True Power that Arises from Love

Love has an everlasting quality to itself. True Love is immortal. It does not know Age, Time or Gender. True Love does not want to possess anything. It does not control anything. Love is a natural flow of Nature. We still remember Jesus Christ, Buddha and Rama. But, we do not remember the “Powerful” Cruel Kings from those times. The Love that these Masters poured into the world was filled with so much potence. This Love will last till humanity lasts on this planet.

love

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Love that Raises Man

Love that raises people is a very special kind of love. It does not hold any conditions. Beings on the receiving end of such love become fulfilled and powerful enough to raise others that come in contact with them. Material benefits from delivery of love is not considered at all. No material benefits can match the natural return of such love. But, love that we see in movies and novels come from a possessive place. We want to own the one that we love. Also, no one else should love the person that we love. Love that goes out to everyone is seen as almost perverted. One man can love only love one woman and vice versa. A man cannot say Love to another man, as that will be seen in a wrong light. Love between adults is considered in a sexual way. This is a very unfortunate state of affairs that the world has come to today.

Consider the Love that you may have for Sunrise. We do not want to own the Sunrise in any way. We do not wish to take the Sun home with us. Maybe we may take a photograph and frame it in our living room. But, the framed photograph has no quality as the real magic that takes place in the sky. Sunrise is fresh everytime. We never feel we have seen all kinds of sunrise that ever existed. A human who chooses to watch the Sunrise every single day has a particular quality about her/ him. Hundred years of watching the Sunrise daily still evokes more promise of freshness. That is the quality of Love. It is eternally fresh. We never get bored of Love. It is beyond the senses and intellect.

The Corrupted Power

Imagine a tyrant leader. Such a leader does not hold back in resorting to cruelty in order to exercise his power. History is full of such Kings and Nobles who ruled over people using an iron hand. Fear is the key ingredient of their rule. Such fear based rule cannot last forever. There will always be someone who is more powerful and more influential that may come to defeat such a King. Also, if the influence of the fearful King reduces due to economic or military reasons, people may choose to revolt and even execute that leader. Mostly history itself is rewritten to erase the memory of such a leader from long term memory.

Look at Mughal History and consider the memory of Akbar and Aurangzeb. Even though Aurangzeb had more power and better army, India remembers Akbar more fondly. India remembers Ashoka with a lot of respect after his actions post the Kalinga war. Today even Mahatma Gandhi has risen to the status of a truly inspiring leader all over the world due to his vision of love and nonviolence. A world that carries the after effects of terrorism and subjugation looks forward to the message of love and compassion from rich cultures such as India.  

Love that comes from Wisdom and Learning of Scriptures have a deeper quality to it. This love is beyond conditions and restrictions. There is Space in this love to grow and discover the Self. Love of this quality does not distinguish between good and bad. All of Nature recognises such Love. Look at Dogs and Cats at our homes. Look at trees and the ocean. Look at birds. This quality of love is very visible in them. There is great allowing to be yourself.

What is the quality of your love?

Warning Signs of a Weak King

Valmiki Ramayana mentions Red Flags of a King or a Leader. There are a lot of warning signs for a King that he must be cognizant about. These particular Red Flags are mentioned by Shoorpanakha to Ravana in Aranya Kanda Chapter 33 of Valmiki Ramayana. It is interesting that even negative characters in the Epic comes forward with a lot of wisdom. We could assume it is Valmiki that is talking through Shoorpanakha to readers like us about values and qualities that we must maintain. The colourfulness of characters and storyline takes a back seat in Indian Wisdom, once the Principles that readers need to understand assume importance.

weak king

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Mountain Under the Ocean

There are Kings who bring in a lot of material progress. But the Leader who cannot bring his people under control and help his nation will be doomed. For instance, there are lands that are naturally endowed with a lot of natural resources or situated in key trade routes. Such lands may attract wealth automatically. There need not be a lot of strategy from the King to bring progress. But, if the King himself is not recognised by the people in that country, there is something wrong with such a Leader.

