We are gathered here today with a special enthusiasm; I know. Basically, I am a person who loves the world of music, who feels at peace in the company of nature. All types of music interest me; all, ranging from folk music to classical music, and so there was this song that I used to like. Yes, I used to. “तस्वीर बनाता हूँ तस्वीर नहीं बनती एक ख़्वाब सा देखा है ताबीर नहीं बनती” I really loved this song. When I began to travel around India, I happened to hear it from all over the country, from all the ten directions. तस्वीर बनाता हूँ तस्वीर नहीं बनती… The eyes of every poor man, the face of every middle-class person, the hard labour of every toiling worker, every mind that was wronged, seemed to echo this song. I was sad, but only for a while; for this was followed by “तस्वीर सें बिगडी हुई तकदीर बनाले, अपने पे भरोसा हैं तो यह एक दाव लगा लें”. And today I am here for that everything, “यह एक दाव लगाने के लिए” (to play my stakes). I am standing on a Dharmakshetra, on a Kurukshetra. But, I am here to prevent a Dharmakshetra from turning into a Kurukshetra and not to turn the Dharmakshetra into a Kurukshetra… remember that. Now, what does that mean? What I am about to share with you is, in fact, a conversation I have had with myself; my conversation with my own self. The world today is moving on, advancing in the direction of doom. Be it the ordinary poor workers, who do not understand politics, either at the national level or at the municipality level and are obviously ignorant about the international scene, or the persons well-versed with the political, social, and economic situation of the country, both must be well aware that mankind today is moving swiftly, not towards progress or towards becoming a more civilized culture, but towards disaster. I am here to avert the Kurukshetra. I will try to avert the Kurukshetra till the end. Remember, what I object to is, the non-violence of the weak… I object to the non-violence of the weak. Resorting to non-violence just because one is incapable of fighting back is just not right. My goal is to resort to peaceful means inspite of my capabilities and strengths. The word ‘non-violence ’ includes violence… non-violence. Non-violence is all that goes into the wiping out of violence. Violence does not consist in killing with a weapon. One can be violent without having to kill. This kind of violence is spreading fast and spreading everywhere. The trend seen in the politics of all nations today indicates that very soon… very soon the international political scene… remember that very soon does not of course, mean in a day or two… very soon internal unrest is going to rise. Besides, the precursor to the reign of anarchy that will come has already occurred. I do not think the present generation knows much about the first and second world wars, not even through the written word. What we read in school is only to get through the exams, and end up forgetting it. So, those who talk in terms of war, forget that war is not child’s play. Great Britain was Great Britain until the end of the 2nd World War… Then what remained thereafter was just Britain… merely Britain. We need to know this and know this well. But, we never really paid any heed to this episode in History. Besides, the significant events, that are to occur shortly in the world… India will play a very important role in these, in all significant events… a very important role. Merely uttering words like “My country is indeed great” does not make the country great. The fact that our forefathers were great does not make us great. My grandfather may have been the king of this country but if I have been reduced to begging, then I am indeed a beggar. This is exactly our situation today. Nevertheless, know that it is going to be India who will lead… 108%… Definitely. But, what good are mere loud proclamations? When I look around, what I find here in India is that the richest harvest that we reap is that of idle talk, words… nothing but words; so many of them, that the ‘Shabdabrahma’ seems to have dissociated itself from Brahma and reduced to a cacophony. Everybody wants to talk, everybody likes to talk. However, they expect the action to be done by others. Know that, irrespective of whether people follow me or not, I will accomplish what I want to and that, mind you, is my vow. I will be only too happy if my dear mates join me or follow me. But, even if the whole world is up against me, I will not be deterred from going my way and sticking to my values. That is for sure… 108%. What will follow now is my 13-point programme. But, right at the outset, let me make it clear that, as far as this work is concerned, I will not tolerate the interference of any political party or any political organization whatsoever. Similarly, I will by no means tolerate any political movement being born out of it. Even the slightest hint of the kind and I will dissociate myself and move away from the movement. I have no political ambitions… none at all… 108%. I neither want to be a leader nor a ruler. I will accept any name you wish to give me. However the only role I wish to play is that of a friend. I am your friend… one who never betrays… one who really wishes you well… a friend on the path of truth, who gives all the love. Remember also that when I refer to ‘Dharmakshetra’, I do not refer a particular dharma but the maanav dharma (the religion of humanity) Truth, Love and Joy that is the dharma that is being spoken about. We have to fight all those who stand in the way of this dharma…100%. What all do I have to do to fight them?… There is a long way to go.
My first point and the last point are progressive from both the directions.
