The technical definition of Lobbyist is – a person or organisation that practices influencing legislatures toward passing bills that favours or helps their interests. The term has gained larger meaning to include contracts, positions, personal interests, big-bucks, etc.! Lobbying is now the latest buzz word in terms of profession and seems quite a great job, if you don’t get embroiled into controversies, that is! So what does it take to become one?
Here are some qualifications of a Lobbyist –
1. Great contacts
2. Influential enough to get things done.
3. Domain knowledge
4. Accessibility to all doors
5. Be well informed
If we remove the label of a ‘Lobbyist’ and deglamourise it a bit, then we can see that such people have been in existence from the times of yore, except that they were not labelled as Lobbyists. Narada Muni from Hindu mythology was but a Lobbyist, if we remove some of the existing labels attached to his persona.
Great Contacts – Narada was the son (mansaputra) of none other than Lord Brahma himself. He was considered to be the greatest worshipper and follower of Lord Vishnu and could present himself at his abode without prior permission.
Influential enough to get things done – Narada Muni’s unique position of being Brahma’s manasputra and Vishnu’s biggest follower and his ‘non-curse able’ personality made him extremely influential in Heavens, which was the main arena of action and the place to get things done.
Domain Knowledge –
means man, and da means giver, thus the very name Narada, stands for someone who gives, knowledge (useful) to mankind in general. He was well versed with Vedas and Upanishads. He had an extraordinary proficiency in Samaveda which is dedicated to music. He knew the art of articulating each syllable and was also well versed in semantics. He also knew the precise use of each word. Nara
Accessibility to all doors – Narada Muni had access to all the three lokas, and as mentioned earlier, there was no place on both heavens and earth, that he didn’t have access to. There was no place on either, which he could not visit, and no matter what, he had the ability to be just everywhere at all times! I guess that’s probably why, he was not just a rishi, but a Maharishi.
Be well informed – Narada Muni was known as Trikal Vedi, one who was aware of the past, present and the future at any given point of time. He was well informed of the happenings of all the lokas and knew exactly when to be where and get something to happen. He was a perfect catalyst for many a great things that happened, as would see.
It was thanks to Narada Muni’s influence, or insistence and his being aware of the happenings of all places that we have read about the timely saving of Bhakt Prahalada from the hands of his father Hiranyakashipu and the Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu. Or the avatar of Lord Rama and Sita vanquishing Ravana with the help of Hanuman too is thanks to a ‘curse’ by Narada to Lord Vishnu, who was accused of fooling Narada during one his bouts of arrogance. Similarly Narada Muni was instrumental in Ved Vyasa writing the Mahabharata, just as he helped Thyagaraja achieve his epitome as a musician, and Valmiki writing the Ramayana. Narada Muni was also responsible for ensuring that Dhruv got his place in the sky and on the lap of Lord Vishnu, just as his timely intervention ensured the creation of God Dattatreya.
All the myths might have the basic ingredient as Narada the mischief maker, but if we dilute the element of his being Kalaha-Priya or the lover of quarrels, we can see that, at the end of it all, Narada Muni was an individual who was instrumental in many an action. He lobbied with the powers-that-be (gods in heavens in this case), all through the intrinsic knowledge of all that he had, to set a few actions (be it recognition to some or awards to some), needless to say that all for the positive good at the end.
Did he not play the role of a Lobbyist well? Is he not a good benchmark of an ideal Lobbyist?
[During the next few days, we will discuss some of the myths of Narada Muni in greater details.]