By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

PRAJANAN or Procreation is an inborn instinct of a living being. Humans, animals, fish, fowl and Vanaspati or Vegetation leave behind numerous living beings of their kind before they depart for good.

Right at the beginning of the Creation, Ishwar had given the Vedas to the Rishis for the guidance of human beings to lead a life of righteousness. Along with the Gyan of Life and desire to have children was the knowledge of providing stability of social order. Human beings stabilized process of procreation by formalizing the social institution of Vivah or marriage to bring in order and discipline  through sublimation of sex. The Vedic injunction against sex for pleasure by allowing copulation between lawfully wedded husband and wife at an appropriate time only to beget children continues to hold in check humans running amuck for wild sex.

Many a time varied reasons like death and disease cause separation between the husband and wife at a young age when they are childless, so what is the way out to enable the separated man or woman to fulfill the religious duty of leaving behind a son or a daughter so that the human race not only survives but prospers. Well the answer is NIYOG.


When a widow wishes to have children after the demise of her husband, she lets the social order know of her desire and selection of a male member for copulation as per Vedic Vidhan to beget a child, it is termed as Niyog. In the case of Niyog “ the widowed woman remains in the house of the deceased husband…..children born of Niyog are not called children of the begetter, nor belong to his family, nor has he any claim over the children.” This excerpt is taken from the Satyarth Prakash chapter four written by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in Hindi and translated into English by Pt Ganga Prasad Upadhyay.

In this context it is important to make clear the claim of the child born of Niyog on the property of the man who begot him or her. A child begotten in Niyog will continue the lineage of the deceased husband of the widow and get a share in the property of the deceased husband of the widow concerned and live in her marital home. Thus one may say that a child begotten in Niyog has no legal share in the property of the man whose sperm fertilized the egg of his mother to bring him into this world. Similarly, the begetter of the baby in Niyog will never ever lay a claim of any kind at birth or thereafter. In the eye of law, no relationship moral, spiritual or financial will exist between the begetter and the baby.


A doubting Thomas may raise a doubt about the legal validity of Niyog by pointing out the erroneous thought and labeling Noyog as adultery. Let it be understood that Niyog is not a sin nor an adulterous act. Niyog is willful and consensual act of sex between  a man and a woman with the sole intent of begetting a baby and it is done within the knowledge of the social order that the two belong to. It is not a hush-hush affair done for fun at night under the cover of darkness. The common point between a lawful marriage and a Niyog is  : Both are made known to the social order that the man and the woman belong to. Well, a question may arise: what happens if the first attempt to impregnate a woman fails? Well, there is no embargo on making a second or a third attempt. One should remember that the declared desired intention of the man and the woman concerned is to have a baby and everyone in the neighbourhood knows about it. So, Niyog is not a sin or a crime because it is not done under the cover of darkness or in secrecy. On the other hand, adultery is a nocturnal affair where sex is performed for fun away from the prying eyes of the social or moral police, what to say of the State Police.

It would be a good idea to quote from the Satyarth Prakash  what Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati wrote in reply to a question about procedure to be followed in Niyog :

     “ Just as marriage is performed by proclamation, so is NIYOG. As marriage requires sanction of the society and consent of the couple, so does Niyog. When a man and a woman want to perform Niyog, they ought to declare before men and women of their families that they want to enter into Niyog relation for the sake of issues, that they will sever their connection when the purpose of Niyog is fulfilled, that they should be counted as sinners and be penalized by the society and the State if they do otherwise, that they will meet for intercourseonly once a month and will abstain from intercourse for a year after the conception.

 ( The translation from Hindi into English is done by Pt Ganga Prasad Upadhyay, an eminent Vedic scholar and preacher par excellence)

The Rishivar, a great religious and social reformer, was determined to apprise people of Bharat and later of the world the correct concept of Vedic Dharma and encourage both the Vedic Dharmis and others to follow what the Vedas laid down. That is the only way our human race may show an improvement.The observant Swami knew what way the sinners were going and reforming them was his duty, he thought. He advocated Niyog with the same fervor as the age-old institution of marriage – the Vedic Vivah. He equated the two procedures as the way to procreate. Sexual intercourse was the only way to procreate and one should not have a sense of shame or Lajja in advocating propagation of Niyog.

In the fourth chapter of the Satyarth Prakash dwelling on Niyog, Rishivar wrote and I quote him in original Hindi :

      “ Niyam se Vivah hone se ( stree-Purush ka sambhog – bracketed words are mine) vyabhichar nahi kahata, to niyampoorvak NIYOG hone se vyabhichar nahi kahavega………Ved shastrokt Niyog mein vyabhichar, paap, lajja na manana chahiye”

A free rendering into English would run thus: If a man and a woman are married as per the laid down procedure( their cohabitation would not be called promiscuity), likewise Niyog done as per procedure would not be termed promiscuity.      Niyog performed as per Vedic and Shastriya procedure would not be termed promiscuity entailing sin and shame.

It can be safely said that the Seer of the Arya Samaj knew that the sexual instinct of human beings led them astray. The Hindu widows were at the receiving end and quite oppressed socially. Their social and economic condition would improve if they were socially permitted to beget children and have a hope in the future. Therefore, Maharishi Dayanand strongly advocated through his writings and speeches the reintroduction of Niyog in our socio-religious order.


As of now the social acceptance of Niyog in the Hindu social order is rather dismal. The forward looking socio-religious organization like the Arya Samaj, founded by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in 1875 in Mumbai did not spearhead the movement. In 1877 with the establishment of the Arya Samaj in Lahore, the Punjab became its citadel. However, it was rather unfortunate that the Arya stalwarfs including Pradhans of the Arya Samaj Anarkali, Lahore like Lala Saindas, Mahatma Hansraj and others were rather lukewarm to the concept of Niyog. It was socially unacceptable in the open parlance but practiced clandestinely without flying the flag of Niyog.

