The Essence of Self-Reliance in an Egalitarian Society: Nurturing Empowerment and Independence

“Swavalamban Samatamoolak Samaj Ki Aatma”

“Brahma se kuchh likha bhagya mein manuj nahi laaya hai.

Apna sukh usne apne hi bhuja-bal se paaya hai.

Prakriti nahi darakar jhukti hai kabhi bhagya ke bal se,

Sada haarati vah manushya ke udyam se, shram-jal se.

Brahma ka abhilekh padha karte nirudyami prani.

Dhote veer kuank bhaal ka baha bhruvon se paani.”

Kavi Dinkar

There are many ways to live life, and those ways lead a person to the pinnacle of success. Self-reliance is formed by combining two words: “self” and “reliance.” “Self” means oneself, and “reliance” means support. Self-reliance means living with confidence in oneself.

Self-reliance is the strength on which a person can progress.

By following the path of self-reliance, a person can develop the moral foundation of their society and nation from the beginning. Only a self-reliant person truly understands the struggles of society and knows the value and significance of happiness and comfort in life. What is the value or significance of an individual in the world and society? Who is called honorable? What is the pain of disrespect? How does scarcity affect a person?

In the Bhakti era, the true tradition of achieving the lofty spiritual goal of self-reliance through labor is revealed. Sant Kabir weaves clothes and does not need anyone’s support.

The famous poet Kumbhan Das used to do farming. He once went to the capital city Fatehpur Sikri on the invitation of Emperor Akbar, which became a regret for him throughout his life. At that time, he delivered this message of self-reliance to his contemporaries.

Our Bhakti-era poets have given us three valuable principles of self-reliance through their ways of living. The first is to not beg anywhere. Don’t even ask for alms.

Poet Rahim clearly said, “Rahiman mare hain, jo kahin mange jaye.” Begging is like dying. In this journey, he suggested two ways. He said, work, earn, and fulfill your needs.

Great devotee-saint poets presented a new ideal by replacing “work” with “devotion.” The confluence of love and faith flows as the stream of devotion.

In Sanskrit and Hindi, many such moral couplets have been composed, which embody the heartbeat of self-reliance. And they are still as relevant today.

The story of the rabbit and the tortoise tells us that even though the speed may be slow if there is consistency, it can defeat the fast-running rabbit. There is a story from the Panchatantra, “The Thirsty Crow.” In it, a crow drops pebbles into a little water-filled pot, raising the water level and quenching its thirst.

It is raining. The bird is safe in its nest, but a monkey sitting on a branch nearby is getting wet in the rain. Seeing the monkey shivering from the cold, the bird tells him that when I, a small bird, can gather straw by straw and build my home (nest), then why can’t you?

A self-reliant person is capable of extracting water from stones and growing flowers in a desert. The world bows before its power. We all know the story of Dasharatha Ram Maghi. & Mahatma Gandhi, a thin and frail person, shook the powerful British empire without any weapons. Non-violence triumphed over violence. Self-reliance includes industry, hard work, and effort.

There is a famous saying about Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow that when the British army came to capture him, he could not escape because he had no one to put shoes on his feet. How can one run barefoot? Consequently, he became a captive of the British.

Drishtee’s ideology of women’s empowerment is not limited to merely strengthening a woman financially. Our mindset is like a flowing, sacred, uninterrupted river. It grants independence to a woman, allowing her to question the world, raise her voice, breathe freely, protect her rights, and contribute to the creation of a beautiful, egalitarian society. From the moment we first encounter a woman in a Vatika, the process of her becoming self-reliant begins on that very day.

Written by Suryabanshi Rai

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