(Published in journal ‘Sadhana’, November 18, 1989)
Spirituality has never believed in racism. A person from the highest or lowest class could be a monk in ancient India. The monk Shakya Muni brought the hidden elements of the Vedas to the limelight. Not only did he propagate his religion all over the world but he was also the pioneer in inviting a person from other religions to his own. The usual processes of improvements in society that take place in its normal course were thwarted by the suppressed mentality that overcame us during the long period of slavery. Our centuries – old cultural heritage helped us to fight and succeed against the social weaknesses. However, this fight was slowed down and the evils gained power during our period of oppression as divisiveness and untouchability had fragmented our society. Unfortunately, some elements gave a religious anchor to our weaknesses and hence, for a long time, it was believed that most of these social evils were rooted in religion. Since these perversions entered society thousands of years ago under the cover of religion, removing them using the support of religion is the only way out. Two events are important in history of independent India – their significance may not be visible today, but the future will behold their impact and someday, the truth will be accepted. The first of these is the Kumbhmela at Prayagraj. The Kumbhmela has its own unique importance in Hinduism and no saint or spiritual person can stay away from it. The whole country feels the strong spiritual mood of the Kumbhmela whenever it is in progress.
The Kumbhmela in the seven ties was made all the more significant as a groundbreaking announcement was made by Sri Shankaracharya and the August gathering of Hindu leaders on the platform provided by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad – Na Hind £ Patit Bhavt! ‘(The hindu should not be deviated).