SHRI GURUJI – A TIMELESS SYMBOL OF RSS AND ETERNAL SOUL OF SANATANA DHARMA
BY V. SUNDARAM I.A.S
Front Cover of the Book on Guruji
My revered friend and mentor Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao has written a remarkable book on Sri Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (1906-1973) titled ‘Sri Guruji REMINISCENCES’. Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao has been a dedicated full-time Pracharak of the RSS for 68 years. He had the good fortune of being closely associated with the life and stirring times of Sri Guruji for 31 years from 1942 to 1973.
This book contains more than 100 anecdotes from the life of the great Nation-Builder Sri Guruji Golwalkar, the second Sarsanghchalak (Chief) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). My friend Sri S. Gurumurthy has written a very scholarly, detailed and brilliant introduction to this book of REMINISCENCES of Shri Guruji.
This Compilation seeks to present in practical terms the Vision of a Resurgent and Reorganized and Revitalized National Life that Guruji Golwalkar had in view. This Compilation effectively brings out through the medium of interesting anecdotes relating to Sri Guruji Golwalkar, the intimate complementarity which existed and still exists between the philosophical doctrines of the RSS and their application in real life right from the day of its inception by Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940) on Vijayadashami Day in 1925. The real touchstone of ideological commitment of any organization lies in its capacity to motivate its workers to imbibe its thoughts and values in their lives and bring about a corresponding transformation in the lives of the people.
The RSS has been such a mighty and elemental force in our national life during the last 85 years. The emphasis of Sangh on “Man-Moulding” stems precisely from this basic approach. Its technique, its programmes, its thoughts --- each of these is focussed on making ‘Man’, the Swayamsevak’, the chief instrument of national transformation. The living model that provided the necessary vision, inspiration and guidance to the Swayamsevaks to mould their lives was given by the Founder of the RSS Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940).
Just as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa identified and understood the inherent and potential spiritual genius of Narendranath Dutta, who later became famous as Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), so also Dr Hedgewar correctly and exactly assessed the spiritual powerhouse that was latent in Sri Guruji. That is why when Dr Hedgewar was on his deathbed, he nominated Sri Guruji as his successor on 20th of June 1940. Thus Sri Guruji became the second Sarsanghchalak of the RSS on 21st June 1940 and gave outstanding and unsurpassed leadership to the Sangh from that day till the 5th of June 1973, the day on which he passed away into Eternity.
Sri Guruji had a clear, definite and clairvoyant vision of a renascent India of the future. With unshakeable faith in his mission, he came to the firm conclusion that it was impossible for Bharat to become strong and confident enough to realize its great destiny unless every walk and dimension of our national life was informed and charged with the pure ideology of SANATANA DHARMA --- the bedrock of the RSS.
We can see from the interesting anecdotes and reminiscences relating to Sri Guruji presented by Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao how Sri Guruji chiselled his life-image as a shining embodiment of the lofty mission—and movement--which his guru Dr Hedgewar had initiated through the Sangh. THE RSS, TODAY, HAS OVER ONE MILLION SWAYAMSEVAKS FROM HIMALAYAS TO KANYA KUMARI AND FROM THE RANN OF KUTCH TO ARUNACHAL PRADESH. The Sangh has its working branches in more than 50,000 places all over BHARAT and abroad. TODAY THE RSS IS THE LARGEST CULTURAL ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD. The Sangh has become internationally known for its discipline, character and patriotism.
Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao’s book is not just the story of a ‘holy man’, ‘mystic’, ‘saint’, or ‘avatar’ but the story of A PHENOMENON called Sri Guruji. A PHENOMENON is something extraordinary, something mysterious. Sri Guruji was extraordinary as well as mysterious; most of all to those who were best fitted to understand him. A phenomenon is always a fact, an object of close personal experience. Sri Guruji was a spiritual embodiment of a rare, indefinable and mysterious Divine Power who through his inspiring, selfless life and personal example, influenced the lives of not only thousands of Swayamsevaks but also pervaded the life and culture of the nation as a whole, not only during his life time but ever thereafter. This fact has been graphically brought out by Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao in this extraordinary book of REMINISCENCES of Sri Guruji. Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao has been one of the foremost and most heroic soldiers in this great movement for creating a new national Hindu renaissance from 1942 till today.