Like the Garbhadhan Sanskar, the Niyog too could not gain popularity as men and women devoted to the Ten Principles of the Arya Samaj were rather diffident in declaring that on a particular day or night they would be sharing the bed with the avowed aim of begetting a child. What if the effort failed and conception did not take place? The couple might become the laughing stock of the persons known and unknown. Thus performing a Havan for Garbhadhan or with the declared intention of Niyog requires a lot of social courage that they lacked. Therefore, both these SANSKARS REMAINED A THEORETICAL EXERCISE CONFINED TO THE PAGES OF THE SANSKAR VIDHI AND THE SATYARTH PRAKASH.

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commit not suicide – life is worth Living
Suicide: Causes and Cure
A couple took their own lives when they were overwhelmed with grief because of the death of their only seven year old boy because he had contracted a deadly disease called Dengue. A tragic case indeed it was when responsible citizens, neighbours and loved ones shed tears but could not do anything to reverse the fatality. A teenager failed in the annual examination and felt so deeply depressed that he preferred to take his own life rather than face his father and undergo chastisement. A young Jawan of a rifle regiment lost an important component of his persona weapon, a rifle, and felt so scared of the impending summary trial and dishonorable discharge from the army that he chose to hang himself to death. In Focus A young girl was kidnapped and raped by goons and physical resistance causing her mental anguish and social shame. She chose to end her life by self immolation because she thought that she had no future after losing her chastity in an ignoble manner. Making an analysis in depth of the situations mentioned heretofore dispassionately, a sociologist would find that there was a chance of saving lives of those persons if timely help was made available. In other words many cases of suicides are preventable if some thought is given by saner elements in the society and the thoughts are followed by action on ground in the form of counseling and material help to the individuals who chose to take their own lives. Suicidal Tendencies There are elderly experienced selfless persons in every segment of the society who have seen adverse situations where personal disaster was imminent but was averted with timely help by saner elements in the immediate neighbourhood. Many cases of domestic discord are sorted out by elderly persons living in the locality who like to intervene in the dangerous disputes to save human lives even if rebuffed by disputing persons initially. In some cases intervening individuals lost their limbs or even lives and yet chose to play the role of a good Samaritan. In a case of serious domestic discord, it is the female involved who feels so slighted that she burns own body rather than tolerate jibes of her male partner. It is here that soothing words spoken by the selfless elderly neighbor to pacify the two sides go a long way in redeeming the situation and preventing it from deteriorating to a dangerously low level causing fatality. No dose of heavy counseling or taking the disputing parties to separate houses to allow them to cool down was required. The dispute was settled on the spot as it was the result of Ego unabated and only timely pacification sorted it out. Of course, it is not as simple as that in all cases where situation may be complicated. The complication grows over a long period of time. The suicidal tendency is noticeable if there is someone to notice. Unfortunately there are no elderly persons in the house where nuclear family lives. The eminent Sociologists should ponder over the issue of encouraging our newly married couples to revert to joint family system and abandon the newly acquired freedom and exclusive facilities of nuclear families. Indeed young wives have a leading role to play in coming to terms with mothers-in-law and submit to the superior status of the latter. In any case it has to be a solution of adjustment between the two ladies of the house with men folk playing onlooker’s role with as little interference as possible. If we go by the old time statistics we find that the number of suicides was negligible and emotional cushions were available within the joint families. Robust Minds Sturdy Bodies The young men and women of today have to undergo Yogasans, Pranayam, mantra manan and jettison fast food and junk food in favour of simple diet providing nutrition to both body and mind. As recent a story as today’s has screaming headlines that a XII class student of a prestigious secondary school ofNew Delhi hailing from a highly placed bureaucrat’s family provided with a separate study room committed suicide because he could not cope with the pressure of studies. He had a weak mind and a frail body because the parental pressure was immense to perform well in examination. There was no one in the family to sit with the young boy and share his agony and pain emanating from studies of science and engineering that the lad could not cope with. Everyone wanted good results without facilitating easy access to traditional ways of developing a robust mind and a sturdy body. The boy cracked up and committed suicide. Moral of the story is that parents have to sit with the son or daughter, share his problems of life and help him or her find solutions that he failed to find alone. If the father is busy building his career and the mother has little time to spare from card sessions or kitty parties, the end of the life of their ward is indeed a foregone conclusion. Parents will be well advised to share the joys and sorrows of their offspring from the beginning to the end. Of course, the adults have their own life to live but they have to find time to be with their sons and daughters when their pleasant company is needed in advisory roles without thrusting solutions that are unpalatable and may lead to domestic discord leading to suicides on minor matters. A benign eye and a soft hand of help to guide the youngster on the right path is indeed the onerous responsibility of parents. If parents discharge their duty in the best interest of their children, adolescent sons and daughters, outsiders and predators will have little room to come in and mesmerize the distraught ward leading to sexual escapades, notorious anti-publicity through pictures in compromising positions leading to unpleasant ends of promising lives. Ekant vs Solitude Ekant means that it is the end of being alone. It is the end of one being and more than one are ushered in. Ekant is sometimes misinterpreted as Solitude, the latter means one has retired to seclusion where ONE lives alone without any company whatsoever. As far as Loners in our human society are concerned, they have to be kept under watch by those who care for the society. In a herd of elephants if a tusker does not go by rules of the game and becomes destructive endangering safety and security of young ones, the rest of the herd makes sure that the rogue is ousted and denied company of other elephants. Thereafter the rogue elephant becomes dangerous for the human society and the jungle too until eliminated by the forest guards as per prescribed procedure. Do a Good Turn to Society In a human society, one comes across Loners who keep to themselves, do not participate in group activities, do not play team games and at a certain stage start avoiding company of other human beings, both male and female. Such loners are to the human society what a rogue elephant is to the jungle. The human Loner eventually may become a criminal, a fugitive and end his own life by committing suicide. If a good Samaritan keeps a watch on a human loner and makes an endeavour to reform him socially, the Loner may once again become a member of the human society and be beneficial to self and society both. These days there are senior citizens and super senior citizens who have discharged their duties to their families, their children are grown up and it is time they did a good turn to the human society they had gained a lot from in their youthful days. Of course, only those who have been trained mentally to consider themselves a part of the larger family that the world is. The Vedic Dharm, not to be mistaken for a religion of rituals, that guides a human being how to live a healthy and happy life comes in to fill the blanks in the human society. No money is asked for and none given for doing a good turn to a forlorn human being because he or she is a human being. An Arya with a liberal mind and flexible approach to problem solving may be able to take on this additional responsibility. It is indeed an act of virtue. Virtue is its own reward. The main entrance to the Central Hall of the Sansad Bhawan has an inscription on top of the door from the Upanishad. It reads: “AYAM NIJ PAROVETI, GANANA LAGHU CHETSAM, UDAR CHARITANAM TU VASUDHAIV KUTUMBAKAM” Indeed, a wonderful quote from the Upanishad for the guidance of human beings. Rendered into English, it means that only the narrow minded people go into proprietary rights of things and differentiate between what is theirs and what belongs to others; the liberal minded human beings consider the entire humanity as members of the Global Family. Living Life Living Life cheerfully helps a human being change Depression into Robustness of Mind. Depression is the source of all troubles that lead to a state of mind where an individual thinks that life is not worth living. It is at this stage a good friend may step in and convince the depressed person that the present state shall pass away. Good times will return. Life is worth living now, life will be worth living after a change of mind and life will be all Joy cutting across all sorrows when depression will be overcome by Robustness of Mind that will motivate Man to look forward to doing a positive act for the welfare of the society. Auto suggestion plays an important role in Man’s life. If a depressed man keeps on thinking the ways and means of ending life – may be by hanging, may be by shooting self with a fire arm, may be buy jumping into a deep well or a fast flowing deep waters of a river or just jumping before a running railway train – he is bound to take his own life sooner or later, may be sooner than later. A good human being will advise a man in depression to entertain positive thoughts and dismiss frivolity. If I were in touch with a man or a woman in depression, I would keep counseling him and her to give auto suggestion constantly and say “May I live a long life. May I become a Centenarian. May I not be a dependant on others for anything in life.” Let us recite a Ved mantra to give a positive auto suggestion on the above lines for living a healthy and happy life. The Ved mantra will make the environment VEDMAI and lend sanctity to the purpose of life. The relevant Ved Mantra on living a long and meaningful life is: “JEEVEM SHARADAH SHATAM …..ADINAH SYAM SHARADAH SHATAM” May I assure my readers that the aforesaid positive auto suggestion will blow depression into smithereens and pave the way for a Happy Life.
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• भारत
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

