Political renunciation


Former MLA from Kannad (District Aurangabad, Maharashtra) Harshvardhan Jadhav has announced his renunciation from politics. His announcement came as a shock to many in Maharashtra’s political circles.

Although Harshvardhan Jadhav’s political career has not been very long, it has not been insignificant either. He was elected MLA twice. He is the son-in-law of current Union Minister and former BJP State President Raosaheb Danve. Jadhav has worked in many political parties. He had contested as an independent in the last election. He had formed his own party, and he has a good mass base. He pursued many hobbies during the lockdown. Jadhav became interested in reading spiritual texts, and later took the decision on renunciation from politics.

Speaking about his decision, Mr. Jadhav said, “After reading spiritual texts, I realised that we keep running for many things without any reason. So I have decided to retire from politics”. It is learnt that he is currently at a meditation centre in Mahabaleshwar.

Mr. Harshvardhan Jadhav is a middle-aged politician. He could have remained active in politics till old age. While this decision may not have been digested by others, those who are associated with Dharma and Spirituality will say that Jadhav turned to the right direction. An example like Jadhav’s is a rare phenonemon. Considering the current Indian political scenario, politicians who are over 80 to 90 years-old are active in politics with the greed for power and chairs. Those who come to power cannot give up ministerial posts. Many politicians still have a strong urge to obtain power by hook or crook even in old age. Therefore, Harshvardhan Jadhav, who decided to retire from politics just by reading religious texts is praiseworthy.

Chaitanya in Hindu Scriptures

The lockdown has been in force for over two months. During this time, common man has utilised his time for various options such as fulfilling hobbies, watching films, watching various channels on television, some ‘working from home’ and are still spending likewise. On the other hand, very few people are seen reading religious texts, performing spiritual practice, comprehending Dharma. Religious texts (including Scriptures) of Hindus have Chaitanya (Divine consciousness), sattvikata. These are sure to make an impression on the reader. Westerners have also commented that the philosophy of life, the essence of life is found in the Shrimadbhagawadgeeta. Many have renounced all association with worldly pleasures and started devotion unto Shrikrushna. These spiritual texts certainly have the power to turn life around.

If you look at the history of Indian kings, when the prince came of age, the king used to hand over the responsibility of the kingdom and go to the forest to perform spiritual practice and renounce everything. The king’s luxurious life and hard life in the forest are two contrasting aspects; yet, the king knew the essence of life. The king himself ruled as a form of Shri Vishnu. Even though his external life seemed luxurious, it would have been impossible to come to such a decision without life being full of renunciation from inside. Since the king was educated in the Gurukul tradition, he used to imbibe the Principles of Dharma. Ascetics and Saints used to guide the king in administrative affairs. Therefore, the king used to ‘live’ with spiritual practice at every stage of his life.

Divine spiritual experiences after making a sacrifice

Today, Hindus do not have an independent system for imprinting sanskars of Dharma on Hindus, and since the tendency of Hindus is to focus on the pursuit of money and pleasures, they do not even think of living a retired life. What is more, for them, even sacrificing something is difficult. However, one who has understood spiritual practice, abides by Dharma and has had the spiritual experience of Bliss, satisfaction in it, would despise all positions on earth.

Leave alone posts of MLAs and MPs, the value of higher posts such as Prime Minister and President would mean nothing to such a devotee. Some people would criticise him for taking to political renunciation. Being an Ascetic does not mean that there is something wrong, different; rather it is an indication of initiating more intense efforts for God-realisation.

The urge to perform spiritual practice and sacrificing everything is Divine inspiration itself. Those who sacrifice everything for the sake of Dharma have already experienced that God takes care of all their needs. As it is, God encompasses everyone’s life; however, those who are not aware of this fact have the ego that they do everything themselves. As a result, they cannot experience God. Those who lead a life of sacrifice on getting inspired by God and the guidance of Guru, have the spiritual experience of the existence of God time and again. Trust, faith, bhav, devotion, Bliss, peace are the steps through which the jiva (Embodied soul) becomes one with God and becomes the form of God.

God is the ruler of the infinite Universe. He lacks nothing. However, to experience God, one has to make sacrifices. Once it is done, the individual will experience that God is standing in front of him. Therefore, learning from the actions of Harshvardhan Jadhav and finding a way out of the current adverse times would be a step in the right direction for the family, society and Nation !