SRI.GURUJI IN THE FRONT ROW AT THE CENTRE WITH SRI.K.SURYANARAYANA RAO STANDING BEHIND (3RD FROM RIGHT)
I have no doubt that this book will serve as a great inspiration for the youth today, making them aware of the fact that here was a MIGHTY person unique and vital, here was a person vibrant and vivid, here was a person who has left behind the deathless message of fervent National Patriotism and selfless service to society which is the cardinal pratijna (determined dedication) of every swayamsevak of the RSS.
Shri Guruji was an indefatigable and indomitable fighter for social justice, and fought against conversions of Hindus by predatory evangelizing Semitic faiths, while passionately advocating social and religious reforms within Hindu samajam to remove the scourge of social discrimination arising from untouchability so as to ensure unfettered temple entry for every Hindu, regardless of his caste or colour or sect or status. Throughout his stormy life as Sarsanghchalak from 1940 to 1973 he strove for Hindu Unity and Hindu solidarity.
This book contains very interesting reminiscences of Sri Guruji relating to his interaction with great personalities and makers of modern India like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Acharya Vinobha Bhave, Sri Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) and Sri Jayaprakash Narain. There are fascinating stories about Shri Guruji’s association with spiritual stalwarts like Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj, Sri Amitabh Maharaj, and the Paramacharya of Kanchi.
Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj was a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is an elevating, exalting and ecstatic spiritual experience to read Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao’s account of how Shri Guruji got his deeksha from Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj. On the evening of 12th January 1937, Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj told Sri Amitabh Maharaj: “The deeksha of Golwalkar should be given on the muhoortam of Makarasankranti, is the desire of Sri Thakur (Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa).” On the morning of Makara Sankranti when Sri Amitabh Maharaj was offering his pooja to Sri Thakur (Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa), a happy Madhu (Shri Guruji) reached there. Going near Sri Amitabh Maharaj, Madhu was desirous of saluting him. But Sri Amitabh Maharaj refused to accept Madhu’s pranam himself before Sri Thakur. When Sri Amitabh Maharaj went to Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj to give him the Prasad of Sri Thakurji, Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj said: “With the blessings of Sri Thakurji, the deeksha of Madhu is over. But do not keep him in the Ashram: his work is outside the Ashram. His tendency is towards ‘Samadhi’. If he remains in the Ashram, he will only go that way. Whenever any difficulty comes, you must give him some guidance.”
THE FACSIMILIE OF SRI GURUJI’S ENTRY IN HIS PERSONAL DIARY MADE ON 13-1-1937
About the Divine deeksha which Sri Guruji received from Swami Akhandanandaji Maharaj, Shri Guruji noted in his personal diary as follows: “Wednesday – Til Sankranti, the 13th January 1937. Red letter Day for me. To be noted down in words of Gold. For did not the fortune of ages, of countless millions of births smile upon me this day and confer upon me the bliss of Being graced by the Master! Indeed the experiences of that day are very very sacred, too sacred for words. I can never forget. I think and hope that I never do forget the look, the love, the whole bearing of the Master as HE conferred upon me His favour. Oh The Blessedness! And in every limb I trembled. I feel changed. I am not what I was a few minutes ago…. ”
On page 209 of his book Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao, has quoted the text of the historic, courageous, assertive and thrashing letter which Sri Guruji sent to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on 12th November 1948. Here I must give the whole background.
Sri Guruji was illegally detained without any trial for more than 6 months from February 1948 to August 1948. Even after his release, Prime Minister Nehru was working round the clock to somehow incarcerate Sri Guruji in prison without a trial. Nehru had sent an offensive, uncivilized and totally barbarous letter to Sri Guruji describing the RSS as a fascist and communal organization and making it clear that the Government of India had no intention whatsoever of removing the ban that had been imposed on the RSS in February 1948.
ANY OTHER LESSER MORTAL WOULD HAVE BEEN COWED DOWN. Like LORD KRISHNA arguing with Duryodhana and the Kauravas for a peaceful settlement they should have with the Pandavas, and showing his Vishwaroopa to Duryodhana to make him understand that HE was no ordinary mortal, SRI GURUJI also vainly attempted to make the obstinate, petty, coarse, small-minded and arrogantly authoritarian Pandit Nehru understand the lofty mission of the RSS by sending the following defiant letter (a few excerpts only quoted below) to Pandit Nehru on 12th November 1948—just one day prior to his arrest on 13th November 1948 and incarceration for another term of more than 8 months till June 1949: “It appears to me that the Government are making an extravagant claim in stating that they have more knowledge of the RSS than all of us, its members put together, and have a mass of information coming to them in the coarse of the last year. Out of this period, for the last 9 months and more the RSS is not functioning at all and as for the individual members, all the prominent ones were in jail for the most of this period and not in a position to do any activity about which adverse information as suggested could be given with ant trace of truth in it. I hope you will note this palpable discrepancy in your letter.”
