Even a priest needs to inspire some awe to command the faith of the faithful- Chanakya
By priest, Chanakya means a virtuous man – a kind, honest, sincere, generous, loving man. If you wish to live like such a man your life would be saintly. If you wish to be like a saint, then you should have a weapon. What does a weapon mean? Weapon means either the ability to stand for your principles or your network of contacts and your good will or your ability to expose the other person’s misdeeds. This will get you awe. So Chanakya is trying to tell the student that even the most virtuous man needs some power, some awe to command the faithful. A western author has said that, “so that they may have a little peace even the most gentlemanly of dogs need to snarl occasionally”.
At another place he says One whose anger does not inspire awe and whose pleasure gives no rewards will be of no consequence
Which means authority is linked to sanctions or to rewards. Here he is trying to tell the ruler that if you are angry and do not impose sanctions and do not punish, and if you are most pleased and cannot give rewards you will be of no consequence. Post Indo-China war, China encroached thousands of kilometers of our territory. Even post this encroachment, our Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said that, “We forgive China for this transgression” (sic).
Next day Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar, a Hindi poet had this to say,
Shama Shobti Us Bhujang Ko, Jiske Pas Garal Ho
Vo Shama Kya Kare, Jo Dantheen, Vishheen or Saral Ho
A serpent that has venom, has teeth and has strength – when it forgives, there is grace in its forgiving, there is magnanimity. But when a serpent that has no venom and no bite, claims to forgive it sounds like hypocrisy (hiding its defeat with noble words). It means nothing and fools no one.
In other words, Dinkar was trying to tell the leadership of the country that you can only forgive when you are strong. Your anger and conversely, your forgiveness are graceful only when you have strength. If you do not have strength and you get angry you might be vanquished for your bravado and if you have no strength and you say that you are forgiving some body who is more powerful than you, the world will laugh at you.
Real spirituality is when we see the world as the world is. And also see ourselves as we are and see the games we play with ourselves. When we acquire power and restrain ourselves not to misuse it. When we are strong and yet kind- when we know that even spiritual pursuits need from time to time discipline, power, carrot and stick- not when we hide our impotence behind talks of non violence. All such hypocritical spirituality hurts the society and misleads the soul.