Unit-IV MORAL LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT: Doctrine of Karma
We have so far covered two pillars or concepts which help us understand what steps we should take in our journey towards acquiring a pure mind because that is a key to acquiring existential/holistic competence. The Guna
Dynamics gives us analysis of three types of qualities, so essential to understand our own-self to introspect and direct our mind towards satwic guna because Sattwa and purity of mind are twins-in-arms. The Sattwa guna lead to value-oriented behaviour for which the goal is much higher,
that of perfection and excellence and not merely the success. The Theory of Niskam Karma tells us how we can perform our duties in an ego-less state, and make them holistic and long term. This ego-less state is driven from the
Sattwic force. As opposed to this, Sakam karma of egocentric state towards success in short-term; are driven from Rajas and Tamas. We now bind in another pillar or concept: the moral Law of Cause and effect- the Doctrine of karma which has an important contribution towards attaining mental purity and in turn improves the ethical level of decision making and behaviour in all spheres. It also helps in the process of increasing Sattwa Guna, the positive emotions or what we call values.
After working through this unit, you will be able to:
State components of Doctrine of Karma
Relate Doctrine of Karma to Guna Dunamics and Nishkam Karma
Analyse the impact of Doctrine of Karma in day-today life.
Introspect self in day to day behaviour
4.2 THE DOCTRINE
We all are well versed with Law of conservation of Energy. According to this law the sum total of energy in this Universe is constant. It only changes from one form to another i.e. from light to heat or electricity etc. In the same fashion in the moral world, the Law of conservation of Moral Energy prevails. Every act good or’ bad has its energy level that is never lost. It may
remain stored for a shorter or longer period, but at some point of time it emerges and gets activated. Thus no act of ours, morally right or wrong gets lost. This principle if understood, can help us keep ourselves on track. We may understand it properly through the following components:
- A cause at present must produce an effect in future.
- An effect at present must have had a cause in the past.
- The effect returns to the source of the cause.
- Like cause, like effect.
- Each cause produces its own effect; there is no mutual
Thus it is well said, “As shall you sow, so shall you reap”. This gives us a higher motivational theory, encouraging to do right and discouraging to do wrong. A bonafide cause now brings a bonafide effect tomorrow. And an undesirable cause (doing) today is bound to bring an adverse effect tomorrow. Further, each cause has its own effect. A businessman using unfair means to earn more knows very well that he is doing wrong and tries to get rid of this burden by giving a portion of such earning in charity. But as there is no mutual cancellation, he has to face an adverse effect of wrong doing separately and a pleasant effect of the charity separately.
This doctrine of Karma is also found operative for a group of individuals also. A collective cause brings a collective effect. We do see the impact of right or wrong doings at the level of family, society, organisation or the whole country. For the given right or wrong deeds practiced at individual, family, society or country level; the effect is also seen at individual, family, and society or country level respectively .
For example, sons paying debts of father or inheriting property, innocent citizens suffering consequences of wars or prosperity of the country.
‘Gahana karmo Gati’ or dense are the ways of karmawhat trait will they take, and when, is unknown.
We may at times have a feeling that no one bothers for this law. Or the effect may come or may not. But we say so, with reference to the immediate surroundings. We tend to look at results in near future-least understanding that the effect is a net result of following factors:
The above five components taken together,
The time factor-the past, the present and the future (nearer or farther), thus the effect may come immediately or after a long time.
The form or shape in which the effect may come.
All these make a network of permutations and combinations, and so we may not many a times be able to witness the results of given cause or be able to relate an effect to a past cause. But when we say that effect may or
may not come; we definitely acknowledge that effect is there though seen in some cases, not all.
The Indian explanation of fate is Karma. We ourselves make our own fate through our actions, but the fate created by us binds us; for what we have sown, we must reap in this life or another. Still we are creating our fate for the future even while under going old fate from the past in the present.
That gives a meaning to our will and action and does not, as European critics wrongly believe, constitute a rigid and sterilizing fatalism.
— Sri Aurobindo
A REAL LIFE STORY
Let us go through a real instance narrated by Prof. B.K.Chatterjee of
MCHV, IIM- Calcutta.
WHO SAYS KARMA THEORY IS SPECULATIVE, SUPERSTITIOUS?