It is necessary that great Kings and Leaders are acknowledged by the people of that country. The King who does not command respect and awe is like a mountain under the sea. Even though the mountain is tall and great, no one even knows about its existence. History is full of Kings who have inherited great nations from their forefathers and failed to maintain the glory. The example of Mughal Leaders after Aurangzeb who lost out completely to the Western forces in spite of their great lineage will not be forgotten soon.

The Indulgent One

There is no one who could order a King. The ultimate Autonomy bestowed on such an individual may backfire, especially in the case of people with a weak character. One of the greatest challenges of a great leader is indulgence. With a never ending flow of alcohol, drugs, women and expensive toys, a playful King needs to be super aware and careful.

A leader who cannot keep away from his stable of supercars and access to finest cocaine will not see the dangers that stare him in the face. Often people from within the kingdom may start a revolt or move to remove the leader. Even in today’s political and business regimes, we can see the downfall of indulgent leaders. The glamour of leadership and exciting celebrations are not everlasting entities. People are always watching and observing those in power. One careless move may result in very wrong results.

The Lazy and Irresponsible One

The Leader who does not perform his duties at the right time will be destroyed. In our society, hard work is regarded well. But the timing of efforts is a result of wisdom. The King who is able to identify the right time of execution is a wise one. However, lack of wisdom will yield bad consequences as well. The King who does not care about his finances, spies, justice and influence is bound to fail. The health of finances and justice of a kingdom is the result of a lot of consultations with ministers and wise people. They are team efforts which comes from serious study and experience. A King who is not ready to put in the efforts to understand this closely may perish with time.

Behaviour and Attitude Traits

A childish leader who cannot stay still and stay grounded is bound to fail. There is a quality of maturity that is expected from every leader. It is true that all leaders may not have all the answers all the time. But, the willingness to be patient and optimistic about the answers that may arise is important. A leader who rises above his childish qualities of anger, demands and impatience will find glory.

We can see that great leaders are evolved beings in many respects. They are able to be detached and responsible at the same time. They have come beyond the challenges of human issues and face situations with courage and intelligence. From a affairs of a simple family to the leadership of developed nations, Kingly qualities of Leaders speak a lot about them.

Are you a Well Meaning Relative?

Ravana talks harshly to Vibhishana when Vibhishana warns Ravana of consequences of abducting Sita in Chapter 16, Yuddha Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana. Ravana enumerates the qualities of an evil relative. However, Vibhishana was only being truthful and well intentioned in warning Ravana of the great powers of Rama and his Vanara Army. Still, Ravana’s talk has a lot of wisdom that can be applied in our everyday lives.

Ravana

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There are some relatives that enjoy our suffering. They could even be close friends or associates that seem well meaning. Identifying these elements and being cognizant about their character is important for our well being.

The Good needs to Care

Some of us are blessed to be talented and enjoy perks such as wealth, power and influence. We attract a lot of friends and relatives when celebrating these benefits. But when we fall from grace, evil friends and relatives enjoy that fall with a lot of happiness. This fall is celebrated especially in case of those who are of good standing in society, those who are powerful and of high influence, those who are knowledgeable, those who are ardent followers of Dharma and those who are Brave.

We can stay with enemies. We can even stay with poisonous snakes. But, we need to be very careful with those friends and relatives that liaison with the enemy. History is full of traitors who cannot stick with their side during times of crisis. We see this a lot in politics today. A better offer from the rival side is enough for some “leaders” to switch sides. The principles and ethics of political parties is neglected for power and position. Not even Grace can save the land that is ruled by such people.

Traits of Evil Relations

Evil friends and relatives take special pleasure of others’ hurt. They do not let their intentions known. We cannot understand what they think about, what they plan for and how they figure their execution strategies. Dharmic principles and techniques are not seen favourably by them. We come across many people these days who laugh at ethics and morality. Ends do not justify the means. Only when the means are also pure, can we call a project good.

