The following by Mallikarjuna Kharge, the Congress leader of Opposition in Karnataka
has been originally published in Deccan Chronicle of today in the “God and I” column.
But ‘true’ to his ‘Congress culture’,
he has not shown any trace of inner journey or inner experience
or inner wisdom or inner voice in his narration,
perhaps due to the ‘conditioned’ Congress Thought that anything
on spiritual experience or God
is tantamount to be being communal or
anti- secular (read anti-Muslim or anti-Christian) in their parlance.
Any word spoken without spirituality is hollow.
Earlier we saw Natwar Singh, a congress man for years,
slipping on his grasp of reality of life.
Here another congress man’s (Mr Kharge) narration
also seems void – without any inner wisdom or Thought.
His narration seems to have been taken right from some text book
and as he implies, even his wife and kids can not relate to him in his views.
I decided to include this write-up by Kharge
under the label ‘pearl of wisdom’
because even the little of religion he spoke as Truth
is not what he thinks it is.
Truth or Satyam is a Upanishadic decription of Brahman – the Ultimate Reality,
‘satyam gyanam, anantham Brahma’.
It is Sat because It alone is Existence.
Kausheetaki Upanishad says like this:
The Released soul is being interviewed by Bhagavan.
“Brahman says to him: 'Who am I?'
He (the Released soul) shall answer: 'That which is, the true' (Sat-tyam).
Brahman asks: 'What is the true?'
He says to him: 'What is different from the gods and from the senses (prana) that is Sat,
but the gods and the senses are Tyam.
Therefore by that name Sattya (true) is called all this whatever there is.
All this thou art.'”
Truth or satyam means that Everything is God.
It is from this only, every code of conduct has been derived -
particularly, the highest Dharma code of Non-violence.
‘Ahimsa paramO dharma:’ is the deduced import of God as Truth,
as 'That are thou' - everything is Him.
Gandhiji discovered this wisdom and stood by it.
He made this country by listening to his inner voice on Truth.
But the party that gets respect due to Gandhiji’s connections
need to go a long way in discovering its inner voice.
Certainly Gandhi’s desire to dismantle Congress party,
must have arisen from an un-stated foresight of this kind of de-generation.
By Mallikarjuna Kharge
To me Truth is God. Truth with a capital T. It is more than just not telling a lie. It is a loaded statement. When I was in In Class 8, Mahatma Bhule’s autobiography was prescribed as a non-detailed textbook. Bhule talked about the blind beliefs, the attitude of others towards the depressed sections of the society and the need for girls to go to school. He spoke about how he provided water from his well to the underprivileged, who were denied access to the well used by upper castes. He also suggested a way of living, no matter whether you are poor or rich, powerful or the one without any stakes. The textbook had a profound impact on me.
When I was doing my BA, I had access to another book: The Questions and The Answers, a dialogue between Buddhist monk Nagachandrika and Milind, the grandson of the Alexander the Great. It was a revelation to me. All my doubts about divinity were cleared. I got to know that unless you do good, no matter how much you pray, God cannot help you. You cannot reap a mango if you sow neem seeds.
The original Buddhist theory is very close to the present-day Hindu concept of God as Nirakara, Nirguna Brahma (the God as having no form or attributes). There was no idol worship earlier. With the Chinese, Japanese and the Indonesians joining in, things changed as per their needs and convenience.
Man needs religion, religion does not need man. It is meant for his own security and welfare. We need God and religion for basic discipline and action. If there is no traffic police, there would be accidents. People get a chance to contemplate and cool down if they pray. Tulsidas questioned the need for a marriage if one believes that pradakshinas (going around the deity) would help one have children. Nothing happens on its own. One has to perform one’s duty.
I do not impose my beliefs on my wife. She prays, visits temples, observes fast. But she also helps me to observe Buddha Poornima. My children are all educated and I do not and cannot impose my beliefs on them.
— The writer is the Leader of the Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Assembly