I have had direct experience of Karma in my own life and in the lives of other people whom I know at first or second hand. (Arnold Toynbee)
I subscribe fully to this view. In my limited range of experience, I have observed how the inexorable law of Karma has operated on several occasions. Here is only one such example.
Two of my friends, Sameer and Kunal who are selfemployed but working independently in different fields.
Sometime back Sameer, an intellectual and a management expert, was awarded an assignment of commissioned nonfiction TV serial on entrepreneurship management from Doordarshan authorities. He approached Kunal for hiring the facilities for video photography, studio, editing, etc. In fact Kunal ‘s business was letting out these expensive facilities, created in the recent past with substantial bank loans.
The assignment went off well and twice Doordarshan telecast the serial. Although financially it was not so rewarding for Sameer, he nonetheless acquired rich experience in this new field and also understood the mode of
production cost control so as to generate good financial return from such assignments. Sameer developed the concept and idea-script for another serial and was about to submit the same for consideration of Doordarshan
authorities. As a coincidence at this juncture, around endFebruary,
Doordarshan invited proposals for TV serials which would be approved by the end of the financial year on 31 ” March, in order to utilize the budget surplus for the year lying with them.
Sameer discussed the matter with Kunal. Kunal assured him that the job would come to him if Sameer sought his help, since he had very good contacts with the concerned approving authorities at Delhi. But Sameer would have to make some initial investment of about Rs. 5000 as the fees
and processing charges. Since a friend of his was shortly going to Delhi, the application and the money should be handed over to him (Kunal) immediately so that these reach safely and on time. Further 5 since the said friend would be carrying two more such cases, his travel cost would have to
be shared pro-rata by the applicants. This involved another Rs. 3,000/4,000. Thus in all Sameer spent Rs. 10,000 and was confidant that the job would come to him. Accordingly, he started developing the script and holding discussions on the same with the technical director who had rendered
services to him in the previous assignment.
Sameer kept on following up the matter with Kunal regularly and was told
every time that the job would be definitely coming and he should complete
his part of the work including meticulous planning so that the production could start immediately after the approval was obtained. The month of March ended and end of April was approaching, but Sameer did not get the
assignment on his hand. Every time he asked Kunal about this, he got a vague or evasive reply and also a repetition of the promise that it would come. Even despite repeated requests, Kunal did not give Sameer, the duplicate copy of the proposal.
As it so happened, due to some other assignment in his profession, Sameer had to make a short trip to Delhi around end April and during this period he visited the Doordarshan office. On enquiry he came to know that no application had been submitted in his name and that all application had been serially numbered, duly processed and assignments already awar ded to the eligible applicants. Sameer realised that he had been taken for a ride by Kunal and all these days Kunal was only bluffing him in the matter.
On return Sameer went to Kunal ‘s office cum residence one evening and found that a party was going on at one of the office rooms with Kunal and a few of his friends. Sameer did not broach the matter there; neither did he join the party, even though he was invited to do so. Next day when Sameer
rang up Kunal and told him about his finding in Delhi, Kunal was fumbling but still continuing with the promise that the job would come and Sameer should not worry. Knowing fully well that the money had gone down the drain and more than that he had lost a good opportunity. Sameer tried to confront Kunal once or twice but without success. He decided to
remove the whole episode from his mind and concentrate on his other professional work.
After about two months M visited Sameer ‘s office to invite him to the religious rituals as a sequel to his father’s death. Kunal had a brief talk with Sameer on this occasion.
It transpired that his father suddenly fell ill and had to be transferred to a private Nursing Home. Even with a large number of tests and several medical specialists examining him the disease could not be diagnosed correctly and the man expired after two weeks. Kunal had two brothers working outside Kolkata, one in the northeastern and the other western region. Kunal had thought that the three brothers would share the total expenses equally. Unfortunately when Kunal suggested this on their arrival to Kolkata, they flatly refused to do so. The reason put forward by them was that in their absence Kunal was using the entire house for his residence and office purposes. He was also generating substantial income from his business without bearing any cost for the office space in the fitness of things therefore, they should be relieved from this expense and Kunal should bear the amount fully.
On further probing Sameer came to know that Kunal had cheated in the same manner two other applicants for almost identical amount. And now Kunal had realised that he had paid dearly for such unethical action or Bad Karma. On invitation from Kunal, I also visited his place on the occasion of the religious ceremony to offer my last respect to the departed soul. The puja was yet to start.
