वरम् एको गुनी पुत्रो न छ मुर्खशतान्यपी ।
एक्ष्चम्द्रस्तमो हन्ती न छ तारागनोअपी छ ।।
varaṃ eko guṇī putro na ca mūrkhaśatānyapi |
ekścaṃdrastamo hanti na ca tārāgaṇoapi ca ||
It is better to have one good (‘Gunvaaan’ is the exact word!
I.e. the one who has many good qualities) son than to have
100 foolish (‘Murkha’) sons. The darkness is expelled by one
single moon and not by the group of stars!!
पिबन्ती नद्य: स्वयम एव न अ्भ: स्वयम न खदन्ती फलनी वृक्ष: ।
न अदन्ती सस्यम खलु वरिवहा परोपकरय सतम विभुतय: ।।
pibanti nadya: svayam eva na ambha: svayaṃ na khādanti phalāni vṛikṣā: ।
na adanti sasyaṃ khalu vārivāhā paropakārāya satāṃ vibhūtaya: ।।
The rivers don’t drink their own water.
The trees don’t eat their own fruits.
The clouds don’t eat the crops to which they give the water.
The wealth of the good people (‘sajjan’) is really only for helping the others.
(They themselves don’t consume what they produce!)
Baithak, Varga and Sampark
Key to all round Karyakarta Nirman (Volunteer development)
Param Pujaniya Sarsangchalak Balasaheb Deoras had once said that “he being the chief of sangh is more fortunate than the Devas themselves as he is the head of the family of a band of committed karyakartas. These karyakartas are unique and second to none in terms of their discipline and dedication to sangh work”. HSS has always recognized and remains eternally in tune with the reality that karyakarta and karyakarta alone is the key to the maintenance and expansion of HSS work. Other resources though not un-important are expendable. Shakha as a greatest social innovation of all times was built on the foundation of Karyakarta as the single most important thing. Any person that comes in contact with HSS and starts attending the shakha becomes swayamsevak / sevika. There is never a tearing hurry for all that come into fold to graduate into a karyakarta. But the shakha is a crucible where status quo is not known. The environment invigorates all and one to lend their push to the mighty Jagannath rath (chariot) of our work of preservation of Vedic values and Organization of the Hindus. So what is the process that leads to the natural transformation of most that join the sangh, remain with the sangh and become karyakartas. Three tools that plays a major role in the karyakarta nirman is Baithak,, Varga (Abhyas Varg and Sangh Shiksha Varga (SSV)) and Sampark. This is not an exhaustive list and may also consist of other resources like pravas, and informal shakha family get together among some others. But the trio dealt with in the subject of this baudhik are more thought of, planned and outcome oriented.
Baithak: Plainly speaking these are meetings that are conducted at various level within the organization. There could be shakha baithaks, vibhag baithaks, sambhag baithaks, National team baithaks, Vishay (example: Baudhik, Sharirik) baithaks and many more types. It is said that swayamsevaks / sevikas are moulded in the shakha whereas karyakartas are created in the baithak. Primary purpose of any HSS baithaks is to plan for future activities and also to review / analyse execution of recent past activities. There is a lot of tangible outputs of a baithak but that apart, it serves to instill skills and values in the karyakartas that attend. In the process of deciding on the future activities, there is exchange of ideas, expression of one’s thought process, accommodation and also dis-agreements. But all these happens in a congenial environment and helps build appreciation for all viewpoints of those that attend it. Baithaks are time boxed where participants learn the value of brevity while putting forth their points. It also helps the karyakartas to understand and also feel good about the gamut of activities that fellow karyakartas are working on. Baithaks need preparation and also commitment to the decisions made therein. Lastly baithaks also serves to provide an apex platform where all decision making happens in consensus and leads to harmony in thoughts and actions of all participants. Since the baithaks are held with some frequency and also has some rigor, the karyakartas experience a sense of camaraderie for having met others and sense of accomplishment for achieving goals that are an outcome of the baithaks.