Fiftytwo years ago tbe second Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri breathed his last on 11 Jan 1966 at Tashkent after signing an agreement to end war with Pakistan fought in 1965. USSR had sponsored the Truce. Shastri Ji’s sad demise was termed as mysterious by many stalwarts, including his widow, Lalita Shastri and three politician sons. The Indian Nation has not yet been taken into confidence by the government of India about the cause of death of our beloved Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji.
As I recall his image today, I come across a great man, a clean politician of international stature and a saintly person who made no money under the table. Shastri Ji worked for Bharat and succeeded in making the enemy beat a retreat be it battlefield or economic affairs. Many men, not forgetting women, who came to mock, stayed to pray; so disarming style of conversation Shastri Ji had.

Shastri Ji had galvanized the Indian nation that stood behind him to fight and defeat the age-old enemy,Pakistan. Shastri Ji was mocked at in the initial weeks of his Prime Ministership but praised sky high after he beat Pakistan in the 1965 war.
Shastri Ji led the Indian nation so well during his tenure of 18 months as Prime Minister that the common man praised his leadership more than that of Jawaharlal Nehru. No wonder the small time politicians of the Nehruvian Thought demurred in praising Shastri Ji and giving him a high status. Shastri Ji’s widow, Lalita Shastri had to threaten the powers that be with a hunger strike if the late second Prime Minister of India was not cremated on the banks of Yamuna in the area of cremation of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Lal Bahadur Shastri had a sense of humour. He was asked before departure for Tashkent to talk Truce with General Ayub Khan as to how a chat would materialize since the General was so tall and he was so short. Shastri Ji answered wittily in Hindi:
“ Main sar utha kar baat karunga aur who sar jhuka kar baat kareinge.” ( I shall discuss with my head held high whereas the General would bend himself to talk to me.)
Lal Bahadur came of a poor but honest family of Srivastava Kayasth of Benares-Mughal Sarai area of the eastern UP. He plunged into the freedom movement against the British rule and gave up his studies in a govt school to join the Kashi Vidyapeeth from where he graduated with a first class degree of SHASTRI. Thus he came to be known as Lal Bahadur Shastri. He was opposed to system of caste in the society and gave up writing Srivastava. His three sons in politics too write Shastri as a surname although they never toiled to rec eive that degree.
Lal Bahadur Shastri climbed up the ladder of his political career rung by rung and what pushed him up was his honesty, sincerity and above all PATRIOTISM. Even in his lifetime Shastri Ji was known as the politician who never made money under the table. Naturally he was always SHORT OF CASH TO RUN THE HOUSEHOLD BUT NEVER BEGGED, LEAVE ASIDE BORROW OR STEAL. Once while he was in a British jail, news came of his daughter’s serious illness. He was released on parole to be by her sick bed. However, he could not give his daughter the medicines that she needed because they were expensiv e and he had no money. He saw his daughter breathe her last sans proper medical treatment bu7t did not ask the British government for monetary help as that would have compromised his political stand on freedom from a foreign power.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was a mild mannered man who never raised his voice to discuss a problem, domestic or political. His father had died when he was just one year old and his mother moved to her mother’s place for sustenance and education of her three sons and two daughters. Lal Bahadur knew that as he was a fatherless child, he could not enter in to a fracas with boys who had the support of grown ups in large families. Nevertheless he had learnt in the school of hardship how to solve problems and thus cultivated a Pragmatic Approach to Problem Solving. This was an asset that held him in good stead when he was called upon to solve national and ticklish problems. Lal Bahadur had won the confidence of Jawaharlal Nehru and the apostle of Peace, Nehru relied upon dimunitive Shastri to play the role of Jack the Giant killer to bring back Peace where strife was thrashing social order. When the holy hair of Prophet Muhammad, PBUH, was stolen from the shrine in Srinagar, Nehru asked Shastri Ji to go to Srinagar and restore peace. The small sized problem solver returned abd reported to Prime Minister Nehru, “ Mission Accomplished.”
I must take you, dear Reader, into confidence and narrate how unprepared Shastri Ji was physically to go to the Kashmir valley in winters when snow was there all around and he had no warm clothes worth the name. Jawaharlal Nehru was aghast. He lent for good his own mink overcoat to Shastriji and had it altered to fit him same day. The said borrowed mink coat of Nehru was the only one that Shastriji possessed for a long time. So simple and self-effacing was our Shastriji.
The common man feels redeemed a wee bit that Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, paid a visit to the Vijay Ghat to offer a floral tribute to the great son of Bharat who had been snatched from us as many as 52 years ago by the cruel hands of death. However, we know not why and how our beloved leader and Prime Minister breathed his last. Indeed it was an extra-ordinarily unnatural death but alas! No post mortem was ever carried out to ascertain and determine for posterity and for good the cause of that sad demise. The Indian Nation is still groping into the dark and has little option but to pray to Param Pita Parmatma for a SADGATI of soul of self-made man named LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI.

