Spiritual Intelligence and Political Leadership in the Divine Tapestry

Published On: February 20, 2024 08:05 AM NPT By: Niranjan Mani Dixit

Nepal is plagued by growing political, social, and economic disorders, irregularities, and injustice. Therefore, the life of the people is becoming fettered and insecure. It is not fatalism, paternalism, or 'what man proposes, God disposes,' as some rudimentary people utter out of frustration and injustice. As the saying goes: "Sati le sarapeko des" (land cursed by Sati). Instead, it is the tyrannical, self-centered, and ineffective top political leadership of major political parties united in dotage. They, in the name of democracy, republicanism, and socialism, quench their thirst for unlimited wealth and longevity in power, keeping themselves above the rule of law.

Why do political leaders and duty bearers lose their way and moral compass? How can flaws in management and governance, including irregularities in the political, social, and economic sectors, be remedied? Why is the social fabric being fragmented and eroded? These are the current hot topics to be discussed and critically examined through the lenses of Spiritual Intelligence (SI) and religionism to find the answers.

Spiritual Intelligence (SI): Transcendentally, Nepal is the sacred land of spirituality for followers of five Asian religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and the indigenous Bon tradition of Tibet. Spiritual Intelligence is the understanding of the 'self' and includes qualities such as introspection, insights, empathy, conscience, compassion, and commitment to human values. Spiritual qualities enhance daily functioning and wellbeing. SI is vision and value-led and is based on ethical norms. Political leadership without SI and religion is misleading and haphazard.

Ironically, top political leaders and their subordinates and partisans are often resistant to SI and religion. Consequently, evils and demonic tendencies escalate, such as the acquisition of excessive wealth by illegal and unethical means in a nexus between political leaders, bureaucrats, and big businessmen. There is a potential risk of “Yatha Raja Tatha Praja” (Kautilya), which in Sanskrit means ‘king-like subjects,’ or in Republicanism political leaders-like subjects, if not addressed in time.

Sattva Rajas Tamas Gunas: In line with the scriptures, Spiritual Intelligence discriminates right from wrong. Based on the functional power of discrimination, Buddhi (intellectual faculty) or Gunas (virtues) are of three types: Sattvik, Rajasik, and Tamsik (Bhagavad Gita 14). Rajasik Buddhi (self-centric) clouds the judgment, always finding twists, turns, defects, and lapses for personal gains. Such people are often contradictory in words and actions and are lured and manipulated by outsiders for money and power. Tamsik Buddhi, a highly impure intellect, understands things in the opposite manner, leading to actions contrary to righteousness, a pathway to hell. Rajasik and Tamsik Buddhi are profusely found in politicians and bureaucrats. Destitute of knowledge, ethical principles, empathy, and SI, they create pain, sorrow, suffering, and chaos. However, they suffer the most, eventually.

In contrast, Sattvik (purity and knowledge) Buddhi has a clear vision and true understanding of the principles of life, one's actions, ego's drama, and the delusional nature of everything that exists. They clearly know what they should and should not be doing and why. Sattvik Karma (obligatory work done without attachment, passion, and aversion) and Nishkama Karma (selfless service) save us from haphazard and unreliable results.

What is needed? A heart-centered, spiritually-oriented leadership model, having SI and religionist character and behavior, is critically needed. Spiritual symbiosis is a path to preeminent leadership that can deliver the rule of law, good governance, progress, prosperity, peace, and happiness.

The use of the innermost heart, ‘manna,’ which is spotless, will avert oneself from doing any harm or exploiting or misusing power and authority. When the heart speaks to the heart, the inner delight is always sacred and never suggests wrongdoing. Also, ‘Yad bhavam tad bhavathi’ (Vedas) in Sanskrit means your inner thoughts make your outer appearance and manifestations.

Those involved in corruption, kakistocracy, and plutocracy are assassins. It is important to adhere to ‘Satyam Param Dhimahi (let truth, divinity, and knowledge shine through me),' which can bring the resilience and spiritual intelligence needed to fight these evils, leading to 'Satyam eva Jayathe' (Truth alone shall prevail). Falsehood never exists. Some political leaders risk their great careers for fleeting gains, while others are already engaged in unethical activities, believing that their elevated status puts them above the law, as if ‘Truth’ does not prevail. What we possess is ‘temporary,’ and what we become is ‘permanent,’ is unheeded. Naraka (hell), also called Yamaloka, is where sinners are tormented after death as per the scriptures. ‘You reap what you sow.’

Ironically, political leaders violate the Vedic principles of stages/rituals of transition of life in Hinduism by age, namely Vanaprastha (retirement life 50-75 years age) and Sannyasa (renounced life after 75 years age), which would lead them to the Divine. Contrarily, sexagenarian and septuagenarian top political leaders of major political parties, who already belong to these two stages of retirement and renunciation, are all united to continue remaining in power and the power circle of active politics, basically for self-protection against any legal trial and punishment for misuse of power and authority, as people have alleged.

Tapestry of Life Experience: Life is a tapestry shaping our identity and self. Positivity in performance depends largely on nobility, as reflected in sincerity and modesty, attained or inherited from the qualitative schooling and mentoring. Wrong schooling and false doctrines, a radical departure from religious and spiritual epics, meaning destitute of Spiritual Intelligence and religionism, would produce misleading outcomes and constitute the root cause of all sufferings to oneself and others.

Manna Vairag (Sanskrit), which is awakening awareness about the temporary existence of human beings and detachment from worldly/material desires of no limit to become disciplined, truthful, and dutiful, is the key. To quote Mahatma Gandhi, “The Bhagavad-Gita calls on humanity to dedicate body, mind, and soul to pure duty and not to become mental voluptuaries at the mercy of random desires and undisciplined impulses.” 

Embracing a minimalist lifestyle, characterized by sincerity and humility, one recognizes that accumulating more material possessions and burdening oneself with excessive personal baggage in the mundane world can lead to a form of enslavement, disconnecting from divinity and renunciation.

Faithful adherence to Krishna Consciousness, performing Gyana Yog (of knowledge), Karma Yog (of dutiful action), and Bhakti Yog (devotional love of God) simultaneously, in terms of discharging dutiful actions, is essential for duty bearers in the government and the private sector, including the political parties. Holding Ph.D. and other academic degrees and blowing the trumpets of one’s glorification would not work enviably if the person is deficient in Spiritual Intelligence and religionism. 

The absence of a sense of identity with metaphysical concepts of Brahman (the God-self that dwells within each soul) and ‘the world is one family’ (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam) and Atman (self-knowledge, inner self, unchanging), and SI will have no meaning with other isms such as democratism, republicanism, communism, and socialism, and professionalism/careerism, work.

Impermanence of life and the continuous awakening of the soul are the Spiritual Truth. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the director in the play, and we, the actors. Laxmi Prasad Devkota, a prominent poet, playwright, novelist, and politician, who was an atheist in his lifetime, in his final words when he was breathing his last at Pashupati Aryaghat (crematorium), lastly uttered the relevance and realization of Krishna Consciousness.

Lastly, our political and social character and life mission should be to obliterate demonic tendencies like ‘Ravana’ in the Ramayana epic, who had 10 heads symbolizing ‘vehemence, pride, anger, greed, infatuation, lust, hatred, jealousy, crookedness, and self-centeredness,’ to restore the rule of righteousness and goodness over ‘adharma’ (sin) and lawlessness. Nepal should transition from Kaliyug (decay of dharma) to Ramrajya characterized by moral values, rectitude, discipline, and truthfulness.

Leave A Comment