On the day of ‘Ram Navami’, respected Advani ji was omnipresent on all the news channels eulogizing the virtues of ‘Ram Rajya’, which in fact also happened to be Gandhiji’s unifying plank during the freedom movement. Apparently, ‘Ram Rajya’ extols the virtues of good governance, based on the peremptory maxim that Ram Naam forms ‘a spiritual soil in which the tree of social and political unity & harmony finds nourishment’. Advani ji’s strongly worded rhetoric surely hit me like a thunderclap and made me think! Each one of us has his or her own kind of disposition towards religion and religious beliefs tend to evolve and cannot really be forced or imposed per se. India’s socialist and secular fabric has always allowed the winds of myriad cultures to blow gently across its lands, to make it richer in spirit & thought.
I think back to the time when Queen Victoria’s proclamation in the year 1858 had brought the governance of the nation directly under the British Crown and it was to Her Majesty’s magnanimity that a clause was inserted in the royal decree regarding the non-interference in the religious and social customs of the Indian people, which as a result have continued to prosper in our country, regardless of the deep inroads that Western culture has made into our societal fabric. And here is where religious tolerance acquires a significant meaning. Prof. Max Muller, a German by birth who acquired considerable fame as a Sanskrit scholar in India, showed to the world that acknowledging the greatness of other religions, in no way lessened one’s faith on one’s own. Alongside, Swami Vivekananda was another powerful influence with his maxim of Vedantic Advaita that was to prove a watershed in bringing home to learned people of the West, the greatness of spiritual sciences that have originated in the East thousands of years ago.
So all of this made me cogitate on ‘Ram Rajya’ in its quint-essence! It was Gandhiji’s symbolic norm of ‘Divine Raj’ or the rule in the Kingdom of God, and Lord Rama was a symbol of India’s national unity and diversity. Noble thoughts no doubt, but it also taxes one’s cerebral prowess to think & think further beyond. Though intellectually that ‘further beyond’ is beyond the pale of experience and its form quite unknowable, yet its existence can be known purely by one’s intellect.
Lord Rama is quite like the Para Brahma in the Vedantas – an all-pervading entity composed of ‘sat’, ‘chit’ and ‘ananda’ or universal truth, vitality and joy that apply to the principles of evolution to society and ethics and thus welfare of humanity at large. ‘Ram Rajya’, therefore, reflects the consciousness of an actuality lying beyond physical appearance and from this consciousness results our indestructible faith in that actuality.