Episode # 159 – Our actions should focus towards establishing “Dharma” and not merely for making money!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed the continued the discussion on the significance of the “Aathman” and how do we transcend into different births owing to our good and bad deeds (“Paapa” and “Punya Karma”). Although we transcend different births with different physical forms in each birth, our “Aathman” is the same throughout for all our births. Yesterday there was a juncture wherein we asked an important question as to how do we escape this cycle of birth and death? Is there any sort of escape route from this? The answer is definitely “yes”. If we’re able to neutralize and nullify both our “Paapa” and “Punya Karma” accounts to zero, then we become free from all “baggages” and thus we attain Moksha or Salvation or Bhagawan’s abode – Vaikunta. Until we are plagued with these baggages of “Paapa” and “Punya” we would still be lingering around in this world to exhaust all of them.

However we witnessed another clause to this point – Now that we’ve taken birth as a human being and in this birth, knowingly and unknowingly we’re accumulating fresh “Paapa” and “Punya” by our day-to-day activities. How do we address and nullify these fresh entries into our account? Do we need to take another birth to nullify these deeds again? The answer to this question is “not necessary”! If we perform our activities with complete detachment and without any expectation of the outcome of the activity, our “Paapa” and “Punya” account doesn’t get altered any further. The problem comes only when we have excessive attachment to whatever we do.

Now if we link this to modern day theories of Psychology and Management,  it says the same thing – If we do our job only with the outcome or the result in mind, we might tend to either underperform or overperform, because of the obsessiveness towards achieving the target. Whereas if we focus on the job in hand more than the target, we would be able to concentrate on how to complete the job with perfection. Once perfection is attained in our job, results would automatically be taken care of and we need not worry about it.

Many modern day “Organizational Behavior” theories too revolve around this important point wherein we say that in an organization, employees join with a set of expectations and if their expectations are not met, they resort to all sorts of rebellious activities that would hamper the growth and progress of the organization. This is why many researchers in this area stress upon the point that organizations need to create a good working environment to its employees so that their focus is only on the work and not on anything else. From the employees’ perspective, if we do our duty sincerely without compromising on our “Dharma” and ethics, results would automatically come and any organization would take care of us in a special way. It is always a common practice in the corporate setup that every organization would go the extra mile and would be ready to take any extreme step to somehow retain highly ethical, focused and high performing employees, come what may! Hence as employees, it is our “Dharma” to fall into this category. But how do we make sure that we would fall into this category? If we perform our tasks sincerely with perfection, but with complete detachment by not anticipating the outcome everytime, we can easily attain this level.

Thus we can see clearly that if we link all these points on detachment, we get excellent answers to modern day management problems. This might be an important point to ponder over for those of us who are in top positions in organizations. This once again reiterates the fact that the entire subject of Management that we discuss today is completely derived from the very principles of our own “Sanaathana Dharma”.

To apply this important concept into what’s happening in the current day, I shall explain another small analogy – Let us assume that we’re sitting on the bank of a fast flowing river and we’ve to cross the river with a small boat to reach the other bank. There is only one boat and that boat can carry only 5 persons at a time. We’re standing in a queue and there are some ten people in front of us in the queue. The time taken for the boat to ferry people from this bank to the other bank and return back is 30 minutes. Since we’re in the queue and we know that it would take half an hour for our turn to get into the boat, we start playing a game of gambling. If we assume that we’re not playing the gambling game without pledging our money into it, we would keep playing till the boat comes back and once the boat is ready we would be able to wrap up the game and enter into the boat. Whereas, if we start playing the same gambling game with our money and property, what would happen? We might either win or lose our money, isn’t it? The moment we start playing the same game with an expectation of a “definitive result” attached to it, our focus would be only on the money part of it and not on the boat anymore! Now if the boat comes and if it is time for us to board the boat, will we be able to stop the game? This might lead us to an unwanted fight within us over the loss/gain of money and ultimately the purpose of waiting for the boat is destroyed!

What do we infer from this story? If we treat a game as just a game, we can enjoy it and will be able to wrap it up without any harsh misunderstandings between people. This is a problem in today’s world – How many times do we see sports like cricket and football being treated as something beyond just a game? Especially in India, cricket is seen as a religion and not a game! For instance, if there is a match between India and Pakistan, what kind of a build-up do we give to it? Ultimately we end up transforming cricket (a game) into a political tool to encourage enmity amongst people! Why do we see people getting heart-broken if India doesn’t win a world cup final or any high profile tournament? It is because of our obsessiveness towards the outcome of the game! We need to think for a moment here – Can any human being or any team keep winning everytime whenever they take to the field? Every human being has limitations, isn’t it? This is what we fail to realize and the moment our Indian cricket team ends up on the losing side, fans go violent, ransack the houses of cricket players, etc. Whereas if we try and see cricket as a game, without getting obsessed with its outcome, we can enjoy the game more than what we do now!

Of course I’m not telling that we should never expect outcomes from anything. We should do. But what I’m trying to say here is that, the outcomes are to be surrendered to Bhagawan’s feet. However, this doesn’t mean that we do not work properly. We should give our 100% effort towards our action and surrender the result to Bhagawan.

Moreover, the outcome that we are working for, should be of a very high level and should benefit the society as a whole. For instance, today we find many universities and schools run by spiritual organizations and “Mutts”. If the main aim of these universities is to make money by opening new campuses all over the country, then the purpose doesn’t get served! Whereas, if the main aim of the spiritual organization is to spread the message of “Dharma” through these universities and schools, it is only then the ultimate purpose of establishing them at different places gets solved! Sadly today we see that even spiritual universities run behind commercial purposes and deviate from the principle of “Dharma” on the pretext of making money by projecting a “quick” growth! This system should change. Our very purpose of education is to spread the message of “Dharma”. As Sadguru Mata AmritanandamayiDevi aptly points out with her statement, “Education should be for life, more than for just a living!”

So for today, let us extend our introspection with respect to detachment and how to practise it effectively without compromising on perfection in doing our activities and tasks. We shall wait till the next episode to witness more of Vidura’s advice! 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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