Those who are free from anger and all material desires, who are self-realised, self-disciplined and constantly endeavoring for perfection, are assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near future.
Bharat has a long tradition of sages and Sanyasis. Denouncing the material life and opting for spiritual path has been the hallmark of spiritual tradition of this nation. For the purpose many have opted to stay away from the normal social life. It is very rare that living a social life to the fullest extent possible, connecting people from all walks of life and still remaining Sanyasi in the approach. Ashokji Singhal, architect of Ayodhya movement and patron of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, was of that rarest of rare category, that is why his demise is a big loss for many.
Commitment to the cause was the hallmark of Ahokji’s personality. Whether as a Pracharak or as president of the VHP, his all actions were oriented to the clear collective objectives. He not only initiated the movement of reconstruction of grand Sri Ram temple in Ayodhya but also ensured that the preparations for the movement are perfect on the ground. During the Kar Seva of 1989, when the ban was imposed by the then Mulayam Singh government, Ashokji miraculously reached the destination posing himself as a driver of a tempo trolley, which changed the course of Kar Seva.
A leader is the one who leads from the front is the perfect line of Ashokji. After being injured in the lathicharge of the police, he decided to continue with the Kar Seva, which was a great moral booster for the common Kar Sevaks.
All these qualities did not make him stubborn. Apparently, a very firm personality, for his critics even a hardliner, Ashokji was most humble and caring when it came to connecting the dots. Bringing Sadhus of different sects on one platform was the most difficult task during the movement. Besides that he had to coordinate between the activists in the political, social and religious fields. He could do that because of his socialising skills. Remaining committed to the cause still being flexible enough to accommodate everybody made it possible to bring many intellectuals, archaeologists and scientists close to the cause of nation building.
A trained singer in Hindustani classical music will always be remembered by many individuals as a soft and loving person. In a function he refused to be on the dais, just because a Swamiji from local mutt was denied a chair on the stage due to protocol reasons. He accepted his position as a special guest only when the Swamiji was given the due respect. Even during his deteriorating health he ensured to visit ailing karyakartas.
A social Sanyasi who had a right composition of conviction and compassion, redefined the cultural and political discourse in Bharat. That is why his demise is rightly called as the end of an era. As mentioned in Geeta, he was a perfect Karmayogi Sanyasi, so he must have attained perfect liberation. Imitating some of his qualities to rejuvenate the unifying tendencies in Bharat would be an appropriate tribute for him.