Wisdom//

My Journey within

Post his trip to Mansarovar, this writer finds himself on another, shorter but enlightening voyage.

Entrepreneurship is a lot about the male ego characteristic in us despite our sexuality. The sheer will to move forward and the strength needed to break barriers require a certain force which comes along with ‘I am right’ approach.

The ‘I’ in this case is the ego which stands supreme in the quest for success. However, the same ‘I’ becomes a baggage as the organisation progresses. The values of caring and sharing which build the foundation of all great organisations, acts as the necessary glue for the male ego to continue the process of building the organisation.

This value has the female characteristic which is present in all of us but seldom used in the corporate world. Social entrepreneurship is a lot about this unique inherent value which I had not explored in my organisation.

Standing on the bank of Mansarovar, I understood that the divinity of the mighty Kailash was incomplete without the tranquillity of Mansarovar. Together they fulfilled each other.

Stress is the counterfoil of the male ego. Without the lubrication of the female characteristic, the system heats up causing stress both in the short and the long term. This explanation itself is the analysis of the male ego. It is easy to look back and narrate the analysis now but it was neither smooth nor in a straight line as it came to me.

After returning from the Mansarovar trip, I was overwhelmed with pending work but what lingered with me was the emotional experience attained at the altar of the divine. Then on one fine day, engrossed in work on my desk, I noticed a lady with a brightly lit face and an unseen energy walk into our office. Such was her aura that in a bustling office of 60 people she stood out from a distance. She had come for a business meeting with reference of a colleague.

Her business was to provide yoga and meditation training to the youth in the village. They had a network spread across 14,000 villages. It seemed like a great opportunity for a tie-up as we were looking to expand our rural footprint. She insisted that I come to Bangalore to meet their founder and finalise the ‘deal’. A trip to Bangalore for another conference was round the corner and I confirmed.

She insisted that I pre-pone my travel plan and spend the weekend to do a course to experience their training module first hand. Not a great believer still in the art of meditation, I was circumspect but decided to go ahead.

At this ashram, as we walked up the classroom early in the morning, we came across scores of trainees from all over the country and abroad thronging the other class rooms. Along with apprehension, I also had a deep sense of curiosity around the value which was being offered through the courses. I was all ears, sitting on the floor, when the bright eyed teacher started her morning session. 

The content of the course was concise and practical. The overall import was not too different from what our grandmothers and parents would have taught us in our childhood. For example, to be non-judgemental, believing in oneself and giving 100 per cent in all that one does, have been heard by us before, while Newton’s theory of every action having an equal and opposite reaction is also a part of the family teaching on Karma.

What struck me most was the central theme of ‘living in the present moment’. This was a game changer and therefore perhaps took the crown.

The Part 1, called the Happiness Programme, which I was attending is a basic introduction of a technique called ‘Sudarshan Kriya’ which simply oxygenates the body, elevates the mind and prepares it for a deeper meditation. Sri Sri, or Guruji as he is fondly known, has recorded the instructions in his voice which is administered by the teachers on the participating students.

The instructions are similar to any Pranayam (method of breathing) as practised in yoga but the impact is mystical. It is a 20 minute shortcut to a two-hour trip. Deep and fast breathing in cycles ensures that the oxygen starved cells suddenly find water in the middle of a man made dessert. The body springs for action while the mind relaxes to achieve a high which cannot be experienced even with a concoction of elevating drugs.

Inaction and action happening at the same time at the mind and the body level is a never felt phenomenon and leaves the hapless participants mesmerized with a feeling of hollowness. But the core purpose is achieved.

I found that the hollowness inside had a direct impact on my being in the present moment. It was as if nothing else mattered. The past and future dissolved as did the thoughts of work and family. The rest of the thoughts were light and floating in my mind as dried leaves without disturbing its tranquillity.

My mind resembled the lake of Mansarovar, on the banks of which I had the feeling similar to what I was experiencing at that moment. The entire journey from the foot of Kailash to the Ashram seemed destined where I was a mere floater on a canoe of blessing.

Suddenly, my hollowness inside was replaced by excitement of what was in store for me in the future. This choice between hollowness and excitement, which was taken effortlessly at that moment, would define my future course of life.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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