| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( April 20, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) One of the strongest risk areas in developing democracies – including many Western countries that carry high status claiming to be democratic through external structures – is the loss of the value of work done by our previous generations and/or by those who are outsiders to us but are seen to be insiders. We need to measure outsiders through objectively measurable outcomes and insiders through attitudes. Often the two are mixed indiscriminately and the effects are damaging.
Yesterday, within a group of Sri Lankans, there were some observations about religious practices being not about attaining Moksha or about karma but about double entry book-keeping. I responded by stating ‘ the ‘double entry book keeping system’ keeps the balance going – so that we do not lose heart when we find that the personalities do not fit our romantic love pictures. Karma in fact is a double entry book keeping system. The same transaction becomes debit and credit not at the same time – for different persons but for the one person at different times. Nirvana is achieved when we are able to still our mind and not go down with debits nor go up with credits. That’s when we realize we are naturally wholesome – in full balance’
In the consciousness of the above I read Rita Banerji’s article ‘Gandhi Used His Position To Sexually Exploit Young Women’ - published in Sri Lanka Guardian. To me Ms Banerji is an ‘outsider’ to Gandhi as one who fought for independence for his home group. One who feels the need to use objectively measurable evidence – is an outsider.
In terms of Sexuality – it is not surprising to me that Gandhi as a ‘free’ Hindu would have been open about his own practices. We Hindus have included sexuality into our religious path – through Kama Sutra and other similar works of philosophy. Directly pictured by primary level readers without the respect earned by biographers who share with us the inner workings of their minds – such works of philosophy would seem vulgar. Even Jesus was not spared by such cheap writers.
Using my own life – I have balanced some fall in status as being due to my past karma - even though as per my own assessment of myself – I am a respectable wife. There are however those who are ‘outsiders’ to democratic family structures - who tend to reduce my ‘family’ and social status – by using my status as a twice married woman – which would be considered to be a strong asset in truly democratic society. Let’s say I was like Gandhi in my previous birth – enjoying more sexual pleasures than my wife did and yet carrying higher social status than my wife due to my social work of high value. By being transparent of his practices – Gandhi was actually removing the credit from those to whom such practices were inappropriate and sinful to some minds. By being Transparent, Gandhi was declaring that he did not feel guilty or bad beyond the level revealed by him. Hence had I been like Gandhi in my previous work – I would now ‘accept’ that to those who are driven by the seen – I would be a weak wife compared to a wife who married only once. Take for example Throupathi – the heroine in the great Indian epic Mahabharatham. Throupathi married all five Paandava brothers and according to the author that was because at that time and age the qualities that Throupathi prayed for could not have been present in one prince in those active royal circles. But during time of conflict, the Gowravar (cousins of Paandavar) called Throupathi a whore. Even though they were cousins by blood relationship – they were outsiders due to their ‘attitude’ to Paandavar who did include the Gowravar as family.
Relatives who keep asking for proof – are confirming that they live close to the ‘border’ with outsiders.
Due to time based distance – Gandhi has become an ‘outsider’ to the likes of Ms Rita Banerji whose name suggests she is currently Indian. But, by taking the essence of Gandhi’s life as a crusader for Independence for the whole country and beyond – I believe I have become an insider to Gandhi family and my attitude towards Gandhi is very positive – that he is a respectable leader who achieved the goal of self-governance largely by disciplining himself. As insiders we are entitled to use the subjective path – which is quicker to attain the ultimate – Nirvana / Freedom. To the eye that is driven by the seen and the heard – it would seem wrong as per the rules applied at that level. Until we condition our minds to be strong enough to accept relevant information to assess seniors – we need to have the discipline not to separate a part of them and ‘tell’ them what to do – as this junior in Gandhi’s ashram seems to have done. This junior is reported to have written :
[ When first I came to the ashram I came with high respect for the ashram and its inmates and its way of life. All that was knocked off in 24 hours…After coming here I must confess to having lost a portion of the respect I had for you….You are the Father of our Nation…You have taken us so far along the path of freedom and independence…You must see the hand of God…in the fact that I have overcome my shyness.]
Having read the above passage – I placed myself in the shoes of the above junior and asked myself as to what I would have done if I had lost respect for the founders of an institution / nation. The response from within was – I would have stayed on for a purpose more important to me than the reasons that when given structure would give the organization a debit. To stay and successfully achieve my own goals – I would need to have more credits than the founders – so that I would not be indebted to another part of the organization / country. If I did not have such balancing strengths – I would have left to become an ‘outsider’. It was on this basis that I was going to return to Sri Lanka when Ms Pauline Hanson said in August 1998 – that we Asian migrants should go back to our countries of origin. But fellow victims of unjust racial discrimination asked me to stay. More than anything else – I felt endorsed by the Lord Himself for staying on and giving structure to my earned rights as an Equal Australian. There may be many migrants who are proud to be Australians. In my case, genuine Australians would be proud of me. I balance also the negatives of the migrant family – especially of Sri Lankan origin – so that at the total level - as Australians we are healthier.
The above article on Gandhi is by an outsider – using violent judgment by an immature mind seeking quick status. I would not / did not undertake the strong penances that Gandhi undertook in terms of food or sexual pleasures – except over short periods of time. Usually the costs I paid were more than the benefits I derived. This to my mind matured into natural ownership. To the group that endowed Gandhi with the status ‘Father of the Nation’ his path did not seem wrong enough to override the rights he had earned. As an individual - I am able to appreciate why he would have undertaken such a path under those circumstances. Gandhi seems to have needed to prove to himself that his mind could control his body to the extreme. Those who think they need to ‘show’ their followers – are likely to undertake such strong measures. Swami Sathya Sai Baba has also been similarly found fault with by some ‘outsiders’ who lack respect for others’ sovereignty. But to me the path chosen by Swami Sathya Sai Baba to deliver the message needed by His followers – is the right one for our generation – in the world I feel a part of. In fact Swami relieved me from pretenders who were blocking our path in a country where transparency in sexual enjoyment is natural. As our wise elders said – there is a time and place for everything.
As outsiders we rely on outcomes; as insiders show attitudes and as owners – we become the Energy – be it positive or negative when manifested.