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What is the purpose of the mind?

Mind-Power

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar words regarding mind:

Just let it be! That is the secret to handle the mind.

If you try to get rid of the mind, it becomes a monster. If you just let the mind be, it will vanish!
When you are not aware of the tricks and the mumbo-jumbo going on in the mind, then life is misery. This is because life is based on the mind.

When you recognize that all this is in my mind (judging people and situations, holding concepts about the self and others); you recognize that you are making a mess of everything in your mind.

‘This is how it should be’, or, ‘It should not be like this’, whenever such thoughts come, it means the mind is coming into play; this is all part of the world. This is where you need to latch onto that non-changing, abstract, invisible energy or power. When you latch onto it, you are no longer caught in the grip of the mind.

When we are in the grip of the mind, we make ourselves and others miserable.

Look back at your mind, not at others, and see what drama and pain has been caused by it. When you do that, it is no longer pain, it is entertainment. It is like a multi-channel television, a movie channel that has caused so much comedy, suspense, drama, and misery in your life.

This is the reason why all the great saints and poets always addressed their own mind, ‘Oh, my dear mind, how fascinating you are, why do you get caught up in so many things! Why do you not recognize that which is so magnanimous, and so beautiful?’Rumi, Kabir, all the great saints, have sung about their own mind.

In The Bhagavad Gita also, it is said that the mind is responsible for your freedom and bondage.

The mind is a friend and an enemy. When the mind is your enemy, it ties you down to your past impressions and experiences, because it does not let you see things with a fresh new eye. This is because everything we perceive is through the mind; even knowledge is perceived through the mind. When the mind is your enemy, it makes you judgmental, brings misery, stiffness and unhappiness.

When the mind is your friend, it makes you relax, smile, brings happiness, freedom, and liberation. So, the mind can be our greatest enemy or our best friend.

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Whole world is one Energy

Following talk is given by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at Art of Living Ashram , Bangalore.

When Lord Krishna sat in Samadhi that is when he recited the Gita. After the war, once Arjuna asks him that I have forgotten the beautiful knowledge that you gave me, at that time there was a lot of crowd and so much commotion on the war field and I didn’t listen to you properly. Please tell me again what you said. Then Krishna replied,” No, I can’t tell you now, at that time I was in samadhi , so I made you sit and whatever came to me I told you at that time, now I cannot again tell you again”.

So whatever Lord Krishna said was not a person saying this knowledge but the universe speaking. These messages came from the Shiva tattva, the atma tattva.
He said, ’I am the sun, I am the rain, truth and untruth, everything is me.’ This is very deep knowledge.

sri sri ravi shankar on world as energy

If you see everything is made from one tattva, from atoms. What is your mother made of, father made of? Everyone’s body is made from the same thing, from food grains. Food grains are consumed and the body is developed, whoever eats, they all grow and the body is made from that. So everyone is made from one substance, one power and one energy. So, he is saying the whole world is made from that one consciousness, one energy, one substance.
Now if you see the fan, mike and light are all working with one current, with electricity, isn’t it? But it seems like the mike is different, the light is different and the fan is something else. They all look different but they are all made up of the same thing. In the same way, if the sun was not there then the earth cannot exist. If the earth was not there, how could there be plants or trees or human beings? So what is our source? First from the physical aspect our source is the earth; more subtle than that it is the sun. What is the source of the sun? The universal energy – and so Lord Krishna says that universal energy is ME.
That is the atma that is you and that is me and everything is made of this universal energy and this is what today’s scientist also say. Those who study quantum physics this is what they say – that the whole world is made up of one energy. Earlier it was said that there were different protons, electrons functioning and making things work but now they say it is all one energy, everything is a wave functions. What we consider physical things are not there in reality, it is all just energy and this is what Lord Krishna has said many years ago in the Bhagavad Gita.

‘Avajananti mam mudham manusim tanumasritam, Param bhavam ajananto mama bhuta- mahesvaram’, these people do not see my true nature as that one universal energy, consciousness and they are thinking I am a human being. I am in a human body but the consciousness inside me is that supreme consciousness. I am not a human being. I am a power.

Sri Sri Shares 7 Ways to Achieve Inner Peace and Prosperity

Sri Sri on peace

Each new year, people wish each other happiness, prosperity and peace, but only a few seem to know how to be peaceful — like only a few know how to make money. Here are some steps that might help one to find the most needed inner peace.

