The one who remains steadfast in their performance, automatically gains his rights and the authority that results.
Most people would agree with the worldly view that, “might is right”. For the spiritual person, it would the very opposite — “right is might”. Commonly, he who has the might — physical, financial, military or political clout, wields power and therefore his word is final. Most people would go with the tide, but there are some brave few who have the courage to stand by their convictions. While mighty empires have bitten the dust, it is these few who have stood by their ideals and so achieved immortality. Be it a person, culture or society, in the end, right alone prevails.
Stories from the Puranas, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana substantiate this truth. Hiranyakashyapu was a mighty king, but it was his son Prahalad who emerged victorious and is remembered even today. The mighty British Empire was shaken by the might of a few so-called helpless Indians. The entire Roman Empire had to bow to the spiritual strength of Jesus Christ. In the end who was immortalised and who was the conqueror? Who was the winner — might or right? Let us not get carried away by the superficiality or short-term glamour of power, or gains that come through unrighteous means and by muscle power. These gains are not lasting.
In the world we are told to fight for and remember our rights. Nowadays we only hear of people fighting for their rights, whether it is women’s rights or labourers’ rights or the rights of the downtrodden. Spirituality gives you a different perspective — it teaches you to remember the rights people have over you and forget the rights you have over others. I would call this being very adventurous, but others consider this as submitting to subjugation — becoming a doormat. They do not understand the implied meaning behind this thought pattern.
In spiritual life, we only have duties. The one who remains steadfast in their performance, automatically gains his rights and the authority that results. He does not have to fight for his rights. Those who constantly fight and struggle only end up creating more friction. History shows that great political, social or spiritual leaders did not have to fight for their rights or leadership. The world gave it to them — the voices of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Lokmanya Tilak became the voice of India. How did this happen? They performed their duty or what they considered as their duty to the best of their ability and the rest followed.
The world over, busy fighting for their rights, many are failing in their duties. If only people were to respect the rights of others and concentrate on the performance of their own duties, they would grow in stature, both spiritually and otherwise.