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Sharath Jois on What Makes a Good Leader

To effectively protect and serve the people, the person in charge needs to exhibit the following qualities that are, generally, inherent in good people. Bottom line: The world needs more good people.

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Yoga Master Paramaguru
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I don’t track American politics, but I recently learned that Hillary Clinton is practicing nada shodena pranayama. I don’t know who taught her. Politicians rarely give credit. They are mostly blaming each other for something because it’s in their best interest.

The world rarely sees a good politician. That doesn’t mean there are no good politicians; just that it is not common. In the past, there were many good kings, or maharajas as they are called in India. In that time, there were no politicians per se. The family chose the rulers. The good kings kept a tradition of governing by maintaining the objective to make decisions for the greater good of the people and not simply for their own personal gain. The ruling family also supported this.

In today’s world, where there are more things to own and exotic experiences to have, perhaps the rulers of the past would have succumbed to greed, too, and been less philanthropic. But when there were good rulers, everything was for the citizens of the country.

If leaders do not seek the truth for altruistic reasons then how can the people they represent be inspired to seek the truth? Leaders are representatives of the people by the people, but today, they only want to expose right or wrong to gain more power. We are not born hating or thinking bad things. Yet, some people yearn for power. They strategize to claim power, and when they are willing to fight for it, it can destroy them inside. In this line of work, eventually, one gets marked as bad. Is this really good for anyone?

Do we need more good politicians? Do we need more good leaders?

Not everything can be done by a politician. Citizens have their own responsibilities. To create a proper society, leaders and citizens both have a responsibility. In the U.S., there are a lot of self-made people, but they don’t understand the first thing about themselves. Most people have not grown up in search of consciousness. Most people and most societies don’t want to know clarity. Or if they do, they don’t know how to start looking. Many people are scared with this basic premise because they are not honest with themselves or others.

What yoga does is give them clarity. Once a leader has clarity, what they have to deliver to the people benefits the people. This is called transformation. All politicians and people need a transformation. To gain this, we don’t need more politicians, we need more spiritual teachers and consciousness seekers. We need more yoga done the proper way with a proper teacher.


Related: The Importance of Bhāvanā in Attaining the Purpose of Yoga


 

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Sometimes it’s difficult to cultivate lucidity during troubling times. Patanjali Yoga Sūtras offers 4 practices to help keep the mind steady: 
Friendship, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity. 
These four practices are also praised in various Buddhist suttas.
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