Oh, HSS has completed 50 years in the UK! That’s great. But, what does Sangh actually do?
The answer is straight and simple. Sangh promotes “Sanskaar, Sewa and Sangathan” in the society. Yes, the theme of Sanskriti Mahashibir 2016. This is what we have been doing since 1966, and this is what will continue in the future as well. But the question is, how and why?
People born in Hindu families are fortunate enough by birth to be brought up in a tradition based on values. Our scriptures are like a stream, conveying universal values for our personal lives such as truth, compassion, help, courage, patience, forgiveness and purity. Values for our social life are ample too: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is one family), Ekam sat vipraaha bahudha vadanti (Truth is one, wise people say in different ways) or Ishaavaasyam idam sarvam (God is everywhere). Needless to say, they all are universal. But, how do we implement them? There is no point if a person in society does not practice these values in daily life and instead, merely chants them like parrots. Yes, “Sanskaar means values in action.” Experience says that it is not easy. Only with fully focused and uninterrupted practice, can these values become a part of our life. This is what we do in Shakha. A continuous touch of flowing soft water has the persistence and power to shape even the hardest of rocks. Similarly, when a Swayamsevak or Sevika attends Shakha for years and years, the soft touch of regular activities they undergo, moulds them into a person with “values in action”. Through Shakhas, we have created countless such personalities who are embodiment of universal Hindu values. Such people are a great need of today’s world…
Situations that we in the western world can’t even imagine, are faced daily by people in other parts of the world. There are millions of people who suffer a lifelong, unwanted relation to poverty, hunger and pain. Having a cupboard full of clothes should not make us forget the people who have nothing to wear. Having a plate with all the leftovers, should not make us forget those who suffer daily with empty stomachs. It is every human being’s duty to help less fortunate people and we promote this Sewa spirit in Sangh. “Sewa” is rooted much deeper; it is not merely “Charity”. Rather, it’s our duty and not an obligation on those on whom it is rendered. It is serving those in need, not simply helping them… and all this without any expectation in return. Through Sewa, we develop ourselves to be a better human being, and when we serve people, we actually serve the God inside them. Sewa contains a philosophy, which flows in to us through the Sewa activities. The Three Peaks Challenge, Ekal Vidyalaya, Youth for Sewa, Cycle for Sewa, Sewa Day, local Sewa activities or any other activity we do through Sewa UK or Kalyan Ashram Trust or any other name, is our medium to make this world a better place for everyone and fulfil our duties in a humble way.
After returning to Bharat from his travels in the West, Swami Vivekananda gave an answer on what influenced him there. He replied, “Organisation”. Yes, he mentioned it rightly. Organisation is the key to success in all aspects of life. An organised room looks better than a disorganised one. An organised person, family, function or football team perform far better than those in a disorganised form. Our history tells us that when Hindus were organised, they positively influenced the world in many profound ways. Whether it was South East Asia or anywhere else, wherever they went, the local societies flourished with their cultured behaviour. When they were disorganised however, they had to struggle over centuries for independence. Hindus can always contribute immensely to this world with the great universal values they have, but if it comes out from a disorganised society, not a single person will listen. In our Praarthana we say, “Vishwa dharma prakaashena….” meaning we want to organise Hindus to create a peaceful and value based world; only by organising ourselves can we fully perform our divine role for a better world.
ChandraKant ji Sharma,
Pracharak HSS (UK) – Full time volunteer