Kunal took me aside, in one corner of the office. I knew fully Sameer’s episode, but pretended that 1 didn’t know anything. It was evident that Kunal had realised his folly and told me that he would pay back the amount to Sameer and two others at the earliest opportunity. The applications of all the cases, both original and duplicate copies, were still lying in a locked
cupboard in his office. He requested me that I should assure Sameer that the amount would be refunded by Kunal. I told Kunal that it was a very good gesture on his part. But what was more important was that he had developed an awareness, a realisation to the existence of the ‘ Ethico-Moral
Law of Cause and Effect’ i.e. the Karma Theory. And this should dissuade him from engaging himself in such unethical action in future.
Apart from the cause and effect relation of the Karma, we also go to learn from this story that if we forgive the wrong doers as Kunal has done in this case, and leave it for the Divine to work out the solutions, we are able to save our energy and put our attention to the useful things. And no
doubt the Divine takes care of all such things, but only if we leave it to him.
As already explained the reward always come, but in what manner and when is not known to us. It is thus useless to keep our attention engrossed on it. In our own life we keep getting good and bad results. Many events take place around us wherein we can clearly see the Doctrine of Karma
working. All that is required is to develop our faculties of ‘looking through the events’ instead of looking at the events’.
4.3 Doctrine of Karma & Nishkam Karma
Once we are able to appreciate the Doctrine of Karma we are in a better position to realize why Nishkam Karma is so important. Often we undertake a particular activity to achieve a specific result. Apart from this we also expect that all this hard work should bring me a desired personal benefit like promotion, increment, reward, recognition etc. However, if the end-result is not achieved; or the end result is achieved, but the desired personal benefit has not come; the whole effort becomes a source of dissatisfaction. We had decided what effect of a cause should come. Little do we realize that there are infinite factors that have their impact on a given
situation. The net result of all the permutations and combinations only go to decide the outcome or the effect. In such a situation the limited factors which we can see through our limited intelligence (compared to the infinite or the supreme intelligence), on which we have control (Partial or full) may or may not be able to bring the desired result.
Further how can we be sure that the result or benefit that we desire is really benevolent to us? Thus, it is always better to act in a manner which is most appropriate to a Pure Mind (which is not prejudiced by ego, desire or greed), and leave the result or effect to the all pervading cosmic power,
because those results can take care of benevolence of all. Thus we should not waste our energies by putting our attention to the fruit or reward and concentrate on our job, duty or work. If the aims and objectives are higher, one acts in renunciation and the gains automatically come their way.
Renunciation means absence of hankering after fruit. As a matter of fact, he who renounces reaps a thousand fold. He who is ever brooding over results often loses nerve in performance of his duty
4.4 The Guna Dynamics & Doctrine of Karma
We may also try to understand the link of the S-R-T model (Guna Dynamics) with the Doctrine of Karma DOK. It is the dominantly rajaso-tamasic or tamaso-rajasic dispositions, which will tend to be short-term in their approach and hence likely to be less ethical. They may bend means up to any extent, to suit the ends. But the sattwo-rajasic or sattwa-tamasic
predominance will tend inherently to produce a longer-term orientation. This will arrest means bending tendencies relatively quickly. Even the end chosen might be abandoned, if the means have to be compromised
beyond a threshold level. There is, so to say a kind of diabolically injurious, pact between Rajas or Tamas, and karmas on one hand and a kind of whole- some wedlock between sattwa and karmas on the other hand. Thus the
sway of Rajas will tend to stimulate more unethical action, which in turn will cause the effect to be injurious. To overcome them, even more rajas will probably be pressed into service. And consequently, even more unethical decisions might follow. But if Sattwa can somehow be invoked to pierce the vicious circle, wholesome actions could be set in motion.
The whole series of (man’s) actions and feelings in one life are determined by those of a previous and determine those of a subsequent life …. it is, 1 think, a really consoling idea that our present capacities are determined by our previous actions, and that our present actions again will determine our future character. It seems to liberate us from the bonds of an external fate and makes us the captains of our own destinies. (Lowes Dickinson, an English man-of-letters)
4.5 ORGANISATIONAL ILLUSTRATIONS
In the Government organizations, the instance of delay in clearing the files or expediting clearance on being paid by the beneficiaries are well known. Even through the chances of being caught red-handed and prosecution are well known, sufficient discouragement is not found to curb such malpractices. However, if such functionaries are educated in Doctrine of Karma, and if its inevitability becomes alive in their consciousness, they might desist from the ethically reckless ventures. The law of the land may or may not catch them. But the Law of karma, coupled with the Guna
Dynamics can do a preventive and surer job from within.
