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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Does Business Have To Do With Spirituality? 企業和靈修的關連性

What Does Business Have To Do With Spirituality?

February 08, 2013

(Below is the transcript of Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.You can watch the Live webcast of future satsangs)

Bangalore, India

My dear ones on the dais, and my dear ones in the audience.
Two important instruments were used for all of us to be here today. One is a scissor and the other is a needle. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be wearing the garments that we are wearing today.
A fabric needs to be cut, and then it needs to be sewed; and that is how all the suits, and the pyjamas-kurtas, and everything that we are wearing, exists. In the same way, Business and Spirituality – one cuts and the other joins, and they are both essential.
You can't have a fabric which is simply cut and not sewed. That is of no use. Similarly, you cannot sew something which is not cut.
Sometimes people ask me, ‘What does business have to do with spirituality? Business is all about passion, and spirituality is all about dispassion. They are poles apart’.
Business says, ‘Go aggressively and earn’, and spirituality says, ‘Give up everything that you have’.
Although they appear to be completely opposite to each other, I say, they are complimentary. Like the in-breath and out-breath. When you breathe in, that is passion; but you cannot hold it for too long, you have to breathe out, and that breathing out is dispassion.
In my understanding, for business, you need five ingredients.

1. A Congenial Atmosphere
If you are asked to go and do business in some parts of Kashmir, or go and do business in Afghanistan or Iraq, the first thing you will say is no.
Take for example, Chhattisgarh. Suppose, someone says, 'Put up a factory in Bastar', you would say no. That is because there is no peace there.
When there is no peace, no prosperity comes, and when there is no prosperity, no peace can happen. Peace and prosperity are interlinked . It is because of prosperity that peace comes, (not all the time though), and it is because of peace that prosperity comes.
Out of the 612 districts in this country, 205 districts are affected by Naxalism, and these are the districts that are poverty stricken. Why? Peace is missing. The rest of the districts are very prosperous.
First, you need to bring peace, and then prosperity can follow.
2. Passion to Do Business
Passion needs to be there; the passion to take challenges. Business is always risk-taking. You need energy to take the challenge to do business.
3. Capital and Other Ingredients
You have passion, but if you don't have ingredients, then it would not be possible to go ahead.
4. Skills
You have all the materials you need, the place is congenial, but if you lack the skill, then you can't be successful.
5. Something very abstract called, Luck
Just by one's effort, if one could become very prosperous, then why are there so many people who put effort but don't become prosperous?
If you go to Commercial Street here in Bangalore, you will see that there are some shops which are very prosperous, but the shops next to them are making a loss.
The Chamber of Commerce here would agree with me.
In Chickpet also, one shop is making landslide business and the next shop is going bankrupt.
All the jewelers are in one row, all the garment shops are in one row, even then, one is doing good business and the other is failing. How come? Nobody knows!
This area which we don't know, is what spirituality is all about.
The whole material world, and all that we see, is run by a certain vibrational world which is subtler than what we see. The whole universe runs on vibration.
Many times it happens, you see someone, and you feel like talking to them and doing business with them. You see someone else and for no reason you have an aversion. You don't want to do business with them. Why? It is because you feel something; you say, 'I don't get good vibes'. The universe is run by vibrations; by a subtle world (Sukshma Jagat).
So, spirituality is to do with all these five ingredients.
Spirituality enhances positive energy; it brings out the skills in you. And a few minutes of quietness, of silence, helps you tap into the source of intuition.
Intelligence and intuition, these two faculties are enriched by spirituality.
Again, here, spirituality doesn't mean ‘doing something’, but it is ‘being quiet’. Allowing the mind to settle down; being centered and not taking sides. Going deep within oneself and appreciating the values of life in its totality; honoring life.
Spirituality helps one to enrich intuition and sharpen one's intelligence.
See, when you want to invest, you make a guess, and it is a risk that you take. This is where intuition is important. Intuition is the right thought at the right time, and it is an important component for success in business.
Now intuition comes to you when you balance your passion with dispassion; when you balance your profit with service; when you balance your aggressiveness to get things, with a compassion to give back to the society.
I'm not saying that you should not have the drive to do business aggressively, or that you should be very quiet and soft.
As a salesman, if you say, ‘My product is good, but the products of others are also good’, then that is not going to work!
You can say, ‘My product is the best’, but at the same time, having the compassion, having the ethics of honoring others too, is essential.
Intuition and sharpness of intelligence, sensibility and sensitivity, compassion combined with dispassion and passion, all of this brings such a balance to life that we can keep our smile throughout, whether we gain or lose in business. What is more important is keeping the smile.
If you have had some losses, why do you want to lose your smile also along with it?
If you have lost in the share market, you should at least keep your smile. Otherwise it is a double loss. And then a third loss will also happen, i.e., the loss of your health.