“Next: the information seems to show that these activities have been ‘anti-national’. This is a grave charge and does not deserve to be made lightly. It calls for proof, weighty and substantial. Mere feelings and opinions have no value in this behalf. Reiterating that the Government have information in their possession without allowing those against whom the charges are made to test it, to subject it to searching scrutiny, means nothing. So long as the Government continue to make assertions and allegations without discharging their onus of supporting the same with unrebuttable evidence, we can only continue to assert and with justification that the charges are untrue and that injustice is being perpetrated against us”.
“So far as my knowledge goes, there is nothing in the objectives of the RSS to which, the Indian Parliament can take exception, nothing which is contrary to the decisions of the Parliament so far published. As for being ‘opposed to the provisions of the Proposed Constitution’ it would have been better if this had not been written by you—our Prime Minister. It is queer as to punish a man for attempted murder of an individual due to be born in a year or so.”
“One more point: We are all ignorant of what you have been pleased to call ‘real objectives and activities as distinguished from professed ones”. To us our professed objectives are real and our real objectives have always been openly given expression to. To wear a mask hiding the reality within, to express what is not meant and mean what is never expressed, to maintain and cherish complete discord between thought word and deed are facets in the art of dissimulation -- the quality of the wily diplomat and politician – may be a necessary quality. By the GRACE OF GOD, we are humble servants of our people in the cultural field, aloof from politics, building character, building unity. There is no room in our work for the ART which maintains discrepancies between the ‘professed’ and the ‘real’.”
…….. “We profess to be a civilized State. Such arbitrary acts may fit in with the autocratic rule of barbaric ages or to a certain extent to a foreign bureaucratic domination. But it does not, in my opinion, become of a modern civilized democratic Government, which professes to uphold and maintain the rights of the people with impartiality and justice. I have therefore decided to stay over in the Capital till the wrong done to us is redressed.” (The full text of Sri Guruji’s letter can bee seen on page 210 of the book.)
Sri Guruji was a great humanist, known for his innate culture, simplicity, humility and great civility. Even though Nehru had illegally imprisoned him and also banned the RSS, yet he was very parliamentary and correct in his assertive retort to Pandit Nehru in his letter of 12th November 1948 referred to above.
The very next day after Sri Guruji had sent the above letter, Pundit Nehru asked the police to arrest Sri Guruji on the morning of 13th November 1948. He was again detained in prison without a trial for 8 more months till the bloody criminal Congress Government of Nehru was forced to succumb to national and international public opinion and discharge Sri Guruji from prison in a graceless manner in June 1949.
THE RASCALITY OF NEHRU
By using the most parliamentary and civilized language in his anodyne letter befitting the manner of a great maharishi, Sri Guruji brought to world attention the rasping and roaming rascality of Pundit Nehru in his dealings with the RSS in general and Sri Guruji in particular. If I have to use the immortal Churchilian phrases against Pundit Nehru, I have to say that Sri Guruji completely exposed the inhumanity of Nehru, the wickedness of Nehru, the obnoxious scoundrelism of Nehru, the barbarism of Nehru --- this guttersnipe, this repository of all past wrongs and shame, this repository of some of the most virulent anti-Hindu and anti-Sanatana Dharma hatreds that have ever corroded the human breast.
Nehru the lover of Stalin and Soviet Union did not ban the Communist Party of India (CPI) immediately after our independence even though he was fully aware of the fact that the CPI was in daily underground collusion with the British Government during the hectic days of Quit India Movement in August 1942 and thereafter till the achievement of our independence on August 15 1947. Nehru brought eternal shame upon himself and the Congress Party by viewing the patriotic RSS as a dangerous subversive enemy of the nation instead of the openly acknowledged and officially known fifth columnist and treasonable Communist Party of India.
