April 15, 2009

Raj Gurus – need of the hour

Governing leaders of the society have to shoulder huge responsibilities for the well being of the people. One has to deal with issues in a fair manner, make just laws, develop the society equitably without hurting people’s sentiments, etc… In all this one has to face with many dilemmas day in day out – some ethical and some small.

We have grown up with stories of Vikram and Vetal, wherein a new dilemma or question is posed to King Vikram and he ends up giving a just and fair answer. However, not all rulers possess the wisdom as that of King Vikramaditya. In such difficult times, one needs some one to go to for advice or solace. Who else could be better qualified for this other than your own teacher/ mentor/ Guru?

This fact was well understood by our forefathers and there existed a post of Raj Guru – a sage who is a teacher/ mentor to the king. The Raj Guru was also supposed to be the ethical gatekeeper to prevent corruption in/ criminalization of the government. This concept is very deep rooted in our Indian psyche and, even today, is widely used in organizations.

In many countries including the US, the involvement starts from the swearing-in ceremony itself (conducted by a religious head – like in ancient and medieval India). Just a day before the Mr. Obama’s oath taking ceremony, there was also a discussion on the church he would be choosing for his Sunday prayers? There are many other countries that have religious heads working closely with the top leader. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI has made it the goal of his papacy to counteract secularism (defined as separation of church and state).

However, today, we look down upon a leader, if he seeks blessings from religious/ spiritual leaders. This is partly attributable to cases like ‘Rasputin’ that misused such a trustworthy post and rest to the post-independence policies that copied the British instead of going back to our roots.

Hopefully, this will change now – as is evident by this letter from Shri LK Advani to all religious and spiritual leaders and Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji’s response to this letter extending full support.

Let’s do our bit for the change… Change for the better. Vote!

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