All posts tagged: Indic Thoughts

On the Guru-Shishya Relationship

A few months ago, I heard Swami Sarvapriyananda of the Vedanta Society of New York recount a story that touches deeply on the relationship between the guru and shishya. The shishya was a novice monk studying under a senior swami at the Ramakrishna Mission. The first day he joined the ashram, the young monk was invited by the other young monks to join them for tea before the evening meditation. He came back afterward to the old swami, who asked him where he had been. When he replied, the swami did not say anything. The next day, the young monk came to the swami without joining the others for tea. The swami asked him why he had not gone for tea. He replied that he had thought about it, and even though the tea was nice, there was a lot of gossip and chitchat and he did not feel like joining them again. The swami was very pleased at the young monk’s discrimination and judgment and said that had he continued joining the others for tea, …

Lessons from Mahabharata: Envy – II

In the first part of this two part series focusing on the emotion of Envy, we learnt that despite the popular belief and the main proponent of the emotion in the epic tale, Duryodhan wasn’t the only person driven by envy. Let us now continue with more examples of envy as we meander through other stories and in the process receive our lessons from Mahabharata. While we are at it, let’s also see if there is some common thread connecting them. Having married Droupadi and having settled in Indraprastha, the Pandvas were once visited by the sage Narada. They all greeted the sage, and after Droupadi left, Narada had a pointed question for the Pandavas. Given Droupadi’s beauty, how were they going to head off the green-headed monster that was envy? To illustrate his point, he told them the story of the two invincible asuras Sunda and Upasunda, who once lived in Kurukshetra. Yes, all roads did seem to lead to Kurukshetra. Sunda and Upasunda were the sons of Nikumba, who belonged to Hiranyakashipu’s lineage. …

Inspirational Leadership – An Executive Program

Indic Academy’s Center for Spirituality is currently developing a one year diploma in Executive Coaching. The curriculum will be based on our scriptural wisdom and will be taught by a variety of Gurus and scholars. The experience will be authentic, immersive and transformative. Meanwhile, Professor B. Mahadevan and Dr. Gopal Mahapatra are conducting an executive program titled “Inspirational Leadership – Insights from the East and the West” – based on the wisdom gleaned from our scriptures at IIM-Bangalore from the 1st to 4th of July, 2019. To quote from the program brochure – This programme uniquely contributes to this theme by a deep study of the Indian scriptures, primarily the Bhagavad Gita and bringing it alongside current approaches and paradigms. Through contemplations and dialogues, and few meditative practices the program seeks to bring out fresh insights, new paradigms and applicable practices to develop leaders in organizations. More details can be seen here. Indic Academy is now inviting applications from mid-career executives who are contemplating a career change into Executive Coaching. IA would like to sponsor …

Lessons from Mahabharata: Envy – I

That Duryodhana was driven by envy is known to all. He is also perhaps the best known example of an envious man in the entire epic. His whole life was one long, never ending, rage against his cousins, the Pandavas, who he thought had the better of everything – whether the palace at Indraprastha, whether a beautiful wife in Droupadi, whether in riches, his own “ordinary prosperity” never pleased him, was never enough. That much is well known. What is also known is that if Duryodhana’s envy was like a forest fire, it was Shakuni, his maternal uncle, that kept that fire burning. And we also know that Dhritarashtra, Duryodhana’s blind father was blind to every single fault of his son, turning a literal and figurative blind eye to his son’s faults. But what about Gandhari? When Pandu was living the life of forced bachelorhood, in mortal fear of Sage Kimdama’s curse, he turned to his wife Kunti to beget sons. Kunti had Sage Durvasa’s mantra that she used to summon Yama, who begat Yudhishtra. …

Lessons from Mahabharata: The Leader’s Temperament – A Leadership Masterclass from the Mahabharata

Let’s talk about the role of a CEO and what advice would a board advisor give to an incoming CEO? Yes, this is still about the Mahabharta, but we are going to take a detour before getting there. To strive to maximize shareholder value, to watch out for market trends and unforeseen macroeconomic headwinds, to hire the best, to not ignore the advice of advisors, to put down indiscipline with a firm hand, to be approachable yet not play favourites, and so on. This is the basic ingredient from which tens of thousands of management books, seminars, articles, and more are churned out each year. In a modern context, while the use of the word “king” may be anachronistic, the basic import of the the Raj-dharma parva of the Mahabharata retains much of its value and relevance. If you substitute the word “king” with “chief minister” or “prime minister”, or with “CEO” or “Managing Director”, the advice given to the king then could very well be applied to the leaders of today. When asked by …

