Power and Responsibility

Our mythology contains many stories that are meant to impart wisdom to humankind. One such story is Lord Krishna’s, Govardhan Leela. The incident dates back to 5000 years ago to the village of Vrindavan.

The people of Vrindavan had a custom of worshipping Lord Indra and offering them some part of their produce. Lord Krishna convinced the people of the village that Indra was only fulfilling his responsibilities that have been assigned to hi by the Supreme Power. Instead, they should worship Govardhana Hill which had fulfilled all their requirements, on which they were dependent on their childhood. This enraged Indra who then vowed to destroy the entire village using his powers. It started raining heavily in Vrindavan. When the people approached Lord Krishna for help, he then lifted the Govardhana Hill on his little finger and saved the village. Eventually, Indra realized his mistake and apologized to Lord Krishna for losing his mind over his powers.

This story gives two very important lessons in life. Firstly, an act of worship should be a consequence of gratitude and not fear. Secondly, it teaches us about power and responsibility. Even in today’s context, we often hear cases where a person who rises to power, without a sense of responsibility, try to misuse it and ends up harming several people and sometimes himself. I have already talked about how ego corrupts a mind and make him fall into a trap in my blog https://digurself.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/self-respect-and-ego/

This is mainly because when a person gets possession of power without proving his worth, or, understanding the responsibilities associated with it, he starts taking it for granted. The sense of being more powerful than others, overtakes his conscience and thought process and adds to his ego. As a result, the person stops evaluating the situation based on right and wrong and starts making decisions that boost his ego. When power starts being about one person’s ego more than a social good, it becomes destructive for society.

In the path of success and growth, a person comes across various instances that requires taking a step back to take a leap. But ego never allows a person to take a step back. He also becomes vulnerable to manipulations. Every egoistic person reacts in the same predictable way, which makes it easy for others to manipulate them. As a result, he ends up getting into problems.

Power is neither constructive nor destructive all by itself. But the way it is used, and the person using it can make or break society. Efforts that are put in by a person for power make him value it, understand the responsibilities associated with him and make him worthy of it. Any ‘Power’ which is received without realizing it’s value and responsibilities is merely the beginning of downfall, in disguise.