PREFACE. TO THE THIRD EDITION. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or, as more commonly called, the RSS-was started in 1925 on the day of Vijayadashami.

118 KB – 364 Pages

PAGE – 2 ============
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or, as more commonly called, the RSS-was started in 1925 on the day of Vijayadashami. The founder, revered Doctor Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, passed away in 1940 handing over the charge to Sri Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, popularly known as Guruji, who continued to be the chief of the organisation till 1973. The present attempt to collect some of his i.e., Shri Guruji™s thoughts has made us feel like ‚picking pebbles on the shores of an ocean ™. The impossibility of compressing in a single handy volume the various thoughts that he had expressed for full 33 years of his stewardship of Sangh in thousands of his speeches, talks, discussions, and informal conversation covering a whole range of national topics is obvious. What is attempted here is just to present his viewpoint on va rious topics in a comprehensive manner. With this end in view, some of his ideas are strung together under different heads. However, we do not claim any exhaustive exposition of the topics under each head. Moreover, most of his speeches were in Hindi. The force and diction of his chaste Hindi and the inspiring images they bring up are bound to suffer while renderin g them into other languages, especially to a foreign language. Naturally, the ideas contained herein are his, but the words are ours. As such we are keenly aware of the shortcomings of these words and expressions. Burdened though with all such anxieties, what made us take up this task is the confidence that th e radiance of his thoughts will outshine all these dark spots and illumine the national mind. As the following pages will bear out, the thoughts of Sri Guruji, are proving a beacon – light in the confused state of our national mind even to this day. The crisis in our country is more intellectual and mental than physical . Whatever physical maladies are seen today ravaging our body – politic have their roots in the mental weaknesses and intellectual perversions of the leadership at the helm of our national affairs. Often these failings strut about masquerading as high ideals trying to cover up their disastrous effects. Sri Guruji™s ideas have the intensity of warmth and light to dispel all such darkness and charge the nation™s mind with right vision and the spirit of right action. Since its publication, nearly three decades ago, the book has been brought out in almost all the major Bharatiya languages. It has indeed stirred the thinking sections of the country and even abroad. It is clear that it had met a long and deeply felt need. It is no exaggeration to say that thousands, if not lakhs, have been inspired by the living thoughts in the Bunch. As Prof. M. A. Venkata Rao, in his Introduction, says “It will be seen how full, how positive, how patriotic, how practical and idealistic at the same time, the principles and methods of nation – building adopted by the Sangh are, as adumbrated by Shri Guruji.” As could be expected, these thoughts cover the eternal and abiding aspects of our national life, as also the current and the contemporary ones. This is quite natural. Analysis of the burning problems of the day with suitable anecdotes and examples do help to emphasise, and highlight the permanent principles. The excellence of ‚Bunch of Thoughts™ lies precisely in this. The abiding values, which should form the warp and woof of our national fabric, are again and again imprinted on the mind of the reader. In this Third Edition we have added the Index and effected some typographical correction, which had remained in the Second Edition. A short biographical lif e – sketch of Shri Guruji and some of his thoughts prior to and during 1947 – 48 are two more new featur es of this Edition. We are sure that the present Edition too will meet with the same enthusiastic and en lightened response that greeted the previous ones. The nation™s continuing demand for ‚Bunch of Thoughts™ is amply proving that it is a Philosophy of Thought and Action par-excellence, with its appeal as eternal as the nation itself which it seeks to resurrect and re-build.

PAGE – 3 ============
We offer our heart – felt homage to late Prof. M. A. Venkata Rao, a scholar of vast erudition and great depth of vision. to whom the book is dedicated – for his excellent Introduction. We are grateful to Shri V. S. Godbole of U. K. for his detailed observations which, have helped us to improve and update the present Edition in a few respects. Our thanks are due to all those whose loving co- operation has made this arduous though pleasant task, possible. — PUBLISHERS

PAGE – 4 ============
CONTENTS PREFACE INTRODUCTION : M. A. VENKATA RAO SHRI GURUJI РA PROFILE PART ONE РTHE MISSION I. OUR WORLD MISSION II. FINAL REFUGE FOR MANKIND III. CHALLENGE OF THE TIMES IV. FOR A RIGHT STRUCTURE V. CALL OF OUR NATIONAL SOUL VI. FOR TRUE NATIONAL GLORY VII. LIVE POSITIVE DYNAMIC HINDUISM VIII. VISION OF OUR WORK PART TWO РTHE NATION AND ITS PROBLEMS IX. OUR MOTHERLAND 1. THE GRAND VISION 2. WANTED, HEROIC DEVOTION X. CHILDREN OF THE MOTHERLAND XI. FOR A NATIONAL LIFE XII. TERRITORIAL NATIONALISM 1. ITS ROOTS 2. ITS FRUITS XIII. CALL FOR COURAGE OF CONVICTION XIV. UNIQUENESS OF HINDU RASHTRA 1. HINDU RASHTRA AND MINORITIES 2. HINDU RASHTRA AND SECULARISM XV. AFFIRM BASIC TRUTHS XVI. INTERNAL THREATS 1. THE MUSLIMS 2. THE CHRISTIANS 3. THE COMMUNISTS PART THREE ΠTHE PATH TO GLORY (A) ROUSING NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS XVII. MEETING THE HISTORIC NEED XVIII. WANTED A UNITARY STATE XIX. THE ETERNAL BASIS XX. NOURISH THE ROOTS XXI. THE ONE ANSWER TO MANY CHALLENGES XXII. THE ELIXIR OF NATIONAL LIFE 1. WORLD OF REALITY 2. THE ULTIMATE SANCTION

