From The Book- The Gita Way


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Releasing Soon ‘The Gita Way’


Feeling proud to announce that my book The Gita Way is due for release by end of this month. Soon it will be available on Amazon for pre-order. Will update again the relevant link once it is released.

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The Gita Way is an irreligious take on the tenets of the Bhagavad Gita. Without delving into either mythological or God-centric discourse, the book attempts to understand and explain various insights from the Gita through, in the author’s words, derived theory and application. The Gita Way attempts to shed light on matters of self-realisation, and identifying and following the path to achieve the purpose of life.

Within the framework of Vedic philosophy represented by Gita, this book explores:

  • How to discover the swa-bhava, the inherent natural strength of our real-self?
  • Is my profession aligned with my swa-bhava? What is my purpose of life?
  • What is the real meaning of moksha, the liberation? How the realization of individual purpose leads us to attain supreme purpose we are born to achieve?

Using the principles of Gita, this book presents innovative findings on theory of prarabdha, the luck or destiny, role of knowledge and karma, continuous improvement, yoga of universal harmony and yoga of devotion. To highlight few, in chapter combined discipline of knowledge and karma, we introduce most important part of their research -centring. Centring summarizes power of combined application of yoga of knowledge and karma along with simplified theory of spirit and supreme spirit. Chapter Vision of Universal Form and Yoga of Liberation simplifies the meaning of moksha, the state of liberation by linking it to the attainment of the supreme purpose of life. Chapters on Yoga of Devotion and Continuous improvement focus on recipe of staying on the unique path of achieving individual goal.

Unlike other books on Bhagavad Gita, The Gita Way is not a chapter wise discourse. Instead it presents deduced concepts in first place supported with relevant reference from the whole Gita. For example, in the first chapter of the Gita Way, you may get a reference of last chapter of Gita relevant to the topic of discussion.

To know more please visit facebook page at following link:  The Gita Way

at the end of the great war


Barbarika was woefully shocked to see the impact war has created. Perhaps he regretted why he wished to participate in such duel between two of the biggest armies of the ancient civilisation. Battlefield becomes the biggest loser in any war and it was evident there. The head of Barbarika with its flesh and cells was still active and witnessing the war nearing its conclusion.

Sage Vyasa was on the rescue operation, saving spirits still intact and ensuring a smooth departure of those who could not hold the body of soldiers died fighting heroically. The majority of soldiers who died would be forgotten. Those who survived would take years to heal. They, from both sides, unconditionally fought for their leaders, for the crown of Hastinapur, ignorant to the gain from victoriousness. Barbarika’s peculiar wish was about to end. He had witnessed enough of the war with his living head, without the body, remained after his own sacrifice. He might be appraising sage’s effort post-war, but would probably regret watching these all.

Before Barbarika’s liberation, sage Vyasa approached him and asked “your special boon granted by Krishna is about to over now. We thank you for keeping your pain intact and being alive in last eighteen days. However, before your salvation, we would like to hear from you about the war, about the hero of the war, about all you witnessed”

“I am grateful that lord Krishna granted me such a wish” Barbarika replied ” however, had I know the damage this war created, I would have wished otherwise” Barbarika took a deep breath, slowly blinking his eyes and continued “In the beginning I was thrilled to be part of this war, I wanted to show my strength and the art I learned in so many years. I never thought of the cause of war, or even the outcome, the gains and the pains. The only thing was there in my mind was the duty of a warrior. However, after witnessing the great war, I am thankful that Krishna had given me an opportunity to sacrifice myself and not being part of this loathful conflict”

Barbarika looked into the eyes of Sage Vyasa, who seemed not surprised by Barbarika’s comments as if he knew the inevitable pains of post-war damages. “Just before the war I saw humans standing on the battlefield, some of them are with purpose, ready to fight for a cause. Some of them were just following their respective leaders ignorant to both cause and gain of winning the war. Some were warriors, well prepared, looked like they are born for this day. Some looked like they know everything, the cause, righteousness and amiss, still taken one side” Barabarika said with a satirical smile and continued.

“Just as the war began I saw an illumination equivalent to thousand suns in the center. I felt the unbearable heat of that energy, and it was difficult to glaze over it. I noticed thousands of arms emerging out of that energy releasing Sudarshan Chakra in all directions. Then I witnessed ‘Kali’ roaming around collecting beheaded heads all over the field”

Barkarika took a pause and concluded “I saw only two persons in the field- Krishna with Sudarshana Chakra and Kali with hunger to decimate everything”

” Now I am ready to leave for salvation” said Barbarika ” But before that can I ask you a question Maharishi?”

Sage Vyasa nodded the permission. Barbarika asked, “Would Pandavas be happy after winning this war?”

Vyasa smiled and replied ” You know the answer my dear invincible Barbarika. You saw Krishna and Kali everywhere, that is the destiny. Pandavas followed Krishna in the war not for happiness. They fought to establish Dharma for righteousness”

Barbarika was now ready to depart from his deteriorating remains of the body, he took a deep breath probably the last one.

Why was Barbarika sacrificed?


056 Mahabharata Warriors at Angkor Wat

Barbarika was one of the heroes of Mahabharata who never got his due in the history of time. The people, who know this character, know that he could have been the best warrior in the great war of Mahabharata. Unfortunately, he did not get the chance to prove this point.

Barbarika, who earned an exceptional skill to destroy the complete army in just one shot of an arrow, once demonstrated the same to Krishna. Krishna asked him to pierce all the leaves of a ‘Peepal’ tree. While Barbarika was chanting the mantra just before releasing the arrow, Krishna took one leaf of the tree and hid it under his foot. Barbarika released the arrow and it did what it meant, after piercing all the leaves it started revolving around Krishna’s feet. The demonstration of this skill surprised everyone who witnessed. Barbarika claimed that he could finish the war in just a few hours. The interesting part of the story was Barbarika’s pledge to fight always from losing side. Krishna knew that this warrior has the capacity to diminish any side, and so the other side will always be the losing one; and if Barbarika changes sides, he would kill everyone on both sides of the war. Krishna foresaw the consequences of using Barbarika in the war and decided that Barbarika should be sacrificed. He asked Barbarika, to whom he considers his guru. He replied that all the skills he earned keeping only lord Krishna in his mind, so he, lord Krishna, is the prime guru. Then Krishna asked for gurudakshina (fee or gift asked by teachers for their teachings). He asked the head of Barbarika in the gurudakshina. Barbarika took no time to cut his head and gave it to Krishna on his own and in return, Krishna granted him a wish to live till the battle of Mahabharata ends and watch the same from a nearby mountain.

Now I have two points to discuss. One, why was Barbarika sacrificed? Was that the only option left to Krishna? Two, if the consequences were different, could Barbarika have proved to be the greatest warrior of time?

Arjuna emerged as the hero of the Great war of Mahabharata. If I my assumptions are right, most of the heroes are made. On the way of their making, lots of Barbarika are sacrificed. The heroes we know need to be judged whether they are an Arjuna, a Barbarika or a Krishna. And if you want to be an Arjuna, you need a Krishna. This conclusion seems a little political and conflicting to the religious belief we hold. So I am leaving this topic open for a debate till my, opposite and concluding argument in next paragraph.

The other side of the argument is the indecisiveness of Barbarika. He made a pledge which could not make him loyal to anyone. If Krishna allowed Barbarika to participate in Great War of Mahabharata, he could finish the war only by killing himself because any side represented by Barbarika were the winning one. In this conclusion, lord Krishna took a call, in the interest of Dharma, and scheduled the destiny of Barbarika a little before. If I argue with religious belief in lord Krishna, there is a message in this story. Whenever there is indecisiveness in your mind, remember you are killed. Our skills and knowledge do not count when we are not on one side of a decision. You can only fight from one side.

Recently, this story is adopted in ‘theory of indecisiveness’ section of my book ‘The Gita Way’ which is due for release in May 2016. To know more about the book please visit.http://www.amazon.in/dp/9380914873

(Source of the image used in the post: 056 Mahabharata Warriors at Angkor Wat Photograph from Angkor Wat in Cambodia taken by Anandajoti, downloaded from Wikimedia Commons)

