Sri Sathya Sai provides Spiritual Guidelines for a Values-Based Manager: Part 1

Morality and good conduct are of primary importance in business. When people possess these qualities, anything can be achieved in society. These qualities will make your superiors develop confidence in you and your competence. When they gain such confidence in you, they would be ready to offer greater responsibilities to you. Therefore, first make people develop trust in you. For example, an affluent person has a cook in the house. When the cook serves the master faithfully, the master in course of time is likely to hand over the house keys to him. Even when he goes out of the house for some work, he would leave the key and other household responsibilities to the cook.[i]  

Similarly, believing that ‘Duty is God’, if you discharge your duties diligently, your superior will be ready to give you greater responsibilities. Faith is essential if you wish to prosper in life - faith in yourself and faith in God. This is the secret for achieving excellence. We must inculcate these two. They are the primary chapters to be mastered in one’s education. You may have learnt very little. But make sure to put into practice what you have learnt. It is of no use to learn a lot and put very little into practice. 
Spiritual Qualities of a Values-Based Leader-Manager


1. Fundamental Discrimination

Voice of conscience signifies the inner path of spirituality – the Nivritti Marga. Thoughts signify the outward path – Pravritti Marga. The mind receives everything through the senses from this phenomenal world. For example: the eyes witness and the mouth speaks. In this way, the external world-of-objects attracts the mind. This is the fundamental nature of material things. Conscience is related to the intellect and is associated with awareness (Chit). Everything that is perceived by the senses is first analysed by the conscience - ‘Is it good or bad, right or wrong?’ It rejects that which does not conform to its norms or standards. The voice of the conscience possesses the power of discrimination. We should not pursue the thoughts. It is often said, ‘Follow the Master’. Your conscience is to be inferred as the master here.

Thoughts accept blindly whatever comes their way. But conscience which has the power to discriminate, takes time to discriminate and then decide. Hence, whenever you are in a predicament or dilemma, do not react instantly. Do not blindly follow your thoughts. They come and go in a jumbled manner. They are like the passing clouds, a characteristic of the materialistic way of living. But the conscience follows the inward path. This path can show us the right direction to the truth. Hence, always follow the voice of the conscience. If you choose to follow your thoughts, you will only be degrading yourself to lower levels of existence. Take care to see that the conscience examines every thought on the basis of it being good or bad. After the conscience decides the appropriateness of the intention, one must put the good thought into action.

2. Love of God

‘Love is God’ and is present in everybody. However, each person makes use of love for different purposes. You have to always love everybody. You may hesitate to love everybody as you may not perceive any benefit in that. To this enquiry the answer would be in the form of another question: Why do you want to hate? What is the reason for this hatred? Hence, if you ask what you gain by loving, the answer for this lies in another query: what do you gain by hating? Therefore, in order to do away with the flaw that arises on account of hatred, we must foster love. There is nothing that one would lose by loving everybody. More so ‘Love is God’ and the human heart symbolizes love. Hatred is a manifestation of the mind. Similarly, envy and ostentation are also manifestations of the mind. Truth, compassion, sympathy, empathy, genuine concern and sacrifice are all manifestations of the heart. Since you are human, you must accept and follow only that which springs from the heart. When you love all, peace of mind reigns. If you nurture hatred in yourself, ‘peace’ is torn into ‘pieces’. When the creations of the mind are all akin to passing clouds, why do you rely on them? Love, sacrifice, truth and the like are permanent. They confer immortality on mankind. Elimination of immorality is the only way to immortality.


i. Baba here refers to wealthy joint family households in ancient India who used to employ cooks to look after the cuisine requirements of the entire family living under one roof. The family comprised 2 – 3 generations of people along with their off springs, which was administered by the family head known as ‘Karta’. The head cook was assisted by a few people in the family who together used to manage the entire responsibility of the kitchen besides cooking i.e. purchases of supplies for kitchen from time to time, menu management, social feeding, etc. He was aware of the tastes and preferences of each and every family member and used to move in the family more like a family member. 

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