by : Poonam Sagar
“If Spirituality is the banana, then religion is its peel” said Sri Sri Ravishankar to explain the distinction between the two with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He radiates happiness and has a childlike countenance like Lord krishna. He travels the globe and has touched the lives of over 300 million people through personal interactions, public events, teachings, Art if Living workshops and humanitarian initiatives.
Art of Living center is very active in Jakarta, Indonesia and is graced by Sri Sri Ravi shankars visit every year. He was here in April this year on his way to bali where he holds the world peace meditation on 18th April along with thousands of Balinese hindus. His vision is of a violence free, stress free society through the reawekening of human values has inspired people to work towards the betterment of the society. Last year he conducted the World peace yagya as was done by Sage Markande a thousand years before in Bali, island of the Gods.
The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian non-governmental organization, present in 140 countries around the world, managed mainly by volunteers who are living the values as taught by the founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The organization has workshops and programs for all age groups. Art Excel for children, Youth empowerment and leadership programs and other workshops.
We were privileged to have Sri Sri Ravi Shankar talk at the Indonesia Business Leader Symposium on “Ethics in Business – Complimentary or Contradictory” – One might argue what might a spiritual guru do in a business setting, but we should not lose sight of the fact that the primary capital/asset of any business is its human capital. “Trust is the breath of business, ethics its limbs, to uplift the spirit its goal. One of the many challenges facing corporations and politicians today is to ensure that booming economies and profits do not weaken, but instead promote rising standards of ethical conduct and integrity. To achieve this, we need to spiritualize politics. globalize wisdom and socialize business” Sr Sri Ravi Shankar said.
Motivation is the key to promote productivity in business however this is an external factor and Sri Sri ravi Shankar stressed on inspiration which comes from within to be more important. To illustrate his point he asked if Mahatama Gandhi gave a pay raise to all his disciples to motivate rather it was through fostering belonging to a common purpose and to each other. This is an ideal situation and we can follow some pointers in our own organisations such as:
1. Create a sense of belonging in the staff for the company
2. Take personal interest in the employees career and personal goals
3. Allow interaction and feedback
4. Adopt a company social project
It definitely provides a different perspective on company human resource policy.The symposium was attended by a select group of Indian and Indonesia business leaders and journalists, who then were taken through a 10 minute mediation by the Guru himself. The breathing mediation was a primer to his Sudarshan Kriya that is said to facilitate physical, mental, emotional and social well being. The Sudarshan Kriya was inspired by his silent meditational retreat in 1982, which he has since patented. Guruji explained how every emotion and feeling had a corresponding rhythm in breath and when we are in harmony with our body and soul its like music. Day to day stress and pressures can affect this harmony and the Sudarshan Kriya therefore brings back the balance. This technique is taught at many medical centers where it has been medically proven to cure a host of ills and promote health.
There is no denying the fact that ethics are complementary in every human situation be it your personal and spiritual growth or business growth.
For more information on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living program visit www.artofliving.org