It is important to comprehend the definitions of spirituality and spiritualisation before discussing how politics can become more spiritualised. There are various ideals that are frequently grouped together as spirituality. There are multiple interpretations of the term “spirituality,” which is because of the different connotations of the word. To put it simply, spirituality is the realisation of something greater than human existence and the exploration of concepts like love, empathy, wisdom, and altruism that are universal. Although spirituality encompasses religious ideas and values, it is a far broader term. Yoga, meditation, faith, and awareness of the cosmos are some of the practices that are becoming more and more popular as humanity attempts to transition from chaos to order. These are some of the tools towards attaining spiritual heart and mind, even though the state of spirituality per say is bigger than the sum of it together.
As per ancient traditions of India, everything which is for the ‘common good of all’ is considered ‘spiritual’. As such, that politics which is for the ‘good for all’ is “Spiritual Politics” or “Sarvodaya”. The process of bringing ethics and morality in politics, and keeping ‘Truth’ i.e. ‘Satya’ at its core is what is called “Spiritualisation of Politics”. Only this can lead to the purity of thoughts, words and deeds, thereby developing a strong national character. When we value not only ‘the ends’, but ‘the means’ of getting there as well, that’s when the true capacities of its citizens are unleashed, empowering one and all, and the Nation becomes the guiding light for others to follow. The essence of Spirituality is the knowledge of the interdependent nature of reality, the intuitive knowing of the interconnectedness of all things which leads to the realisation of our ancient wisdom of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, i.e. ‘The whole world is one family’. With the dawn of such understanding, the divisive forces begin to slowly loosen their hold resulting in the attitude of sanctity and everyone striving towards the common goal of National Development.
Religiosity and spirituality are not one and the same even when they are not mutually exclusive to each other. It’s crucial to make the notion clear. Religious ideals give rise to spiritual concepts or ideas, but they develop into separate philosophical propositions meant to lead humanity towards ethics and morals. Many political leaders have adopted the revolutionary ideas of the nation’s great leader Mahatma Gandhi on the subject of political transformation. His beliefs were shaped by religious doctrines from Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. However, it is crucial to comprehend that morality is a theme that runs across all religious teachings and cannot be reduced to a particular religious teaching alone.
According to reformer Gopal Krishna Gokhale, morality is always grounded in secular principles and has nothing to do with a particular religion. His commitment to the nation’s advancement was based on spiritual principles and practices which were transformatory for Indian politics. Many have stated that this idea is utopian and idealistic, hence they should be rejected. This assertion could, in part, be true. The selfish nature of man makes it difficult for everyone to comprehend spirituality and spiritual philosophy. Even if some people may find this proposal idealistic, there is no harm in putting some practices into place that might help the nation thrive. Promoting ethics, morality and love in politics will not lead to deterioration in the status of democracy in any manner. At a time when politics is frequently criminalised and referred to as corrupt, this stance on the spiritualisation of political action could assist the change in the perspective of people on this field.
The process of spiritualization in politics can be subtle but significant. Even small changes in a leader’s political philosophies has the potential to have a massive overall effect. The concept of “spiritualizing politics” seeks to reorient politics away from power dynamics and towards more fundamental principles like justice, compassion, and peace. Ancient Indian monarchs relied on religious priests for guidance on topics of faith, politics, and commerce. A more holistic approach to the various decisions that needed to be made was made possible by the governance model, which incorporated a religious and spiritual element into the decision-making process. Having a similar governance model in today’s democratic India, which has a population that is multi-religious and multicultural, is pointless; however, it makes sense for political leaders to adopt spiritual concepts such as compassion, love, and brotherhood, as the leaders of the freedom movement did, in order to create a society that is more ethical and empathetic. Indian political leaders must have a spiritual perspective when it comes to co-existence and decision-making because their nation is both – religious and secular. Each politician may adhere to their own faith and creed, but they must share a common commitment to morals and to mutually exist in harmony.
The greatest of men and women of this land were worshipped and given the status of gods and goddesses. Let us recall and remind ourselves that they were kings and queens by duty. What made them accepted by one and all was the purity of their thoughts, words and deeds. We trust that the long legacy of our ‘Ancient Knowledge System’, so well represented by these Distinguished Speakers will undeniably instil the spirit of wisdom, peace, harmony and love with their Divine Blessings and Enlightening Messages in this one of its kind “National Legislators’ Conference Bharat 2023”.