The Forms of Governance
The Sense of The Bhagavad Gītā
A supreme governing principle or synthesis of the Spirit must form the basis of all our sense of governance and rule of law, replacing the present forms and systems of governance. It is the rule of the Kshatriya that we envisage under the impulse of a divine Knowledge, the supreme fiat of the universe as well as the individual. All true principle of governance derives its impetus directly from a higher spiritual Guidance and moves only by its inner dicta or higher inspiration. Governance is also a method of yogic Knowledge or an action emanating out of a spiritual Siddhi, and that was why the great Kings of the past had to go to गुरुकल Gurukula and learn the art of governance and warfare among other things.
The Gita, as a summary of a great spiritual knowledge, does not directly speak of the forms of governance or lays down rules of conduct for the King, but it would be a mistake not to think so or attempt to extract out of its brilliant synthesis the rules for the conduct of our practical life, which are no different from the forms of governance for the society or country. Sri Krishna resolutely asks Arjuna to fight for a just and noble cause and reclaim his kingdom for the sake of eternal dharma, but hastens to clarify that the sense either of duty or dharma must proceed only from an inner impulse or fidelity to a greater Ideal or Truth, whose dynamics are different from the ideas of work and duty as envisaged or envisioned by the human mind in half-knowledge. And, herein lies a great secret to be explored by more than mere human means; it is a secret which gives us a glimpse into an ancient and timeless Spirit, the Lord of the Gita and Master of our being, from whom derives all our life and existence and all sense of governance and divine rule and their perfect fulfilment in the world of action.
In ancient India, the King was considered a personification or a representative symbol of dharma, but of a godward character and substance, and the minister was only an executive arm of the King, not the decision-maker in the process of governance or in the framing of the rules of conduct, though from time to time he suggestions were incorporated into the system, but the King always had a direct say in the matters of governance. The decisions were made according to a governing knowledge and realisation, from a vibrant spiritual dynamism of vision or wisdom, not from an arbitrary notion or idea or from a fixed apotheosis of a collective human fallacy. The King’s sense of governance always rose out of his wider outlook and larger understanding; he looked upon his subjects as a people of God and ensured that their welfare, both physical and mental, were taken care of. The two chief characters of the Gita, Sri Krishna and Arjuna, were great kings and earnest practitioners of eternal dharma and it was out of that dharma that even the need of war and carnage had risen, but it was their unwavering adherence to the core principle of the dharma which gave us all a sense of history of our own hidden values and spiritual strength.
A governance by the rule of the Spirit or spiritual Knowledge is the foundation upon which a society or country must be built and fostered, as was the case in the ancient kingdoms and in the times of the Gita and not on the basis of a mere human caprice. Democracy, Communism and Capitalism are all fighting with one other and trying to assert their supremacy, but these are not central to the true spirit of governance, but they are forms of a collective mental ego and are likely to perish under the pressure of a re-emerging Consciousness of our glorious past, a mighty force of organisation of the Divine Shakthi, and it is now ruling the minds and hearts of a few chosen individuals and forming a center of integral action and beginning to act on all forms of falsehood to render them impotent first and dissolve them finally.
There might be a question as to the validity of a godward principle of dharma in the practical life of a man as well in the collective psyche of a nation, but without this inherent truth and divine principle, neither the individual nor the nation can survive as part of a growing, spiritual civilisation. The present system of governance is a sham and part of a collective ignorance, and it tends to assert by force, suppression and domination instead of a sense of collective unity and principle of dharma. It may for while succeed in imposing itself on the race and extract its pound of flesh for its survival, but it is not likely to survive when the spiritual Truth emerges inevitably sooner or later. But even before the emergence, there are likely to be intermediate forms of that Truth manifesting and acting out of a few strong spiritual centres, affecting the present systems by a composite action of the Spirit and slowly dismantling the ignorant structures build on a collective ego-principle. In the present system of governance, there is neither an active principle of dharma or even a remote semblance of it, nor a distant cry for something progressive or an aspiration for something more sublime, wider and less rigid and ignorant. It is a falsehood which is masquerading as a dominant principle of governance.
