Dear builders and architects of India, dear leaders of India's future destiny!
Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani spoke those words I have quoted above, in the year 1926, addressing successive student rallies in Patna, in undivided India.
It seems to me that nothing has changed since then, and though we may have come a long way “progress-and-development' wise, some things do not seem to have changed at all! The Master's words seem to have been addressed to you, the young leaders of the 21st Century!
The problem of India, he told us even then, was a problem of transformation. It was only the youth, he felt, could help achieve this goal and change India into a new nation. The promise, the potency of the future, he felt, was in youth power.
Our youth must set aside material gains and personal ambition to devote at least a certain proportion of their energies to the task of national transformation.
We are still thinking in terms of Gujaratis and Punjabis, Maharashtrians and Biharis; we still consider ourselves Hindus, Christians and Muslims. We need to be Indians, we need to become volunteers for India, truly Indian volunteers who will put India first. India first! India first! This must be the watchword of everyone who will be a volunteer for India.
What is it that we cannot achieve if our youth set their minds and hearts on it?
Friends, I say to you: India needs volunteers; India needs servants; India needs sipahis; India needs builders; India needs architects who will build her future and ensure her great destiny.
Would you be these volunteers, these helpers, healers, builders and soldiers? Then undertake the tapasya of nation-building; the yajna of true patriotism; for make no mistake; it is a tapasya; it is a test of sacrifice; it is an ordeal by fire. Do you have the courage, the idealism, the spiritual strength that this great task calls for? If you do, then this country is truly blessed. And to all of you who wish to be India's volunteers, I end with this message: Put India First!
*August 15 is India's 75th Independence Day.
Dada JP Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader