The Eternal Basis

Ideal Society as God

We look upon the society as the living manifestation of Almighty. And we have attributed to the Almighty the capacity of feeding all the living creatures under his care. He is therefore called Vishwambhara. There is a pauranic story, which I heard form a keertankar. Once, it seems, it occurred to Narada to test Lord Vishnu Himself. He caught hold of a few ants, shut them up in a small box and kept it in his safe custody. Then he went out on his usual rounds singing the praise of Vishnu. After a while, he came to Lord Vishnu and casually enquired whether the Lord had had his food. Vishnu replied that he had done so after attending to the feeding of all the living creation. Narada then took out his box saying, “Well, these poor creatures seem to have escaped your Lord’s notice!” Vishnu appeared taken aback, apologised and requested Narada to open the box. And lo! When the box was opened, the ants came out each with a particle of sugar in its mouth!

Imaginary though the story may be, it beautifully depicts the state of an ideal society, which will take care of the needs of every living being under its shelter. In fact, the descriptions of our ancient society approximated to this state. No individual, however low and humble he may be, was left to suffer with hunger, thirst or want of shelter. The animals and birds near about also were cared for. Some had even taken a vow of feeding the ants before taking their food.

For an Abiding Basis

It is also well known that such an abiding, alert, positive and organised state of society cannot be based on mere antagonism to others. The reason for this is very simple. Movements which start as reactions to outside factors collapse to the ground no sooner the object of their antagonism is removed. There is also another important consideration. When the spirit of antagonism rules our mind, we have perforce to think constantly of those whom we oppose. And especially, we shall have to ruminate over their evil acts and evil qualities. Our shastras says that a man becomes what he thinks. It is the continuous thought-processes that go to form the mental texture and thus shape the personality of man.

Sign of Living Society

It is on this reactionary background that people say that there is now a change in circumstances, that since the British have left this country there is no need for an organisation of this type. We, on the other hand, view the problem differently. We say, the Hindus were here and they continue to be here. They were disunited and are still disunited. We see the same disintegrated, mute Hindu Society letting itself to be trampled upon without a murmur of protest. And when it does speak, it is with so many voices that what it says sounds like gibberish. As such, we see absolutely no change in the situation. Suppose there is a man suffering from typhoid during an epidemic. Will the doctor treating that patient lose the incentive when the health officer of the town declares that the epidemic had ended? Similarly, do we not see the malady of disunity still scouring the body of this ancient and great society? How then can we afford to stop administering the proper medicine?

Our duty, therefore, to make our society united, organised and mighty is as much before us today as at any time before. It is our dharma to see that our society, our great mother, is made powerful, great, and happy. It is this innate love and adoration for our people, this positive faith in our national being that has been the constant urge for all our actions. True love of that type is not dependent upon external situations. Nor is it born out of them. It takes its roots deep in our hearts reminding us of the duty towards our nation every moment of our life. It makes us conscious that we belong to this great and sacred motherland that we owe a deep debt of gratitude to her and that every action of ours must be our offering in her cause.

Hinduism, which has been our sheet-anchor, fosters this pure and all-embracing love, free from any spirit of reaction. We of the Sangh, who have been born and bred in that heritage, only act. We do not react. In fact, it is the nature of the insignificant and material things to react strongly towards momentary heat and cold. But healthy living human beings are not overcome by vagaries of weather. They maintain a steady temperature of their own which even the extreme variations of weather cannot disturb. In fact, they fall down lifeless whenever their bodies no longer maintain that normal temperature. It is therefore that we have been constantly keeping before our mind’s eye the vision of an organised society, which would not stray from its chartered course because of changes in external circumstances.

(Taken from Sri Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts.)

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