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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Maharishi Dayanand has lauded the teachings and persona of Yogeshwar Shri Krishna in his magnum opus, Satyarth Prakash. There cannot be two opinions about the role of Shri Krishna in motivating one and all to do one’s duty with determination without yearning for a reward. Even the most disheartened individual is encouraged by teachings of the Gita to gird up loin and enter the arena of action. Karma is the bottom line of this teaching and Ma Phaleshu Kadachan is the advice given for all for ever – crave not for a reward or prize for what one has done as one’s duty. It may be summarized thus: Do Thy Duty, Reward is Not Thy Concern.
What brought me to the philosophy of Karma and Karmaphal is a telecast of an interview with a 15-year old girl, Alia Khan of Meerutt by Gaurav Sawant on the India Today channel this evening where the teenager recited shlokas of Bhagvad Gita for which she had been given an award by Yogi Aditya Nath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in the presence of Rajyapal Shri Ram Naik and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Phadnavis. What made the event news worthy was a threat by some nitwit Maulana of a Seminary that a Fatwa would be issued against the Muslim girl for being Hindu Dharma oriented. On being asked by the anchor whether she was frightened by a Fatwa, Alia Khan boldly replied in the negative and quoted Shri Krishna again on doing one’s duty without fear or favour.
Teenager Alia Khan has the full support of her parents in reading and reciting shlokas of the Bhagwad Gita. After all she was encouraged by her school to participate in the recitation competition of Shlokas where she distinguished herself and developed faith in the holy book as a source of inspiration. The anchor buttressed the point by bringing in the Kargil War of 1999 against Pakistan where in the Indian troops drew inspiration from the teachings of Shri Krishna. He quoted the shloka :
Hato wa prapsyasi Swargam, Jitva wa Bhokshyase Maheem
Tasmad uttishth Kaunteya, Yudhai Krit Nishchayah
It is the determination that matters when a difficult job is undertaken and that indeed would lead to victory. One surely succeeds when one moves forward with Determination to achieve the goal.
In the event on the small screen Alia Khan moved to recite the Gita Shlokas with Determination and carried the day. India Today news channel aired the show with determination irrespective of a proposed Fatwa against the teenager. It was the teaching of the Gita that brought positive result wherein Determination of all concerned played a magnificent part.
The 701 shlokas spread over 18 chapters of the Bhagwad Gita is the finest example of Psychotherapy that man has known so far in the present age. Imagine commander-in-chief of an army going into depression just before the start of the main battle and refusing to wage war against own kith and kin to achieve victory, wealth, name and fame on vanquishing the opponents. Arjuna sat on the ground, leaving aside his bamed bow, Gandiva, going into a bout of Inaction, is a case of vishad or extreme sorrow numbing all senses. Yogeshwar Shri Krishna, his charioteer, could have left Arjuna to his fate and retreated hundreds of miles to his capital, Dwarka. No, he did not do so as that would have amounted to running away from the problem of Inaction and retreating into the oblivion of a distant land. Shri Krishna chose to stay on in the midst of battlefield and cure his friend, Arjuna of his mental malady, depression turning into inaction or inertia.
Shri Krishna applied the potion of counseling rendering friendly guidance until Arjuna picked up his bow, Gandiva, and was ready both mentally and physically to Fight to Finish for the right cause. Killing or getting killed is a part of the game of battle fought to uphold Dharma. Shri Krishna’s psychotherapy was successful, his friend Arjuna fought the battles in the war of Mahabharat until he was victorious.
While one sinks into depression for one reason or the other, one needs a friend’s shoulder to keep his sick mind upon to cry out until the sagacious friend counsels him sympathetically until he is restored to perfect mental health. Shri Krishna and Arjuna shine a perfect example of the depression cured to perfection, Inaction converted into Action and near Defeat turned into Victory.
Maharishi Dayanand was indeed impressed with Yogeshwar Shri Krishna. He says so in his treatise, Satyarth Prakash, translated into English from Hindi by Pundit Ganga Prasad Upadhyay, and I quote:

“The history of Krishna as given in the Mahabharat is all glorious. His qualifications, actions and temperament are all such as become a great man. From the very birth unto the death there is not a single actionattributed to Krishna in the Mahabharat which might be called condemnable. But the BHagvata has ascribed many evil things to him. The theft of milk, butter and curd and butter, sexual relations with the maid servant Kubja, association with the wives of others, sexual indulgences etc etc, have all been falsely attributed to Krishna. ”

