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Decision Making in bharatiya parampara

In bharatiya parampara decision making occur at four different levels.

Level One. Follow another person or group. Do what s/he does on the assumption that s/he knows better, on the basis of life experience/knowledge level/ merely because it is easier to follow and/or because of being enamoured of the personality- kama.

Level Two. Decision on the basis of anticipated material advantage, artha.

Level Three. Decision on the basis of what is righteous- dharma. Choosing the option that sustain values in society.

Level Four. Decision on the basis of brahma-jnana. Decision taken with intuitive knowledge of brahma.

How the decision is taken reveals the varna of the person or group or the society.

Traditionally in bharatiya parampara decisions affecting society were taken by the kshetriya under the guidance of brahmana guru, criteria for decision being upholding of dharma. Such decisions encouraged dharmic values in society and fostered prosperity and peace.
Decisions on family matters took into account artha– material aspects, in addition, while on personal level, kama– personal preferences, were also considered.

Decision Making in Modern Democracy

In a modern democracy, it is the majority consent that decides matters at societal level.

Majority consent is shaped by public opinion formed on the basis of the following mediums:-

1. News Media– Television, radio, newspapers, magazines.

2. Art – Movies, TV serials, drama, songs, dance, sculpture, paintings, cartoons.

3. Academy– Educational curriculum, text books, classroom discourse, research programmes.

4. Government, including Judiciary- government sponsored schemes, information campaigns, policies, governmental institutions, offices, government servants, law and law enforcement agencies.

5. Political party/NGO activities– demonstrations, mass movements, public awareness programmes, personal interactions.

6. Commercial organisations– MNCs, private companies, advertisement campaigns

7. Religious discourse– Church, Mosque, Sunday Schools, Madrassas, Satsang.

8. Traditions and Culture.

9. Public personalities– Sports stars, movie/tv stars, Sant, Baba, ‘Intellectuals’, political/society leaders, artists, media personalities.

How each of the above mediums perform vis-a-vis the criteria of kama, artha, dharma and moksha, influences the shaping of public opinion and varna of society.

Tamas

News media that follows the lead of western media, Art forms that are shaped under western influence, Academy that looks towards the west for inspiration and direction, Government that is based on western model, Political parties and NGOs that are influenced by western discourse, Companies that function on the lines of western organisational structure and motivations, Religious discourse based on western thought, Traditions and culture of western origin and Public personalities under western influence. These help form a society that is tamasic in character, sudra in varna, that always seek to follow the lead of somebody else.
On occasions where no previous model exists to follow, such a society defers its decisions until passage of time throws up a default decision or presents an emulatable course to follow.

Tamasic Rajas

When the mediums that shape public opinion act with the motive of material gain, society acquires rajasic quality in addition to tamas. Such a society has media dominated by news of material nature, business and financial matters; Art forms exploring technical excellence, deficient in ethics; Academy oriented towards technological advancement, devoid of morals; Government actively involved in infrastructure building, economy, promoting consumerism; Political Parties, NGOs funded and sponsored by business houses. Commercial organisations dominating society; Religious discourse colored by material motivations; Traditions and Culture stressing on material accruement, and Public personalities selling products.

The discourse of such a society will be on material benefit. Decisions revolve around this criteria.

Sattvic Rajas

When the mediums shaping public opinion discourse on values, society acquire sattvic tinge along with rajas. Such a society will have news media discussing ethical ramifications while analysing current events, Art aimed at inspiring altruistic imagination in minds of the public, Academy oriented towards fostering moral living values in society, Government acting decisively to uphold righteousness in society, Law and judicial decisions reflecting dharma, Political parties, NGOs acting motivated by values, Companies producing goods for sustenance of society as well as Nature, Religious discourse directed towards righteous living in harmony with diverse viewpoints, Traditions and Culture promoting moral values in society, and self-effacing public personalities upholding dharmic values.

In short, rama rajya.

Sattva

When the public concentrates on moksha, the mediums that shape public opinion converge towards that goal. In news media, incidental nature of news lose relevance and karmic causes and ramifications are paid attention. Art forms a medium to experience and express realization. Academic pursuit, like all other, orient towards brahma-jnana. History is no more mere chronicling of incidents, instead record the eternal cycle of creations and dissolutions under karmic effect and their dharmic lessons provide inspiration and guidance towards spiritual living. Centralised government lose relevance as people govern themselves dharmically at local and individual levels. Companies shrink in size and number as materials required by society reduce. Religions disappear as people live spiritually. Traditions and Culture inspire realization and Personalities dissolve upon brahma-jnana.

Society Today

Indian society today, by and large, emulates western society and engages in material advancement at all costs to individual, family, society, nation and Nature. Thus it shows predominantly sudra varna that is transforming into vyshya.
Symbolically, India today is headed by people chosen for their sudra characteristic of followership, though trained to be vyshya – products of the british created education system designed to produce technically qualified workers for the empire.

Way Ahead

As rajas rises in society, represented by the transformation to vyshya characteristic from sudra, to check the deleterious effect on human psyche and on Nature, of unbridled rajasic indulgence in materialism, evident in human society today, and for long term sustenance, of individual, society, as well as Nature, tempering and channelization with dharmic considerations are necessary.

