Tag Archives: heart

On a treasure hunt of Self

Yes….I Know it now….The power of my being resides in myself.    There is nowhere else to go.  I and I alone can access it.   For years I believed that the keys to this treasure were somewhere far, in some distant exotic land and inaccessible unless one crosses the towering mountain cliffs and battles the devilish seas.   Now I know the journey is simpler, maybe there is no journey at all.   And the treasure awaits me.

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So what is this treasure?  Why is still hidden?  And where are the keys? 

An ancient saying goes that God was often heckled by Man and his incessant requests.   Then God approached a wise Saint and wanted to know if there was someplace he could hide and be away from these constant demands.   Apparently wherever God went, Man would chase him and find him.  The saint advised God to take refuge in Man’s own heart.   That is one place he will never search for God!!

Aaah, so this treasure called Self or God is just there. In your heart and my heart…And so beautifully concealed that even with eyes wide open we just fail to notice.  And if and when we do, we might just dismiss is as irrational exalted state.   And then once again the doors shut and we wonder what next.

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Just like for any treasure hunt, Man has been looking for the clues to this treasure.  Many have found it, and some have come very close.  It is time millions find it too.   But unlike the treasures for which the kings explored lands, this one is endless and limitless.   This treasure is something everyone can have and yet it will grow.   So what are the clues?

First of all just know that it is just there waiting for you.   Recognize that.  And you are that treasure.  So it is not removed from you.  It is part of you and you are part of it.    And all that you require is to remember this!!  So simple!!   Yet the myriad schemes the mind will come up with will take you away from this.  That’s the fake treasure called Maya.   Remembrance of the real treasure was always there, and yet the wily mind made it sound unreal.

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Sage Ashtavakra told King Janaka in the Ashtawakra Gita –

muktabhimani mukto hi

baddho baddhabhimany api .

“You are what you think.”

If you think you are bound you are bound.

If you think you are free you are free.

The biggest fallacy is that the treasure is bound.  It is not.   Even the layers are illusionary.  The master sword of awareness of the supreme consciousness is all it takes to reach to this treasure.  The highest knowledge is the knowledge of the self.  And that is the treasure.

Jesus, Buddha and other enlightened Masters have shown the way to this treasure.

4 keys

Bhagwad Gita describes the four keys or ways to this treasure.   Gyan Marga,  Bhakti Marga,  Karma Marga and  Yoga Marga.   All Margas lead to the ultimate treasure of Kaivalya, freedom.  You can start anywhere and you are guaranteed this treasure.   Amazing isn’t it.    Where do you want to start?

By Vikas Bhatia 

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To become a Wholesome Leader, invoke the power of ‘Shakti’ within you!

These are complex times. Uncertainties abound and change has become a veritable norm. We’re swamped with data and analytics and yet, ironically, decision-making and hence leadership has become more complex. And complex times demand complete, Wholesome Leaders, don’t they? Gone are the days when a sharp mind that could access data, crunch numbers and decipher patterns from it, in order to make purportedly logical decisions, was considered a good leader. Today that same left-brained, logic-data driven leader, who was risk-averse, will be seen as a Partial Leader, unfit for these times!

Data - analyticsEnterprises of this era are caught in so much flux in terms of technological change, societal churn, changing attitudes and priorities, cross-cultural challenges et al. That’s why they demand more ‘Wholesome Leaders’ who can:

  • Lead from the front
  • Think out of the box easily
  • Take calculated risks when needed
  • Display emotional intelligence while building meaningful relationships AND
  • Continue to grow the business

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Now, that’s a tall order for most leaders, don’t you agree? We’re after all, wired differently and conditioned to stay on the left side of things, so to speak. The right side (pun intended) has pretty much remained dormant. No wonder then that most leaders find it difficult to rely on and utilize their Head-Heart-and-Guts* simultaneously while leading their functions/ teams/ organizations. Going by the definition of Dotlich-Cairo-and-Rhinesmith*, they are NOT the ‘Whole Leaders’ that today’s global enterprise desperately needs. Mind you, this applies to both men and women leaders who’ve not yet invoked the power of Shakti within!

