Dacher Kelter, psychology professor at the University of California Berkeley has written the book Power Paradox. In this book he outlines parallels between behaviors he has seen in research labs and corporate America. The book is is an eye opener to those who believe in gaining power through force. Dacher shows that our power is granted to us by others. Besides, anyone can gain power by improving the lives of others. Thirdly, anyone’s power goes simply as far as what others are willing to let them have. The story of an Asura by the name, Taraka is a poignant reminder of the dark side of power.
The story of Taraka Asura is similar to the additional observation made by Dacher. In Summary, a person with power tends to forget how they got it in the first place, namely, by improving the lives of others. Unfortunately, most with power get stuck to money and status. Obviously, this is the dark side of power. We see this dark side in play in society, politics and stardom. Dacher’s is original research on the topic of power. There are parallels between his conclusions and the power paradox which Rishis conveyed in the form of stories.
Taraka Asura realizes his boastful nature
Asuras are mythical beings in Purana stories. They strive hard and through Tapas gain blessings. Subsequently, these blessings bring them enormous powers. Asuras and Rakshasas are unaware of the nature of power paradox. This is one major difference between them and Devas. They are prone to swinging to the dark side of power. Taraka was an Asura king. Initially, he helped the citizen with many charitable deeds. Besides the name Taraka means refers to someone who pulls others out of their misery. Obviously, Taraka gained enormous power by helping others.
Over time, the king became proud of being a benefactor. As a result, he started to expecting acknowledgement from those he had helped. Finally, his expectations became demands. In addition, he repeatedly reminded everyone of the help he had given. He failed to sense the annoyance in the citizen. People began feeling the weight of their debt to Taraka. They called out for an end to this!
Kartikeya or Murugan killed Taraka who had turned to the dark side. Murugan is the ultimate representation of innocent, childlike vigor. No other Deva could vanquish Taraka. Their powerful weapons were no comparison to the enormous power which Taraka had gained. Taraka sensed his lack of control over his own boastful quality when he encountered Murugan. He was willing to rid himself of his negative qualities even if it meant getting defeated.