Yogi Rummun addressing the audience
Today with increasing westernization, globalization and materialism, values like the joint family system are fast disappearing, vanprastha is rare, sannyãsa is becoming more other-worldly or in some cases less disinterested than before, and our youth are powerless before un-Hindu forces. Are they being prepared to cope with these evils or are they just drifting anchorless in hostile currents? Do we have any cultural corrective to save the situation or only rituals – the bigger the problem the greater the rituals!
Age -- I mean those who can – must come forward to supply the corrective and restore the balance as enjoined by the genius of the race, the rishis -- more vigorously now than it ever did in the past. For ours is not a church-going religion relying on weekly preachings; after the home and the school -- both with shortcomings nowadays – Hindu religion and society depends on the elders. Retirement in Hinduism is not the same as in the West. With us enjoyment is through renunciation and service – tena tyaktena bhunjitha (Isa. Up.) Age must therefore offer its help to guide and inspire youth and society. What would Dayanand be without Virjanand or Shivaji without Ramdas? Could we have our immortal epics without Valmiki and Vyas?
Let modern Ramdas and Virjanands come forward to wake up our youth and propel them to sacrifice for the good of all. There is a dire need to replace or revitalize our baithkas and clubs of old in order to transform our youth and society. Bullock-carts must give way to jets. Adapt or perish. Hinduism through its inner dynamism has always adapted itself to meet its challenges for thousands of years. It must do so now.
We must set up a pool of retired able-bodied professionals in the spirit of the Vanprasthas of old – doctors, lawyers, economists, scientists, thinkers, spiritual men – to help create a new breed of professionals able to adapt or adjust the best of the West with the immortal values of the East in order to prepare our youth for the coming challenges.
This could comprise an ashram for research and service for the maintenance of society – lokasangraha, as the Gita calls it (III.25) -- which would itself be a concrete application of the rishis’ oft-repeated injunction for yajna, daan, tapas (men, money and sacrifice) as indispensable ingredients for social progress.
On this last Jnana Yajna of the century, I crave God’s grace and everybody’s support for the setting up of a Trust to take charge of this and other projects in order to prepare our youth for the next millennium. So far the flower of our youth are doing well. Keep it up, young friends! 10,000 years have their eyes on you!