Doctor Hedgewar based Rashtriya Swayam sevak Sangh on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda – a comparative Study

A paper presented in a sakha to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Day.

Though Dr. Hedgewar has not seen Swami Vivekanada in person, he worked in Damodar river flood relief work organized by Ramakrishna Sevashram. He has absorbed in himself the essence of Vivekananda’s teachings and message to Hindus at the highest intellectual level and silent5ly transformed himself and started Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh on the teachings enunciated by Vivekananda in his lectures.

The Hindu nation has opened its eyes by the clarion call of Vivekananda but did not awaken itself enough to follow an action-oriented path to liberate it self. The task of leading the youth of our nation on this ideal path of action and to organize them as a solid organization was taken up by Doctor Hedgewar.

Let us examine the following fundamental teachings of Vivekananda on the lines of which he wanted to organize Hindus. Dr.Hedgewar has actualised these ideas of Vivekananda into Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh.

  1. We can attain God by playing football than by reciting Bhagavadgita.
  2. Let us stop worshiping all other Gods and worship only Bharat mata for the coming three hundred years.
  3. We should build a temple every where which is above all sects. Let the word “ OM” be there as the unique symbol which represents all the different sects.
  4. All Hindus should meet for 10 minutes daily and pray together. All our problems will be solved if Hindus can organize themselves through these daily meetings and pray together.

Sister Nivedita gave wide publicity to these four Cardinal principles of

Vivekananda on which Hindus should be organized. Dr. Hedgewar being a very practical person in outlook has directly implemented these principles of Vivekanda into his basic concept of daily Sakha meetings of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. Vivekananda’s advice to the youth to play football actually conveys the idea of working for a common goal collectively by coordinating individual skills. The same principle is involved in Dr. Hedgewar’s concept of daily Sakha meetings where individuals play games, develop physical fitness, imbibe self-discipline, sing songs in praise of Bharat mata . Vivekananda’s advice of keeping “Om” as a common symbol for all Hindus has been transformed by Dr. Hedgewar into hoisting a saffron flag which is revered by all Hindus which symbolically represents Knowledge, sacrifice and service – the three ideals of Hindu Dharma. Vivekananda’s advice for Hindus to meet daily for ten minutes at an appointed time and place has been changed to one hour by Doctor Hedgewar. Vivekananda’s advise to Hindus that their daily meetings should be ended with a daily prayer which will instill the spirit of humility, service and sacrifice has been adopted by  Dr. Hedgewar as it is.

Doctor Hedgewar did not write books or gave lectures. Through the medium of daily meetings (sakhas) he adopted the method of man to man contacts, house to house contacts, family to family, city by city, town by town, village by village,  area by area covering  the length and breadth of the country by personal contacts moulding the lives of thousands of people to adopt to the method of personally contacting people and build a strong and powerful organization which alone can solve the problem of our country.

Like Vivekananda, he believed in man making organization in which man making education is impasrted and man-making theories are conceived. He wanted us to give up things that make us weak physically, intellectually and spiritually; reject it as poison. There is no life in it. “ An ideal strengthens you,” he said.

Like Vivekananda his plan was to start Sangh Sakhas to train our young men. He felt:

“Men, men, these are wanted; every thing else will be ready, but strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone, are trained by him under his tutelage.  He revolutionized the country silently by training a few hundreds of them.

Like Vivekananda he felt that ‘this is not the time with us to weep….. We have had weeping enough. No more is the time for us to become soft6. This softness has been with us till we have become like masses of cotton….. what our country now wants are muscles of iron and nerves of steel, gigantic wills, which nothing can resist which ….. will accomplish their purpose in any fashion, even if it meant going down to the bottom of the ocean and meeting death face to face. “ That is what we want”, Dr. Hedgewar felt, and that can only be created, established and strengthened, like Vivekananda by understanding and realizing the ideal of Hindu sanghatan. Let us have faith in our selves to accomplish this ideal and let us stand up firmly on that faith.


Dr.K.M.Rao Ph.D., State President, Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti Tamilnadu


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2 thoughts on “Doctor Hedgewar based Rashtriya Swayam sevak Sangh on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda – a comparative Study

  1. ganapathiraju venkata subramanya sarma says:

    Swamy Vivekananda’s ideologies is well digested by Dr Hegdewar.
    The RSS has taken up and spread the Vivekananda’s preachings with good spirit. Swamy’s advise on daily meetings for 10 minutes by all members itself is a time tested for patience and making all the members presence at the appointed time and extended the meeting for an hour for fruitful discussions.

    Dr Hegdewar as a true follower and foot soldier of Swamy Vivekananda spread the teaching/preaching through RSS is well appreciated and instrumental in carry forward to the society with success.

    Communication is vital and influence the people to follow the right direction through RSS succeeded with great success.

    The valuable article/contribution provided by Dr KM Rao may be taken up and made available to the YOUTH who are the future generations and torch bearers represent INDIA/BHARATH.

    (M) 9885784385/9440909839

  2. pratik says:

    was just wondering how many people has swami vivekananda inspired including me. Good to know that rss is based on the thoughts of swami. All the points mentioned above need to be implemented by all bhartiyas to build a strong nation.

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