Caring for oneself, caring for one's environment, and caring for the ethics in business is important.
You don't like your subordinates to cheat you, then why would you cheat them?
You don't want your customers or vendors to cheat you, then why would you do that?
When you don't want others to do something to you, then you should not do that to others. This basic thing is the line of ethics, ‘I would not like anyone to cheat me, and so I will not cheat anyone.’
Now, if you ask me, ‘How is it possible to be hundred percent truthful and do business?’
I say, it is possible, and there are many such examples sitting here.
This conference will bring those principles in the limelight that people have practiced. And that will set an example of how ethics in business is possible.
Now, I am not asking you to be Satya Harishchandra.
In our ancient scriptures, there is a certain limit to speaking lies for business people.
It is like this, for a monk, he should not lie at all. For a king, he can lie one percent for the safety and security of the country. For a doctor, he can lie 2%. He can tell a person, ‘Don't worry, I'm here with you’, though he knows that he's going to go away. But for a businessman, it is said, he can lie 3%; not more than 3%.
3% is like salt in the food. You can’t have food in the salt, but a little bit of salt in the food is okay.
Today, the situation has become such that the food is in the salt, rather than salt in the food!
There is a story about Birbal, and I'm sure that many of you would have heard it.
Once Emperor Akbar passed a law, that anyone who tells a lie will be beheaded. He will be sent to the gallows. Hearing this, the whole of Delhi was shaking; like it is shaking today also. I think, it is the history of Delhi to keep shaking.
So, Delhi was shaking. In Chandni Chowk, all the businessmen gathered together and said, ‘We all have to go to the gallows because we always claim that ours is the best product, knowing too well that ours is not so go. So now, this law is suicide for us.’
Then came the turn of all the astrologers. They were even more worried, because they guessed and predicted some things, and if it went wrong, what would they do? So astrologers were all in trouble.
The priests were in trouble, doctors were in trouble, everybody got so worried because this law was simply absurd. Then they said, ‘Birbal, only you can help us'.
So, Birbal went to the King’s palace, and the guards stopped him and asked him, 'Where are you going?'
He said, 'I'm going to the gallows, I am going to be hanged'. This was a lie, because he was the most favored comedian of the palace. Why would the King push him into the gallows?
So he was produced in front of the King and they said, he lied. Now, if he was sent to the gallows, then what he said was true. The King would be blemished for punishing someone who was innocent. And, if he was not punished, the law would become obsolete.
The King was perplexed, he called all the Pundits, the ministers, and then Birbal said, ‘This is what it is! What you speak is not the truth, it is the intention which is the truth'.
So business people can speak just that little bit of lies, otherwise no one can market anything. No business can survive. So these are all codes of conduct in ethics.
Do not do something to others which you don't want others to do to you.
The world is not in fragments. Society cannot be in watertight compartments, and spirituality and ethics are an integral part of a human being.
It is spirituality which develops character, and who does not want people with good character working under them? Business means people, right? You have to work with people. And the people working for you, don't you want them to have integrity, honesty, straightforwardness and skill to deal with situations?
Tough situations come in every business and every organization, and you need skills to handle them. All this comes from our inner space which I call as the Spiritual Space.
So spirituality, business, politics, service activities, all together make life holistic. If any one component is missing, there will be chaos and not bliss.

I also want to bring attention to certain areas in India where business is still untapped.
One of them is tourism. India has so many tourist avenues, so many ancient sites where people would love to visit. But tourism has not been much explored.
The other area is garments. Garments here in India are very unique.
Third would be the food industry. If you travel around India, after every few miles or kilometers, you will find different varieties of food. Once, just out of inquisitiveness, I said, ‘Let's have a vegetarian food festival in India’, and you know, 5600 food items were prepared by people. Seven tons of different type of food, all prepared by volunteers.
We organized this Annam Brahma program in Ahmedabad, and many of the dishes prepared, we had never heard of them before.
If you go to Tripura, they have some 40 to 50 varieties of food items and preparations which are not known to the general public. Similarly here in Karnataka, we have some special dishes, Obbatu, Chutney Pudi, Gojju, Villakai, and people love these.
We have not showcased the food industry as well as we can.
The fourth area is jewelry.
Then we have Ayurvedic Medicine which is 5000 year old; Ayurveda and the herbs, the Shirodhara and Abhinga massages, etc., are all picking.
It is a very beautiful system and you can say that it is the 21st century medicine. Many people appreciate this, and it is catching up very well in spas around the world. But we need to popularize it even more.
Then, we have Yoga, Spirituality and the Knowledge of the Vedanta.
Seventh is the IT industry. India is known for this, today.
It started with IT, and then Yoga and Meditation is also popular around the world.
I was told that in US alone, Yoga is a 27 billion dollar industry.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Karnataka, you can do a lot of exploration in these areas. We also here with us today businessmen from Russia, Nepal and so many other countries. It would be good if we can sit together and see how we can bring more prosperity to every part of the world. Not just to you and me, but to everyone.
With these few words I once again congratulate you and may God bless you all.





