The birth, growth and development of the great Benares Hindu University are due to the unceasing labours of Panditji. He has literally spent himself in its maintenance and progress. When many other things are forgotten, this University will remain as a permanent monument to his life and personality.
In Malaviyaji we find a combination of the two great qualities of Yoga or contemplative energy, of Lord Krishna and practical efficiency of Arjuna, and it is this combination that has brought about this great institution to which we have the honour to belong. Pandit Malaviyaji is a Karmayogin. Our country requires Karmayogin most to-day. He materialized his dream and founded the Hindu University. He is not only a representative of Hinduism but the soul of Hinduism. He had striven all through his life for the Hindu ideals and we see the combination of idealism and practical wisdom with the result that side by side with cultural studies in the University, we have provision for imparting technical education…. He (Panditji) does not want to follow the 5,000 year old India. He has adjusted himself to the spirit of modern times and has been trying to do his level best to inspire his countrymen with progressive impulses and utilize Science for the service of man. While preserving the imperishable treasures of our past, he is keen on moving forward with the times. He is responsible to an extent for the renaissance of the Hindu spirit in our land. The renewal of these ideals and their application to the material needs of our country is an important lesson which we take from the life of Panditji.
I feel honoured by the invitation to unveil this life-size statue of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya installed on a pedestal of the BHU Gate. He was born on December 25th the Christmas Day. It symbolizes peace on earth and good will to man. If anyone embodied the great quality of love and peace and friendship it is Madan Mohan Malaviya. There was no trace of ill-will or hatred in him. Love is blind, but truth is blinder. We all know it. That is why in our scriptures when teacher and pupil sit together we say माविद्विषावहै- “We do not hate each other.” We will develop love between ourselves. That is how we started.
I know Madan Mohan Malaviya for many years. In 1908, when he came to Madras in connection with the Indian National Congress I looked at him as a cat looks at the cage and never had an opportunity of meeting or talking to him. But I listened to his oratory. He was the greatest orator in both Hindi and English. We had some illustrations of it just now.
I again met him in Bangalore while he was convalescing. The words which you just heard in his speech, he used it in an appeal to lift the submerged persons of humanity.
“What you don’t wish to be done to yourself, don’t do to others.” That philosophy counted when he was asking the people of Bangalore to raise the down-trodden and the fallen people of this country whom we now call the Harijans.
After that I met him in London when he was the member of the Round Table Conference. He tried to conform to his orthodox habits even in that distant part of the country where he was. Again I saw him a number of times in Delhi, Benares etc., till at last I came here as the Vice-Chancellor of the University and spent a happy eight year period.
Yesterday, I was at Jamshedpur and I was told that, the town had about two to three hundred graduates of Banaras Hindu University working there in Mining, Metallurgy, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. As an outstanding sturdy patriot he realized that our country suffered on account of technical backwardness, lack of public spirit, inattention to our own great culture. These were the defects which he attempted to remove by the establishment of this University.
He established for the first time institutions for Glass Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Chemistry, Mining and Metallurgy, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. There were other courses which were found in other Universities but these were the special things which were the characteristics of this University. In whatever part of the country you go, you find graduates of the Banaras Hindu University. Public spirit, the embodiment of it, he worked for several movements, social, political etc. but the most important monument of his work is this University, and the greatest character of Malaviya was his devotion to Indian culture. The speeches which you just listened to will give you an idea of how his enduring passion was to make Indian culture alive.