1. Take Time for Yourself

Often, we become so engrossed in our day-to-day activities, we simply end up gathering more and more information, and do not take time out to think and reflect. Then we feel dull and tired.

A few quiet moments everyday are the source of creativity. Silence heals and rejuvenates and gives you depth and stability. Sometime during the day, sit for a few minutes; get into the cave of your heart, eyes closed, and keep the world away.

Taking some time for yourself improves the quality of your life.

2. Know the Impermanence of Life

See the impermanence in this life.

Millions of years have passed and millions more will come. Nothing is permanent. In this broad, universal context, what is your life? It is not even a drop in the ocean.

Just open your eyes, and ask, “Who am I? Why am I on this planet? What is my lifetime?”

An awareness dawns, and you will stop worrying about little things. All smallness will simply drop and you will be able to live every moment of your life.

When you review your life in a broader context, the quality of your life improves.

3. Perform Random Acts of Kindness

Make a commitment to make this world a better place to live. Do some acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. Service alone can bring contentment in life. It creates a sense of connectedness. When you bring some relief to someone through selfless service, good vibrations come to you. When you show kindness, your true nature, which is love and peace, come to the surface.

4. Make Your Smile Cheaper

Every day, every morning, look at the mirror and give a good smile to yourself. Don’t let your smile be snatched away by anybody! Usually, you give your anger freely and smile rarely, as though a smile is costly. Make your smile cheaper and anger expensive!

5. Make Meditation a Part of Life

When we have higher goals in life it leads to stress and restlessness, which can be released through a few minutes of meditation and introspection. Meditation gives you deep rest. The deeper you are able to rest, the more dynamic you will be in activity.

What is meditation?

• Mind without agitation is meditation.
• Mind in the present moment is meditation.
• Mind that has no hesitation, no anticipation is meditation.
• Mind that comes back home to the source, which is peace and joy, is meditation.
6. Be a Student Always

Know that you are a student forever. Do not underestimate anybody. Knowledge may come to you from any corner. Each occasion teaches you and each person teaches you. The world is your teacher. When you are always looking to learn, you will stop underestimating others. Humility will dawn in your life.

7. Feel Grateful

Our love, faith and belief should be deep-rooted, and then everything else moves on its own. The feeling that “I am blessed” can help you overcome any failure. Once you realize that you are blessed, then all the complaints and grumbling disappear, all the insecurities disappear and you become grateful, contented and peaceful.

Source : HuffingtonPost

Secrets of Meditation

Sri Sri On Meditation

Meditation is the journey from sound to silence, from movement to stillness, from a limited identity to unlimited space.
Last night, I said that there are five ways through which meditation happens. Let us recapitulate.
The first is by physical manipulation. Yoga, Tai-Chi, all these come under that. By stretching and contracting the body, the mind experiences a state of awareness that you can call meditation.

The second is through breathing exercises and pranayama, the mind becomes quiet and still.

The third is through any of the five senses and sensory objects; one can experience a state of no-mindedness, no thoughts, calmness, serenity and inner beauty.

If you observe a child, a baby enjoying a lollypop or a toffee, you can see how the child is engrossed totally in enjoying that piece of candy. You ask the baby, ‘What is your name?’ It won’t answer. They are fully into it. Being 100% engrossed in a particular sensory object brings you to a state of meditation.

On a free day, just lie down and keep looking at the sky, a moment comes when the mind becomes still, there are no thoughts and you don’t know where you are, but you know you are. An experience of the center everywhere and circumference nowhere. Limitless awareness can happen through just watching an empty space, because our mind is also space; consciousness is a space.

You listen to music and then a moment comes when you are completely engrossed in the music and you snap out of it. You no longer hear the music, but you know you are and yet you have no boundaries. In the language of Yoga, it is called Laya Yoga, which means dissolving in it. That leads you to meditation.

Any wonderment or astonishment also leads you to that state. Whenever a ‘Wow!’ arises in you, there is no mind, there are no thoughts, but you just are.

Sense of touch, smell, taste, sight and sound can all lead you into meditation, provided you do it in the right way. It needs a certain skill to experience that.

Emotions can lead you to a state of meditation; both positive and negative emotions, not only positive. A state of shock can also take you into meditation. Again, it is a little risky.

You know, when you feel utterly hopeless, you say, ‘I give up!’ When you are very angry, what do you say? ‘I give up!’ It means, ‘This is it. I can’t take it anymore.’

