Friday, July 31, 2015

Samarpanam to society - a great tradition

Sata Haste Samahara, Sahasra Haste Sankira – receive with a hundred hands and distribute with a thousand hands
One of the questions often asked by many people is, what is the goal of life? If we are to answer that question, then we must study creation. Just look at any plant or animal. It does one thing – right from the beginning, it grows and grows and grows. The goal of any plant is to grow to its maximum capacity. And in the process of growing, it contributes to others in the form of fruits or vegetables and then it perishes. So is the case with animals. They all grow to their maximum capacity and in the process contribute to others and the world. Having realized their maximum potential it declines and eventually perishes. We find the process uniformly and we can extent the same logic to human beings too. We can also have one goal - growing to our maximum potential, contribute to the society and vacate for the next generation. But there is one key difference between human beings and plant/animals. In the case of plants/animals the growth is only physical. As a human being it would be a pity to confine ourselves to be satisfied with just physical growth. We as human beings have also a possibility for inner growth. Inner growth means emotional growth which means intellectual growth and which ultimately leads to spiritual growth. This emotional cum intellectual cum spiritual growth is called inner growth. For plants and animals, outer growth is the goal of life and for human beings more than the outer growth, inner growth is the goal of life. With regard to plants and animals, the growth is inbuilt and automatic i.e., growth is ensured.  They need not make any effort.  In the case of human beings it is not so. Human beings can grow either upward or can go downward. The next logical question is, how do I accomplish inner growth? First our initiative and efforts are required. Without self-effort, inner growth cannot take place. In addition to our efforts one also requires environmental support. Exactly like the growth of a plant. No doubt an appropriate seed must be sown, then water, pesticides or fertilizers or all of them. But equally important are environmental conditions like temperature, weather condition, and altitude.
Hence, it is not only necessary to have initiative but also depends on the type of associations we entertain. The type of interactions we have (sangam) or the type of company is very important. The scriptures point out three types of sanga which will contribute to inner growth. Batruhari in his Neethi Chattakam talks about the appropriate relationship by giving an example. Water is sprinkled on a hot plate and the moment water touched the hot plate it is instantly destroyed. But the same water when sprinkled on a lotus leaf in a pond acquires an extra glow. Batruhari says that according to some mythological beliefs when rainy water falls on a particular shell on a swati nakshthra day, the very same water becomes a pearl. Water being one and the same when associated with a hot plate is destroyed. Nashah. When associated with a lotus leaf in a pond gains a temporary glow. And when it is associated with a shell on an auspicious day it becomes a pearl which is permanently valuable. Water remaining the same its fate was determined by three types of sanga. The first sanga is called adharmic sanga. Phalam is Nashah. The second sanga is Madhyama sanga. Phalam is good which is temporary. The third sanga is Uttama. Phalam is permanent good. Batruhari says that what is good for water is equally applicable to human beings also. Uttama sanga is called Satsanga. It is one of the most important disciplines in the scriptures. Not only is Satsanga very effective, we also get the benefits effortlessly. By sheer association with noble people one will unknowingly imbibe their virtues. If I have to acquire those virtues on my own it will require a tremendous effort. But when I am in the company of glorious people, I change inwardly even without my knowledge. That is why Satsang is glorified in our scriptures.
Even Shankara talks about the glory of Satsanga in Bhaja Govindam. When one gets associated with Sat purushas or noble people then detachment of lowly inferior things will naturally take place. If I want to drop some of my negative traits then it is extremely difficult. But in Satsang my negative traits will automatically drop off effortlessly. Like the monkeys in temples. Monkeys take the spectacles and it will not give it back to you. So what does one do? Give it something else like a banana. It picks the banana and drops the spectacles. In the same way if you want to avoid certain things it will never work. But if you give your mind something superior and enjoyable the other things will naturally drop. Nisanga (detachment) then Nirmohathvam (delusions) will go away.
The next question is how much inner growth we must have? For outer growth there is a limitation for everyone’s convenience. But with regard to inner growth, there is no limitation at all. If you take emotional growth - the capacity to show love and compassion to others, it can expand and expand and expand to infinity. Our mind can expand to include the whole universe as one family. Similarly, there is no limit to intellectual growth. We can keep on learning. And so is the case with spiritual growth. Therefore, there is no limitation to inner growth at all. In the process of inner growth we contribute to the outside world just as plants and animals. We grow and in the process contribute to the world. A tree by itself is standing in the hot sun. They receive all the heat but to others it gives shade. All the fruits (it doesn’t eat a single fruit) is given to others. The more they grow the more is their contribution to others.
This inner growth and transformation may take place in an individual due to various factors viz., through reading a book, through hearing speeches, due to some incident or experience, due to some words - heard or read etc.  The reason for stimulus for inner growth or transformation may be termed as Guru.  Hence, Guru need not be an individual.  The following incidents highlight this aspect:
Sri Balbir Mathur who belonged to an orthodox family of Allahabad had his education in English and as a result of which had high admiration for the Britishers and condemned everything that was Hindu.  He went to America to work and settled there after marrying an American woman.  He came to his native place to cover the Kumbh Mela in 1976 on behalf of an English magazine.  As usual he covered all the negative aspects of the Kumbh Mela.   One day it rained.  Realizing that the Sadhus will declare that God has blessed the occasion he decided to meet the common man and highlight that the rains had affected them badly.  He first went to a barber and asked how much money he usually get daily.  He replied that he would get Rs.100/- per day.  When questioned how much he had got that day, he replied that he got only Rs.20/-.  Sri Balbir Mathur asked him is it not correct that the rains had affected his livelihood.  The barber replied that rain is an act of God and who is he to decide whether it is right or wrong.  Sri Balbir Mathur literally froze on hearing the reply and wondered what made the barber to reply like that.  He met 63 persons on that day comprising of people belonging to the lower strata of society and was surprised that everyone of them replied in more or less the same fashion as that of the barber.  He decided on that day that he had to learn something about the Hindu way of life.  He went to America, resigned his job and came back to his native place and started a moment called ‘Trees for life’ and was instrumental in planting of thousands of trees in the Northern part of India.
Due to combined efforts of Swayamsevaks and villagers, total transformation has taken place in Mohad village of Madhya Pradesh.  98% rate of literacy, majority of the villagers speak Sanskrit.  There are 50 types of small and cottage industries in the village of 450 families with a population of about 4000.  Every inch of the agriculture land is irrigated.  Majority of the farmers have said firm no to the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and adopted organic farming. Awareness about protecting the environment is so widespread that every girl of the village ties rakhi to trees on Rakshabhandan Day and resolves to protect them.  Every house has a Tulsi plant and flower garden in the premises.  Every building has a sign of OM/Swastik and other ethical message on the walls. Every house has a toilet. The village is free from theft, violence and all kind of addictions including paan, bidi, cigratee, gutkha, liquor, etc.  No dispute of the village is pending in any court or police station. Nobody throws garbage on streets and every family cleanses the street outside their houses. Last, but not the least, every family has Sangh swayamsevaks. No doubt, Mohad is seen as a laboratory of village development activities where all the steps have practically been taken which are required to make a village ideal.    
Transformation of Swayamsevaks in Shakhas has been going on for 90 years due to the congenial atmosphere created in the Shakha by Sangh Guru i.e., Bhagwa Flag. A youth of Vellore Jilla, having the habit of drinking liquor, attended the Pratamik Sikshana Vargha last year.  Due to the training he had undergone and due to the Satsang in the Vargha, he left his drinking habit.  After the training, he started a Shakha and invited his friends, who were also having the habit of drinking liquor.  Due to the atmosphere in the Shakha, his friends also left the habit of drinking, within a short time.  Aachiappan (60) a trainee of Vishesha Sangh Sikha Vargha, held in Salem this year said, “In 1970s when DK movement took a procession in Salem with slippers as garland for Lord Rama, slippers were thrown at the deity.  I was also one among the people who threw chappals.  Now, after this 20 day training programme feel that this camp is the atonement of the sin committed by me out of ignorance that day.”
1) Out of a total of 1,52,000 seva projects carried out  throughout the country, 10,400 seva projects form base in Tamilnadu.
2) A remarkable feature of the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram work is that, among the 1115 full time workers 208 are women and 528 are drawn from the Vanavasis themselves who are shouldering various responsibilities.  In 1982, Hipson Roy, a leader of Vanavasis from North East, after his visit to the VKA in Madhya Pradesh, feelingly remarked: “It is here that we feel, above all, our head and heart completely satisfied and elevated.”
3) In Tamilnadu, RSS celebrated the International Yoga Day in more than 1000 shakhas and organized celebrations in more than 650 public places altogether mobilizing more than 90000 people, comprising of cross section of people from corporates to labourers, from students to senior citizens (both men and women).
4) Even though the health benefits of yoga have always been known, the world will soon see how yoga can control and regulate diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, thanks to scientific efforts in this direction by Vivekananda Yoga Anu sandhana Samsthana (VYASA). More than 8,000 diabetic patients in Tamil Nadu took part in a week-long (June 21st to June 27th) Diabetes-Free Bharat camps held at 250 venues across the State. Around 2000 camps were held throughout the country.  This Diabetes Free Bharat initiative is a gift of Sangh to the country as a follow up to the International Yoga Day.
5) The mammoth Hindu Munnani State Conference held at Coimbatore witnessed the participation of 60000 people.

Giving far more than we receive does not mean that we should receive less specially when it comes to mental, intellectual and spiritual inputs. The Vedas say Sata Haste Samahara, Sahasra Haste Sankira – receive with a hundred hands and distribute with a thousand hands. We should absorb, accept, internalise and learn as much as we can. We must nurture our body, mind and intellect as well as can.  But we should give much more than we receive. Only then the society will be an affluent society; a society of surplus and naturally capable of caring more its constituents at material, mental, intellectual and spiritual levels. Mother Earth receives one grain and gives so many grains so that all can live.

No comments:

Post a Comment