We have to be calm and listen… every word… in order to take in every word, not just in order to take it in but in order that it becomes our life. As a small child I had read this story. There was once a sparrow. A snake would come and eat up her eggs. The sparrow feels helpless before the snake. She approaches a mongoose.“Look, the snake ate up my babies. Please eat up the snake”. She pleads. “Don’t bother me,” says the mongoose. “That is your problem, not mine. There is nothing that I can do.” Since the mongoose refuses to help her, she has to go elsewhere. She decides to turn to the enemy of the mongoose, a more powerful being. But she does not find any. However she comes across the lion. She says to him “O lion, this cobra is destroying my babies. I need the mongoose’s help. Will you scare the mongoose and force him to fight the snake?” The lion says, “How does that concern me?” She then flies off to an elephant and says “the lion won’t listen to me. The mongoose too won’t help me. The snake keeps coming to eat my eggs. What do I do?” The elephant too refuses, saying, “That is not my business. I have so many other things to do.” The sparrow is very sad. Just then, she happens to see an ant. She pleads again. “You are a mother just like me. The snake keeps coming to eat my eggs. Please do something. Please.” “I have to stock grains of sugar. I cannot help you,” replies the ant. Helpless at first but desperate because of the crisis, she threatens the ant, “I will eat you up unless you go and bite the elephant’s ear.” The ant gets scared and she bites the elephant’s ear. The elephant then scolds the lion that, in turn, scolds the mongoose. The mongoose scolds the snake. The moral of the story is that whatever has to be done is accomplished only through your own abilities; abilities coupled with intelligent thinking. Servile talk leads us nowhere. This, we must know and we must know well. The strategy followed in the politics of the world is decided by the power that governs. The beginning of the 2nd world war saw the victory of Germany over various nations. Czechoslovakia was one of them. Until then, England did not feel the need to offer any help. France did not feel the need either. Both these nations conveniently chose to forget the Treaty Of Peace, whereby they were, in fact, obliged to help Czechoslovakia. They entered the war on the side of Poland and that too only when they anticipated the direct effect of the war on their own nation. Let us not forget this. It must be noted that since all strategies are decided by the powers and the authorities, unless India becomes strong in every way, it will not command any respect or worth in the world. But, look at the ways of our society. We never want to take the initiative in doing something. All we want to do is to act as a spoke-in-the-wheel when others decide to take up good endeavors. We demoralize them and prevent them from doing the good work. We are well versed with the tricks of the trade… so many of them. We all must bear in mind that as we move forward, this kind of internal resistance has to be overcome. As we go about looking for solutions, we may feel a particular solution is the most effective. However, in the event that the best solution is not available, we have to pull on till the best or the most effective solution is found. But, till then we have to manage to find a way to survive, don’t we? We just have to shed these tendencies. This is my country. Every citizen of my country is my kin. This sentiment has to be born inside of us. Once upon a time it did exist in us. It really did. Consider this: Pilgrims travelled from Rameshwar right upto Kashi, even upto Pashupatinath and from Pashupatinath upto Rameshwar. There were no planes, no trains and no S.T. buses then. You can imagine how many years a journey would take. There were no hotels like today. Money was no great help at all. One could not stay in a hotel in return for money. Yet, this journey that lasted 12 and even 14 years was absolutely safe. They never faced any language problem. Nobody would learn 22- 23 languages before setting out on the journey. But, they were welcome all over. This only indicates the country, with all the different fibres, was held together in one single weave. Today, we come across questions as to where we belong? To this state or that? To this caste or that? Just how many pieces are we going to divide our country into? Are we not aware that we can survive only as long as the nation does? We seem to believe in the principle that “The soldier’s chest is meant to take the bullet, while we take our meals in the comfort of our homes. Protecting the nation is the responsibility of the army and we have no role to play in protecting the nation or even strengthening it”. But this is wrong. Now I shall begin with my next program.
Clothing… Cloth, even today, there are scores of students, not just in villages but also in cities, who do not have enough clothing to cover their bodies. As a result, they are unable to attend school and thus remain deprived of education. Therefore, such children or for that matter even the class that toils but fails to make ends meet, has to be provided with clothing. We are not talking of beggars; we are talking of those who work for their living. It is an important issue even today. Similarly, in times of natural calamities, those affected need to be provided with clothing. The aged, who have nobody to look after them, also should receive clothing. This is the first programme on my list. While on this point, I wish to recall, with love, something very beautiful; something that binds us all Indians, binds us firmly to it. And we have lost sight of it. Yet, the bond persists. It keeps surfacing over and over again in History. It keeps signalling to us. We are talking of our bond with the Charkha, a boon that a great soul of this country, Mahatma Gandhi, bestowed upon us. Mahatmaji may have had his own political views. I do not understand politics. I do not wish to understand it. There was no bullet proof vehicle and no bullet proof glass. This old man was shot… and at that moment what he uttered was… HEY RAM. We Indians believe that only saints utter the name of God as they breathe their last. But then, he was indeed a saint. Just this one thing is enough for me. The rest, gossip and disputes, I have left to those who indulge in it. That is their business. You might wonder, “Bapu, why do you want to drag us to the times bygone? There are mills now.” But, then, these mills cannot provide me, as Indians, with cloth, and, that too, free of cost. I want your hands that toil. The two Spinning Wheels that you see here….the vertical one is out-dated. The one that is there in the wooden box is called the YERAWADA WHEEL. The other one that looks like a machine is the AMBAR CHARKHA… Ambar Charkha. We are going to spin the yarn on these two wheels. From today, I begin the Saptapadi of the chakra and the mantra… the chakra and the mantra. We want Bapu’s love. We want Bapu’s blessings. Bapu is with all those who spin the charka and chant the mantra… 108%. Chakra is the wheel of the charkha. I do not want you to throw your money and get cloth in return for that. I want you to get involved. You have to take this responsibility. The wheel has to spin as you work hard and as you say the mantra. Our organization has done a lot of preparations. I myself was preparing for it. I have learnt to…
