MANAGER Redefined - Part 5: Sri Sathya Sai Paradigm


Goodness here can be understood as ‘Shreyas’. Shreyas indicates that which is ultimately good for the individual, though not pleasant to an individual. What is really good to people may not be necessarily pleasant. Baba gives the example of a bitter liquid made out of castor oil and other herbs known as ‘Uggu’ in Telugu, which is given to infants. When the mothers try to make their children drink this bitter liquid, the children would not like to swallow it because of its very bitter taste. But the mother closes the two nostrils of the child and forces the liquid down the child’s throat. This apparently harsh method is used by mothers because they know that the liquid is good for their children’s health [i].

How to formulate ‘Guidelines for Goodness’? We have to make sure that pure feelings come from our heart (conscience) as guidelines. We should learn to follow the dictates of our conscience. Your conscience, which is God, will give you goodness. That conscience is Atman. That is called Swabhava (innate nature or natural tendencies). The word ‘Swabhava’ come from two words Swa + Bhava. ‘Swa’ means Atman and ‘Bhava’ means feeling. Whatever feelings one gets, if one discriminates between good and bad, right and wrong, and then follow them, that itself becomes goodness. Thus, the essence of the ‘Guidelines of Goodness’ is that we should follow our conscience.


[i] This style is described as ‘Benevolent Autocratic Leadership’. People who follow this style would do things not for popularity purpose but out of genuine concern and good intentions. This is what should be understood as goodness in this context. However those who adopt this approach or style, should be people of highest character and should do things without any ulterior motives. 

Continued in Part 6...

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