India’s Vedas, Arya Samaj has everything we and the world needs: Rajnath
| Ashok Dixit - 30 Oct 2018

India’s Vedas, Arya Samaj has everything we and the world needs: Rajnath

11th international Arya Mahasammelan concludes in Delhi

 

By Ashok Dixit

New Delhi, Oct 30, 2018: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has urged the Arya Samaj community to continue their revolutionary work for the betterment of mankind across the globe through the time-tested Vedic scriptures. He was addressing the 11th International Arya Mahasammelan in Delhi on Sunday (October 28) the final day of the landmark four-day event. Rajnath Singh delivered an inspirational and heart-felt valedictory speech.

He said, “The activities of the Arya Samaj are known very well. Its impact and influence has been felt across the globe and to me personally. It is only institutions like the Arya Samaj and the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) that have believed in and espoused the principle of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (The World is One), and these are the only ones that have the ability to organise programmes of this stature with such positive vibrations.”

“The Arya Mahasammelan is ending today, but the work of the Arya Samaj movement will continue and grow from strength to strength. It is a revolution that will even wake up a man from his sleep. This is not a movement for small-minded people or societies. This is a movement that believes in ‘Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah’, which translated means ‘Om, May All become Happy, May All be Healthy (Free from Illness), May All See what is Auspicious, May no one Suffer in any way. Om Peace, Peace, Peace,’” he added.

 The Union Home Minister further said, “People present here know very well that we are a very tolerant nation, assimilating all cultures and way of life through the ages. What more can be said about our great country. I was told that the Arya Samaj is now running over 6000 educational institutions. That indeed is something to be proud about and is a testimony to the hard work put in by this institution and movement.”

With this, the four-day-long 11th International Arya Mahasammelan concluded at the Golden Jubilee Park in Rohini, West Delhi, on Sunday evening with much fanfare.

The global event was attended by representatives from 32 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia,, Canada, Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar, The Netherlands, Guyana, Trinidad, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Mauritius, Armenia, France, Germany, Japan, Jamaica, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Governors of Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam, Union Cabinet Ministers and Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, and other participants hailing from various walks of life attended this signature event.

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the convention on Thursday (October 25). Delivering a short, but impressive speech of about 20-minutes, he recalled his association with the Arya Samaj in his youth in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, describing it as a fortunate experience of four to five years that inspired him and gave him several life lessons which were of value to him even today.

He said that the Arya Samaj is an institution of cultural pride and there was now a greater need in modern Indian society to promote the teachings and philosophies of Arya Samaj Founder Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati (12 February 1824 – 30 October 1883).

President Kovind said for citizens of India, it was important to take the message and teachings of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati forward, especially his campaign to end cultural isolation, re-establish links with the time-tested Vedic way of life, and end social evils like caste and class differentiation, and superstitions.

Maharashi Dayanand Saraswati, during his life time, also championed the cause of gender equality and empowerment of women, he added.

He reminded the audience that Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was one of the first people in 1875 to use an item like salt to take the fight to the then British colonial masters, adding that it was ironical that almost half-a-century later, Mahatma Gandhi had used the same tactic (The Salt March to Dandi in 1930) to make the British withdraw their illegal Salt tax.

Highlighting the need for a values-based society, President Kovind said those occupying offices of authority and responsibility today in India, would do well to imbibe Swami Dayanand’s beliefs for the betterment of the nation.

He also called on relevant institutions to be more active in creating a pollution-free and clean air atmosphere. Climate change and global warming were pressing issues that needed to be addressed on priority for the survival of society both in the short and long term, he added.

The second day (October 26, Friday) saw popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev leaving the entire audience enthralled, enraptured and spellbound with the simplicity with which he explained the philosophical teachings and messages of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. He urged participants to look for ways to imbibe the 16 key values required for leading a good and useful life as humans as enunciated by Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

Describing the Vedas as the very foundation of Indian civilisation, Baba Ramdev said, “We have to apply the Vedas to every aspect of our lives. This is not only Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s gift to us, but also God’s gift. Each of us needs to think of our responsibilities and implement them with honesty and sincerity. Every effort must be made to come out of our present darkness into light and pass on our learnings and teachings to the young and the next generation. We have to commit and make a promise to ourselves that we will all adopt and implement the 16 ideals of Maharashi Swami Dayanand Saraswati.”

Baba Ramdev indirectly questioned the thought processes of the Shankaracharyas (Hindu pontiffs) and some political parties for misusing and misinterpreting the Vedic scriptures for self gain, and predicted that a time would come when the Arya Samaj way of life would be inspiring enough for everyone across India and rest of the world to adopt.

He said that now there was an even greater need for ensuring the unity and sanctity of the Arya Samaj, adding that the traditional Indian way of spreading education through Gurukuls would see a resurgence in the times to come.

