Remembering Ma Ashok Singhal Ji
This morning, Nov 17, 2015, brought to us the news of Ma. Sri Ashok Ji’s nidhan. One of the purest and most devoted sons of Ma Bharti, a Rishi, has moved on.
He was to us like a father, Pitamah, who generously showered his blessings and guidance. He was a friend and a companion in the journey of VHP of America since the mid 80’s. We always admired him as an ardent follower of Dharma, Dharmatmah, ever attentive of his actions and a, veerah, valiant hero who never gave up in any circumstance. But most of all behind his tough aura, we remember him as a gentle, noble person who was ever willing to serve (vashyah.) He delighted us with his talents as a trained vocalist in Hindustani music on many occasions.
Sri Ashok Singhal graduated with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Benaras Hindu University. But having been in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since 1942, he became a full-time pracharak after graduation. He used his expertise in the study of alloys to galvanize the hearts and minds of Hindus across the length and breadth of Bharat into a powerful vortex that has culminated in the socio-political-spiritual changes that we witness today.
After the Meenakshipuram conversions in 1981, he noted that the main grievance of the Dalit community was access to temples. He encouraged VHP to build over 200 temples specifically for Dalits after which the conversions were reduced dramatically. He organized the first VHP Dharma Sansad in 1984 attracting hundreds of Hindu notables to discuss the issues of rejuvenating Hinduism. The movement for reclaiming the Ramjanmabhoomi temple was born there and he soon became the chief architect of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement.
His humility, vinaya, was exemplary. During one of his visits to USA in 1999 to attend the Dharma Prasaar Yaatra, dozens of Sadhvis and Sants has gathered in Austin. It was then that we got to witness his true greatness and the respect he had for Bhagwa, when he bent down and touched the feet of all the Sadhvis present there. All of them were in their 20’s. And this was the same Ashok Singhal Ji whom every Sadhu, Swami, Shankaracharya, Maha Mandaleshwara in Bharat held in utmost reverence.
He was one of the finest manifestation and champion of the Sangh philosophy with an uncanny ability to answer the most challenging questions in the simplest of terms. Someone asked during another trip to the USA, “What is the biggest change in the last 50 years?” He calmly replied, “50 years ago if one were to ask a Hindu who he was, he would hang his head in shame and hide in a corner, today the same person would hold his head high and proclaim: Yes, I am a Hindu.” And again, “What has VHP/Sangh accomplished in the last 50 years?” He humbly replied, “We have simply worked all these years to prepare the soil and planted the seeds. The coming generations will nurture these saplings into tall and strong trees.”
For the past 75 years he courageously and tirelessly served the Hindu community as a living embodiment of Sri Hanuman and was instrumental in resolving the toughest challenges faced by the Hindus in Bharat and abroad. “Ram kaj kinhe bina mohe kaha vishram.” The work remains to be done. And his spirit lives on within each of us.
We, in the USA, are fortunate to have been in his company earlier this year. Those moments, precious and treasured, are enshrined in our consciousness. O Ishwara, may that divya Atama multiply into a million inspired Singhas to continue the great “Bhagirath” task of establishing Ram Rajya in Bharat and making it the Jagad Guru as Ma. Ashok Ji dreamed every moment of his life.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America
Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America