整個物質世界,和所有我們所看到的,是由某些振波在操作,那個比我們所能看到的更精微的世界。這個宇宙都是震波在運作。很多時候這都在發生,你看到某個人,你會覺得要和他說話並與他們做生意。你看到某些其他的人而沒有任何原因的讓你覺得反感。你不想要和他們做生意。為什麼?因為你感覺到某些東西;你說,“我沒有得到好的震波”。宇宙是以震波在運作;一个微妙的世界(Sukshma Jagat)。


  如果你有些損失,為什麼你要連你的微笑也一同失去?如果你在股市裡虧損了,你也至少要保持你的微笑。不然就是雙重的損失。那麼第三個損失也會發生, 比如,失去你的健康。關心一個人,關心一個人的環境,和關心企業上的道德是重要的。你不喜歡你的部屬欺騙你,那麼你為什麼要欺騙他們呢?你不要你的客戶或供應商欺騙你,那麼你為什麼要那麼做?當你不要別人對你做些什麼事情時,那麼你也不要對別人那麼做。這是道德的最低限,“我不要別人騙我,所以我也不會去欺騙任何人。”

現在,如果你問我,“怎麼可能在生意上一百巴仙的真誠?”我說,這是可能的,這裡有很多這樣的例子。這次的會議會帶焦點給那些已經這樣實行的人們。這些是建立起企業道德的可行列子。現在,我並不是叫你成為Satya Harishchandra(聖人的名字)。在古老的經文裡,說謊的生意人是有一定的極限的。是這樣的,對於一位出家人,他是完全不可以說謊的。對於一位國王,為了國家的安危,他可以說一巴仙的謊話。一個醫生,他可以說2%的謊話。他可以告訴一個人,“別擔心,我會在這裡和你在一起”,雖然他知道這個人就將要離世了。但是一個生意人,據說,他可以說3%的謊言;不多過3%。3%就像是食物裡的鹽。你不能吃放置在鹽裡面的食物,但是在食物裡的放少許的鹽是可以的。 今天,情況已經變成食物是在放置在鹽裡面,而不是鹽放入食物裡!
有個關於Birbal的故事,我相信很多人都聽過了。有一次阿克巴大帝下了一個指令,任何撒謊的人都將被斩首。他将被送上绞刑。聽到這件事,整個新德里都在晃動;就像今天那樣。我想,新德里的歷史都在不断的晃动。所以,新德里在晃動。在 Chandni Chowk,所有的生意人都集合在一起,說到,“我們都將得上绞刑因為我們常常都說我們的產品是最好的,雖然我們知道我們的並沒有那麼好。所以現在,這個法令對我們來說是自殺”。然後輪到星相学家。他們更擔心了,因為他們猜測並預測一些事情,而如果那有出錯,他們能說些什麼?所以星相學家都處在麻煩裡了。祭司們也處在麻煩裡,醫生也處在麻煩裡,每個人都很擔心因為這個法令簡直就是荒谬。然後他們說,“Birbal,只有你能幫助我們”。所以 Birbal就去到國王的宫殿,那些侍衛就阻止他並問他,“你要去哪裡?”他說,“我要上绞刑,我將被絞死”。這是個謊言,因為他是那個地方最受歡迎的喜剧家。國王怎麼會把他推上絞刑呢?所以他被帶到國王面前,他們就說他撒了謊。現在,如果他被送上絞刑,那麼他所說的就是真實的。國王就會沾上懲罰無辜的人的污點。然而,如果他沒有被懲罰,法令就將變會是過時的。国王感到困惑,他集合了所有的學者,部長們,然後Birbal說,“就是這樣了!你所說的並不是真相,它的意圖才是真相。”



第三是飲食業。如果你在印度各地旅遊,幾英里或幾公里處,你就會找到多元化的食物。有一次,只是出于好奇心,我說,“讓我們在印度辦個素食節”,而你知道嗎,人們準備了5600種的食物。七吨不同種類的食物,都是義工們準備的。我們在Ahmedabad辦了這個 Annam Brahma 的節目,人們準備了很多我們都沒有聽說過的佳餚。如果你去Tripura,他們有40至50種種類的食物而它們的烹煮方式是大眾不知道的。相同的在Karnataka這裡,我們有些特別的佳餚,Obbatu, Chutney Pudi, Gojju, Villakai,而人們都很喜愛這些。我們並沒有好好的展現這些食物。

第四個領域是珠寶界。然後我們有已有5000年歷史的阿育吠陀醫療;阿育吠陀和草藥,Shirodhara 和 Abhinga 按摩等,都是摘要。那是很美麗的系統而你也可以說這是21世紀的醫療。很多人都很珍惜這個,而它也在世界各地快速的發展。但是我們還是需要去推廣它。



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