When a purchase officer strikes a secret personal deal with a supplier of materials at the expense of the organisation,
Or a boss deliberately gives a poor’ rating to a subordinate belonging to a
different linguistic, religious or caste group in the annual appraisal,
Or a officer engineers scheme to denigrate a peer in the eyes of the powersthat-be,
Or a boss removes the sub-ordinates note and reproduces the same with minor changes for submision to his boss
Or the quality control and production departments of a consumer goods firm are in league to increase the percentage of seconds so that they could be bought off by them at heavily discounted prices,
-These daily events in our organisations degrade the work-climate. Besides, they certainly do foul up the mental health of these actors, which is chosen to be ignored at their own risk.
These illustrations also indicate what is meant by mental impurities. They are a positive hindrance to organisational effectiveness. Once again, sustained education in the DOK should prove to be an indispensable safeguard against their proliferation.
It will be appreciated that all the commonplace examples cited in the previous paragraphs, fall within the Zone of discretion (ZOD) of the concerned individual or individuals.
Thus the need is to introspect them and rectify our own actions, which we have wrongly chosen.
There is another class of low deeds, which is also imposed on the employees e.g. clearing proposals under the wrong directions from superiors though the officials concerned know that personal favours are being made for
some consideration in cash or kind. So long as an official is compelled to do such things, without any personal cut in the bribe or the dole, he is several
degrees safer than one who himself becomes an accomplice. But if his sensitivity and mental purity are sufficiently aroused, he may seek a
change of posting or the job. In all such cases protection of the inner conscience, and the resultant peace and harmony within, is more
than an ample reward for such ethical decisions taken by the officer. Thus, in such cases too the Zone of Discretion (ZOD) does not altogether
The example of Shri N.Vittal former Secretary, D/Telecommunication is well known in Government sector. As narrated by him in one of his talks on “Management by Human Values”, he did not become party to the conspiracy in which the Minister was interested and the officer subordinate to Sh. Vittal had also cooked a proposal that suited the whims of the Minister. The result was that both the Minister and the Joint Secretary were picked up for investigations while Sh. Vittal got a clean-chit. He knew very
well what the Minister wanted him to write on the proposal.
But he wrote what he was ethically required to write. He further went to state that in Government service, one of the best protections is that no one can be sacked without sufficient grounds and reasons. Further, in government of India, there are so many places and posting to work in. If
one is not able to get along the system at a given place because of difficulties on ethical grounds, one can always seek transfer. This again falls within our Zone of Discretion.
4.6 PRESENT IS REALITY
Thus the Doctrine of Karma acts as a psychological and moral thermostat.
Even if the linkages do not become clear in many cases and memory
connections may not be found or seen, the existence of the phenomenon cannot be denied. It is just like -if there is smoke, there must be fire. So if there is effect, there must be a cause, even if we cannot connect it. The Doctrine of Karma is linkage of past to present and the present to future. Past is gone, we have no control, so endure the effect. But the present is reality. So we must act for the effect in future. Thus constant self-check on our present karma can only help. Each type of guna create its characteristic thought pattern,
e.g. Sattwa of patience and compassion, Rajas of greed and pride, Tamas of anger and indolence. These thought patterns create respective subtle impressions, which accumulate in our psyche. Given an appropriate stimulus, these stockpiles are ignited which manifest themselves in outward action.
Each such action taken under the impulse of particular latent impressions, further reinforces those very impressions. Thus, the ‘guna-impression-karma’ cycle goes on repeating itself. The tendencies of a rajaso-tamasic mind, for instance, will go on reinforcing the stockpile of wrong conditionings-samskaras. Their invisible power will prevent improved behaviour or action, inspite of the best of intellectual learning.