During those moments, if you don’t slip into frustration or depression or violence, you will find that there is a moment where it snaps and there is no mindedness. So, whether it is positive emotions or negative emotions, like fear, the mind stands still, it stops. It can lead you into that spot.

The next is intellectual stimulation, through knowledge, through awareness you can go into meditation. This is called Jnana Yoga.

If you have been into a space museum, you are in a different state of consciousness when you come out of the museum. There is a different context, because you have seen yourself in the context of the universe. Who are you? What are you? Where are you? How are you in reference to the unfathomable, infinite universe?

If you have studied Quantum physics, you start to see that everything is just atoms, just a wave function, just energy. If you really listen to Quantum physics and then you study Vedanta or the Art of Meditation or Yoga, you will find striking similarities. You will find that the same language is being spoken.

Adi Shankara said, ‘All that you see doesn’t exist’.

One of the top scientists of our times, Dr. Hans-Peter Durr said, ‘I studied matter for the last 35 years, only to find out that it does not exist! I have been studying something that does not exist’. So, through knowledge also you can experience a state of meditation.

I won’t go into the benefits of meditation. You can go to google and find out. There are greater minds that have done a lot of research on meditation and have put it there – what are all the benefits of meditation. Any meditation has some benefits. But the secrets of meditation, that is what we are interested in. We are inquisitive about this – what are the secrets?!

There is a difference in the Orient and in the Occidant when it comes to secrets. In the Occidant, anything that is shameful is kept a secret. In the orient anything that is sacred is kept a secret. I find a startling difference between the two.
If you say something is very secret, it must be very sacred. That is the attitude in the orient. In the orient, a shameful act is never kept a secret, it is always confessed. There is nothing to hide there. But what is to be secret is one’s mantra – a sound which is kept very secret in the mind.

Why is it kept secret? It is said that mantras are like seeds and seeds sprout in secrecy. You put the seed under the ground and cover it with mud and then the seed sprouts and becomes a tree. Of course the sprouts you eat are different. The ancient concept of mantra is a sound which is kept very secret in you grows from inside; means it resonates inside you. Anything that you keep to yourself as a secret does not leave you but it takes you deeper and deeper to the subconscious layers. That is one of the reasons for confession also.

Why do you confess and say something out? This is so that it does not go deep into your consciousness. A mistake or sin that you did, once you confess, it just goes out. It no longer goes in and bothers you. But the mantra; a sound which has been given, and that too by one who is deep into meditation, one who has mastered it, helps you go deeper. The sound (mantra) is given to another person, a student saying, ‘Keep it to yourself, it is your personal mantra, and let it grow.’
Here the meaning of the sound is not important, just the vibration is important. Understanding the meaning is superficial compared to the vibrational aspect of any sound.

It could be the same sound which everybody knows.

In olden days they used to do four days of celebration to give a mantra. They would call all the relatives and friends when the child was going to be initiated. They would bring horses and put the child on the back of the horse and have a procession.

This was the ancient way of doing it.

Spiritual journey is considered very sacred, very personal and yet a matter of pride. You are getting a secret sound and that is a big pride because it is sacred.

Meditation happens in transition. Actually meditation happens, you can’t do it. You can only create a congenial atmosphere for it to happen.

Somewhere in the teenage the mind starts drifting. It doesn’t happen before teenage. Before the hormones become active in our body it does not happen. A child’s mind is always focused on something and it sticks there. But as the hormones in our body starts functioning more and more, the mind starts swinging and wavering, and that focused attention becomes less and less.

In earlier days, before this happened, before someone gets into their teenage, they used to train him or her in yoga and meditation. So all through the teenage when the mind is swinging and going here and there, already a youth is trained how to handle the mind. It is a very good age to start, at 8 or 9 years old. Just before the hormonal changes start appearing is the right time to initiate one into meditation, yoga and all the martial arts. Body is ready and is flexible and mind is ready.
This is most ideal, but any time is good to start meditation, any age is okay. But the most ideal is to start at 8 or 9 years old.
Today, even 8 and 9 year old kids have such a wavering mind. So many things influence the child. Like food has an influence on the mind, environment has an influence, lifestyle has an influence. So many things have an influence. But all those influences are minor.

Sit comfortably, spine erect and body relaxed.
You know, sometimes people sit with their body so stiff for meditation. The whole time they will be so body conscious and what comes out of them is only anger later on because they put so much effort, and that effort and stiffness doesn’t really bring in that meditative quality.
If you have meditated, you should feel light like a flower, where your inside feels so soft, beautiful, delicate, delicious and comfortable. But if you feel uptight, angry and upset inside then mediation has not happened. Now don’t sit and think, ‘Oh I have to feel very soft and gentle, and whatever Guruji said. This has to happen.’ It is not going to happen because the anxiety itself will be a block for that to happen. That is why I said it is a very delicate situation. You cannot expect things to happen, you simply have to be. Just be!

Experiences come, they change and they go. Everyday there will be different experiences, never mind, just the procedure needs to be correct. Procedure is what, not being uptight and at the same time not being loose in the body. If you start with your body being loose then it doesn’t work. If you start with lying down on your coach with your legs up, thinking you are meditating, you are fooling yourself. It is not going to work. It is not like the way you watch television, with a bag of potato chips. ‘Oh, by eating also you can get into meditation. Guruji has said it’, no! Your spine erect but body relaxed, your shoulders relaxed, you start like that. Not stiff but your shoulders are relaxed and head is straight. Then you close our eyes and let go.
During meditation if the head goes down, it is okay. Your head may go down or go to the side, whatever position it takes is fine. But you don’t start with that.

Source : Speaking Tree

Two Steps to Enlightenment

Enlightenment or evolution has got two steps. The first step is from becoming somebody to nobody. It is not getting stuck in something or somebody. You get stuck being somebody in two cases – either you are too special or you are hopeless. People get stuck in the seat. If you don’t give them a proper seat, that’s it. That pushes their button. “What difference does it make if I sit on the sofa or on the carpet? I remain what I am.” Meditation is from being somebody to becoming nobody. Dissolving of ego is from somebody to nobody.

The second step is from nobody to everybody. That is the state where you feel oneness with everybody, you feel that you are a part of everyone and everyone is a part of you. That is the reason why Jesus said, “If you have to go to my Father, there is no other way, you have to go through me and me alone.” Krishna said the same thing to Arjuna. He addresses him in three terms. First he says, “Surrender to Him who lives in everybody’s heart”. Then he says, “Just surrender to me.” And then he says, “Surrender to that divinity that is deep in yourself and get out of this illusion of ‘me’ and ‘you’ and all the separation.”

The whole universe is one organism, one living Being. And each mind is just a part of that. This is the highest knowledge, the universal truth. You are in everybody. Only then the real service also begins. That service is really authentic. You see someone suffering and you feel you are suffering too or you see somebody getting hurt, and you also feel the pain.

See, the body is decaying. Whatever you do, your body is perishable. The direction of body is towards perishing, is towards decay. And the direction of your soul should be towards the immortal, the non-changing, imperishable. As you grow older, your mind should mature and look towards that eternal something that is undying, that doesn’t age. That is deep in you: the spirit.

There is so much suffering in the world and that’s why we need to be very active in giving this knowledge to as many people as possible. You can. All those who have learned meditation, and all those who have not learned meditation also, just get together, do some reading and satsang, meditate together, eat together; share lives together. Once in fifteen days, once in a month, have a sort of community get-together. And talk about knowledge. Instead of gossiping or talking something just trivial, why not talk about knowledge, wisdom? Putting your mind into something that is eternal is worth doing.

We need to improve the quality of life. Just look at the children when they are in kindergarten, in nursery school; there is so much joy, there is so much happiness, celebration in their life. And, as they grow older, when they go to high school, see how they are? Do they grow in joy, in bliss, in celebration, or are they going towards violence, hatred, unfriendly behavior, stress, frustration, agitation and dullness? Is this what we are doing to the children? And we spend thousands of dollars to bring this suffering on to them. And this we call as education? Losing all the human qualities is called education! That’s ridiculous, no?
And this is not an instance here and there. This is widespread, nearly the same all over the globe. Maybe not so much in developing countries but especially in all the developed countries and metropolitan cities – there is absolutely no human quality at all being expressed. I wouldn’t say they have died out. They are there but are never expressed. So there is such frustration, such pain, such suffering all over and we need to do something about it.

Source : Speaking Tree

Sri Sri on Bhagavad Gita

Terrorists are cowards. Whenever terror has struck in any part of the world, we have heard people say it is an act of cowardice. A coward runs away from action but harbours all negative feelings and does it surreptitiously.

