himalayan achievements, saying that he was nowhere!
----
There is one substantial philosophy which does not belong to the Hindu or to the
Muslim. Call it Advaita, or whatever you like. It says that there is one single power;
one single existence which is Truth, which is Bliss. It is the creator, sustainer and
destroyer. All our conceptions of God are only our own limited conceptions of
that Ultimate Reality, so that the rock-bottom of that Ultimate Reality will join us
together. It does not belong to any one religion. Everyone can accept it on this
account. Religion is only a way of worship. This is not such a way. It is philosophy.
It is the philosophical understanding of the universe. It can be taken to be the
rock-bottom. The God of Islam, Christianity and Hinduism is thus the same and
we are all His devotees.
Appeared in Vivekananda Kendra Patrika - Memorable wit,
Wisdom and Humor. February 1979 - Vol 8 No.1
Published by N. Viswanath on behalf of Vivekananda Kendra from
5, Singarachari Street, Triplicane, Chennai - 5, printed by
N.Viswanath at M/s.Hi-Tech Offset (P) Ltd., Anghamuthu Naicken
Street, Royapettah, Chennai - 600 014. Phone : 28484681
Editor : P.Parameswaran
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 212
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA – A RASHTRIYA YAJNA
Sri. A. Balakrishnan
Vice-President
Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari
Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a unique National monument constructed by the
patriotic minded people of India, has become world famous. It has been attracting
lakhs of people from India and abroad, giving spiritual light to those who visit the
sacred monument. It was Swargiya Eknathji Ranade, who masterminded the
construction of Vivekananda Rock Memorial in a record period of six years. He
could complete this massive monument with the help of his co-workers from Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh. Eknathji was chosen by Param Pujaniya Guruji Golwalkar to
take up this challenging task. Eknathji with his organisational skill and untiring
capacity to do hard work, organised the entire country and not only solved the
various problems confronting the construction of the memorial on the sacred spot
where Swami Vivekananda meditated for three days and nights and found mission
of his life, but also raised funds amounting to Rs.1 crore 30 lakhs by small donations
from the common man. He also involved the Central and State governments and
also all the leading religious and social luminaries of the country. The Vivekananda
Rock Memorial was opened to the public on 2
nd
September 1970. For Eknathji that
was not the end. He conceived of a much bigger monument than the memorial on
the rock. To quote his own words, “The Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a memorial
to Swamiji in granite stone, but I want a living memorial in flesh and blood to carry
Swamiji’s message of selfless service to the nook and corner of the Globe”. As the
second phase to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Eknathji started the Vivekananda
Kendra as a movement to take Swamiji’s message especially to the youth of India.
Vivekananda Kendra is a cadre based organisation where Jeevan Vrati Karyakartas
are selected, trained and deployed to take up service activities to the economically
backward and tribal areas. Today more than 200 Jeevan Vrati, Vanaprasthi,
Shikhsharthi and Sewavrati Karyakartas are rendering service through 220 branch
centres situated all over India.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 213
KARYAPADDHATI
Kendra has adopted three Karyapaddhatis to attract people belonging to various
strata of society. These are:
Samskar Varga
Yoga Varga
Swadhyay Varga
Kendra Karyakartas are spreading Swamiji’s message of selfless service and love
for the country and pride in our culture through these karyapaddhatis. Kendra
organizes every year three-stage karyakarta prashikshan shibirs to induct new
workers to its cadre. Besides number of camps like Yoga Shibir, Spiritual Retreat,
Maitri Shibir, Personality Development Shibir are also organised at different places.
Vivekananda Kendra works to create the awareness for the need of organized
work for the regeneration of nation. Such awareness is reflected in its ever-growing
activities. Some of these activities are undertaken by the Projects specially created
to cater to the needs efficiently. Such Projects are: Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas,
VK Rural Development Program, VK Natural Resources Development Program,
VK Vedic Vision Foundation, VK Arunjyoti, VK Institute of Culture, VK
International, VK Medical & Research Foundation.
The activities carried out by all these Projects and the Branch centres are:
· 50 Vidyalayas for tribal and rural children in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland,
Assam, Andamans, Tamilnadu and Karnataka for 16000 approx students.
