Is the Politician a Leader?

A student asked me: What is the difference between a leader and a politician? I said, "An irresponsible leader is a politician, and a responsible politician is a true leader". A true politician is one who is responsible for his Self, for his people, for his community, and for his country. One of the greatest presidents of USA, Abraham Lincoln, says,
"When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion". Now this is what I call a true leadership. All political leadership is social leadership. If a politician does not feel for his people, if he does not feel for his community, if he does not feel for his country, then he is not a leader at all. Forget about being a good leader, he is not a leader at all. And we must also remember that his responsibility does not end in being a good leader. He has to also create other better leaders. A leader who does not create better leaders is not a good leader. This is what is called distributed leadership. Leadership is like a game of relay. It is taking the same message ahead and ahead, one after another. This is what succession is all about. A politician is one who would not like to retire for eternity. A politician simply means the one who does not take any responsibility. One who finds faults with others and situations. One who indulges in blame game. One who finds scapegoats. One who does not take ownership. One who does not take the responsibility. Leadership is a great ownership and responsibility. It is a responsibility for his Self, responsibility for his family, responsibility for his community, responsibility for his country and finally responsibility for the entire world. All leadership is action. It is initiation. It is pro-activeness. It is responsiveness. It is sensitiveness. It is taking a lead with full of awareness and consciousness and taking a complete responsibility for that lead. 

One of the great spiritual leaders of India, Samartha Ramdas (Spiritual teacher of Chatrapati Shivaji) says, "Kelyane hot ahe re. Adhi kelechi pahije. Yatna to dev janava. Antari dharita bare". This is in Marathi and when translated it means, "When you do, it happens. But you have to do it first. And when you bear this to your heart, God knows your doing". The doing becomes important and not the result of the doing. The action becomes relevant and not the result of the action. The purity of action will follow suit in the result of the action. The result is a by-product of our action. This truth is also being recognized by today's organizations. Do you know what is the punch line of Nike brand? Yes! You are absolutely right. Just do it. That is the mantra. If you don't, somebody else will. This is what Krishna also says in the Bhagavad Gita but in a different way. He says, "Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana". When translated it means, whoever does what out to be done without the fruits of the action, he is a true Karma Yogi, he is an enlightened one. It emphasizes on the action and not the result of the action. Each action will give rise to some result of the action. And we are certainly responsible for the consequences of that action. One can not escape from the responsibility of the results of the action. Now this changes the whole gestalt. It shifts the whole focus towards our very action. Our action becomes a focal point. We must also remember that a bad action will bring bad results and a good action will bring good results. That means our actions have to be looked into and identified. Abraham Lincoln must really be very right when he feels good when he does good and when he feels bad when he does bad. And this becomes his very religion. This is what Krishna is also saying. What is a good and what is a bad action then? How to identify good actions from bad ones? 

This is not possible unless we peek into our actions. This is possible only when we purify our actions. This becomes easy when we contemplate on our actions. This becomes possible when we become more and more aware of our actions. This is possible when we feel our actions. This is possible when we meditate on our actions. This is possible when all our actions emanate out of our total awareness and consciousness. That is, now I can think of my actions and I can feel my actions. Karma Yoga simply means that the doer disappears in his doing. The doer becomes one with his doing. The doing itself is such a great joy that he forgets himself and dissolves himself in his doing. This is possible only when our doing becomes divine. This is possible when our work becomes our worship. This is possible when our work place becomes a worship place. This is possible when our action becomes our devotion. This is possible when our 'Kam' becomes our 'Ram'. This is possible when our 'Karma' becomes our 'Dharma'. This is possible when our 'Kurukshetra' becomes our 'Dharmakshetra'. This is called Karma Yoga. This is the leadership of action. Enlightened Leadership is a leadership of vision and meditative action towards that vision. This way our very action becomes our devotion. Our very journey becomes our joy. Our very destination becomes our destiny. And our very celebration becomes our Consciousness.