With DOK inspiring us to perform more ethical acts, the non-ethical latent samskaras will gradually be subdued. Steady striving towards more of Sattwa will create a more ample niche for purer samskaras or latent tendencies. And with better quality samskaras, more wholesome behaviour
should follow, and the Sattwa Guna should be reinforced. Thus whatever had been past acts and effects we should forget them because we have no control on them. It is our present acts and deeds, which we can improve upon and make concerted effort to rectify them, regardless to what
others around are doing.
Thus the need is to focus on individuals, personal conduct which is within one’s own control or ZOD. Let our intellectual predisposition not shun the
practical merit of controlled fear via DOK in improving the purity of our mind, and its ethicality.
4.7 MIND STILLING EXERCISE
As the subject matter of this workbook is I – the self, it is always useful to look through self, during the Mind Stilling Exercise. This is called self-introspection (atamanirikshan) just as the slow motion action replay in the match relay on Television, we should review our own actions and behaviour, weigh them on the scale of Gunas and make a consistent
effort to improve upon. It is better to introspect during Mind Stilling Exercise or Meditation in the morning. We can add the steps for introspection to our Meditation process as given in Unit III as follows:
Sit comfortably as advised in the previous Units. If you are wearing something, which is tight on your body, you can loosen it, relax, close your eyes………… feel from your toe to head that you are relaxed. Your mind is relaxed and you do not feel like moving any part of your body. Keep your
attention on the fontanel area of your head, i.e. above your brain.
Breath slowly. Inhale, stop and exhale, stop. Again inhale, stop and exhale, stop. Follow it a few times. There are no thoughts now, or very less thoughts. Now just prey:
Let the fontanel bone area of my head open up in the form of a lotus. Let me be one with the all-pervading Divine power. Let this power nourish me.
Let the petals of the open lotus absorb this divine love into my brain, my central nervous system.
Imagine that you are breathing through this opening, inhaling Sattwa guna, the positive energy and exhaling out the vicious emotions, the negative energy.
Keep sitting and be receptive.
You are stable now. Start introspection while keeping attention at the top of the head only. Think, if my best friend or family member were speaking honestly about my faults, what would they say that need correction.
What are the problems that keep occurring in my life? What positive change in my behaviour can improve the situation?
Witness yourself and your actions in thoughtless awareness. Ask why do I do such wrong things?
Are there any impure thoughts that keep coming to my mind? Do I allow them to continue? How can I stop them? How can I withdraw my attention from them?
Do I get angry? How can I get over my anger?
Am I truthful to myself? Am I honestly putting my attention to improve myself achieve self-asteem?
Pray with your heart for improvement of your qualities – specify them. Also pray for getting rid of the impure unwanted qualities. Prayer is a very powerful tool.
These are the various steps suggested for daily meditation. It is not obligatory to follow them as stated, but you can take up as many of them as you feel convenient with. It does not matter if you omit some and
add up some step later. Having seen in the previous Unit that Sahaja-yoga meditation is more effective, let us read the following article from ‘Times of India’, to know something more about this system of meditation.
RAISING KUNDALINI WITH SAHAJA YOGA
The word ‘Yog’ is derived from the verb yuj which means to yoke, to join, to connect. The end of life is to yoke oneself to the Holy Spirit i.e., the Paramchaitanya. Hindu scriptures enlighten us on the various ways of margas of doing so. The union with the Holy Spirit is possible through Gyan Yog, Karma Yog, Bhakti Marg, Mantra Yog, Raj Yog, Sanyas Marg
or Hath Yog.
The rishi-munis have particularly adopted the Gyan Yog, which is possible only through Dhyan. For the householder, Karma Yog and Bhakti Marg are the most practical ways of attaining moksha. Ascetics have developed the knowledge of mantra-tantra. Hath Yogis have evolved various Aasanas,
postures and occult practices for awakening the Kundalini. Shri Aadishakti Shri Mataji Nirmaladevi has advocated the Sahaj Yog for householders to attain Paramachaitanya through the raising of the Kundalini.
Shri Markandeya Purana has prophesied the incarnation of the Adi Shakti for the salvation of human beings. In Devi Bhagvatam we find the description of Kundalini. Indian Jyotisha Acharya Kaka Bhujanda r Tatvacharya noted in his renowned Nadi Grantha, some 2000 years ago, that a great yogi will appear on the earth and this yogi will have all the
powers (shaktis) of the Adi Shakti.
