01 January 2009

Shri K S Sudarshan

I am just back from Bagalkot, where we had a two-day meeting for the RSS workers of North Karnataka province. The meeting was graced by the presence of the Sarsanghachalak (chief of the RSS) Shri K S Sudarshan.

In the last session of the meeting the Sarsanghachalak answered questions asked by the attendees. The questions were on diverse topics ranging from the global economic crisis to climate change and terrorism. The Sarsanghachalak answered each question patiently and in great detail, impressing everybody with the breadth and depth of his knowledge. But for me the real kicker was the last five minutes, in which he spoke about how India is poised to become a great nation once again.

As I listened to him, a strange feeling swept over me. It wasn't just the clarity and logic of his words (there are others who are also clear and logical). It was more. It was the wisdom of a man who had gone beyond knowledge. It was the simplicity of a man who had gone beyond complexity. For the first time in my life I felt I was in the presence of a rishi – a sage. Till now I had only read and heard about rishis. For the first time I felt I was sitting in front of one, seeing his face and hearing his voice*.

Sudarshanji (77) has been a swayamsevak for 68 years, and a pracharak for 54 years. They say great men are not born but made. Made, that is, by years of single-minded service, sacrifice, dedication and devotion. I am not an emotional guy who is swayed easily. But even a hard-nosed engineer like me is forced to admit that this is not an ordinary man.

People usually refer to the Sarsanghachalak as 'RSS leader' or 'RSS chief'. But he is not just a leader or a chief. He is a sage, a rishi.

*The only other person about whom I feel like this is Dr Shivakumar Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt.

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