Dear President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Members of the 117th Congress,
I write this letter to you with a heavy and prayerful heart. Our country is not only fiercely divided, but it is now on the precipice of losing the democratic values that have made it a beacon of light to the rest of the world.
We have so many pieces to pick up from the last four years. The scriptures of many of the world’s religions preach about the search for Truth, however it may manifest. What has happened, however, is Truth becomes subject to alternative interpretations. We’ve siloed ourselves in darkness, unable or unwilling to allow the light in.
This moment, like four years ago, prompts me to ask: What can we do to create light together?
Hindu scriptures speak of the role of dharma – righteous action for the greater good – in conquering wickedness and evil. There is the story of Prahlad who remained steadfast in his faith that dharma – Vishnu in the form of the lion deity Narasimhan—would conquer even the darkest of forces. Narasimhan killed the evil King Hiranyakashipu as a metaphor of light overcoming the darkness and restoring dharma.
“We must be full of faith as we work to ensure that the bonds that have kept this republic together are strengthened…”
Today, our dharma compels us to rebuild this country. We must be full of faith as we work to ensure that the bonds that have kept this republic together are strengthened through mutual goodwill, pluralism, and respect. But for that to happen, our country needs to trust its political leaders again.
This is why your roles are more important than ever. Whether you supported the previous administration or not, your ability to understand that this country is more than just a sum of political bases will define how we as Americans move forward.
Dharma is about striving for righteousness, even if it comes at a political cost. No seat is worth saving when you have strayed from dharma and denied truth.
I am hopeful our collective dharma will help us to seize the moment to come together and, while acknowledging our differences, work to make this country get back on track towards a more perfect union.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (Peace, Peace, Peace),
Murali Balaji, Ph.D.
Founder of Maruthi Education Consulting
Lecturer at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania