In my last two posts , I had tried to explore the missing element in management education. It is sad that we are ignoring our rich knowledge base given by our ancestors and trying to ape western practices with huge cost implications.
Even the religious preachers have infected this disease. An interesting , personal real life example is narrated here :
In the winter of 2007 , one morning , at my place of posting in a sleepy town of Bihar ( Darbhanga) , my neighbor called on me and suggested to accompany him that evening in a local 3 day Satsang called Gita Gyan Yagya, where apart from the local preachers, one TV channel type preacher from Delhi was also invited. After learning that the discourse is to be centred around GITA , I expressed my dilemma.
I said that I have already undergone many hours on Gita by such monotonous preachers on TV and there is no point in attending another one on a chilled evening under a tent with open surroundings. But , I told him that I can accompany him , not as a part of audience, but if allowed to speak on my understanding of GITA . Then he briefly discussed my point and after getting convinced , he told me that he would talk to organizers for a time slot that evening.
I reached there at 8 PM . And as happens routinely in such get-togethers , while preacher after preacher was delivering his rote learning in a monotonous somnolent speech , people were sitting struggling cold , some of them yawning, talking on mobile , taking a nap etc.
I was called on the dais at 9 pm with 15 minutes time and was introduced as project manager of Powergrid project at Darbhanga( perhaps that was the reason enough to allow me speaking ! ). Sitting among the professional preachers, who memorised entire Gita by rote while I remembered hardly 3-4 shlokas from Gita ( I had read entire Gita long back), I planned a debate . I humbly told them that neither I am an expert on the academic side of Gita nor I am a professional preacher or an orator. I said that I relate more to the people sitting in the audience than persons on the dais and my speech will have that point of view.
My candid confession immediately established my rapport with the audience and people started listening me, leaving their other activities. I asked the preachers to answer some questions which I was raising as a representative from audience.
I started “ Like this 3 day satsang on Gita , in entire India , thousands of conventions are held every year by many Gurus and preachers , which are attended by millions. There are similar discussions and write ups in print and electronic media also. There must be lakhs of speakers on the Gita and thousands of books written on it. And these activities are happening for years and increasing day by day in India. That is, when everybody already knows in India that Gita says do your work with utmost sincerity( Karma Yoga ) and leave the result in the hands of God. And everybody accepts this theory in India at least.
My first question is about this national paradox : A country, where GITA originated and with lakhs of its full time exponents all the time explaining to the public the virtues and benefits of Gita's doctrine, still this country remains the most dishonest , corrupt, unethical , lazy , dirty and shying away from even routine works and responsibilities. Whereas developed countries in Europe , the Scandinavian countries of Sweden,Norway and our South East Asian countries like Singapore etc are living in excellent ways without any trace of Gita and its preachers. ”
I asked the preachers to find the answer for this paradox ! It simply means that either the audience is not communicating and connecting with preachers or there is some flaw in the doctrine of Gita itself. Further I told that had there been any flaw in the Gita , then it would not have survived for 5000 years and it would not have inspired millions of people in these 50 centuries .
The audience was now listening in pin-drop silence. I fired another question, citing my own experience in an AC compartment train journey, where I had politely asked a bearded Mahanth of a Mathh , who was quoting Gita all the time, to answer honestly that whenever he faced a crisis, did he remembered and applied Gita's solutions. He candidly accepted that he did not !!
I repeated my question to the preachers on the stage. I said that answer here also, must be in negative !
I continued that when the exponents of Gita themselves are the disbelievers in Gita , then audience can be pardoned for not connecting with Gita. My engineering institute had a moto “ Gyanam Bharah Kriyaam Bina ज्ञानम् भार: क्रियां बिना " meaning knowledge is burden if not applicable . So , prima faci , it was proved that the present practice of Gita preaching is nothing but an exercise in futility as it is out of sync with the present age and it is a religious burden.
