Livelihood Vs. Buddhahood


Buddha is not against living. He is definitely against leaving. He is against leaving problems to God to solve them. There is no God the way we perceive God to be. We perceive God to be a super human entity somewhere up in the heaven. There is no such God somewhere up. So he can never come and solve our problems. We always look up and never look in. All the problems in life are our problems and surely it is our responsibility to solve them. We have created them and hence we have to own up the problems to find solutions to solve them. Buddha is in favour of improving our lives. He is for bettering our lives. He is not against life. He is not against love. He is for better life and better love. He is for Enlightened Living. He is for living wisely out of mindfulness. He is for a conscious living. He is not against Dollars. He has reverence for Dhamma and Dollars. He is not against Numbers. He is for Numbers and Nirvana. He is for quality in quantity. He is for a Quantum Consciousness. He is for matter and spirit together. He is for spirit in the matter. Everything is divine and sacred. There is nothing in the existence that is evil or non-sacred. The whole existence is divine.

Then why he left the world? This is a basic question. The only answer is that he was not aware of all this. He was carrying a wrong notion and a wrong understanding because of a wrong spiritual tradition. The tradition was that of renunciation and asceticism. And this was utterly a wrong tradition. This was one reason for his leaving the world. And the second reason was that in his whole life since childhood he was given to know only one side of life, that is, the life of comfort and convenience. He was never shown the other side of life. That is, the life of poverty, hunger and misery. Life is like the two sides of a coin. And the psychology is that if we accept only one side then slowly the other side will start surfacing and attracting. This is a simple psychology. It is a simple psychology of the attraction of the opposite. In the east people have been living in acute poverty and hence an attraction for Technology Leadership and Business Leadership. In the west people have been living in abundant comfort and luxury. And hence an attraction for Spiritual Leadership and Enlightened Leadership.


When we suppress and repress one side, the other side creates a pressure and gains a momentum to assert and surface. This is a simple psychology. We need a new science of holistic living. We need a science of total living. Body and soul are not two different things. Matter and spirit are not two different things. Quantity and quality are not two different things. Hardware and software are not two different things. Dollars and Dhamma are not different things. Number and Nirvana are not two different things. Materialism and spiritualism are not two different ways of living. Therefore, Livelihood and Buddhahood are not antonyms. They are not against each other. They complement and support each other. Buddhahood is nothing but bringing in mindfulness in livelihood. Buddhahood is living with mindfulness. And there is no need to leave anything. There is no need to give up anything. The non-essential things, the unwanted things (wrong ideas, wrong notions, prejudices, preoccupations, wrong perceptions) will automatically be dissolved and disappeared in the process of mindfulness. Mindfulness embeds within two powerful principles. The observer is the observed. This is the first principle. The observation changes the nature of the observer and the observed. This is the second principle. And in the process of mindfulness there is a unification and an experience of oneness. Because the object is not only an object it is a subject too. The object gets transformed into the subject.

The above experience of unification and oneness is not possible in the objective science because of the observer principle. At the heart of science is a duality because of the observer principle. This observer principle always keeps the observer away from the observed. And the difference between the observer and the observed remains infinite.

Let us bring in mindfulness in livelihood and bridge the gap between Livelihood and Buddhahood. They are not two different ways of living. Let us make them as one way of living. Let it be an Enlightened Living. An Enlightened World and an Enlightened Universe is waiting for us 🙂

“Mindfulness embeds within two powerful principles. The observer is the observed. This is the first principle. The observation changes the nature of the observer and the observed. This is the second principle. And in the process of mindfulness there is a unification and an experience of oneness. Because the object is not only an object it is a subject too. The object gets transformed into the subject.”

Is there anything called Destiny?

Is there anything called the destiny? There is only destiny and except destiny there is nothing. And you need to understand the definition of destiny. When desire meets divinity, it is called destiny. Perhaps, nobody has given you this small definition till date. And when the desire meets the devil, it is called destruction. This definition again has not been given to you by anybody till date. You can scan through all the Vedas and the Upanishads and everything that is written till date in the name of divinity.

The fake Swamis and fake Gurus always talk to you about anti-desire. They always tell you to go against desire. And in their so called Ashrams they have everything from earth to sky. This is their renunciation. And in the name of renunciation or Sanyas they are enjoying everything. And just see the stupidity of everything. They are telling you to leave everything and come to their Ashrams. And they are also telling you to abandon Sansara. And please remember that the life will remain a hell until Sansara becomes Sanyasa. Sansara means the world that we live in. It is the epicenter of all our emotions and actions. And Sanyasa or renunciation means the quality that we give to our actions and emotions. The desire dissolves into divinity when it becomes hundred percent pure. And the desire is nothing but the direction that we give to our life energy.

