In the book we find an in depth, philosophical discussion on vital questions such as, how best to face the dangers threatening Bharat both from inside and the world-outside, and respond to the challenge of the times, how we need to fashion our personal and national character for fulfilling the historical necessities of the country etc, which shed light on the genuine concept of our nationhood. Page after page in the book reveal the resplendent vision of our nation which had been eclipsed by centuries-long mental confusion and intellectual delusion.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or, as more commonly called, the RSS - was started in 1925 on the day of Vijayadas ami. The founder, revered Doctor Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, passed away in 1940 handing over the charge to Sri Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, popularly known as Guruji, who continued to be the chief of the organisation till 1973.
The present attempt to collect some of his i.e., Shri Guruji's thoughts has made us feel like 'picking pebbles on the shores of an ocean'. The impossibility of compressing in a single handy volume the various thoughts that he had expressed for full 33 years of his stewardship of Sangh in thousands of his speeches, talks, discussions and informal conversation covering a whole range of national topics is obvious. What is attempted here is just to present his viewpoint on various topics in a comprehensive manner. With this end in view, some of his ideas are strung together under different heads. However, we do not claim any exhaustive exposition of the topics under each head.
Moreoever, most of his speeches were in Hindi. The force and diction of his chaste Hindi and the inspiring images they bring up are bound to suffer while rendering them into other languages, especially to a foreign language. Naturally, the ideas contained herein are his, but the words are ours. As such we are keenly aware of the shortcomings of these words and expressions. Burdened though with all such anxieties, what made us take up this task is the confidence that the radiance of his thoughts will outshine all these dark spots and illumine the national mind. As the following pages will bear out, the thoughts of Sri Guruji are proving a beacon-light in the confused state of our national mind even to this day. The crisis in our country is more intellectual and mental than physical. Whatever physical maladies are seen today ravaging our body-politic have their roots in the mental weaknesses, and intellectual perversions of the leadership at the helm of our national affairs. Often these failings strut about masquerading as high ideals trying to cover up their disastrous effects. Sri Guruji's ideas have the intensity of warmth and light to dispel all such darkness and charge the nation's mind with right vision and the spirit of right action.
Since its publication nearly three decades ago, the book has been brought out in almost all the major Bharatiya languages. It has indeed stirred the thinking sections of the country and even abroad. It is clear that it had met a long and deeply felt need.
It is no exaggeration to say that thousands, if not lakhs, have been inspired by the living thoughts in the Bunch. As Prof. M.A. Venkata Rao, in his Introduction, says: "It will be seen how full, how positive, how patriotic, how practical and idealistic at the same time, the principles and methods of nation-building adopted by the Sangh are, as adumbrated by Shri Guruji."
. As could be expected, these thoughts cover the eternal and abiding aspects of our national life as also the current and the com temporary ones. This is quite natural. Analysis of the burning problems of the day with suitable anecdotes and examples do help to emphasise and highlight the permanent principles. The excellence of 'Bunch of Thoughts' lies precisely in this. The abiding values which should form the warp and woof of our national fabric are again and again imprinted on the mind of the reader.
In this Third Edition we have added the Index and effected some typographical corrections which had remained in the Second Edition. A short biographical life-sketch of Shri Guruji and some of his thoughts prior to and during 1947-48 are two more new features of this Edition. We are sure that the present Edition too will meet with the same enthusiastic and enlightened response that greeted the previous ones. The nation's continuing demand for 'Bunch of Thoughts' is amply proving that it is a Philosophy of Thought and Action par-excellence, with its appeal as eternal as the nation itself which it seeks to resurrect and re-build.
We offer our heart-felt homage to late Prof. M.A. Venkata Rao, a scholar of vast erudition and great depth of vision, to whom the book is dedicated - for his excellent Introduction.
We are grateful to Shri V.S. Godbole of U.K. for his detailed observations which have helped us to improve and update the present Edition in a few respects. Our thanks are due to all those whose loving co-operation has made this arduous though pleasant task, possible.
Independent India is engaged in a many-sided renaissance and reconstruction more or less consciously directed to what may compendiously be called nation-making (or remaking) in an image more adequate to the needs of the present and future of India as a strong, creative nation guiding the destinies of its people in accordance with a worthy and inspiring charter of life.
