गुरूर्ब्रह्मा,गुरूर्विष्णुः,गुरूर्देवो महेश्वरः गुरूरसाक्षात् परब्रह्म् तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः॥ अखण्डमण्डलाकांरं व्याप्तं येन चराचरम् तत्विदं दर्शितं येन,तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः॥
Biography of Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (GURUJI)
Shree Golwalkar was born on 19 February 1906 at Ramtek near Nagpur, Maharashtra -- the only surviving son of the nine children of his parents: Sadashivrao, a school teacher and Lakshmibai. He spent his childhood in Nagpur. Sadshivrao was stung by poverty in his early days, but Madhav was quite brilliant from childhood -- even reading Shakespeare in full during primary education.
Shree Golwalkar completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in 1926 and 1928, respectively, with first class in Zoology at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. He attempted to write a thesis on Marine Life but was unable to complete as he was cash-strapped. Later, he became a teacher (respectfully called Guruji in Hindi) at BHU; and the Hindi moniker has remained with him ever since. Then, Shree Golwalkarji came into contact with the Ramakrishna Mission at [Nagpur]. After his teaching tenure ended, he returned to Nagpur; by 1935, he even finished studying law and obtained L.L.B. Degree.
On 13 January 1937, Guruji was initiated into the Ramakrishna Order by Swami Akhandananda, a direct disciple of Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and gurubandhu of Swami Vivekananda. Shri Shree Golwalkar eventually received his 'diksha' and became a sanyasi.
Involvement with the RSS:
In the meantime, Bhaiyyaji Dani, a student at BHU and a close associate of RSS sarsanghachalak K. B. Hedgewar, started an RSS shakha (branch). Shree Golwalkar joined the RSS and eventually, following a meeting with Dr.Hedgewar, went to the RSS' "Officers Training Camp" in Nagpur.
Dr. Hedgewar was deeply impressed by Shree Golwalkar and seeing him as a potential successor, persuaded him to take a more active role in the Sangh. On his new role, Shree Golwalkar said: “Like spirituality, organization of the Nation has also been my inclination from early days. I believe that I would be in a better position to achieve it successfully being a part of the Sangh.”. In 1939, he was appointed the Sarkaryavah (General Secretary) of the Sangh.
Dr. Hedgewar eventually died of multiple complications on June 21, 1940, and Shree Golwalkar succeeded him as sarsanghachalak as per the wishes of Dr. Hedgewar, that he had expressed in a letter, that was requested to be opened only after his [(Dr. Hedgewar)] death.
Shree Golwalkar was the force behind the formation of the organisations that comprise today the numerous network of socio-cultural activities in the entire country, popularly referred to as Sangh Parivar.
His complete works are now available in different Indian languages and English.
Shree Golwalkar on Hindu-Muslim relations:
"Bunch of thoughts" -- Madhav Sadhashiv Shree Golwalkar (Page no 489)
Question and Answer session:
(Talk with Dr Saifuddin Jeelany, Journalist and noted Arabic scholar, Calcutta – February 1971)
Q: Don’t you think that a solution to the Hindu – Muslim problem must be found especially at this critical moment when the country is faced with dangers from all sides?
A: So far as the work for the country is concerned, I do not differentiate between Hindus and Muslims. But how do people look at this problem? Probably these days everyone has become a political animal. Everyone thinks that he would be able to push forward his claims or privileges for his own community by exploiting political situations. If this could be remedied and the people became political from a patriotic, -- only patriotic point of view, then all troubles will end in no time.
Criticism and counter-criticism:
Critics that accused Shree Golwalkar of fascism have often pointed to his extreme right-wing and views. In his 1939 book, "We, Our Nationhood Defined", Shree Golwalkar appears to express praise of Hitler, saying:
To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.
Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.
—Madhav Sadashiv Shree Golwalkar,
However, Shree Golwalkar also denounced antisemitism:
The Christians committed all sorts of atrocities on the Jews by giving them the label “Killers of Christ”. Hitler is not an exception but a culmination of the 2000-year long oppression of the Jews by the Christians."
As for his views on Zionism and Israel, Shree Golwalkar was supportive of the Zionist movement and also supported the creation of Israel as a Jewish State:
The Jews had maintained their race, religion, culture and language; and all they wanted was their natural territory to complete their Nationality"
Vincent Kundukulam, a Christian priest at St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary in Aluva, Kerala, has written a Ph.D thesis in Sorbonne University, Paris, France, that claims RSS to be neither nationalist nor fascist. He states that that RSS cannot be considered as a nationalist organisation in the sense in which the term 'nationalism' is generally interpreted in India. He points out that Indian nationalism and religion are mutually exclusive. Since RSS's primary loyalty is to the Hindus, it can't be called 'nationalist'. He also argues against branding the RSS ideology as "Fascism", "Nazism", "Fundamentalism" and "Communalism". He said the terms fascism, Nazism, and fundamentalism are much abused terms in India. They have a different connotation and meaning in the European context that don't apply to an Indian sociopolitical context. He argues that since communalism is not a part of religion, RSS can be called "communal" only in a limited way.
Social Vision of Guruji:
What was social vision of Shri Guruji? Shri Guruji believed that the answer to social problems was available in the Indian concept of society. This concept is fundamentally different from that prevailing in the West, where society is a collective of individual interests and their relationship is of a social contract with it. But, in the ancient Indian thought, the whole society was perceived as one living body. The society was the manifestation of the divine. It was a virat samaj purush. The individuals were asked to worship it. It was said that a common consciousness of oneness runs through all members of the society. All individuals are imbibed fully with this consciousness being part of one big body. All have one common existence. Hence, each individual must care for the other.
Shri Guruji said it was our duty to awaken this inner feeling of oneness in every human being. In such a situation everyone will think of the good of the other along with or before his own good. Each one should accept that what is left with him after fulfilling his legitimate needs belongs to the whole society. If today we see poverty all over the country, it is the result of our having abandoned in practice this basic Hindu thought about the society. But, we must now prove by our conduct this great concept true for progress in all walks of life.
He said it was our bounden duty to go and work among our deprived brethren and do our best to lift their standards of living. We should plan and implement schemes that would provide them with minimum needs of life. We should open schools, hostels and training centers for them. We should mix with them, eat with them, treat them with natural affection and display unalloyed feeling of oneness with them. We should offer prayers to God together with them, without consideration of social status. In serving the people, there should be no discrimination whatsoever. All the needy whether they are Hindus or Muslims or Christians, must be served equally well, more particularly during natural calamities that make no distinction among their victims.
The basic tenet of this essentially Hindu philosophy about society is that we are all sons and daughters of the society and, therefore, we cannot but have the natural sentiment and instinct of total social harmony. Consequently, Shri Guruji’s fundamental approach to all social questions, be it the question of the linguistic differences in Punjab till the sixties, the problem of untouchability, exploitation of labour and other aspects of industrial relations, or even economic and political ideologies was based on this philosophy.
Shree Golwalkar died of cancer on June 5, 1973 in Nagpur, Maharashtra.