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DISCOVERY OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL
was like an application of the thought of Vivekananda and Aurobindo to the social sphere.
I was also surprised to know that such a deep and flexible approach was branded as
fundamentalist by leftists in India.
Vashta also acquainted me
with the work of Swami Dayananda Saraswati of the Arya Samaj, which added another
dimension to my perspective on the Vedas. Swami Dayananda was the first modern teacher to
go back to the Vedas and to unfold a purely spiritual interpretation of the older Vedic
mantras. I realized that there was an entire Hindu social movement based upon return to
the Vedas, a motto that I could follow as well.
Vashta admired Sri Aurobindo and looked to Ramana Maharshi as one of his
gurus. He had a special connection with the Kanchi Shankaracharya Math and Swami
Chandrashekhar Saraswati. But he had a broad approach not limited to a particular teacher
or based on any personality cult. While Vashta knew the spiritual aspects of Hinduism, he
was also aware of its social and political problems. He had his own spiritual insight and
ability to judge and understand people that could be quite astounding.