Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat called on the world’s Hindu community to come together, and work as a society despite the differences.
Speaking at the second World Hindu Congress (WHC) which coincides with the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s speech at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893 in Chicago, Bhagwat said collaboration and “oneness” is the most urgent need for Hindu society to progress. Yet, while pushing for a more abundant territory, Bhagwat used stories from the Mahabharata to explain right-distancing from leadership, obedience, dissent, and patience for results and why it’s important to get in line once there’s consensus.
Bhagwat framed “our values” as “universal values, now being called Hindu values”. He said Hindu society is home to more “meritorious people” but “we don’t work together”.
“Idealism?” What’s wrong with that, jabbed Bhagwat and chose to use synonyms to pushback against the notion that the RSS is “anti-modern”.
“If you don’t dream, nothing is possible”, he said.
Addressing a 2,500 strong audience in downtown Chicago, Bhagwat, speaking in English, said Hindu society must not sit back smugly because of say, mega events like the World Hindu Congress where he was speaking.
“Only our opponents know about this. Many of our own people don’t know about it. Why are we suffering for thousand years? We had everything and we knew everything. We forgot to practise what we knew. We also forgot to work together,” he said.
Bhagwat peppered his speech with generous doses of Sanskrit couplets to drive home his central point: scale comes with collaboration but above all, “spirituality” must be the driving force and idealism is a force for the good. Very briefly, Bhagwat touched directly on politics just once in his talk: “Politics must be fought like politics, but do it without changing yourself,” he said.
Without taking names or bestowing context, Bhagwat drew parallels in the relationship between Krishna and Yudhishtira in the Mahabharata saying how Krishna never “contradicted” Yudhishtira. “Those who do not subscribe to my opinion are not fools. From your perspective, you are right. What about assimilating all perspectives plus…That’s powerful,” he said.
Bhagwat began and ended his 40-minute speech with copious quotes from the Bhagwat Gita.“Luck follows your efforts,” he began. “What are the values, what goals do you have, that should never be forgotten,” he added.
The World Hindu Congress (WHC) is a global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another, and impact the common good. It offers Hindus an opportunity to introspect towards improvement and tap into our collective resources to seek tangible solutions to the most pressing issues of our age.
Held once every four years, WHC’s seven parallel conferences showcase how the values, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of the global Hindu community find expression in a variety of spheres, including economic, education, media, organizational, and political, as well as the unique leadership and contributions of Hindu women and youth.
The second World Hindu Congress will be held at Hotel Westin, 70 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard (Chicago), U.S. from September 7 – 9, 2018. Inspired by the Hindu principle, Sumantrite Suvikrante or THINK COLLECTIVELY, ACHIEVE VALIANTLY, the World Hindu Congress 2018 promises to be a movement not to be missed. On the eve of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic address to the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago, Hindus from around the world and of all backgrounds are invited to actively participate.