The Leader Needs The Followers

“Good fortune to all who have assembled here,” he said. “All of you good people, please listen to me. I will speak because we must disclose our own understandings of dharma when we are in the company of saintly and thoughtful people.

“I will speak of my dharma, my duty. You have employed me to wield the scepter and rule the people, so my duty is to protect all of you, and give you employment befitting your various talents and stations. By carefully fulfilling this duty, I will attain the goal that spiritualists glorify. Fulfilling our duty is what makes our fate bright and all our wishes come true, for it satisfies the overseer of fate. A king who only taxes the people but does not employ them in fulfilling their duties not only loses his own fortune, he gains a share of their misfortune. So, my dear citizens, for your own sake and for my sake – out of affection for me, as an offering to my afterlife – please do your duties without jealousy and envy of one another, with your thoughts aiming towards transcendence. All of you please have sympathy for me. All the pure ancestrals, gods, and sages agree that, in the afterlife the results of our deeds are shared equally by the performer, director, and supporters.”

Very interesting points in this section:

  • We shouldn’t be in a rush to open our mouths and impose our views and opinions on others, but it is our duty to disclose our understandings of things when we are in the company of those who are fit to correct any mistakes or confirm where we are on the right track.
  • Deep humility is evident in King Pṛthu:
    • He speaks of being “employed” by the citizens, and he speaks of his duties towards them
    • He describes himself and his final emancipation as being dependent on their sympathy and mercy
  • The way to achieve our desires is not to chase our desires, but to make them chase us. We generate good karma by fulfilling our responsibilities dutifully – and this causes good things to come to us.
  • The results of a deed are shared by several people:
    • The person who actually does it
    • The person who inspired / ordered it.
    • The people who helped it get done

The King, Pṛthu, is saying “I will get a share of whatever deeds you do, because you are my citizens and I am in charge of you. So please be merciful to me, think of my well being as well as your own, and do your duties without jealousy and envy of one another.”

I think it is very important that he describes the right way to do duties as anasūya – without jealousy of envy of what other people are doing, or what other people have.

In the next section he will explain how apparently worldly duties give spiritual results.

 From Srimad Bhagavatam 4.21.21 ~ 26
Translated for volume for of Beautiful Tales of the All-Attractive

by Vraja Kishor

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