Increased deliberations on dharmic aspects at societal level impart kshetriya varna to society and raise sattvic characteristic.

Sustained rise of sattvic characteristic inspire brahma-jnana.

Purpose of life

Is it to see bhArata desH being recognized THE best of the world ?
Is it to see bharatiya samskriti being accepted by everybody in the world ?
Is it to see vasudaiva kutumbakam actualised ?

Two points still remain-

1. Is that a worthwhile aim ? Does that make a life worthwhile ? What is the worth of a life ?

2. What is the underpinning of bharatiya samskriti that makes it refined ? What is underpinning the thought of vasudaiva kutumbakam ? Is it superficial understanding of ‘universal brotherhood’ ?

These two points are most pertinent.

Different Purposes

Some parents want to see their children well settled in life. Some want to marry off their daughters. Some want to see their grandchildren before they die.
Some others want to earn a billion dollars. Some want to see their country gain name and fame, even if in the sports arena.

Some want their name to endure after them.
Some want to do enough to ensure proximity to a ‘God almighty’ in after-life.

Some want to engage in their favorite activity which could be mountain climbing or river rafting or acting in movies or playing a musical instrument or a game of sports.
Some want to finish their current project or research engagement.

Some want to see what they identify with- their community, their culture, their family, their organisation, their country, their philosophy, attain universal acclaim. This is motivated by one of the two reasons- an expectation to attain universality themselves on piggyback or the belief that subsuming of their individuality to larger group interest is a worthwhile aim for life.

Such motivations derive from identification with limited sense of self.

Some others engage in activity of service, material enrichment, societal administration or knowledge dissemination, sublimating limited sense of self.
bharatiya darshanas call such activity manifestation of varna- sudra, vyshya, kshatriya, brahmana, respectively. It is such activity, sublimating self-identity, that underpins vasudaiva kutumbakam. Its primary motivator is the understanding aham brahmasmi (yajur veda), prajñānam brahma (rig veda), ayamātmā brahma (atharva veda), tat tvam asi (sama veda).

Different people. Different inclinations. Different karma.

Which is the best ?

Which is the best of all the purposes that a person can choose ?

That which helps actualise his/her karma. That which is congruent with his/her sva-dharma.
This answers the questions raised by the first point- What is the worth of a life ? Worth of a life is in actualisation of karma.

What is karma – inner motivation, that is exteriorised in varna.

The question posed by the second point- What underpins bharatiya samskriti ?
dharma.

It is dharma that defines bharatiya samskriti. It is from dharma that bharatiya samskriti derives. It is dharma that forms vasudaiva kutumbakam. dharma sustains bharatiya samskriti. As consciousness of dharma rises in society, bharatiya samskriti rejuvenates.

How does consciousness of dharma arise in mind ?
From the understanding of self.

This, understanding of self, derives dharmic life and rejuvenates bharatiya samskriti.

Understanding, comes from selfless enquiry.

 

What are the qualifications desirable for a ‘leader’ in India today ?

1. Ambition.
2. Connections.
3. Ability to control and manipulate people.

That about sums it up.

What were the qualities desirable for a leader in India in the past ?

1. Sound understanding of dharma and commitment to uphold it.
2. Righteous action.
3. Dedication to welfare of society.

Kings who exemplified this behaviour are Sri Rama, Raja Harishchandra among many others. Both of them gave up their kingdom and family to uphold dharma.
Raja Harishchandra gave up his freedom when occasion demanded it and proposed to give away to people all benefits due to his virtues.
King Shibi gave his body to save the life of a bird that sought his protection.

Such were the qualities indians saw in their leaders during the past.

A leader embodies the people. The leader’s characteristics transforms to pick up the aspirations and characteristics of the people.
If that does not happen the person is separated from leader position.

As the aspirations of the people change, the character of a leader also mirrors it. Else he/she is made to give way for another who does it better.

The values of indian leaders today reflect the values of indian people today.

The sycophancy, the subservience to other than dharma, the greed, the aggrandizing drive, lack of ethics and values, cunning behaviour, all seen in indian leaders today merely reflects that of the indian people today.

The moral slide of indian people that created the present situation has been gradual, over millennia.

To reverse it or to correct it is not going to be easy or fast.
It requires changing of the momentum of millenia. A task for the strong of heart and wise of mind. It is a task for the kshetriya, under the guidance of brahmana. A task for the moral and spiritual descendents of Raja Harischandra and Sri Rama.
But it is the irresistible call of the hour, of the earth and it resonates with every awake indian.

The personality projected in public sphere, of a person, is shaped on results purported to have been achieved by that person or the organisation that person leads.
Such results are the derivatives of actions and events associated with by that person or that organisation.
Such actions and events are in turn caused by inner motivations.
Inner motivations, are shaped by two factors-
1. Self-initiative or self-generated thoughts
and
2. Ideas imbibed during upbringing, from exposure to wider world, due to influence from other personalities, through various mediums such as books, movies etc., and conclusions drawn from past experience.