Likewise, Maulana Nehru displaying his known cowardly instincts took no action to ban the Muslim League in truncated India after 15th August 1947. The MUSLIM LEAGUE of British India under the Leadership of that predatory cultural marauder Mohammed Ali Jinnah was responsible for the Partition of India. Maulana Nehru allowed the Muslim League---a Party of Known traitors who had shamelessly voted for Pakistan in the 1946 elections---not only to continue and thrive and grow, but also made that anti-national Party a part of his political alliance in several States. Nehru was very fond of applying his favourite adjective ‘COMMUNAL’ only to the RSS or HINDU MAHASABHA or all other HINDU ORGANIZATIONS AND NOT TO THE rabidly ‘COMMUNAL’ and ‘TRAITOROUS’ MUSLIM LEAGUE and such other ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS which were dear to his anti-Hindu heart! His unrequited infatuation for the anti-National Muslims of India was responsible for the scheme of HAJ SUSIDIES to them----a system which does not exist in any Islamic country, leave alone non-Islamic countries. If he had lived longer, he would have officially converted to Islam and made his own Haj Pilgrimage with his daughter and grandchildren !!
We can fully understand from Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao’s book that Sri Guruji was a Spiritual Statesman with a clairvoyant vision who completely understood the perfidious and unpatriotic character and attitude of Islamists and Pakistan. As early as in July 1947 (one month before our Independence and the creation of Pakistan), Sri Guruji categorically stated that Pakistan had an “EVIL MENTALITY” and was driven by an “EVIL PROPENSITY” against India and declared that as long as that evil propensity persists, so long it is bound to arm itself again and again and prove a continuous menace to the territorial integrity of India. Sri Guruji was the first to perceive this evil propensity fathered by the genocidal Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Pakistan, which took root and grew as a virulent anti-Hindu virus and epidemic in India under the loving and paternal --- and sometimes maternal --- care of the Nehru Family and the Congress Party, finally developing into the uncontrolled Islamic Fundamentalism and Islamic terrorism of today. Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab are as much the spiritual children of the Muslim jihadi Jinnah as the spiritual children of the secular fundamentalist ‘Maulana’ Jawaharlal Nehru.
On page 154 of the book, there is an interesting episode relating to a verbal interaction between Sri Guruji and Sri Ranga Reddy, a follower of Gandhiji at Vijayawada. Sri Ranga Reddy put a simplistic and stupid question to Sri Guruji: “In your organization there is not a single Muslim. Because of this, yourself and your organization is anti-National. Hindu-Muslim unity was very dear to Gandhiji. What are you doing for this?”
Sri Guruji replied very crisply as follows: “You have asked me two questions. As an answer to the first question I request you please try deliberately to ask a Muslim gentleman to join the SANGH. Whoever is ready to take the Pratigna of the Sangh will have to say that he will be ready to offer his life for Hindu Dharma, Hindu Samskrity and Hindu Samaj and by doing that he will be following the Rashtriya Dharma. Please make efforts to see that any Muslim gentleman will join the Sangh with this ideal. … Our Rashtra Dharma is against intolerance. Our experience as regards Muslim and Christian propagandists is that they want to destroy this Rashtra Dharma and in place of Swadharma, they want to impose a foreign dharma.”
Another very fascinating anecdote is about Sri Guruji’s visit to Chidambaram Temple in 1963. He was the guest of Sri Ratnasabhapati Chettiar, a highly respected gentleman of that town. Many learned men had come to meet Sri Guruji. Five Moulvis from the Madarasas had come to have a talk with Sri Guruji. There was a free and natural exchange of views on religious matters. During the course of this discussion, Sri Guruji put them some unanswerable questions beyond the sense, sensitivity and sensibility of those Moulvis. The questions were:
“1. Would you believe that the Almighty God likes only the Quran and not the Bhagawat Gita?”
“2. Do you believe that HE will respond only if you call him in the name of Mohammad or Allah and that He would refuse to respond if you call HIM in the name of Rama?”
“3. Would you feel that HE understands only Arabic or Urdu and knows no other language?”
