By Venkata Raghava
Preparations were on for the Hanumat Shakti Jagaran Karyakram in support of the construction of the Sri Ram Temple at Ayodhya. I was to address a meeting of karyakartas at ward number 26 in Surat. Outside the meeting place, Anilbhai, the ward president, drawing my attention said, “A large number of our karyakartas are Muslims, so make sure you speak accordingly.” “If I don’t speak ‘accordingly’ will that cause any problem?” I inquired. “Not really, but… I shall be back in a minute.” He went into the meeting hall and when he returned, Rafiq Sheikh, the ward secretary was alongwith. He was the first to speak. He said, hum yahan aman chahte hai. To hum kaunsi ladai chahte hai, I replied. Ram mandir banne se sare desh mein aman ho jayega, I said. Mandir-masjid ki baat nahin. Ye bhaichara kayam karne ki baat hai, he said. The resentment could be felt in his voice. Mere shareer mein jo Bhagwan Ram ka khoon behta hai wahi khoon apke shareer mein bhi behta hai. Isi liye hum bhai hain. Agar apke shareer mein Arbastan ka khoon hota to hum bhai kaise hote? Phir bhaichara kaisa hota?, I said. Ye baat apki sahi hai, he said. The appeal was strong and the words had touched his heart. Needless to say the meeting went off without a hitch and everyone came out in support of Sri Ram Temple in a spirit of Aman and Bhaichara.
The basis for Sadbhavana
Each person has several identities. Like identities in respect of clan, caste, language, religion, etc engender a feeling of affinity among the beholders. When such feelings are misused for narrow ends, society loses harmony. Our ancient seers have observed:
Ayam nija paro vetti gananam laghu
Udara charitanam cha Vasudhaiva
(These belong to us while those do not’ is the thought of a narrow mind. The enlightened ones perceive the world to be one family). Observing the thirst of the narrow mind for power and pelf our seers note, Na vittena trupaneeyo manushyaha, (No amount of material indulgence can satisfy man). Just as ghee poured in fire can only make the fire more virulent and not extinguish it, so also the attainment of power and pelf only serve to make man crave for more of it.
The very first shloka of the very first (Isha) Upanishad shows us the solution to mankind’s eternal problem.
Ishavasyamidam Sarvam yat kincha
Tena tyaktena bhunjitha ma gridhah
(Every single particle in the universe has an aspect of God embedded. Take only what is essential for you, keeping in mind others needs. Never take what belongs to others). This is the basic precondition for the establishment of universal harmony.
Bharat and the contemporary world
Today’s world is entrapped in the clutches of three major powers. Their selfishness, their greed for material indulgence and their hunger for power have pushed the world to the brink of total destruction. Led by the Americans the West, on the strength of their economic and military might, is busy exploiting the rest. Totalitarian China, on the one hand, is precipitating Maoist insurgencies across the world, and on the other hand, is using its military, industrial and networking strengths to establish a ‘dragon hold’ over the world’s resources. In the name of Islam, Arabia is busy instigating a demographic invasion of the world, threatening it with fundamentalism and terrorising it with jihad.
All three powers have displayed the highest degree of activity in the Indian subcontinent. The strength of Bharat lies in its diversity. It is full of unique ideas and abilities. It can perceive, comprehend and respond accurately to challenges emanating from any quarter of the globe. The only lacking is that the various fronts have no coordination between them and that there is no comprehensive strategy. Shall Bharat arise united is the question.
The rise of Bharat
“Bharat shall definitely arise. Not on the strength of the sword, nor on the shine of treasure piles, but on the mercy of the sanyasin’s begging bowl. I can see Bharatmata reinstated on her ancient throne as world preceptor, signifying the return of universal peace and harmony.” It is high time for these words of Swami Vivekananda to come true.
The greed for power and pelf, or the fear of demonic world powers can neither rouse nor unite Bharat. Selfless love, complete self sacrifice and a life resonant with Bharatiya values alone can achieve that goal. The youth of Bharat is invited to come forward to offer their lives at the altar of Bharatmata. This is the only way to establish universal peace and harmony.
(The writer is BE(EC), SVNIT – Surat, PGDM, IIM – Calcutta, Sangh pracharak since 1998, Presently – Surat vibhag pracharak.)