Shri Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar, affectionately known as Shri Guruji, was the second Sarsanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), from 1940-1973. It was Shri Guruji who nurtured the RSS and helped it attain a pre-eminent position in Bharat’s national life. A seer and visionary, he articulated the basic guiding principles of the RSS. He was and remains a constant source of inspiration, not only to RSS swayamsevaks but to several individuals and organizations in different walks of life. His thoughts on various issues concerning Hindu society are relevant even today. Truly, he was a Rashtra-rishi.
Guruji Golwalkar wrote three letters on 2nd April 1973 and left them with Shri. Pandurang pant Kshirsagar, who was then Akhil Bhartiya Vyawastha Pramukh of RSS. Those three letters are as follows.
All Swayamsevak brethren
The body has been weakening at a rapid pace during the last one month. The doctors have lost all hope. Everyone seems concerned with the thought that this body cannot last for more than a few days. We are thus faced with the important question of the future set-up of the work of the Sangh. It is certain that the Sangh will continue to function in a worthy manner, along the lines set out in our constitution. In line with the same constitution we have also to consider the question of nomination of the new Sarsanghachalak. I have discussed the matter with members of All-India executive committee, all of whom are workers with long-standing experience and as Prant-Sanghachalaks have been organizing work in various provinces. As the present Sarsanghachalak, it is my responsibility to set forth the decision arrived at after the due discussion with them all.
In fulfillment of that responsibility, I hereby declare that after my body ceases functioning, the office of Sarsanghachalak shall be filled by Sri Madhukar Dattatreya – alias Balasaheb – Deoras, who is well known to all.
I express the hope that, bearing in mind the cohesiveness, the mutual love and trust, impersonal devotion to the ideal and such other special features of our work, all our Swayamsevak brethren, young and old, will strive their utmost, in word, thought and deed, to fulfill our aims under the guidance of our Parama Poojya Sarsanghachalak. I have no doubt that we shall soon reach our goal.
My warm salutations to all brethren.
M S Golwalkar
The motto of our work has been, “Worship the Nation”, “Worship the Ideal”. There is no place in it for hero worship. The physicians seem to feel that my body may not survive for long.
In any case the body is ephemeral, and is bound to pass off sooner or later. After life has fled, decorating the corpse etc., would appear funny and meaningless. Likewise, it is unnecessary to idolize or raise memorials to anyone except the founder who was the embodiment of the mission of the Sangh.
As for myself, I have performed my atma-shraddha ceremony at Brahmakapala. Hence, nobody hereafter need take the trouble of performing any ceremonies.
I have stated the position in brief. Everybody, I am confident, can understand the implications.
M S Golwalkar
My dearest and respected Swayamsevak brethren-
The body of Parama Poojaneeya Dr. Hedgewar attained rest on 21st June 1940; and in accordance with his wish, the onerous office of Sarsanghachalak fell to my lot. At that time I knew little. And yet, all the senior workers extended their warm-hearted co-operation and guided me. I was thus able to carry on the work for the long period of 33 years. It now appears to be God’s will that I should hand over the responsibility to a worthy successor to ensure even more efficient working and speedier progress towards the goal. That plan is now in the making.
In my long tenure, it is not unlikely that I have caused mental agony to many workers, due to my idiosyncrasies or shortcomings and defects. With folded hands I seek forgiveness of one and all.
Lastly, I should recall a verse of Saint Tukaram, which expresses my own feelings:
“Listen to my last prayer, pious friends:
Forget me not, O Lord,
It is needless to waste words,
Thou knowest everything.
Tukaram says, I prostrate at Thy Feet,
May Thy Grace protect me”.
M S Golwalkar