On February 18th, the centenary celebrations of Shri Guruji will be observed in a finale of a massive get together in Delhi. These celebrations for the last twelve months have been masterfully organised by the Birth Centenary Celebration Committee headed by the spiritual sage Swami Satyamitranand Giri.
The year long celebrations and the structured programmes reflected the multi-dimensional personality of Shri Guruji. I participated in a seminar organised by Shri Kuldeep Agnihotri of Hindustan Samachar on December 17, 2006 on Guruji'sthoughts on current affairs held at the Department of Gandhian Studies, University of Punjab in Chandigarh, and also I presented a paper on the economic philosophy of Shri Guruji. The University auditorium was jam packed on that cold winter morning with academicians and prominent citizens of the city.
Shri Guruji had long foreseen the debilitating effects of materialist outlook on human society, and long before the consumerism of globalisation that we see today. He advocated the harmonisation of material pursuits with spiritual and moral values to create an integral person. Shri Guruji himself told me in 1970 that ?swadeshi (self-reliance) and vikendrikaran (decentralisation) are the two concepts which can summarise the economic policy suitable for our times?. He added that economic policy thus designed must be consistent with the spiritual values of our ancient nation. It is this embryonic idea that Shri Deendayal Upadhyaya developed into his thesis of Integral Humanism. To quote Deendayalji himself:
?Both these systems, capitalist and communist, have failed to take account of the Integral Man, his true and complete personality, and his aspirations. One (system) considers him as mere selfish being, lingering after money, having only one law, the law of fierce competition, in essence the law of the jungle; whereas the other has viewed him as a feeble lifeless cog in the whole scheme of thingsregulated by rigid rules, and incapable of any good unless directed. The centralization of power, economic and political, is implied in both. Both therefore result in dehumanization of man? (Integral Humanism, Navchetan Press, Delhi, 1965, p.76).
Deendayalji also dismissed democratic or Gandhian Socialism as failing to establish the importance of the human being (op.cit., p.74-75). He said: ?The needs and preferences of individuals have as much importance in the socialist system as in a prison manual?
This is in keeping with Guruji'sthoughts (Bunch of Thoughts, p. 13) that class struggle as a concept embedded in socialism, is anti-human, and instead, class harmony and conflict resolution are the basic instincts of the human. Shri Guruji stated that the communist concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat was nothing but ?the dictatorship of the dictator of a dictatorial party?.
Thus in this centenary year of Shri Guruji'sbirth, we can proudly assert that he gave the nation a new direction in economics by propounding the concept of integral outlook-namely economic behaviour must blend with spiritual values to produce a happy society. We in this country have yet to incorporate this direction in our economic policy, but time will soon be at hand for us to do so when the people'smandate is given for a new system of governance.
The second fundamental concept formulated by Shri Guruji is the essentiality of character. He visualised character in two dimensions-an indivdual'spersonal character (vyaktigat charitra) and his national character (rashtriya charitra). Here too, Shri Guruji spoke about the need for both dimensions to be in an individual. Individual character without national character is of not of great value in nation building.
Character of a person has of course always been the most lofty attribute in Hinduism. However, there can be no character in the personality make-up of an individual in Hinduism without a willingness to harmonise personal aspirations with national goals, and even the readiness, if necessary, to sacrifice personal gain for a larger national or social gain. This is the essence in Gita when Krishna Bhagvan keeps reminding Arjuna of his duty, while Arjuna attempts to wallow in his personal character not to harm his brothers. This is also brought out when Draupadi was being disrobed, while the Pandavas were standing mute because of their allegiance to a concept of personal character to respect a contract while playing dice.
In the context of the new research on human intelligence and social behaviour, this fundamental concept of character in two dimensions as formulated by Shri Guruji, may be re-stated as follows: Character is the adherence to norms that are founded in spirituality, and represents the intelligence of the person in it'sapplication to situations.
Modern research on psychology suggests that intelligence is in two dimensions?cognitive (or in Guruji'swords?vyaktigat charitra), and collective (or rashtriya charitra). This collective intelligence is further sub-divided into four components-emotional (team spirit and rational risk-taking), moral (blending personal ambition with national goals), social (to resolve to defend civic rights of the weak, respect gender equality, and courage to fight injustice), and spiritual (to recognise and invoke the transformative power of the cosmic energy, and thus free himself from greed and jealousy). A person has a truly developed character if he has all five components of intelligence in his being. Thus what modern research has now found, Shri Guruji drawing on the wisdom of Sanatana Dharma had already propounded decades ago.
Hence, the nation can truly and proudly celebrate the birth centenary of a modern karmayogi, who not only built the brawn of Hindu society by building the nation-wide organisation of swayamsevaks, the RSS, without the support of, and inspite of Government opposition, as also the baudhik power of the individual by giving new direction to our thinking.