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नाभिषेको न संस्कारः सिंहस्य क्रियते मृगैः l
विक्रमार्जितसत्त्वस्य स्वयमेव मृगेन्द्रता ll

A lion is not coronated (नाभिषेको) by the other animals (मृगैः), nor is he taught ( संस्कारः) how to be a king.

He brings down his prey by his own courage (विक्रमार्जितसत्त्वस्य) – and assumes the position of supremacy among the animals ( मृगेन्द्रता) because of his own (स्वयमेव) valour.

The lion, being the strongest and most courageous among beasts, has no need of acknowledgement of his superiority by lesser animals. It does not matter whether the other animals accept him as their king or not. He is the ruler of the jungle because of the attributes he, himself, possesses.

Today this quality of ‘स्वयमेव मृगेन्द्रता’ is not frequently seen.

Everywhere we see that people are running after titles. Padmashrees and Padmavibhushans are sought after. And people are ready to sell their souls to get their names in the list of awardees.

There are controversies galore regarding such awards. Whether so-and-so artiste would not have been more deserving than some other who actually received it.

Even authors- who are supposed to ‘hold a mirror to society’ in their writings, are not exceptions to this. Who cares about authentic writing, when sensational but politically correct penmanship gives you a shot at the Booker Prize?

But we should not despair. There are still people like our former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He is not respected just because he was President of India but because of his rare qualities.

Or people like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is renowned for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music (bhajans and abhangas).

I remember reading an article where he is quoted as saying that he used to drink occasionally. But realizing that this prevented him from getting the required quality of feeling ( भाव ) in his devotional singing, he completely stopped drinking. Such is his dedication to his art.

He has received many awards, including the Bharat Ratna, but his greatness is not because of that. His greatness lies in his superior qualities.