The teachings of Shri Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita are for the good of entire Mankind; all men, women and adolescents irrespective of race, region or religion. The appeal of Bhagwad Gita is indeed Universal.
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Maharishi Dayanand has lauded the teachings and persona of Yogeshwar Shri Krishna in his magnum opus, Satyarth Prakash. There cannot be two opinions about the role of Shri Krishna in motivating one and all to do one’s duty with determination without yearning for a reward. Even the most disheartened individual is encouraged by teachings of the Gita to gird up loin and enter the arena of action. Karma is the bottom line of this teaching and Ma Phaleshu Kadachan is the advice given for all for ever – crave not for a reward or prize for what one has done as one’s duty. It may be summarized thus: Do Thy Duty, Reward is Not Thy Concern.
What brought me to the philosophy of Karma and Karmaphal is a telecast of an interview with a 15-year old girl, Alia Khan of Meerutt by Gaurav Sawant on the India Today channel this evening where the teenager recited shlokas of Bhagvad Gita for which she had been given an award by Yogi Aditya Nath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in the presence of Rajyapal Shri Ram Naik and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Phadnavis. What made the event news worthy was a threat by some nitwit Maulana of a Seminary that a Fatwa would be issued against the Muslim girl for being Hindu Dharma oriented. On being asked by the anchor whether she was frightened by a Fatwa, Alia Khan boldly replied in the negative and quoted Shri Krishna again on doing one’s duty without fear or favour.
Teenager Alia Khan has the full support of her parents in reading and reciting shlokas of the Bhagwad Gita. After all she was encouraged by her school to participate in the recitation competition of Shlokas where she distinguished herself and developed faith in the holy book as a source of inspiration. The anchor buttressed the point by bringing in the Kargil War of 1999 against Pakistan where in the Indian troops drew inspiration from the teachings of Shri Krishna. He quoted the shloka :
Hato wa prapsyasi Swargam, Jitva wa Bhokshyase Maheem
Tasmad uttishth Kaunteya, Yudhai Krit Nishchayah
It is the determination that matters when a difficult job is undertaken and that indeed would lead to victory. One surely succeeds when one moves forward with Determination to achieve the goal.
In the event on the small screen Alia Khan moved to recite the Gita Shlokas with Determination and carried the day. India Today news channel aired the show with determination irrespective of a proposed Fatwa against the teenager. It was the teaching of the Gita that brought positive result wherein Determination of all concerned played a magnificent part.
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Dec 24, 2013 11:49am

Blog by Chitranjan Sawant


By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

The Convocation Ceremony was the crowning achievement of the first ever experiment done in imparting education through an ancient system in modern times.. Only a man of patience and perseverance, grit and determination of a high caliber could have done it. And he did it. He was Mahatma Munshi Ram. Later in life, on entering the Sanyas Ashram or the fourth stage of life in the Varnashram dharma, he renamed himself in the ascetic tradition as Swami Shraddhanand Saraswati.. Indeed that name motivated millions of men and women to join the struggle for independence of India from the British yoke. His towering image, both moral and physical, moved the masses. The masses comprised all classes and votaries of all castes and creeds, regions and religions. This mahatma was the magic man, although he himself believed in no magic like his main mentor and spiritual Guru, Maharshi Swami Dayanand Saraswati – the Renaissance Rishi..

Born on February 22, 1856 ( As per the traditional Hindu calendar the date of birth was : Phalgun krishna trayodashi,Samvat 1913 Vikrami) at village Talwan in Jalandhar district of the Punjab province, he was named as Brihaspati and Munshiram.

The latter was easier to pronounce and became popular. His father, Lala Nanak Chand, was a police officer in the East India Company administered United Provinces. The young boy, a pampered child, moved from place to place on his dad’s transfers and was bereft of formal education in the formative years of life. Nonetheless, he learnt a lot in the school of life and, therefore, developed a pragmatic approach to life’s problems and their solutions. It indeed held him in good stead in later life when the going was tough. A little lack of attention from a busy father and excessive indulgence in affection of a doting mother resulted in the young Munshiram leading a wayward life. If there was a fall guy around, it was indeed he. What a miracle that such a man reformed himself to his finger tips and rose in stature in the public esteem to become a Mahatma.

Munshiram gave the credit to Swami Dayanand Saraswati for putting him back on the rails. Munshiram was a young boy when Swami Dayanand Saraswati had visited Benares,now Varanasi, for the historic Shastrarth or learned disputation with the traditional pundits. A rumour floated on the waves of the sacred Ganges and its ghats that a magician sadhu was out in the streets at night, holding a mashal or an oil torch in one hand and a book in the other, to carry away youngsters. It was an anti-publicity done by the enemies of the great Swami who had won the intellectual and religious bouts against traditionalists mired in mirages of superstitions. The mashal in his hand was the torch of knowledge and the book was the Vedas, the divine revelation of mantras at the beginning of the Creation. Munshiram missed meeting the great reformer because his father did not want such a meeting to take place. Many years later, the same father encouraged his wayward son in Bareilley to meet the same sanyasi for a mental and spiritual cleansing. That was indeed a turning point in the life of Munshiram. After a long intellectual discourse with Swami Dayanand Saraswati there was a gradual change of heart in Munshiram. The seed sown in the United Provinces germinated and flowered in the Punjab. Munshiram, the fall guy, was transformed into a man with a mission who ascended the pedestal of a Mahatma. It was also a turning point in the religious and political history of India which was struggling for freedom from the British Empire.

Lahore, the then capital of the undivided Punjab, and Jalandhar were the main places of action in initial years of a reformed Munshiram. He became a successful lawyer and earned name and fame. He was quite active in the Arya Samaj circles and took the Reformation movement seriously. He promoted movement of education of girls in the right earnest. As a matter of fact, when he saw his own daughter, Ved Kumari, coming under the influence of Christianity while studying in a Christian Mission run school, he made up his mind to wean away children of his compatriots from the external influence by providing them good education in schools run by the Arya Samaj. Like-minded Indians came forward to support him and the educational mission was a roaring success .He had, however, miles to go on this road of education. He had a vision. Educate young Indians in the Indian educational institutions run on the ancient Vedic system. The Gurukul system of education was the new mission of Munshiram.

