software story

Rahul, a programmer, started his journey in the software industry just like anybody else. He wrote a piece of code, compiled it, and then looked at the compiler output. It reported some syntax errors, and he them and recompiled the program. He repeated this until he got no errors. Then he ran it, and got runtime errors which he again corrected iteratively until the output was as expected.

There are some programmers who do this day after day, year after year.

Rahul however tried consciously to reduce the compiler error output and reduce blindly typing the code depending on the compiler to show them the typos later. He still got errors, but less than the previous attempt. He continued this endeavor until he come to a point when he could write a new complex piece of code, and get “0 errors 0 warnings” the first time he compiled it. He felt exhilarated that this was possible at all.

When he ran this program, he was disappointed that it crashed straightaway. He debugged it to discover the error and thought “oh how could I have made such a silly mistake and not checked if that pointer was not null!” Then he repeated the same process for runtime errors… trying to get the program passing the smoke test the first time it was executed.

He realized that he had to control his impulse to type in code straightaway, and first get his ideas clear. He got into the habit of first taking a piece of paper and writing a rough algorithm or just an abstract mind map kind of thing … to get the design right before going in front of the computer.

Program after program, he kept trying, when finally he was able to get another breakthrough… a new piece of code written such that it compiled with no errors at all; and which ran perfectly the first time.

He didn’t stop here… he kept working… kept trying to make the success rate more consistent, with every new program he wrote.

As time passed by, Rahul realized that he was generating far more output having much higher quality than his peers. He tried to help them whenever they got stuck and learnt more in the process.

Then the first terrible thing happened… he was given a promotion with a salary raise. The terrible thing was not the promotion or the raise itself, but Rahul’s perception of himself after it. He had no clue that his ego had increased. It was an achievement… no doubt, but the problem was that the pride did not dissipate but remained at the back of his head most of the time.

He still continued his endeavor to learn and get better and better at software development. He read more books on design, and started seeing patterns common to different unrelated projects. He eventually came across the famous design patterns book by the GOF. Here was a whole book on the chapter written by people far more advanced than him. He felt proud that he already thought of a few of the ideas they were presenting in the book.

As he climbed higher and higher up the corporate ladder, getting better and better paid, his ego kept on increasing. Unknown to him, complacency had started creeping in.

Until one day, when a calamity struck.

The previous evening had been just another typical family evening after he returned from home… ate some nice payasa made by his mother, had dinner with everyone, quarreled over TV channels, listened to L. Subramanyam’s violin which was a common favorite to himself and his father… and then slept peacefully after everybody had wished each other goodnight.

And the next morning his father died, expired due to a massive cardiac failure.

The suddenness of it left him numb; it took quite some time for him to get over it.

Eventually, time heals all wounds.

The scientist in him prompted him to objectively retrospect about what had actually happened.

The truth dawned on him that all the money he was earning had done nothing to save his Dad who had been so precious to him.

He suddenly saw the world in a new light… he wondered why people were fighting with each other… saying angry things to each other when none of them had any clue if they would see each other again the next day. He could see that they were all under the assumption that whatever they were fighting about was far more important then themselves. In fact he could see through how many assumptions his own life had unquestionably been based on and was almost amused at his own ignorance.
He developed the habit of first of all becoming aware of these assumptions, and then questioning them, finding out which of them were valid, and which did not hold weight. Questioning never meant rejection, it only meant reconsideration from a fresh perspective instead of blind acceptance.

Years rolled by, and Rahul came across the Bhagavad Gita. He questioned the assumption that it was a book full of impractical theory, so idealistic it was only fit for saints and would make very boring reading. However he still gave it a shot, and was stunned to see that it made a great deal of sense even to his own software profession. He later came across the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which greatly renewed his quest towards perfection in software development. He could see a close relationship to the Karma yoga of the Bhagavad Gita, which says “pal… you better work without bothering about the rewards, your work itself is a reward”. This had seemed to be so impractical earlier, the immediate retort would be “would you work without a salary huh!? …what nonsense!” Now the answer was clear… obviously any employer would pay salary for work well done, and work would surely be well done when it is done with the intent of Perfection. Perks and tokens of appreciation are needed, by people who don’t know who they really are… who need somebody else to tell them “good job” to give them a sense of security and well-being. Rahul felt liberated from such needs… and once he was liberated he immediately realized they had been acting as unseen barriers to his true potential.

Appreciation had its importance, serving as an acknowledgement that he was on the right track; just like a mark on tree in a dense forest to indicate that one was going in the right direction. He recollected his earlier days of typing in code consciously to make sure it worked, the first time, every time. He understood the concept of “Being there”.

He was greatly influenced by the movie the Gladiator, where the gladiator rises up from the ranks of a slave to a leader, just by the perfection in his skills – without anybody giving him the designation of “Leader”, without the need for any external person praising him and motivating him.

He kept trying to improve; this time with a difference… he stopped tying his designation to his job. He could see that many people held various beliefs, such as that a C++ programmer should condemn everything about Java and vice versa, and it is wrong for a Microsoft technologist to appreciate anything in the Java world, and vice versa. Some believed that testing is not part of the job and its something that some testing team has to do. Some others felt a business sense is needed only by managers and businessmen, and is something totally irrelevant to a purely technical person.

