Fri, 17 Sep 10

Keeper of the Mahatma's Conscience


In reading about George Will’s article about FDR’s National Recovery Administration, I thought about India’s License Raj. To my surprise, I discovered that the term was coined way back in the fifties by Chakravarti Rajgopalachari.

Until a few years ago, if you had asked me about CR, I might have remembered him as the as the second and last Governor-General of India, during the post-independence dawn of 1948. But two years ago, I came across an English rendition of Ramayana written by him, and liked his writing style combining a respect for the storyline with a nod to those with modern sensibilities.

About the same time, I heard his amazing spoken foreword to the Bhaja Govindam by Adi Shankara.

When intelligence matures and lodges securely in the mind, it becomes wisdom. When wisdom is integrated with life and issues out in action, it becomes bhakti (devotion). Knowledge, when it becomes fully mature is bhakti. If it does not get transformed into bhakti, such knowledge is useless tinsel. To believe that dnyana and bhakti, knowledge and devotion are different from each other is ignorance.

Looking at his life, there is no doubt that he was an exemplar of what he concluded.

Fri, 17 Sep 10