Many organizations helped us in our preparations that have been going on for around six months. I feel the need to mention their names. The Gopuri Ashram, Vardha, Vinobaji’s Sarvodaya Ashram, the Gujarat Khadi Gramodyog Mandal, Ahmedabad, the Orphanage founded by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the various artisans there. Narendrabhai Shah, Bababhai Patel who helped us and, of course, the name where it all began, Dr. Madhavdas Thackersey. I must express my gratitude to the Trustees of Mani Bhavan, the Vice Chairman of Mani Bhavan Mr. Subramaniam and Mr.Tulsidas Somaiya. They have trained 12 of our volunteers not only in spinning the yarn but also in the entire process, and all this with so much love. Both these wheels yield yarn. However, the Yeravada wheel (charkha) is used to fabricate only the transverse yarn whereas the Ambar wheel that is mechanical, can be used for both the longitudinal as well as the transverse one and can be used to weave cloth. The Ambar charkha costs about Rs. 1850/-. The cost may vary a little. The Yeravada Charkha costs about Rs. 450/-. The cost depends on the wholesale rate effective at a given moment. The sliver there has to be bought. That is called the Sliver. Our friends in Bardoli, Wardha, Ahmedabad have promised to help us on that front. They are putting in sincere efforts. We, all of us, have to now spin the wheels. Our organization will get these slivers at Rs.80/-. …buy as much, as many slivers as is possible for you, spin the yarn and give it to our Organization. Those who are not able to do this, those who cannot participate in this work and spin the charkha must help those who can, and also support those who buy the sliver. This is a totally self-dependent plan and I absolutely insist that it is carried out by these means. Spinning the yarn, weaving cloth… Spinning the charkha will be taught at the Mumbai Sarvodaya Mandal, 1st floor, Nana Chowk, Mumbai on Sundays from 9.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on Wednesdays and Fridays between 3.30 p.m and 5.00 pm. You might ask, “Bapu, why all this running around?” I have already said in the beginning, that I want your involvement. Even if you buy cloth in return for money that you pay and we weave the fabric we might be able to provide cloth worth Rs. 4.50/-or Rs. 5.00/-when the expense is Re. 1/-. We can provide cloth enough for 4-5 persons at the cost of cloth that is actually meant for only one, and that too which is very durable and brand new, mind you. Those who use khadi know how durable it is and that it does not wear out at all. It is a need. It is a need of the students, of the women. Education too is a need. Education alone can free a large part of the Indian Society from the clutches of blind faith, discrimination and all that stands in the way of the welfare of the country. They must all be aware, aware of the rights and their duties. So, this cause aims at providing clothing, free of cost, to children not only in Mumbai or in Maharashtra but all over the country. The Organization will make the fabric. It will bear the cost of weaving cloth. It will be distributed all over the country, among all castes, all sects, without accepting even so much as a rupee as token. Mind you, this will be a gift, not alms. If you feel these are alms or help, do not spin the charkha. I will do it all by myself. The yarn that it yields will be enough for me. Not, of course, for me to wear. I do not insist that you wear Khadi. Let all orphans get clothing to cover themselves. We just do not get any idea while living in the city. The villages in Maharashtra are relatively better off, but think of the situation in Khandesh. Our organization is working so sincerely. I am happy to announce that like in Dhule, we are going to adopt 3 more schools and villages. This again is for the same purpose. The initial stages have already taken off, spinning the yarn all by yourself and chanting the mantra simultaneously. And what do you think the mantra is? I would like you to ask me a question, “Bapu, which God do you worship?” To tell you the truth, I do not worship any God. My God, is sitting right before me, I worship him. Bapu belongs to all those who turn the charkha and chant the mantra.
Baar maas means 12 months. It is the Baar maas farming fodder plan. But I really would like to name it “Gograss”. (A morsel of food for the cow). The moment we see a cow on the road we bow before her, touching her tail, we also do namaskaar. On Mondays, in the holy month of Shraavan, I see cows with their stomachs tight and full. A hire charge of Rs.15/-is what is payable. We keep stuffing the cow. Then I wonder which doctor gives her tablets if she has to put up with indigestion. We just refuse to give up the idea that we earn ‘punya ’ by feeding the cow. Instead of that, why don ’t we give a thought to the farmer who is the main support, the pillar and who depends entirely on this animal? In India, famine strikes all the time. Mr. N. C. Kelkar has written the biography of Lokmanya Tilak; a beautiful one. He describes the famine that struck in 1852. Famine is by no means a temporary phenomena or crisis in India. It affects some place or the other. But there is a calamity that is worse than famine. The debt of the farmer. There are multiple factors responsible for this situation. The rocky and barren land, lack of rain, lack of ponds, canals, dams and most of all the scarcity of grass and the inconvenience cause to cattle, This is an important factor. During the famine, the farmer even sells his clothes to make ends meet. However, in famine struck areas, cattle are sold at the price of fodder and fodder is bought for the price of gold. I see this situation in many areas, including Khandesh; there is no fodder because there are no rains. There is no water throughout the year. So then it is the responsibility of the city dwellers. We have to grow this grass. The water that the government provides us with is used for drinking and washing utensils and clothes. It is the farmer who provides us with food. We have to grow this grass to feed their animals. That is why this project is also called ‘Round the year farming’ fodder project or the Non-Farming–Fodder Project. That is “Gograss (गोग्रास)”. All of us have to grow this grass. We do not need large pieces of land for that. We have grown it in our chawls and flats. We, my volunteers and I, have been conducting this experiment throughout last year. I am preaching what I have already practiced. Sugarcane, wheat, rice and maize. We peel out the skin of the cane and throw it away. The nodes can be kept in a tray of water. They sprout to give the main cane along with the leaves. Once they grow as much as two feet, they are the best food for cattle. During the Navaratri festival I sow grains of wheat in a plate and then immerse them in the water. But if we do this round the year, if we sow wheat, rice or maize in one or may be two plates, the grown sapling will be collected by our organization. We have now decided to buy two Tempos specially to transport these, free of cost, for the cattle in the famine struck areas. Remember, only then will the farmer truly survive. If we want to feed the cow, let ’s not, foolishly, feed her ‘varan bhaat’ and ‘puran poli’. Just stop these meaningless and stupid practices. Feed her with food that is grown in your home out of your own money that you worked for. I know, some might ask, “Bapu, what about proliferation of mosquitoes in the process?” Well, the answer for that is ready. Mosquitoes do not breed in grass. It is enough to grow 4 or 5 saplings at a time. You can, thus, have a yield 3-4 times in a year. Besides, if water does not stagnate, we need not worry about mosquitoes at all. They lay their eggs only in water and that is where they grow. Cases of Malaria are on the rise in Mumbai. If I grow this grass, I know there will be fingers pointing at me promptly that Bapu is growing grass and that is giving rise to Malaria. It is not grass that breeds mosquitoes but unhygienic conditions and stagnant water that do. Hence the round–the–year water, farming and fodder project. Now, what exactly am I supposed to do? Just take a few grains of cereal and sow it, as is the Navaratri custom. Get home sugarcane to eat. Each cane has 10-12 nodes. Plant these properly in the soil and when the leaves grow and attain the required height, deliver them to the Organization and continue doing this. We never feel the scarcity of water. But, those who do, happen to be those who provide us with our food. Their cattle are ours, our real cattle. If we want to collect ‘punya’, we must prepare this food ourselves. Let us make a beginning. We do not mind if others follow suit. I do not wish that anything should be stamped as mine. I just know one thing, when God gives us rain; the rain is not stamped as ‘God’s rain’. The fruits, the wheat, the rice that he gave us also do not bear His stamp. I therefore feel it is neither necessary nor a need that any project bears my stamp. This was about the second Point.
