Intro: Bhagwa Dhwaj is symbol of renunciation and dedication. It is a symbol of the Sun that burns to light the world. All the sadhus, saints who live for others, wear saffron robes, saffron is symbol of renunciation also. This Dhwaj is witness to our national life and the life of humanity as a whole. It is permanent and eternal.
Guru Purnima or Ashadh Purnima has an important place in our social life. Maharshi Vyas is the Adiguru—the first teacher. He placed before the society the highest ideals of human life based on virtues. He guided the entire humanity along with Bharat by achieving perfect coordination of thoughts and behaviour. That is why Bhagwan Ved Vyas is the jagad guru (world teacher). It is said that Vyas is Narayan himself ('व्यासो नारायणम् स्वयं' ). From this aspect, Guru Purnima is also named after this great teacher of humanity as ‘Vyas Purnima’.
Concept of Guru
अखंड मंडलाकारं व्याप्तं येन् चराचरं, तत्पदं दर्शितंयेतं तस्मै श्री गुरुवे नम:
This universe is in the shape of a continuous circle. There is a natural relationship between a point and the Supreme Power that controls the universe. This resembles with the relationship between man and society or nature and the creator. And he is the Guru at whose feet we try to learn and experience this relationship. The entire universe is full of life. There is only one single principle that dwells in all moving and non-moving objects. The ultimate objective of the human life is to understand this relationship and coordinate with the nature to protect it in a balanced way while living. It is perversity to vie for victory over the nature, while living together is culture. Entire universe is complimentary to each other—this is the ultimate truth. And giving, dedication is the basis of this entire universe. This is Bharatiya culture, which is identified by renunciation, dedication and coordination that forms the basis for peaceful, happy and blissful human life in this universe.
Trees inhale Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and exhale Oxygen (O2) to make their food with the help of sunlight. Oxygen is necessary for human life. In other words human life is dependent on trees. In absence of the trees the universe would have no existence at all. Today, the world is at the crossroads due to pollution and the threats it poses to human life.
Therefore, humans should imbibe humane attitude to protect the nature. For this, worship of Guru (Guru puja) is most important. All other life patterns in the universe act in a proper way but the humans have intelligence and any deformity or perversion can inspire them to disturb the natural equilibrium or balance of the nature. The ego of being intelligent forces man to disturb the natural balance. Hence, with Guru Puja, the feeling of renunciation and dedication is created in the man, which is necessary for maintaining ecological balance.
Guru is not an Individual, but a Principle
In our society we have a thousand of years old rich, glorious tradition of Guru from Veda Vyas. People select their Guru in their individual capacity; worship them with great faith and devotion and receive good moral sanskars. That is why our nation is still alive in spite of the numerous external aggressions and invasions from alien cultures and religions. But today, we find that there is shortfall in our national life. The feeling of homogeneity in various social segments is not visible. Because of this absence of national feeling, we find today that various problems like corruption, venomous narrow feelings, hatred, etc. are affecting our social life.
Hence, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has accepted Bhagwa Dhwaj as its Guru.
Bhagwa Dhwaj is a symbol of renunciation and dedication. It is a symbol of the Sun that burns to light the world. All the sadhus, saints who live for others, wear this saffron robes, thus, saffron is symbol of renunciation also. This Dhwaj is witness to our national life and the life of humanity as a whole. This is permanent and eternal.
No Worshipping of Individual, but Worshipping the Principle
RSS does worship the principle, not the individual as individual is not eternal, society is eternal through individual can be great. There are many such souls in our society and we bow to them. RSS is engaged in organising the entire society, entire Hindu society on the basis of nationalist feelings about motherland. Therefore, RSS has not placed any individual as its Guru but accepted the Bhagwa Dhwaj as its Guru.
Symbol of Knowledge, Renunciation
Yajna has a very important place in the cultural tradition of our social life. Yajna has many meanings. It is defined as dedicating individual life to strengthen our social life. Offering all that is bad, illogical, and detrimental to the fire and imbibing good virtues is also called as yajna. To lead a life of faith, renunciation, service and penance is also yajna. The presiding deity of yajna is yajna. Flame is the symbol of fire and our Bhagwa Dhwaj is symbol of the flames of that pure fire.
We are the worshippers of faith, not the blind faith. We are the students of knowledge not of ignorance. It has been the speciality of our culture to establish pure knowledge in every field of life.
