Saturday, January 30, 2010

Don't follow but be a leader

'Don't be the tail but be a head; don't be the bogey to be dragged by an
engine, but be the engine; don't remain a follower; know you have the
potential to become a God' are the main thrust of Sri Suki Sivam's
talk today (November 21, 2009) in SUN TV. Of course we have to
understand and appreciate his rebuke with a real concern for those
followers who just imitate the gurus in their mannerism, attire etc.
Otherwise one can turn the table against him by saying, 'Then why should
we be a listener of any speaker and why not we ourselves be the
speaker? Without an audience to hear there cannot be a speaker.'

Though we have to agree with Sivam about his criticism against mere
imitation of some mannerism and attire of one's guru, yet we have to
understand the fact that all cannot be a guru or leader. In fact if
finding a true guru is difficult, it is equally more difficult to find
true followers. In most cases the truth which a guru found and shared
becomes known to the world only through his followers who
'imitate' his teaching in their life and not their mannerism. For
example, St. Paul says in the bible, 'Imitate me as I imitate Christ'.
And this he says with some authentic experience with authority. Because
when he said this he 'imitated' his guru, he meant of his suffering for
others and sacrifice that he made. Because, according to the Bible, Paul
never saw Jesus while He was alive. And so there is no hope for him to
imitate the mannerism and attire of Jesus.

Above all, even to become a leader and guru, one should first be humble
enough to be a follower to learn. Unless we are humble enough to learn
and follow first—either a person or principle--we can never become a
guru and leader. No one is a born leader. Some might have that potential
in them by birth, but they too need some one to find and shape it. Even
those few rare exception like Buddha or Ramana Maharishi whom we claim
found the reality on their own were all shaped by the long standing
tradition and scripture which enabled them to search for it.

So, yes it is good to be a leader rather than a follower. But the process for
that should begin as a follower—not the mannerism and attire of the
guru, but their personality, teaching and principle.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, November 21, 2009.

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