He could see great brilliance and creativity in many people around him, yet how such beliefs limited their capacities. Many of them, including some senior to him, were limited by their designation and their role. They were caught up in their own closed shells, making sure that they were saving their own skin by ensuring that their own role was being played properly. Very few people were thinking about the company’s point of view and what would improve the bigger picture. There was a lot of hesitation in questioning any decisions which they felt might not be better for the company, at the same time the decision makers were so used to the lack of questioning, that they often considered silence as consent.

One particular common assumption was that once a person has done programming for x years, he should stop coding and become a manager. Rahul questioned this in his mind, because he could see a whole new range of possibilities. He could see that it was perfectly fine for a programmer with the right aspirations and skills to evolve into a manager, but did not think that the same shoe fit him. He started imagining alternatives, and one of the possibilities was to remain technical, to stay in touch with programming and at the same time learn about architecting software systems. He could sense that it was possible for a true professional to look at a problem and understand it in great depth, ask a lot of questions such that every single aspect of the problem is understood. And he should be able to intuitively visualize many solutions, and know the pros and cons of each. He should be able to visualize in his minds eye the whole system running end to end before even beginning the implementation. He learnt later that the title called Technical Architect matched closely with what he had in mind. It involved several other aspects such as developing a keen business sense and being a mediator between the end customer and the development team.

His peers had developed so much of attachment to what they knew that they considered it “their” domain and had so much of hesitation to learn anything new. Rahul learnt that the industry changes so rapidly that at times, when circumstances demand it, it is important to “let go” of some concepts dear to him, which he had mastered with so many years of experience, to learn totally new, apparently unrelated concepts. The mighty oak is broken in a fierce storm, but what survives is the slender grass which bends according to the winds.

He sometimes would get a false sense of being overwhelmed by all that he knew. He eventually realized that such impressions about him being so knowledgeable already would only serve as a barrier towards further progress. There was so much to learn, often even from people much younger and inexperienced than him, that he needed to break such barriers. He learnt the technique of “emptying himself” to be more receptive to new ideas; as Socrates had said “All that I know is that I know nothing”.

All his life, he had made many enemies, who were always acting as obstacles to his path. He had frequent battles with them, and won sometimes, lost at other times. All of these enemies were within him, the most formidable ones being his laziness and lack of discipline. These enemies formed a huge gap between his ideals and his actions. Walking the path he believed in would mean bridging this gap. Now he could clearly see these enemies, and recognize that they were not part of his nature, and stopped believing that “I am like this only”.

It was a slow transformation, but an interesting one nevertheless. Its said that “No action is more fascinating than the action of self-transformation. Nothing on earth can compare with its drama or its value. In Athens, one day, Diogenes was asked whether he was going to attend the athletic contests at the local arena. Diogenes replied that his favorite contest was to wrestle with and to win over his own nature.”

He watched the movie Beautiful Mind, and was impressed by the way the mathematician copes up with the creations of his own mind. He says “you feed the past and it becomes your present”. In the movie, he ignores the imaginary people no matter how much they convince him to get him to talk to them… esp. that sweet little girl with a cute smile and her arms open … or that military guy who shouts at him to convince him. Rahul felt that everybody is a schizophrenic in some way or the other. The difference is that a schizophrenic sees imaginary people. For the others, the objects are not always people but something else, some notion that they’ve fed for many years and cannot get rid of it overnight when they realize it is baseless.

He remembered the earlier days wasted in cribbing for an endless number of reasons. He came across a story told by a wise man, which he wished he had seen at that time:

“There are two Goddesses that reside in the heart of every human being. Everybody is deeply in love with these supreme beings. But there is a certain secret that you need to know, and I will tell you what it is.

“Although you love both Goddesses, you must pay more attention to one of them. She is the Goddess of Knowledge, Sarasvati. Pursue her, love her, and give her your attention. The other Goddess, Lakshmi, is the Goddess of Wealth. When you pay more attention to Sarasvati, Lakshmi will become extremely jealous and pay more attention to you. The more you seek the Goddess of Knowledge, the more the Goddess of Wealth will seek you. She will follow you wherever you go and never leave you.”

He dreamt of a future of the company he worked in; that it would be like a university, where there was free flow of knowledge regardless of project groups or sections. Every single person would find out for himself what he was best at, and take responsibility for gaining expertise in one particular skill; at the same time being open minded about learning and exchanging information and opinions about others. Buddha’s words “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it” made a lot of sense.

In his dream, every senior expert such as a technical lead or architect would take it upon himself (or herself) to mentor younger members of the group. They would identify and empower them to build upon their strengths. They would effectively work towards bringing the younger members up to their level, so that they themselves would become redundant and would be in a position to take on greater responsibilities. He dreamt of a sound knowledge management infrastructure in place, with people needing no encouragement to go ahead and participate and share their knowledge. There would be well attended technical seminars at a company-wide level, as well as frequent discussions and presentations at individual project group levels. There would be regular contributions to the industry through various means such as interactive participation in technical conferences, or knowledge sharing or even at times defining new standards.

What a powerful company it would be!

He’d seen several of these things already around him, for example in some recent KM initiatives. He guessed it might only be a matter of time that the others fall into place, and felt like contributing his own mite towards it.

He eagerly described these ideas to his friend Naren. Naren replied “What?! You want everybody to become geeks!! Forget it pal! No way am I going to be a 24 by 7 bookworm!”

Rahul replied “no no! you’re missing the point here! If people are totally knowledge oriented; the chances of them getting stuck in a project at a critical time would reduce drastically; the need to spend hours working overtime would reduce their productivity would shoot up; and they would be able to be more happy overall; have less worries at work; and so more cheerful when they would go home every day”

Naren waited for Rahul to catch his breath; and admitted that he was more confused than impressed with Rahul’s ideas.

