A Society Directed by Religion We have never believed that an individual is separate from the society.

The welfare of the individual and the wel- fare of the society will always go hand in hand.

To ensure this, our ancient sages had come up with a unique solution – they did not tie individuals with rights but bound them with religion and duty.

They came up with a system wherein all social obligations are defined as religious duties.

Hence, we have the religious duties of a mother, father, woman – Matrudharma, Pitrudharma, Stridharma. By equating social duties with religious ones, these sages were successful in extending the worldly life of people to their divine lives through “Dharmo Vishvasya Jagat Pratistha”.

Keeping the individual at the core, his social responsibilities were determined in conjunction with the indestructible bond of religion.

No society can be sta- ble if it is based only on self-seeking social interactions; neither can it be sound on the foundation of personal freedom alone.

The individual and the society can co-exist and be mutually beneficial only if society nurtures the welfare of the individual and the individual associates his own duty with the society. If this delicate equilibrium is broken, there is a clash between social welfare and personal interests.

This leads to disruption of unity in the society, which is why there is a dire need of efforts to create and maintain the basic social unity. This end will be achieved only if long-lasting steps are taken, not merely from an election point of view. It is important to set up and achieve concrete goals.

The process of devel- opment of individuals will strengthen the feeling that all of us are one.

The sentiment of unity will spontaneously emerge and distinct objectives will be achieved without any feelings of bitter- ness. ‘UpjyaÆ Cintayan Prijua: Apjyamapi Cintay®t(A wise man should think about adversities, while thinking over the means of success.)

It is imperative to create the attitudes of comradeship, righteousness and mutual cooperation among people. One of the ways of doing this is by interpreting Rakshabandhan as solidarity in society. Intense Self-Confidence In the face of the forces that are bent on dividing our society, we shall have to proceed with immense patience and intense self-confidence.

Our nation possesses enormous spiritual strength which is capable of vanquishing disrup- tive forces and establishing harmony.

The only thing to be done is to awaken a faith in this spiritual strength. Those who have always wanted us to be dominated by Western influences will now have to accept the decline of the West. Our glorious culture has seen many peaks and troughs and has emerged strong enough to face any challenge in the future.

The Western philosopher William Johns exalts the glory of Indian culture in a metaphor- ical poem. Roughly translated it says, “Someone who has seen the harsh sunlight drying up every trace of greenery would perhaps doubt if he will ever be able to see it again.

But the arrival of the rains and the first drops of water transform the desolation into a green paradise once again.”