True Worship: Oil burns-Wick glows–People say Lamp Burns
When the lamp burns, we say or see that lamp is burning. But in fact, it is the oil that burns or the wick that glows. It dedicates itself to the oil. Similarly, for an individual there is no name and fame. We get light due to burning of these two. This is dedication.
In the Kargil War, Major Padmapani Acharya, Gunner Raviprasad and many more sacrificed their lives for Bharatmata. For the successful launch of Mangalyaan many a scientists sacrificed their individual happiness and family pleasures and dedicated their fullest energy to this project.
Maharshi Dadhichi dedicated his life for the social welfare and protection of the society. Dedication is tradition of our nation and society. It is also worship of God. An expectant mother strictly follows the rules and regulations for the benefit of her yet to be born child, dedicates her life to the service of family’ development. We get food because a farmer and a labourer dedicate their energies to their work. Railways and roads are made due to dedication of crores of workers. Due to sacrifice by teachers and acharyas, crores receive knowledge. Sacrifice by doctors saves lives of millions. That is to say that all these activities are conducted in the society with a sense of dedication and sacrifice and as worship. Remuneration was accepted to run the life but the core value was of sacrifice and dedication. But today we see deterioration in this value of life.
This is Nation’s not Mine
Therefore, Param Pujniya Dr Hedgewar initiated the practice of Gurupuja or Bhagwa Dhwaj Pujan to create and instil this feeling of dedication and sacrifice. A human being is endowed with physical might, intellect, and money power, but he is not the owner of them, the owner is our society, which is the visible form of God. We must take whatever minimum is required for us. Using that much only for our family we must dedicate the extra resources for the society. This is the true worship. Whatever I get comes from the society. Everything belongs to the society and God. As while offing arghya to the ‘Sun’, we give back the water to river from which we take it. There is no place for ego or ‘I’ or ‘mine’. But today we see the exactly opposite picture everywhere. The ego of an individual is nursed giving rise to all the demonic tendencies of competition, selfishness, ego, etc. Negating all these demonic tendencies and instilling virtuous tendencies like renunciation, penance, love, is the true meaning and message of guru pujan.
Shivo Bhutva Shaivam Yajet (Be like Shiva, while worshipping Him) that is to imbibe the qualities of Shiva. Thus worshipping Bhagwa Dhwaj is imbibing qualities of dedication, renunciation and serving the society. The founder of the Sangh presented before us an ideal life dedicated to the service of the society according to the objective of his mission. Hence, it is said that his life was mission personified.
Similarly, Shri Guruji had also put all his life in the service of the society though he was initiated into the Ramakrishna Mission and much inclined to go to the Himalayas and do sadhana there. We see today lakhs of people right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari coming from various strata of the society that covers the working class, farmers, rickshaw-pullers to Vanvasis, forest dwellers and hill people to educated and learned lot, all serving the society with full dedication and sacrificing their money, time and energies for the development of society. We find many such dedicated workers serving in large number for the growth of social and cultural organisations.
Every year the Sangh swayamsevaks perform Guru Pujan in their respective shakhas by worshipping Bhagwa Dhwaj. They renew their resolve to serve the society by offering all their body, mind and money resources, by following the ‘Dharma Marg’ and achieving progress and by dedicating their fully developed personality to the service of the society all their life.
This is not donation, neither it is obligation. But it is our supreme duty. There is fulfilment of life in sacrifice. There is nothing wrong in working for the family alone, but working only for the family or personal gain is not good. This is not our culture. The way we work hard for the welfare of our family, we should also work for the society as our duty. This is the form of dedication. We need to create this feeling and awareness in the society. With the awareness of this feeling all the ills like corruption, violence, hatred, competition, etc will vanish from the society.
With dedication and sacrifice the society will experience a feeling of unity and oneness. Lakhs of our swayamsevaks run thousands of service projects for development of the society. Besides there are many religious, social and cultural organisations where workers do social service. Today, it is the need of the hour to collect and bring together all such people engaged in selfless service to the society. All of them need to arouse the feeling of sacrifice and dedication, join hands together to serve the needy by coordinated efforts. It is great sadhana to save ourselves from the ill effects of consumerism, materialism, and image worship. If there is a conflict between materialism, consumerism and dedication, sacrifice, selflessness, cooperation, coordination, the way out is to concentrate on bringing together renunciation, dedication, cooperation, coordination to ensure global welfare and fulfilment of human life.
(The writer is Sah Sarkaryavah of RSS)