Saturday, May 19, 2012

The leader who follows...

Priya arangan adiyar,

A close relative of a Company’s high official is in need of an approval. He approaches the concerned honest official in the Company (an official ranking far below that of his relative). He submits the available documents. But they are not complete to get the approval. The officer, a stickler to his duty, rejects the approval plan stating the insufficiency of documents and lack of other related approvals as the reason. This man, fuming with anger, ascends to the top floor where his big shot relative sits and throws the rejection order on the desk. He screams from the depth of his esophagus asking an explanation for the treatment meted out to him. The official, the top man, who has every intangible power to move people in the organization like pawns in the chess board, is taken aback. He glances at the file, mentally noting down the name of the ‘rejecting officer’ and reading the list of reasons for the rejection. Pulling out the pen from the deep abyss of his pocket, he simply writes ‘approve’ and attaches his undecipherable signature and hands the file back to his almost weeping relative. The relative, with retribution in heart, jumps down the floors and appears before the officer. With a glint of pride writ all over the face, he put the same file back on the hands of the official. The official is shaken. He has acted justly and according to his duty and within his powers. He has followed the norms laid down for him. But the big shot official had show utter disregard for his fellow officer. He has superseded the laid rules. With a heavy heart, the approval is granted, for his stomach or family cannot revolt.

Let us see this scenario now. Brahma is vested with so many powers and duties by Emperuman. A Hiranyakashipu, with the might of his penance, gets the sight of Brahma. Falling prey to the moha of having a grand following, Brahma orders Hiranyakashipu to ask him for a boon and Hiranyakashipu gladly asks the following boon :

“O my lord, if you will kindly grant me the benediction I desire, please let me not meet death from any of the living entities created by you. Grant me that I not die within any residence or outside any residence, during the daytime or at night, nor on the ground or in the sky. Grant me that my death not be brought by any being other than those created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal. Grant me that I not meet death from any entity, living or nonliving. Grant me, further, that I not be killed by any demigod or demon or by any great snake from the lower planets. Since no one can kill you in the battlefield, you have no competitor. Therefore, grant me the benediction that I too may have no rival. Give me sole lordship over all the living entities and presiding deities, and give me all the glories obtained by that position. Furthermore, give me all the mystic powers attained by long austerities and the practice of yoga, for these cannot be lost at any time.”

In a fix, angry over his thoughtless promise to grant anything asked, Brahma succumbed to the benediction. Sriman Naranayan, the Creator of the Srishthi kartha, the one who takes order from none, the one who gets things done by his mere sankalpam looked worried. Why should He, the omnipotent, worry? Could he not supercede the boon given by Brahma. It was a mistake by Brahma for which he himself had so much of repentance. Emperuman could have appeared in an instant before Hiranyakashipu and torn him apart. What did Emperuman think then? Well, He never breaks the laws He creates. He never gives up His servants even if they act recklessly and without application of mind. Emperuman is the essence of great Leader. We don’t need a Jack Welch to teach leadership. Even Brahma would have not remembered the innumerable conditions laid by Hiranyakashipu. But there our Emperuman was, noting every aspect of the boon, like a barrister keenly jotting down points to find some loophole in law and win the case for his client. Choosing an appropriate time, on the correct day, in a fear evoking form, within the framework of all the conditions laid down by Brahma, Emperuman came as Narasimha and put an end to Hiranyakashipu. Neither Emperuman was like our star top official nor was Prahlada like the revengeful relative.

When Emperuman, so diligently adheres to and values the words of His creation (Brahma and other devathas), is it not for us to follow His words and the words of His representatives in the form of Azhwars and Acharyas? 

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