My mind does funny things in church.
Something I heard during the service today sparked this thought about the metaphor of the Asura in Hindu mythology. Asuras, for those not aware, are Hindu demigods of great power and questionable moral standards. What occurred to me in church today was the way the nature of an Asura can apply to the real world.
My personal belief is that it is difficult for someone with power to be ‘good’. And I put ‘good’ in quotes there because of the somewhat silly nature of the concept of absolute moral qualities. This belief snapped together like a lego set with the concept of the Asura. The very powers that give them influence over the material world weaken their moral compass to some degree. Not all Asuras were ‘evil’. I’m not hugely familiar with specific elements of the mythology, but it is my understanding that these demigods can get what they want through force, and that often degrades their karmic balance.
But Asuras really aren’t all that. They’re actually very weak in the cosmic sense. They remind me of the people who wield power in the modern world. Morally and spiritually they are not stronger than ordinary people. But they hold material power that tempts them with its misuse.
I don’t know why it fit together today, of all days. However, I think this line of thought is important to me. Seeing these potentially corrupt leaders and businessmen as ordinary people who simply do not always have the willpower required to do what is ‘right’ or ‘good’ increases my compassion for them. Another personal belief of mine is that compassion is nearly always a good thing to increase.
I don’t mean to preach, but I liked the metaphor, so I thought I’d share it here. Thanks for reading.