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A Change: Rooted in ‘Dwaita’, ‘Adwaita’ Philosophies

Change is permanent. True to the adage, the Indian Nation too has been changing and manifesting in myriad ways. In more recent times However, the change has been more profound and sharp. The country, be in its foreign policies, or relations with its neighbours, or economic policies or military relations and in everything else, has been changing. This change has been decisive and purposeful, manifesting the ‘Dharma’ and ethos of Hinduism and accepting Hindutva as a way of life. That it has been so from both within and outside in recent times, must be a matter of pride for every Hindu.

 

‘Hinduism’, from Vedic times to today, with customs and roots dating back to more than 5000 years, is the world’s oldest religion. In a way it is a religion of all religions. ‘Hindutva’ is the ideology that defines the rights of ‘Hindus’. ‘Hindus’ believe that the truth is eternal, that the ‘Brahman’ is Truth and Reality, that the ‘Vedas’ are the ultimate authority, that everyone should strive to achieve ‘Dharma’, that the individual souls are immortal and that the goal of the individual soul is ‘Moksha’. With a billion followers, it is one of the largest in the world. Approximately, 95% of the world’s Hindus live in India. Is it not a proud moment for every Indian to see the ‘Dharma’ protected and nurtured?

 

Vedas teach us our origins, and answer the question of meaning and purpose of life free of speculation and conflicts. The essence of Vedas is ‘One Truth, Many Expositions’. They also explain us the order against chaos and of order within society. Such maturity is often associated with the humanity and its development. Another truth that manifests from Vedas is that the ancient world was a more inter-connected space, with links between several continents that were inter-dependent as well. Thus, the development of our civilization, rooted in Vedas, allowed mixing and mingling of ideas across geo-political borders, never once, However, by having to forego ‘Dharma’.

 

Hinduism propounds ‘Dwaita’ and ‘Advaita’ philosophies. Whereas ‘Advaita’ tells us that the world is an illusion, and that all actions and emotions including sorrow are just ‘Maya’ or false impressions, ‘Dwaita’ extols that the world is real and that the God, creator of this world, is also real. Whereas in ‘Advaita’, the soul and God are one, it allows the soul to merge with the Brahman when released of the illusion, ‘Dwaita’ establishes the Supremacy of God and indicates the path to devotion and cautions us about His omnipresence, stressing the importance of ‘Dharma’.

 

Adi Shankaracharya, established the ‘Advaita Vedanta’ School of Hindu philosophy, rooted in the oldest ‘Upanishads’, the most influential of the many schools of philosophy and theology that characterise Hinduism. He revived Hinduism, with a structured organisational discipline for its survival and regeneration. He achieved this by establishing ‘Mathas’ in Sringeri, Dwaraka, Puri and Joshimatha. He must have established one in Kanchipuram too, that is the bedrock of Hinduism in the South.

 

In the present world, and its dynamics, the ‘Dwaita’ school of philosophy may be more relevant, though ‘Advaita’ philosophy too would be equally effective. Don’t we see that even the western world is a proponent of ‘Dwaita’ philosophy without actually realising so? Be it as it may, whatever be the path to the ultimate truth,that the paths are rooted in Hinduism must make the religion vibrant and appealing to all humanity.

 

“There is an emotive response of the millions of its people to the vision of Bharat’s national glory, based on the noblest values constituting the cultural and spiritual legacy of the land, collectively called ‘Dharma’ says, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological pillar that is driving the change, in its Mission statement. What better service can be there to a motherland that is rearing to go? The change that is overcoming India the Nation, is driven by an immense faith in the oneness of the human race and the underlying unity of all religious traditions. There is a firm belief in the basic divinity of the human being, that is also enriching. That it is inter-related to all forms of creation both animate and inanimate, believing the guiding spirit as its primacy to spiritual experience, makes it the real driver of this change. That the mission of the Sangh is in tune with the values of our rich past and our age-old heritage is probably what endures it to its people.

 

That such an organisation backs the political might of the country is something to cherish. Even more cherished must be the fact that a very charismatic leader is overseeing that change. How does he bring about the change? He uses his communication skills, persuasiveness, and charm to influence the people of this Nation. His firm belief in the values enshrined in Hinduism drive him to set and meet goals. Charisma is a process, a quality that requires transforming visions into reality and that is precisely what he does. Whether it is “Mann Ki Baat” or the engagements on various occasions with people, he has an uncanny ability to connect with subjects and anecdotes and making them spring to life. He communicates his and the Party’sgoals and directives through colourful, imaginative and expressive manners. His communication inspires action and an emotional commitment of its people, to make a difference.

 

We live in a digital world today. The world is changing faster than ever. New fields, artificial intelligence, networks and geographically dispersed work teams, are now critical to leadership. Is this anathema to what one believes is Dharma? We need to understand how to capitalize on these concepts in order to lead into the future. As the world and the nature of work changes, we must consider new skill sets and accompanying mindset shifts. That shift can only be adopted through digital transformations. In the larger context, ‘Dwaita’ or ‘Advaita’ philosophy also extol us to complete our duty in the path to freedom. In that quest, the government too has embraced key changes rooted in factors like technology, demographics, and cultural norms while retaining the ‘Dharma’ enshrined in Hinduism. “Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.” said, the former US Secretary of State Colin Powell. The government is showing the way. People must now follow suit by doing their ‘Dharma’.

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