As we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav our glorious Tri-Colour waving in its full glory can be seen all across the country. Independence Day celebrations aren’t just to celebrate our freedom, it is also a way to pay tribute to the innumerable freedom fighters of the country who gave up their lives and endured extreme brutalities to liberate our motherland from foreign rule. Along with the great revolutionaries of the country, our saints also played a very important role in the freedom struggle. The Sant Samaj of Bharata inspired its sons and daughters to unite and fight against British rule, and they continue to work for unity and integrity of the country. On this auspicious occasion Mahendra Kumar of Organiser Spoke to Acharya Mahamandaleshwar, Juna Akhada, Swami Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj, President, Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha and a renowned spiritual voice of India. Swamiji has transformed innumerable lives with his spiritual and social endeavors. Excerpts
We are celebrating 75th Independence Day. Every citizen is excited about this. What do you have to say about this?
India is the land of Gods. The Almighty has created this holy land to spread and promote philanthropic values. Our way of life, our festivals and traditions, our prayers are not just about personal well-being; they include collective welfare of the entire planet. Therefore, the meaning of the Independence of India or safeguarding its culture and traditions is about protecting of human values and the welfare of entire humanity. It is a matter of great pleasure that at present the leadership of India is in the hands of a capable, strong and a great personality, our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi Ji is not only a ruler but also a worshipper. Under his efficient leadership, India’s voice has become strong on global front and our geographical boundaries are also secure. Apart from this, many economic and welfare schemes have been started for inclusive growth and a robust economy. India’s glory is reaching far and wide. On the call of The PM, all countrymen are celebrating the 75th Independence Day of India as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, that is the reason there is an air of festivity all across the nation this time.
Your organisation has multiple ashrams across the country. Millions of people are connected to you. What are your plans for the Independence Day?
See, life of a sannyasi is devoted to well-being of others and towards society. A sannyasi means to be free from all obligations – to be the fire, water, wind and light. But we cannot dissociate from our responsibilities towards the nation. Being the Guru of millions of people, I also request my lakhs of disciples – Naga sadhus and my other followers to participate in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to promote national unity. Our National flag, the glorious Tri- Colour will be hoisted in the akhada and in lakhs of temples and mathas located in every corner of the country. Wherever my sannyasi disciples and Naga Sadhus are meditating, in the Himalayan caves, deep forests, they will unfurl the Tricolour and participate in various spiritual events for national unity and integrity. On this occasion, I would also like to remember our revered Gurudev Brahmaleen Swami Satyamitranand Giriji, who renounced the position like that of a Shankaracharya in the interest of the nation and gave the wonderful mantra of unity and cooperation to the nation by establishing the world famous Bharat Mata Temple, in Haridwar.
Do you think the age-old Guru – Shishya Tradition has any relevance today?
The influence of western civilisation has definitely been increased in India, but it can never diminish the ancient and divine tradition of India, and it can never go extinct. Our cultural beliefs, festivals and traditions are eternal. That which is true is eternal; it can never be diminished in any era or time. A cloud cannot hide the sun’s light for long. I am very happy to inform you that today any culture which is flourishing the most in the whole world without any enticement, without coercive tactics and without conversion, it is the Sanatan Hindu Vedic culture. In this COVID-19 period, our life-style, dietary habits and ancient science of Yoga-Ayurveda have been accepted and appreciated all over the world. Today, the whole world, particularly the Western countries, have started accepting that Bharat’s cultural-spiritual values are only for global welfare.
How do you see India’s glorious journey of 75 years?
In the last 75 years since independence, national unity and integrity of our nation have strengthened. India is now known worldwide as a sovereign and a powerful country. Under the leadership of our great PM Shri Narendra Modiji, many significant and important endeavors are ongoing at the national and international level. Developing an indigenous vaccine for a global pandemic like Corona and the success of an intense free vaccination campaign across the country is a sign of India’s divine rise.
The sages of India worked for the freedom struggle, against the evils prevailing in our society and for national unity, integrity. What do you have to say about this?
The spiritual world of India is aware and sensitive about its responsibilities towards the nation. Before and after independence, saints have played a big role in maintaining national unity-integrity, social awakening and mutual harmony. Centuries ago, Bhagavatpada Adi Shankaracharya united the collective consciousness of entire masses by establishing four Dhams in four different directions of India. Thereby, he laid the foundation of national unity and integrity, culture and spirituality, through those pilgrimages. In the mediaeval period, during the reign of the Mughals, many saints like Tulsi, Sur, Meera, Kabir, Ravidas etc. had played their special role in social awakening. The contribution of Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Yogiraj Aurobindo etc. in uniting and channelizing people for a greater cause across the country during British rule cannot be forgotten. Similarly, even at present, the top saint authority of India is engaged in the task of protecting national interests and awakening the society at their own level. Many public welfare works are being undertaken by Acharya Sabha, the apex body of Acharyas of all sects and mathas of India, which has also been appreciated by our honorable Prime Minister.
Bharat had a glorious past. Can we reclaim our past glory and become a Viswa Guru.
To become Vishwa Guru means Bharata has to guide the entire humanity through its spiritual values and show the right path when it comes to solving critical issues like climate change, environmental crisis and world soaked in mindless consumerism. Bharat has always been revered as a world guru for its soft power, spiritual awakening, Yoga-Ayurveda, traditions and festivals. To become Vishwa Guru does not mean to establish our dominance over the world but to spread humanistic values.