| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( May 24, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) This morning, I was asked by a Tamil in Sri Lanka for advice in relation to authority flowing from voting rights. The information at the center of the problem was in regards to electoral details – as Sri Lankan authorities get ready for the next elections. The question did not stand alone but was interwoven with the rights of a resident as opposed to an employee. In Public Service, those who work to contribute beyond their stated positions provide Service. Others who work at 50% or more of the value of their position – are employees. The rest are welfare recipients.
Then I read a couple of articles in Sri Lanka Guardian – about religion. The first one is by Shelton A Gunaratne in relation to common features of Buddhist Dhammapada and Hindu Gita. The second is by Swadesh Roy highlighting the risks in religion marrying politics.
The disappointing commonness is the absence of reference to the Sri Lankan Constitution which allocates priority status to Buddhism. This is a continuous claim of victory for majority religion in Sri Lanka. The Mother of all Sri Lankan laws and principles is the Sri Lankan Constitution. When this Constitution is the manifestation of the consolidated common values of Sri Lankans before us – it would naturally support the current generation. Where it is more about what we hope to achieve in the future – it is a directing power rather than a supporting one. Likewise religions.
Religion in India and Sri Lanka are active political tools used by majority. Majority power is derived also from religious grouping. According to Swadesh Roy the two should not be married. Indian Statesman Rajaji has shared with us the value he derived from the Gita. Hence I conclude that the mind through which marriage happens renders the value and not the mere shape and form.
I often use the great Indian epic Mahabharatham through which we received the Gita – when analyzing governance issues. Yet I am Sri Lankan and not Indian. If I applied it directly – then I am Indian. When I take the essence and pay my respects to Krishna – I become a common Hindu. Likewise, when I take the essence of Gita and pay my respects to Hindu religion – I make that value Common to all groupings that I belong to.
Paying our respect to the higher authority is the way of vertical management. It is subjective. The other alternative is to express as the lowest independent unit towards harmony. That is democracy with its objective measures. The lower the status of the expressing unit – the greater the need for objective evidence that is transparent to all. The higher the status of the expressing unit – the greater the confidentiality needed. In Courts with one judge – the discretionary power of the judge is that confidential vote. When this is on the basis of ‘belief’ alone – it would support the effects of the judgment and uphold justice.
Shelton A Gunaratne has identified commonness between Buddhist literature and Hindu literature. I have found them also with Islam and Christianity. Knowledge without experience is outer power. Truth is the inner force that works that power.
Benefit, Structure and Energy is the parallel of Body, Mind & Soul. In terms of religion – the parallels are Ordinary Membership, Management & Spirit. In terms of politics – the parallels are Voter, Administrator and Governor. Governments driven by majority vote are a collection of voters only. They are the parallels of welfare recipients in Public Service – mentioned above.
Mahabharatham is a beautiful lesson about how minority of five brothers defeated their cousins - majority of hundred. I would any day be part of minority where majority are driven by physical powers. Without minority who work harder and sacrifice more – such a group would remain at the primary level of life – as animals do. It’s the discriminative power of our brain that elevates the physical powers to higher powers. The actual enjoyment of pleasures diminishes as the body grows older. To the extent we use our earned pleasures to elevate to higher level – as we do in savings – we develop the ability to enjoy more through the mind, with less immediate physical pleasures. Eventually we just feel the Energy – and that is shared naturally with others so they do not have to work as hard as we did but draw from our savings. In turn we feel the Oneness as Love. That is the value of Research in Higher Education. One who loves Higher Education would have sacrificed and ploughed back immediate credits towards finding Truth through Research. Producing more and more physically enjoyable outcomes is like teaching without research – i.e. – primary school level.
There is a verse that is part of Kantha Sashti Kavasam in praise of Lord Muruga – the presiding Deity of Tamil Hindus – describing Lord Muruga as the General of the devas / gods. Kantha Sashti Kavasam itself has its origin in India. Saint Yoga Swami of Jaffna through his Experience of Lord Muruga in Nallur – has given us that message as the One who released the devas / gods from prison. It’s in the song that begins with the line ‘Nalluraan Thiruvaddiyai Naan Ninaitha Maathirathil / The Moment I think of the Feet of One who is in Nallur’. Yoga Swami Experienced Lord Muruga. At experience level – there is no form differences – and hence we become Common and when shared – we show Equality.
In terms of governance - the goal needs to be to Experience the country to become national. If we are busy getting overwhelming ‘rights’ by showing majority approval – we would not have the experience. When we have the experience – there is ‘no showing’ at that time. In Hinduism – subjective power is reflected by Lord Ganesh who stayed at home and considered His parents to be His whole world. His younger brother Lord Muruga went around the world and sat at higher level to observe from above. Towards this He had to renounce His inherited wealth from His parents.
To me Lord Muruga is the Deity of Democracy. Those who seek democratic power need to first renounce their parental wealth and then produce outcomes measurable on current merit of global standards. They would ‘show’ global governance in form.
Likewise, Lord Ganesh is the Deity of the subjective system of Autocracy. Those who are ‘local’ need to therefore limit production of primary level outcomes to a minimum and use the accumulated authority of their parents / ancestors – to produce only one Common form on behalf of all. That is the way of Unitary State Governance. Democracy needs Multiculturalism and Equal Power sharing by all components –with Central Unit being of equal status as the others and not higher. When majority in a country are not ‘told’ but comfortably produce the outcomes of their CURRENT efforts and govern themselves – that country is a democratic nation. Where majority in an apparent democracy allow themselves ‘to be told’ – the country is a welfare state and the government which receives welfare votes is a representative of welfare state.
Excessive representation of religion through temples and books by the current generation – without experiencing the root – leads to hoarding. That religion is also a welfare religion with devotees asking and receiving more than the combined value of their current work and belief in the work of those before them along that path. In Sri Lanka – there is natural separation of powers between Hindus and Buddhists. Rarely does a Tamil Hindu access the religious work of a Buddhist leader and v.v. Once we travel along our own religious path – we would feel the commonness as we reach the destination of One God. Once we are there we would value our diverse path – however long it may take us to get there. The challenge for Sri Lankan Hindus / Tamils is not to form majority with Indians in their current form. Global travel does take time. We will not get there if we pause on the way to ‘show’ majority revenge power.