Friday, October 18, 2013

Attributes to imbibe as said by Krishna

Right from childhood, we are told by elders to ‘be good’. But at no time are we given the definition of what ‘good’ is other than the usual commandments not to tell lies, steal and so on. Curious to know what it means to be good, I turned to the GITA and I found the perfect explanation in the 13th chapter and verse 7.
acaryopsanam-saucam-stahairyam-atma vinigrahah

Absence of conceit-absence of hypocrisy-harmlessness-
reverence for teacher-cleanliness-steadfastness-self discipline

No management expert could have put it in better terms. Going by this description, many of us would lag far behind the ideal .Conceit is what makes most of us strut like peacocks and look down on our fellow beings. Conceit is mistaken for self esteem and confidence .While the latter is good for ones personality build up, the former can reduce you to a hollow being. Little wonder that we have many empty vessels in society full of sound and fury signifying nothing!
There is a very fine line between diplomacy and hypocrisy. Most of us fall into the second category! Rarely do we say what we think and do what we say. There is no co ordination between these three within us. We are constantly displaying a facade that is intended to hoodwink others to gain personal benefits.
Harmlessness seems to be a quality not found in many of our behaviour.Not necessarily physical but we can harm others verbally, financially, emotionally and professionally. This is happening too much around us. By harming others, we do greater harm to ourselves and do not realize the impact it can have on our well being.

Accommodation- means being tolerant of the actions/words of others. Greed and consumerism have made us very snappy and ill mannered. This in turn has affected our Straightforwardness. We take refuge in devious ways to get what we want and it is difficult to believe your fellow beings just as it is for them to take you at face value!

Reverence for teacher- could be absent partly due to the teacher’s own lack of the above qualities .As for cleanliness, it does not mean just outwardly washing and wiping but an inner sterility. Steadfastness in relationships at different levels brings about harmony and peace.

Self discipline is the most important quality and can bring into focus all the other attributes. Armed with this inner control, we can master many values that make us ‘good’ human beings.

Many organizations spend big money on training their employees. Outdoor activities to build leadership skills and team work are conducted. Hours of conference room presentations are made. Yet corporate life is infused with interpersonal rivalries and harassment. Perhaps it would be a good idea to go to the GITA for sage advice on making individuals imbibe the qualities Krishna spoke about to Arjuna.