Shri Mataji rechristened awakening of Kundalini Yog as ‘Sahaj Yog’ and one can very easily practice it without renouncing one’s family life. It does not require any special knowledge (of scriptures). Kundalini- is the Shakti of Jagat Guru, Jagat Pitha Sadashiv. She is in the form of a serpent with 3-1/2 coils surrounding the Shiv linga and is in the dormant posture. After it’s awakening it traverses through the body (spinal cord)- cleansing the six charkas and uniting with Shiv in the 7th chakra, Sahasrar. She is situated in the sacrum bone of the spinal cord. Sacrum – a Latin word means sacred. It is the last bone of the spinal cord.
It is a known fact that there are seven charkas in the spinal cord. Every chakra has its field of action. The modernday medical science has proved that there are seven plexuses, which control the whole body. Kundalini while traversing to sahasrar cleanses the charkas, which are
polluted by the shadripus.
The Paramchaitanya is flowing incessantly throughout the universe in the form of vibrations- waves – very similar to various other waves we receive viz sound waves, light waves etc. kundalini facilitates our union with the Paramchaitanya by cleansing our charkas. Saint Gyaneshwar has very clearly described the whole process. He has written “ Tekundalini
Jagdaruba, je chaitanya chakravartichi shobha…” Adishankaracharya in Saundarya Lahri has mentioned, “Salilam, Salilam etc”. These saints have expressed their own experiences of Kundalini. Unfortunately the knowledge of Kundalini and the experiences of these saints have gone into
oblivion. Ascetics have employed mantra Shakti to raise the Kundalini. Tantrik literature has described in detail the process of raising the Kundalini for sexual prowess. Kundalini is trigunatmika. She is Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati and Mahakali. She sanctifies one, thereby making one eligible to enter the empire of the Lord Almighty. This is also known as
salvation or moksha i.e., the union with the Paramchaitanya.
Human body is controlled by the seven plexuseschakras. When there are cleansed, their performance is improved to its maximum, protecting the human body from any disease or vice. This fact is medically verified. Research done on the practice of Sahaj Yog has found its conclusions to
be consistent with the insights of modern medicine. It is possible to awaken the Kundalini through Dhyan. But for this, one has to take Jagriti- if possible, directly from the holy mother, Shri Mataji – or from any other Sahaj Yogi.
Controlling one’s mind seems to be a very difficult task but following the example of Shri Mataji makes it a ‘sahaj’ exercise. To begin with, one has to undertake dhyan regularly for 10-20 minutes everyday. The meanings of the
various verses and the padas written by the great saints will then reveal to us their new meaning in the light of the Sahaj Yog practice.
It is only then that one can submerge oneself in “thoughtless awareness”- with joy and peace.
(This article appeared in the column ‘The Speaking Tree’ in the Times of
4.8 LET US SUM UP
The Doctrine of Karma strengthens our efforts towards inculcating values and doing the right things. It also explains how many of the cause and effects are not seen or obvious. Thus we should have a discipline and control on our acts.
Once we are assured by Doctrine of Karma that the effect (result) of any positive cause (act) is going to be positive only we are all the more strengthened in our belief in Niskama Karma i.e. not to keep our attention engrossed on the reward but to concentrate on performing the job
righteously in an egoless state.
Once we learn to balance ourselves between Rajo and Tamo Guna in the Sattwic Guna state we are in equilibrium and stop running after short term gains. Such sattwic acts only bring long-term rewards according to Doctrine of Karma.
In our day-to-day work life as well as personnel life we can find number of situations, which fall, within the zone of our discretion and where we can easily resolve to act righteously and improve the situation. Need is to firmly resolve to improve ourselves.
The two learning points can be taken for our personal consumption.
Means are also important, not only the end results.
A cricketer keeping an eye on the scoreboard cannot score well.
Back to Unit Index
4.9 UNIT END ASSIGNMENT
- Please state the components of the Doctrine of Karma.
- How is Doctrine of Karma related to Guna Dynamics and
- Think of some 4 to 5 task which you are required to
perform in your organization and which fall within your
zone of description.
Analyze how well do you perform them.
Can you find some aspects, which can be improved?
Is there a scope for improvement?
How do you resolve to improve them please indicate steps.
What will be the additional benefits?
4.10 UNIT END ACTIVITIES
- Visit the internet sight: www.sahajayoga.org
4.11 SUGGESTED READING
- Please go through the article given in the following
pages: Science & God.
