Chicago: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has exhorted the world's Hindu community to overcome their differences and work together for the larger good.
Addressing a 2,000 plus audience of the second World Hindu Congress (WHC), which began on Friday, in downtown Chicago, Bhagwat, speaking in English, said if people did not dream, nothing was possible.
The Congress coincides with the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's speech at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893 in Chicago.
Bhagwat 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.
The RSS supremo said collaboration and oneness were the most urgent need for Hindu society to progress. He also 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".
Bhagwat also peppered his speech with Sanskrit shlokas 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.
He also touched directly on politics just once in his talk: "Politics must be fought like politics, but do it without changing yourself," he said.Bhagwat began and ended his 40-minute speech with copious quotes from the Bhagwat Gita.
Bhagwat stressed on teamwork and collaborative effort throughout his talk. "...But they never come together. Coming together of Hindus in itself is a difficult thing, Bhagwat said in his inaugural address to the conference inspired by the Hindu principle 'sumantrite suvikrante' or 'think collectively, achieve valiantly'.
"We are both ancient and post-modern. What humanity will need 20 years from now, we are thinking today, we all have to come together. People today are in dire need of our wisdom," he said.
Bhagwat compared Hindu society's status quo with a precise moment in the Mahabharata when the Pandavas in exile suddenly found their fortunes turning around. "That is the moment when luck starts performing pradakshinas (circles/ circling) around you," Bhagwat said.
Reiterating his call for team effort, the RSS chief said the Hindu society will progress and prosper only when it work as a society, and that some organisations or parties working alone will not suffice.
Others who spoke on Day One at the WHC included Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti.The WHC will conclude on Sunday.(UNI)