The scientists say that matter is energy and energy is matter. The matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. And the matter and energy are interconvertible. The matter has the opposite called the antimatter. And for every particle there is an antiparticle. And without this the creation is impossible. And pure energy is released when matter comes in contact with antimatter. It appears to us that they are opposite. But they are not. In fact they are complimentary to each other. They compliment and compensate with each other. The energy that is released through this process is an absolutely pure energy. It is the purest form of the energy.

The same is the story of the human evolution. The same is the story of our expanding consciousness. We all are also made of these two opposite energies. Again a caution. Just for the heck I am calling them as opposites. They are complimentary and compensatory. It is a language-barrier. It is a limitation of language. Because the language is dual. The language is not possible without duality.

In Chinese mythology the symbol used for this is Yin and Yang. In fact they can not even be separated by the word “and”. It is a language problem. They are conjoined. They are always together. And the single purest premordial energy is called “Chi”. This energy is so pure that you can not see it. And through creation it manifests into its opposites. The creation is possible only through the manifestation of this energy in the form of Yin and Yang. Yin is a feminine energy, and Yang is a musculine energy. This is the symbology that is used in Chinese Mythology.

In the Hindu Mythology the symbol used is Shiva and Shakti. And the union of these two energies is called the formless Ekalinga. And this purest energy, Ekalinga, manifests into its opposites or complementaries called the Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is masculine energy, and Shakti is a feminine energy. Ekalinga is a meeting and melting of these two energies. The whole creation is an interplay of these two energies. It is a meeting and melting point of two emotions. It is a meeting and melting point of two thoughts. It is a meeting and melting point of two minds.

When these two energies fight, destruction happens. And when these two energies reciprocate, creation happens. These two energies are reciprocal to each other. These two energies can either become friends or enemies. When they become enemies, destruction happens. And when they become friends, creation happens.

And in the same way, the East and the West are the metaphoric divisions of the mother earth. The West thinks that there is nothing beyond matter. And the East has always been saying that there is a spirit within the matter. The matter and the spirit are conjoined in such a way that their division and separation is impossible. The body and the soul are conjoined in such a way that their separation is impossible. The harware and the software are conjoined in such a way that their separation is impossible. When the West meets the East, there is a scope for infinite creation. And when the West fights with the East, there is a scope for enormous destruction.

What are these inner divisions when it comes to the growth of a human being? Where are these inner divisions when it comes to the evolution of a human being? These inner and psychological divisions are that of the “Conscious Mind” and the “Unconscious Mind”. When the conscious mind fights with the unconscious mind, there is bound to be conflict, anxiety, and destruction. And when the conscious mind is used to understand the unconscious mind, there is bound to be clarity, creativity, and bliss. These two are not two different minds. These two are not two different compartments. These two are not straightjacket and tight-water compartments. They are just two aspects of the total mind. They are just two polarities of the total mind. The total mind has always been pure. The total mind can never be impure. And all the actions that emanate from the total mind are bound to be pure and divine.

The ancient sages of the Upanishads have used the Ashrams as a method to transform the mind. They have used the Ashrams to relax our minds. In the Sansara we have always been told to use our conscious minds. And as a consequence a major part called the unconscious mind is suprressed. And over a period of time this suppression creates stress and anxiety in life. And this brings monotony and boredom into life. And hence the Ashrams have been used to break this boredom. The literal meaning of Ashram is non-doing. It is a Sanskrit word. There are three words: Shram, Ashram, and Vishram. Shram means doing. Ashram means non-doing. Shram means winding. Ashram means unwinding. Shram means action. Ashram means non-action. And Vishram means going beyond both. The literal meaning of Vishram is relaxation. And relaxation is an existential thing. You can not do relaxation. And you can not undo relaxation either. Relaxation happens. You can be in relaxation. This is part of the divine. This is our destiny. Vishram means a happening. It is neither a doing nor a non-doing. And all this is possible only when we understand both the perspectives and transcend them. This is how the desire moves in all phases and facets of life. Dhyana or Meditation is an art of transforming this desire into divinity. And this is our destiny. This is our destination.

