Sunday, November 17, 2013


The length and breadth of India is over shadowed by the disease of corruption. Geography will pale in comparison when one weighs without any exaggeration that the depth of life in this country and its basic fiber is grossly impacted by the tentacles of corruption. Before rushing ahead in this tom-toming of who else is also corrupt, let us spare a thought on what exactly constitutes corruption.
Transparency International states that; “Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.” While the Oxford Dictionary defines corruption to mean; “(i) dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery, (ii) the action or effect of making someone or something morally depraved”. I believe that the moment has arrived for a broader reading of the import of this definition. To my mind, it would be most narrow-minded, very immature and blatantly foolish to consider and recognise only those people in positions of organised authority like government and the bureaucracy as the conspicuous targets. To my mind every individual has an extent of power over his or her own self and this aspect of position of authority is being conveniently overlooked. When one conspires with the Gods, when one tries to manipulate the natural course of events by invoking the supernatural powers of the universe through the various ritual of sacrifice, to beg and bargain for unwarranted gains, it certainly amounts to bribery which is a brazen example of corruption as well, at a very personal level. That should bring us to the next question about what is this stuff called rituals of sacrifice.
When one digs into the facets of life during the Vedic times in this region which arguably lasted till about 400 BC, one encounters the oft repeated mention of Yajna. The basic ritual according to Vedic tradition is Yajna. To borrow directly from various materials available on the internet on the stated subject “the Sanskrit word Yajna is derived from the root ‘Yaj’ which means to worship, to sacrifice, to bestow, and to offer. The word Yaga also has the same meaning, worship in the form of offering oblations or a sacrifice for the gods. It is also defined as the Tyaga – giving up or offering – for any specific deity or some deities at the same time. It is a link between the gods and the human beings. The essence of the sacrifice was a proof of one’s devotion to the deity. The human-divine link played by the role of Yajna was to obtain gods favors either in the external worlds or in the internal (psychological) world of the practitioners, for obtaining health, wealth, long life, offspring, cattle, victory, good harvest, freedom from evil forces, total salvation. The sacrifices in the form of offerings were made to the fire god Agni and are the first original and basic dharma according to Rig Veda”.
The Vedic practice of Yajna or sacrifice has continued into the Hindu religion and right into the present times.  Today Yajna is conducted during occasions as well as non-occasions, both at public temples as well as at private homes. The practice has worked its way into the blood of the inhabitants of this region. It has become a sort of basic trait that defines the Hindu people. The influence of Yajna on the behavior and psyche of the Hindu people which has now adapted into certain natural characteristics namely; (a) never to be satisfied with whatever is there (b) to desire more but never to work or strive hard (c) to find some short cut means (d) the end always justifies every kind of means. Somehow the concept of sacrifice always works. When you give up certain privileges bestowed to you by nature, it is always replenished with better set of privileges. The Hindu’s have known this secret since thousands of years and have practiced it till it has become a second nature to them. Temples in India have always been known to possess unheard of riches and even today we see such practices continue. The Hindu people sacrifice their wealth to the temples in the search or rather craving for more wealth, instead of (and sadly so) working hard for it. It has been the same story for every other kind of benefit.
Bribing the Gods for various favors is an unashamed form of corruption. It is an abuse of natural law. It is morally depraving and a dishonest act against oneself, against one’s karma. Let us see and accept the truth about ourselves, that we are a very corrupt people, we have corruption in our genes. There is no point in blaming the bureaucrat, the politician, or the businessmen when the nation itself is corrupt.