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Power Play: Position over Person

Assuming any position demands that the person is out and the position is in, which is easier said than done. How easy is it for anyone in a position of power forget that it is their position that is of value (even while they did what it took to make sure they deserved it), and even easier is it for their friends/family/social circles to forget that this person's position comes first, the person comes next. Hard to live by, difficult to fathom, and hardly followed, the author talks about how reverence to a position affects lives and does matter at a large scale.
How many times have you had someone you were close to, enter a position of power? And no, I don't mean power only in the traditional sense. Let me explain. This afternoon, at 5th block Jayanagar Raghavendra Mutt, the current swamigaLu took seat to perform the legendary- not to mention, mind blowing- "Samsthana Puje". In this process, they worship the Lord of all Gods, Shree Ram.
Position over Person
Rama is held at the highest position for worship among us, and the opportunity to worship this Rama, in the Samsthana puje is a rare opportunity among men- quite literally, since women aren't allowed this practice. So the one seer who gets crowned as the Peetadhipathi, or the swamigaLu, not only controls the administration of the temple he is crowned at, but also has his own five year plans for the welfare of people, welfare of the city he is based at, and the welfare of mankind, at all times along with the blessed opportunity to perform puje (worship) to Lord Shree Rama.

Now, it is not just anybody who gets access to this position. One must be well versed in the scriptures, must have studied Sanskrit, and more importantly must have the discipline and love towards this God who people find so elusive in today's world, so much over himself. He will have to, among other things, take Sanyaas- which means leaving his small family back home and identifying with humankind as his family, forgetting that one particular place is "home", and living with equanimity wherever he goes. He no longer retains any identification with his former family, all his ties with them are broken, only to forge a new link, a new bond, where he no longer is a son to one father, where he longer has one son and one wife, but is considered to be related to one and all, as a benefactor. This single task itself is one that needs commendable strength and grace to achieve, not to mention what it takes from a person to accomplish the rest of the requirements to covet that seat. To worship Lord Ram with his own hands, which is the most sure shot way of liberation. He is also expected to refrain from consuming certain types of foods, and is allowed a strict list of food items, which varies according to the seasons. His daily activity would put any JEE aspirant to shame, the amount of social interaction he has on a daily basis is inhuman, to say the least. How can anybody who was like you and me suddenly transform into somebody like this- being truly worthy of worshipping a God, and in the process becoming a God like person himself?

All I could see today was this seer who had gone all out and given himself to the one God that we place at the highest, by not just trying to be his best but actually being deserving, by not just playing the role but by becoming the role itself. From what I saw, I didn't so much see a person, I saw an energy form who had transformed himself into what was needed in order to let him hold the reigns of this God that many still hold beloved. Each one more deserving than the other, the worshipper and the worshipped all combined in a duet of ecstasy, was more than what a devotee could have asked for as audience. In that moment, it seemed to me that it mattered not who the worshipper was and who was being worshipped, it mattered not who this person was who came to be recognised as so deserving of conducting the worship, all that mattered was the combination the duo exuded- the radiance of a God who seemed to shine brilliantly in response to the shower of Gold and flowers by this worshipper who gave up his small family and home so that he could call this universe his own, and the worshipper who had no eyes for anyone but that one Lord Shree Rama, whose grace has made this kind of a life possible for him.

And then it occurred to me: How many times do we try to recognise the "person"  who is in the "position" that he has chosen to play? To me, it didn't matter who this seer was, because I know nothing of him before he ascended the throne in the temple. But what of his parents, his siblings, his friends and family? What about the society who knew him and his ways before he took Sanyaas (sainthood)? It is not uncommon to hear somebody say, "Oh him! I knew him as a collegemate, he used to be a fairly friendly guy". I beg to differ. The man you knew and the seer that he is today have nothing in common, it is just that our minds cannot accept somebody we knew as " someone" to have completely transformed into a dimension we never imagined. The seer who touches Lord Shree Rama everyday is not the son who obeyed elders, he is not the sibling who shared his evening meal, he is not the friend who taught you before exams. This seer is just the position, and the person who has taken the position might be your friend indeed, but once he has taken that position, that position has taken over the person, there is no person left there at all. This seer is the benefactor to all, he who can request for the gates of heaven to open. He who can make things happen for the society at large, simply because of his contact with the infinite, due to his position.

How many times does it happen that you're more worried about your colleague's personal life than her contribution at work? Absolutely, none of your business. As long as she's holding her position at work just fine, you don't need to know how she runs her life at home. How many times does it happen that you're more concerned about your mentor's nature before he turned your mentor? If you are truly concerned about your own growth, you won't be concerned about anything else with regards to your mentor. How many times do you want to judge your manager at work? If you can focus on the position rather than the person, you can complete the job each time without problems. And what's best? Only when the position is being honored can anything more exist in the relationship- be it trust or friendship. Only when the work is done can an evening be spent with a manager over beers, only when your growth is as expected can a morning be spent with your mentor in celebration. For sometimes, it doesn't matter who is in that position, what matters is how you treat the position itself. Position over person. Every time.

P.S: This piece doesn't promote any religion in particular or the stated facts aren't necessarily the author's beliefs. This article brings out the essence, beauty & the Inspiration from the observed situation. Views may differ. Comments are open.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 31st October 2016.
Sandhya Nagaraj
Sandhya Nagaraj is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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