Spirituality and the Workplace

This weekend, I stumbled upon “The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners” by Jack Hawley and on a quick reading purchased it. It was a good decision. I have read Eknath Easwaran’s three volumes on ” The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living” quite a few times and have regarded it as one of the finest translations of Gita for the modern world.

Since the time Guruji advised us all to read The Gita regularly, I have always carried the pocket book of The Shrimad Bhagavad Gita ( search for code 455 and yes don’t be surprised by the price, it does cost rupees six only!) from Gita Press with me always, reading it as and when I have time.

I am yet to complete reading Jack’ translation, but having read the first two chapters, I can say that this book comes from the rich depth of someone who understands the meaning behind the verses and someone who has walked on the spiritual path.

Jack’s translation of the 2nd chapter is so beautiful that I have re-read it quite a few times. Looking up for Jack on the Internet I stumbled upon his website and found his responses to the Spirituality and workplace so apt that I reproduce them here.

LW: How to introduce, channel, and better use spirituality in the workplace to enhance wellness?
JH: In the West, the term wellness, especially when used in connection with workplace connotes the promotion of the physical well being of workers. It’s a good and smart thing to do, and in some cases concern for workers’ health is of the same family tree as spiritual values, but I do not consider this to be a
main aim of spirituality.

I’m apprehensive that people will begin using spirituality as a method or strategy for enhancing worldly things. Ramakrishna, the renowned Indian saint of the late 1800s, explained spirituality this way: “Using spiritual means to achieve worldly ends is not spirituality; using worldly means to achieve spiritual ends is spirituality.” It is important today to understand that spirituality at work is not just another way to manipulate workers to work harder. Increased productivity may be a byproduct of spiritual values at work, but it is certainly not the purpose of it.

LW: How can we increase a holistic approach to work, integrate the spiritual and the material sides of life into the work?
JH: First, just acknowledge that both the spiritual and material sides coexist. Convey to people that spiritual aspects of life are legitimate topics for them to think about and factor into their work and their lives. Second, trust that a balanced, whole person (i.e., holistic person) is indeed a good thing to
become-and a good thing to foster, advance and encourage at work. Third, know that if you do this merely to enhance profits your effort will probably fail. Do it because humans are both spiritual and worldly beings. Do it because you know that people need to live a more balanced existence in a more spiritually balanced world.

I look forward to reading this book at leisure and I am sure I will go back mark pages and read them over and over again. Also in my to read list is Pujan Roka’s The Bhagavad Gita on Effective Leadership I have been searching for this book in bookstores in Bangalore without luck, seems like I may have to order this via Amazon or wait till I go to US to purchase a copy of this.

Meanwhile, if you dear readers have any recommendations on Leadership books written from a Spiritual perspective, please do let me know.

Related Website: Check out Apex


3 thoughts on “Spirituality and the Workplace

  1. That was cool Gita at Rs.6/ Wondering how do they manage to keep the price this low. Just ordered one for myself. I have read Eknath Easwaran’s The Bhagavad Gita and agree nothing comes close to the simplicity of translation. Will try and find Jack Hawley’s book as well.

  2. I wish you would update your blog more frequently. On your recommendation I started reading the Bhagavad Gita translation by Easwaran and love it. Since you are an avid books reader, more such recommendation is what I look forward to. That is how I usually I choose books to read, recommended by someone whom I can trust.

    Also your experiences with AOL is something that I would like to see on the blog. I was hoping after TTC you would share your experiences but did not see any post on that.

    This is a meaningful blog and it’s my request that you share more often with your readers.

  3. Vaishali, Yes Gita Press has done what no other publisher has for popularizing Gita and other Hindu scriptures!

    Shoba, Thank you for your kind comments. Several times I sit down to write and find that words are inadequate to express the joy and bliss of meditation and Sudarshan Kriya and instead of writing a post that won’t convey the essence of what I feel, I give up! I have a long way to go to hone up my writing skills 🙂

    Being a Art of Living Teacher is a such a joy and a blessing and at the same time a privilege too. I will definitely write about it in the future.

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