My dear Pranav,
In my previous letter I gave you
Vinoba's idea about an organization based on ideas. This can be the freest
possible 'organization' if at all it can be called an organization. His pithy
statement used to be arachana (non-organisation) is rachana (organization).
"(O)ne aspect of our work is
dissemination of ideas. From this point of view, I can see why Lord Buddha
established the Bhikshu Sangha
and Sankaracharya the Yati Sangha. I have, it is true, come to the
conclusion that we ourselves should not form any such Sangha, because
experience shows that their defects are likely to outweigh their advantages.
Nevertheless we ought to reflect on the reasons why those great men felt the
need of sanghas and the ideas that lay behind them.
We want our ideas to flow out to
people like a perennial spring of water, and therefore, we need messengers to
carry them. Without such messengers, the Sarvodaya Samaj cannot do its
work. We must take every opportunity for meeting people and coming into close
touch with them. People are not likely to accept our ideas at the first hearing;
our workers must be filled with such enthusiasm the they will enjoy repeated
discussions with the same groups. Their faith and confidence in the power of
ideas must be strong enough for that.
The fact is that many of us have
got entangled in various institutions. These institutions have their own
importance no doubt. Nevertheless, let us show our regard for what they stand
for without becoming attached to the institutions as such. Let them continue
their work, but let some of their members be always moving about among the
people. If we do not organize our work on some such lines, our ideas will lose
their vigour and the discipline of ideas will not be effective.
"But if you are not bold enough for this,
if you will quail before the prospect of carrying the message to every village
and turn instead to short-cuts by proposing legislation (for bhoodan),
then I must tell you that making laws, and relying on laws, is not our job.
By all means let there be laws, good laws, as quickly as possible. But if we get
involved in the law making, we shall be forsaking our own calling, our own
Dharma, for an alien vocation. Our own job, our Dharma, is to travel
round the villages and to maintain our faith in our ideas. Do not say that the
work will never be done by discussion of ideas. The work will never be done in
any other way. It can only be done through acceptance of the idea. The power of
the idea, the discipline of the idea, our first tool." (1)
Sankaracharya, the ace Jnanayogi of India being his Guru, Vinoba's faith in
dissemination of ideas was very deep rooted. He believed that organizations and
institutions have a role, but a limited one. They are carriers of ideas. They
have to be discarded from time to time.
We often build institutions around ideas,
but do not allow them access to the sun and wind. Such ideas get fossilized.
They loose their flexibility and capacity to grow. Living organisms are
continually replacing and changing themselves. They retain their strength.
There is no other way for groups of people to remain agile and relevant.