PAGE – 5 ============
XXIII. WORSHIPPERS OF VICTORY XXIV. FIGHT TO WIN 1. THE RIGHT MEASURES 2. THE RIGHT PHILOSOPHY XXV. NATION AT WAR 1. CALL OF A NEW ERA 2. MEETING THE CHALLENGE XXVI. FORGET NOT THE LESSONS XXVII. KEEP THE FLAG PLYING ALOFT (B) FOR SOCIAL UPLIFT XXVIII. ‚UNTOUCHABILITY™- THE CURSE AND THE CURE XXIX. SERVING THE NE GLECTED BRETHREN XXX. HUMAN TOUCH, THE GREAT SOLVENT XXXI. CALL TO THE MOTHERHOOD XXXII. WE AND OUR STUDENTS PART FOUR Œ MOULDING MEN XXXIII. THE TECHNIQUE THAT SUCCEEDS 1. FOR TRUE NATIONAL REORGANISATION 2. THE RIGHT APPROACH 3. EFFICACY OF THE TECHNIQUE 4. CALL OF THE GURU XXXIV. CHARACTER Œ PERSONAL AND NATIONAL XXXV. BE MAN WITH CAPITAL ‚M™ XXXVI. MEN WITH MISSION XXXVII. THE IDEAL INCARNATE XXXVIII. HIS LAST MESSAGE 1. PUT YOURSELF TO THE WHEEL 2. WORSHIP THE IDEAL 3. MEANING OF THE PRARTHNA APPENDIX I. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS II. A FEW EXCERPTS OF SRI GURUJI™S GUIDANCE PRIOR TO AND DURING 1947Œ48

PAGE – 6 ============
INTRODUCTION Independent India is engaged in a many-side d renaissance and reconstruction more or less consciously directed to what may compendiously be called nation-making (or remaking) in an image more adequate to the ne eds of the present and future of India as a strong, creative nation guiding the destinies of its people in accordance with a worthy and inspiring charter of life. This era commenced roughly with the emerge nce and work of Raja Rammohan Roy in the beginning of the last century and has continued to the present day through the life-effort of notable thinkers in many fields like Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda, Sri Aurobindo and Lokamanya T ilak, Gandhi and Tagore, Dr. Hedgewar and Veer Savarkar. These are only typical names and do not exhaust the galaxy––. In the present phase of the struggle (and triumph) with the British Power (typifying the entire gamut of foreign ideas and ideals) we have a similar period as in many periods in the past of the self-recollection and re-assertion of the national se lf-consciousness and of a conscious search for the roots of aerocu lture as the living points on which we may regraft current life and foster it to vigorous growth and power. In this many-sided effort, the image of Indian culture as the pattern of nation-building is laid over with many confused notions from the West and from di storted ideas of the past of our own life. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi introduced a powe rful leaven into this maelstrom of ideas, impulses and images having many elemen ts congenial to the spirit of Indian Culture. Thus the national liber ation movement of M. K. Ga ndhi derived power from the cultural heritage indwel ling in the sub-conscious mind of the people. But unfortunately as the political motif was dominant in the Gandhian movement, the cultural forces it invoked and mobilised were not grasped in their genuine purity and power and were not related naturally and organically to the ideals of politics, economics, social order and values and the many dharmas of the living past. They were all mobilised as vague sources of inspiration against the common enemy, namely the foreign rulers. They afforded no positive pattern of the new Indian society and state, economy and social order that was to replace the present order of things under long foreign rule. It was mainly negative, the many types of leaders following the Mahatma being content to put off decisive thinking on positive lines for th e post-liberation epoch. Thus we find the Mahatma choosing a person with nothing in common with his ultimate ideas on man, nation and God like Jawaharlal Nehru to succeed him as the national leader. The Nehru Mind is made mostly abroad and in spite of his Discovery of India, Sri Nehru never succeeded in catching the spirit of Indian cultur e at its best. Thus the blueprint of the new society he is using as Prime Minister and leader of national reconstruction for building independent India is the “socialist pattern of society” which is infinitely more abstract and superficial, more mechanical and charge d with unsolved problems of class conflict than the foundational ideas of the past.

