Prosperity Excellence and Spirituality - Samarth Trust

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Prosperity Excellence and Spirituality


Vision for the nation

Nations are built by the imagination and untiring enthusiastic efforts of generations. One generation transfers the fruits of its toil to another which then takes forward the mission. As the coming generation also has its dreams and aspirations for the nation’s future, it therefore adds something from its side to the national vision, which the next generation strives hard to achieve. This process goes on and the nation climbs steps of glory and gains higher strengths.

The first vision: Freedom for India

Any organization, society or even a nation without a vision is like a ship cruising on the high seas without any aim or direction. It is clarity of national vision which constantly drives the people towards the goal.

Our last generation, the glorious generation of freedom fighters, led by Mahatma Gandhi, and many others set for the nation a vision of free India. This was the first vision, set by the people for the nation. It, therefore, went deep into the minds and the hearts of the masses and soon became the great inspiring and driving force for the people to collectively plunge into the struggle for freedom movement. The unified dedicated efforts of the people from every walk of life won freedom for the country.

The second vision: Developed India

The next generation (to which I also belong) has put India strongly on the path of economic, agricultural and technological development. But India has stood too long in the line of developing nations. Let us, collectively, set the second national vision of Developed India. I am confident that it is very much possible and can materialize in 15-20 years’ time.

Developed status

What does the developed nation status mean in terms of the common man? It means the major transformation of our national economy to make it one of the largest economies in the world; where the countrymen live well above the poverty line, their education and health is of high standard; national security reasonably assured, and the core competence in certain major areas gets enhanced significantly so that the production of quality goods, including exports, is rising and thereby bringing all-round prosperity for the countrymen. What is the common link needed to realize these sub-goals? It is the technological strength of the nation, which is the key to reach this developed status.

Build around our strength

The next question that comes to the mind is, how can it be made possible? We have to build and strengthen our national infrastructure in an all-round manner, in a big way. Therefore, we should build around our existing strengths including the vast pool of talented scientists and technologists, and our abundant natural resources. The manpower resource should be optimally utilized to harness health care, services sectors and engineering goods sectors. We should concentrate on development of key areas, namely agriculture production, food processing, materials and also on the emerging niche areas like computer software, biotechnologies and so on. The common link required to bring this transformation is the human resources. Therefore, attention needs to be paid to development of special human resource cadre in the country to meet these objectives.

Beyond 2020

The attainment of a developed status by 2020 does not mean that we can then rest on our laurels. It is an endless pursuit of well-being for all our people. Our vision of a developed nation integrates this element of time within it as well. Only people with many embodied skills and knowledge and with ignited minds can be ready for such a long-term vision. We believe that it is possible to develop our people to reach such a state, provided we can follow a steady path and make available to the people the benefits of change all through their lives. They should see lives and those of others improving in actual terms, and not merely in statistical tables.

India has seen always in man the individual a soul, a portion of the Divinity enwrapped in mind and body, a conscious manifestation in Nature of the universal self and spirit. Always she has distinguished and cultivated in him a mental, an intellectual, an ethical, dynamic and practical, an aesthetic and hedonistic, a vital and physical being, but all these have been seen as powers of a soul that manifests through them and grows with their growth, and yet they are not all the soul, because at the summit of its ascent it arises to something greater than them all, into a spiritual being, and it is in this that she has found the supreme manifestation of the soul of man and his ultimate divine man- hood, his Paramartha and highest Puruşartha.

A large part of the world received its religious education from India… In spite of continuous struggle with theological baggage, India has held fast for centuries to the ideals of spirit.
– Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Philosopher and the second president of India

It was a hot summer evening on 30 June 2001 when I met Pramukh Swamiji for the first time. Resplendent in saffron robes, the gentle, fair-complexioned Pramukh Swamiji was radiating divinity. That was the first thought that occurred to me upon seeing him. My friend Y.S. Rajan was with me. We sat down and tried to adjust to Swamiji’s powerful and gracious presence with a brief conversation.

I presented to Pramukh Swamiji the ideas of Vision 2020, and said, ‘Swamiji, India has had two great visions in modern times. There was a vision for independence in 1857. It took ninety years to get freedom. At that time, the whole nation-young and old-united to achieve freedom. Then in 1950, a republic was envisioned for India to evolve as a nation. Swamiji, what is or what can be such a great vision now? For the last fifty years, India has been a developing country. This means economically it is not strong, socially it is not stable, and its security is insufficient. That is why it is called a developing country. So many people like me are asking: “What should be the next vision for India? How do we transform a developing country into a developed country within the next thirty years?” We have identified five important areas to transform India: education and health e rich information and communication, interact critical technology.’

Pramukh Swamiji listened with his eyes fixed on my countenance. He did not speak. I continued, ‘Swamiji, our problem is that present this to the government, but how do we create people with We values to realize such an ambitious vision? What we need is a value-based citizens. For this you are an expert. We need may cadre of your advice!