Finally Sri Guruji concluded: “This, if true, will be speaking too low of HIM indeed. We Hindus believe that every person can follow his own way of worship according to his belief. In our opinion, if any person worships HIM, with full faith and total devotion, he can attain HIM. That being the case, the Hindu does not believe in any form of change of religion. This thought of converting from one religion to another crops up, when one feels that his religion is the ONLY TRUE RELIGION and all others have to accept and follow it. Really speaking, the Hindu religion does not simply tolerate other ways of worship, but also treats them with RESPECT.” (Please see page 153-154 of the book under review)
Thus we can see that Sri Guruji was very clear in his mind that it was an impossible and hopeless task to sell the message of Multi-culturalism to the Muslims of India. Sri Guruji’s prophetic views on cultural nationalism are now getting increasingly accepted by Christian nations today like Germany, Britain, France and Australia all of which have already declared in unmistakable terms that the Age of Soft Pedalling and Ever-Thawing Multiculturalism in their countries has to be ended in the larger national interests of their very survival as Sovereign Nations. One has to read the recent pragmatic utterances of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to understand the nature and extent of the total failure of the farcical and artificial façade (and constitutional fraud in the Indian context) of multiculturalism in those countries!
Sri Guruji was the first national leader who within two years of our Independence pointed to the imperative national need for recasting and realigning the new Indian Constitution which was rooted in Anglo-Saxon ethos and English culture, and hence totally insensitive to the age old culture of India rooted in Sanatana Dharma. He strongly felt that our new Constitution was a hotchpotch effort, totally unrepresentative of the all-embracing inclusive Hindu way of life. His advice was not heeded to by ‘Maulana’ Nehru who was hell bent on creating an Anglican, Islamic and non-Hindu India where a Verrier Elwin would be more important than a Swami Aseemananda, Aurangazeb more important than Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao
Finally I will be failing in my public duty as a reviewer of this book if I do not offer my humble and reverential salutations to one of the senior most Swayamsevaks Sri K. Suryanarayana Rao, who is popularly known as Suruji. It should be understood clearly that I do not officially belong to the RSS or the Sangh Parivar. And yet, SURUJI entered my insignificant life as a brilliant meteor in December 2004 and since then he has kept my heart and soul captive and enraptured in his supremely loving spiritual custody. My daughter Mrs Renuka Girishkumar came from Australia to work shoulder to shoulder with the RSS Swayamsevaks in Nagapattinam in January 2005, soon after the grim tragedy of tsunami struck a death blow to Tamil Nadu in December 2004. Soon thereafter I started participating in many of the welfare and development activities of the RSS in different parts of Tamil Nadu. This close association with the RSS now occupies the centre-stage in my whole Being.
When the Centenary Year of Sri Guruji was celebrated in 2006, Suruji made me a Member of the Tamil Nadu Centenary Celebrations Committee. I had the rare opportunity of working closely with Suruji during that period of one year. I fervently thank my ishta devata Mata Durga Devi for having conferred upon me the rare spiritual benediction by way of giving me an opportunity to write a series of articles titled ‘Salutations to Sri Guruji’, dedicated to the sacred memory of Sri Guruji in 2006. My joy knew no bounds when the local Karyalaya of the RSS published my articles in book form in 2007. I can say with truthful humility and reverence that Suruji has transformed me completely in the evening of my life, giving me a new mission to fight for and live for.
During the Centenary Year, I had the opportunity of hearing the sacred utterances of Suruji on his paternal guru Sri Guruji Golwalkar. All his utterances on Sri Guruji were aflame with fire and aglow with the light of transcendental wisdom. At a large meeting in the RSS Karyalaya, when many of the invited speakers filled their speeches with artificial rhetoric, Suruji gave an intimate and moving speech on Sri Guruji which came straight from the deepest recesses of his noble and simple heart. Perhaps that is why the great Sir Winston Churchill who mobilised the English language and sent it into battle against the awesome armed might of the Nazi dictator Herr Hitler during the dark days of II World War, rightly declared for all time that “rhetoric is like fireworks, and eloquence is fire”.
This compilation of Sri Guruji’s Reminiscences is very comprehensive, detailed, exact and objective. Suruji was most fortunate to work in close collaboration with Sri Guruji for more than three decades. This book will live for ever in the cultural history of India as a valuable source book on Sri.Guruji, his life and times. We are able to know many of the details about the life and times of Socrates from the immortal Dialogues of Plato. Likewise, the Sanatana Dharmi Hindus belonging to the future generations will turn to this book to get a clear view of the life and times of the great Maharishi Sri Guruji Golwalkar.
The best tribute I can pay to Sri Suruji can only be in the immortal words of a poet:
“That man is great
And he alone
Who serves a greatness not his own
Neither for pelf nor for fame
Content to know and be unknown
Single in integrity
And whole in himself”