This is exactly what happened to Arjuna. Arjuna was angry, upset, sad and wanted to run away. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna said not to be a coward. So, it is an antidote to terrorism. Lord Krishna said bravery is the way – face the war when it is inevitable and do your duty.

A terrorist is stuck in his identity – he hides it, has no rationale and inflicts pain. Whereas Bhagavad Gita helps one to transcend one’s identity, encourages reason and infuses wisdom. In this sense, it could be called the antidote to terrorism.

The duty of a policeman, a soldier or a king is to be impartial for the sake of the nation, whether it is their mentors or relatives. Terrorists are never impartial.
A soldier is brave and a terrorist is a coward. A soldier is protecting and preventing violence and a terrorist is inflicting pain and suffering. The Bhagavad Gita is the scripture of bravery in both realms of physical and metaphysical.

Terrorism is deeply steeped in hatred. An act without hatred is what Bhagavad Gita propounds. The Bhagavad Gita epitomizes the correct action – of righteousness, of upliftment of spirit and an action or duty that ought to be performed even in the most compelling situation.

In the last 5149 years of the existence of the Bhagavad Gita, there is no evidence of someone becoming a terrorist after reading it. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi wrote commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita and it was an inspiration for his non-violent movement. The Bhagavad Gita is a unique scripture which caters to the entire range of human evolution, comprising every level of this vast existence.

Bhagavad Gita stands for poise and equanimity and for performing one’s designated duty. Lord Krishna does not encourage everyone to take the weapons and fight but a soldier cannot sell bananas in the market. He has to take his weapon to bring security to his people.
If Bhagavad Gita is a terrorist scripture then all military academies in the world are nothing but terrorist organizations. Doesn’t this sound strange? Would the courts ban Lenin, Marx and Mao Tso-Tung, who to stay in power inflicted terror on millions?

A terrorist or a coward hides and inflicts pain on others whereas a soldier sacrifices his own life to bring security and peace to people. They both may take the gun but their intentions are poles apart.

Bhagavad Gita encourages reasoning and dialogue while terrorists are blind to any reasoning and are closed to any form of dialogue.

Interestingly, in any military training all over the world, the soldiers are asked to see the enemies as dangerous objects which need to be eliminated. The psychology behind indoctrination of such an idea is that when they think the enemy is a human being the soldiers are unable to raise their arms. There are many such survival tactics where the army men are desensitized.

A similar situation happened to Arjuna.
Lord Krishna went step by step to deal with Arjuna’s emotions, ego, mindsets and concepts. He finally touched on the nature of his spiritual being; revealing him the highest knowledge and making him realize his eternal nature. This brought him enormous strength and then propelled him to perform his worldly duties. A doctor cannot be taken as a dacoit just because he opens up the stomach of the patient.

Lord Krishna says, ‘no sin begets him whose intellect is unattached and free from cravings and aversions, even if he kills the whole world.’
Now, the condition of an intellect free from cravings and aversions itself counters terrorism. Terrorism is done when the intellect is deeply attached and is hateful. The metaphors and the high standards of humanism exhibited in the Bhagavad Gita are unparalleled.

Jesus had said, ‘I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.’
In the Quran, there are many verses which talk about striking terror in the hearts of the infidels and cutting off their fingers. By these standards if you still call Bhagavad Gita a terrorist scripture then you have to precede such statements by Bible and Quran.

The fact is that it is not the scriptures that inflict terrorism; it is the mis-interpretation of an ignorant and stressed mind which justifies their actions quoting scriptures.

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What Does Business Have To Do With Spirituality? – Sri Sri

Sri Sri on business & spiritualityTwo important instruments were used for all of us to be here today. One is a scissor and the other is a needle. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be wearing the garments that we are wearing today.
A fabric needs to be cut, and then it needs to be sewed; and that is how all the suits, and the pyjamas-kurtas, and everything that we are wearing, exists. In the same way, Business and Spirituality – one cuts and the other joins, and they are both essential.
You can’t have a fabric which is simply cut and not sewed. That is of no use. Similarly, you cannot sew something which is not cut.

Sometimes people ask me, ‘What does business have to do with spirituality? Business is all about passion, and spirituality is all about dispassion. They are poles apart’.
Business says, ‘Go aggressively and earn’, and spirituality says, ‘Give up everything that you have’.
Although they appear to be completely opposite to each other, I say, they are complimentary. Like the in-breath and out-breath. When you breathe in, that is passion; but you cannot hold it for too long, you have to breathe out, and that breathing out is dispassion.

