Thursday, September 15, 2011

Corruption: a play of greed and power

Amrit Sadhana

The report released by Transparency International ranks India as one of the most corrupt nations. No Indian is surprised. Because it doesn't need an international agency to show us the mirror of our own reality. We are living with this pain.

It is said that one of the biggest causes of corruption is greed and power. It normally thrives in societies where ethical and moral standards are weak and where punishment is lenient, because even the punishing authorities play an important role in perpetuating corruption. We can't get rid of this monster because we don't have a clear vision. We are only treating the symptoms without going to its causes. Poverty may be one of the causes but not the only cause. What compels the rich people to amass money by foul means?

You can go down the history and come across stories of corruption at the highest level of power. Basically corruption is an ingredient of the unevolved human mind.

Can corruption be eradicated? Yes, if the mind is more evolved, more mature than it is right now.

Look deeply into this phenomenon: in every dishonest deal there are two parties involved –– the giver and the receiver.Who is more punishable?

If we ask the enlightened masters, they have a different take on it. Osho cites a story of the Chinese master Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism

Lao Tzu was made the chief justice of the Supreme Court of China. He pleaded with the emperor that he is not the right man. But the emperor knew that LaoTzu was the wisest man alive, so he wanted to benefit from his consciousness.

Lao Tzu said, " My judgement will come from my wisdom. And your judgements cannot be adjusted to my judgements." But the emperor was stubborn.

The first case came: a thief was caught red-handed in the richest man's house. Lao Tzu listened to both the sides, pondered for a moment and gave his verdict, "Both of you, you and the man whose house you have been stealing from, are criminals. The rich man has collected so much money, that almost fifty percent of the wealth of the city is in his possession. This situation creates the possibility of stealing. This thief is a victim; in fact you are the criminal. But I will be very equal: six months of jail for both."

The emperor said, "This is a very strange judgement."

Lao Tzu said, "It is not. If people were living in harmony with nature, if people were compassionate to each other, if they felt a certain brotherhood with each other, how could there be rich people and poor people? There should only be people."

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