June 4, 2016

Merit of Fairness to Everyone and Demerit of Coterie Culture



Tulsidas was a Hindu poet-saint, reformer and philosopher.

Here are two famous couplets (doha - दोहा) from him that dwell beautifully on the merit of fairness to everyone and demerit of coterie culture.

Merit of Fairness to Everyone

मुखिया मुख सों चाहिये, खान पान को एक |
पाले पोसे सकल अंग, तुलसी सहित विवेक | |

अर्थ : तुलसीदास जी कहते हैं कि मुखिया मुख के समान होना चाहिए जो खाता-पिता तो अकेला है, लेकिन सब अंगों का पालन-पोषण विवेकपूर्वक करता है |

Meaning :

The head of a family or an organization should be like the mouth. Though the mouth indulges in drinking and feeding only by itself it takes cares of the other parts of the body in a fair and judicious manner so that the body as a whole functions properly.

The idea is that the head of a family or an organization should know fully well that every member or employee needs to be taken care of in a fair and judicious manner for the whole system to function effectively.

Demerit of Coterie Culture

मंत्री गुरु अरु वैद जो, प्रिय बोलहिं भय आस |
राज  धरम तन तीनि कर होहिं वेगि हो नास ||

अर्थ : गोस्वामीजी कहते हैं कि मंत्री, गुरु और वैद्य यदि भय या लाभ की आशा से हित की बात न कहकर प्रिय बोलते हैं तो क्रमशः राज्य, धर्म एवं शरीर का शीघ्र ही नाश हो जाता है |

Meaning :

If a king's advisor, a spiritual guru or a medical doctor suggests something nice (but not really right and appropriate) due to either fear or greed then it leads to decline of the state, religion and body respectively.

Everyone should use their expertise in an unbiased manner and based on the facts and not indulge in flattery due to either fear or freed.

The idea is that in an organization where the top man promotes coterie culture and his stooges indulge in flattery due to either fear or freed then the organization will stop growing and stagnate, gradually decline and eventually close down.

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