Political power, in my opinion, cannot be our ultimate aim. It is one of the means used by men for their all-round advancement. The power to control national life through national representatives is called political power.
Representatives will become unnecessary if the national life becomes so perfect as to be self-controlled. It will then be a state of enlightened anarchy in which each person will become his own ruler. He will conduct himself in such a way that his behaviour will not hamper the well-being of his neighbours.
In an ideal state there will be no political institution and therefore no political power. That is why Thoreau has said in his classic statement that “that government is the best which governs the least”.
by Mahatma Gandhi
This article is yet another attempt by me at enlightening my readers regarding the Dharma or the righteousness.!! What is Dharma? This is a question people keep on pondering over but are not able to give some convincing answers to themselves. One of the reasons for why people are not able to answer this, or why this concept is still confused is, that the people who are associated with the research work regarding the concepts of Hinduism and Indian way of life are not Indian or they are Indians those who have completed their education in foreign universities. Such people try to visualize the concept with foreign lens. But lets talk about this concept and then lets see if all of the doubts can be clarified.
First of all, let me ask a simple question, what is discipline? This is a normal question and this question won’t kindle the senses.
According to Oxford dictionary,
According to Collin’s dictionary,
- training or conditions imposed for the improvement of physical powers, self-control, etc
- systematic training in obedience to regulations and authority
- the state of improved behaviour, etc, resulting from such training or conditions
- punishment or chastisement
- a system of rules for behaviour, methods of practice, etc
- a branch of learning or instruction
- the laws governing members of a Church
- a scourge of knotted cords
- to improve or attempt to improve the behaviour, orderliness, etc, of by training, conditions, or rules
- to punish or correct
In totality if we agree at one definition, lets assume oxford dictionary to be the apostle, the definition of discipline would be “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience”
Now, try to use your ingenuity and think about the corresponding word for discipline in Indian languages. What is it? Is it anushasan. Yes, the dictionaries say so.
अनुशासन in Hindi:
पुं० [सं० अनु√शास्+ल्युट्-अन]
१. शासन करना। विशेषतः अपने ऊपर शासन करना। अपने को वश में रखना।
२. दूसरों को प्रशिक्षित करना। शित्रा देना।
३. वह विधान जो किसी संस्था या वर्ग के सब सदस्यों को ठीक तरह से कार्य या आचरण करने के लिए बाध्य करे। (डिसिप्लिन)
So, the meaning of anushasan is अपने ऊपर शासन करना (Self control). Anu means self and the shasan is known to all, that is rule. So, anushasan means self-rule, self-organisation. You rule yourself and not let your mind or others to rule you. That is anushasan. Now try to differentiate discipline and anushasan.!! Think what they want to say, what foreign cultures want and what is taught by Indian culture.!!
There is a qualitative difference between the two concepts. The concept of “Discipline” want one to make rules for others and others must obey them. Punishment is given if the rules are disobeyed. This is discipline. I define Discipline to be a set of rules one has to follow. Institutions have disciplines. When army men breaks the rules of army, the army says, that you have broken the discipline of the great institution.!! Hence, the discipline regards to institutions, they are set of rules. Rules set by, institution like Universities, Army, Company, School, Government, or for the case, may be society also and also, for the case, we may consider religions. Indiscipline is not tolerated and punishment is meted out, just like army. Whatever the case may be, the Discipline makes it easier for the ruler to rule, and demands everybody to be robotic in working. One must never fail is the rule.!!
To set a discipline, there got to be two entities out of which one would be ruling entity and the other is ruled. This is the principle of Discipline. Now this ruling entity can be any, for instance, army and a company in which may you are working. Now see, the higher borns (as western people call them) make rules, and people like us have to follow. There are rules that you must reach office by 8AM in morning, otherwise, half day leave is recorded and as a punishment your salary for half day is cut.
What is Being Indisciplined then? It is simply not following the rules laid by the ruler. If the institution that rules you, makes a rule that one must sleep at 1AM at night and not earlier than that, and if, by the way, you went to your bed earlier, you are indisciplined. You have broken the discipline of the institution. Now that depends upon the institution how much rational or correct the rules are. So, we can say, if I am a person who cant decide for myself that actually, waking up early in the morning is good for me, the institution will decide it for itself that all its employees must wake up early in the morning. This is the way the rules are made, hence, ignorance of the people gives birth to the notions like rule, and law as well for the case. Hence, there needs to be two things for discipline to take shape: the ignorance of the ruled (public) and intelligence of the ruler. This discipline must not be broken.
At the end what matters is the right decision, but if one makes it by oneself and follows it, it is anushasan and if somebody else has decided for the one, it is discipline.
Just one line may be enough to emphasize the difference in these two concepts. But the discussion would be short if conclusions are not made. There are massive amount of conclusions here, those can be drawn.
Anushasan means your rule on yourself. For instance, we respect our elders. Now is it a rule.? It is a moral. And yeah, when you are under anushasan, there are not rules but morals. There should be no eve teasing, is not a rule for you, it is moral. And good noble men, follow this moral religiously. This is anushasan. That is why Gandhi says, self-governed people won’t be needing governance.!!
So, people of India, wake up. Don’t be disciplined, for being disciplined you got to be ruled.!! Be led by anushasan. Make morals your motivation and not rules set by else.!! Be a moral human.!! A moral man.!! Be RAM, and then even being powerful won’t corrupt you. Actually, there are no rules for powerful people, and hence, they are unruly, hence, they get corrupt and go immoral.!!
Next post would be regarding, How to attain that state..!!
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