Monday, August 18, 2008

Indian theories of Karma as one explanation for the persistence of corruption and the failure of the rule of law in India

In Indian thought, karma is considered to be of three kinds : (1) prarabdha - i.e. karma which has already started bearing fruit; (2) sanchita - i.e. accumulated karma, which will bear fruit in the future, and (3) kriyaamaana karma - i.e. that which will be performed by us and which will bear its own fruit in future.

When a person becomes "spiritually liberated" (or attains moksha or nirvana) in this life, the person ceases to generate any further karma as, at the moment of enlightenment, all sancita karma is destroyed - though the person continues to work out her/ his prarabdha until death.

However, according to some commentators a jivanmukta is liberated from all the three kinds of karma at the moment of liberation.

Whichever explanation is followed, it is not entirely surprising that spiritual leadership and moral leadership do not always go together.

That divorce of spiritual and moral is essential to understanding why corrupt spiritual leaders cozy up to corrupt political leaders rather than challenge them - and why the rule of law fails in our country.

That gap between spiritual and moral also explains why movements such as VHP and BJP (which ought to offer some hope) have so far largely failed to do so, focusing only on manipulating religious feelings to bring to leadership people who are largely spiritually and morally bankrupt. Some VHP and BJP leaders are of course better than others. And this is also the case in other political parties. But that is the broad-brush picture of politics and spirituality in our country.

It is also the broad-brush picture of business and morality in our country - though the most international of our businesses have, since liberalisation, begun to understand that our traditional cronyist ways of doing business will not enable us to succeed in the global arena.
That is why, as Indian businesses begin to have international success, they tend to become less and less traditional, caste-oriented and corrupt.

I do not mean that continued liberalisation by itself will make India as corruption-free as northern Europe. I do mean that liberalisation has helped and will continue to help make at least Indian business less corrupt, as it is more and more exposed to international trends.

However, a re-connection of morality and spirituality( such as happened in Europe with the Reformation) is essential if corruption is to be reduced in India.

And that is only possible with the rejection of Advaita and such related philosophies and practices. Sphere: Related Content

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