"Based on the lectures by Sri Bimal Mohanty" |
In the previous issue we started with our understanding of this cosmic enterprise around us. Now we shall try to understand the principles that govern it. In the Svetasvatara Upanishad , which deals with the ways of understanding Bramhan, there is a beautiful stanza or sloka which reads like this:
TATKARMA KRUTVAA VINIVARTYA BHUYAH
TATTVASYA TATTVENA SAMETYA YOGAM
EKENA DVAABHYAAM TRIBHIH ASTABHIH VAA
KAALENA CAIVA AATMA GUNEISCA SUKSHMEIH
Having done His job of creating this creation of His, He withdrew himself and set this in motion. How was it set in motion? By the ever continuing interaction of the `inherent nature" - the tattva - of all things. What it means is that each entity in this universe behaved as per the dictates of its own self nature. And with the interaction of one"s natural characteristic with that of the other the whole creation was set into motion. The dynamic balance of the cosmos is the result of this interacting natural actions and reactions.
The nature of the water is to flow downwards, the nature of the seed is to sprout, the nature of the body is to enjoy, the nature of the mind is to think, the nature of the ego agent is to engage in action and so on and so forth. Each constituent in this creation - living, non-living scentient, non scentient, gross or subtle each is endowed with a nature. Every one is a slave to this nature. This nature describes the basic character of the millions of constituents with which this creation is run, and what is also very important, it describes the kind of potential each possesses which has to be exploited, optimized and refined towards a higher purpose.
So it says TATTVASYA TATTVENA SAMETYA YOGAM. The natural individuality of all was set to motion without restriction. Because the inherent basic characteristics of individuals do not change, a good management only recognizes this tattva of individuals and builds the principles around it. The very initiative springs from this tattva. One must respect this if one has to exploit it for the good of the organization as a whole.
But these nature of things must also obey certain principles if any chaos is to be averted and a dynamic balance is to be restored and maintained.
The sloka mentions four principles here: EKENA, DVAABHYAAM, TRIBHIH, and ASTABHIH.
The principle of one, the principle of two, the principle of three and also the principle of eight.
Let us see first what is the principle of eight.
This deals with the basic raw material or the constituents by which all of us are made of. We are the agents that run the universe. We are the workforce. Therefore, what we are made of or what we all possess will determine all our natures as well as all our actions.
We are all created as combinations of eight elements.
In Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains:
BHUMIRAAPONALAO VAYUH KHAM MANOBUDDHIREVACA
AHAMKAARA ITIYAM ME BHINNAA PRAKRUTIRASTADHAA
We are all a combination of five base elements represented by earth, water, energy, air and space, which influences our nature. Added to these five we also have as part of us the ahamkara or the executing/performing ego-self (the self within me which is engaged in action) , along with our mind and finally our intellect.
What do these eight elements have to do in our performance? The first five base elements meaning earth, water, energy, air and space being grossly material elements, they are recognized as the material needs of every being that has to be satisfied to motivate and sustain the continuance of all actions in the creation. This is what the nature continuously provides for us. All our material needs -if you analyse carefully, are connected with these five base elements and linked with our senses. They constantly cry out for satisfaction. Those are the first level of motivation. Satsfaction at this level creates justification for the ego or ahamkara to function. Mind drives the ego to work for this satisfaction level, and finally the intellect with its discerning power keeps a controlling influence without letting the ego and mind go berserk and decides what is do-able (kim Karma) and what is non-do-able (kim akarma).
Thus we see, understanding the importance and right manipulation of these eight elements determines the performance quotient of every individual. When every thing is balanced in the proper manner, when the needs do not change into greed, when the ego does not over step into rash negativity, when the mind is amenable to the path of righteousness and the intellect is knowledgeable enough to decide between right and wrong, there is progress. There is achievement.
It is indeed interesting to note that the entire gamut of management theories, propounded by all management Gurus eventually addresses these eight elements. Nothing exists beyond these. Without the satisfaction of the basic material needs no one can perform. Then the ego must condescend to perform. This it does when it perceives some benefits for itself. The mind provides the skill and efficiency and finally the intellect introduces the ethical element, the differentiation between preyas (things of temporary allurement) and the shreyas (things that bring permanent satisfaction).
All these eight elements have to have a single pointed focus to be able to succeed. For material success they must focus on their goal. For spiritual focus they must focus on The Bramhan or the ultimate consciousness.