Hostels for Vanavasi children
· 150 Balwadis all over the country
· Running of Non-formal school for preservation of Vedic Vidyas.
· Personality Development Camps for the children and youth.
· Cultural Examinations to increase the awareness in the students about the
greatness as well as relevance of Indian culture.
· Non-formal Education through Audio-visuals
· Matru Sammelan and Women Awareness Camps for tribal and rural women
to organise women and to motivate them to lead purposeful life.
· Deep Pooja and Shiva pooja
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 214
· Vocational Training in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu
· Amrita Surabhi – Daily offering of handful rice by women, which is
collected to feed around 12,000 poor rural children.
· Residential Yoga Shibirs and Spiritual Retreats.
· Promotion of use of natural resources like bio-gas, building materials,
herbal medicines.
· Training masons, farmers etc. in appropriate rural technology
· Seminars and lecture series in Vedic Studies and publishing of Vedic
literature.
· Seminars, workshops and symposiums to create awareness in ecology
· Seminars and Symposiums on traditions of Vanavasi communities for their
protection and promotion.
· Health care camps including Eye, ENT and Teeth check up and operation.
· Inter-civilisational dialogue and understanding in perspective of Hindu
civilisation.
· Research and Documentation of traditional Customs, Rituals of Vanavasi
communities
KENDRA’S SERVICE PROJECTS
Kendra has also taken up service projects in the field of Education, Rural
Development, Natural Resource Development, Medical Centres and Hospitals,
Vocational Training Centres and Cultural Institute.
In the field of education, Kendra is running 46 regular schools affiliated to CBSE,
out of these 22 are in Arunachal Pradesh, 11 are in Assam, 1 in Nagaland, 9 in
Andaman Islands, 2 in Tamil Nadu and 1 in Karnataka. In all these schools, besides
other subjects, English, Hindi, Sanskrit and the local language are given prime
importance. Regular cultural classes are conducted in all the schools in order to
give value based education to the children. Total number of students studying in
Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas as on today is approximately 16,000. Kendra has
planned to expand its educational activities in the North East region in a big way in
the coming years.
Kendra is also running 4 Vocational Training Centres for women, out of which 2 are
located in Arunachal Pradesh, 1 in Assam and 1 in Karnataka.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 215
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
Kendra has adopted 5 Southern district of Tamilnadu namely Kanyakumari,
Tirunelvelli, Virudhu Nagar, Thoothukudy and Ramanathpuram for the all round
development of men, women and children of these economically backward rural
areas. As part of these Rural Development Programmes, Kendra runs 75 Balwadies
for 2000 children. Its weekly Balasamskar Vargas are held in 200 places attended
by 7000 children. Cultural competitions are organised in nearly 1800 schools run
by the Government in which nearly 27,000 children have taken part during the
last year. Essay competition for college students are organised in which 4766
college students from 101 colleges took part. Deep Poojas are organised in colorful
manner in the temple premises, in which 22,230 rural women took part last year.
Besides number of Youth Camps and Personality Development Camps were
organised as a regular feature for the rural youths.
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA NATURAL RESOURCE
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Under this project, 4 types of activities are undertaken by Kendra:
1. Water shed management
2. Rural Housing
3. Indigenous Medicines
4. Farming .
Technological Resource Centre, an institute for training the workers under these
four activities, is set up at Kanyakumari. To supplement these activities further, a
Gramodaya Darshan Park with live demonstration unit is also established in
Vivekanandapuram campus.
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA ARUNJYOTI
A programme for the multi-dimensional development of the Arunachali society
– Arunjyoti is a part of the Rural Development Project organised by the
Vivekananda Kendra in Arunachal Pradesh. Through this programme Kendra
desires to organize the Arunachali people and awaken their dormant spirit.
Programs are organised by different manchs namely - Yuva Manch, Mahila Manch,
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 216
Swasthya Seva Manch, Sanskritik Manch and Anoupacharik Shiksha Manch. Rural
Development programmes are also organised in the rural areas of Andaman islands,
Jharkhand, Assam and Maharashtra. Kendra will be intensifying these activities in
these states in coming years.
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION
It is running a hospital in the Numaligarh Refinery Township complex. This 40 bedded
well equipped hospital not only caters to the needs of the 4000 members of staff and
family of the refinery, but also attends to peoples of 13 surrounding villages.
