Sri Guruji, a Drona for global Hindutva

via V SUNDARAM (NEWS TODAY) published on January 28, 2006

A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is the present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form.


Man does not improvise. The nation, like the individual, is the culmination of a long past of heroic endeavours, selfless sacrifices and glorious deeds of devotion. Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate, for they have made us what we are. A heroic past, great men, glory in song, tradition and legend, this is the social capital upon which one bases a national idea. To have common glories in the past, to have a common will in the present; to have performed great deeds together and to wish to perform still more, these are the essential conditions for being the people of a country. One loves in proportion to the sacrifices to which one has consented and in proportion to the ills that one has suffered. One loves the house that one has built and that one has handed down. The Spartan song- ‘We are what you were; we will be what you are’, is, in its simplicity, the abridged hymn of Hindutva today. If Hindutva vanishes, what will Bharatvarsha be? She will become a geographical expression of the vanished past, a dim memory of a perished glory. We have to avert this grim national tragedy at any cost. How can we forget that our history, our literature, our art, our temples and monuments, all have Hinduism writ indelibly across them?


If Dr Hedgewar was the Bhishma Pita of Hindutva, Sri Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, fondly called Sri Guruji, was the Drona of Hindutva. Sri Guruji was pained at the thought that Hindus should have been reduced to the position of ‘Non-Muslims’ in post-independent India. Even before independence, he wondered why India alone should be described as a ‘sub-continent’ when even much bigger countries like U S A, U S S R and China were not described in that manner. He said he had no doubt that our country was being dubbed as a ‘sub-continent’ only to prepare the public mind for its partition. Consistently, Sri Guruji took a strong stand against partition of India. He stood for Akhand Bharat throughout his lifetime.



Sri Guruji always ridiculed the idea of India being a ‘nation in the making’ and said that proponents of this theory appeared to be only ‘patriots in the making’. Wherever he went he quoted chapter and verse to show that Bharatvarsh had been a ‘rashtra’ since Vedic times. He was quite amused that Shaivites and Vaishnavites of Kancheepuram should refer their religious ritualistic disputes like whether the temple elephant should bear a ‘U’ tilak or a ‘Y’ tilak, to the British Privy Council, which knew little about India and nothing about Hinduism.


A little before partition of India when K Ponniah, editor of ‘The Sind Observer’ asked him if it would really matter if India was partitioned, Sri Guruji said that at that rate it wouldn’t matter if somebody lost his nose. At that point of time when somebody said that it didn’t matter if all Hindus became Muslims in one stroke, Sri Guruji replied: ‘It wouldn’t matter even if all the Hindus died. Because they would live as ashes, and science has proved that matter is indestructible, and that even matter is only some electrical charges’.


When Sri Guruji was asked to define RSS in one word, he said: ‘Hinduism can be defined in one word, ‘Om’. But it would take years of study to understand its significance. Likewise RSS can be understood only by attending Shakha everyday’.


Once making an emotional appeal to workers to complete the RSS work in the manner and measure required, he quoted an example from the famous biography of Dr Samuel Johnson written by his secretary Boswell. Once Oliver Goldsmith asked Dr Johnson, ‘Doctor, how many fish in a chain will take it reach from here to the moon?’ Dr Johnson was nonplussed by this question. Goldsmith himself replied: ‘Only one fish will suffice, if it is sufficiently big!’ Sri Guruji said that similarly even a single day would be sufficient for the completion of RSS work, if only all the Swayamsevaks of the Sangh worked with every atom of their strength with unshakeable faith in the ultimate victory of ‘Sanathana Dharma’.


Sri Guruji consistently held the view that a proper history of India had not yet been written. In this context he stated: ‘It is ridiculous to divide our national history into Hindu period, Muslim period and British period. History can’t be named after rulers; a proper history has to be a history of the people. And so, our entire history is Hindu history’. This is the quintessence of Hindutva. Bal Gangadar Tilak, Arbindo Ghosh, Vir Savarkar, Dr Hedgewar and Sri Guruji have all built up this great edifice of Hindutva. ‘Hindutva’ is not just a word. It is the history of a great culture and civilization called ‘Sanathana Dharma’. Hinduism is only a derivative, a fraction or a part of Hindutva or Hinduness.


Often Sri Guruji would also add: ‘Our history books tend to revolve round Delhi. But Delhi is not India. And in many periods of Indian history, other kingdoms have been bigger than the kingdom of Delhi. Because of these lopsided history books, our people know little about the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas, the Hoysalas, the Pulakeshins. How many people have even heard of Kharvel of Utkal, one of the greatest kings of Bharatvarsh, who controlled much of South East Asia? Or of Lachit Barphukan, hero of the successful Assamese resistance to Mughal attacks?’