How can they remain focussed? To keep them in focus, their basic needs must be satisfied in the right manner. Here we should not misunderstand that we are talking of physical or sense dictated satisfaction. Not for a moment we should forget that all our physical needs must always be dharmaaviruddha -in conformity with righteousness- as said in Gita. When we are in the path of righteousness, our physical and mental performance increases by leaps. But when they are to the contrary it depletes fast.
All desires, conforming to righteousness is indeed supported by the Lord. As assured by Lord Krishna.
Dharamaaviriddha bhutasya kamosmi bharatarsava
(An interesting point to take note here is that, denial of physical needs is never advocated by our scriptures. Forceful suppression, torturing of body and mind, etc practiced by many is sheer madness. Denial is not called for. But mastering these needs and channeling them for the right purpose is the essence of physical Yoga.
This is then the principle of "eight"- The ASTABHIH in that Upanishadic sloka.
What is then the principle of three? It is the qualitative dimension of all performance.
.The Sanatana Dharma philosophy catagorises everything - and when we say everything, we mean all actions, thoughts, results, behavioural patterns, causes and effects, creations and dissolutions, judgements and principles, knowledge itself and everything that can be conceived- into three qualitative groups.
These are Satvik, rajasik and tamasik.
Anything that you and me are concerned with, incase they are pure in concept and thought, universally beneficial, without despicable motive behind them and always breeding sustained positivity, are held as Satvik. Satvik is not itself motive driven although it invariably produces results that bring prosperity and wellbeing.
Any endevour which is primarily driven by a desire for specific result, and often goes to any means to achieve the ends, is rajasik. In a world which believes so much on management by objective, to decry rajasik activity would be difficult to appreciate indeed. However it should also be appreciated that it is one thing to see results coming on their own as a result of pure, non-covetous efforts and ideal means and it is another thing to get so obsessed with personal gain that you do not hesitate to employ any means to achieve the goals.
Gains that come out of rajasik efforts never last long.
The worst type of efforts, gains and thoughts are ofcourse tamasik. These are by nature devious, expecting quick gains not by one"s efforts but by snatching away or at the cost of others. These are unlawful and work of thieves - speaking broadly.
All concepts, actions and results thereof, are either Satvik, rajasik or tamasik.
Tamasik world is full of misery and suffering. They live in the very present moment without any thought of future. They have no significant achievement to their credit.
The rajasik world also does not give peace. A rajasik person is like the rat trapped in the revolving wheel eventually wasting itself away. At the end of the journey, the balance sheet (not only financial but of values) is invariably in red. Not only you end up in unhappiness but you leave behind a legacy of unhappiness like more rats trapped in the wheel.
The Satvik world is much less spectacular. As a matter of fact, not being spectacular in the worldly sense is a distinguishing characteristic of Satvik endevour. It is constantly preoccupied with value based ethics, the righteous conduct, knowing fully well that results will always be there. It is happiness all around.
The motivation for a rajasik person lies in ego satisfaction, worldly recognition and material gain. Thus by its very nature it is prone to frustration, heartburning and despair.
The Satvik motivation is the value of contribution and inner contentment. A sure characteristic of a Satvik achiever is peace of mind and a balanced and harmonised existence.
The Indian philosophical thinking never gives high marks to rajasik achievers like the modern thinking does. Although the so called modern management theories lay great importance on rajasik achievements, there are changing signs in the world today to recognize the superiority of Satvik way of management for individual good as well as the collective welfare.
Whenever there is a failure of management, whether at individual life, an organisation, a community, a country, or an empire, know the reason to be predominance of rajasik and tamasik behaviour and abandonement Satvik behaviour.There may be temporary dazzle but there is ultimate doom. Whether it is a Ravana or a Ceaser or a Hitler all have proved it.
The governing principle of these three qualitative principles in The Lord"s management, is again by cause and effect. Every type of action, whether tamasik, rajasik or Satvik, creates a corresponding result. Any failures, any short term gains that vanish away the next moment, abnormally high inputs against low outputs, despair and depressions are the Lord"s way of cautioning- warning signals - that say which is right and which is wrong.
