From 1940 to 1973, Shri Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar, also known as Shri Guruji, was the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) second Sarsanghachalak. Shri Guruji was instrumental in the RSS’s rise to prominence in Bharat’s national life. As a seer and visionary, he articulated the RSS’s basic guiding principles. He was and continues to be an inspiration to a diverse range of individuals and organisations from all walks of life, not just RSS swayamsevaks. His ideas on various Hindu society issues are still relevant today. He was truly a Rashtra-rishi.
This shloka describes him as a man of great virtues.
सत्यं रूपं श्रुतं विद्या कौल्यं शीलं बलं धनम्।
शौर्यं च चित्रभाष्यं च दशेमे स्वर्गयोनयः।।
Truth, Glory, Knowledge of Scriptures, Learning, Nobility, Modesty, Strength, Wealth, Valor and Eloquence are the ten signs of heaven.
Madhavrao, having completed his Intermediate studies, left for the prestigious Banaras Hindu University in 1924. The library’s vast collection of priceless books seemed to be waiting to quench his thirst for knowledge. Madhavrao began reading the books one by one, cover to cover. His toe was bitten by a scorpion one day, but he just cut it off, dipped it in potassium permanganate solution, and went back to his studies. “How do you study with such severe pain?” one of his friends enquired. “Well, the scorpion bit my foot, not my head!” replied Madhavrao. His calm tolerance in the face of the most excruciating physical pains was later witnessed by others.
Exceptional Intellectual Capability
Madhavrao was a brilliant young man with a fantastic memory. Prof. Gardener, his high school teacher, once gave a Bible lecture. “Sir, your reference is incorrect; it should have been like this,” Madhavrao interjected. And then he added another sentence. Prof. Gardener and all of the students were taken aback. However, when it was cross-checked with the Bible, he was found to be correct. At the end of the class, the Professor gave him a warm pat on the back. This incident demonstrated his exceptional memory, courage, and unwavering self-confidence. His memory served him well until the day he died. People all over the country still tell stories about his incredible memory.
After receiving his Masters in Zoology with honours from Kashi, Madhavrao returned to Nagpur, and a few months later, he left for Chennai to conduct aquarium research. People could see his dedication to strict discipline there as well. Once, the Nizam of Hyderabad paid a visit to the laboratory. All visitors were charged an entrance fee. The managers, on the other hand, thought it was inappropriate to ask a big shot like the Nizam for an entrance fee. But Madhavrao was adamant, and the Nizam couldn’t enter until he paid the entrance fee. In 1929, his father retired from the army, causing a financial crisis. Money could no longer be sent to Madhavrao to help him further his studies, so he quit his research job and returned to Nagpur.
Shri Guruji was always involved in some way in guiding the Sangh and the nation. In addition, through letters, he maintained regular and extensive correspondence with a wide range of eminent personalities, organisations, well-wishers, and Swayamsevaks. He handled the entire correspondence with the help of his assistant, Dr. Abaji Thatte. Obviously, the subject of his letters would shift. Perhaps no one has written a greater number and variety of letters than Mahatma Gandhi. Similarly, no leader has travelled to every part of the country twice a year for the past thirty years. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mission, according to Golwalkar Guruji, is “revitalization of the Indian value system based on universalism and peace and prosperity for all.” One of the organization’s ideologies is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the ancient Indian sage’s worldview that the entire world is one family.
Shri Guruji’s superhuman efforts and hard work had to take their toll on his health at some point. By the age of 60, Shri Guruji’s health had begun to deteriorate. In May 1970, a lump in his chest was discovered. It was discovered to be cancerous. Nonetheless, he decided to have it treated only after completing his previously scheduled May and June tour.
On July 1st, Dr Praful Desai operated on him at Tata Cancer Hospital. At the time, Dr. Desai was unaware of the Sangh’s activities. “I was wondering how Shri Guruji would be able to take such an intense and long surgery at 65,” he wrote. But the calmness, courage, and cooperation with which he went through the entire procedure was incredible, as was the smile that never left his face. He started walking around the next day.” Shri Guruji asked the doctor how long he would be alive after the operation. “Wow!” exclaimed Shri Guruji when he received his response. Excellent! It means I have a lot of free time. I’ve got a lot of work to do!” Dr. Desai maintained regular check-ups. Shri Guruji quickly returned to his normal routine, writing letters, touring, meeting Swayamsevaks, and so on.
This great visionary worked tirelessly until his last breath to lay the groundwork and restore glory not only to our nation, but to the entire world. His energy, dedication, perseverance, and never-ending work for “Bharat’s glory” is not only admirable, but also worthy of study by academics.