Episode # 119 – Is Bhagawan an “AUTOCRATIC” or a “DEMOCRATIC” leader? An interesting discussion!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on the “Adhyatma Dharma” and this time with a beautiful analogy of a flute (A musical instrument). Sage Jada-Bharata had earlier said that the “Deham” and the “Atman” have to be viewed as separate entities and not as something that smudge on to each other. If one sees the “Deham” and the “Atman” together, he / she is going to get carried away with all the worldly pleasures and ultimately the dream of attaining “Moksha” is going to constantly be elusive. However, if one tries to separate the “Deham” and the “Atman” and views both of them as separate entities, he / she can clearly distinguish which are the worldly pleasures and which is required for the upliftment of the “Atman”, which is necessary to attain “Moksha”. In that way, we should also infer that the “Atman” inside all living beings are the same and it is only the “Deham” that is different from each other. Sage Jada-Bharata had compared this philosophy with that of a flute – Just like how air can only be the same that enters into the various holes of the instrument producing the musical notes, the “Atman” is the same in all living beings across the world. Just like how there are different holes through which the air passes in and out, the “Deham” of all living beings are different in nature. This is a very important and an interesting analogy given by Sage Bharata and this is something that all of us need to understand clearly as we move on further. 

As we proceed further, we should also remember this important point that the “Atman” that we’re talking about here has a common feature – It is the “slave” of Bhagawan. I specifically use this term called “Slave” for a particular reason. In Sanskrit, this term can be translated into “Dasa”. Thus we can say here that all “Atmans” in this world are “Bhagwad Dasas”, which means, “Bhagawan’s slaves”! This is the single commonality amongst all the “Atmans” (“Jeevatmas”) in this world. In other words, all the “Jeevatmas” are the slaves of the “Paramatma” who is none other than Bhagawan Himself. This is an allied point that we’ve to remember, which is being emphasized beautifully by Sage Bharata here. 

As we say thus, we might have a big doubt – How can we call ourselves a “slave”? Isn’t it wrong? We all got independence in 1947 from the British rule, didn’t we? Before the year 1947, of course all of us were literally slaves under the then viceroys of the British. However, we’ve obtained freedom and yet, how can we call ourselves slaves? This is the gross difference between the constitution of a country and our Sanaatana Dharma. According to the constitution of India, of course all of us are independents and nobody can exert control over us for anything. However, according to the Sanaatana Dharma, the concept of freedom from “Paramatma” is never accepted. We might have obtained freedom from the British, but we can never obtain any freedom from Bhagawan. We should always abide by the “rules and regulations” that Bhagawan has laid down in the Vedas and Upanishads, if we’ve to attain “Moksha”. Else, we’ve to keep on taking birth after birth due to our accumulated “Karma”. Thus, we can see here that there is nothing called “freedom” when it comes to the relationship between the “Paramatma” and the “Jeevatma”. The “Jeevatma” is always and any day a “Dasa” of the “Paramatma”. 

We might look at this in another angle too – Yes, we’ve got freedom from the British in 1947, but do we have the authority to frame any rules, any regulations on our own? Can we frame our own laws in the country? Just because we’ve got freedom, can we go on a rampage in stealing things, killing others, etc.? At least, normal people like us cannot do all this, isn’t it? Of course I’m not talking about the political class here. Thus, if we’re unable to frame our own laws, rules, etc. for our living, how do we say that we’re free? We still abide by the constitution of India, isn’t it? Hence, where is the freedom here? My answer for this would be – Yes, we do not have freedom in all these aspects. However, we have the freedom to “elect” our leader isn’t it? We do have elections to elect the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, etc., who in turn take up the responsibility to frame the laws of the land. Thus, we as citizens of the country do not directly frame the laws, but we elect someone on our behalf who can frame the laws, isn’t it? This is why we call India as a “Democracy”. However, before 1947, we did not have this luxury – We were imposed with the leadership from the British. We did not have the right to choose the leader, but we were destined to be under someone by force. This is the difference between having freedom and not having it. 

Now how do we link this analogy to Bhagawan? Why should we consider ourselves as Bhagawan’s slaves? It all depends on the mindset, isn’t it? We can witness this concept in two ways – We can either consider being under Bhagawan as a “forced leadership” upon us (Like the British), or we can consider this as a “democratic leadership” (Like how we have in India today). Of course, all of us know how kind and compassionate Bhagawan is. Hence, why can’t we create a mindset within us that Bhagawan is a “democratic leader” and not a “forced” or an “autocratic” leader? Is Bhagawan coming to us every now and then and scaring or scolding us? Is Bhagawan coming with the stick everyday to beat us? Is Bhagawan forcing anything on us? The answer to all these questions is a big “NO”, isn’t it? If such is the case, we can infer here that we do have freedom for whatever we want to do, but the freedom is “democratic” in nature, just like how in India we have rules and regulations, and at the same time we have freedom as well. This is the real meaning of the term “Bhagawad-Daasa”. 

Thus, for today let us realize the significance of this important phenomenon in our Sanaatana Dharma” and let us understand how Bhagawan is a “Democratic leader”, rather than an “Autocratic leader” to all of us. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this important discussion forward! Stay tuned! 🙂 


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

One thought on “Episode # 119 – Is Bhagawan an “AUTOCRATIC” or a “DEMOCRATIC” leader? An interesting discussion!!!

  1. Hello namaskaarams;

    I strongly object to “It is the “slave” of Bhagawan. I specifically use this term called “Slave” for a particular reason. In Sanskrit, this term can be translated into “Dasa”.”

    I object to the above line. Can we please retain the original sanskrit word Dasa; it is a non-translatable.
    And you are starting with slave and then say this can be translated as Dasa in Sanskrit. Wrong sequence.

    It is unfortunate we have to translate all our sanskrit words into the colonial language English only because that is the only link language for us at this point. Noting that reality, let us desist from translating certain words as they convey a very wrong meaning to non-sanskrit readers.

    Please read the book ” Sanskrit Non-translatables” by Rajiv Malhotra.



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