We collect all the used paper and sell it for Rs. 10/-, 12/- or 15/- or whatever, and that too after much haggling. But I want that waste paper. Yes, I do. You might well ask, “Bapu, what is the plan? Do you want to buy used articles? Is it to earn money by selling the paper? You are welcome to say anything you want. I do not care. As long as I know that I am on the path of truth you may say anything, I don’t care. In any case, what we earn is Rs. 4/- or 5/-, which hardly makes a difference. If what you get by selling this paper does not make any difference to your monthly expense, do give this paper to the organization. Paper bags made out of this paper will go a long way in solving the plastic bag problem. This will also contribute in the conservation of the environment. Any paper will do, not just newspaper. Beside paper pulp made out of this paper will be used to make articles. This will be done at our land at Karjat. Employment opportunities will thus be created. This employment however, is not a job. Anybody, who is without a job and has to go hungry, can work there and earn wages for that day. As much as is possible will be done for this arrangement to continue. My volunteers have been trained over the last three years in this work of making various useful things out of paper pulp. If at all we are left with surplus paper, we will sell it and the money will be transferred to the ‘Clothing’ project to buy slivers. We must also be aware that if used paper is used to make new paper cutting down of trees will be curbed. So, collect all used waste paper. But if you come across a cheat who collects paper using Bapu’s or the organization’s name, then do not hesitate to throw him in the waste paper basket. Such people are not even worth the waste paper. They are just worthless. Whenever work is done for a good cause there are going to be people who stand in the way. We have to deal with them there. This, then, was the Waste Paper Project.
What I want from you under this project is: Old (but not torn) clothes, old utensils and old textbooks. Those who feel the need to sell them may of course sell the books, but those who do not, may please give them to the organisation. Old toys will do, but only non-battery-operated. I will come to why I want them… blank pages from old notebooks… at the end of every year we do have a few pages left in our notebooks. I am greedy… I just want all that is old. So, old clothes (not torn), old utensils, old non-battery-operated toys and blank pages. From the blank pages our volunteers will make notebooks, which will be distributed free of cost amongst the poor students. “What are these toys for, Bapu?” you may wonder. The 5th -6th standard children in villages still walk 10 miles or more in order to get to school. The teacher keeps classes going up to the 4th standard. The parents are reluctant to send their children to school as they miss out on the money that the boy or the girl would earn in the fields. We need to motivate them, to tempt them; you may call it a bribe if you wish… I do bribe, I am ready to bribe these children and even their parents. We have, in fact, done it and with success. Those who are marked present regularly get these toys and their parents get the clothes. They even receive old utensils and are temped to send their children to school. You might say, “Bapu, how are we concerned? These children will grow up and be on their own. No my dear ones, they are not beggars. You give 25p to the beggar on the street or when people of a certain gender come to the autorickshaw and beg, you give them Rs. 2 – 4/- out of fear. Don’t you? Stop it now. Help the workers. Learn to help the students. All these old articles will be used to motivate and inspire poor students and their parents. We are in fact already doing it. We are relating to schools on a much larger scale now. This movement, too, has to spread all over the country… 100%. The old stuff is not just to make a little money. If old has to be turned to gold, the old has to be put to appropriate use. That was about the Old is Gold project.
The warmth of love… we all long for the warmth of God ’s grace. We wish that God should take care of us; keep us warm with His quilt. Lord Vitthal carried Janabai’s quilt with Him and forgot His own “Shelaa”. The quilt really deserves a lot of praise. Many workers remain deprived of this quilt. Making these quilts is offering the warmth of love. Both men and women can make these and that too sitting at home. These can be made out of torn clothes or pieces of cloth. A little while ago I said that I want your old clothes and now I am telling you to put your torn clothes to this use. Meenatai Mahajan is willing to train both men and women to make quilts. She is an expert in this art. The training will be imparted in our office and thereafter the quilts can be made at home. Charity can be made by way of food, clothing and shelter. This is shelter. We cannot present anyone with a house but we can surely gift this quilt to the workers and even to destitute students and women. We do have a lot of free time. Even if we make use of a little, we can make 2-3 quilts in a month. All we have to do is use our hands for these purposes instead of using them to surf TV channels.