This led us to a deeper question. Is it the same Gita which was delivered in Mahabharata 5000 years ago ? If it is the same , then why it is not effective in this age ? Is it not an all time great classic ? But again, most of us agree that it is the same Gita of 18 chapters and it has mesmerised peoples of all ages in the past. Then what is lacking in Gita at present ? What makes it lack lustre now ?
The organisers had allotted me 15 minutes and the entire program was to be wound up by 10 PM . I had already taken up 30 minutes but organizers were helpless as the audience was listening in rapt attention. Here , an engineer was asking fundamental questions on Gita's very existence to the religious preachers, to which they had no answers !
Then somebody from audience shouted “ Have you found that missing link in Gita and if yes then tell us. ” I said “ Yes ! I know but will you listen for another 45 minutes , because I will not be here again ?” And the audience roared in unison “ Yes , as long you speak , we are ready to listen .”
Organizers were now in a trap. They had casually allowed a dark horse speaker , who had now hijacked the show and they were unable to do anything as the audience was clearly enthralled .
After getting assurance from audience , I started .....
" As you are showing extra ordinary interest, I would also like to tell you how I found that missing link. Surprisingly, the clue for the missing link lies in the Gita itself. I got that idea when somebody once asked me why a person would work if he should not think of the remuneration ( Phal) and leave it to God , as Gita says do karma and leave the result to the God.
And his comment made me think for days. It is very natural for a human being to expect the result of the action immediately. So, when somebody kills a person , everybody expects killing the killer immediately. A worker cannot be simply wished away after he completes the work and he will ask for his wages payment.
Suddenly it appeared to me perhaps Gita has been misquoted in modern times. Then , I again read entire Gita and I found that modern preachers , film songs and bhajan writers have over simplified the original doctrine of Gita and very few people read and understand the original text.
Gita never says that do your action and leave the result to the God , rather it says that between any action and its result , there must always be a time delay. So, Gita says don't expect instantaneous results every time. Further , it says, that though the result of the action would always be proportionate , but because of time lag , at the time of delivery of result , it may not appear to be proportionate for various factors. This may confuse people.
For example , a person committed a murder and was immediately arrested and put in jail. The court proceedings may take some years. In the mean time, he becomes a good person in jail premises. Everybody likes him . But after 2 years, one morning court awards him death penalty. Now , a person who is not aware of his previous misdeed of murder may find a dichotomy in his present situation and death penalty.
This is a very simple and crude example of time lag between an action and its result. Every human being indulges in various actions every moment and the results of these actions are always following in a sequential manner like in a conveyer belt. We see that in an accident , some persons unexpectedly survive , some do not. That is because for most persons bad action results in an accidental loss but for few people , simultaneous arrival of good results of previous action results in their survival .
Because of complex nature of delivery of results at various moments and in mixed quantities, Gita advises the common man, not to worry and waste time in understanding this complex system , but have faith in the delivery system and keep working in the best possible positive way.
To explain it , I always give an example from salaried class people. They never get the gross salary , their PF and other things are deducted and PF etc is paid after decades. Now , if everybody starts asking what happens to that PF, how it is managed etc. then it would be very difficult for government to run a PF scheme. The PF system runs because we have faith in the system.
Once , when I was giving this example , a person remarked that in PF system also , people are given a time frame and the expected amount and there are some guidelines also. Then only people get convinced about that system.
I got his point. In total absence of a time-frame , a person will not act at all. This is very natural. So even if God descends on Earth and asks to follow Gita , people will not act. In absence of a time mechanism , the teachings of Gita become useless.
After that, restlessly I started thinking that there must be a way or method , which lets you know the probable periods of Karma Phal delivery and its approximate quantity . Otherwise, Gita cannot appeal the general public and learned persons in particular. And after few years , after I undergone a basic course in Astrology in Delhi , it striked me that only Shastra available for such knowledge of timing is JYOTISH SHASTRA or Hindu Astrology !
