Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Indian concept of leadership is based on the ‘Rajarshi’ model

The afternoons are occupied with studying selected readings such as Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’s Right Attitude to Work, On Self Perfection, Living Within, Growing Within ...

The Indian concept of leadership is based on the ‘Rajarshi’ model which is a combination of “Raja” and “Rishi”. Rishi (seer, visionary) is the base and Raja (who ensures the happiness of the people) is the superstructure.

Following are the characteristics of a Rishi: a) Gives priority to ‘ROLE’ over ‘SELF’ (e.g. role of Raja in Sri Ram in the Ramayana while banishing Sita). b) Translates cosmic order into social order. Cosmic order has four components: wisdom, power, protection and work. These were translated into – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras.c) Has solitude, silence and sincerity in his character.

The seven-step exercise of Module 1 is supplemented by the following for experiencing a sense of unity:

Imagine radiating from the psychic centre waves of rays of peace, harmony and bliss to everyone, friend or foe; imagining sharing one’s inner serenity with all without exception, particularly those who are antagonistic (pratipaksha bhavana) without any expecta­tion of any sort of return. This concept is taken from Buddhist psychology and linked to Karma Yoga.

imagine the radiant globe within the centre of the chest moving out to the centre of the room, converging with those of all other participants and becoming a unified luminous whole.

imagine the individual luminous cores detaching from the central unity and returning within oneself carrying with each the profound unity experienced with the others. These uses of the dynamic imagination are Prof. Chakraborty’s own creation.

Module 3 takes place after about three months for two successive forenoons, the theme being “Managing Stress, Communication and Counselling.” It emphasises that identifying the causes of stress is the most important factor for managing stress and for this he has emphasised on the following points:

There is a growing feeling in management circles that some amount of stress is good as it can act as a driving force for doing some job or performing some task perfectly. But stress is basically negative and leads to drainage of energy. Thus, those who claim that some amount of stress is necessary probably mean ‘stress’ as ‘challenge’ which acts as a stimulus. Therefore, ‘challenge’ is an energy stimulator whereas ‘stress’ is an energy dissipater.

However, a person who is challenged can also be subjected to stress. But the ideal should be transition from the state of stress to a state of challenge. (Gita Chapter–I Verses 28 and 29: Arjun’s stress at the outset of war. Sri Krishna pulled him up from that state of stress to a state of challenge.)

Theoretical explanation of causes of stress: The Panchakosha tattva or the Five-Sheath Model (taken from the Taittiriya Upanishad) Panchakosha means five concentric outlines of the human frame:1. Annamaya Kosha: The outermost material sheath. 2. Pranamaya Kosha : The vital life force and protected by the Annamaya Kosha. 3. Manomaya kosha: The mental sheath. 4. Vijnanamaya kosha: The wisdom sheath.5. Anandamaya kosha: The sheath of bliss.

Stress belongs to the first three sheaths i.e. from Annamaya to Manomaya kosha. The remaining two i.e. the Vijnanamaya and the Anandamaya koshas are absolutely stress free. Our problem is that we jumble up these five sheaths and thereby stress is produced. The exercise involves concentrating on two sets of imagery for tackling stress after going through the steps described above:

Imagine within the psychic centre the image of a sea which is turbulent on the surface but calm underneath, and seek to identify with the harmony beneath the ever-changing surface, detaching from the chaotic surface.

Imagine praise being poured into one ear and abuse into the other, remaining unmoved in the midst of both, centered in the luminous heart-centre to achieve steady inner poise. Prof. Chakraborty has given this final module an intricate conceptual design:

Vikshepa (Stress) –––– Samatva (Poise) –––– Ananda (Bliss) Duality Equality Unity Torment Equanimity Bliss Secular Sacro-Secular Sacred Executive Self Witness Self Divine Self Objective Reality Subjective Reality All is Reality Leela Nitya Leela — Nitya

These psycho-physical exercises aim to achieve the following goals: purify the nerve channels which interlink the memory base (chitta), the manas (seat of emotions and feelings), discriminating intellect (buddhi), and intuitive wisdom (prajna). They need to be de-contaminated so that the process of transmission to the intellect is not distorted or left incomplete. Concentrating on the intellect is fruitless because it gets its material from elsewhere. Mindful breathing can clean the channels so that prajna can link the individual to the infinite or transcendent consciousness. strengthen will-power; increase the power of penetrating insight; develop the holistic, synthesising, expansive capability;acquire a tranquil inner world; enable the mind to provide its own authentic feedback;pursue ethico-moral fitness; capture the awareness of unity.

As for the principles of communication, these are derived from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother [On Self Perfection parts II, IV and On Work]: “Never utter a word when you are angry”; “outburst of anger or temper means the tongue is projecting bad vibrations into the atmosphere. Nothing is more contagious than the vibration of sound”; “Don’t allow the impulse of speech to assert itself too much or say anything without reflection—speak always with a conscious control”; “if there is gossip about others and harsh criticism, don’t join—they only lower the consciousness from the higher level”; “cultivate the habit not to throw yourself out constantly into spoken words”; “the less one speaks of other—even praise—the better it is. Already it is difficult to know exactly what happens in oneself, how to know then with certainty what is happening in others”; “you must criticise nothing unless you have at the same time a conscious power and an active will in you to dissolve or transform the movements you criticise”; “to discourage is wrong. But false or wrong encouragement is not right. Very often if an inner communication has been established, a silent pressure is more effective than anything else”; "What is needed for success in the outward field is the power to transmit calmly a Force that can change men’s attitude and the circumstances and make any outward action at once the right thing to do and effective”; “one must state only what one wishes to see realized.”

The entire question of Effectiveness is seen as a combination of Values and Skills. The former is the process of Becoming in the inner world through which the Skills for Doing in the external world are processed. That is why honing Skills alone cannot possibly lead to effectiveness. Values themselves can be seen in a two-fold manner; as means (i.e. HOW to act) and ends (i.e. WHAT to aim for, the goals). The experience of management is that most organizations have personnel who are strong in skills and weak in values. Questionnaires administered to a wide spec­trum of practising managers has elicited the same response time and again: they would prefer to have personnel less skilled but with a strong base in the right values because they realize that management devoid of values becomes mere manipulation just as politics bereft of philosophy degenerates into opportunism.

So much stress is laid on Creativity in management literature ignoring the fact that the individual spark of creativity is a part of the Creator himself. Yoga establishes that legitimate contact between the individual spark and its source. Hence the necessity for stressing the right-brain which intuits supra-logically, as against the overwhelming left-brain approach of education which only analyses. It is by quietening the left brain that we allow the right half to come up. In a conversation with Rene Weber, the physicist David Bohm stated that the mathematician’s creative perceptions take place when “The veil of the mind is parted. The mind is caught in things that it takes for granted. The ordinary low-energy mind just goes through things over and over and takes its old assumptions for granted, but this high-energy dissolves the veil so that the mind can function on a new level.”

As Tagore wrote, “keep your flute empty so that the flute player can play his tune through it.”Brain-storming becomes most effective if preceded by brain-stilling.This is the flute of the heart and mind of the individual that Tagore speaks of which has to be cleansed of impurities so that the music of the Creator can flow through it. This is the aim of the exercises described above. Posted by Dr. Pragya bajaj Labels: , , at 12:58 PM

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