The Truth About Sardar Patel On Kashmir

A blanket statement does the round, often, that “Sardar Patel was willing to give away Kashmir”. This has no nuance, ignores all the unique complexities of a novel and difficult historical situation, and completely sidesteps the many phases of decision-making on the Kashmir problem at that time. This essay is taken from my upcoming book on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first deputy prime minister, called The Man Who Saved India. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s great dream was a united India. Even in May 1946, he was writing to K. M. Munshi: “We have successfully avoided a catastrophe which threatened our country. Since many years, for the first time, authoritative pronouncement in clear terms has been made against the possibility of Pakistan in any shape or form.” What is he referring to? He is referring to the Cabinet Mission Statement in 1946 which said, “The setting up of a separate sovereign State of Pakistan on the lines claimed by the Muslim League would not solve the communal minority problem; nor can we see any justification for including …

Peace and Power of a Yogic Mind

Prologue That moment of Epiphany had dawned upon the purest and subtlest semblance of ethereal sheaths of bodily nature of Sapiens collapsing the individuality of being, to a fathom of existence in their inner firmament, as a Bandhu. Along the planes of knowing defying the linear intellectual hierarchy, amidst the layers of reality decreeing the quotient of understanding, towards the path of solitude, a mind that conquered the clouds of thyself defines the peace of an evolved kind: that of a Yogic mind, resulting after a Sadhana, based on the ethical preparedness of the seeking individual. Like the Dance of Shiva that destroys and creates the Self for a number of times only to nullify the human ego as in Apasmāra and imbibe himself through evolved embodied media, the path of Yoga strikes the humble soul as an elixir with kindest enquiries and mildest expressions, forming a communion with the self as linguistically represented by Brahman—the fons et origo of the lumps of creation. The Journey This fundamental nature of contemplative knowing, or rather embodied …

Essay Competition for the Mahabharata Immersion Workshop

Indic Academy in association with Ritambhara Aashram announces an essay writing competition to win participation in the Mahabharata Immersion Workshop to be held between Jul 22nd 2018 to Jul 28th 2018 amidst the Shola forests of the Nilgiris, near Kotagiri. One successful applicant will win a fully paid entry to the Workshop including course fees, lodging and boarding. Applicants will have to make their own travel arrangements to the Workshop. The essays of successful winner will be published by Indic Today. The main focus of Ritambhara’s work is to create facilitators who are anchored in the Indic understanding of self and psychological processes and who can Run self-reflective/ introspective workshops for people from various age groups Run leadership/ training Workshops in organizations Coach people in the life coaching and leadership coaching stream Information about the Workshop and the essay topics are presented below- Part 1: The Philosophy Being the best one can be… The wisdom and traditions of India are a great resource for inner growth and transformation. They offer not only insights and perspectives …

Essay Competition for the Mahabharata Immersion Workshop

Indic Academy in association with Ritambhara Aashram announces an essay writing competition to win participation in the Mahabharata Immersion Workshop to be held between Jul 22nd 2018 to Jul 28th 2018 amidst the Shola forests of the Nilgiris, near Kotagiri. One successful applicant will win a fully paid entry to the Workshop including course fees, lodging and boarding. Applicants will have to make their own travel arrangements to the Workshop. The essays of successful winner will be published by Indic Today. The main focus of Ritambhara’s work is to create facilitators who are anchored in the Indic understanding of self and psychological processes and who can Run self-reflective/ introspective workshops for people from various age groups Run leadership/ training Workshops in organizations Coach people in the life coaching and leadership coaching stream Information about the Workshop and the essay topics are presented below- Part 1: The Philosophy Being the best one can be… The wisdom and traditions of India are a great resource for inner growth and transformation. They offer not only insights and perspectives …

Importance of Yoga in Modern Life

In the Krta Yuga, the way was Jñāna, in the Treta, it was Karma, in the Dvāpara, it was both Jñāna and Karma, but in Kali, it is Yoga that gives joy and freedom. ~ T. Krishnamacharya, Yogañjalisāram, Verse 28 It was a time long before colourful Yoga mats, fashionable stretch pants and swanky gyms. Apollo 11 had not yet landed on the moon, nor was there any television to cover such events. A young engineer, visiting his home in Chennai, was seated on the verandah with his father, a traditional brahmin, clad in a white dhoti. Suddenly, a large car drove up the narrow street and out jumped a middle-aged lady in a brightly coloured dress. She ran up to the brahmin, threw her arms around him in a big hug, and shouted, “Thank you, Professor! Thank you so much!” To see a woman from New Zealand embracing an elderly brahmin would have been quite shocking for his son. (Remember it was Chennai of the 60s). Yet, the old man simply smiled and treated …