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA VEDIC VISION FOUNDATION
Translating Vedic vision of the Rishis in day to day life and making it practical was
the message Swami Vivekananda gave to all. Through Vedic Vision Foundation at
Kodungalloor, Kerala, the Kendra is creating a network of thinkers and scholars of
Vedic Studies, conducting research on Vedic Knowledge and supporting Vedic
Scholars, disseminating Vedic Knowledge in order to promote the practice of Vedic
Truths in the families. The activities undertaken are Publications, Yoga and Pranayama
Courses, Personality Development Camps, Celebrations, Satsanga and Spiritual
discourses.
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA INTERNATIONAL
In order to take Swami Vivekananda’s message abroad and also engage in
civilisational and religious dialogues, Kendra has set up Vivekananda Kendra
International. This was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India Shri. Atal
Behari Vajpayee on 23
rd
May 2003. A plan to construct a suitable building on a plot
allotted by the Government of India at Chanakyapuri has been approved by the
NDMC.
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA INSTITUTE OF CULTURE – GUWAHATI, ASSAM
The Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture, Guwahati, Assam is established with
the purpose of discovering the cultural continuity of the North Eastern states with
rest of India. The Institute has been successfully organizing number of seminars in
all the seven states of North East Region. Some of the seminar papers have been
published in the form of book and are available for general public who are interested
to know the colorful, cultural life of North East.
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 217
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA PUBLICATIONS
As part of the its various activities Kendra has been bringing out number of books
and periodicals based on India’s cultural ethos. During the year Kendra has published
its second edition of the book “India’s Contribution to World Thought and Culture”
which was released by the Vice-President Sri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat on 22
nd
February 2004. The third edition of the book “Comprehensive Biography of Swami
Vivekananda” authored by Prof. S. N. Dhar will be coming out very shortly. Kendra
has brought out books authored by Mananeeya P Parameswaranji, President
Vivekananda Kendra – “Marx and Swami Vivekananda”, “Heart Beats of Hindu
Nation”, “Gita and its Social Impact”.
Vivekananda Kendra’s periodicals are
1. Yuva Bharati – English monthly;
2. Vivekananda Kendra Patrika – English thematic half yearly;
3. Kendra Bharati – Hindi monthly;
4. Vivek Vani – Tamil monthly;
5. Vivek Vichar – Marathi four monthly;
6. Jagriti – Assamese-English quarterly;
7. Vivek Sudha – Gujarati quarterly.
All these periodicals are mainly meant for the general public, particularly for the
youth.
Besides the above mentioned service activities, number of regular activities are
organised in Vivekananda Kendra campus. There are four exhibition maintained by
Kendra:
Arise ! Awake! – The exhibition depicting the vision, life and message of Swamiji.
Wandering Monk – Depicts Parivrajaka phase of Swamiji.
Gangotri – An Exhibition highlighting Manaeeya Eknathji’s life and the Kendra
work.
Bharat Gramodaya Darshan Park –The pictorial and live demonstration in ideal
management of water, housing, health and herbal medicine
Sri Guruji - a Living example of Spiritual Nationalism
Vivekananda Kendra Patrika 218
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA UTKAL SEVA PRAKALPA
Vivekananda Kendra’s this project for Orissa commenced in January 2007. Under
this project, 24 Anandalayas manned by 18 trained youths, have been started in
Keonjhar, Deoband and Devagiri blocks of Keonjar district. A total of 840 students
attend daily 2-hour programmes of non-formal education, learn hymns and patriotic
songs and play games.
VIVEKANANDPURAM CAMPUS
Vivekanandapuram Campus also provides accommodation for one thousand people
at a time visiting Kanyakumari at a considerably lower tariff. Visitors can stay here
in a “Home away from home” atmosphere amidst serene surroundings close to the
sea.
VIVEKANANDA KENDRA PRATISHTAN
Kendra’s growing number of Jeewanvratis are being trained and maintained from
the generous financial support received from the lakhs of well wishers and donors.
Vivekananda Kendra is a National Yajna in which participation from all the patriotic
and socially conscious minded people is most welcome.

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