Often people in their ignorance, think that the effect of these three gunas are subjective. They say what is bad for someone is not necessarily bad for another. Apparently in the world around us this appears so. Our ignorance is the reason. A satvik action will invariably produce satvik benefits. A rajasik or tamasik action will invariably produce its quota of unhappiness. If a pure satvik action does bring a temporary discomfort to any person, it is because his own preparation to receive the fruit of this action has been sullied by his own wrong action itself. Eventually when the understanding dawns on the person, the good benefits start flowing. The opposite is also true.
So unerring and infallible is this rule of three that The The Lord Krishna chose to remind us:
Na tadasti prthivyam va divi devesu va punah
Satvam prokrtijaih muktam yad ebhih syat tribhir guneih
None, in heaven or earth not even the Divinely enlightened ones is free from the grip of the three gunas born out of the nature.
The purpose behind these, is to understand the movement of this principle, let the intellect think rightly and guide our actions towards satvik and away from rajasik and tamasik. How much we listen will decide how far we are truly successful.
That is the universal principle of three.- the TRIBHIH of the upanishadic sloka
Then we have the principle of two. This principle happens to be the most crucial and the root of all other principles. This is simply the realization that nothing in this phenomenal world is recognized to be absolute. Duality is inherent in everything. There has to be light if there is darkness. There has to be happiness if there is unhappiness. There has to be knowledge if ignorance is there. There has to be fire if smoke is there.There has to be failure if success is sought after.
This principle is in operation constantly in God"s creation again through cause and effect. Not so long ago, the management theories invariably addressed to success and more success as the only concern of managers. As a result when failures came, many were unprepared to accept it. This caused frustration and psychological depression and ruined many careers. More over it was seen that people who were unable to cope psychologically with failure were also unable to plan out a new plan for success. Knowing that success along with failure is inevitable a new insight to failure management has come to receive attention. Needless to say, knowledge of cyclical occurrence of opposites is key to better decision making and forward planning. of every endevour.
Management of failure is as important as mangement of success is. Balancing the these two facets of universal truth is not only spiritually imperative but is also of paramount importance if one has to face the life in every birth with a positive attitude.
Any success in life, whether at material level, or spiritual level can not be expected without its accompanying failure. Wisdom says that any achievement that is not based on intrinsic value system , unless the aspirations are ethical, pure and in conformity with Dharma, failures are bound to occur. The management principle is to understand both aspects and accept them with knowledge and wisdom and learn the lesson, to cultivate only Satvik aspirations and Satvik means to acquire them.
Ofcourse it is true that this is easily said than done. In practical field there is always a mixture of Satvik, rajasik and tamasik. If we can not completely eliminate tamasik and rajasik, what is the practical way out? The right conduct is simply to have the needle pointing more towards Satvik in comparision to rajasik and tamasik. The results are not only beneficial but even last longer than gains by any other means.
That is the principle of two- the DVABHYAM of the Upanishadic sloka.
And finally we have this principle of "one".
This principle says that there is only one central unified force that is in control of all actions that take place in the universe.
This central unified force is at the very helm of this creation.
There is no duality or sharing of responsibility. If it were, it would have been the source of conflict. Thus that possibility is eliminated. However, lest it be thought that being omnipowerful and unipolar authority , the divine could be autocratic and whimsical, the principle also lays down certain conditions - if it could be termed as conditions- for the operational behaviour of this unipolar authority.
Foremost ofcourse is its possession of total knowledge of all things - the past present and the future - and its capacity of not having any limitations on itself. It is the absolute power. However the beauty of this concept is that, this absolute power is indeed exercised not on somebody else but the power holder Himself. Since the Lord , the creator is inseparable from the creation it is indeed a self imposed authority or discipline. There is no misuse because there is no incentive for misuse. There is no favour or disfavour because neither favour nor disfavour serves any purpose. Fairness to all is its very nature. You are as much a favourite of The Lord as a saint or a sinner is.
Another condition here is that The Lord even if he makes the creation move along, is himself part of the action. And thereby He subjugates himself to these very principles by his own personal involvement. He is not the type of Chief Executive who sits isolated from the mundane actions that go on. He says
Na me paarthaasti kartavyam trisu lokesu kincana
Naanavaaptam avaaptavyam varta eva ca karmaani
In the three worlds there is nothing which has not been done by me, nothing remains for me to aspire to achieve, Yet Partha still I engage in action.