History too had a major role to play therein. Swami Dayanand Saraswati, who had founded the Arya Samaj in 1875 in Bombay, breathed his last in 1883 in Ajmer,Rajputana. The Aryas of Punjab decided to commemorate his singular contribution to the new Awakening in India by opening a chain of schools and colleges which would make our young men and women proud of their Vedic Dharm, their culture and traditions and their country. The Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School was founded in 1886 in Lahore. A young Arya Samajist graduate, Lala Hansraj, volunteered to work as its Headmaster without charging a single Rupee as a salary. All Aryas worked for the new venture whole heartedly. However, some of them like Lala Munshiram and Pundit Gurudatt felt that in the DAV School, the Anglo element was dominating the Vedic element. The new educational venture was far away from realizing the dreams of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Punjab went with them. It was decided in Lahore to launch a scheme for the Gurukul system of education. Munshiram spearheaded the movement.

Money, money, money. That was both the problem and the solution. A sum of Rs 30,000 was required to launch the project. Who would collect this princely sum ? In the closing years of the 19th century, it was a major amount for men and women of limited means. The new Aryas were mostly middle class men and women in service of the government or other bodies and could not afford to donate a large sum, notwithstanding their wish to do so. Munshiram Ji took it upon himself to go round and achieve the seemingly unachievable. On return from Lahore, he stayed put in the waiting room of the Jalandhar railway station and made up his mind not to cross the threshold of his house until the mission of collecting the amount was completed. Indeed, a man of firm determination he was. A fine example he was for young men and women of today to emulate. Munshiram’s mission was a success. He succeeded in collecting a sum of Rupees 40,000.00 in eight months.

The dream came true. The Gurukul was officially inaugurated on 16 May 1900 at Gujaranwala in the West Punjab, now in Pakistan. Twenty young boys formed the first batch of Brahmacharis (that is how students of the Gurukul are addressed). Among the pioneers were the two sons of Munshiram Ji – Harishchandra and Indra. In the initial years it was the personal care and attention of Mahatma Munshiram that overcame the teething troubles. He had around him a devoted group of teachers and the taught. Their missionary zeal to make the novel project a success was of immense help when the infant Gurukul moved from Gujranwala in the Punjab to Kangri- Haridwar in the United Provinces. In the midst of dense jungles, on the banks of the Ganga river it was indeed an idyllic surrounding that any Rishi-Muni running an Ashram would fall for. Of course, it had its hazards too like the wild animals, rigours of terrain and a near absence of hospital facility. However, the devoted and dedicated students and teachers under the inspiring leadership of their Acharya, Mahatma Munshiram weathered it all beautifully well. Hunger, sickness and privations of sorts were rendered into meaningless words and phrases that existed in the dictionary of doubting Thomases sitting in the cosy comfort of their homes in Lahore. The jungles of Kangri and the Ganga of Haridwar gave the Brahmacharis a soothing comfort that the Devtas dream of.

Over a period of time the Gurukul became the proud alma mater of many men who made a mark on the national scene as patriots, journalists, teachers and writers. Each one of them had nothing but admiration for the mahatma who steered the ship for more than 17 years at a stretch. His was leadership of the highest caliber that a general of the army would wish for both in peace and war. In running the show there were problems galore. The Mahatma knew it well where the solutions lay and he lost no time in finding them. The financial help in cash and kind came flowing in. The annual function of the Gurukul held on 13 April, that is the Baisakhi day, drew in men and women from all walks of life and from all regions where the word Gurukul was heard and understood. Besides the parents and guardians who came to have a reunion with their sons and wards, there were writers, pressmen and booksellers too, not forgetting the detractors of the Mahatma who excelled in finding faults where none existed. Those who came to scoff remained to pray with the Mahatma.

Mahatma Munshiram made a debut in the world of journalism with his writings in Urdu and Hindi on both religious and social subjects. He wrote a large number of tracts too. Propagation of the Vedic Dharm was his mission and he never deviated from this path. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the Mahatma gave precedence to Hindi in Devnagari script in his writings. His paper, Sadharm Pracharak, was initially published in the Urdu language and became very popular. Later on, notwithstanding a financial loss, he chose to change over to Hindi in the Devnagari script which in the then Punjab was considered to be a language of women folk alone. The Mahatma’s editorial comments on burning topics of the day carried weight and influenced the public opinion. It would be relevant to mention that the mahatma never followed a populist policy and always chose to call a spade a spade. He stuck to Truth, come rain come shine.

Mahatma Munshiram entered the Sanyas ashram of his own volition. It was the call of his conscience. In his life span of three scores and ten, half of which he lived as a widower after the untimely demise of his devoted wife, Shrimati Shiv Devi, he wore ochre clothes of an ascetic and lived like one for nine years or so. He owned no property and coveted not for loaves and fishes of any office, high or low. However, the cause of upliftment of the downtrodden and the Shuddhi movement, that is , bringing back to the Vedic Dharm those men and women who had strayed into other religious folds, was very dear to his heart. He worked for both relentlessly and laid down his life at the altar of the Shuddhi. More of that a little later. He founded many institutions and established Arya Samajes for the upliftment of the have-nots and the downtrodden. He was pragmatic in his approach and lamented that many political persons paid lip service to upliftment of the so-called Untouchables.
Mahatma Munshiram dabbled with the politics of the country and the Indian National Congress for a brief while.
It was for the noble cause of India’s independence. He surmised that it was the duty of every Indian to free the motherland from the British rule. It was this mission that saw him leading processions in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area against the oppressive Rowlatt Act. In 1919 the Mahatma emerged as an intrepid leader of the masses. His undaunting behaviour and reaction to the menacing soldiers of the Raj when he bared his chest inviting the soldiers to fire on him first made him a darling of the masses, both Hindus and Muslims. He went around addressing groups of people and preached peace in that surcharged atmosphere. His son, Indra, was by his side and has recorded those memorable events in his short biography of the mahatma entitled “Mere Pita”(My Father). The scenes were breath-taking.

4 April 1919. Jama Masjid, Delhi. A huge congregation of Muslims had gathered to mourn the dead and provide succor to the living patriots who were protesting against oppressive policies of the British rulers. On the pulpit of the mosque stood an Arya sanyasi in ochre clothes. He had been invited by the Muslim leaders to encourage them in their mission of freedom. The Sanyasi recited a Ved mantra invoking blessings of the Almighty and praying for success of the just struggle. The Rigved mantra ran thus : AUM tvam hi nah pita vaso tvam mata shatkrato babhuvith.
Aghate sumnimahe.