PAGE – 8 ============
Here too the vacuum in the sphere of Indian cultural ideas in the minds of leaders in authority is being filled up by ideas and ideals unsuited to national renovation. The iconoclastic method seems to be taking the upper hand in preference to creative reform. In both spheres, namely that of the minority assimilation into nationa l society and that of the assimilation of Westernism (both its pol itico-social philosophy and its science and technology) India needs to adopt a more positive and more creative policy with a clear vision of the best features of Indian society at its best and of the enduring element of nationalism and Westernism in just proportion and with sure insight into their human significance. It is significant that this more concrete point of view attained form and substance in the organisation founded as early as 1925 at Nagpur by Dr. Hedgewar. The philosophy and history that his movement known as th e Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (literally National Volunteer Corps) embodied belong to the more positive, c oncrete inspiration that was so lacking in the more domina nt Gandhian movement that captured the headlines on account of its immediate political interest and the urgency of national liberation. In addition to the right philosophy and history of Indian culture, Dr. Hedgewar hit upon a unique method of training the young through a co urse of mental and physical exercises. In its combination of mind and body for tr aining, the Sangh technique of education reminds us of the main features of the Platonic System of Music and Gymnastics. By music plato meant the whole range of the ar ts and sciences Œ history, philosophy, science and the fine arts. BY gymnastics, he meant physical exercises for developing a sound mind in a sound body, with health and bodily co ndition responding to the higher impulses of the soul like the veena in the hands of the musician. Music must pervade the body. Looking at the exercises of the young volunteers in the Sangh, the observer sees how closely they succeed in realising the ideals of Plato. Plato included courage as one of the cardinal virtues and so too the Sangh instructors stress courage and the virtues needed for resisting wrong and aggression. The current aspersions against the R.S.S. mo stly by Congress leaders and followers to the effect that it is a ‚communa l organisation™ and more dangero us to the country than even Communism are a travesty of the fact. The present collection of thought expressed by Parama Poojaneeya Guruji Golwalkar on different occasions to Sangh workers and public in many parts of the country over two decades and more, serve to bring together the outliens of the philosophy and history of Indian culture as well as the technique of nation-making followed by the Sangh as laid down by its founder Dr. Hedgewar. To appreciate its full role as perhaps the most influential movement of cultural reconstruction in the land today (which has spread practically to all parts of the country from the Punjab to Madras), it is necessary to eschew the petty-minded criticisms of

PAGE – 9 ============
ignorant and jealous opponents that it is ‚communal™ or merely ‚Hindu™ in any derogatory sense. It is based on a philosophy of national culture and envisages the whole of the nation. The outlook it offers has room for all minor ities on condition of their whole-hearted submission to the supreme value of the nation in their lives. The nati on is the vehicle of universal truths and is not an entity above them. This is no chauvi nist nationalism of the kind associated with Mussolini and Hitler in the recent West. It teaches loyalty and devotion to the nati onal society in the na tional homeland under the image of the Mother. The unity and solidarity of the Motherland is taught to claim the highest sacrificial devotion from the citizen body. Whoever en ters into this spirit of devotion to the nation as a spiritual unity of land and people are Indians or Hindus in essence. The mental commitment should be final and supreme. This is quite consistent with different groups and sects retaining their own modes of worship and social customs so long as th ey do not conflict with social cohesion. The Muslims, Christians and Jews etc., have perfect upasana swatantrya, freedom of worhip so long as they do not seek to destroy or undermine the faith and symbolism of the national society. They should subordinate their exclusive claims for final and sole revelation vis-à-vis the national society. They could bear witness to their faith in life and speech but they should not indulge in any unf air and unspiritual modes of conversion. The national identity requires that the whole of national society including minorities should share in the best values of the past. They should appreciate national dharma Œ the code of ethical principles and ways of life enshrined in the best usage. In cultural history, they should all give their mind and hearts whol e-heartedly to an appreciation of the best types of Rama and Krishna may be apprecia ted by non-Hindus as secular examples while the Hindus will see them as full spiritual exemplars (avatars). The national history of the Muslim period shou ld be re-written giving the truth without varnish and all should appreciate the best values exemplifie d by the heroes of authentic history. Thus these thoughts go on to delineate quietly and patiently the portrait of the best Indian society and pattern of values in all spheres of life and culture, philosophy, art and social order, that the Sangh seeks to hold before the mirror of the national mind.. To see the wood in spite of the bewildering number of trees that crowd the landscape, it is necessary to see in a bird™s-eye view the full design of the landscape after which details will fall into an illuminating order. Pride in the cultural heritage of the past is the recurring theme of the lectures. Chapter after chapter points to some aspect or other of the features that bear inspiring value for present emulation in social lif e and incarnation into individual character and personality.