If you take a tour of villages in and outside Maharashtra, you will discover that there are villages where it is not possible to get electric supply or, for instance, pay the bill. Certain categories of people, for e.g. farmers, get it free, for agriculture etc.; but, the others do not. And there happen to be students within the working class. They have to study, which they cannot after sunset. School gets over at 5.00 pm and by the time they come home, it is already dark. When can they study? They have to get up early in the morning to go to school. Where is the time to study? The teacher then beats them up; then they are frightened of school. It is for this reason that we have to bring light. “Ramo Rajamani Sada Vijayate Ramam Ramesham Bhaje” (रामो राजमणि सदा विजयते रामम रमेशं भजे) This shloka may be chanted for as many times as is possible and everyday, if you cannot say it everyday, say it whenever you can. As you have your bath, before your bath, in bed at night, but just say it. Ram is the Sun and so, when we give this gift of light, we have to be addressing Ram. We have to offer candles and matchboxes to Ram. You will have to buy these candles and matchboxes. These candles and matchboxes will be brought to the office. The Organization will then distribute these free of cost to the students who are not able to study because there is no electricity. This applies to the entire country; in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and in Maharashtra in Nagpur area. There are several houses where there is no light at night. Our candle must reach there. We do the “navas” (vows) of various kinds. We must do this one. My work must get done. Say it to any God or Goddess, pray that your work must get done. Say that you would give certain number of candles, a certain number of matchboxes. Your sugar, or the 2 Laddus, even the gold crown that you give is not going to please any God or Goddess. What will is Seva and Bhakti. Give your love. Your “navas ”should bring light into the life of these students. You can even give candles every month, one, if that is indeed my capacity and one thousand if I am in a position to do so. Each one can give as per his/her capacity. But, remember that it is important that these candles reach them. This is the Light of Knowledge Project. “Ramo Rajamani Sada Vijayate Ramam Ramesham Bhaje” (रामो राजमणि सदा विजयते रामम रमेशं भजे) It is always Ram who wins, remember. The victory of the Ram naam is the victory of light and the defeat of darkness. The battle of Light against Darkness and the battle of Darkness against Light is an ancient battle of this universe. As we fight it, I wish to address Ram. “Ramo Rajamani Sada Vijayate Ramam Ramesham Bhaje ”
The Cleanliness Campaign squad has now formed from within the Samarpan Pathak. What I am sharing with you today is on the basis of a 2 1/2 year long research done by the Samarpan Pathak and our other Volunteers. What is Research? We only know of medical research. We do not recognize any other. Research is part of Social Sciences and our organization has conducted two such research projects. They had to visit several centers, people from different schools of thought, of different religions. The theme was “What do you think should be done to make India the greatest and the most pre-eminent country of the world”? Various questions were asked and the answers were sought. The other project was “The Indian Woman, What Next?” Both these projects were executed in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, English and Kannada. People speaking languages apart from these were also contacted from time to time for their views. The results of this research have definitely influenced certain decisions and policies, and I am putting them all before you today. The workers who have contributed to this research have been assigned to this Cleanliness Group (Swachchata Group). We have cleaned up hutment colonies and colonies of the poor; we cleaned roads. But, from now on, I have changed my strategy; the cleanliness campaign will, hereafter, function only in schools in poor and middle-income group areas, public hospitals, and places of worship that are socially oriented. ‘You can offer help by approaching the group through the centers. Our group recently carried out this campaign at the Nair Hospital. They also carried out a project of re-immersion of Ganpati idols. We have now taken up a new project – water logging. The water-logging project was not my idea. It came from a friend Mr. Pradeep Varma. Now the scientists and volunteers are putting their heads together to think about the issue. We are doing this because it is an urgent need of the hour. But, I have spoken about it many a times and so I would not want to dwell on it again.
Ahilya, Stree janma hee tujhee kahani, Hridayee amrit, nayanee pani.” – “स्त्री जन्मा ही तुझी कहाणी, हृदयी अमृत, नयनी पाणी” (That is the story of your life, O woman; Your heart is filled with nectar and your eyes, with tears.) Ahilya is the personification of the misery of the Indian Woman. An unscrupulous Indra assuming her husband’s form, violates her chastity, and her husband, equally unscrupulous, curses her that she be reduced to a stone. This innocent woman, turns to a stone then waits for years together for Ram to come and deliver her from that curse. Caught between the injustice of the society and that of her husband, she is the symbol of the Indian woman’s misery. The Indian woman is again in danger. She is burnt on the road and nobody comes to her help. She is raped publicly but nobody wants to help her. Why do you look at men expectantly that they might help you? The Ahilya Sangh has been formed under the guidance of Nanda Vahini for women to strengthen themselves, on their own, to teach an appropriate lesson to all those who do injustice. Appropriate is what it should be. Prayer and Jap will not move these wolves. There was this woman who approached a Sadguru and said. “Sadguru, my boss harasses me. I need this job. What do I do? If I do not yield to his wishes, he can even sack me by accusing me wrongly. I am a widow, having three children. My parents and my mother-in-law are all dependent on me. I am really scared.” The Sadguru was really shrewd… shrewd in the good sense. He did not give any mantra. He gave her a knife. “Keep this with you. Use it appropriately at an appropriate moment. He won’t die but he won’t even live either”. That man is indeed living this kind of a life, mind you. Alive, yes, but not of any use? If every Indian woman decides to change herself, she will not have to worry about anything. That is what I would like every woman to become, with the help of the Ahilya Sangh. All the ancient Indian martial arts that I have taught Acharya Ravindra Manjrekar, will be used to teach women to develop their strength. It is you who have to develop it. You might think that your brother, your children, your husband and the society will come to your rescue! Draupadi had all her 5 husbands, her father-in-law, the Dharmacharya before her… none came forward to rescue her, but for Krishna. Today, you do not even have to wait for Him. Get ready. The Lord will definitely come. But, you will have to really take efforts to earn this strength. Don’t be under this wrong impression that I want you to learn using the knife. But be sure that all the martial arts needed to protect yourselves will be taught to you and there will be training centers all over the country. The woman has an immense reserve of strength… strength, which has been suppressed for times immemorial. The time has now come for it to bloom yet again. However the Ahilya Sangh leaders will have to beware of genuine allegations and fake ones. Article 498A says that if, within the first 8 years of marriage, the in-laws torture the daughter-in-law for dowry, they are first taken into custody and then the investigations are carried out. Many women have taken an undue advantage of this article. I have seen a 92 year-old paralyzed lady being arrested. We must not misuse the provisions of law. Strength must be coupled with responsibility. The persons in authority must know the difference. Do not wait for Ram to come. Ahilya must take charge and do things herself. She, too, must be capable of giving a curse, if need be. That is what I expect. Besides, all women who have been wronged and who are in a crisis, will receive support from the Ahilya Sangh. The third important thing is that the women who suffer because of the addiction of their husbands, will also receive help. This also means helping the de-addiction work. The Ahilya Sangh will do both these things; mind you, the Ahilya Sangh is not a woman’s liberation movement. It has been established so that no woman ever has to face the same situation that Ahilya did. Every center will give personal details and the Sangh will function accordingly. No tricks. No fights. All that we want is to become strong and counter injustice.
