Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spiritual Democracy: What it takes for India to Succeed

What does it take for a political leader to succeed in leading India to a glorious future? At a fundamental level, three things:
  1. Eloquence to marshal the fractured public opinion and support in his favor, i.e., create new allies to his mission (Vaak, creation, or ऐम्)
  2. Political acumen to control and steer the politicians and workers in his ranks (many of them crooks themselves) in the right direction (leverage own assets effectively or श्रीम्)
  3. Strength and skill to checkmate and disarm his opposing forces (destroy obstacles, ह्रीम्)
How does one acquire these powers? In these days of democracy, it is the public that must create their leader and infuse in him/her the right strength to steer their nation to glory. In the olden days of the monarchy,  the individual tapas of the kshatriya (and his purohitas) used to give him the necessary qualities of kingship. Perhaps the ritual of abhisheka (अभिषेक) had the same purpose. But in these days of rule of the people, by the people and for the people, it is the collective tapas or will of the public that raises and sustains the instrument/vessel to lead them. This is one of the messages of both the mahisha mardini story as well as that of monkeys helping Rama to kill Ravana. The Divine strength can indeed destroy darkness, but waits to be summoned activated by the collective tapas of the sufferers. This is because It refrains from interfering in their individual freedom to control their own destiny.

If the public relies on the personal capabilities of an individual leader, it is limiting its fate to what can be achieved with the leader's individual strengths and weaknesses. The role of a citizen in a democratic society is not merely to choose among the individuals standing up to lead them (by vote), but also to materialize new leaders and to actively supply the strength to them where needed, for one's own and society's larger good.

But how can an ordinary citizen have the power to create and sustain a leader other than oneself?
This is where Indian spiritual knowledge of Human psychology comes to help.

Now let us examine these aspects of political power and their psycho-spiritual underpinnings.


The True Springs of Political Power

Winning New Allies: The popular belief is that intellectual convincing can sway people in a given direction. But Indian yogic psychology says that people are led predominantly by the manas (referred to as the 'heart' or emotional centre of man), not by the buddhi. Much of the time, a person uses intellectual arguments to defend his/her viewpoint already subconsciously fixed by emotion. Though this is not the ideal state, it is the current state of the semi-developed humanity. It is the emotional layer of man that controls whom one loves. And choice of a leader is mostly about emotional resonance. What people call charisma is emotional magnetism; it makes a person attractive or not. 

Emotional magnetism is the distinguishing asset of a true leader, and can be acquired in oneself or infused in others thru control of spiritual energy - the primal praaNa shakti that is at the root of emotions.

Steering Workers towards a Common Goal: The ability to steer a group of workers with often conflicting ideas and diverging selfish pursuits towards a common overall goal requires deep awareness of the driving motives of each of them and playing them - sometimes with each other, sometimes against each other - to balance all these forces in a way that serves the overall objective. 

Leadership requires keen awareness of and sensitivity to the hidden feelings of others, and knowing what keeps them happy, where they are strong or weak. Only with this knowledge can the leader decide whether saama, daana, bheda or danDa is to be used. Asset/wealth management - the ability to leverage the available resources to achieve an objective is the key. The spiritual force that controls the preservation and correct use of wealth, i.e., the assets/resources at one's disposal is Lakshmi or Vishnu.

Checkmating and Disarming the Opposing Forces: Unlike one's own work force who might obstruct the progress towards a goal due to internal feuds, the opposition's very job definition is to overthrow the leader and take his position and to prevent his reaching his stated goal. Cooperative opposition is an oxymoron. In this case, the right approach is to strike at the very sources of the opposition's strength and disarm it by hitting where it hurts. This also requires endurance and inner will not to get dejected by one's own defeats and setbacks. There is absolutely no scope for appeasement or ahimsa here.  
Strength, endurance, courage and skill along with keen awareness are the chief qualities. The spiritual forces controlling these qualities in the Universe are Durga and Her hordes, and Rudra.

For instance, the deity vaaraahi (वाराही) is described as the force that blinds (अन्धिनि), obstructs (रुन्धिनि), strikes (जम्भिनि), confuses (मोहिनि) and arrests (स्तम्भिनि) the dark forces that prevent progress. How does She do it? By arresting (स्तम्भनम्) the faculties of intuition (वाक्), thought (चित्त), perception (चक्षुः), expression (मुख), action (गति), and control (जिह्वा) in the opposing forces.


Spiritual Democracy

It is well-known that for a democratic society to flourish, the public must be active. Physical and intellectual activism are signs of a healthy democracy. But these are only surface movements. Veda declares that the prime forces governing human behavior are spiritual in nature with emotions as their steeds or puppet strings. Balanced all-round growth of society is a chimera unless these forces are recognized, understood and harnessed. Just as intellectual activism means to influence governance via triggering widepsread public discourse and debate, spiritual activism means to influence governance via marshaling the psychological forces behind human behavior in the intended direction. A spiritual democracy employs spiritual activism to guide politics in addition to physical and intellectual activism. 

Through spiritual saadhana, a citizen can summon the spiritual forces to manifest the above qualities in a leader to help him/her guide the nation effectively. Even if an individual by oneself does not have the physical/intellectual means to change the society/government, collective saadhana can trigger the right higher powers and invoke them to guide their leader. 

That is the responsibility of the citizens of a nation when caught in the web of an oppressive regime that is hampering nation's all-round growth - spiritual activism thru collective tapas and saadhana in addition to physical and intellectual activism.


Practising Spiritual Activism

We Indians are instinctively spiritual at a personal and family level, but when it comes to social and political issues, we shy away from spiritual outlook, equating it with religion (a.k.a. belief system) and hence unsecular. But the main idea of secularism is to prevent the imposition of a single belief system on all, not to shun all belief systems. Shunning spirituality is like shunning science and truth, which is to our own detriment [Atheists will not agree, but this article is not for them].

Spiritual activism is highly individualistic. If you believe in a higher power guiding your life, how can you deny that the same power is guiding the elected leader, the electing public and the opposing forces? If so, your prayer has a say in how your leader is chosen, sustained and guided. Hence prayer can influence politics at a much more fundamental level than sloganeering and intellectual debates. But prayer is only as effective as the intensity, sincerity and selflessness of the individual praying. Hence spiritual activism means to pray for the forces that you think are good for the country to win and their opposing forces to lose. The responsibility is not just that of the leader standing up to fight the dark forces, but also the people who he's going to govern.

Call to Action

If you believe in this, please pray for the leader you want to lead India.

Here are some suggestions.
  • If you do regular anuShThaanam, please do sankalpa every day for your chosen leader to gain power and use it to protect dharma.
  • If you have received a mantra upadesha, please do extra japam at least once a week with the sankalpa - dharmasya jayaartham, adharmasya naashaartham (धर्मस्य जयार्थम्, अधर्मस्य नाशार्थम्)
  • If you do meditation or Yoga, please will strongly at the end of meditation for the victory of dharma.
  • Perform rudraabhisheka or satyanaaraayaNa vratam at home or in a community with the same sankalpa, not for family well-being.
  • Please get puja done at your nearby temple at least once a week, exclusively for the victory of dharma, not for your family's well-being.