Abhyas Varga: It can be likened to the pitstops where the karyakartas take a pause and sharpen their skills and also learn some new skill, revise previously learnt skill to perform better in the shakha settings. It is like a mini training camp. Generally, a 2-4-hour activity and sometimes are conducted for the whole day helps karyakartas to get together in a non-shakha setting and become more skilled to conduct better shakha activities. This can be for both the sharirik (physical) activities and baudhik (intellectual) activities. One other objective of the abhyas varga is to train newer people in such a varga rather than having to wait for the SSV. This increases the motivation level of karyakartas as they get confidence and clarity to conduct shakha activities in a better way. This is also the forum where somethings like new geets, new khels can be introduced and learnt. This needless to say can be done in shakha also but here in the abhyas varga, it can be done a little leisurely and be taken to conclusion in the same sitting whereas in shakha such newer activity is at the mercy of time. Abhyas vargas conducted during holiday seasons or during long weekends can involve a residential component helping karyakartas to spend more time together. Abhyas vargas have their importance in the sangha scheme of things and falls somewhere in between the baithaks and SSV.
Sangha Shiksha Varga (SSV): SSVs are conducted at various level viz Prathamik, Pravesh and Praveen to train karyakartas in differing levels of expertise, also based on what was completed previously. Each sambhag is supposed to conduct at least 1 SSV or more annually. All beginners do Prathamik and then graduate to the Pravesh and Praveen. Ranging anywhere from 4 day to a week, SSVs can be likened to boot camp as it involves several days of sharirik and baudhik activities. Swayamsevaks / Sevikas are subjected to intense daily schedule starting from early morning to late in the evening. Most of the days has back-to-back learning activities whereas the late evenings are a little relaxing yet learning, recreational and entertaining. SSVs are said to be the place where place where karyakartas gain much of the philosophical understanding about HSS vision, mission and goals. The whys of doing certain activities and also the hows are explained in sufficient details. It provides ample time for practice of skills learnt and ironing out errors if any. Healthy conversation, camaraderie building happens mostly due to interaction that intervenes such back-to-back sessions. SSVs also exposes the lighter side of karyakartas where they display such skills like mimicry, singing, dancing or acting that are not for most part used in the day-to-day shakha. HSS lays special emphasis on the conducting of SSV and to that end devotes a lot of resource to the successful conduct of the same. SSVs are not a learning experience only to the participants but a greater learning experience to the shikshaks (instructors) that participate. Apart from the 3 levels of SSV previously mentioned, there are also Dwitiya and Tritiya varsh SSV but they are conducted offshore in other countries and kayakartas are nominated to attend then once they have spent some years in the organization and have some responsibilities as a karyakarta. The memories of time spent, the experience gained, friendships built in SSV leaves a lasting impact on the minds of the karyakartas and is said to last for a lifetime. These in turn translates into a lifelong journey of the karyakarta with the organization.
Sampark: It is based on the simple principle of person to person contact and heart to heart dialogue. Sampark can have several objectives ranging from casual how are you to operational follow ups. It is during many such samparks that karyakartas get more time to interact 1-1 with the visiting karyakartas. While samparking it is quite natural that the visiting karyakartas make it a point to converse with each member of the family and in the process not only endears self but the organization to the family. Planned samparks can achieve a lot of things like attendance to shakha, visit to shakha families, short abhyas varga and the baithaks also. It has proved to be a great enabler for the expansion of sangh work across the globe at all times.
Conclusion: HSS is not a static organization but a dynamic one at that where well thought of activities and planned activities happen at defined frequencies. They aid in the process of transforming a mere volunteer into a seasoned karyakarta with the advent of time and having attended all or most the 3 activities of baithaks, Varga and Sampark. The copious skills and the inspiration acquired from these are immense and become learning experiences for life. The commitment earned from the karyakartas in the process is needless to say intangible and unique to the extent that it will make other similar organizations or corporates look a bit pale. We all should take pride and resolve to spend more times to become karyakartas and better ourselves at every such opportunity of baithak, Varga and Sampark.