Hindu mythology, Paganism and many ancient religions, backed now by Astro-physicists and Quantum Physicists, state that the primal source of all energy that gives life to our Universe is feminine in nature. By that we must understand that it is life-giving, emotional (if we may use that adjective) and instinctive.

shakti

This Shakti or the divine feminine force/ primal energy, exists in each one of us but it is conditioned to remain dormant or under-utilized. Our industrial evolution in recent centuries has necessitated it to be so, don’t you think? So what can we do as leaders to wake this Shakti from her slumber and goad her to unleash her full potential in her full blossom?

1)      Heart-first: Easier said than done isn’t it? From childhood, we’re trained, almost brain-washed into believing that ‘using the head’ meant improving and becoming a better achiever. Now we’re increasingly expected to suddenly ‘think from the heart’ and learn to ‘Manage and Lead’ people and teams ‘from this heart’! What if decisions are taken with a strong emotional foundation with full empathy? Isn’t that why and how meaningful bonds are made? Suddenly colleagues, peers and subordinates are all part of one big extended family that thinks and feels for one another.

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Even though such relationships are volatile in nature, they’re more likely to last the distance than say a negotiation-based, head-first relationship, usually built in the corporate world. As leaders, we must, therefore, learn to be open about our feelings and transparent in our communication.

This change can happen only if leaders are encouraged, from a very early stage of their career path, to openly and confidently show emotions and demonstrate heart-based decision-making.

2)      Instinctively decisive: When was the last time you, as a leader, had an intuition about something occurring? Doesn’t happen often, right? More importantly, that intuition would have likely been brushed aside as a frivolous thought by that all-weather-ally, Mr. Rationale! Again, this is an after effect of academic and social conditioning. The Shakti-power inside is actually the force that gives us gut-feel, intuition, premonition, call it what you may. Believing in this manifestation of Shakti and honing this quality is becoming invaluable to leaders across sectors and levels, in today’s uncertain times. After all, we’re not always privy to robust and indicative data and analysis that will help us take apparently correct decisions from the head. We cannot wait for all info to arrive on our desk either, can we?

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From an early stage, if leaders are encouraged to take gutsy, instinctive decisions, every now and then, it is bound to become a source of immense strength at a later stage when the stakes are high. Mind you, failures are bound to happen but the rewards in the long run are much higher because they’re likely to develop a keen eye to see opportunities that don’t seem to exist.

More importantly, by that time, these leaders will more likely get it right than wrong because taking gut-feel-decisions has become second-nature to them! Such leaders will not be risk-averse and will seem to find innovative ways out of sticky, almost impossible, emergency situations in business.

3)      Strength from Spiritual Awareness: You have a divine, infinite core within you that is the fountainhead of potential. This core is essentially Shakti in all her splendor and glory. As a leader, when you are truly aware of this potential, you have invoked Shakti to guide and lead on your behalf. Think about it. Traits that can never be taught or acquired through rote or sensual experiences are actually the ones that will step you up from a good leader to a great inspiration!

resilience

We’re often taught about developing mental strength. Most often this is mistaken for being stoic, logic-driven, sans-emotion and almost brutally realistic, to use a cliché. True leadership strength springs from an awakened spiritual core or Shakti in blossom. When one has the ability to really think and feel from the heart and be instinctively decisive, one has truly developed strength to take on any challenge in work and life. Sudden mishaps, dramatic changes, road-blocks, startling course-corrections et al will then seem a happy part of this leadership journey.

If you’re looking for examples of such leaders who’ve truly lead on behalf of the Shakti within them, two names come to mind immediately – Mr. Narayana Murthy – co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Infosys AND Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – Chairman and MD of Biocon. Sample these facts/ traits about these two leaders:

  • Both saw an opportunity to start something new and jumped in head-long, driven purely by their gut-feel
  • Both faced tremendous challenges, many unforeseen, along their growth journey but overcame them all through sheer grit, ingenuity and strength of will
  • Both lead organizations that are globally amongst the largest employers of talent and are known for the care shown to nurturing their teams

entrepreneurship

The list can go on but you get the drift right? The standout takeaway in invoking ‘Shakti’ within each one of us is the removal of fear and pre-conceived notions. This state of being essentially manifests as entrepreneurship in the business world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to lead an entrepreneurial team that is led by Shakti at all times?

ardhanarishvara

In fact, wouldn’t it be wonderful to lead on behalf of Shakti by tapping into that fountainhead of divine feminine energy within?

