The Democratic Process
In Governing the Vedic Associations
by Suresh Vyas
Here I am talking about the Vedic associations that are generally but incorrectly known as Hindu associations of the commonVedic people.
The democratic process of votes does not consider how spiritually advanced the voters are, or how much the voters understand and practice dharma. Our Dharma is given in the scriptures like Bhagavad gita, Srimad Bhagvatam, etc. The original authority of dharma is the Vedas, and its summary Gita. In religious matters we consider, or ought to consider, the Vedic gurus, those sadhus Hindus that seriously practice dharma, and shastras as our guide. These three (guru, sadhu, shastra) provide a system of checks and balances when a difficult decision has to be made in accordance with dharma. Now, if the voters do not care any of these three and just vote based upon their own personal choices, then their vote will not be the best from dharma point of view.
A majority could not be the wisest or most seriously dharma practicing group. The nature is such that very wise and knowledgeable people are few, and very unintelligent and ignorant people are also very few. The rest of the people who are the majority fall in between. So, a society progresses well when it listens and follows to those few that know better than the common people.
Most of the Vedic associations’ mission includes retaining the freedom
- to know the Vedic dharma and culture as it really is from real Vedic gurus, sadhus and shastras without concocting one’s own opinion.
- to practice the Vedic dharma and culture correctly
- to pass on the Vedic dharma and culture to the new generation in particular, and to the interested people of the world in general.
- to own and manage a functioning temple facility as the center for dharmic and cultural activities and spiritual education for the society.
So, considering the mission, it is obvious that the when the governing body has people who are serious about practicing dharma, and who are proud of their Vedic dharma and culture, then the association progresses faster spiritually. If those who are not serious about dharma and culture become the leaders using the flaw of the democratic process, then the association will not be able to conduct its mission effectively. When that happens, then those few who are serious about dharma and culture will need to seek grass root support to get the right people in the governing body.
The other strategy is that the goal or vision or ideal should be the highest/ purest, but the implementation is done with a series of small attainable tasks and actions. In Vedic culture any person has equal opportunity to progress spiritually no matter what high or low level one is. So, no Vedic association should shy away from setting very high noble dharmic standards for practicing dharma as given in shastras, gurus and sadhus.
svRSy cahm! ùid siÚivòae mÄ> Sm&itrœ }anm! Apaehnm! c,
vedEs! c svERrœ Ahm! @v ve*ae veda<t-k«dœ ved-ivdœ @v cahm!. -Gita 15.15
sarvasya chaaham hR^idi sannivishhTo . mattaH smR^itir GYaanam apohanam cha ..
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo . vedaa.nta-kR^id veda-vid eva chaaham .. Gita 15.15
TRANSLATION: I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas I am to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas. –Gita 15.15
Always make sure the democratic process does not retard or neglect the spiritual progress of the Vedic society. Know who cares for dharma, who understands it well, and who is willing to help. Then put him or her in the governing body. The support him or her when needed.
Jai Sri Krishna.