- You may like to attempt the case study Word for
Reward given next.
Please state the components of the Doctrine of Karma.
SCIENCE & GOD
Let me explain the problem science has with God.” The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. “You’re a God believer, aren’t you, son?”
“Yes sir,” the student says.
*”So you believe in God? Absolutely. Is God good?”
“Sure! God’s good.”
“Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?” “Yes.” The student says.
“Are you good or evil? The teachings say I’m evil.” The professor grins knowingly. He pauses for a moment.
“Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them?
Would you try?”
“Yes sir, I would.”
“So you’re good…!”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.”
The student does not answer, so the professor continues.
“He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a God believer who died of cancer, even though he prayed to God to heal him.
How is this God good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?”
The student remains silent.
“No, you can’t, can you?” the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.
*”Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?” “Er… Yes,” the student says.
“Is Satan good?” The student doesn’t hesitate on this one.
“No.” “Then where does Satan come from?” The student falters. “From… God…”
“That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?”
“Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct? “
“So who created evil?” Again, the student has no answer.
“Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness. All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?”
*The student squirms on his feet. “Yes.”
“So who created them?”
The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. “Who created them?
There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.
“Tell me,” he continues. “Do you believe in God, son?”
The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. “Yes, professor. I do.”
The old man stops pacing. “Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen God?”
“No sir. I’ve never seen Him.”
“Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your God?”
“No, sir. I have not.”
“Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God or smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God?
“No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t.”
“Yet you still believe in him?” thundered the professor “Yes.”
“According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
“Nothing,” the student replies. “I only have my faith.” “Yes, faith,” the professor repeats. “And that is the problem science haswith God. There is no evidence, only faith.”
The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own. “Professor, is there such thing as heat?”
“Yes,” the professor replies. “There’s heat.” “And is there such a thing as cold?” “Yes, son, there’s cold too.”
“No sir, there isn’t.” The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet.
The student begins to explain. “You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’.
We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat,but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than -458 degrees. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat, we can
measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.”
Silence across the room! A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer. “What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?”
“Yes,” the professor replies without hesitation. “What is night if it isn’t darkness?”
“You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word. In reality,
Darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?”
The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him.
“This will be a good semester. So what point are you making, young man?”
“Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with and so your conclusion must also be flawed.” The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. “Flawed?
Can you explain how?”
“You are working on the premise of duality,” the student explains. “You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can
Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. Science uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just
the absence of it.
Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?”
“If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.”
“Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?”
The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he
realizes where the argument is going. “A very good semester indeed! “
“Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavors, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?”
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. “To continue the point you were making earlier to the other students, let me give you an example of what I mean.” The student looks around the room.
“Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?” The class breaks out into laughter.
“Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, testable,
demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?”
Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable!
Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.
“I guess you’ll have to take them on faith.”
The class breaks into a deadening applause. “Continuing further, Sir, when GOD created the universe he made a set of rules which governs every living organisms, categorized in his own way.
For some like plants and animals, life is a predestined, wellprogrammed journey of life. For others, like humans, the rules of life are a direct results of their own actions, words, thoughts or/and conducts.
So, Sir, happiness, sadness, good, bad, sickness, good health, poverty and abundance, is man’s own doing unto himself? The wrong and bad happenings in man’s life, is nothing but the lack of righteousness in his way of life.” (DK Chawla, Manager(NC TECH), BHEL, Haridwar)
WORD FOR REWARD
GPL is one of the fastest growing and most profitable companies in the Indian pharmaceuticals industry. It is in the eleventh year of operation and
currently holds about the fortieth rank in terms of turnover out of around 3000 units in the industry in India, which is largely dominated by multi-national corporations.
In terms of profitability, it is one of the first ten in the industry. The company’s very ambitious target is to become one of the first fifteen by
turnover and first five by profitability by the turn of the current century. GPL has technical collaboration with several leading organizations in
the USA and Europe in different fields.
The principal strength of GPL is high-level marketing capability. The company is fortunate in having a very efficient field force, which is continuously motivated by an attractive and liberal reward system. Generally everyone receives a decent monetary reward in the form of sales
incentive by achieving even 90 per cent of the target during the specified period. There is also an additional incentive for meeting at least 90 per cent of the annual target, and accelerated rates of incentives for higher levels
of achievement. The entire reward system is individualized.