Rahul repeated it again; this time more slowly; and added “Just imagine, you’d actually look forward to come to work everyday, and be happier when you go home.” Naren thought about it and said “hmm… maybe it makes sense…”

Rahul replied “doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not, unless we actually try it out”.

Naren said “what makes you think there already aren’t people thinking along the same lines?? There are plenty!” Rahul replied “true, but they only form the minority, they are sparsely distributed, and don’t know about each other much. For something like this to click, it must work on a larger scale; you know, like radioactivity! There’s got to be a critical mass for something worthwhile to happen; else it just becomes a fad which dies out in no time”

And Naren asked “and how do you imagine this critical mass will get started?”. Rahul was silent… and confessed “Actually… I don’t really know! First of all I have my own limitations… I’m such a lazy guy that I keep thinking of so many things but never end up doing anything! I must work on myself first!”

Naren replied “ha, you do that! Then think of advising other people!” Rahul was surprised “look up pal, there’s a difference between advising people and sharing one’s thoughts. If one can advise people only when one is perfect, we know that nobody is perfect and that will never happen. When one is only sharing one’s ideas, the people who listen are free to question what I say or reject it. Because by the time I ever actually win all my inner battles and come close to becoming a real expert, others would be losing invaluable time. On the other hand, if I were to only put all my energy into telling people what I believe, nobody would take my words seriously since I myself wouldn’t be in a position to prove their value by example. So the only way out is the middle way… to maintain a balance.”

7 Responses to “software story”

  1. Arun Subbaramu Says:


    The compilation of the whole script is really good, explaining some aspects of a Software Engineer (may be specific to a person) but tunning to be general.

    Arun Subbaramu

  2. Sanjay Mysoremutt » Blog Archive » book: Jonathan Livingstone Seagull Says:

    […] opment – it started a long chain of thoughts in my mind in this regard, which I wrote as a story. Posted in book | By msanjay Bot […]

  3. Syam Says:

    Just wonderful !!!
    I liked the “unleashing ur potential by removing artificial constraints in thought” part very much.
    What a discovery! Thank u so much for sharing.

  4. bhattathiri Says:

    Articles by M.P. Bhattathiri, Retired Chief Technical Examiner , Govt. of Kerala, it may be published in your website and magazine after editing if necessary.

    1. Bhagavad Gita and management

    Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind ~ Arjuna to Sri Krishna


    The ancient Hindu philosophy of keepiing mind and body for the well being, has entered the managerial, medical and judicial domain of the world. Today it has found its place as an alternative to the theory of modern management and also as a means to bring back the right path of peace and prosperity for the human beings. One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is Holy Gita which is considered to be one of the first revelations from God. The managent lessons in this holy book were brought in to light of the world by divine Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and the spiritual philosophy by Sr. Srila Prabhupada Swami who has popularised Bhgavad Gita and Bhagavatam thorugh out the world with his dedicated devotion until His death, ( Ons should read his autobiography then we can understand that He is also an incarnation of lord Krishna)) and humanism by Sai Baba. Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to practical life. It provides “all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level.” Maharishi reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs and aspirations of everyone. Arjuna got mentally depressed when he saw his relatives with whom he has to fight.( Mental health has become a major international public health concern now). To motivate him the Bhagavad Gita is preached in the battle field Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as a counseling to do his duty while multitudes of men stood by waiting . It has got all the management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium and to overcome any crisis situation. The Bhagavad Gita can be experienced as a powerful catalyst for transformation. Bhagavad gita means song of the Spirit, song of the Lord. The Holy Gita has become a secret driving force behind the unfoldment of one’s life. In the days of doubt this divine book will support all spiritual search.This divine book will contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen one’s inner process. Then life in the world can become a real education—dynamic, full and joyful—no matter what the circumstance. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever guide us on our journey. What makes the Holy Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence and we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge.

    The Holy Gita is the essence of the Vedas, Upanishads. It is a universal scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times. It is a book with sublime thoughts and practical instructions on Yoga, Devotion, Vedanta and Action. It is profound in thought and sublime in heights of vision. It brings peace and solace to souls that are afflicted by the three fires of mortal existence, namely, afflictions caused by one’s own body (disease etc), those caused by beings around one (e.g. wild animals, snakes etc.), and those caused by the gods (natural disasters, earth-quakes, floods etc).

    Mind can be one’s friend or enemy. Mind is the cause for both bondage and liberation. The word mind is derived from man to think and the word man derived from manu (sanskrit word for man).

    “The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.”

    There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology. Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through intellectual knowledge of the playing field(jnana yoga), emotional devotion to the ideal(bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling and knowledge(karma yoga). With ongoing purification we approach wisdom. The Bhagavad Gita is a message addressed to each and every human individual to help him or her to solve the vexing problem of overcoming the present and progressing towards a bright future. Within its eighteen chapters is revealed a human drama. This is the experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man from a state of utter dejection, sorrow and total breakdown and hopelessness to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed strength and triumph.

    Management has become a part and parcel of everyday life, be it at home, in the office or factory and in Government. In all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose, management principles come into play through the management of resources, finance and planning, priorities, policies and practice. Management is a systematic way of carrying out activities in any field of human effort.

    Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant, says the Management Guru Peter Drucker. It creates harmony in working together – equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical, technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal. Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in the best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the most important and essential factor for a successful management.

    Management guidelines from the Bhagavad Gita
    There is an important distinction between effectiveness and efficiency in managing.

    · Effectiveness is doing the right things.

    · Efficiency is doing things right.

    The general principles of effective management can be applied in every field, the differences being more in application than in principle. The Manager’s functions can be summed up as:

    · Forming a vision

    · Planning the strategy to realise the vision.

    · Cultivating the art of leadership.

    · Establishing institutional excellence.

    · Building an innovative organisation.

    · Developing human resources.

    · Building teams and teamwork.

    · Delegation, motivation, and communication.

    · Reviewing performance and taking corrective steps when called for.

    Thus, management is a process of aligning people and getting them committed to work for a common goal to the maximum social benefit – in search of excellence.

    The critical question in all managers’ minds is how to be effective in their job. The answer to this fundamental question is found in the Bhagavad Gita, which repeatedly proclaims that “you must try to manage yourself.” The reason is that unless a manager reaches a level of excellence and effectiveness, he or she will be merely a face in the crowd.

    Old truths in a new context
    The Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago, enlightens us on all managerial techniques leading us towards a harmonious and blissful state of affairs in place of the conflict, tensions, poor productivity, absence of motivation and so on, common in most of Indian enterprises today – and probably in enterprises in many other countries.

    The modern (Western) management concepts of vision, leadership, motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, giving work meaning, decision making and planning, are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita. There is one major difference. While Western management thought too often deals with problems at material, external and peripheral levels, the Bhagavad Gita tackles the issues from the grass roots level of human thinking. Once the basic thinking of man is improved, it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.

    The management philosophy emanating from the West, is based on the lure of materialism and on a perennial thirst for profit, irrespective of the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon has its source in the abundant wealth of the West and so ‘management by materialism’ has caught the fancy of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend. My country, India, has been in the forefront in importing these ideas mainly because of its centuries old indoctrination by colonial rulers, which has inculcated in us a feeling that anything Western is good and anything Indian is inferior.

    The result is that, while huge funds have been invested in building temples of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in the improvement of the general quality of life – although the standards of living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all sectors of the economy, criminalisation of institutions, social violence, exploitation and other vices are seen deep in the body politic.

    The source of the problem
    The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are not far to seek. The Western idea of management centres on making the worker (and the manager) more efficient and more productive. Companies offer workers more to work more, produce more, sell more and to stick to the organisation without looking for alternatives. The sole aim of extracting better and more work from the worker is to improve the bottom-line of the enterprise. The worker has become a hireable commodity, which can be used, replaced and discarded at will.

    Thus, workers have been reduced to the state of a mercantile product. In such a state, it should come as no surprise to us that workers start using strikes (gheraos) sit-ins, (dharnas) go-slows, work-to-rule etc. to get maximum benefit for themselves from the organisations. Society-at-large is damaged. Thus we reach a situation in which management and workers become separate and contradictory entities with conflicting interests. There is no common goal or understanding. This, predictably, leads to suspicion, friction, disillusion and mistrust, with managers and workers at cross purposes. The absence of human values and erosion of human touch in the organisational structure has resulted in a crisis of confidence.

    Western management philosophy may have created prosperity – for some people some of the time at least – but it has failed in the aim of ensuring betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless edifice and an oasis of plenty for a few in the midst of poor quality of life for many.

    Hence, there is an urgent need to re-examine prevailing management disciplines – their objectives, scope and content. Management should be redefined to underline the development of the worker as a person, as a human being, and not as a mere wage-earner. With this changed perspective, management can become an instrument in the process of social, and indeed national, development.

    Now let us re-examine some of the modern management concepts in the light of the Bhagavad Gita which is a primer of management-by-values.

    Utilisation of available resources
    The first lesson of management science is to choose wisely and utilise scarce resources optimally. During the curtain raiser before the Mahabharata War, Duryodhana chose Sri Krishna’s large army for his help while Arjuna selected Sri Krishna’s wisdom for his support. This episode gives us a clue as to the nature of the effective manager – the former chose numbers, the latter, wisdom.

    Work commitment
    A popular verse of the Gita advises “detachment” from the fruits or results of actions performed in the course of one’s duty. Being dedicated work has to mean “working for the sake of work, generating excellence for its own sake.” If we are always calculating the date of promotion or the rate of commission before putting in our efforts, then such work is not detached. It is not “generating excellence for its own sake” but working only for the extrinsic reward that may (or may not) result.

    Working only with an eye to the anticipated benefits, means that the quality of performance of the current job or duty suffers – through mental agitation of anxiety for the future. In fact, the way the world works means that events do not always respond positively to our calculations and hence expected fruits may not always be forthcoming. So, the Gita tells us not to mortgage present commitment to an uncertain future.

    Some people might argue that not seeking the business result of work and actions, makes one unaccountable. In fact, the Bhagavad Gita is full of advice on the theory of cause and effect, making the doer responsible for the consequences of his deeds. While advising detachment from the avarice of selfish gains in discharging one’s accepted duty, the Gita does not absolve anybody of the consequences arising from discharge of his or her responsibilities.

    Thus the best means of effective performance management is the work itself. Attaining this state of mind (called “nishkama karma”) is the right attitude to work because it prevents the ego, the mind, from dissipation of attention through speculation on future gains or losses.

    Motivation – self and self-transcendence
    It has been presumed for many years that satisfying lower order needs of workers – adequate food, clothing and shelter, etc. are key factors in motivation. However, it is a common experience that the dissatisfaction of the clerk and of the Director is identical – only their scales and composition vary. It should be true that once the lower-order needs are more than satisfied, the Director should have little problem in optimising his contribution to the organisation and society. But more often than not, it does not happen like that. (“The eagle soars high but keeps its eyes firmly fixed on the dead animal below.”) On the contrary, a lowly paid schoolteacher, or a self-employed artisan, may well demonstrate higher levels of self-actualisation despite poorer satisfaction of their lower-order needs.

    This situation is explained by the theory of self-transcendence propounded in the Gita. Self-transcendence involves renouncing egoism, putting others before oneself, emphasising team work, dignity, co-operation, harmony and trust – and, indeed potentially sacrificing lower needs for higher goals, the opposite of Maslow.

    “Work must be done with detachment.” It is the ego that spoils work and the ego is the centrepiece of most theories of motivation. We need not merely a theory of motivation but a theory of inspiration.

    The Great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941, known as “Gurudev”) says working for love is freedom in action. A concept which is described as “disinterested work” in the Gita where Sri Krishna says,

    “He who shares the wealth generated only after serving the people, through work done as a sacrifice for them, is freed from all sins. On the contrary those who earn wealth only for themselves, eat sins that lead to frustration and failure.”

    Disinterested work finds expression in devotion, surrender and equipoise. The former two are psychological while the third is determination to keep the mind free of the dualistic (usually taken to mean “materialistic”) pulls of daily experiences. Detached involvement in work is the key to mental equanimity or the state of “nirdwanda.” This attitude leads to a stage where the worker begins to feel the presence of the Supreme Intelligence guiding the embodied individual intelligence. Such de-personified intelligence is best suited for those who sincerely believe in the supremacy of organisational goals as compared to narrow personal success and achievement.

    Work culture
    An effective work culture is about vigorous and arduous efforts in pursuit of given or chosen tasks. Sri Krishna elaborates on two types of work culture – “daivi sampat” or divine work culture and “asuri sampat” or demonic work culture.

    · Daivi work culture – involves fearlessness, purity, self-control, sacrifice, straightforwardness, self-denial, calmness, absence of fault-finding, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of envy and pride.

    · Asuri work culture – involves egoism, delusion, personal desires, improper performance, work not oriented towards service.

    Mere work ethic is not enough. The hardened criminal exhibits an excellent work ethic. What is needed is a work ethic conditioned by ethics in work.

    It is in this light that the counsel, “yogah karmasu kausalam” should be understood. “Kausalam” means skill or technique of work which is an indispensable component of a work ethic. “Yogah” is defined in the Gita itself as “samatvam yogah uchyate” meaning an unchanging equipoise of mind (detachment.) Tilak tells us that acting with an equable mind is Yoga.

    (Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 1856-1920, the precursor of Gandhiji, hailed by the people of India as “Lokmanya,” probably the most learned among the country’s political leaders. For a description of the meanings of the word “Yoga”, see foot of this page.)

    By making the equable mind the bed-rock of all actions, the Gita evolved the goal of unification of work ethic with ethics in work, for without ethical process no mind can attain an equipoise. The guru, Adi Sankara (born circa 800 AD), says that the skill necessary in the performance of one’s duty is that of maintaining an evenness of mind in face of success and failure. The calm mind in the face of failure will lead to deeper introspection and see clearly where the process went wrong so that corrective steps could be taken to avoid shortcomings in future.

    The principle of reducing our attachment to personal gains from the work done is the Gita’s prescription for attaining equanimity. It has been held that this principle leads to lack of incentive for effort, striking at the very root of work ethic. To the contrary, concentration on the task for its own sake leads to the achievement of excellence – and indeed to the true mental happiness of the worker. Thus, while commonplace theories of motivation may be said to lead us to the bondage or extrinsic rewards, the Gita’s principle leads us to the intrinsic rewards of mental, and indeed moral, satisfaction.

    Work results
    The Gita further explains the theory of “detachment” from the extrinsic rewards of work in saying:

    · If the result of sincere effort is a success, the entire credit should not be appropriated by the doer alone.

    · If the result of sincere effort is a failure, then too the entire blame does not accrue to the doer.

    The former attitude mollifies arrogance and conceit while the latter prevents excessive despondency, de-motivation and self-pity. Thus both these dispositions safeguard the doer against psychological vulnerability, the cause of the modem managers’ companions of diabetes, high blood pressure and ulcers.

    Assimilation of the ideas of the Gita leads us to the wider spectrum of “lokasamgraha” (general welfare) but there is also another dimension to the work ethic – if the “karmayoga” (service) is blended with “bhaktiyoga” (devotion), then the work itself becomes worship, a “sevayoga” (service for its own sake.)

    Along with bhakti yoga as a means of liberation, the Gita espouses the doctrine of nishkamya karma or pure action untainted by hankering after the fruits resulting from that action. Modern scientists have now understood the intuitive wisdom of that action in a new light.

    Scientists at the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, found that laboratory monkeys that started out as procrastinators, became efficient workers after they received brain injections that suppressed a gene linked to their ability to anticipate a reward.The scientists reported that the work ethic of rhesus macaques wasn’t all that different from that of many people: “If the reward is not immediate, you procrastinate”, Dr Richmond told LA Times.

    (This may sound a peculiarly religious idea but it has a wider application. It could be taken to mean doing something because it is worthwhile, to serve others, to make the world a better place – ed.)

    Manager’s mental health
    Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity – more so management. Sound mental health is that state of mind which can maintain a calm, positive poise, or regain it when unsettled, in the midst of all the external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal constancy and peace are the pre-requisites for a healthy stress-free mind.

    Some of the impediments to sound mental health are:

    · Greed – for power, position, prestige and money.

    · Envy – regarding others’ achievements, success, rewards.

    · Egotism – about one’s own accomplishments.

    · Suspicion, anger and frustration.

    · Anguish through comparisons.

    The driving forces in today’s businesses are speed and competition. There is a distinct danger that these forces cause erosion of the moral fibre, that in seeking the end, one permits oneself immoral means – tax evasion, illegitimate financial holdings, being “economical with the truth”, deliberate oversight in the audit, too-clever financial reporting and so on. This phenomenon may be called as “yayati syndrome”.

    In the book, the Mahabharata, we come across a king by the name of Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for a thousand years. However, he found the pursuit of sensual enjoyments ultimately unsatisfying and came back to his son pleading him to take back his youth. This “yayati syndrome” shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions (extrinsic motivation) and inner value and conscience (intrinsic motivation.)

    Management needs those who practise what they preach
    “Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow,” says Sri Krishna in the Gita. The visionary leader must be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others. “I am the strength of those who are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the legitimate desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness,” says Sri Krishna in the 10th Chapter of the Gita.

    In conclusion
    The despondency of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita is typically human. Sri Krishna, by sheer power of his inspiring words, changes Arjuna’s mind from a state of inertia to one of righteous action, from the state of what the French philosophers call “anomie” or even alienation, to a state of self-confidence in the ultimate victory of “dharma” (ethical action.)

    When Arjuna got over his despondency and stood ready to fight, Sri Krishna reminded him of the purpose of his new-found spirit of intense action – not for his own benefit, not for satisfying his own greed and desire, but for the good of many, with faith in the ultimate victory of ethics over unethical actions and of truth over untruth.

    Sri Krishna’s advice with regard to temporary failures is, “No doer of good ever ends in misery.” Every action should produce results. Good action produces good results and evil begets nothing but evil. Therefore, always act well and be rewarded.

    My purport is not to suggest discarding of the Western model of efficiency, dynamism and striving for excellence but to tune these ideals to India’s holistic attitude of “lokasangraha” – for the welfare of many, for the good of many. There is indeed a moral dimension to business life. What we do in business is no different, in this regard, to what we do in our personal lives. The means do not justify the ends. Pursuit of results for their own sake, is ultimately self-defeating. (“Profit,” said Matsushita-san in another tradition, “is the reward of correct behaviour.” – ed.)

    A note on the word “yoga”.

    Yoga has two different meanings – a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is “a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state.” The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings.


    Let us go through what scholars say about Holy Gita.

    “No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things. . . . The Swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has lead to this illuminating work.”

    Dr. Geddes MacGregor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy University of Southern California

    “The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita.”

    Thomas Merton, Theologian

    “I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book.”

    Dr. Samuel D. Atkins Professor of Sanskrit, Princeton University

    “As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya tradition.”

    Olivier Lacombe Professor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne University, Paris

    “I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita.”

    Dr. Frederick B. Underwood Professor of Religion, Columbia University

    “If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people.”

    Dr. Elwin H. Powell Professor of Sociology State University of New York, Buffalo

    “There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada’s translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight.”

    Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins Professor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall College

    “The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a commentary written from not only a scholar’s but a practitioner’s, a dedicated lifelong devotee’s point of view.”

    Denise Levertov, Poet

    “The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold.”

    Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr. Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization University of Chicago

    “The scholarly world is again indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary.”

    Dr. J. Stillson Judah, Professor of the History of Religions and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California

    “Srila Prabhupada’s edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India.
    “Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India.”

    Francois Chenique, Professor of Religious Sciences Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France

    “It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us”

    Emerson’s reaction to the Gita

    “As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized ‘gurus’ and ‘yogis’ and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture.”

    Dr. Kailash Vajpeye, Director of Indian Studies Center for Oriental Studies, The University of Mexico

    “The Gita is one of the clearest and most comprehensive one, of the summaries and systematic spiritual statements
    of the perennial philosophy ever to have been done” __________________________________________Aldous Huxley

    “It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don’t know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and style. . . . It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come.”

    Dr. Shaligram Shukla Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University

    “I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the aesceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more fraternal place.”

    Dr. Paul Lesourd, Author Professeur Honoraire, Catholic University of Paris

    “When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.”

    Albert Einstein

    “When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.”

    Mahatma Gandhi

    “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.”

    Henry David Thoreau

    “The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions.”

    Dr. Albert Schweitzer

    “The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization.”

    Sri Aurobindo

    “The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states ‘behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant.’ This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses in chapter 15 of Bhagavad-Gita.”

    Carl Jung

    “The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe.”

    Prime Minister Nehru

    “The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion.”

    Herman Hesse

    “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it.”

    Rudolph Steiner

    “From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures.”

    Adi Shankara

    “The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.”

    Aldous Huxley

    “The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord Krishna’s primary purpose for descending and incarnating is relieve the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable influences that are opposed to spiritual development, yet simultaneously it is His incomparable intention to be perpetually within reach of all humanity.”