In my understanding, for business, you need five ingredients.

1.A Congenial Atmosphere 
If you are asked to go and do business in some parts of Kashmir, or go and do business in Afghanistan or Iraq, the first thing you will say is no.
Take for example, Chhattisgarh. Suppose, someone says, ‘Put up a factory in Bastar’, you would say no. That is because there is no peace there.
When there is no peace, no prosperity comes, and when there is no prosperity, no peace can happen. Peace and prosperity are interlinked . It is because of prosperity that peace comes, (not all the time though), and it is because of peace that prosperity comes.
Out of the 612 districts in this country, 205 districts are affected by Naxalism, and these are the districts that are poverty stricken. Why? Peace is missing. The rest of the districts are very prosperous.
First, you need to bring peace, and then prosperity can follow.

2.Passion to Do Business
Passion needs to be there; the passion to take challenges. Business is always risk-taking. You need energy to take the challenge to do business.

3. Capital and Other Ingredient

You have passion, but if you don’t have ingredients, then it would not be possible to go ahead.

4. Skills
You have all the materials you need, the place is congenial, but if you lack the skill, then you can’t be successful.

5. Something very abstract called, Luck
Just by one’s effort, if one could become very prosperous, then why are there so many people who put effort but don’t become prosperous?
If you go to Commercial Street here in Bangalore, you will see that there are some shops which are very prosperous, but the shops next to them are making a loss.
The Chamber of Commerce here would agree with me.
In Chickpet also, one shop is making landslide business and the next shop is going bankrupt.
All the jewelers are in one row, all the garment shops are in one row, even then, one is doing good business and the other is failing. How come? Nobody knows!
This area which we don’t know, is what spirituality is all about.

The whole material world, and all that we see, is run by a certain vibrational world which is subtler than what we see. The whole universe runs on vibration.
Many times it happens, you see someone, and you feel like talking to them and doing business with them. You see someone else and for no reason you have an aversion. You don’t want to do business with them. Why? It is because you feel something; you say, ‘I don’t get good vibes’. The universe is run by vibrations; by a subtle world (Sukshma Jagat).

So, spirituality is to do with all these five ingredients.
Spirituality enhances positive energy; it brings out the skills in you. And a few minutes of quietness, of silence, helps you tap into the source of intuition.
Intelligence and intuition, these two faculties are enriched by spirituality.

Again, here, spirituality doesn’t mean ‘doing something’, but it is ‘being quiet’. Allowing the mind to settle down; being centered and not taking sides. Going deep within oneself and appreciating the values of life in its totality; honoring life.
Spirituality helps one to enrich intuition and sharpen one’s intelligence.

See, when you want to invest, you make a guess, and it is a risk that you take. This is where intuition is important.Intuition is the right thought at the right time, and it is an important component for success in business. 
Now intuition comes to you when you balance your passion with dispassion; when you balance your profit with service; when you balance your aggressiveness to get things, with a compassion to give back to the society.
I’m not saying that you should not have the drive to do business aggressively, or that you should be very quiet and soft.
As a salesman, if you say, ‘My product is good, but the products of others are also good’, then that is not going to work!
You can say, ‘My product is the best’, but at the same time, having the compassion, having the ethics of honoring others too, is essential.
Intuition and sharpness of intelligence, sensibility and sensitivity, compassion combined with dispassion and passion, all of this brings such a balance to life that we can keep our smile throughout, whether we gain or lose in business. What is more important is keeping the smile.

If you have had some losses, why do you want to lose your smile also along with it?
If you have lost in the share market, you should at least keep your smile. Otherwise it is a double loss. And then a third loss will also happen, i.e., the loss of your health.

Caring for oneself, caring for one’s environment, and caring for the ethics in business is important.
You don’t like your subordinates to cheat you, then why would you cheat them?
You don’t want your customers or vendors to cheat you, then why would you do that?
When you don’t want others to do something to you, then you should not do that to others. This basic thing is the line of ethics, ‘I would not like anyone to cheat me, and so I will not cheat anyone.’

Now, if you ask me, ‘How is it possible to be hundred percent truthful and do business?’
I say, it is possible, and there are many such examples sitting here.
This conference will bring those principles in the limelight that people have practiced. And that will set an example of how ethics in business is possible.