Manusmriti… what Manu wrote initially was very good. I do not want to listen to things like “Later on it was others who added baseless material to it.” If it was indeed one single person who wrote it, then He must have been truly useless. Manusmriti has chosen to forget the humane element and compassion. A Smriti that suggests a humiliating life for women and non-Brahmins must be done away with. There is no point in burning the work. I neither recognize the Varna nor the caste. Everyone must get equal opportunities. Follow your caste; I have no objection. I only have a request; please do not say that my caste is superior to yours; stop that first. There is no harm in being proud about your caste; I do not mind. But, our caste is superior and the others’ are inferior, is something you must stop saying… we have to stop that. It is this caste distinction that has torn India into pieces, and taken away its strength. When I hear the educated talking about this caste and the other, I feel ashamed; but they don’t. Incidentally, the caste that is looked down upon by another, considers itself superior to some other caste. This is a vicious circle. If we want to break free, we have to first stop this talk of superior and inferior castes… stop talking; the rest will be taken care of. I have begun a ‘Dharmagrantha’ in place of the Manusmriti… a Dharmagrantha… Satyasmriti. I am not an atheist. I have full faith in God. This work has to do with Him. What would the work be? This work intends to free society from unnecessary rituals, blind faith and get done only what is apt. It will explain what Dharma is all about. I am not going to come out with a new philosophy.
It is going to be a confluence of the 4 Indian religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. The reader of this work must not belong to any one particular religion. He must belong to the religion of God… to the religion of humanity. What do I wish to achieve? My most important announcement, the one that I keep repeating. No agents. There must not be any agent between the bhakta and God. That is why I am writing this work. These agents have truly harmed India. I am writing this work so that all agents disappear totally. Any Bhakta full of love for God need not approach any agent. I have an aim of establishing at least one ideal place of Pilgrimage. When on a pilgrimage we come across unclean temples, the greed for money of the poojaris, the lack of discipline among the bhaktas. Besides, the beauty of God does not seem to inspire us. We are servile and only go to ask for something. We don’t even look at the face of God. Imagine a beautiful, clean temple, where nobody stops you; you can take darshan with so much peace, you can sit before God and talk to Him… These we find in our Christian places of worship and the Muslim places of worship. Why, then can ’t we establish these kind of holy places? Of course we can… surely! The only thing that should happen is the elimination of these agents. We need to prepare ourselves mentally. This work will prepare the mind. The last 5 pages of this work will be blank… totally blank. They will be published only after I go from here, after having done what I am here for. But there is still a lot of time. Don’t rejoice yet. This is not going to occur in the near future… 100%. No bullet, no bomb can pierce this chest remember… 100%. That is what the Dharmagrantha is going to be, the one that I am writing for my friends. Today, in India, tradition is nurtured much more than the Truth. We do not care for the Truth. We are slaves of tradition and that too the wrong one. There once was a great astrologer, a Jyotishacharya, His name was Brahmagupta. He authored a new work in the 2nd Century A.D. and do you know what he wrote in the preface?… a very beautiful thought. He said, the Mathematics of the stars, that Brahmadev gave to us, is now old and so weary, and I am writing it afresh. In the 2nd Century A.D. this scientist was ready to change the word of Brahmadev. This is not a palmist who reads our palm; this is an astronomer who studies the stars. In the 2nd Century A.D. there was a scientist who spoke these words and, today, we are still not ready to shed our wrong beliefs. My Dharmagrantha is certainly not meant to make me immortal, in a sense. The Geeta assures us of that. Besides, nothing can tie me down… nothing at all. Nobody can stop or contain me. My parents gave me this name of Aniruddha and that is exactly how I am – Aniruddha – one who cannot be stopped or contained. Nobody can hold me back – 100%.Whether you like it or not, I am writing it and will write this Dharmagrantha and I am going to present it to you, at your service.
We are only familiar with the money bank. This is an information bank, a General Knowledge bank. Every Thursday, before I begin the discourse, I will talk about new scientific discoveries, scientific information and various events in the world of science. This 5-10 minute talk aims at developing the mind and exposing it to progressive thought. It will also help to shed our confusion. We hardly read. But I am going to talk about all that is necessary just before the Vishnu-Sahastranaam.
Knowledge is essential. Even bhakti needs knowledge. But the view that mere bhakti does not help you to acquire knowledge, my dear ones, is a wrong belief. Knowledge is born out of bhakti. What if I do not know whom to address my bhakti to? I need to know that don’t I? In today’s world, we have to honour and respect knowledge. Bhagvan Shree Krishna Himself says in the Geeta, Knowledge is a necessity. We have to acquire knowledge. There are various kinds of knowledge. The knowledge of languages is considered supreme. Literature is supreme among all kinds of knowledge. The study of languages is the worship of Goddess Saraswati and of Goddess Parvati. That is why the Samarpan Pathak has been carrying out this project of the study of various languages. Each one has to learn a language apart from one’s mother tongue. An institute on those lines has been established, Bharatiya Bhasha Sangam, where every Indian can learn any language apart from his / her mother tongue. Learn one if you wish, or even two languages. All the Indian languages, even Urdu, will be taught. Urdu, incidentally, originated in India. The language was born as a result of the war against the kingdom of Vijaynagar. The Arab army spoke Arabic or Persian and this mixed with the languages spoken in southern areas, a mixture of Marathi and Kannada. The Urdu thus formed was initially called Dakhkhani. It is the language of the soldiers. It then became Urdu. Today it is the national language of Pakistan. We are not aware of this episode in history… when Urdu became the national language of Pakistan, only 2% of the population of Pakistan spoke Urdu. The rest spoke Punjabi, Sindhi and Baluchi. Urdu is an Indian language. We need to study that too. So, Bharatiya Bhasha Sangam will show the way.
