Ideal Swayamsevak

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THE greatness or otherwise of a man depends upon the way in which he leads his life. In the case of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya, the source of inspiration for his work in the political field, as also for the fundamental philosophy that he gave to Bharat, was the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh founded by Dr. Hedgewar. Deendayalji’s entry in the political field was also the result of a desire of the late Sri Guruji, Sarsanghchalak of the Sangh, who had been request-ed by Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee to give hint workers for a political party that he wished to found and which would work according to Indian ideals.

Always A Swayamsevak

The person that Sri Guruji selected or considered suitable for this work was Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya. But even in the midst of his political activity Deendayalji never forgot that he was a Swayamsevak. He always remembered that all his inspiration for service of the nation came from the Sangh.

It would be proper here to say something about the great philosophy that Deendayalji evolved. During the past one thousand years of India’s history the one thing that is very clear is that Mahatma Gandhi was the last man to conceive of the development of this country on the basis of national ideals. All great men before him made similar efforts to reawaken the soul of India. But unfortunately after Gandhiji the history of this country took a new turn and our politics began to follow western political thought.

Had Gandhiji been alive, the situation would have been certainly different. Dr. Hedgewar, who founded the Rashtriya Swayarnsevak Sangh in 1925, was also a contemporary of Gandhiji. Gandhiji once had the opportunity to see the work of the Sangh for himself. In the year 1935 a camp of the Sangh was going on in Wardha very near the residence of Shri Jamnalal Bajaj, where Gandhiji was staying. Gandhiji saw the disciplined activities of the Swayamsevaks in the camp from the terrace of the house and felt like knowing more about this organisation. He invited the head of the camp, Shri Appaji Joshi, for a talk, and during the conversation with him was glad to know that nearly 800 Swayam-sevaks had come to participate in the camp at their own expense. Gandhiji then expressed a desire to visit the camp and was cordially invited by Appaji to do so. During his visit to the camp Gandhiji was very much impressed with the efficiency and discipline that the Swayamsevaks showed in all activities from drill to cooking. Realising during his talks with Appaji that the Sangh was a Hindu organisation, Gandhiji asked, How many Harijans do you have in this camp?” Appaji replied that he did not know, because no one was ever asked in the Sangh whether he was a Harijan. It was enough that they were all Hindus. No information about the castes to which they belonged was ever kept in the Sangh. But Gandhiji insisted on knowing this, and as a result of his own questioning it was found that there were nearly 60 Harijan youths in the camp.

This made Gandhiji very happy and he said, “You have been this to do what I have been trying to do but have not been this to do so far.” He then asked about the founder, and when told it was Dr. Hedgewar, expressed a desire to meet him. In response to his desire, Doctor Sahib specially came down from Nagpur and the two had a long talk.

Influence of Sangh

What want to point out here is that Deendayalji’s realisation of the equality of all mankind was the result of the influence of the Sangh. It was this influence that he developed on the strength of his incomparable intellect into the great philosophy of Integral Humanism.

What are man’s basic necessities? Socialism says they are food, clothing and a roof over his head. But these are the needs of the body. Is man body alone? Man is a combination of body, mind, soul and intellect. Thinking of man without thinking of his intellect or mind or soul is not thinking of him in reality. Only thinking of all aspects together is thinking of the genuine, complete man. This comprehensive thinking is nothing but Integral Humanism.

Deendayalji thought deeply over this comprehensive character of the human being and propounded the philosophy of Integral Humanism. The human body has various limbs, but they are controlled by one force known as the soul. Only this control makes man a complete being, possessing limbs, senses, mind and intellect.

Advocate of Harmony

And if all limbs and other parts of the human body are controlled by one force, it is obvious that they must be complernentary. One limb will not work against another, nor will one hand strike another. This harmony between various parts of the’ human body is also the basic principle of man’s social life. As units of the same society, all men must be complementary to one another. It is true that our society is full of diversities. We have different castes, different languages, different modes of living, dressing and eating, and different modes of worship. But these are diversities, not differences. And when we talk of diversities, we presuppose a basic harmony. For instance, all Indian languages. in spite of their different appearances, have a basic harmony. So also there is a harmony the life of all our people living in different parts of the country, and it is this harmony that we call nationalism.

On a higher level than nationalism people talk of humanity and universal brotherhood. But the day is not yet near when one man will consider another his brother. The dream of universal brotherhood will take a long time to come true. But if at all we see the seeds of this universality anywhere, we see it in the culture of Bharat. People of the world talk about the equality of man and man, but no thinkers of the world have reached those heights in this philosophy that the thinkers of this country have scaled. The principle of the brotherhood of man is advocated everywhere in the world. But how many have thought or advocated man’s brotherhood with all other living beings ? It was only Bharat that produced the lofty advocates of this universal brotherhood.

Universal Brotherhood

When our seers invoked blessings on all creatures of the world, they meant that as man was blessed with greater intelligence and more knowledge. it was his responsibility to bring happiness to all living things. All creatures in the world had an equal right to happiness and if man decided that his right was greater than that of other beings it was only his presumptuousness. When man decides to be happier than other creatures and uses them for his own happiness, he is indulging in clear exploitation. We talk of economic exploitation of one section of human society by another and raise our voice against it. But who gave man the right to exploit other creatures for his own ends? It was only the thinkers of Bharat who thought deeply on this question. Hence Deendayalji held that Integral Humanism was the first step towards making man’s view really comprehensive. He wanted that all human beings in the world should become really human and form an integrated human society. This would be possible only if the great principle of complete identification with the other person was put into practice. This was Deendayalji’s conviction. It was on the basis of this principle that Swami Vivekanand and Shri Aurobindo had propounded the philosophy of universal brotherhood. Deendayalji held that every aspect of life in this country should develop on the basis of this philosophy and so he advocated the theory of Integral Humanism in an effort to mould politics in accordance with this principle.

To be continued…

(Based on speech delivered by Shri Madhavrao Muley, Sarkaryawaha (Based on speech delivered by Shri Madhavrao Muley, Sarkaryawaha of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, on the occasion of Pt. DeendayaI Upadhyaya Birthday Celebrations at Simla on 25th September, 1977)