EUREKA I screamed !!! All questions and doubts immediately vanished in thin air after this idea. Astrology exists in India from immemorial times, even before Gita was delivered and it is based on mathematics and astronomy.
The mathematics is the core and backbone of science and technology , hidden from public eyes but very much visible to the scientists and technologists. The existence of science and technology happened only after development of Mathematics. Gita too has its own mathematics , which when, it was created made a wide spread appeal on Indian society. And based on that mathematics called astrology, it was accepted , worshipped and lasted for 5000 years. Gita's author always assumes that you are aware of basics of astrology.
Gita talks passionately about the theory of Karma ( human action ) and its Phal (result) and says that while you should , rather you have to do Karma because of environment you are trapped in , but don't expect its Phal and leave it to God. Now , modern man gets stuck up , why one should not ? Then what is the need of action ? etc.
Gita is like an electronics / computer technology theory book , discussing a marvellous and fascinating subject yet it is either abandoned or worshipped but is not practiced in modern daily life . The reason being the absence of its mathematical support of astrology for validating its confident use.
Once when I was explaining the need of knowing astrology for actual understanding and applicability of Gita , some body raised a question why Gita does not have any reference to astrology .
I said it was not required at that time and for that you will have to study the history and social conditions of that time as described in Mahabharata .All of us know that Gita was written as a poem ( Gita - Songs ) about a very deep meaning subject, as a literary work, much after the war ended .
If we study Mahabharata even today , we find many instances of astrological references. The stalwarts of both sides of Kauravas and Pandavas are seen quoting via astrology using Nakshatra & Planets . Using Astrology , they confidently knew even the result of the impending war.
Particularly, Bhishma and Karna were very well sure about the defeat of their side before start of war despite being the stronger side, because of the knowledge of Nakshatra based astrology. Later, Bhishma postpones his time of death for this reason only. We also know that Sahdev, youngest of the Pandava brothers was a practising astrologer , whom even Duryodhan consulted !
This only proves that astrology was a very well known and widely practised subject , though in literate and educated society. When Gita talked about Nishkaam Karma, then society was already knowing and practising it via Astrology. And it is next to impossible to do Nishkam Karma ( desireless action ) without understanding astrology.
It is astrology , which informs you that some situations in life , are beyond the control of human actions and you have to undergo the loss and pain at some particular moments, despite your best intentions and efforts at that moment. Man has not been designed to win always. This , when seen repeatedly, will result in Nishkam Karma automatically, as happened to Bhishma and Karna. Their side did not win but Individually they won their name in history.
That is the reason , Gita does not include any astrological reference , because its author thought it too elementary to mention it in that Age, even to include it as an appendix .
It was like, taking for granted that a person sitting in a shop knows basic arithmetic or a professional today in India is supposed to know English, computers etc. It was a very normal assumption that any person studying Gita knows some basics of astrology , so that he does not raise why & when for its theory.
And once a person is astrologically aware, Gita assumes a larger than life size and becomes an all time great Classic and becomes The Constitution of God . Further, we know that Gita survived all through 5000 years in India except last 200 years, which were also the years of decline in astrological education. These 200 years are nothing but the period of Western Industrial Revolution and its influence in all segments of Indian life.
Gita deals with inner needs of human beings , talks about soul and mind , happiness and unhappiness , reasons behind these and finally how to detach oneself from them. These are eternal subjects which were and shall remain the subjects close to any human heart in future as well. And so Gita and its mathematics called astrology, the Hindu Astrology ,will never lose their appeal, though it may diminish for some time ,as happening now, because of onslaught of materialistic achievements. ”
With that I ended my speech. It was already 10:30 PM . The audience was sitting in a total freeze all through this. The main organizer ostensibly appreciated my point while concluding the session but visibly he looked disturbed, because an outsider had stolen the limelight of their annual event .
The event was covered by next day's newspaper also ( 22/12/2007 Dainik Jagran).