    The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaishnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord.

    Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati

    “The Mahabharata has all the essential ingredients necessary to evolve and protect humanity and that within it the Bhagavad-Gita is the epitome of the Mahabharata just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the essence of flowers.”


    Yoga has two different meanings – a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is “a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state.” The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings. Lord Krishna is real Yogi who can maintain a peaceful mind in the midst of any crisis.”

    Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

    Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana are but three paths to this end. And common to all the three is renunciation. Renounce the desires, even of going to heaven, for every desire related with body and mind creates bondage. Our focus of action is neither to save the humanity nor to engage in social reforms, not to seek personal gains, but to realize the indwelling Self itself.

    Swami Vivekananda (England, London; 1895-96 )

    “Science describes the structures and processess; philosophy attempts at their explaination.—–
    When such a perfect combination of both science and philosophy is sung to perfection that Krishna was,
    we have in this piece of work an appeal both to the head annd heart. ” ____________Swamy Chinmayanand on Gita

    I seek that Divine Knowledge by knowing which nothing remains to be known!’ For such a person knowledge and ignorance has only one meaning: Have you knowledge of God? If yes, you a Jnani! If not, you are ignorant.As said in the Gita, chapter XIII/11, knowledge of Self, observing everywhere the object of true Knowledge i.e. God, all this is declared to be true Knowledge (wisdom); what is contrary to this is ignorance.”

    Sri Ramakrishna .

    Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to practical life. It provides “all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level.” Maharishi reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs and aspirations of everyone.

    Maharshi Mahesh Yogi

    The Gita was preached as a preparatory lesson for living worldly life with an eye to Release, Nirvana. My last prayer to everyone, therefore, is that one should not fail to thoroughly understand this ancient science of worldly life as early as possible in one’s life.
    — Lokmanya Tilak

    I believe that in all the living languages of the world, there is no book so full of true knowledge, and yet so handy. It teaches self-control, austerity, non-violence, compassion, obedience to the call of duty for the sake of duty, and putting up a fight against unrighteousness (Adharma). To my knowledge, there is no book in the whole range of the world’s literature so high above as the Bhagavad-Gita, which is the treasure-house of Dharma nor only for the Hindus but foe all mankind.
    — M. M. Malaviya


    2. Pwer of Yoga and Meditation

    Indian Vedic contribution is a reservoir of Vibrant Information and Harmonious Creativity. May the Womb of Nature Embrace all with Tranquil Blessings from this day forward. Let this attract one’s attention affecting them Positively. It is a Sanctuary of the Self , a Creative Venue which serves as an Enduring Expression of Lightness, where a peaceful Atmosphere with Sunlight Flows and serene atmosphere prevail.
    The American justice Dept. have recently approved the power of yoga and meditation vide a recent judgement in the American court.”Man Who Slapped Wife Sentenced to Yoga, It’s Anger Management, Says Judge.”

    First there was house arrest. Now there’s yoga. A judge ordered a man convicted of slapping his wife to take a yoga class as part of his one-year probation. “It’s part of anger management,” County Criminal Court at Law Judge Larry Standley said of the ancient Hindu philosophy of exercise and well-being. “For people who are into it, it really calms them down.
    ” Standley, a former prosecutor, said the case of James Lee Cross was unique. Cross, a 53-year-old car salesman from Tomball, explained that his wife was struggling with a substance abuse problem and that he struck her on New Year’s Eve during an argument about her drinking. “He was trying to get a hold of her because she has a problem,” Standley said after the court hearing. “I thought this would help him realize that he only has control over himself.” The sentence came as a surprise to Cross, who was told to enroll in a class and report back to Standley on his progress. “I’m not very familiar with it,” Cross said of yoga. “From what I understand, it may help in a couple ways, not only as far as mentally settling, but maybe a little weight loss.” Darla Magee, an instructor at Yoga Body Houston in River Oaks, said she would recommend that Cross take a basic yoga class emphasizing breathing and including a variety of postures — forward bends, back bends and twists. “Yoga can help us to get rid of many emotional issues we might have,” she said. “It’s a spiritual cleanse.”

    Prosecutor Lincoln Goodwin agreed to a sentence of probation without jail time because Cross had no significant criminal history Yoga which is one of the greatest Indian co tribution to the world has got vast potential in all fields. In Tihar jail India Yoga is experimented among the inamtes and found successful. Their criminal mentality is changed. This study aimed at investigating the effect of Vipassana Meditation (VM) on Quality of Life (QOL), Subjective Well-Being (SWB), and Criminal Propensity (CP) among inmates of Tihar Jail, Delhi. To this effect the following hypotheses were formulated.

    1. There will be a significant positive effect of VM on the QOL of inmates of Tihar jail.
    2. VM will have a positive and significant effect on SWB of inmates.
    3. Criminal propensity (CP) of inmates will decrease significantly after attending the VM course.
    4. There will be significant difference in SWB and CP of experimental (Vipassana) group and control (non-Vipassana) group.
    5. Male and female inmates will differ significantly in SWB and CP, as a result of VM.

    In the famous “Time” magazine the importance meditation and yoga, an ancient Indian system, is high-lighted that the ancient mind- and spirit-enhancing art is becoming increasingly popular and gaining medical legitimacy.