The address to the congregation ended with the words, AUM SHANTIH SHANTIH SHANTIH. The congregation responded with the word AAMEEN. It was a perfect scene of unity of purpose and amity among major sections of the Indian society. How sad that it was so short lived. Who knew that the Mahatma leading the Muslims would become a martyr at their hands.

The scene changes. The dramatis personae are the Malkana Rajputs in the mathura-Agra belt of the United Provinces. Long ago they had been forced by the Moghuls to convert to Islam. Yet they had retained their cultural distinctiveness. Swami Shraddhanand Saraswati saw a golden opportunity to encourage them to return to the religious fiold of their forefathers.The mission of Shuddhi of the Malkana Rajputs was a roaring success, notwithstanding strong opposition of no less a person than Mahatma Gandhi himself. Maharana of Mewar and Pundit madan Mohan Malviya rallied to the support of Swami Shraddhanand Saraswati. The movement gained momentum. Muslims could not bear it. They turned intolerant. One Asghari Begum of Sind, along with her children and relatives, requested Swami Ji to convert them to the Vedic Dharm.Swami ji accepted her request and admitted her along with others to the Vedic fold in March 1926. She was renamed Shanti Devi. The Muslim ex-husband of Shanti Devi fought a legal battle to take her away to reconvert to their fold but lost. The great Swami, his son, Indra and son-in-law, Sukh Deo were all acquitted of charges of abduction and conspiracy. It added fuel to the fire. The social situation was volatile.
The Urdu newspapers of Muslims fanned the fire by their biased writings. Gandhiji did little to bring in peace. His anti-shuddhi statements only aggravated the animosity. Even the Muslim leaders of the top echelon of the Congress party like Mohammed Ali and Shaukat Ali made statements which were more of a hindrance than a help in bringing the two communities together. It was rather strange that the Muslims wanted to have unfettered rights to convert others to their creed but denied the same right to others to convert Muslims to the Vedic Dharm or any other faith. In their myopic policy of appeasement of Muslims the leadership of the Congress party failed to appreciate its adverse effect on the freedom movement. Swami Shraddhanand realized the gravity of this fallacious policy and distanced himself from it. The Vedic Dharm was as dear to the swami as appeasement of the minorities was to Gandhi and Nehru family.

Swami Shraddhanand was at his Naya Bazar (now Shraddhanand Bazar) residence in Delhi on 23 December 1926. He was convalescing after an attack of bronchial pneumonia. Moreover after an exhaustive and successful election tour in support of G D Birla, he felt a little drained out. At 4 PM came a man of Islamic background to discuss some religious matters with the Swami. The attendant, Dharmsingh, admitted him with great reluctance. The man, blinded by Islamic fanaticism, whipped out a revolver, when the attendant was away to fetch a glass of water for him, and fired two rounds at the swami pointblank. As the attendant came in, the murderer fired the third round at him. Swami’s secretary, Dharmpal, came running and overpowered the assassin and held him. until the police arrived. The assassin was tried and hanged till death. The Swami had attained martyrdom.
Indra, Swami ji’s son , recalled the words that Swami ji had uttered not long ago :

