Addressing a large Shradhanjali Sabha in Bhaskareeyam Convention Centre attached to Madhav Nivas, Kerala Pranth Karyalaya, on November 14, RSS Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosabale said that Ranga Hariji was a parivrajak who did cross the Suryamandal. Hariji deserves the homages from prominent personalities. ‘R’ is the initial of Hariji; it is the expansion of Ranga, the name of his father. But, it can also be interpreted as ‘respected’.
The speech of Sarkaryavah is boiled down in the following paragraphs.
“Hari is eternal, unlimited. If we go on defining him, there is no limit, like the entire earth, the entire oceans. Hariji is ananth, an intellectual par excellence, writer of high calibre and eminent orator. His oratory could enlighten the enlightened. In Delhi, senior IAS officers were keen to hear his speeches. The anecdotes he quoted abundantly during the speeches were meaningful, and they made the speeches more attractive and sweeter. Each speech of Hariji carried one or other novelty. When the golden jubilee of Integral Humanism was observed nation wide, Hariji’s every speech presented multiple interpretations.
Hariji was a master in ideological matters. He was a Swayamsevak in every inch of his life. He breathed Sangh, he ate Sangh and drank Sangh.
But, the same time his contacts were beyond the borders of Sangh. He could embrace people belonging to different faiths and ideas, no gap and no distance. His primary concern was to bring people together. He was not ekanth sadhak. He performed Jnan Yojana. He has penned several books; but, the interactions remain unprinted. He is a sadhak and organiser. I was appointed Sah Boudhik Pramukh, in 2003, when Hariji was the Boudhik Pramukh. Those days, Hariji guided me. He did not show an iota of impression that he was senior to me. I was seeing an organiser turning a friend. He established the Boudhik department in a unique manner. He reformed the Boudhik syllabus for the Sangh Shiksha Vargs (OTC) in such a way that all Swayamsevaks could grasp them. As a role model for the Swayamsevaks and Sangh workers, he studied their minds. He pursued his studies throughout his life by reading and engaging in extensive tours. He played the role of a friend, counselor and karmayogi. He was a Rishi.
Hariji was so keen to learn languages. He learnt more than a dozen languages. His proficiency in languages was not only in conversation but also in literatures in the respective languages. Hariji was a great inspiring personality both in the country and abroad. Hundreds of families in the country and abroad waited for an opportunity to host Hariji. It was a matter of joy for them. There are several illustrious Pracharaks in Sangh. Hariji belongs to that galaxy of luminaries. They created men of quality, confidence and courage; they created the organisation and lived for a great cause.
Hariji took over from Bhaskar Raoji and led the organisation as the Pranth Pracharak. To succeed a legendary Pranth Pracharak like Bhaskar Rao was not an easy task. Bhaskar Rao, after completing the tasks he was shouldering, handed over the reigns to able hands.
Hariji was too humane. During my ABVP days, once when I came to Kerala, while coming back from a Prabhat Sakha, Hariji asked me if I needed a cup of tea. It was a surprise for me as morning tea was not a practice in our karyalaya in Bengalooru. It was my early interaction. Every meeting enlightened and refreshed me. Hariji’s life tells us ‘don’t add years to life, but, add life to years’. Hariji was always superlative by all means. Whichever zone he entered, he was on top, a ‘superlative’ personality.
Despite sticking on to the cultural values and traditions, Hariji was not averse to modernism. One could see such a unique combination in him. He succeeded in unearthing several misconceptions in our epics which generations have been believing and spreading.
His scholarship was versatile. When he was invited to deliver lecture in a Nagpur college, first day he spoke on the ‘dharma in Mahabharata’. But, on the second day, the college authorities and the students were taken by surprise as he spoke on Khaleel Jibran and his works. His reading was not confined to a single culture or a single ideology.
When he was entrusted with the responsibility of preparing ‘Guruji Samagra’ (compilation of Poojaneeya Guruji’s complete works), he went through the copies of thousands of letters Guruji had written to thousands of people during his regime as the second Sarsanghchalak (1940 to 1973). Then he selected the apt ones from them. It made him an ‘expert’ in matters concerning Guruji. Because, he was a researcher. Therefore, it was easy for him to write a book on Guruji. It remains as one of the best books ever brought out on the revered personality.