GPL runs an all India operation, managed and controlled through four regional headquarters at Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, and Mumbai. The Company encourages ‘healthy’ competition among the four sets of the regional field force. The regional operations in the north (controlled by the headquarters in Delhi have undergone a lot of rough and tumble since inception. The head Sales Manager of the region had to be changed six times in ten years on grounds of ineffectiveness and or lack of integrity. The field force of this region has also been unable to earn any incentives in any of these years.
Towards the beginning of the last financial year, Devendra Mathur joined as the new Sales Manager at Delhi. He came with an impressive tract-record of success in pharmaceutical marketing with another reputable Delhi- based company. During his very first interaction meeting with the field force Mathur learnt that their morale was very low primarily because they had been consistently denied incentives, while their counterparts in
other regions had been receiving those more or less regularly. In an open discussion session many of the field staff were vociferous and very bluntly registered their grievances on this score. At this juncture Mathur
promised: ‘ I give all of you my word that you will get reward this year. But you have to do whatever I ask you to do.’
Mathur immediately won the commitment of the staff and under his guidance the sales force started all out efforts to achieve 90 per cent of their targets and earn incentives that year for the first time in this region.
Following the usual practice, a mid-year review of performance of the company on an all India basis was undertaken in October, this time at Madras, in the presence of MD, CEO, VP marketing, etc. Mathur and his
next level managers along with their counterparts from the other regions attended the review meeting. It transpired, inter alia, that this financial year (ending on 31 march) too the northern region’s performance would fall way below the targets and it was therefore unlikely that the field force would receive any incentive this year either.
Back from Madras Mathur held a closed door meeting with three of his confidantes to explore ways and means of fulfilling the promise he had made to the field staff. A well-knit plan was chalked out and action followed. Mr. Mathur was an extremely people-oriented person. He
wanted to fulfill his promise to the sales force at any cost. When ‘fair’ means were not available, he had recourse to ‘foul’ means. He and his accomplices conspired to fabricate false orders even by forging signatures on customers’ stationary, unethically obtained and delivered goods to fictitious customers at heavy discounts. These so-called orders were ‘rationed’ out to individual members of the field staff, depending on the magnitude of their respective shortfalls in performance, in order to qualify them for the incentives. The goods against such orders, meant for hospitals and institutions, found their way to unauthorized dealers and stockists. These unscrupulous people paid for the goods in cash- since payment by cheque would have disclosed their identities- and GPL’s sales, accounts, and even administrative personnel, in
blatant violation of the company’s clear policy in this regard, carried huge amounts of cash to the banks and obtained bank drafts. Excise duty and sales tax laws and procedures were flouted and the company lost heavily in
monetary terms. More importantly, the reputation and image of the company had to suffer a serious setback.
A thorough investigation was made and the services of Mr. Mathur and his accomplices were terminated.
Now, let us analyse the case.
- What type of emotional forces (the gunas) are driving Mr. D. Mathur? Mention the quality (emotion) and the guna involved.
- In your view what was the reasons of poor performance of Regional operations in the North region? (Controlled by the head quarters in Delhi)?
- What prompted Mr. Mathur to follow all the unethical means?
- What was the status of GPL in the market?
- What was company’s ambitious target?
- In your view how does the above target reflect on the company’s value-system? Is it functioning on the principle of Nishkam Karma?
- Please comment on the company’s monetary reward system?
We find that Mr. Mathur had done all this for the word given to his staff and not for his personal gain. But at a subtler level it was the ego, which prompted him to adopt all foul means to honour his word and maintain his
popularity with his colleagues. The ambitious target of GPL and the monetary incentive scheme for the Sales Division clearly reveals that the company’s basic temperament is Rajisic. They are doing Sakam-karma,
which is ‘short-term goals based, and oriented towards immediate returns both for self and in turn for its employees. Such Rajisic actions without Satwic guidance lead to wrong doings. The company never tried to build a
value-based culture. The fact is that reputation of the company declined at the same speed at which it had grown. The foul means practiced for achieving the sales targets clearly show how dangerous can the consequences of the success-oriented action be. The above case has two
learning point for our personal consumption:
- Means are also important, not only the end result.
- A cricketer keeping an eye on the scoreboard cannot score well.