Ramayana says you need not be scared of fire, weapons or other material objects. We can always find out means to solve challenges that come from these sources. But, we need to be very careful of bad friends and relatives who enjoy our pain. The first step to eliminating bad influences from our field would be to become a good friend or relative ourselves. Ask yourself. Do you really mean perfectly well for your friends and relatives?

Feel of a Bad Relationship

Ravana says that relations with bad friends is like water drops on a lotus leaf. It does not stick. We have experienced fair weather friends, who stick when times are good and leave when challenges arise. All wise cultures talk about real friends who stay with us during bad times and conditions. Clouds of winter only growl with thunder. They never yield rains. Friends of evil nature are so too. They may talk about favours and benefits. But, there would not be anything beyond mere words. Actions mean a lot more than mere words.

Bees linger around flowers till there is honey in them. Once the nectar is extracted, the bees never care about the flower. Similarly evil friends stay with us till we have something to offer them. Once they have taken everything from us, they leave us. It could be money, our networks, our beauty or our influence. A true jnani never befriends us to gain anything from us. They are happy with what nature has provided them. There is never anything extra needed from people.

Wild Elephants apply mud on themselves after a bathe. The cleanliness on them is very temporary. Relations with evil ones are very similar too. Any cleanliness we attain through Sadhana and Practice is destroyed with wrong words and intentions. A seeker who has not achieved enough strength could get discouraged with these words, intentions and actions.

We need not judge people as evil or good. That differentiation is the initial step to violence. Yet, it is important to shield ourselves from getting influenced by evilness from such people.

Qualities of a King stated in Ramayana – Part 2

We have talked about Qualities of a King (Part 1) before. This post is a continuation of Kingly Qualities stated in Ramayana. These qualities are mentioned by Rama to Bharata in Ayodhya Kanda Chapter 100 of Valmiki Ramayana.

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The Defence Forces

Senapathy (Head of Defence) has a serious role in the welfare of the country. The man who leads the Defence forces should be a Satisfied and Happy person. One who is depressed and dissatisfied with himself and the situations of the country should never lead the army. The Defence head should be naturally smart and intelligent. He should be brave, ethical and have a clean record. He must also be from a good background and be totally dedicated to the King.

Army should always be paid on time. They must also be kept well fed and satisfied. If the basic necessities of the defence men are not taken care of, they will be angry with the State and the King. Civil Unrest and Non Dedicated performance at the war front will cost the King dearly.

Negative People in Society

There are certain people in the country who are perpetual trouble makers. They keep making tricks and cheat people with dubious methods. Such citizens are responsible for disturbing the peace of countrymen. Sometimes, they may be powerful with money and other resources as well. They may try to spread wrong messages and ideas to people. Such elements should be destroyed.

We have experienced a lot of negative forces in our country over the years. For money and power, they are ready to do anything at all. Ramayana talks very strongly about keeping such people under strict control or even eliminating them. In Democratic system, it is possible that such people could even come to very powerful positions. The nation should have great controls to install checks on them.

There are people who have been driven out of the country on punishments who are back in the nation after their exile. They must be kept close watch on. They may not always be weak and may seek revenge. There will be atheists and people who do not agree with principles of the King. They should not be disrespected, as such men may be good with words and great at debates. They may cause a lot of trouble and ill will towards the State.

Spies

A great King has great spies. He must appoint spies to look after chief people in his country and other countries as well. There should always be a close eye on the enemies and friends of the King.

The Chief Minister, Court Priest, Successor to the King (Yuvaraja), Head of Defence, Chief Prisons Officer, Chief of the Harem, Main Gate Keeper, Finance Minister, Head of Accounts, Head of Publicity and other people who maintain key responsibilities should be spied upon without fail. The intentions and directions of these people should be kept a close watch on.

