Not everyone has the spirit to keep their character strong when their stomachs are empty.’
‘You will need to be mature and pragmatic. You must use your heart to decide the destination, but use your head to plot the journey. People who only listen to their hearts usually fail. On the other hand, people who only use their heads tend to be selfish. Only the heart can make you think of others before yourself. For the sake of dharma, you must aim for equality and balance in society. Perfect equality can never be achieved but we must try to reduce inequality as much as we can. But don’t fall into the trap of stereotypes. Don’t assume that the powerful are always bad or that the powerless are always good. There is good and bad in everyone.’
The answer is the warrior code: The right reason to kill.’
Sadly, many in the latter-day Bhaarat society despised their soldiers and preferred to condemn them. Every action of the army was vehemently criticised. Any form of violence, even dharmic violence, was opposed.
Vishwamitra asked the question he had steered the conversation towards. ‘Is there an extremism that the Sapt Sindhu surrendered to which allowed Raavan to defeat them?’ Sita considered the question carefully. ‘Yes, resentment and hatred towards the trading class.’
‘The only “ism” I believe in, is pragmatism.’ It was said by a Charvak philosopher.
‘Running away is never the solution. Confront your problems. Manage them. That is the way of the warrior.’ Sunaina lifted Sita’s chin and looked into her eyes. ‘And, you are a warrior. Don’t ever forget that.’
Find partners you can trust; who are loyal to your cause. Personal loyalty is not important. But they must be loyal to your cause.
‘I am not sure if the poor are always loyal. Those who are capable of loyalty will be loyal. Those who are not will not, no matter what I may do for them. Be that as it may, we must help the poor. And we can generate so many jobs with this project, making many more people productive locally. That is a good thing.’
People differed in skills, both in degree and kind. So, their fields of activity and achievements also had to differ.
‘Yes. Serious and purposeful. Relentlessly purposeful. Almost all the time. He has a strong sense of commitment and honour. Hard on others and on himself. Fiercely patriotic. In love with every corner of India. Law-abiding. Always! And not one romantic bone in his body.
‘I thought you intended to win my hand,’ said Sita. ‘I do. But I will win it the right way. I will win according to the rules.’
‘I have chosen,’ said Sita firmly. ‘Now you need to decide what to do.’
‘Sometimes, to create a perfect world, a leader has to do what is necessary at the time; even if it may not appear to be the ‘right’thing to do in the short term. In the long run, a leader who has the capacity to uplift the masses must not deny himself that opportunity. He has a duty to not make himself unavailable. A true leader will even take a sin upon his soul for the good of his people.’
‘I have done that already, haven’t I? The question is, should I be punished for it or not? Should I do penance for it? If I expect my people to follow the law, so must I. A leader is not just one who leads. He must also be a role model. He must practise what he preaches, Sita.’
‘Yes. Lady Mohini said that people have their limitations. A leader should not expect more from them than what they are capable of. If you stretch them beyond their capacity, they will break.’
‘But Bharat, many are wary of the uncertainties of the Feminine way. They prefer the simple predictability of the Masculine way. Of following a uniform code without too much thought. Even if that code is made by others. Yes, Ram’s obsession with the law is simplistic. Some may even call it authoritarian. But there is merit in it. He will give direction to those youth who need the certainties of the Masculine way of life. Radicalised young people can be misused by a demonic force in pursuit of endless violence and hatred. On the other hand, Ram’s teachings can guide such people to a life of order, justice, and fairness. He can harness them for a greater good.
‘Freedom is good, but in moderation. Too much of it is a recipe for disaster. That’s why the path I prefer is that of Balance. Balance between the Masculine and the Feminine.’
favourite student could get away with saying the kind of things that you had said to Guru Vishwamitra in my presence that day in Mithila.’‘Then why didn’t you say anything?’‘I was waiting for you to trust me enough to tell me.’‘I have always trusted you, Ram.’