Gou Bhakti leads to economic rejuvenation and cultural renaissance of villages; this, in turn, will cause up-liftment of the entire country at one go; it goes without saying that the economically-rejuvenated and culturally-vibrant Bharat would be in the best position to play its pre-destined role of Vishwa Guru. So, the root of Bharat’s cultural and economic revolution is in the protection of cow and its progeny,” says Sri Sri Raghaveshwar Bharati, the seer of Sri Ramachandrapura Mutt, in his exclusive conversation with Uday India at Bengaluru.
Some of the slogans which this seer has coined – Gou Vishwasya Maataraha; Gou Raksha Mama Deeksha; Gou Rakshati Rakshithaha; Chalo Gaon ki aur; Chalo Gou ki aur – have literally become the everyday mantra of millions of people throughout the country whose awareness about the importance of Cow and its progeny is phenomenal.
Awakened Society is perhaps, one of the reasons why there has been skirmishes between two groups – one, the people who are determined to save cow and another who, want to continue to indulge in the slaughter of the cow. “The only solution to stop this skirmish, often violent, is to declare cow as our national animal; give the cattle a constitutional identity; there is no question of fight on this issue,” says the seer. He asserts, “There is no mention of any religious denomination of having rights to eat beef in any religious scriptures or texts. This controversy has a political and electoral angle.”
In 2007, Sri Raghaveshwar Seer led the countrywide “Vishwa Mangala Gou Grama Yatra” thrice in order to create mass awareness about the importance of cow and its progeny. The yatra traveled the length and breadth of the country to the extent of 10 lakh kilometers and touched about 5.59 lakh villages. “In all, the seer has addressed about 1.23 lakh public meetings including 1000 big gatherings consisting of about 10,000 people,” Shri Krishna Prasad, secretary to Sri Raghaveshwar Seer, explained.
Campaign of Calumny
“This trial by fire has helped me to emerge stronger in purpose and clearer in mind. God has given me strength to take a charitable view of all the uncharitable remarks made against me in the media and with the police” – Sri Raghaveshwar Bharati.
The seer of Sri Ramachandrapura Mutt, Sri Sri Raghaveshwar Bharati was in dock for almost two years when – like a bolt from the blue – a lady (devotee of the same mutt) accused the seer of “raping” her several hundred times. The issue hit the national and state headlines, with the media – especially the electronic media – making a mince-meat of the seer in its own way with utter disregard for journalistic ethics and professional morals.
That the charge, by itself, per se, was so nauseating and so filthy needs no mention. The lady in question, Premalatha Diwkar, the Ramakatha Singer of the Mutt, had told the media and later the CID police that “the seer had raped her 162 times in one year”! That was being tutored by some vested interests who were having ulterior motive and who were perched in safe positions, goes without saying. But what is laughable and made the CID police become a butt of ridicule is the charge-sheet it filed in the district and sessions court – a verbatim statement made by Premalatha Diwakar.
However, recently the court dismissed the charge-sheet filed by the CID police and said, “there is no shred of evidence against the seer to proceed. The petition and the charge-sheet are dismissed.” That it was a great relief to the seer needs no mention. Thousands of devotees went into a rapturous joy and danced in front of the mutt at Girinagar, in South Bangalore, by shouting slogans, “Jai Sri Ram, Jai Sri Ram”.
The Seer, who is known for his calmness, poise, composure, modesty and humility, refused to comment but when insisted said, “When the charges were filed and allegations were made, it did not made me sad; when the court has dismissed the charges as frivolous and having no shred of evidence, it did not make me elated. I am above all these worldly aspects. Fire cannot burn me; water cannot drench me; I practice Advaitha Philosophy propounded by Adi Shankaracharya. Body is like clothes; Soul (Atman) is important.”
He said he will continue to serve the society and create awareness among the people about the need to protect Desh and Dharma; Desha is like our body; Dharms is our soul; without the soul there is no importance for the body; without Dharma the body (desh) will be a Zombie. My task is to ensure cultural renaissance; moral rejuvenation and ethical re-invention of the society in order to strengthen internal vitals of the country”
The yatra started at Kurukshetra, in Haryana and culminated at Nagpur. “Both at Kurukshetra as well as Nagpur, there were about one lakh people in the public meetings,” Krishna Prasad added.
In 2008, a similar yatra was taken out in Karnataka with the seer touching all the 987 hobli headquarters and addressing public meetings. “This had had a salutary effect as the people started demanding the government to provide them assistance for organic farming. The thrust of all our campaign is to encourage organic farming; depend less on chemicals and fertilizers; and protect cow and its progeny, both as economic value as well as sentimental value,” Sri Raghaveshwar Seer said.
To those who insist that old cows are of no use, the seer has a counter question. “Do you leave your parents in the lurch just because they are old, infirm, sick and of no use? Our demand is that give the cow a natural death; protect it if it is old; after all, just like our own mother who has looked after us when she was young, healthy and active, cow also has given enough for us throughout her life since our birth,” the seer said and added, “Slaughter of cow just because it is old is not inevitable; alternative is available; first let us make arrangement to protect cow, if it old.”
The seer maintained that the father of nation, Gandhi too was very keen for protection of cow and its progeny. “In fact, he went a step further and said that cow protection is more important than the freedom for me. In any case, we will get freedom but the question is whether we will be able to protect our cattle wealth after getting freedom,” the seer recalled.
On January 31, 2010, a delegation led by Sri Raghaveshwar Bharati called on the then President of India Smt Pratibha Patil and handed over a memorandum that contained 8.50 crore signatures of the people of Bharat that urged the Constitutional Head of the country to direct the government to ban cow slaughter.
The delegation consisted of Pejawar Seer, Baba Ramdev, Dr H.R.Nagendra and several other seers of various mutts and leaders of socio-cultural organisations.
The campaign for cow protection is not new. In fact, the Akhila Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), in 1952, had passed a resolution calling upon the government of the day headed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to take effective steps to protect Cow.
“The ABPS expresses its sense of disappointment at the muddled policy of the Central Government vis-à-vis the issue of cow protection. This is not merely an economic question for our country; it is a point of cultural sanctity and a symbol of national oneness”. (Verbatim Report taken out of RSS resolution).
The RSS called upon the people to launch mass movement to mount pressure on the government. Consequent to this resolution and vigorous campaign conducted throughout the country for several years, about two lakh people knocked the doors of Rashtrapathi Bhavan demanding “total and complete ban” on cow slaughter in 1965 under the banner of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh led by Pandit Deenadayal Upadhyaya and other leaders. Determined to take up this campaign more vigorously and to see its logical end, Sri Raghaveshwar Bharati seer has decided to go on a nation-wide tour once again in the last week of this year or in early 2017. “It is high time that the government is made to have a positive and good look at the demand of crores of Bharatiyas,” the seer signed off.
By S.A.Hemantha Kumar, from Bengaluru