An article on MMS, I enjoyed very much ....
MMS, self-realised PM
Narayani Ganesh & Surakshit Goswami
Oct 2, 2013, 12.00 AM IST
Is Manmohan a jivanmukta or a Congress 'cultist'? He could be either, depending on which quality you impute to him.
What can you say about a prime minister who has no illusions about the country, economy, rupee, GDP, Congress party, Parliament and the ordinance protecting convicted MPs — and above all, who has no illusions about himself? Manmohan Singh could well be a jivanmukta or Self-realised one, beyond pairs of opposites like joy and sorrow, fame and ignominy, adoration and insult. However, he is criticised for his 'inaction and ineptitude' as Congress party 'cultist' and 'Man Friday' of Sonia-Rahul Gandhi.
It is clear that MMS is impervious to any kind of heckling or insult, the sign of an evolved individual, unruffled by extremes. In fact, one could go to the extent of stating that getting insulted is MMS's tapasya. Hence, a report on MMS's meeting with Nawaz Sharif in the US saying that the prime minister was "embarrassed and stunned" at the proceedings does not wash. Perhaps, the reporter meant that if he were MMS, he would have felt embarrassed and stunned — and so ended up hoisting these emotions on the PM.
What if MMS is a true yogi, fitting the description of the realised individual that sage Ashtavakra talks about at great length to king Janaka? We could easily substitute the word 'yogi' with MMS in the following verses plucked out of chapter 18 of the Ashtavakra Gita: "A yogi (MMS) is not in the least put out, even when humiliated by the ridicule of servants, sons, wife, grandchildren or other relatives (critics and Nawaz Sharif who reportedly referred to MMS as 'dehati aurat')."
But isn't it the 'dehati aurat' who elects the PM even before Mrs G has a say? The rural electorate, comprising of women in mammoth numbers, brings a particular party to power; hence, the dehati aurat is the eighth appellation. Krishna says in the Gita: "Of feminities, I am Kirti, Sri, Vak, Smriti, Medha, Dhriti and Kshama. That is, goddesses presiding over glory, prosperity, speech, memory, intelligence, fortitude and forbearance respectively."
In fact, being insulted is MMS's tapasya. The greater the insult, the more it helps in propitiating MMS's waking samadhi. In e-game language, once you are through with Gameboy 1, 2, 3 and 4, you are ready to take on the even higher or more difficult Gameboy 5, is it not?
A story in the Srimad Bhagavatam narrates how one of the palanquin bearers of a king took ill and a man chosen at random from the crowd (who happened to be Bharata) was made to take his place. Untrained, his gait was slow as he would scan the ground before him lest he step on insects and hurt them. The disturbed king demanded an explanation. When the other bearers blamed the new entrant, the king ridiculed him, saying he was old, not as strong as the others and threatened that he would "restore him to his original state" — that is, end his life.
The unperturbed Bharata responded that if everything was illusion, then the king's words of ridicule become pointless...if one is not identified with body and recognises that one is atman, then who is master, who is servant? And if you say i am a dunce, then what effect could your words have on a dunce? Bharata was merely doing his prarabdha karma. He — MMS — just happened to be there when they needed an extra palanquin bearer.
"A fool often shows aversion towards his belongings, but for him (MMS) whose attachment to the body has dropped away, there is neither attachment nor aversion. The mind of the fool is always caught in an opinion about becoming or avoiding something, but the wise man's (MMS's) nature is to have no opinions about becoming and avoiding."
Manmohan Singh does not seek to be master; neither does he exert himself to avoid being a master. When he became PM, he did not feel honoured and when he ceases to be PM, he would not feel dishonoured. And if he has taken cues from Mrs G, he has no issues doing the same with Rahul. He is merely winding down and finishing his prarabdha karma — hence he does not need to either shield or not shield criminals, or move anything in the cabinet given that there are many others who want to do that.
If you wonder why MMS is being accused of being inactive, why he never won an election, and why he has nothing to lose no matter what the situation, the following verse will tell you why: "The wise one (MMS) is content, wandering about at will...alone and unattached to all things, rejoicing...He is without possession, moves about at pleasure, is free from conflict of opposites and dispels all his doubts."
Is a non-leader the best leader? Perhaps, we are so used to control freaks that we cannot fathom a decontrol freak. Generally people want a PM who "controls" the destiny of the nation. MMS would probably say, "The less i do, the better it is." If MMS is seen as one who merely follows orders, the perception is perhaps correct. For, to such a person, nothing is good or bad. The more MMS is blamed for this and that, the clearer it becomes that he is doing a good job playing as if he were really PM — yet staying unaffected by it all.
MMS will have the last laugh, though, even that will be inscrutable.