Correct understanding of the nature of the above forces that mould the motivations of the current leader-personalities- achieved by examining the motivations that precipitated the particular actions which produced the results that shaped their public face -reveal the motivations and values prevalent among the general public.

Such understanding enable initiation of steps to create positive influence on the public, that will generate motivations to sustain dharma and contribute to preserving life on earth.

The public under such positive influence will themselves be their leaders to uphold dharma and act selflessly for society.

Today in India one person decides who will be the Prime Minister of India, the President of India, Chief Election Commissioner, various Chief Ministers, Governors, Senior Bureacrats. She even influences who will be the Chief Justice and Chairpersons of various commissions.

As a result, virtually every person holding any influential post in India defers to this person.

What are her qualifications that justifies such sweeping powers ?

Being the widow of a former prime minister who came to hold that post because he was the only remaining son of a former prime minister.

Is that a qualification enough ?
What about the need for past experience in administering a large organisation or a region or state ? What about sound understanding of dharma, of spirituality that characterize bhAratiya samskriti ? Of vision for the future of India and the world ?

Are such qualities not essential in an indian leader ?

Approaching it from a different angle,- why is it necessary for the most powerful person of india to have administrative experience, when s/he has well trained and experienced administrators and civil servants under her to run the country. S/he need only facilitate such administration without indulging in corruption or nepotism that is detrimental to the country. So far the present incumbent seems to be doing alright in that regard, or so it appears.

The question is, is that enough ?

Is that all that indians need to expect of their leader ? to desist from corruption ? to allow civil servants to do their duty, that is laid down, without undue interference ?
Is that all indians need expect from a leader ?

There may be something more.

That something is- to instill dharmic values in society, to awaken the still sleeping people to dharma, to consolidate a future which will enable sustenance of life on earth- which is possible only by nurturing dharma, to help give direction to india and the world at large, not towards selfish aggrandisement, but towards long term sustenance, reinstate the principles of india such as lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu and vasudaiva kutumbakam in their real sense.

This is what is required of an indian leader, and of indians themselves.

The present indian leader could learn to do that. But chances are, then s/he may not remain the leader for long unless the people’s aspirations justify such change.
So, a long lasting solution is that such change happen from the people.

When the people start to live the indian culture, the leaders will change to adopt indian values or new leaders will arise embodying such values.

Instilling sense of dharma among the people is possible by evaluating the influences that shape their current attitudes and removing the harmful influences.

Influencing people to mould their attitudes have been an age old practice of organised religions and their commercial progeny- capitalism and communism. These structures developed well reasearched techniques to influence the minds of people to further their vested interests. Such influences shape the motivations of people and thereby, their actions, their achievements and their personalities. It is a self perpetuating system that has been gaining momentum through millennia. Unfortunately such influences have had a negative effect on Nature and on human psyche. While Nature and all its living beings are being exploited relentlessly to satisfy the aggrandizing needs of such humans, the people themselves have been losing moral values, humane feelings and their sense of spirituality. This deleterious sequence has wrecked havoc on environment, climate, resulted in extinction of many species of plants, animals and birds and is fast making the planet uninhabitable.

Change of the prevailing negative influences is essential for long term sustenance of life on earth.

Positive change of motivations of the people can be achieved through the two factors that influence them- self-generated thoughts and imbibed ideas.
Shaping of the latter is achieved through control of mediums such as newspapers, magazines, television, books, academe, movies, social discourse, public spaces and organisations such as political parties, governmental institutions, NGOs and religious organisations.

Almost every such avenue is presently under the total control of vested interests seeking self-aggrandisement, including even many religious organisations.

The other factor that shapes motivations of people- self-initiative or self-generated thoughts, is also subtly influenced by thoughts from others. This influence is, however, intangible to source because of the interconnectedness of all thoughts in human consciousness. The thoughts of the people of the past, who may be physically long gone, are alive and along with that of the people living now influences the thoughts that currently take shape, in an intuitionary manner. Each thought by every person is thus a continuation of similar thoughts of many others before him as well as of his contemporaries and in turn contributes to the continual shaping of human consciousness.

The effect of such influence permeates physical space and objects. This is the concept of kshEtra.

bhArata kshEtra is permeated by the spiritual thoughts of the millions of spiritually realised persons who travelled this land in the past and the many who do so now. This khsEtra therefore inspires spirituality in the consciousness of people.

The deterioration of dharmic consciousness visible among the people of India today is the result of centuries of violation of sanctity of bhArata kshEtra by marauding invaders- a result of the decline of kshetriya consciousness among indian people brought about by considerations of commercial nature over dharmic sustenance, that has had a self-perpetuating effect.

Exerting positive influence through the mediums of communication, through social organisations and other institutions to bring about positive change in societal motivations can be augmented by contributing to universal consciousness through thoughts and protecting the sanctity of kshEtra.

When indians begin to hear the vedas within them, like their anscestors did, then each person will lead the society and the world towards dharma, towards sustenance of rta.

That is when bhArata kshEtra will have leaders commensurate with its nourishing values.

It is such leaders that India and the world needs for long term sustenance of life on earth.

 

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