Episode # 26 – “Work-Life Balance” as explained beautifully by our Indian Scriptures!!!

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 In the past three episodes we had seen seven important steps with which the progression towards the path of “Bhakti” or “Devotion” happens. They are, “Viveka”, “Vimoka”, “Abhyaasa”, “Kriya”, “Kalyaana”, “Anavasaadha” and “Anuddarsha”. We’ve alongside witnessed several application and relevance of adhering to these steps in the modern day. Now before we move further, I had concluded the previous episode by saying that there is one more important point to be discussed! What is that? Let’s witness it today as we move on.

As we had spoken about the seven steps leading to “Bhakti”, when we were discussing the last two steps of “Anavasaadha” and “Anuddarsha”, we witnessed that we should develop a “Balanced” frame of mind in our daily lives. We shall elaborate on this further with respect to our modern day life. In the previous episode we had discussed one direction of analysis of these two important steps – In terms of treating happiness and sorrow on the same plane with a balance. Today, let us extend the analysis of these two steps in a different direction.

In the modern day, many of us are employed in private organisations across the country and across the world. As competition and the requirements increase, our workload also substantially increases day after day. Thus in management terms if I’ve to explain, the “Expectations” from the employer towards the employees have tremendously increased over a period of time. This leads to employees putting in more amount of work time at office. Subsequently what is the side effect of this? Employees are also human beings and they too have a family to address and take care of, along with other personal needs. Excessive workload can have a potential danger of hampering and eating away the quality time that an employee spends with his/her family. This leads us to an important discussion about the modern day terminology of “Work-Life Balance”. This is where we can apply the steps of “Anavasaadha” and “Anuddarsha”, wherein we need to try to find a suitable balance between our office hours and the time that we spend with our families and also for ourselves.

As we move forward in our modern day lives, we need to pay extra attention to this important fact – Money is important for our survival. However, we should not run behind money too much, by sacrificing our own happiness! This is where we should try and strike a balance. Of course I do agree that everything in this world is becoming expensive and also (many a times) out of reach for the common man. Inflation is rising every day! I do understand that earning money is important in life. However, what is the limit until which we would earn? Who fixes this limit? It is we who’ve to fix this limit for us – The moment we get a decent standard of living with a house, three meals a day, good family, settled children, we should slowly try putting the “brakes” on our efforts to earn excessive money. Again – Please note that earning money is not wrong, but earning “excessive” money, more than our requirement is what is wrong! This needs to be understood by us as we move ahead in our daily lives. We should try and spend time with our family, nurture our kids in a good way, so that they would become future leaders of this great country! All of us should make a conscious effort together in making this happen!

Moreover, we should also realize that working for “extra” hours at office is not going to result in any kind of an extra achievement. Some people have this habit of leaving for office as early as 7:30 AM in the morning and coming back home by 11:30 PM at night! Literally these people come home only to sleep. By doing this, all we are going to earn is poor physical and mental health. It is important that we should develop this habit of saying “NO” for an answer. On a personal note, when I was in France during my PhD days, one thing that I observed there impressed me a lot – The French people have strict working hours. If the closing time of office is 5 PM, the office completely shuts down by 5 PM, and there is no 5:01 PM! Whereas in India, if we’ve to close down by 5 PM, we start our work only after 5 PM! This is the result of poor planning and poor execution of the workload in most cases. Thus we need to understand that planning our workload and charting out a clear time schedule for all our priorities and activities is extremely important.

By failing to do so, we should understand one more important aspect here too – If we’ve to totally devote time only for my professionalism, then where is the time for Bhagawan? Where is the time for focusing on ourselves, and on our “Aatman” or “Soul”? Where is the time for our regular prayers and our “Nithya-Anushtaana”? Nowadays, people even talk about having a “Balanced diet”. Even in this we are not balanced today! Unable and (many a time) lazy to cook at home, we’ve become so much dependent on restaurants and fast food outlets. Little do we know and realize the consequences of such food habits and it is a pity in the modern day world that we have started having “Blood Pressure”, “Diabetes”, etc. at a very young age!

Hence, let this important episode be an eye-opener for all of us to work towards a change in our lifestyle! Let us think within us, ponder within ourselves and look for solutions to come out of this menace. The important message from this episode is that, everything in life should have a time – Be it our professional commitments, prayers, recreation, fulfilling family roles, taking care of kids, parents, etc. We should be able to balance our time accordingly to satisfy all requirements perfectly.

Let us join hands together and make a conscious attempt to implement this in our day-to-day lives! We shall wait till the next episode to witness yet another important aspect from the “Vidura Neeti”. Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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