An institute, aimed at the study of the five continents, on the lines of the Institute of Regional Studies, is being formed. The groundwork is on the way. The progress and politics of the 5 continents, scientific and educational progress, and cultural progress and of course regression, all will be part of the study. The study of the world around only helps to study our own selves. We need to do it. This Institute will produce scientists… social scientists. India has neglected this science. We have institutes, but we lack awareness. Hence, the Institute of Social Studies. This will produce several scholars.
These, then, were the 12 projects. Right from the charkha, food for cattle, everything is the work of God. We might say the mantra, Rushabha Gautam, we might say ‘Ramo Rajamani…’ we might donate food, quilts. Let whatever you do be motivated by the purest of sentiments. We all have difficulties in life. It is common Indian belief that these are the result of the sins of the previous birth. But if we have to combat these difficulties, we have to accumulate our punya; we have to turn to virtue. And that, you are not going to achieve through irresponsible and foolish behaviour. The path of Truth, Love and Joy is what we have to tread upon to earn our punya from Bhakti and Seva. Only then can the sins be countered. Do you recall the story of the Sparrow? Those who live around you cannot protect you, however strong they may be. Netaji Subhashchandra Bose had clearly said, that those who lead India, those who work for the welfare of this country need to evolve spiritually. A warrior like Subhashchandra Bose tells us this! These are not the words of a person with blind faith, but that of a warrior; a fighter on the battlefield has uttered them. We have to worship God through seva. What is important here is Group Upasana. Bapu, why are these centers formed for group Upasana? Our Christian brothers, our Muslim brothers do this group Upasana. We can learn from them. Group Upasana used to take place in India until the second century. We have to revive them. We do not want to be one up on anyone. The vibrations born out of this Upasana, the energy and the valour born out of this Upasana are beneficial to the country and hence to us. When ten persons come together and pray, the benefits reaped are ten times as much as when a person sits alone. Let’s look at it like this – if one person sitting by himself derives a benefit of 10 gms from his prayer, 10 persons, each praying say 10 gms., reap a benefit of 100 gms. each. Group Upasana does not divide the Punya; instead it multiplies and that too in a non-geometrical progression. We do not have to indulge in foolish practices. We can do our daily prayer, say our Ram Raksha, Ghorkashtodharan Stotra, chant the Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari mantra or even chant the one that we just spoke about, Rushabha, Gautam, Dattaguru and without proving to be a bother for others. We can even recite the stotra of a deity of our choice or chant the mantra or sing bhajans of that deity. Come together, but not to fight. India has given birth to so many stalwarts. Take the case of Japan, for instance – it was bombed and practically destroyed in 1945. India became independent just two years after that. Look where Japan has reached and look at us! Yet, I say that the post independence period did see so many great personalities. Japan had only a handful of such great personalities. But the Japanese society soared and progressed. India gave birth to many great personalities but, as a society, it did not develop. Why does this happen? … it is primarily because we lack that feeling of belonging for one another. We have to create this feeling through bhakti… through bhakti… bear that in mind. Developing our bhakti towards God is very important. These are not tasks meant for a social worker, or for political leaders either. These are tasks meant for those who serve sincerely, fully aware of the existence of God. These are tasks of someone who has a lot of love for you, your father, your brother or your friend, if you like. We have to strengthen our religious and group feelings. Your prayer may be sincere, you may be aware of the existence of God, you may be doing your Jap or singing bhajans but what will really please God is seva. So, we have to recall that every Indian dharma stresses that irrespective of jap, the following 3 debts have to be repaid in order to deserve to go to heaven or even be happy and peaceful during our lifetime – The debt of your mother, your dharma and your motherland. We do not repay our own mother’s debt, leave alone that of the motherland. That is why we are in want; we are unhappy. The sages of olden times have clearly stated that when a child below 16 years commits a crime or it is starved, the resultant sin is borne by the parents. If the parents are no more, the father’s brother and his wife, the father’s sister and the mother’s sister have to bear it. If these relatives too are no more, then the sin is to be borne by the village in which the child stays. These kinds of sins are being loaded on us. The earthquake in Latur is not our responsibility; the earthquake at Kutch does not concern us. When the Kutch earthquake happened. my volunteers said, “Bapu, we have to go immediately, the very next day.” I refused and said, “Wait, hold on for three months. Go only when the crowd of photographers disperses.“ I wish to state proudly that yours is one of the mere 3-4 organizations that are still serving, consistently, even today, even now. But this does not mean that you are working there. You have to take responsibility. The sins that create trouble for us are those that are committed by dependants. The age group below 16 years does not sin and the orphans and old people do not sin. The sins of destitute aged also pass on to the society. This is a firmly established theory in the Indian Religion. “We have not sinned Bapu.” Don ’t say that because not doing your duty is also a sin and you are suffering due to that. You are reaping the fruits of corruption. You just have to do the group Upasana. But Bhakti has to motivate these. Seva alone can lead to ego. Bhakti usually does not give rise to ego and all that one does, is the wish and will of God, it is His grace. Why am I doing this seva? Not for this one bearing a six-foot body, it is for our own selves. Remember, your fate is your life and we want to break through it. Fate cannot be altered through spells or even offering goats to God. We must be sure of that – 100%. What we need is genuine spirituality. We may chant his name, pray, sing bhajans, worship idols and offer garlands, anoint idols. It does not matter. We can do it as part of our bhakti… bhakti mind you, and not pretense. The