Under Sri Guruji’s inspiring, fearless and indomitable leadership, RSS grew by leaps and bounds. In town after town, the Sangha Pracharak would arrive with a few letters of introduction to the local leaders, whether belonging to Congress, Hindu Mahasabha, Arya Samaj or whatever. He would put up himself in the local bhavan of any of these organisations or in a temple or with any well-wisher. His job, often as teacher, would bring him in touch with many students and teachers. Any existing local Hindu volunteer organisation would promptly merge with the new RSS shakha. With help from local well-wishers and guidance from his seniors in the RSS, the shakha would grow into a social magnet, attracting promising young men and local VIPs alike, regardless of their caste, class or sect. Soon it would be the strongest organisation in town. Before long it would produce energetic young men to carry the message of Sangh to other towns and even villages. At a time when RSS was growing like wildfire, Sri Guruji said: ‘If I were to spend just one day in each shakha, even a life-time would not suffice to cover the whole country’.


Swami Akhandananda, one of the 16 direct monastic disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, discerned in Sri Guruji all the potentialities of a Vivekananda re-born. Dr Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, saw in him a worthy leader of Sangh. While casting off their mortal coil, both these mahatmas had an innate satisfaction, Swami Akhandanandaji for having handed over the torch of spiritualism to a worthy disciple and Dr Hedgewarji for leaving the Sangh in strong safe hands. As a disciple of the former and successor of the latter, Sri Guruji combined in himself both the roles, both in one, both at once. In him were fulfilled the missions of both blended into one. He established through his example that apparently divergent messages of these two illustrious souls were in reality not only compatible but also perfectly identical. By a lifetime saga of sacrifice and service to Bharatvarsha , Sri Guruji demonstrated that society is merely a manifestation of the Vishwaswaroopa. Emphasising the importance of unity in society amongst the Hindus, Sri Guruji wanted all the Hindus to keep the following poem of William Wordsworth in mind every moment:


‘Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows

Like harmony in music; there is a dark

Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles

Discordant elements, makes them cling together

In one society’


There are two types of people in this world. Those who come into a room and say ‘well, here I am!’ and those who come in and say ‘Ah! there you are!’ Sri Guruji did not consider himself a separate entity, independently of the Sangh. His life was a yagna, an eternal sacrifice at the sacred feet of the Jana (people), the manifestation of Janardhana (God). Sri Guruji’s most precious offering in this yagna was his own ego. For Sri Guruji innate humility was just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it was of self-exaltation. He wanted every Swayamsevak to give up the pursuit of individual salvation in favour of an endeavour for corporate self-realisation of the Sangh.


While replying to a civic address at Madurai in December 1949, Sri Guruji aptly observed: ‘A post box receives letters, at times very important ones. But the box has no reason to be flattered by them. It is only an intermediary through which letters pass to proper persons in the proper places. The honours which you have bestowed on me I will pass on to those countless workers whom I am privileged to represent’. On another occasion, dismissing the idea that RSS would suffer incalculably in his absence, he stated with fervour and conviction: ‘No particular individual is indispensable. Men may come and men may go, but the society goes on for ever. With me or without me, the Sangh will continue to work and grow because of their inner necessity and intrinsic work’.


Carlyle in his famous work ‘Heroes and Hero Worship’ wrote: ‘It is well said, in every sense, that a man’s religion is the chief fact with regard to him. No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men. The hero can be poet, prophet, king, priest or what you will, according to the kind of world he finds himself born into’. These stirring words are totally applicable to Sri Guruji. He would have made his mark anywhere. He was a saint, a sage, a seer in the great Hindu tradition of sages like Vashista, Bharadwaj, Shukracharya, Yagnavalkya, Vishwamitra, Angirasa and others going back to the dawn of history. In these days of globalisation of Hindus and globalisation of Hindutva, the best homage we can pay to Sri Guruji on the occasion of his birth centenary on 24 February, 2006 is to live up to the great ideals enshrined in the following inspiring words:


‘We have to live up to his legacy that can help human beings in all corners of our globe to rejuvenate our spirit not to conquer one another, but to conquer oneself; not to destroy, but to build; not to hate, but to love; not to isolate oneself, but to integrate everyone into one global society and to achieve much more in the future to enrich human civilisation to result in the maximum welfare of the maximum number or as in Sanskrit it is called: Loko Samasto Sukhino Bhavantu and Samasta Janaanaam Sukhino Bhavantu.


                                              (The writer is a retired IAS officer)

                              e-mail the writer at [email protected]


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