Wait… did someone say the word ‘Man’ is contained inside the word ‘Woman’?

 

By Nandakishore Padmanabhan

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Namaste Vayuh

Namaste Vayuh, tvam eva pratyaksham Brahmasi.

‘O, Vayu, you are the directly perceivable Brahman.

Vayu represents Mind – Power, released from limits and boundaries of the fickle consciousness. It is this Enlightened Intelligence which manifests in forms of thought or of action not hampered by the falsehoods of sense. This enlightened intelligence, in its entire greatness free from limitation, a continent of felicity; this Power is that which befriends the human soul and carries it safe through the battle, to the summit of its aspirations.

The activity of pure enlightened intelligence is sustained and increased by the conscious effort to radiate light. Light or Illumined will symbolized by the combination of Agni & Vayu. This Light – Giving is one of the greatest intoxications in life, for then it is possible to look beyond limitations and arrive at knowledge that we can refer to as illuminated intelligence. Right thoughts, right sensibilities – the full sense of the word “sumati”, which is the light in the thoughts; it is also a bright gladness and kindness in the soul.

Vayu is the Lord of Life. By the ancient Mystics, life was considered to be a great force pervading all material existence. It is this idea which gave birth to the concept of Prana, the universal breath of life. All the vital and nervous activities of the human being fall within the definition of Prana and belong to the domain of Vayu.

In the Rig Veda and the Vedas in general, it is the deities of the sphere of Vayu that predominate like Indra.  Indra is often called Vayu and Vata. Indra is behind all the other Vedic deities including Agni, Surya and Soma, the principles of Fire, Sun and Moon that can only operate under the guiding power of Vayu.

We connect to Vayu and prana through the breathing process. Pranayama allows us to work with and develop our connection with the cosmic prana. The purpose of pranayama is not just to bring in more air or give us power over the breathing process but to link us up to the unlimited energy of the cosmic Vayu. This occurs when we unite the dualistic energies of prana and mind so that our awareness can enter into the unitary force of Vayu.

In Spanish the word Breath has connotations of lifting up hope and comes from the word spirit. When someone has spirit, it means they are alive and they move, however when someone doesn’t have spirit, they are considered dead. That’s why the word Vayu in Sanskrit means what moves. Its root is “go” and means something that moves in all places; it moves outside, inside, above, below, to the left, to the right, in front of us and behind us. This is Vayu, he who knows himself, he who knows about the artery that gives life to my brain. When the soul enters into the body, then there is life but he also says goodbye to the body when it leaves. He knows the secret of my mind, because wherever Vayu is, the consciousness is. He knows my inner strength……

It is truly up to us to manifest and utilize this inner strength

Mind is the link between ‘sense world’ and the ‘soul realm’. Mind operates through thought, which is a subtle, vital, living, force; capable of acquiring infinite power. Vayu represents this infinite power. Power of thoughts lies latent in us, and can be developed to make or mar our own life and destiny. We are continuously attracting forces and condition most akin to those of our own thoughts.  Our particular thought within connects us with a similar thought from without.

In yogic thought, Vata is also prana or the cosmic life energy that manifests from Akasha or cosmic space. Prana is Vayu as the guiding force of life and intelligence in the universe.  Vayu holds the pranas of all living beings in its energy network that links them all together in the web of life. The soul is a portion of Vayu that has entered into the body with the help of fire or Agni.

