[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Shri Shankaracharya and Democracy – Its relevance to TS today

Sep 25, 2008 06:51 AM
by MKR

Shri Shankaracharya and Democracy ? Its relevance to TS today

Shri Shankaracharya, the great religious reformer of India, who was born
some years after Lord Buddha left the world. According to HPB, Shri
Shankaracharya is the incarnation of one of the Kumaras and so we can
understand His spiritual status. He lived only till the age of 32 and did
such monumental reforms that even today he is highly revered in India.

One of the key reforms he introduced was Democracy among Hindu Monks or
Sanyasis. He organized them and made them elect the leader democratically by
voting by the Sanyasis. Mind you this is long before the world was
introduced to Democracy of the West. Also it was days when groups of wise
men made all critical decisions in secrecy and it worked because the public
had implicit faith in the altruism, honesty and unselfishness of these wise

One of the key results of organizing the Monks in a democratic setup, was
the power of the Monks to influence the Hindus in India. It was this power
that prevented the English colonizers from bringing the Anglican Church to
convert all Hindus to Christianity. Look at what happened in other colonies
especially in the South American. English understood that there would be a
rebellion in India which they will not be able to deal with. The result was,
English rulers kept their hands off the religious conversion.

I think this is a lesson TS can use today when attempt is being made to take
away our direct voting rights in the election of the International
President. I think it is proper to remember the close involvement of the
Adepts in the early days of TS and their contacts with HPB & HSO and They
should have had a reason for advising the founders when the issue of
election of the President was settled.

Let us not mess with a system that has worked. Today's key issue before the
TS is not rules and regulations or International management. It is the
precipitous drop and low retention of members in the west, especially in the
USA. The key seems to be to make the lodges across the country more vigorous
in their activity and this cannot be done e-mail or nice magazines or
scholarly articles or use of Internet. The key is some of the officials to
visit each and every branch and see what can be done to improve the
activities there and also follow Olcott's model in opening up new lodges.

My 0.02


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application