priest recites the mantra; neither he nor we understand the meaning. He tells us to offer flowers and we offer leaves, instead of water we pour the wrong thing, that’s how our pooja is conducted. The lady performing the pooja is more worried about the taste of the food she cooked and the husband who is doing the pooja is more bothered about how the visitors are being taken care of. Besides if the visitor happens to be the boss, he has to attend to him in a servile manner. These are not pooja. No God accepts this pooja. These are nothing but a hoax. They have to be stopped. You can do the pooja the way you like it. I do not object to anything. You can colour any stone with sindoor, I will join my hands in prayer. I know if the sentiment is genuine, God surely exists in it. What I object to is the hypocrisy. What is wrong is turning to the name of God because you are incapable of anything in life. Your youth is meant for education, your youth is meant for your job or your business, your youth is meant for earning money, your youth is meant for marriage and family life, for making a name and seeing the world. But we reserve our old age for the very God who graces and blesses us with all this – Why? This is shamelessness. Shed it and then call yourself a bhakta. Bhakti has to come from within. What makes God are the ways of the saints. “je kaa …” “(जे का…”) Remember what Sant Tukaram tells us. What the Vedas and the Upanishads tell us. I have personally experienced the greatness of the Vedas. “Brahma satya…”is not what should drag us down. The various schools of thought that talk of Maya are more elusive than anything else. They are for great personalities, not for ordinary ones like me. These empty words do not get us anywhere. Since the 2nd century, all that has happened is the authoring of works. The result is that India has been taken for granted. This has to end. Let our bhakti be firm and sincere and let our seva be genuine and consistent.
Our organization has already set up The Academy of Disaster Management. Till date about 1200 persons have been trained. These people are, in turn, training others as theirs was the training needed to equip teachers about natural disasters like earthquakes, floods as also man-made disasters like bomb explosions, terrorist activities and restrictions imposed by foreign countries. I am establishing a Disaster Management Force for this purpose. In five years I want to prepare five lakh young persons from all over the country. Five lakh youngsters who will be ready to face any disaster… absolutely any. Armed forces and the civilians must complement each other. Besides these five lakh volunteers are not a one-time affair. The number shall remain constant at any given point of time. Suppose the twenty-five year old turns 50 after twenty-five years, the number of members has to be maintained at 5 lakh. This voluntary group will rush to the help of every Indian whenever needed and will also be ready to risk their lives. They will also be instrumental in actually averting disasters. They will also be ready to go to war if there is an attack on the country which they will do under instructions and order from the democratically elected Prime Minister in power at that time and the Chief of Army of this democratically elected leader. They will not receive any orders from Aniruddha then. They will take orders from the democratically elected leader at the top. He may belong to any party and any religion. I have nothing to do with that. I will, however, see to it that 5 lakh youngsters from all over the country are ready as part of the Disaster Management Force, prepared to protect my Motherland and also ready to lay down their lives for the purpose. This is not an army. 99% of the time, they will be managing disasters. Only if there is an attack on the country, they will not hesitate to sacrifice their lives in the war that will be fought under the orders of the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army. They will not hesitate for a second… 100%… 5 lakh such youngsters. We have to do everything in geometric progression. I am going to do it… 108%… with the name of Ram on their lips, the strength to help in their hands and the will to fight with any available weapon, for the country right until they have the last drop of blood in them. That is what these 5 lakh youngsters will be. The Disaster Management Team is being formed. 5 lakh in the age group of 16-25 years. If the 25 year-old turn 26 in the following year an equal number in that age group will replace them. So, the first youngster to volunteer… as charity begins at home… is from my home. My son Pouras is 16. He is the first member of this group. I am proud of the fact that He is ready for it and I am happy about it. (Applause). I would appreciate ten times more if these applauding hands are used for seva. I am not fond of applause, mind you. While we are doing this work, we do not want to form any extremist group. In order not to lose sight of this, numerous chiefs and group chiefs will be appointed. Producing hooligans, while undertaking welfare work, is something I resent. What grows will be exactly what I sow. I know very well how to ensure that. If I sow rice and if someone sows harmful weeds I know exactly how to uproot the undesirable weed. I sow rice if and only when I am capable of uprooting the unwanted. The moment I took up this responsibility, the complete protection machinery was made ready. There just cannot be any undesirable element in it. The Disaster Management Force and the 5-lakh youngsters are like the Pandavas of Shree Krishna. The number is quite small considering the size of India. Announcements will be made from time to time through centers. This is a job of discipline.
My 13 points are over. No, not over, they have only just begun. We hear Bapu’s 13 points are over… wrong. Bapu never came to an end and never will… 100%. So, Bapu’s 13 points too will not come to an end. They will go on, forever. “What do we give you on Gurupournima?” I was asked. I said, “Just the Ram Raksha… the Ram Raksha or the Ghorkashtodharan Stotra. Give it to me for the sake of the universe. It will draw interest in my bank and I will return it to you with interest. I offer interest liberally. Today onwards, these 13 points will be effective. They will go on. So will Bapu. And so will all friends of Bapu. What do we give Bapu? Give me the Ram Raksha; Bhakti Jap is what I said. Today I am asking for your time. I want you to give your time to this work. I want your sweat, and if need be your blood, to anoint the goddess that is India, your motherland.
II HARI OM II
(Delivered on October 3, 2002 on the Grounds of the New English School, Kherwadi, Bandra (E), Mumbai, India)
Published at Mumbai, Maharashtra – India