A transition to a higher, dynamic system of governance must be initially effected by a few individuals, the unseen or unrecognised kings and ministers of our modern age; it must first be attempted within a group or a large organisation comprised of aspiring individuals and slowly expanded beyond the circle or group. The Gita envisages a doctrine of collective unity by finding the immanent Divine in all, whether in the individual or the group or the nation or the whole world. Without finding the inherent unity of things and the binding divine principle which connects us all, there can be no possibility of a perfect system, either of political governance or of effective rule of law and divine justice. It was the confusion about a larger collective unity and harmonious social existence which led the कौरव Kauravas to try and possess by force and domination the riches of the peoples. Therefore, Sri Krishna had to declare war and bring them to the battle of Kurukshetra.
Governance is also about swift justice without vacillation or compromise; it does not waver for a second about its priorities or the rules of engagement and swift divine retribution for acts committed against the harmonious rule of society or nation. But this is not a myopic or one-sided response of justice without understanding the spiritual dynamics and their values in the rule of governance, neither it is a bloody impulse of retribution and revenge. The sword of the King is not only a symbol of courage and protection, but it also a symbol of a vibrant social order and harmony, and when that order and harmony is threatened, he has to quickly dispense justice, act out of a supreme inner impulse and do the Will of the divine Teacher, even if it meant many deaths and inexorable carnage.
The Gita moves by a pragmatic understanding on the nature of justice when Sri Krishna asks Arjuna to transcend the lower barriers of family and filial attachments, and rightly so, because such a dispensation of divine justice cannot be executed or even expected out of a mind caught in the swirl of ignorance or in the notion of right and wrong. It lays emphasis on God as the executive force of action, the very dynamics of the yoga shakthi and its fulfilment in the world and demands the surrender of the soul to the immanent Divine within. It is a renunciation of the sense of our action arising out of our constricted and limited individuality, the self-binding ego-individual, which the Gita lays great emphasis on, and then action itself becomes a luminous stirring out of a supreme impulse of Ishwara and a movement of God in the dynamics of His manifestation here in the terrestrial and casts itself into the chosen adhara or instrument for effective realisation of its will in the terrestrial.
A nature or adhara so consecrated to the Divine must prepare itself for the manifestation of God’s Will in the world and so govern its lower impulses according to a higher law of truth and no longer by a self-binding ignorance. The law of divine governance is possible only if there in the nature already established a direct knowledge of the Spirit and its immeasurable wisdom, an innate sense of compassion and divine sympathy as well as valour and battle-mindedness. The kings of the old were direct embodiments of this higher Sense, manifesting through the perfection of their minds as well as bodies the necessary impulse to govern by the rule of the Spirit and law of the Divine.
The present political scenario of the world is a direct indication of a degrading and disgusting sense of falsehood, masquerading as an effective, central principle of governance and has put itself on an ignorant but brilliant pedestal for its own self-aggrandisement. Its idea of governance is a cleaver deceit and ploy employed to both extract and exploit the common multitude and force it to a rigid subservience to the dictates of the state machinery by amputating slowly but surely all its sense of freedom of thinking and movement. It is a sign of the Asura and his dark reign over the minds of hapless multitude, in which all sense of strength and internal as well external freedom of movement is curbed or even maimed, retarded and rendered impotent.
The sign of effective administration and sound polity is in the nature of the ruling Setup, and though initially, the possibility of a robust governing model may spring forth out of such a political scenario, it is more likely to be turned into a model of self-destructive weakness and social chaos, and it is largely due to the reason that it has been build on a fragile foundation made up of a thousand compromises, all coming together for a brief show into the limelight only to disappear forever into the void. It is only out of a higher spiritual Consciousness that a true sense of governance and its forms can come down into the earth and establish there as one of the guiding principles for the humanity.
This is our compelling reason as well as our self-compelling moment to find God’s law of truth and found it here in the very negation of things, but it is not easy or less dangerous. We are at the tipping point of a great breakdown or waking up to a dark and dangerous nightmare of existence, because all our current systems of knowledge, social norms and rules, all our forms and principles of governance are breaking under the pressure of a formidable Light, which insists on its own divine order and compels everything to move towards a greater harmony and oneness of existence. It has very little patience for pretence and human falsehood and this great change is imminent and inevitable.
And, Education itself has lost its meaning and relevance and is no longer part or an expression of a higher wisdom and spiritual culture; it has become a dangerous voice of the very falsehood which we are attempting to replace with a direct light of the all-knowing Spirit. Where there is no true model or form of governance, there can no possibility of a true form of Education. Education too must be cured of its inherent falsehood and its various deceits, freed from its ignorance and stupidities and transformed of its nescient character into a bold, vociferous voice and a potent weapon of the Spirit. We shall cover this and more in our next supplement.
End of part 2