The Atman stands at the center of all the currents and forces of Vayu, which are but its outer expressions. If we hold to that center than all the powers of the universe must revolve around us. Nothing in the world will be able to disturb us, just as the axis of a wheel cannot be disturbed by the movement of its periphery. The Self is the Vayu behind Vayu, the source of all energy, power and prana, hidden in the cavern of the heart. From the Self in heart radiate all energies and powers. The Self is the link between all beings and all worlds. Resting in our own being we can hold all power without trying to do anything at all…

Vayu forms the second of a five-part series by Aanchal Sethi on the basic elements and how they manifest in our lives. The articles are an attempt to inspire the reader to introspect, recognize and draw strength from one’s inherent traits which seem to embody the characteristics of each of the five basic elements. 

By Aanchal Sethi

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The 3 laws of E-motion

By Vikas Bhatia

  • First law: The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force.
  • Second law: The acceleration of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F and inversely proportional to the mass m, i.e., F = ma.
  • Third law: The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.
  •  The three laws of motion were first compiled by Sir    Isaac Newton in his work Philosophiæ Naturalis   Principia Mathematica, first published on July 5,  1687. Newton used them to explain and investigate  the motion of many physical objects and systemsth century,  the laws of classical mechanics were the ones through which we understood the world we see.3 laws of E-motion!!First Law:  Emotions continue to be in a state of flux unless acted upon by an external stimulus called AwarenessSecond Law:  The intensity of the Emotion E is directly proportional to the importance given to the situation, divided by the level of Awareness,   the value of Awareness ranging from 1 to infinite.

    In short, Ei =  S/A  where  S  is the degree of Significance and A is the level of AwarenessThird Law:   Every emotion (positive or negative) released or expressed (consciously or unconsciously) will trigger an equal and opposite response from the universe.First Law of E-motion:  

    Emotions continue to be in a state of flux unless acted upon by an external stimulus called AwarenessThe unavailability of sunlight for prolonged periods has been found to lead to depression in many people.  The multitude of events and environmental changes creates an ever changing landscape of emotions.  The rate of change in the external environment can lead to a frustrating emotional flux.  While the positive cycle of change is always welcomed, the negative cycle is often difficult to control and is very damaging for some individuals.   The key to restore balance and to make sure we are not dragged in a whirl pool of negative set of emotions is Awareness.   Awareness is a state of disassociation, a state of witnessing oneself.   The state of Awareness calms down the turbulent sea of emotions welling up in our being.  Spiritual practices like meditation lead to an increase in awareness.    Many scriptures and spiritual Masters have spoken about this Awareness.  A state of Awareness is like being Awake, and the emotional turbulences nothing but a dream.  This state of Awareness can also be described as a state of Vairagya – or Dispassion from the internal emotional response.  Hence the first law postulates that our awakening – a sense of Higher Awareness leads to the arrest of the constant flux in our emotions.The Second Law of E-motion:

    The intensity of the Emotion E is directly proportional to the significance given to the situation, divided by the level of Awareness,   the value of Awareness ranging from 1 to infinite.In short, Ei =  S/A  where  S  is the degree of Significance and A is the level of AwarenessAwareness as described in the first law is also responsible for mellowing down the level of our response.  The emotional response itself is inevitable, the intensity experienced then is a consequence of the significance we have for the external stimulus and moderated by the level of Awareness.Shama.  Awareness does not reduce the significance we put on that event, it just helps us cope with it better.  Awareness can also be linked to Viveka –  the faculty of discernment which helps distinguish between the permanent and transient, between good and bad.The Third Law of E-motion:

    Every emotion (positive or negative) released or expressed (consciously or unconsciously) will trigger an equal and opposite response from the universe.

    Unlike the physical world where the action produces an immediate response, why does the emotional response meander through time and space?  We do not know fully understand the fabric of the consciousness, the space through which the emotional world works, but it does seem to have the mechanics of the response built in.   At the pinnacle of awareness, the field of consciousness is completely neutral, and all actions and their responses dissolve.   In some sense this is the annihilation of the positive and negative forces which creates the drama in human mind.Brahman, in absence of duality, these laws do not have relevance.  In total Awareness, I am that!

    Aham Bramhasmi

    Aum Tat Sat 

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