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Sanatan Dharma embraces unity, truth & non-violence

RSS chief calls for sinking differences, fostering unity among Hindus, reach out to people across to play a meaningful role in world affairs  

Rohan Giri

Hindu centric Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat\’s address at \’World Hindu Congress 2023\’ in Bangkok resonates with a message of hope and connectivity in a world grappling with unprecedented challenges.


Bhagwat dwelt at length into historical experiments undertaken across millennia for happiness and peace. His emphasis on potential role of Bharat (India) as guiding force for the world offers a compelling perspective on the nation\’s cultural and philosophical heritage.

The third World Hindu Congress (WHC) three-day jamboree themed \”Jayasya Aayatnam Dharmah\” (Dharma, the Abode of Victory) made a historic decision to renounce the term ‘Hinduism’. Global Hindu leaders that converged at the Congress argued that it reflected oppressiveness and discrimination.

Instead, Hindutva and Hindu-ness were embraced to characterize the eternal Dharmic way of life. WHC\’s declaration emphasized that Hindutva was a more accurate term encompassing full spectrum of Hindu identity.

At the same time, Hindu Dharma was chosen for its unbounded essence, signifying all that is Sanatan or Eternal. Limitations of Hinduism prompted this shift, suffixed with \’ism,\’ a term associated with oppressive and discriminatory attitudes.

The declaration asserted that Hindutva, meaning Hindu-ness was not complicated and criticized its portrayal as anti-thesis of Hindu Dharma by some academicians and intellectuals. WHC condemned attacks on Hindu Dharma, calling for global unity to overcome bigotry and emerge victorious against those engaging in such criticism.

RSS Chief Dr. Mohan Bhagwat fervently called upon Hindus worldwide to forge connections and unite with global community. Stressing the significance of outreach, he emphasized, “We must reach out and connect with every Hindu. As a cohesive Hindu community, we will connect with individuals worldwide. With a growing number of Hindus forming connections, the process of global connectivity has already commenced.”

Bhagwat recounted World Muslim Council secretary general who acknowledged Bharat\’s crucial role in fostering global harmony. The emphasis on connecting hearts through service emerged as a central theme, reflecting Bharat\’s tradition of selfless service.

\’Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam\’, one world – one family principle, was central to Bhagwat\’s discourse. He pointed to shared responsibility of Hindu society to connect with the global community. Bhagwat argued that Bharat\’s duty was to foster harmony worldwide. He contended that this duty propelled Hindu society\’s existence, emphasizing the common starting point and shared goals among Sanatan traditions.

On the quadrennial conference theme, “Jayasya Aayatnam Dharmah,” he said, \’Jaya\’ provided insight into its profound meaning, transcending mere conquests and victories over others. Illuminating this concept, he brought distinction between destructive \’Rakshas Vijaya\’ (demonic victory) and self-centred \’Dhan Vijaya.\’ (materialistic victory) on one side and Dharma Vijaya, on the other.

Focal point becomes \’Dharma Vijaya\’ – a victory firmly rooted in righteousness and guided by the principles of Dharma. This nuanced perspective challenges prevailing narratives of aggression and domination, aligning Hindu aspirations with a higher moral purpose.

The address acknowledged stumbling state of the contemporary world, having experimented with ideologies and religions for over two millennia yet finding no lasting satisfaction. Eyes have now turned to Bharat with hope, recognizing the potential for a path beyond material prosperity, a path rooted in Dharma.

Articulating on destructive forces – anger, hatred, lust, foul speech, envy, and ego – as impediments to unity, Bhagwat underscored the importance of overcoming these negative emotions. The call for coming together to break societal and organizational barriers resonates as a clarion call for united harmonious global society.

He argued that in a world fixated on material pursuits, Bharat\’s national task was “not a materialistic victory.” He challenged the prevailing narrative of dominance for material happiness, asserting that the essence of Bharat\’s contribution lies in a dharmic approach—a commitment to uplift everyone. He has argued that the material world has to be taken to the spiritual level; this is the key to achieving true satisfaction and global unity.

As the world looks towards Bharat with hope, Hindu society duty was clearly to embody and propagate principles of Dharma, fostering a global perspective rooted in unity, truth, and non-violence.

World Hindu Congress stood as a beacon, guiding the way towards a world where diverse cultures merge in the spirit of Dharmic Vijaya, RSS chief said.

(Author is manager – operations at New Delhi based non-partisan think tank, Centre for Integrated and Holistic Studies)

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