Power needs to be kept out of the hands of those who worship power
To do anything at all, we need power, be it physical, electrical, political or whatever else. On seeing how much can be done with power, some people become so power-hungry that they worship power; they sacrifice anything for gaining power. And when in power, they put aside ethical restraints to the extent they think they have the power to get away with it. Power corrupts in proportion to one’s devotion to power.
How can such corruption be avoided? By cultivating spiritual vision.
The Bhagavad-gita (04.02) indicates that heads of state need to be rajarishi, wherein raja means outer rulers and rishi means inner seers. Such saintly rulers know that they, like all living beings, are at the core spiritual beings. We all come with nothing into this world and leave with nothing — except our consciousness. During our life-journey, the only enduring good we can do for ourselves or for anyone else is to increase the devotional attachment of our consciousness to the divine, who is the source of all satisfaction and is our eternal destination. All things including power are meant to be used to serve God, thereby nourishing our devotion to him. The less we seek from the world, the more we can use worldly power to do good in the world.
If society is to progress holistically, those who worship power need to be replaced by those who worship God with power. Indeed, God himself descends for effecting such transfer of power (04.07-08).
We all can initiate that transfer of power by enthroning God on the altar of our heart, replacing whatever is presently reigning there. That devotion will provide us inner succor and strength, whoever may be in power externally. And such inner transformation is the grassroots change necessary for sustainable social transformation.
Think it over:
- What makes people abuse power?
- How can corruption of human character by power be avoided?
- How can we contribute to social transformation?
04.02 This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.
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