Past, Present, and Future

Is there anything like the past, present, and the future? All these three in fact mean one. And that one is called the now. This is a point of unification. This is a point of merging and melting. In an ordinary state it becomes very difficult to see this point of singularity. The mind is the instrument that takes us into the world of the past, present, and the future.  Let us take the example of a simple pendulum. This principle of the pendulum is used in a pendulum clock. And as long as the clock is moving the pendulum is moving back and forth. And because of the movement of the pendulum, the rotating hands of the clock are showing the time. And the moment the pendulum stops the time also stops. The clock does not show any time when the pendulum is not moving. The backward momentum gains enough energy to move in the forward. And the tension in the strings is enough to move the strings back and forth. The same is the story of our mind. When the thoughts move in the world of memory, the mind moves in the past. And when the thoughts move in the world of imagination, the mind moves into the future. And the tension in the mind is so much that the present moment just comes and goes. We do not even come to know when the present moment has come and gone. We all know for sure that the present moment had brought us joy and happiness. And we always desire for more of such moments. Is my past responsible for my present and the future? If the answer is yes, then past, present and the future exist. And if the answer is no, then the past, present and the future become irrelevant. I know all for sure that I was yesterday, I am today, and I shall also be tomorrow. My yesterday has become today, and my today shall become my tomorrow. If my past has impacted my present, then with the same analogy my present will also impact my future. Then what becomes very important is to focus in the present. And when we focus in the present, we can be able to see our future in the present. Therefore, the three activities that go together are to take reference of the past, act in the present, and look into the future. You have to act in the present to unwind the past, and activate the future. You can’t do anything with the past. It has happened. There could be some tension left in the string to impact the present. You can’t undo the past. But you can always unwind the past. You can let it go. You can release the tension. And if you don’t, then it will impact the future. And then the same vicious circle continues. The whole purpose of a new and fresh life is to break this vicious circle. Is this really possible? In an ordinary state of the mind this seems difficult. Then what is the way? The answer lies in a meditation technique called “Right Mindfulness”. It is a method to be present in the moment and know the reality as it is. Let us again go back to the example of the pendulum. Let us look at the pendulum. Let us move from the bottom of the pendulum to the top of the pendulum. As we move up, we come to a point where the pendulum is joined at a point. At the bottom the swings are bigger and quicker. And as we move up, the swings become smaller and slower. And at the point of the joint there is nothing called the forward and the backward movement. It is a point where the past and the future stops and we enter into a point of now or present. This point is a point of mindfulness or witneesing. At the higher point the lower points come in control. It is like the point of a junction. It is a control point. The higher mind takes control of the lower mind. At this point the lower mind dissolves in the higher mind. They both mean the same thing. I can now see my past and my future from this point of now. This is a point of eternal present. This is how you can elevate your vision and look into the future.

Enlightenment and Corporate Excellence

You can neither take nor give enlightenment. You can only receive it. It is a gift from the divine. It is a “Prasada”. It is what you receive as a consequence. It is like a by-product. And it is not a goal.

You can’t desire enlightenment. You need to be deserving to receive it as a gift. There is a saying that says that God does not give you success but God estimates your success. If I am worthy I will receive it in no time. And if I am not worthy and don’t deserve it now then I will have to wait patiently. The word patient is very beautiful. It means a sick person. The sick person goes to a doctor for a cure. And the doctor tells the sick person to have patience. Because the cure will take some time. But the sickness is so much that the patient loses all patience. And there is no shortcut. The patient has to wait. There is no other way.

The same is the story with enlightenment. You have to wait endlessly. And in a ripe moment it happens. And it happens. It surely happens. How does it matter even if it didn’t happen? Who cares? What matters is that you loved the path. What matters is that the journey was joyful. What matters is that you loved the whole process.

The end of the process results into enlightenment. Just take the example of 24 carat gold. Look into the whole process of moving from the raw gold to 24 carat gold. From raw gold to 24 carat gold the whole process is intrinsically connected. It is one process. At the end of the process the raw gold transforms into a 24 carat gold.

What happens in the whole process? The raw gold is passed through the acid test and the fire test. And as the raw gold moves up the stream, in the whole process the impurities present in the raw gold are burnt and dissolved, and at the end of the process as a resultant is the 24 carat gold. The whole process is one. It is interconnected. The raw gold culminates into a 24 carat gold as a consequence. The whole process is a process of quality improvement. The 24 carat gold moves to a highest quality.

It is similar to the quality processes followed by the corporations in quality improvement. They follow many types of quality processes like ISO and Six Sigma. And at the end of the process are the world class quality products. The whole quality process creates a value.