Why He does so ? The answer comes in true managemnt style:
Yadi hi aham na varteyam jatu karmany atandritah
Mama vartma anuvartante manusyah partha sarvasah
If I sit back and do not engage in non stop action, why should other men not follow me too? It is indeed management by example.
Utsideyuh ime lokah na kuryaam karma ced aham
If I did not do action this entire organisation shall disintegrate.
Yad Yad acarati sresthah tad tad eva itarah janah
Sah yat pramaanam kurute lokah tat anuvartate
What ever the chief at the helm of affairs does everyone follows him. His standards become the standards for others
But the most important condition is what we mentioned earlier. While engaging in action He himself subordinates himself to these very principles that he has laid down.
Same gunas of nature unfailingly come to force when tiniest of actions performed by you and me or the gigantic actions that take place in cosmos. This is verily the truth -the Dharma - that upholds the entire creation.
Prakriteh kriyamaanaani gunaih karmaani sarvashah;
All actions are wrought in all cases by the dictates of the very nature of things. The essence of nature does not change.
QUESTIONS FROM THE READERS
Question 1 from Sri Sachin Swami
Please tell me the importance of chanting. How it helps in the spiritual and overall progress?
I hope you have gone through the 15th volume of Ahwan (December 2001 issue) where some comments on mantra chanting appear.
In our main mission of attaining highest consciousness status(satchidananada), our seers saw the path as a difficult one- like walking on the edge of a sword. In spite of constant assistance from the Divine, the envelope of ignorance surrounding our soul is indeed our main obstacle and difficulty.
It is recognised that our mind is the greatest tool we have to achieve this success. It is also recognised that mind when uncontrolled is the greatest obstacle in the path.
Various processes of Yoga are the processes for attaining our goal. But all the yoga processes essentially require participation of a focussed, devoted and unswerving mind.
A diffused mind is a weak mind. A focussed mind has strength. As explained in the article on pages of Ahwan (Meditation part1) the point of focus has to be Bramhan.
Chanting mantras is one of the exercises of mind for keeping it in focus, along with learning. meditating, remembering, singing, praying etc. It helps to shut out other thoughts invading the mind.
As the devotee goes on chanting, the process establishes a link with Bramhan the focus. When done with a sincere heart, appreciating the hidden meaning in each word of the mantra and with proper delivery, the mind acquires great strength and tranquility.
A tranquil and strong mind is capable of achieving great deeds.
Question 2 from Sri J L Kasare
While I am in position of dhyana and on the verge of seeing the tejovalyas coming in front of the forehead, I can see them for quite sometime but once the dhyana is out this stops and I am not able to go further. Please give me guidance. Thank you and Pranam
I am not aware of the process (prakriya) that you adopt in your dhyana, therefore I can not give you a direct answer. However I believe the following comments will be useful.
Mind gets delinked from the focus during dhyana (meditation) when subconsciously or deliberately another distraction (vikshepa) seeps into the mind and the mind has not become sufficiently strong to resist its influence.
The remedy comes with the advent of knowledge and through long practice (abhyasa). Your problem is not unique. Even great sages suffer from this. Hence do not lose heart.
In the final attachment, the mind sees Bramhan all the time, constantly living in its awareness.
However, on this subject I suggest another important point which one should keep in mind.
In yoga sadhana, most people are constantly seeking to receive, a flash of light, or a shivering sensation, a miracle, or some kind of a sudden physical or mental change and what not.
This is sheer ignorance. The purpose of Yoga is not a flash of light or a fantastic dream or anything of that nature. These are only superimpositions of a mind that has been undergoing a change in its character.
Yoga sadhana in the spiritual context is an evolutionary process, a continuous exercise of development of a lower being into a higher being, a gradual transformation. Any apparent visible success has behind it continuous striving or tapasya which people tend to underplay.
The real purpose of Yoga and the goal of life is realisation of satchidananda, the truth , its realisation and the ensuing bliss.
Knowledge only is to be sought, and not -repeat not- the magical effects.
If the realisation of Bramhan is not developing, if the level of consciousness does not rise, if a superior being does not evolve, what good are these magical effects? These are mere side shows in the path. With increasing knowledge of Bramhan.the great splendour of bliss flows like a stream. (rtasya dhara, amrta dhara etc that the seers talk about).
Author Bio :
From Ahwanm the spiritual approach to life by Sri Bimal Mohanty. http://www.ahwan.org/index.php
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