PAGE – 10 ============
Enough is said to vindicate faith in the best values of inherited culture and its capacity to afford guidance even today. 1. Philosophy: Darshanas: Vedanta as the typical philosophy of India envisages a vision of the universe steeped in Spirit fulfilling a life of eternal joy. Individual souls as sparks of such a supreme cosmic spirit have the divine destiny of realising universality and becoming godlike. This assure s equality of spirit among all souls. What higher basis for democracy can we have than this? What greater stimulus to generosity and self-sacrificing participation in the life of society? The nation is the grouping next to family and clan and neighbourhood in the service of which we grow in moral stature. All groups who share in this vision and discipline can become equal compatriots but none else. Traitors cannot be assimilated into th e national fellowship until they change in spirit. 2. Toleration: Springing from understanding and sense of identity, this philosophy of immanence has produced the Indian doctrine of toleration of all points of view, religious views and ways of life. For all are expressions of the same cosmic spirit and can reach the same goal at their own pace and in their ow n way in accordance with their own symbols, provided they are sincere in their aspiration and effort. Errors will correct themselves in the climb. Adhikara Bheda: Divergent status due to divergent qualification is the formula that reconciles identity of goal and diversity of pathway. 3. Social Order: Such a view has evolved the outline of social order in India that enables members to pass normally from step to step in the ladder of life smoothly using the experience of ages and lifting thei r personalities to higher planes. The individual career is distinguished into brahmacharya, garhasthya, vanaprastha and sannyasa.. In the first, we have the student absorbing the cultural heritage, assimilating truth, science, philosophy, law and the arts. In the second, we have him fulfilling his duties as a member of society and as head of his household. The householder pays taxes, supports the state and does charity. The sec ond half of life prepares the individual to detach himself from involvement in the detail of existence to contemplate the eternal. The values of life including the relations of the se xes in family and outside offer a pattern that is of universal value. It helps to make the best of life, with enjoyment, achievement and serenity in perfect equipoise. This is the ashrama dharma whose sociological value remains for fruitful assimilation today even in the West. The social order has another aspect, namely the duties and rights of different vocational groups Πviz., swadharmas. In addition to universal values like truth-speaking, non-stealing, non-injury, etc., Indian ethics recognises particular vocations Πthinkers and men of worship i.e., free devotees of Truth and God or Nature or Reality; warriors and administrators, executives, etc.; traders and ma nufacturers and transporters, agriculturists

PAGE – 11 ============
and cattle tenders and breeders, etc. These classes emerge in the course of social differentiation in any progressive society. If their duties are laid down and social expectations are crystalised in society so that everyone will know what is expected of him Œ his rights as well as duties Œ a harmonious social order will result spontaneously. The present society will throw all car eers open to talent on the basis of swadharma or duty springing from one™s vocation and karma and guna, character and conduct. No Class War: Another advantage of the Indian view of society is that it eschews class-war. It postulates social harmony as a potentiality, if not as a full actual order of law and custom, observances and enforcements. Dharma as determinant of the conduct of groups and individuals lays down a synthesis of the claims of conflicting parties. A study of th e conflict impartially from the standpoint of the service involved, the function performed in society by the conflicting parties, will reveal the elements of the truth a nd justice in each party™s claims. Dharma will come to mean an expression and crystall isation of the synthesis of interests and values revealed by the panchayat. This is the source of the long-standing Indian faith in the panchayat way of setting disputes. It is democratic, scientific and moralistic at the same time. The destructive idea of class-war or irreconcilable antagonism between different functions and classes is therefore, successfu lly avoided in the Indian scheme. The use of the word dharma does not preclude the inclusion of different sects and religious fellowships who may use different words for the same meanings Œ like the Muslim and Christian. The substance of the thought and procedure value is non-sectarian and human in the plainest sense. Thus, both from the standpoint of a philosophy of man and nature as well as from the viewpoint of social good, the Indian scheme is capable of affording a comprehensive social philosophy able to furnish a saving pattern for modern complex life Œ a social philosophy superior to current violent and muddy theories of Marxism and Freudianism. Indian thought too has sound notions of the role of the State as the agent of common good Œ raja dharma which now may be designated rajya niti or rajya dharma The State should be above partial interests and s hould regulate all activities according to dharma. The State is not a class agent of the upper class, according to Indian shastras or political and social science. Nor it is an exploiti ng agency. It is an agent of morality or dharma. It precludes socialism in the sense of adding economic to political power. The State is not a trader or manufacturer but is entitled to regula te all vocations. Thus Indian ideas help us to think through current conflicts and social theories and arrive at solutions more satisfactory because more truly based on wide experience and mature reflection. No doubt we may surpass the past but only by thinking through them to new conclusions, not by ignoring them and starting de novo.

118 KB – 364 Pages