GOLDEN LEAVES


I saw a young man in hurry to catch the local train with a purpose. Then I saw a young boy moving his buffaloes in open field to feed them and enjoying alone by playing with a cricket ball. I also sew a sweet young couple moving along a village road, calm and cool without any talk. I see lot of similar and different people moving around with and without a purpose with some or other emotion without demonstrating any. Then I ask few questions to myself. Who among those are happy? Who among those going to create history? Who among those is both successful and satisfied with his or her success? Who among those inherited a lot to make his given identity and who’s going to create the same?
Then I saw a huge vegetation of forest land with dry but golden leaves waiting to disappear just before fall. I got some clue and some of my answer. The trees and disappearing golden leaves signify completion of a life cycle and transformation into a new one. End is not the right word so I am using completion which is destined. Good or bad, fruitful or fruitless the trees will lose their leaves. However; just before disappearing, leaves become golden representing prosperity which seems to be notional but actually not. Philosophically completion is good as it is followed by transformation and reincarnation and sets a fresh start. So in the end (actually at the completion) everything is good. All of my questions remain insignificant at this conclusion. Is that what Bhagvad Gita says as ultimate detachment?
I tried to derive the answer from Bhagvad Gita itself. The building block of human life cycle, philosophically, can be categorized into inherited wealth (money, language, religion, society etc. at the time of birth), learning (knowledge, attitude, skills, insights etc), Application of learning (KARMA), Wealth creation (Knowledge, money, language, religion, society etc) and finally dissipating wealth. In the whole process there is no physical gain. That’s why Gita questions attachment with physical gains. There should not be any confusion with inactivity. As there is a gain, the golden leaves, and the base of reincarnation, called spiritual gain. Spiritual gain comes from KARMA, the right activity for right purpose, the DHARMA, the ultimate goal. (DHARMA is not religion specific; it means the ultimate goal of human being). To know KARMA, adequate knowledge and adequate health is required to apply knowledge. This is where inheritance becomes important which is basically BHAGYA, the luck and it’s not in any one’s hand. So the only thing left is KARMA to gain real wealth. So the sights I mention in first paragraph have no difference. The real difference if can be measured with spiritual gains it would have been very easy to answer all my doubts. Even though, if I assume happiness close to spiritual gain, it’s almost impossible to decide by just watching. The rural boy playing with cricket ball and buffaloes could be happier than the chairman of a multi billion dollar company. Its difficult, so no measurement, no confusion. At the completion every things going to look like same, like golden leaves. Let’s gain a better root to make sure the new leaves waiting to sprout is more beautiful and healthy.

KARMA YOGA


If you believe in Karma, you would not do anything just out of habbit.
Bagavad Gita says your Karma decided fortune of your future course of life and beyond. Quality of Karma becomes top most concern as our duty. Gita also says Karma should always be directed towards duty of Dharma. Literal meaning of Dharma is religion. But its significant is above that. It is basically your ultimate goal as directed by your purest inner self. So Karma should always be for a very positive purpose and so it should be carefully designed.
Most of us will agree that more than 99% of our Karma come just out of our daily routine or habit without any purpose. Very few of us takes care of a very long term objective while deciding education or career. Our bringing up comes under a high supervision of our parents so something we can blame to our surroundings; but not all. When we start taking our own decisions we must be clear about our ultimate goal or a long term perspective of our duties. It is true for our smallest activities too. We must carefully choose our talk, letters, comments based on relatively bigger objective. It can be done by self awareness and a live consciousness while in action.

“Nishkam Karma”, action without attachment


The concept of “Nishkama Karma”, action without attachment to both action/work and fruits expected there after, as mentioned in Hindu holy book Bhagwad Gita, can solve many of the management problems and can confuse few too.
One of the most popular saying of Bhagwad Gita is always misunderstood. The following stanza is always misunderstood as ” Do your work/duty without expecting any fruit/result”. Actually it is slightly different and can be explained with some more concepts mentioned in the very beginning lessons of Bhagwad Gita. I have interpreted in some different ways and tried to think it from the management perspective.
The Gita limits our domain of influence to our “Karma” only and not thereafter (ref; chapter 2, 47). So results of “Karma” are not in our hand. But if the definition of word “Karma” is analyzed closely it will confuse the above interpretation. Karma is not merely work but it is work for duty. Karma is not only activity but also it is activity with a positive purpose. When there is duty or activity with a purpose, Karma becomes Dharma. “Dharma” can be correlated with the ultimate goal of the life. So, though you should not be instrumental in making your actions bear fruit (chapter 2, 47), you may design your actions for your ultimate goal, the “Dharma”. When we talk about fruits, it is actually outcomes of your sequence of actions in the way to ultimate goal. Good or bad, there should not be any attachment to these outcomes. And so these outcomes should not divert you from your ultimate goal.
What are the benefits of detachment from fruits? As per the Gita, in advance stage of attaining yoga, there should be detachment from “Karma” too. This also have very interesting interpretation but I will try to discuss it in some other post. All these attachments creates aggression, fear and anger. Carrying forward from the conclusion in above paragraph, aggression, fear and anger have all the potential to divert you from your ultimate goal by changing your course of actions in search of pleasurable fruits. So to make your goal and your actions intact we must have stable mind. The Gita defines it as “Samatva”, evenness of mind. (chapter 2, 48).
From management perspective, replace Karma with strategy and Dharma or ultimate goal with vision or mission of the organization and all the above interpretations will hold true.
Your comments carry significant value
References from Gita
Chapter2,47; Your right is to work only and never to fruit thereof. Be not instrumental in making your actions bear fruit, nor let your attachment be to inaction.
Chapter2, 48; “Samatva”, evenness of mind is called “Yoga”.
Chapter2, 56; The sage, whose mind remains unperturbed amid sorrows, whose thirst for pleasures has altogether disappeared, and who is free from passion, fear and anger, is called stable of mind.
Chapter2,57; He who is unattached to everything, and when meeting with good and evil, neither rejoices nor recoils, his mind is stable.