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Capacity to Defend Oneself

Tuesday January 25 2005 08:29 IST

By Karmayogi

Democratic nations grant by law to every citizen the right to defend himself. It is a sacred right for the Individual. Law endeavours to ensure justice, but justice being a wider term, law ends up delivering legal justice based on evidence presented to the court. All evidence cannot be produced.

The law does not admit all evidence produced. Its hands are fettered. Justice is greater than law. There is no machinery at present to deliver justice. Life enforces, not justice, but natural justice based on STRENGTH, not rightness. The culture of a nation is a fit vehicle to deliver justice and dharma, the highest known human law of goodness. Capacity to defend oneself, I said, is a sacred right for the Individual; but the capacity NOT to defend oneself is a sacred value of the Soul.

Culture all over the world is alive. Each nation has its past glories and present sensations of such cultural expressions. George Washington, the founding father of USA, refused a salary when he was asked to head the US Army. He asked only for expenses. A co-disciple of Sri Ramanuja came running to him to persuade him to run away to escape his guru who was coming to murder him.

You should not be the cause of such a sin in your guru, was the value he was upholding. A murder in a village was brought before the village chief. The chiefs brother was accused of murder. The chief found him guilty and banished him from the village for 12 years.

At the end of his banishment, the accused returned. By that time, the real culprit was discovered and murdered by his own mother. She was the chiefs sister. The facts that came to light embarrassed the chief who was guilty of gross injustice to his own brother. The chief felt stung. He asked his brother why 12 years before he had not defended himself and disclosed the Truth. The brother who was a victim said, You did not ask me to defend myself.

The culture of not speaking unless spoken to is of essential value for servants and subordinates. A high sense of sacred duty demands that they obey orders, not speak on their own. In the army it is a code of value. It is not so much in evidence in civil life. He who does not defend himself defends the culture of his community while he who defends himself defends only himself. In the Indian tradition, wherever it is now preserved, it is there alive. It is a spiritual value of a culture steeped in SPIRIT.

Many young girls today are reluctant to complain to their parents about the indignities meted out by a husband or his mother. She may suffer badly but she defends a higher culture in its depraved version. Any nation can be proud of such men and women. If these values are brought to the social surface of urban life in offices and factories, the nation will defy all predictions and rush into spiritual prosperity.
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