When in crisis, choose the middle path!
Historically, when in crisis, we Indians have always preferred to take the middle path and so have resolved numerous personal issues and of the world alike. From the times of Lord Rama in Ramayana to today’s world, we Indians have excelled by choosing the middle path.
When people of Ayodhya were not fully convinced of Sita’s innocence. Rama had to make a choice between his wife and the people of his kingdom – as a king, it wasn’t an easy choice to make. As he knew of the innocence of Sita, he could have been partial to his wife and let his subjects to their fate or he could have convicted Sita of her accusations. He chose the middle path, he let Sita go and prove her innocence.
Charvaka taught the philosophy of hedonism, and seeking pleasure as the way of life, while Jaina taught sacrifice as the way, he taught philosophy of total abstention in choosing food and way of life. Though there were takers for both of their philosophies, it was Gautama Buddha who went on to become the most popular and accepted, for, he preached the Middle path, he taught peace, and let people choose their way of food and didn’t condemn killing of animals for food.
Years later, when a few kings felt remaining aloof from wars was the only way to rule and a few fought aggressively to conquer territories, Ashoka chose wisely, the middle path of peace, friendship and war, built his army for survival from attacks and maintained friendly relations with neighboring states and went onto control entire India at once, and to date remains the most successful one to have ruled India.
Times passed, but the philosophy didn’t lose relevance, some despotic rulers who chose to convert Hindus at the fear of their swords, preached their religion as the best, and the other group as theirs’ the best; came a ruler called Akbar who chose to deliberate in his Ibadat Khana on the best parts of all the religions through best scholars of the time and formulated his own philosophy of Sulh-e-kul, was the best ruler of the medieval times.
During the struggle for independence, moderates like Dadabhai Naoroji, G.K Gokhale, S.C Banerjee, etc., chose to follow the means of petitions, letters and requests to put forward their demands in front of British through constitutional means, and to the other extreme were the revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Tilak and others who chose to fight violently and gave up their lives without getting to see the freedom, even then, the man sparingly clad, Mahatma Gandhi preached us the middle path to break the laws lawfully to take on the mighty British to see us through.
After our Independence, when there were two poles waging at each other in the so called Cold war, few countries chose US’s capitalism, few USSR’s Communism, Nehru said non-aligned chose a mixed economy, and carved a separate identity for India, which remains to be the successful foreign policy to date. As an economic policy we can debate, but that was the need of the hour.
When it came to making Constitution, Several Nations chose to become Religious republics, some chose to become totally secular and irreligious. We chose the middle path of becoming Non religious. And became an unique identity in the world.
In Cricket, some players chose acceleration as the only way to play the game, some chose defensive cricket as the way, then came a curly haired lad with a creaky voice, Sachin Tendulkar, who chose the middle path and showed the world how to pace an innings, is the best batsman in the modern times.
Times may have changed, but the testimonies are numerous, the philosophy remains the same, when in confusion we choose the middle path wisely. Like a friend of mine in the comments said, it is in our DNA.