He is said to be a supporter of Sanatana Dharma. What is Sanatana Dharma? Not the rites and the ceremony, not the different things which have changed from centuries but there are certain qualities which are of universal character which has got an appeal in vitality even to-day. अभय, अहिंसा, असंगAbhay, Ahinsa, Asang. These are qualities which are the characteristics of Indian culture. अभयFreedom from fear, integrity of spirit…. We can be free from fear…. If we want to have Abhaya the first thing that we have to do is to ascertain whether this passing show is all or whether there is something behind this which gives meaning and significance to it and which makes us feel though temporal things may pass away, there is permanent reality, that sense of security. That alone can give the human mind true security. If that is Abhaya it remains to be followed that it must result in action of love and friendship, Ahimsa. You find Dhammapada saying Victory breeds hatred. The conquered live in sorrow. The Yogasutra tells us when Ahinsa is established, there is वैरत्याग(Vairatyaga). There is complete aspect of renunciation, so to say, of hatred. Violence in deed, violence in speech, these are the things which are subdued. We are called upon to practice friendship and love. All our great ethics, all our great scriptures call upon us to adopt such higher attitude. Indignation, anger, passion, greed, these are opposite of Ahimsa. We are talking to-day about disarmament, why are there armaments? Armaments are there because we want to defend our own injustices. Racial discrimination, colonial domination; these things are there. Why are these things there? Why do we have colonial domination? Why do we have racial discrimination? On account of our greed, on account of our passion. The crisis in the world is the reflection of the crisis in the human soul. If we want to rebuild this world, we have to remake the human individual. We have to change ourselves if we wish to bring about a changed world. You and I are responsible for the present condition of the world and if that has to be altered you and I have to change. It is this remaking of self, the substitution of love for hate, of friendship for antagonism, that is the thing which we are called upon to adopt. It does not mean that we should retire from the world, when we want to enjoy what in essence reality is. We should try to live in the world, reduce and minimize its suffering…. The truly religious man is not the man who stays on the top of a hill for all time; who gets away from life. He wants to live in this world and reduce the sufferings in the world.
Shri Krishna and Shri Janaka filled with spiritual wisdom … tried to rectify the wrongs, tried to remove the inequalities and the injustices, tried to raise the world to a higher plane….
And when Malaviyaji took up this problem of raising our country from slavery to freedom, from spiritual ignorance to some kind of spiritual enlightenment, he tried to remove all the technical difficulties and defects from which we suffer. He tried to throw himself into the work of the world. He tried to do what no man can do, he has done a great deal to remove the suffering in this world, to raise the country to a higher level. Religion is a supreme effort to improve the human condition. It is there for the purpose of helping us to feel that there is nothing to be afraid of. माशुचः “Do not fear.” That’s the advice of Sri Krishna. The Upanishads say- यतोवाचोनिवर्तन्तेअप्राप्यमनसासहI आनन्दंब्राह्म्णोंविद्वाननविभेतिकदाचनेतिHe is never afraid of anything that can happen. It is that sort of religion which we should have. It is not metaphysical speculation; it is remaking of man’s own nature. The absolute experience cannot be brought out by absolute language. The language guarded religion can never grasp the essentials of action. It is therefore that our people insisted again and again, “Do not follow the way of hatred.” We have shown such an enormous amount of hospitality to other creeds. If experience is there, it can be expressed through poetry, through silence, through adoration, through prayer, but it can’t be expressed through words…. Then these words must be regarded as relative expression never raised to the rank of absolute. If we have that it will be possible for us to live in this world as friends and comrades in one supreme spiritual quest. We should not regard ourselves as rivals fighting with one another. We should regard ourselves as partners in the supreme task of raising the level of humankind.
These three points of Abhaya, Ahimsa, and Asang must be regarded as the category of Sanatana Dharma. It is not whether you cross the sea or whether you touch this food or that food. They do not constitute the essential religion. We have suffered; lives are broken; opportunities are wasted; hearts are angry on account of our submission to this rigid fanaticism and false orthodoxy. These things have to be set aside. The truly religious man is one who harbours no greed, no passion, no hatred; he will look upon others as brothers. There are no strangers for him. There are no enemies for him. If the world is to be lifted and established on a better plane it is only due to that. I hope that all those who study in this University and all those who enter this University, will look at the statue which I have now the pleasure of unveiling and will remember his fascination for patriotism, his insistence on purity, his adherence to supreme, for the rational values of life – fearlessness, love and detachment.
(Excerpts from the speech delivered by Dr S. Radhakrishnan on the occasion of unveiling of the statue of Pandit Malaviya at the BHU Gate)