Hariji was always friendly, but, sans any attachment. His last letter to Kerala Pranth Pracharak does elucidate Hariji’s character. It proves that he is a sadhak. It reminds Alexander Pope’s poem:
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
Hariji’s life was an endeavour to be a true Bharatiya and uphold the noble Pracharak tradition. His life was in accordance with the famous poem of Bharthruhari:
Nindanthu neethinipunaa yadi vaa sthuvanthu
Lakshmee: Samavishathu gachathu vaa yadheshtam
Advaiva vaa maranamasthu yugaanthare vaa
Nyaayaath padha: pravichalanthi padam na dheera:
(Neethi Shathakam by Bharthruhari)
According to Mahabharata, two types of people go beyond Soorya Mandal. One, those who die in battlefields; then, parivrajakas. Hariji belongs to the second category. Personalities like Hariji does not have any personal egos; he lived for a cause; every cell of the body was spent for the society and the motherland. Shradhanjali is not for expressing our gratitude. Shradha has to be imbibed in our body and mind. It will lead us to achieve the great cause Hariji lived for. The great cause for Bharat and humanity”.
Sarkaryavah released “Paramahamsadhwanikal”, the last book authored by Ranga Hariji. Justice N. Nagaresh received the copy from Sarkaryavah. Sarath Edath, former Pracharak and close associate of Hariji introduced the book. Sarath recalled Hariji’s words that his first work was the translation of “Rousing Call To Hindu Nation” by Eknath Ranadeji into Malayalam. Eknathji’s work was the compilation of Swami Vivekanandaji’s writings and speeches. It was published in 1963 in connection with the birth centenary of Swamiji. And, Hariji’s last work is on Sree Ramakrishna Paramahamsar, in 2023 !
Justice N Nagaresh presided. He said, in his presidential address, that to define Hariji is a difficult task. Hariji was an upasak of jnana. He called his close association with Hariji since the last more than four decades.
Santosh Thaneja, Director of Sankalp IAS, New Delhi said that Hariji was a Rishi Purush. Kerala is lucky to have such a great son.
Prof. M.K. Sanoo, famous critic, writer, orator and former MLA (CPM-led Left Democratic Front) commented that Hariji was a great thinker. He recalled his first meeting with Hariji and their discussion on books including “Khasaakkinte Ithihaasam”, the masterpiece of late O.V. Vijayan. Harriji was a man of clarity in views. Hariji’s style of writing is attractive and admirable. His ideas live in the readers’ mind. His writings reveal his research mind. He is like the guiding lights in the forest.
Swami Vivikthananda Saraswati, the Kerala head of Chinmaya Mission, said that the Sanskrit prayer recited before the beginning of the meeting was penned by Hariji.
Swami Nandathmajananda of Sree Ramakrishna Mission, Thrissur, recalled the way Hariji got connected with young people. Hariji called him few months back and told that he started writing from Swami Vivekanandaji and concluded in Paramahamsar. He had accepted mandradeeksha at the age of 7 (not from Sree Ramakrishna Mission). He added that the watch Guruji was wearing belonged to Akhandanandaji, his Guru, one of the 15 disciples of Sree Ramakrishna and gurubai of Vivekanandaji. The room where Guruji looked after and cared Akhandanandaji is still preserved in Saragachi Ashramam. Hariji had told him, all Pracharaks should take mandradeeksha.
Anakhananda Puri Swamiji of Amruthanandamayi Ashram said that Hariji wanted to carry out Sangh work even in his next birth. Several books were authored by him. When (Matha Amruthanandamayi) Amma visited Nagpur Karyalaya and Smriti Mandir at Resham Bagh, Hariji was there. He was in the midst of compiling ‘Guruji Samagraha’. He was occupying a small room and a small working table.
M.V. Benny, senior journalist, in his speech, recalled his 40 years long friendship with Hariji. He remembered Hariji’s visit to his house. Hariji invited the auto driver, who took him and a respectable professor to his (Benny’s) house, to join for the tea. Later on he (Benny) found out that he was not an RSS worker nor even a Hindu. When he (Benny) was hospitalised due to a fatal accident, Hariji visited the hospital, but, could not see him. Later on he visited him at his home. When Hariji happened to meet any Kochiite during railway journeys, he used to ask them to convey his regards to him (Benny). When any Kochiite visited him at Nagpur, when he was the Akhil Bharatiya Boudhik Pramukh, he used to tell them to convey his regards to him (Benny). He could behave to others with love and affection. He prayed for Hariji’s rebirth.
Susmitha, Hariji’s niece (brother’s daughter) told that she learnt about RSS through her childhood experiences. She recalled her family Kasi Yatra with Hariji when she was a second standard student. She had asked her grandmother (Hariji’s mother) if she was sad of Hariji’s departure from home as Pracharak. Grandmother told her that she knew that he would go. If he had embraced sanyasa he would not be able to come home. But, a Sangh Pracharak can come home occasionally. He showed how to connect with the people. When she got the job of a teacher, Hariji told her that she should uplift the children who are backward in studies and they should not be belittled or teased at all.
Two Shradhanjali Sabhas had been organised in the state on November 12. One in Thiruvananthapuram and another in Kozhikode.
Former Sarkaryavah Suresh aka Bhayaji Joshi addressed the gathering, organised by Bharatiya Vichara Kendram, in Thiruvananthapuram. Bhayyaji said, Hariji was an uncompromising Pracharak. He fought against the odds and was one of the architects who succeeded in building a strong foundation for Sangh in Kerala. His life showed the blessed soul taking shape of a body. He devoted everything – knowledge, thoughts, personality and writings – to Sangh. The wisdom and knowledge did not make him headstrong. He was not a blind bhaktha. He was not arrogant in karma. He was an uncompromising Pracharak. He took up all responsibilities sans any complaint and saw that it was fulfilled perfectly.
Bharatiya Vichara Kendram Director R. Sanjayan presided. Kendram state president Dr. C.V. Jayamani said that Hariji was a karmayogi who breathed Sangh and Rashtra round-the-clock. Swami Suprabhananda of Nettayam Sree Ramakrishana Ashram, Kerala University Vice Chancellor Dr. Mohanan Kunnummel, SBI former Chief General Manager S. Adikeshavan, RSS Vibhag Sanghchalak Prof. M.S. Rameshan, Academic Dean Dr. K.N. Madhusoodanan Pillai and Prof. Deepa Vinod spoke on the occasion.
The second programme on the same day was in Kozhikode. RSS Sahsarkaryavah C.R. Mukund said, addressing the Shradhanjali programme, that despite achieving pinnacle of scholarship, Hariji lived like a common, ordinary man who could rub the shoulders with ordinary people. Hariji imparted the knowledge and wisdom to others in simple terms. He conquered thousands of people with his spiritual affection. He utilised the Swayamsevakatwa he got from Sangh Sakha for the social transformation. He was a model sadhaka and unique organiser. Mukundji told that Hariji was the guiding light for Swayamsevaks living in twenty countries. His last wish to be cremated in a castles crematorium proved the Swayamsevakatwa he attained. Even though he concluded a fruitful life, his wish for another birth to join hands with the workers towards the achievement of our great cause is a reminder to all of us regarding our mission.
RSS Kozhikode Mahanagar Sanghchalak Dr. C.R. Mahipal presided. Swami Jithatmananda (Chinmaya Mission), Acharya M.R. Rajesh of Kashyapa Veda Research Foundation, Senior journalist P. Balakrishnan, RSS Pranth Prachar Pramukh M. Balakrishnan and Vibhag Karyavah C. Gangadharan also spoke on the occasion.
Mukundji released the “Paramahamsadhwanikal”, the last work of Hariji, by presenting a copy to Swami Jithatmananda. Janmabhumi Deputy Editor Kavalam Sasikumar introduced the book on Sree Ramakrishna.
Eminent personalities from cultural and spiritual fields, Sangh Swayamsevaks, Sangh workers and sympathisers offered Shradhanjali to Hariji in the programmes held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode