Bengaluru September 25, 2016: RSS Bengaluru Mahanagar organized annual Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial lecture on Sunday evening commomerating 100th Birth Anniversary day of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. Mukul Kanitkar, National Joint Organising Secretary of Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal delivered the lecture.

Rss Karnataka Dakshin Pranth Karyavah N Tippeswamy was present on the dias.

Summary of speech by Mukul Kanitkar.

Rashtra Rishi Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and his Integral Humanism

Bharat is a land of great Rishis who were seers of the Absolute Truth and lived lives full of Tyag or Sacrifices. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya is one such Rishi, a flower in that great garland of Rishis that our Nation has produced. Tyag embodies the spirit of this country where the Sanyasi or the Renunciate is the most revered, hence we celebrate Deendayal Upadhyaya’s birthday every year, not to eulogise or hero-worship him.

Our Vedic Rishis were Seers of Absolute Truth and they also emphasised sharing of this knowledge and experience with Society and adhering to this Truth in life, as expressed in the Taittriya Upanishad. Integral Humanism (Ekatma Manava Darshan) of Deendayal Upadhyaya speaks about realising, internalising and actualising Absolute Truth, which is why it is the Science and Art of Life. Deendayal Upadhyaya lived a life full of personal sacrifices where he used resources such as dress sparingly. He followed what he preached. In this, he followed the Parampara of Bharat whose True Nature is one of Tyag or Sacrifice.

The world has followed many isms in the last few centuries, such as Communism and Capitalism, which have only managed to fragment humanity. We have religions which claim their God is the only God or is the most Superior. Such attitude gives rise to the extreme groups such as ISIS that we see today. In such a milieu came Integral Humanism of Deendayal Upadhyaya which reiterated the well-known character and true spirit of Bharat. He talked about realising, internalising, actualising and institutionalising this true nature of Bharat in all spheres of life.

This is the reason Deendayal Upadhyaya got associated with politics. All his life, he had to face adversity of worst kind and this continued in politics also for him. Even his death came in mysterious and unnatural circumstances. He wanted our politics also to be practised on the basis of Bharat’s true spirit, character and nature.

Today, the entire world is getting ready to accept such a worldview as that of Bharat and this process started a couple of decades ago when in the Earth Summit in Doha, the Summit Motto referred to Mother Earth. We have viewed the Earth as Mother for Millennia. But the worldview and economic model adopted by the world in the last century is based on survival of the fittest and in this race, we have depleted all natural resources and today even water has become scarce and survival of the Planet is in question. We need a model based on balanced economy, Arthayam, where neither dominance of wealth nor shortages will be the norm or goal. This is also one aspect of Integral Humanism.

In Bharat, are we ready to embrace such a philosophy, which is our own is the question. Two instances indicate that we are ready. On 6 December 1992, the entire society rejoiced in conditions being created for the construction of a grand Temple for Lord Shri Rama in Ayodhya. Shri Rama embodies the characteristic principle of this nation, that of Sacrifice. That event in 1992 was a massive expression of our true nature, an exercise in assertion of our true nature and it represented a paradigm shift in the thinking of our society.

Swami Vivekananda said we are children of Immortality, Amritasya Putrah, not perishable individuals in flesh and blood. Each one of us is unique in our own ways. We have to express our own unique nature in life. This is central to Integral Humanism. All other isms which don’t recognize this will fail. Collectively also, as a Nation, we need to express our own true and unique nature. As Will Durant said, Bharat is one country which had made the largest contribution to Mankind. Recently, Angus Maddison in his book has documented how in the last two millennia till 1750, Bharat topped the world in GDP. From such a leadership position, we came to a stage where such perverse notions as crossing the ocean being a sin came to dominate our thinking. Swami Vivekananda completely rejected such notions. When Shri Rama went to forest to fulfil the vows of his father, his brothers Lakshman and Bharat also followed and made sacrifices, although they were not required to. Such inclusive, unselfish and sublime attitude is the true spirit of this country.

Integral Humanism is also a victorious philosophy as it emphasises expression of our true nature in fulfilling our mission. Such nature was collectively expressed by our country on May 11, 1998 at Pokhran when we demonstrated our nuclear weapon capabilities. Since then, our ISRO scientists and engineers have also demonstrated our talent by sending a Mission to Mars. Similarly, on June 21, 2015, the whole world acknowledged Bharat’s worldview by celebrating the International Day of Yoga, in which more than 100 countries participated. The whole world reverberated with the sound of OM.

All these examples show the triumphant re-emergence of Bharat’s worldview, which is also expressed by Integral Humanism. But this is no time to celebrate, as we have more to do. In Bharat, we need to institutionalise Integral Humanism in all spheres of life such as Politics, Economics, Education and even in our personal lives. We need politics of integrity and politics of integration. We need an education policy where the aim is not about achieving and targeting the lowest common minimum of each student while teaching, but in helping to achieve each student’s complete, innate potential.

In this 100th year since Deendayal Upadhaya’s birth, we also need to inculcate the philosophy he expressed in our families. We are not mere individuals. We are integrated with our families also. And our society is only an extended family of all our individual families. Similarly, the whole universe, including Nature, birds, animals, trees, plants and flowers are part of our Family. Such is the spirit expressed by Vasudaiva Kutumbakam, which is expressed in Integral Humanism also.

Today, individually and collectively, the world is following a divisive, not integral way of life. At the individual level, it gives rise to human beings who are not at peace with themselves, experiencing disorders and illness, and at the collective level it manifests as religious and other forms of extremism that we are witnessing. We have to replace the individualistic, self-centered approaches with integral humanism and this has to be done by us urgently. Sister Nivedita called for Aggressive Hinduism as the panacea of all our problems and this is the real meaning of that call.

Our cultural ethos is to expect that our future generations be better than us. Better is in the sense of giving more, sacrificing more, making the world a better place. This requires a strong mind and big heart, as Atal ji said, Doing Big things requires a big and strong mind and heart. We have to show such a mind and heart to bring about a nation and society which runs on the basis of Dharma and unity of all beings. Only this can help us achieve our goal of Param Vaibhav and Bharat as Viswa Guru.

This is the path before us and it is up to each of us to participate in this journey. Like in the case of Lord Jagannath’s Rath, the whole society pulls the Rath in this journey. We can be either bystanders and watch or become part of this great mission and journey. If we decide to participate, by following and institutionalising Integral Humanism in all spheres of our lives, that would be the best tribute to Rashtra Rishi Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in this 100th Centenary Year.  Let us all resolve to do that. Jai Hind. Jai Bharat.

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