The Common Folk

People who work on the fields and conduct business should have high regards for the King. They constitute the Vaishyas and Shudras of the nation. A dissatisfied community of workers and businessmen would result in bad consequences for any King. We can see this today, where businessmen decide the fate of many elections.

Ramayana states that women should be protected and taken care of. A country where women do not feel safe speaks very badly on the King. However, people on the streets and women at home should not come to know of the nation’s secrets. This can be very dangerous.

Servants in the court should not be able to approach the King with total freedom. Yet, they should not be kept away as well. There should be a middle path with respect to the King’s servants. Too much freedom and too much fear are both bad for servants.

We can see how a King or a Leader are very similar in many respects. These principles stated in Ramayana thousands of years ago still hold very good. The wisdom shared in our scriptures have great validity.

Qualities of a King stated in Ramayana – Part 1

Rama speaks to Bharata about the qualities of a great King in Ramayana (Ayodhya Kanda: Chapter 100). Even though these qualities were spelled out in the Treta Yuga, they are still very relevant today. The “King” mentioned here need not always be a National Political Leader. Any one in a Leadership position can be considered here – be it in Business, Arts, Education or Military.

Leader

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Right Ministers

The King should appoint the right kind of Ministers or Top Management to ensure success. These Ministers should be fit to be in the company of the King. Those who are not great to be associated with due to character or ethical standards are best to be kept away from Ministerial positions.

Ministers should be brave by nature. They should be fit to take tough decisions in difficult circumstances. There would come a time to take a decision which may look not so popular among the masses or office staff. But the choice to take the right decision should be exercised. Ministers should also be quite learned and knowledgeable about various sciences such as Economics, Law, Psychology and so on. In the ancient periods, they were part of Shastras such as Niti Shastra (Law), Artha Shastra (Economics), Dhanur Shastra (Weapons) and so on.

Ministers should have strong will power and not be easily influenced by their senses. Ramayana says Ministers should be “Jitendriyas” – ones who have won over their Senses (Indriyas). If a minister can be influenced by money, sex, material possessions and such, he should not be entertained to hold that position. Ministers should also come from good backgrounds. People with questionable past that is tainted with violence, corruption, links with negative elements of the society and such should not be entertained.

Quality of Decisions

The success as a King lies in the quality of decisions he makes. A king should never take a decision alone. Neither should decisions be discussed with too many people. The people with whom the King choose to discuss should be very trustworthy. They should not leak the decisions to the public or media. The commitment to secrecy is very critical for King’s men. There would always be circumstances where a Minister would be influenced by alcohol, women or other factors to leak out information. This should be carefully guarded.

A King is not expected to get too sleepy. Every night he should think over the affairs of the day and prepare himself for the right actions the next day. There are many ideas that can be started easily and yield great results. These can be simple practices or checks to be executed by the King. Such practices should be executed without much delay. In the present day, certain Project Management Techniques such as Stand up Meetings would fall under this category.

Once a plan is made, neighbouring kings or spies should not come to know about it till the final phases of execution. Strategic Public Relations Management and secrecy are key to success for any leader.

Quality of People

A great leader employs the right person for the right job. More than getting hundreds of not so smart people, one excellent employee can deliver great results. WhatsApp still employs less than 60 people and is valued over $19 Billion. They realise the value of right people. Many companies and nations fail due to sheer size of their bureaucratic set up. Too many people in the payroll does not always mean the best of results.

The most demanding jobs should be entrusted with the best person. Normal jobs should be given to people who can handle just that. It is necessary to look at a man’s capability while entrusting a responsibility. Small responsibilities should be given to those who can handle just the small stuff. This may look very logical and self evident. But, right from the period of Ramayana, this principle was held with a lot of weightage.

If you are selected to be a King or a Leader, do you have any checks and balances with regards to your actions?

Here is Part 2 of this article.