A View of Santhigiri Ashram

A View of Santhigiri Ashram
Lotus Parnasala and Sahakarana Mandiram , Santhigiri Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Spiritual Governance of India



The problem of corruption and lack of sincerity and truthfulness in public life has reached a situation of social turmoil. People are distressed, disappointed and angry. The time for a great social and spiritual renaissance has come. We cannot move forward without a philosophy of peace and spiritual values. Although India is rich in resources, the majority of our people, especially those in the villages remain poor and unhappy. More than six decades of democratic and socialistic rule has not been helpful to bring the fruits of development to the doorsteps of the poor, which shows the lacuna in a political system, which is cut off from India’s spiritual character. 

We have several honest politicians, but a good number of politicians are involved in corruption. Most of them see politics as a means for making money and gaining access to power and status. They forget that they are accountable to the nation and the people. Some Scams reveal huge losses to the exchequer. Influenced by bribe and pressure from the political bosses as well as big Corporations inside and outside the country, they compromise not only the interests of the nation but also the question of national security. 

India is a nation of great sages and rishis. They built up the culture of India on truth and dharma. In the olden times, the realized rishis and sages gave guidance to the rulers. However, there is no scope for spiritual intervention in a democratic set up in the name of secularism. In the absence of a spiritual authority to evaluate the rights and wrongs of the rulers, the democratic system has given shelter to a breed of most corrupt politicians and bureaucracy. 

Today, like most other countries, India is guided by the principles of capitalism and socialism. There is no place for dharma or spiritual values in these political ideologies which we have blindly swallowed aping the West. Of course, these ideologies promote freedom and the rights of individuals and the idea of nationhood. However, they have failed to generate peace, spiritual values and equality in the society. 

The lesson we learn from this is that no ideology without a spiritual base can lead humanity towards peace and prosperity. We need to nurture an alternative spiritual model of governance based on the tolerant spiritual vision of the rishis. The politicians as well as others always invoke the tolerant character of India without acknowledging and respecting its source, the Sanatana Dharma, which the rishis and the sages of this country and the people of India cultivated from time immemorial. 

However, the spiritual vision of the rishis needs to be rediscovered and reinterpreted. Just like we separate grain from the chaff, it has to be separated from the ritualistic tradition that promotes the plurality of gods and a caste based society through the puranic literature. Only then, the idea of an all-inclusive, socially and spiritually unifying system of spiritual governance can become a reality. 

 Mukundan P.R.

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