Ancient Indian Wisdom for Modern Managers – Part 1

What is the meaning of Naraha? It means Atman. The two syllables of Naraha: Na - not, Raha – perishable, means that which is not perishable. The one that is imperishable is the Atman. Out of this Atman, space and other elements originated. In everything (meaning several aspects of human life), there is relevance of water. How would you comprehend it? Each could apply his own plane of reference to assess the relative criticality of events, issues and objects. How do human beings grieve over minor and major issues of life? It is not in the inherent nature of human beings to grieve over everything. It could be considered as a trait of incongruity - weak quality. Nara – water; Ayana – eye which suggests that tears should appear in the eyes of a person only for the sake of Narayana (God) and not for anything else. 

The word Upanayana comprises two syllables Upa - near, Nayana - vision. What is the connotation of ‘near vision’? It implies that it is the kind of vision which takes people closer to Divinity. Another word in Sanskrit is Upanishad: Upa – near, Nishad – sit down, which means sitting very close and reflecting on the Divine principle. The question may arise as to why should we sit down near? The implication of this is: According to ancient Indian tradition, the one who imparts knowledge and skills (Guru) should be placed at a higher pedestal and the disciple who receives knowledge and skills from the Guru should be placed at a lower pedestal. For example, Uddalaka sent his son, Shwetaketu, to another preceptor. In reality, Uddalaka himself possessed more credentials than the person whom Shwetaketu approached for learning. However, he thought that the true sense of Guru and Shishya (teacher and disciple) relationship that ought to exist between a mentor and learner might not possibly be present between a father and son. Father and son will have love and affection towards each other and such bias would prevent objective reflection. The student should have the feeling of a disciple and the Guru the feeling of a teacher. Thus, Guru should be seated at a higher level (height) and disciple should be seated at a lower height (in a physical sense). The effects of education are so subtle. Upanishad means sitting down and listening. That is the true sign of humility. If there is no humility, there is no education. 

All the actions of the sages and saints in the bygone times always aimed at transforming their disciples. 

Therefore, in the parlance of spirituality, everything implies marketing in a certain sense. Commercial market may have a different connotation. The combination of all the multiple forms or the entirety would mean market in a certain sense. Therefore, we should have connection (links) with the wholesalers, retailers, consumers, customers, advertisers, brokers, transporters, local community and other stakeholders. 
Qualities of a Truly Educated Person
Total understanding is necessary. To have this, we must develop awareness. It is also called ‘Chit’ - meaning that which is effulgent throughout. In Vedantic parlance, it is called Asti, Bhaati and Priyam. Here lies the flower. It means ‘existence’ or ‘being’. How do you know that it exists? Because of the light, you are able to witness the same with your eyes and you recognise the existence of the flower. Light enables visibility. Even if there is no light, it (flower) may still exist. So, that which always exists is Asti; that which shows the object which is already in existence, is Bhaati. After it is noticed because of light, you collect it with your hand and smell its fragrance, which is Priyam or Ananda. All the three are same. When the awareness is there, you come to know of the being. When both are there, you get Priyam. Therefore, that which happens first is ‘being’ and that which follows is ‘becoming’. The communicator should have a perfect understanding so that the listener can understand him. But sometimes it may happen that the person communicating (sender) does not understand his own message, but the receiver understands the same in the correct manner. When both the sender as well as receiver, happen to understand a given message in the same sense, it can be described as proper communication. 


[i] Baba illustrated the meaning of Asti, Bhaati, and Priyam with the help of a flower that was placed on his table.

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