On Saturday (October 27), the third day, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath urged all to embrace nationalism as the supreme religion. He said every Indian should rise above casteism, regionalism and language barriers.

Describing his association with the Arya Samaj as emotional and close, he encouraged it and other nationalist organisations to take advantage of the positive environment existing under the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

Reminiscing about Arya Samaj Founder Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s struggle against British colonial rule in the latter half of the 19th century, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said a ray of new hope emerged when the Arya Samaj was founded in 1875.

Several other dignitaries also addressed the event on each of the four-days. They included Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr. Satyapal Singh, Acharya Devvrat, Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Sudhanshu Trivedi, National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari and Jagdish Mukhi, Governor of Assam.

Extolling Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s virtues, he said, “When a man is alive, he is remembered by everyone, but the mark of a great man is that he is remembered for posterity.”

Adityanath said, “When an individual doesn’t have time for his family, the holding of such a mega event is a testimony to the greatness of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, whose ideas are still relevant today.

“In order to preserve India, we have to realise Rashtra Dharma, which should be the supreme religion. Those who remain mute spectators must be held equally responsible for assaulting this nation. When we are not criminals, we should never play second fiddle to them nor remain mute spectators,” he stated.

He declared that the upcoming Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj (now known as Allahabad) would be the grandest of all Kumbh Melas held till now.

His thoughts were echoed by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who praised the progressive values of the Arya Samaj, especially in relation to the empowerment of women.

He said Haryana would not hesitate to allot funds for developing the nation and preserving its culture.

The fourth and final day saw Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urging the Arya Samaj community to continue their revolutionary work for the betterment of mankind across the globe through the time-tested Vedic scriptures.

Acharya Devrrat issued an appeal to all sections of society to end the use of chemicals and fertilisers in the agricultural sector, and revert back to the time-tested Vedic practices of yore to save the planet and Indian society in particular.

Sudhanshu Trivedi said India is today young as well as one of the oldest civilisations in the world.

“Our culture has survived through time. The meaning of Bharat is “Being Maintained”. The Vedas are the source of our wisdom. The Rig Veda speaks of the eternal fire. Treatises on health, mathematics and science all of their origins in the Vedas. People of the past have exploited our culture and traditions, misrepresented our heritage for self benefit. It is important to mention here that there is no other civilisation other than India that has a mention of 20 women Rishis.

Gadkari said, “India’s heritage and culture is world renowned. It is a rich country with a poor population. Our own people have not benefited as they should have. Hunger, poverty, unemployment are our biggest challenges.”

Recalling a recent visit to the United Kingdom, Gadkari revealed that his British counterpart told him that Britain’s biggest challenge was dealing with live-in relationships. He (Gadkari) told the latter that India still proudly retains traditional and strong social values that by and large does not encourage such practices.

He said, “Tradition and modern knowledge and technology needs to be merged for India to prosper in the future.”

He also informed the audience about some of the targets of his various ministries, adding that by March next year, the Ganges would be at least 70 percent pollution free and 100 percent by 2020. A 12-lane road between Delhi and Mumbai was also in the pipeline, which would reduce travel time between the two cities to 12 to 14 hours as opposed to more than 72 hours at present.

Organised by the Sarvdeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha (SAPS), this global convention is taking up a host of socially relevant issues to the country such as the divisiveness prevailing within the Hindu community in the name of class and caste, or in the name of socially underprivileged and backward sections and movements like the Dalit ( a class of people subjected to untouchability; people who have been declared backward, broken and scattered), Patidar (Gujarat’s agricultural-dominant Kanbi community) and Gurjar (a pastoral agricultural ethnic group with populations in India, Pakistan and north eastern Afghanistan).

According to SAPS, the main objective is to spread the message of human welfare as originating from the ancient Vedas, promote principles of universal brotherhood, take steps to eradicate discrimination and enmity between various sects and religions, and to make the whole world “Krinvanto Vishvamaryam” i.e. “Noble”.

Participants and followers are being given the opportunity to broadly exchange ideas and experiences, and share various aspects of Vedic thought.

Previously, ten International Arya Mahasamelans (IAMS) have been held between 2006 and 2017 in various parts of the world. There was a gap of three years between the fifth and sixth IAMS i.e. between 2010 and 2013.

The Arya Samaj was founded by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati more than a century-and-a-half ago. Today, the movement has a presence in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar, The Netherlands, Guyana, Trinidad, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Mauritius, Armenia, France, Germany, Japan and Jamaica, apart from India.

A laser show, a poetry session and a Yagna (religious sacrifice or offering) whereas also organised and attended by at least 10,000 Arya Samaj followers.

The writer Ashok Dixit is a senior journalist with 24 years of rich cross-editorial functional experience in covering and reporting on developments in South Asia. He had been associated with ANI as a Senior Editor for more than two decades. He can be contacted at  ashok.dixit26@gmail.com

 


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