    It is a multi billion dollar business in US. In many Universities it is accepted as subject and included in the Syllabus. In the latest famous book “Inspire! What Great Leaders Do” written by Mr.Lance Secretan recently published by John Wiley and sons, the benefit of meditation is elaborately described for good corporate governance.
    By practising transcendental meditation, or TM, many people have got relief from back pain, neck pain, depression. The mind calms and quiets, . What thoughts you have during meditation become clearer, more focused. Anger, anxiety and worries give way to a peace.
    In the world exhorbitant medical expeneses one can definitely make use of meditation. Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and Sri Ravi Sankar are poplarising this. The Iyengar Yoga institute in US is famous.
    In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna has inspired Arjuna to rise from his depression by preaching Gita in the battlefield and to rise from the depression to do his duties.

    In Holy Gita we can see, being hidden by the cosmic overview of any institution beset with myriad problems, not the least of which is its lack of moral probity, there is a groundswell of educated people seeking answers to deeply personal but universally asked questions. Chie Executives taking lessons from yoga, meditation and learning how to deal with human resources equations in an enlightened manner. Individuals from every walk of life can get ideas of how to be better human beings, more balanced and less stressed out.
    Medical studies continue to show regular meditation working magic in reducing blood pressure and stress-related illnesses, including heart disease. Brain images show that regular meditation helps calm the most active sensory-assaulted parts of the brain.
    The ancient Hindu sage Patanjali who had mastered the secrets of the human mind has written a book “Yogasutra”.In this book we can see how super powers can be achieved by meditation. It has both cosmic relevance and cosmic resonance. In spite of its universal appeal, for most people total control of mind remains an elusive goal and daunting task. From time immemorial, there have been many attempts throughout the world to unlock the mysteries of the mind and to achieve total control over it through a variety of techniques. One of the most powerful of these techniques is meditation. Many spiritual leaders, sages, saints, and holy people such asSri. Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna, Madam Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda have practised this.
    One of the ways to control physiological reactions to psychological stimuli is meditation, Yoga, Zen Buddhism etc. The scientists take Transcendental Meditation (TM) as the uniform technique, and base their observations on the study of the subjects engaged in this form of meditation. In summing up the results the scientists have come to conclusion that the effect of meditation is a “wakeful, hypo-metabolic state”.

    They have found that:

    1) Yogis could slow both heart rate and rate of respiration,

    2) Yogis could slow the rate of metabolism as confirmed by decreased oxygen consumption and carbon-di-oxide output.

    3) Electro-Encephalo-Gram (EEG – recording of brain activity) in Yogis showed changes of calmness in the form of “alpha rhythm” during both eyes closed and eyes open recordings.

    4) Th ir skin resistance to electric stimulation was increased (indicating increased tolerance to external stimuli).

    Our usual ‘defence-alarm’ reaction to emotional and physical stress is in the form of “fright, flight, and fight” mediated through over-secretion of certain neuro-transmitters and neuro-modulators, namely adrenaline and dopamine by way of stimulation of sympathetic nervous system. Under the influence of these chemicals and hormones, we reflexively become panicky or aggressive, our blood pressure rises. Thus stress and anxiety is the end result if we allow our natural age-old sympathetic reactions to act and to come to surface. We try to run away, become fearful, or fight the situation. But today these ‘defence-alarm’ reactions have no place in our lives. Rather, they should be replaced by more calm and serene reactions of equanimity and fearlessness. The need is to just ‘face the brute, and it will go away’. Such desirable reactions of non-aggression and peaceful attitude are generated by Y ga and meditation.

    EEG Studies on Yogis and The Zen Meditations:

    Yogis practising Raja-Yoga claim that during the state of samadhi they are oblivious to the internal and external stimuli, and they enjoy a calm ecstasy during that state. A study was undertaken to record the electrical activity of their brain during this state by means of a regular and useful test known as electroencephalography EEG. Physiological and experimental studies have demonstrated that the basis of conscious state of brain, among other things, is due to activation of “reticular system” in the brain-stem in response to internal and external stimuli. These stimuli bring about various changes during sleeping and wakeful states of the organism and these can be studied by EEG.

    The study was carried out on four subjects during the state of concentration and meditation. Effects of external stimuli, like a loud gong, strong light, thermal simulation, and vibrations were studied. The results were compiled and analyzed. It was observed that two Yogis could keep their hands immersed in extremely cold water for about 50 minutes (raised pain threshold). During state of meditation, all of them showed persistent “alpha activity” in their EEG with increased amplitude wave pattern, both during ‘eyes closed’ and ‘eyes open’ recording. It was observed that these alpha activities could not be blocked by various sensory stimuli during meditation. It was also observed that those, who had well-marked “alpha activity” in their resting EEG showed greater aptitude and zeal for maintaining the practice of Yoga. Similar observations and results were obtained when EEGs were recorded in persons adept in Zen Meditative technique. Can we say that only those persons who exhibit such recording of “alpha wave rhythm” in their EEG are fit for Yoga? and be designated as right candidates for meditation and Yoga practices? (Such experiments are indeed very few and the number of yogis examined is also very small. Therefore, scientifically and statistic lly these observations have only a tentative importance. Further research is definitely called for, albeit it will have its own limitations.)
    Let me bow to Indian Maharishi Patanjali with folded hands who helped in removing the impurities of the mind through his writings on Yoga, impurities of speech through his writings on grammer, and impurities of body through his writings on Ayurveda.

    It is said that in the unknown period of Lord Jesus Christ , He was under meditation.

    Ref. Yoga magazines
    Newyork times
    Time magazine

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