“Yes, it is a source of contentment to me that I am singled out as the one worthy of wearing the crown of martyrdom “.
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Hindus or Aryas cremate their dead. Indeed it is a scientific way of disposal of the dead. As per the age-old traditional practice, the ashes or remains of the dead body after cremation should be scattered in large gardens, agricultural fields and so on. With a view to keeping the rivers, ponds, lakes and other water bodies must be kept clean and ashes after cremation of the dead should NOT be immersed in them. Rivers, ponds, lakes and other water bodies are invariably sources of drinking water and must be kept as free from pollution as possible. Immersion of Ashes is bound to pollute the aforesaid water bodies and must not be done as it is forbidden.
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, a great religious and social reformer of Gujarati origin who left his imprint on entire Bharat, especially the undivided Punjab, had specifically forbidden immersion of ashes or the uncremated mortal remains in the water bodies. He had advised his followers before he breathed his last at the Bhinoy Kothi in Ajmer in 1883 that his mortal remains must be cremated as per the Vedic injunction and rites enunciated in his own book, Sanskar Vidhi, notwithstanding the fact that he was a sanyasi. Somehow a wrong perception had crept in that a sanyasi should either be buried or his mortal remains be immersed in the Ganges river without cremation. Maharishi Dayanand’s Arya disciples had then ensured that the Rishivar’s last rites were performed as instructed by him before his demise. The Arya Samaj enjoins on Aryas to follow the instructions of the great Reformer both in letter and spirit.
Dr Satyapal Singh, a staunch Arya Samajist and a Minister in the Modi cabinet has recently emphasized the aforesaid method of disposal of the dead including non-immersion of ashes in the water bodies to ensure that sources of water are kept as clean and pollution free as possible.
The Movement of cleaning the holy Ganga river, launched personally by Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi is an important point to be brought home throughout the length and breadth of the Indo-Gangetic plain. NAMAMI GANGE is chanted by one and all with faith and fervor. The great Ganga must be cleansed and kept clean throughout with the same fervor. Let Bhakti and vichar shakti join hands to keep mother GANGA AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE. Even throwing of flowers and other objects of worship like images, idols of gods and goddesses into the sacred river is an absolute No-NO. Mother Ganga is the Jeevan Rekha – the life line of millions of Indians subscribing to different faiths besides the Hindu or the Vedic Dharm.
Is it necessary that the funeral pyre of the dear departed person be made on the banks of a river? No, not at all. Cremation may be done at a suitable clean place. The firewood should be as dry as possible so that no smoke emanates from the funeral pyre. It is also emphasized that no smoke should rise from the Havan Kund either.
Our thought process and method of disposal of the dead should be in conformity with the Ved mantras. The Ved mantras are chanted when pure ghee and samagri are offered along with the word Swaha so that the mortal remains are cremated properly sans foul smell and unhealthy smoke.
Coming back to keeping the environment clean and not immersing ashes into rivers or other water bodies, let us understand once and for all that the Ved mantra in the Shanti Path particularly recounts major elements of Nature and prays that the Shanti or Peace prevailing therein should pervade our body, mind and soul and we too imbibe Peace in the right earnest. The Ved mantra recounts Earth,Water, Natural herbs with medicinal qualities, foliage, plants etc, Brahm who are Peace personified. May the same Peace –Shanti- is passed on to me, the praying human being.
It may thus be visualized that a human being reciting this Ved mantra is close to the Nature and thus will not, under any circumstances, pollute the environment lest Peace or Shanti is gone away. O ISHWAR ! may Shanti – Peace prevail. May we bring back to our body and habitat SWACHCHTA – cleanliness to be at Peace with fellow human beings forever.
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By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Two pictures tell the tale. Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi entering the Sansad Bhawan looked at lensmen and made the sign of victory-V-smilingly while results of the Gujarat Assembly polls were being flashed on small screen of various channels. Narendra bhai Modi does not let his body language be read by media men unless he is sure of the news that he is breaking. He knew that his party, the Bhartiya Janata Party would form the government in Gujarat notwithstanding what the political pundits of the Congress Party were predicting.
When Sonia Gandhi read the writing on the wall that her Congress Party was facing defeat in Gujarat, she rushed to her son, Rahul Gandhi’s house to wipe his tears and console him. The mother and son duo had conceded defeat in the Gujarat polls notwithstanding their sycophants showing the garden path that did not exist.
Rahul Gandhi, the new Congress President suffered his first major electoral defeat after taking over reins of the Congress Party from his mother, Sonia Gandhi. In any case, None of the two has a record of winning electoral battles. Born losers they are. Only one family running the show in the century old party was not palatable to people.
The BJP victory in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls was a foregone conclusion. The Congress Party stalwarts had turned their tales before joining the battle in the right earnest. Leaders of the Congress party in Himachal Pradesh did not enjoy a good reputation in governance. Almost all sections of the State were unhappy with the outgoing Chief Minister, Vir Bhadra Singh. Women were sufferers at the hands of goondas and the Congress administration was absolutely ineffective in maintaining law and order. Corruption was rampant from top to bottom and the common man knew it. Naturally it was expecting too much that those who suffered from misrule of the Vir Bhadra Singh maladministration would vote him back to power.
The Administrative horse wanted a new rider that would be in saddle effectively to provide peace and prosperity to the common man. The Bhartiya Janata Party promised to the electorate that they would make the hilly State El Dorado- the city of gold – and they were voted to power once again after the Congress party was thrown out of power.
Let us return to Gujarat, the land of Narendra bhai Modi, Pradhan Mantri of India. It was his magic that turned a near defeat into a total victory. A few weeks before the State was to go to polls, the political pundits had no hesitation in predicting Narendra Modi and his party facing a Waterloo in his home State. The Congress Party was riding its hobby high horse in looking for new young leaders who had suffered at the hands of BJP or Narendra bhai Modi. Rahul and retinue like Ahmed Patel, Ashok Gehlot and the ilk knew for sure that the Rahul led Congress would be unable to ride the victory procession to Sardar Patel Bhawan to form a Congress led coalition government. So they tied the knot with the angry young men of Gujarati origin to sway the masses in their favour. They did succeed but only partially.
Where did the Congress Party falter? It had no leadership worth the name at the helm of affairs. The PAPPU image of Rahul Gandhi refused to go. The common man rightly thought that he had been hoisted on the Congress party and did not enjoy the qualities of Leadership. He had no capability to lead from the front. His image of a leader was a false one supported falsely by the paid news people. The independent journalists and politicians did not think much of Rahul Gandhi as a leader. There is an old saying: some are born great, some achieve greatness and on some greatness is thrust upon. Rahul Gandhi belonged to the last category. Greatness had been thrust upon him because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Take away the silver spoon from his mouth and he would shrink to become a pygmy.
Narendra Modi is a born leader. He sold tea at the railway station of his home town Vadnagar. He toiled hard. He went through vicissitudes of life, became a self educated man in the school of adversity, rubbed shoulders with tom Dick and Harry to rise head and shoulders above them. The tea-selling boy became a leader of the masses in his own right. Although he was derided by men who wore Doon School tie, he cared two hoots for them and marched to his goal with flying colours. The chaiwala boy rose high and high, higher and higher to become the Pradhan Mantri of Bharat by winning the confidence of the people of India. Narendra bhai achieved greatness by dint of hard work, merit and above all patriotism. He is second to none.
Rahul Gandhi was a poor runner in the race of leadership. He made a pretence to be a practicing Hindu that he was NOT. He was born a Roman Catholic and was baptized as one. It would not have become an issue in the electoral battle had he and his media managers not over-advertised a false fact, rather a fiction that Rahul Gandhi was a Janeu-dhari Shiv Bhakt. Frankly speaking Rahul was neither and he knew it in the heart of his hearts. There is a saying in Hindi – “Ganga gaye to Ganga Ram, Jamuna gaye to Jamuna Das”and it is true to the character of Rahul Gandhi. The less said the better it would be.
A close friend of the Gandhi family called Narendra bhai NEECH and it cost the Congress party dearly. Notwithstanding all the explanations given by the fellow who said it and other weaklings of the party, it suo motu brought many fence sitters to the BJP camp to vote for the Lotus. It was indeed a windfall for the BHAJPA candidates and from likely losers they became sure winners. Indeed many so called friends say or do things that they do worse damage to their leader than an enemy would do. One cannot have a better example than the Neech episode that hurt the Gujarati psyche so badly that they voted against the Congress party candidates to avenge this insult to Gujaratis as a whole.
Does the Congress party have a future after losing two States – Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh? Their future is rather bleak. I have been saying often that the Congress Party was founded by a foreigner- Sir A.O. Hume and it would be wound by a foreigner – Who? No names and no prizes for guessing either. The dual loss at the Assembly elections of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh is the beginning of the end of the Congress Party. It is also time for meteoric rise of the Bhartiya Janata Party in all States. Bharat will now be painted SAFFRON.
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