Sunday, December 22, 2013

Every politician should meditate

Once Mandela was asked, how he kept himself from hating his tormentors, Mandela answered, "Hating clouds the mind... leaders can't afford to hate." Wish more politicians had this wisdom. It was an enigma for everyone close to him that how he did not carry any malice or a grievance against the whites who had tortured and humiliated him. This special quality of his being made Mandela tower over his detractors. Mandela was a politician in search of himself.

He did not talk about his interest in meditation publicly but his magnanimous heart and his behavior with his fellowmen had the fragrance of a maturity that blossomed within. He had turned his 27 years of incarceration into a retreat, where meditation transformed him into this rare human being.

He gave the same advice in a letter he wrote to his wife, Winnie Mandela, when she was sent to prison in Kroonstad: "You may find that the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the processes of your own mind and feelings. In judging our progress as individuals we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one’s social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education … but internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being: honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, purity, generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve your fellow men – qualities within the reach of every soul – are the foundation of one’s spiritual life…. Regular meditation, say of about 15 minutes a day before you turn in, can be fruitful in this regard. You may find it difficult at first to pinpoint the negative factors in your life, but the tenth attempt may reap rich rewards. Never forget that a saint is a sinner that keeps on trying.”
This is exactly what Osho has proposed for everyone in power, particularly politicians. “As far as I can see, all politicians should be meditators, should know something of the inner world. They should be more conscious, more compassionate, should know the taste of love. They should know the experience of the silence of existence, and the beauty of this planet, and the gifts of existence. And they should learn to be humble and grateful.”
"The world needs only one thing -- not great scriptures, just a simple method of becoming silent, of becoming yourself, of coming to your innermost center. Every politician should be forced to participate in some school of meditation, and unless he graduates from there he cannot stand for any political post. All politicians, unless they are meditative, are disqualified. They don't know themselves and they are controlling millions of people and their lives."

We saw another Osho insight inadvertently being followed outside Mandela's house, which is celebrating death. Yes, Mandela's admirers were singing and dancing instead of   mourning his death. A befitting farewell to a gorgeous life. The media lensemen who kept searching around looking for long faces outside Mandela's house were stumped!  
I am tempted to quote Osho once again, "Celebrating death will help you to understand that there is nothing in life to be afraid of. If death is a celebration, then what else can be a cause of fear? And if you can celebrate death, you have attained a maturity.It is possible only to those who live life as a rejoicing, a constant celebration."

1 comment:

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