What causes stress, is the wavering mind, the unfocused mind, that flits back and forth from past to future, never dwelling in the present.
Simple message: Swami Parthasarathy
We’ve heard of unbridled capitalism, crony capitalism. But ‘Karma Capitalism?’ What’s that? It’s just a simple prescription for happiness. Swami Parthasarathy, Founder of the Vedanta Academy, Pune, distinguishes between intelligence and the intellect. “There may be brilliant people, who are still unhappy or agitated, because they have lost their intellect, and have made no attempt to resurrect it,” he says. “Happiness and contentment should come from within the individual. It does not depend on external conditions.” On beating stress
Last year he addressed a group of young business leaders, who were all members of the YPO-Young Presidents’ Organisation. The aim of his lectures was to help corporate leaders beat stress. And how does one beat stress? Swami Parthasarathy’s message is not the usual message to slow down, and do less work. “Work doesn’t tire a person,” says the Swami, whose day begins at 4 a.m. and ends at 9.30 p.m. What tires people, what causes stress, is the wavering mind, the unfocused mind, that flits back and forth from past to future, never dwelling in the present.
Wherever one is placed on the corporate ladder, worrying about future benefits, wondering whether a hike or a promotion will result from one’s current performance, worrying about what the appraisal is going to throw up, can all result only in stress. And such fretting can only prevent one from discharging one’s duty.
“Those in the corporate world should remember three things —
3]co-operation,” he says.
“These are the three ingredients of action.
1]First focus on the task at hand.
2]Next fix a goal, and channel all your actions towards that goal.
3]The third is to pool together resources, and to shun self-centredness. And remember that what you sow, you reap. There is no getting round cause-effect in life.”
He says these ideas are there even in English poetry, and so they have poetry sessions too as a part of his Vedanta course in Pune. “Goldsmith, Cowper, Wordsworth, Browning — all of these poets give pretty much the same message. I was influenced by the teachings of Swami Rama Tirtha. He died 21 years before I was born. He lectured in the U.S. in 1902 and 1903. To me he is one of the few self-realised souls. He said that the elementary and fundamental truths of the Vedanta are all around us — in the wind, in the brooks, even in our kitchens. We just must know how to pick up these thoughts.”
Swami Parthasarathy is an avid cricketer. “When I was a student of Law in Madras, our college team played against Presidency college. C.D. Gopinath was on the Presidency college team. I remember I scored 69 not out, in that match. I still play cricket at the age of 82,” he says. He is also a great fan of Madurai Mani Iyer’s music.
Swami Parthasarathy has lectured in top business schools like Harvard, Kellogg’s and Wharton’s. “Once a year, corporate leaders from the U.S. come to our centre in Pune for a five day retreat,” he says.
‘The Truth about Truth’ — that is the title of the discourses, based on the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 15, that Swami Parthasarathy will present from March 3-6 at Kamaraj Memorial Hall, 6.30-8 p.m. The lecture will be preceded by a music recital at 6 p.m. The artists are Lakshmi Rangarajan, Vijayalakshmi Subramaniam, Vasundhara Rajagopal and Raji Gopalakrishnan.
[The Hindu, Friday Review(Chennai), 27:02:2009]