First & Second Horses of the chariot: Strength & Discrimination | Vibheeshana Gita

– Understandings from Swami Swaroopanandaji’s talk for Youth Empowerment Programme – 6th batch

Souraj dhiraj tehi rath chaaka,
Satyaseel dhruda dhwaja pataka
Bal bibek dam parahit khore
Chama krupa samata raju jore

Strength and Discrimination are two of the four horses of the chariot

As we saw in the first two lines – Courage & Fortitude; Truthfulness & Noble Character – these qualities come in a pair. If we take these qualities alone, they might not be that effective as much as they work in a combination.

The qualities said in these verses are the essentials in an effective leader. A leader needs to have Courage to take up a new venture, to put faith in his team. Sometimes the expected result may not be immediate. He needs to have Fortitude and patience to give time for the work to blossom. A team will have faith over its leader only when he is Truthful to them. At times, there may be errors from the side of his team members. He should be able to point them out in such a way without hurting or demoralizing the team (the art is – Sheelta).

Next is Strength & Discrimination. Strength, in this context, refers to mental strength. The journey of life will not be smooth all the time. Only a person with immense inner strength can stand firm on his values when faced with adverse or tempting situations. A person who compromises on situations can reach nowhere nor can he lead people anywhere. Even the thought of compromising comes because he lacks inner strength. When the Lord of Death offered Nachiketa all the pleasures of the world, the young boy declined every offer, for, he knew exactly what he wanted and did not fall for the tempting offers. And because he stood his ground, Lord Yama had to give him the Knowledge of the Self that he was asking for.

A recent example is of Anna Hazare. Despite his ailing body, old-age, he shook the entire Government with his sheer will. Who was he? What support he had? He came up with an idea…and he knew that he is not going to compromise on it. In no time, the whole nation stood with him. It is said, when you take a Sankalpa, the whole universe works towards manifesting it.

On one hand we have the examples of great men of enormous inner strength who have created history, like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, the great freedom fighters, etc. On the other hand we have the lives of men who have shook the world in terror and crumbled down nations because of their inner strength. One man’s hatred initiated a world war. One man with huge inner strength, who followed his religion in a wrong way, caused havoc to so many countries – Osama bin laden. One man’s desire of conquering the world caused so many deaths, made so many children orphans, caused darkness in so many lives. Even they were men of inner strength, but what did they lack? Discrimination. If inner strength is like the water flowing in a river, discrimination is like its banks that decide the course of the river. What makes man an evolved being is his faculty of discrimination. Strength, if not backed by discrimination, will make man worse than an animal.

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