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Biography of Guruji Golwalkar

Shri Guruji:
Who was Shri Guruji? What were his special qualities? Was he the head of any organization? Did he do something great for the nation? All these and many more questions flash across oneâ€s mind as soon as one hears the name of Shri Guruji.

Who was Shri Guruji?
Let us look at the brief answers to these questions. Shri Guruji was the second all-Bharat Chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He was born in 1906. The special occasion round the corner is the celebration of his birth centenary. ‘Guruji†was not his original name. This name was used out of regard, by his students in Banaras Hindu University where he taught. He is better known by this name even today throughout the Sangh and the nation. His name was Madhav Sadashivrao Golwalkar. His fatherâ€s name was Sadashivrao and his mother was Lakshmibai. They lived in Nagpur. In his childhood, Shri Guruji was called lovingly as Madhu. Eight progenies of his parents before him had met a premature death. Those days, Nagpur was a province of modern Madhya Pradesh. His father was a teacher. He was continuously posted in Hindi-speaking areas. Although, his mother-tongue was Marathi, since Hindi was the general spoken language, Madhu had a firm grip on Hindi as well. And as his school was managed by the Christian missionaries, Madhav Rao (his name in school) developed mastery in English, too.

Shri Guruji:
Who was Shri Guruji? What were his special qualities? Was he the head of any organization? Did he do something great for the nation? All these and many more questions flash across oneâ€s mind as soon as one hears the name of Shri Guruji.

Who was Shri Guruji?
Let us look at the brief answers to these questions. Shri Guruji was the second all-Bharat Chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He was born in 1906. The special occasion round the corner is the celebration of his birth centenary. ‘Guruji†was not his original name. This name was used out of regard, by his students in Banaras Hindu University where he taught. He is better known by this name even today throughout the Sangh and the nation. His name was Madhav Sadashivrao Golwalkar. His fatherâ€s name was Sadashivrao and his mother was Lakshmibai. They lived in Nagpur. In his childhood, Shri Guruji was called lovingly as Madhu. Eight progenies of his parents before him had met a premature death. Those days, Nagpur was a province of modern Madhya Pradesh. His father was a teacher. He was continuously posted in Hindi-speaking areas. Although, his mother-tongue was Marathi, since Hindi was the general spoken language, Madhu had a firm grip on Hindi as well. And as his school was managed by the Christian missionaries, Madhav Rao (his name in school) developed mastery in English, too.
The atmosphere in Madhav Raoâ€s house was pious and religious. Right from his childhood, his mother would wake him up with devotional songs, rendered in her melodious voice. This left a deep cultural imprint on him. He would cherish her songs very fondly, when he grew older.

Prodigious Intellectual Talent:
Madhav Rao was a sharp boy with prodigious memory. Once, his school teacher Prof. Gardener was teaching the Bible. Madhav Rao interrupted saying, “Sir, the reference given by you is not correct. Actually it should have been like this ….” And saying thus he uttered another sentence. All the students and Prof. Gardener were amazed. But when it was cross-checked with the Bible, he was found to be correct. At the end of the class, the Professor gave him a fond pat on the back. This incident served as a witness to his qualities, like exceptional memory, courage and unshaken self-confidence. His memory served him till his last day. Even today, throughout the country, people recall anecdotes of his phenomenal memory.

Extraordinary Forbearance:
In 1924, having completed his studies up to Intermediate, Madhav Rao left for the famous Banaras Hindu University, to finish his B.Sc. The huge repository of invaluable books in the library there was as if waiting to quench his thirst for knowledge. Madhav Rao started reading the books, through and through, one by one. One day, his toe was bitten by a scorpion, but he very casually cut that portion of his foot, dipped that foot in potassium permanganate solution and resumed his study. Amazed at this, one of his friends asked, “How do you manage to study despite such severe pain?” Madhav Rao replied, “Well, the scorpion has bitten my foot, not my head!” Later on also, people have many a time witnessed his tranquil tolerance under most excruciating physical pains.

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