Pramukh Swamiji smiled. The first words I heard from him w Along with five areas to transform India, add a sixth faith in God and developing people through spirituality. This is very your important. I was taken aback by the clarity, precision and force of his words.

After a pause, Pramukh Swamiji continued, “We need to first generate a moral and spiritual atmosphere. The present system is suffocating. The climate of crime and corruption is toxic to good thoughts and noble works. This must change. We need to raise to live by the laws of the scriptures and bear faith in God. For this, we need to rekindle faith in our scriptures and God. Without this, there will be no transformation; nothing will be solved, and you shall not be able to achieve your dream.

I chose not to interrupt and waited in silence for Pramukh Swamiji’s next words. After a while he spoke again. ‘Our culture teaches us to learn both para (spiritual) and apara vidya (worldly knowledge). Therefore, together with knowledge of the apara, one should learn the para as well. If one learns this, apara knowledge will become founded on dharma and spirituality. The goal behind God’s creation of the universe is that every person, every soul, attains bliss. For this, together with knowledge of His creation, He has given the knowledge of Himself. So, together with this worldly knowledge, knowledge given by God-spirituality-is equally necessary.

I felt that I was in the Divine Presence. Within Pramukh Swamiji there is a higher presence-the monad, the soul’s soul. I felt a strange connection with something that exists in the realm of spirit-the part that is closest to the Divine. There was a light radiating through Pramukh Swamiji which illuminated my inner self. I felt that I had acquired a sixth sense.

I was taught by my teachers at Schwartz High School in Ramanathapuram that the Divine Presence creates only perfection. and if we call it consistently and earnestly into our lives, we gradually relinquish discord and struggle, and strive for harmony and perfection. All energies that we create will then gradually transform into pure light. This is the giving up of our ‘lower will’ in the surrender to a ‘higher will’: the will of God; the will of Divine Presence. Only then can this Presence truly create for us perfect lives.

I realized that, here with Pramukh Swamiji, I was within a transformative moment in life. I felt as if I was crossing into another realm. So as not to drown in an overwhelming spiritual experience, I said, ‘Swamiji, when I first launched a rocket it failed, and I became very depressed and disheartened. At that time, I thought about becoming a sannyasi, and giving up everything.

Pramukh Swamiji said, “The Srimadh Bhagavad-Gita defines renunciation in a unique way. “One must renounce not the performance of deeds but renounce the desire for the fruits of those actions.” You continued your good deeds selflessly and I am very happy to have you here, my friend.

Pramukh Swamiji continued, ‘Human effort and God’s grace move this world. Even failure of the first rocket, which you faced, was for your good; it prodded you to make things better. The way you have worked for the invention of the rocket brought success. God has ultimately given you success.’

I was drawn to Pramukh Swamiji’s simplicity. I felt as if I had known him all my life-that I was sitting in the presence of my father and my teachers-in a higher presence.

I asked Pramukh Swamiji, ‘India was a rich country. Economically it was rich, culturally it was rich. My mind always asks a question: for 3,000 years India has been invaded again and again, but India has never invaded other countries. Why is this?

Pramukh Swamiji replied, ‘It is the virtue of God. A divine quality-not to take what belongs to others, and not to forcibly usurp. Not to hurt or harass others. We must win over the hearts of others, nor their bodies and never their possessions.

The other sadhus in the room unrolled a big drawing of Akshardham Temple in front of us. This would be constructed on the eastern banks of the River Yamuna in New Delhi, we were told. I was amazed at the grandeur of the plan. Designed in accordance with ancient Vedic texts, it featured a blend of architectural styles from across India. It was to be constructed entirely from Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble, without any support from steel or concrete, I was informed.

Pramukh Swamiji said, ‘People should see this monument and realize that India is not weak but is an extremely powerful and cultured country. Temples are literally houses of God. They are holy places of worship where individuals make sacred promises with God.’

An hour had passed without anyone realizing. As if emerging from a blissful trance, I stood up to go. Pramukh Swamiji held my hand and said, ‘It is good that you have come here today. It has given us much joy. The rishis of the past have also given us science. You too are a rishi. You have achieved such a high post, yet your life is simple.’

Then he said something very inspirational. ‘God’s blessings are already upon you. I shall pray that your ideas are successfully realized. It was the wish of our guru Yogiji Maharaj’ to produce spiritually enlightened, skillful and hard-working youths. Go and channel your efforts to ignite the minds of youths all over the world, Lead India!’

Not being clear about what Pramukh Swamiji’s words entailed, over the next few days, I performed the prayer of Istikhara? several times.

O Almighty, I ask You to show me what is best, through Your knowledge, and I ask You to empower me, through Your power, and I beg You to grant me Your tremendous favor, for You have power, while I am without power, and You have knowledge, while I am without knowledge, and You are the One who knows all things invisible.

I dreamt that I was bathed in a peaceful white light. Hence, with faith in God as the base and India 2020 as the plan for national prosperity, my life transformed to preside over the nation as the eleventh president of India.