The case of the Mumbai Dabbawalas has become world famous. This case is being referred by world famous universities to their students in their curriculum. The people of Mumbai Dabbawalas are very simple and down-to-earth human beings. They don’t have any ego. They don’t have any attitude. They are not professional people. They are not engineers. They are not MBAs. And probably this is the reason why they are able to create excellence. They are working above six sigma.

On the other hand take the example of many business organizations. They are rich and they have lot of money. They have technology. They have qualified people like engineers, doctors, MBAs, etc. They have pumped millions of dollars in their processes. And still they are not able to work above six sigma. What is the matter? The matter is lack of simplicity and ordinariness. A professional person thinks that he is extraordinary. An expert thinks that he is extraordinary. And this attitude becomes a barrier to quality. A quality product, a quality process, and a quality person are not three different compartments. All these three are part of a one big process. They are interconnected. They are not separate. They can not work in silos. You can not improve one without improving the other. This is where quality suffers. This is where quality becomes unsustainable. And this is the reason why the products and markets eventually die.

The goal of any organization is to create excellence. And this excellence can be achieved only through quality people. Happy people give highest productivity and greatest performance. And happy people create quality products and quality processes. All quality is a by-product of happiness. And all happiness is a by-product of Right Mindfulness.

Right Mindfulness is a quality standard for improving the quality of the individuals. We have various quality standards for improving the quality of the processes and products. But we do not have any standard for improving the quality of the individuals. The right mindfulness meditation improves the “Emotional Quotient” and the “Happiness Quotient” of the individuals. Right mindfulness is not being full of mind. Right mindfulness is just being in the moment and understanding the reality as it is. The art of right mindfulness helps in finding out and removing the root causes. The art of right mindfulness is a boon for creativity and innovation. Right mindfulness helps in creating excellence in everything that you do.

And eventually as the individual moves up the stream in his own inner being through right mindfulness, enlightenment happens to him as a consequence. It is a by-product and comes as a gift of the divine. And the by-product of enlightenment is a person of highest “Happiness Quotient”. And this person is always in a state of a Sachitananda. And this person has an excellence to lead the organization with love and compassion. Love and Leadership can go together. Creativity and Compassion can go together. Intelligence and Innovation can go together. Meditation and Management can go together. There is no conflict. And this person always follows the principles of Enlightened Leadership.

Awaken the “Absent Leader” within You !!

Are you an “Absent” Leader? May be you are too busy to know your leadership style. And may be you perceive that you are not an “Absent Leader”. An Absent Leader is one who is too busy in his own cocoon and has no time to get in touch with his people. He creates a silk envelope around him and is surrounded by sychophants. He sits in an ivory tower and is not in touch with the reality.

In the ancient Indian times this type of leadership was seen in Dhritarashtra, the blind king of Hastinapur and Bhishma, the grand old man who had sworn to serve the Kuru Kingdom. The king was not only physically blind but was also spiritually blind. He was giving a blind eye to all the wrong actions of his son Duryodhana. He was not able to take any action on the wrong actions of his son. He was suffering from Putramoha (gross attachment to his son). Physical blindness is not a big handicap but spiritual blindness is a big handicap. Bhishma was a man of strong morals and ethics. He was a man of strong characters. But he too was suffering from “Rashtra Dharma”. He had sworn to protect the king under all circumstances. These were the handicaps in the way of able leadership. And such circumstances slowly pull the leader into an “Absent Leader”.

Mahatama Gandhi brought in the metaphor of “Three Wise Monkeys” to convey the Principle Centered Leadership to the people of India. And these three monkeys are: See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil. And the “Absent Leadership” in India gave altogether a new dimension and paradigm to Gandhi’s Principle Centered Leadership. And the three wise monkey’s of Absent Leadership are: Don’t See, Don’t Speak, Don’t Hear. In fact the Absent Leadership has added a fourth wise monkey to the three. And the fourth wise monkey is “Be Absent”. The fourth monkey is awesome. The fourth monkey metaphorically means, “Don’t be present and be absent”. The Absent Leadeship follows the Ostrich Philosophy.

What is the solution then? The only solution is: Right Mindfulness. Right Mindfulness is not being Full of Mind. It is being mindful to the absent mindedness. Right Mindfulness can awaken the sage commnader within you. Right Mindfulness is a powerful meditation technique that brings an order in a chaos. The ancients have practiced growth and prosperity along with harmony.

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” Lao Tzu