Spirituality for Managers

Ramnath Narayanswamy in DeccanHerald:

We begin with three golden rules. The first is a function of
articulation. It may be described as the effort to formulate your
ideal, explore your inner life and seek to accomplish it. Why? This is
because you were born to discover your purpose.

The second is a function of intention. Strive to be of service to
others because service to others is the highest service to God. To
witness the divine in every action and experience Him in all is the
greatest service that can be rendered unto Him. This is the meaning of
Christ’s injunction: “He that would be the greatest among you will be
the servant of all.” This is why it is said, the most effective
authority is the one that it least exercised.

The third is a function of action. Intentions alone are not good
enough. It is critical to move into the world of execution. To make
this happen, use that which is at hand. In other words, start from
where you currently are.

Among other reasons, this is because our sages attest that (a) what
is begun in this lifetime is not necessarily fructified in this
lifetime and (b) understanding spirituality
is not about grasping cosmic laws through the intellect. This is like a
man so engrossed in a roadmap that he never starts his journey! Spiritualityis an uncompromising search for truth. It is about realising the
working of cosmic laws through individual experience. As the old adage
goes, inaction has been a sin of many a notorious philosopher.

What does such a recognition involve? Again, three golden rules
apply. When we go through trying times, we become despondent and
cynical. Whatever our circumstances, they are completely in conformity
with our inner unfoldment. This means challenges come our way to
strengthen us, not deflate us. As Ramana Maharishi once said, the
washerman beats our clothes not because he hates us but to remove the
dirt contained in them.

Secondly, even if the problems we encounter appear to us as
obstacles to the practice of our vocation, it is important to recognise
them as stepping-stones and not as stumbling blocks. The former creates
positive energy, while the latter robs energy for vibrant

Finally, changing outer circumstances is the result of patient
alteration of your own self. It is about changing oneself by overcoming
the resistant material of those circumstances. What this means is that
all change stems from oneself. The best way of changing others is to
change oneself.

The spiritual journey is indispensable in correcting the vision of
the practising manager. It is the most powerful vehicle known for
self-correction, understanding the purpose of human existence and
probing the ultimate reality.


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