This era commenced roughly with the emergence and work of Raja Rammohan Roy in the beginning of the last century and has continued to the present day through the life-effort of notable thinkers in many fields like Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda, Sri Aurobindo and Lokamanya Tilak, Gandhi and Tagore, Dr. Hedgewar and Veer Savarkar. These are only typical names and do not exhaust the galaxy
In the present phase of the struggle (and triumph) with the British Power (typifying the entire gamut of foreign ideas and ideals) we have a similar period as in many periods in the past of the self- recollection and re-assertion of the national self-consciousness and of a conscious search for the roots of our culture as the living points on which we may regraft current life and foster it to vigorous growth and power. In this many-sided effort, the image of Indian culture as the pattern of nation-building is laid over with many confused notions from the West and from distorted ideas of the past of our own life.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi introduced a powerful leaven into this maelstrom of ideas, impulses and images having many elements congenial to the spirit of Indian Culture. Thus the national liberation movement of M. K. Gandhi derived power from the cultural heritage indwelling in the sub-conscious mind of the people.
But unfortunately as the political motif was dominant in the Gandhian movement, the cultural forces it invoked and mobilised were not grasped in their genuine purity and power and were not related naturally and organically to the ideals of politics, economics, social order and values and the many dharmas of the living past. They were all mobilised as vague sources of inspiration against the common enemy, namely the foreign rulers. They afforded no positive pattern of the new Indian society and state, economy and social order that was to replace the present order of things under long foreign rule. It was mainly negative, the many types of leaders following the Mahatma being content to put off decisive thinking on positive lines for the post-liberation epoch. Thus we find the Mahatma choosing a person with nothing in common with his ultimate ideas on man, nation and God like Jawaharlal Nehru to succeed him as the national leader. The Nehru Mind is made mostly abroad and in spite of his Discovery of India, Sri Nehru never succeeded in catching the spirit of Indian culture at its best. Thus the blueprint of the new society he is using as Prime Minister and leader of national reconstruction for building independent India is the "socialist pattern of society" which is infinitely more abstract and superficial, more mechanical and charged with unsolved problems of class conflict than the foundational ideas of the past.
It is this lack of a positive idea of Indian society at its best, accumulated and moulded through centuries of culture and civilisation (that is yet alive in the subsconscious of our people in all their ranks) that is so disappointing in the current efforts led by Government and official and authoritative leaders for national renovation. The failure in education is the most signal indication of this grave lacuna. Indian education has some of the most creative features making for sublimity and a uniform level of success in character formation influencing life in its inmost springs. But the failure of the present leadership in this field is total in character and reveals an entire absence of any inward grasp of the spiritual climate of Indian education in its essential quality and pattern.
The failure of Indian history to assimilate the Muslims into the national society, as it had succeeded in assimilating the earlier invaders - the Shakas, Scythians and Hunas - is a notable fact which the new Indian leaders of national liberation ignored altogether. They committed the blunder that by giving concessions to Muslims at the cost of the majority, they could win them over! The sequel showed that it was a tragic blunder. No concessions given without change of ideology on the part of the recipients could bring about the change needed.
Assimilation is possible and necessary but it requires the right philosophy and right psychology, the right strategy and tactics. But Indian leaders proved incapable of evolving 'any such change of technique. They persisted in their colossal blunder until they had to vivisect the motherland. They retain the same blundering techniques even today and are thus encouraging further 'Pakistans' !
From another point of view, too, the 'Weltanschauung' of the national liberation leaders has proved too negative and therefore sterile and frustrating. This concerns the right relation India under independent auspices should envisage towards modern Western civilisation. It is too often forgotten that Hinduism is not merely a sect, a small religious fellowship concerned exclusively with modes of worship or social customs peculiar to it. The word Hindu in this context has a national character. It is tantamount to the word Indian - i. e. pertaining to a people living beside the river Sindhu. It connotes the entire culture and civilisation of the Indian people from pre-historic times developed on Indian soil through millennia.
During the Gandhian era, the idea of developing a Hindu civilisation stemming from the living roots of the past and assimilating the best of the present Western pattern of values had the dominant place in the thoughts of some leaders. Gandhi's little book Hind Swaraj is symptomatic of this desire, though there was no agreement on all sides with the ideas adumbrated therein.
But today we find that the alien, unassimilated, crude, class-war- ridden, monolithic social structure associated with Marxism is influencing the structural ideals and actual policies of the authorities without any re-assessment of ideas so essential to such a vast and fateful undertaking.
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