Now, I am not asking you to be Satya Harishchandra.
In our ancient scriptures, there is a certain limit to speaking lies for business people.
It is like this, for a monk, he should not lie at all. For a king, he can lie one percent for the safety and security of the country. For a doctor, he can lie 2%. He can tell a person, ‘Don’t worry, I’m here with you’, though he knows that he’s going to go away. But for a businessman, it is said, he can lie 3%; not more than 3%.
3% is like salt in the food. You can’t have food in the salt, but a little bit of salt in the food is okay.
Today, the situation has become such that the food is in the salt, rather than salt in the food!

There is a story about Birbal, and I’m sure that many of you would have heard it.
Once Emperor Akbar passed a law, that anyone who tells a lie will be beheaded. He will be sent to the gallows. Hearing this, the whole of Delhi was shaking; like it is shaking today also. I think, it is the history of Delhi to keep shaking.
So, Delhi was shaking. In Chandni Chowk, all the businessmen gathered together and said, ‘We all have to go to the gallows because we always claim that ours is the best product, knowing too well that ours is not so go. So now, this law is suicide for us.’
Then came the turn of all the astrologers. They were even more worried, because they guessed and predicted some things, and if it went wrong, what would they do? So astrologers were all in trouble.
The priests were in trouble, doctors were in trouble, everybody got so worried because this law was simply absurd. Then they said, ‘Birbal, only you can help us’.
So, Birbal went to the King’s palace, and the guards stopped him and asked him, ‘Where are you going?’
He said, ‘I’m going to the gallows, I am going to be hanged’. This was a lie, because he was the most favored comedian of the palace. Why would the King push him into the gallows?
So he was produced in front of the King and they said, he lied. Now, if he was sent to the gallows, then what he said was true. The King would be blemished for punishing someone who was innocent. And, if he was not punished, the law would become obsolete.
The King was perplexed, he called all the Pundits, the ministers, and then Birbal said, ‘This is what it is! What you speak is not the truth, it is the intention which is the truth’.

So business people can speak just that little bit of lies, otherwise no one can market anything. No business can survive. So these are all codes of conduct in ethics.
Do not do something to others which you don’t want others to do to you.

The world is not in fragments. Society cannot be in watertight compartments, and spirituality and ethics are an integral part of a human being.
It is spirituality which develops character, and who does not want people with good character working under them? Business means people, right? You have to work with people. And the people working for you, don’t you want them to have integrity, honesty, straightforwardness and skill to deal with situations?
Tough situations come in every business and every organization, and you need skills to handle them. All this comes from our inner space which I call as the Spiritual Space.
So spirituality, business, politics, service activities, all together make life holistic. If any one component is missing, there will be chaos and not bliss.

I also want to bring attention to certain areas in India where business is still untapped.
One of them is tourism. India has so many tourist avenues, so many ancient sites where people would love to visit. But tourism has not been much explored.

The other area is garments. Garments here in India are very unique.

Third would be the food industry. If you travel around India, after every few miles or kilometers, you will find different varieties of food. Once, just out of inquisitiveness, I said, ‘Let’s have a vegetarian food festival in India’, and you know, 5600 food items were prepared by people. Seven tons of different type of food, all prepared by volunteers.
We organized this Annam Brahma program in Ahmedabad, and many of the dishes prepared, we had never heard of them before.
If you go to Tripura, they have some 40 to 50 varieties of food items and preparations which are not known to the general public. Similarly here in Karnataka, we have some special dishes, Obbatu, Chutney Pudi, Gojju, Villakai, and people love these.
We have not showcased the food industry as well as we can.

The fourth area is jewelry.

Then we have Ayurvedic Medicine which is 5000 year old; Ayurveda and the herbs, the Shirodhara and Abhinga massages, etc., are all picking.
It is a very beautiful system and you can say that it is the 21st century medicine. Many people appreciate this, and it is catching up very well in spas around the world. But we need to popularize it even more.

Then, we have Yoga, Spirituality and the Knowledge of the Vedanta.

Seventh is the IT industry. India is known for this, today.
It started with IT, and then Yoga and Meditation is also popular around the world.
I was told that in US alone, Yoga is a 27 billion dollar industry.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Karnataka, you can do a lot of exploration in these areas. We also here with us today businessmen from Russia, Nepal and so many other countries. It would be good if we can sit together and see how we can bring more prosperity to every part of the world. Not just to you and me, but to everyone.

Source : What Sri Sri said today