The one unambiguous and unanimous lesson from Bharatvarsha's (i.e. India's) tryst with spiritual religion is: first
to discover the Divine within, and then to manifest It without. And, consequently, to be Blissful to oneself and to
others. This keynote rings consistently in all the streams of Bharat's core culture' comprising Hinduism, Jainism,
Buddhism, and Sikhism. Sufi-Parsi mysticism, though originating I Persia, also resonates with the same note as
the 'core culture'. This common mandate is woven into all the roles and functions humanity and society should
Now that even business organizations and management literature have begun to show interest in Spirituality, it is
in some respects quite encouraging. Yet, it has been deemed important to re-iterate the above essence. For, it
would be erroneous to create a kind of 'secular' or 'business' spirituality. Such branding may relegate Spirituality
too to an instrumental status for gratifying sensual, hedonistic goals. This book, therefore, offers critical insights
into some of the authentic V pseudo concerns in recent engagements with Spirituality. It aspires to stimulate
serious and honest interest in spirituality. It is well to be conscious that the zeitgeist of the present times has
turned upside down the dictum we had learnt in our boyhood: 'If wealth is lost, nothing is lost; if health is lost,
something is lost; if character is lost, everything is lost'. Today the overriding mantra seems to be: 'If character is
lost, nothing is lost; if wealth is lost everything is lost'.
As for the contents of the book, the chapters are largely independent pieces. However, the connecting thread of
Spirituality strings them together. Some cross-referencing has been done. Hence, the reader could begin
anywhere without incurring loss of meaning. Each chapter has received nourishment from the authors
experience garnered through continuous and thorough involvement with members of secular organizations
throughout India, and at times in the West also. Such experience, stretching across a period of almost
twenty-five years and nearly eight thousand participants, has accrued from intensive Workshops conducted for
there or two whole days each time. Each group of participants (twenty to thirty) is exposed to one, two or three
modules of conceptual of experiential learning. The contents of these modules are organized around several
foundational concepts, theories and processes of Yoga-Vedanta (Y-V) psycho-philosophy. Throughout the text
numerous real-life, contemporary examples of spirituality-in-action illustrate the principles highlighted in the
volume. They first 'become', then 'do'.
Interpretations of organizational issues addressed below are set against the wider canvas of Indian culture-both
past and present. The future depends critically on how we evaluate these antecedents. Especially, if her past
essence is spurned, the future too might reject her. Therefore, this book has not shied away from touching on a
few controversial issues. Superficial politeness has been avoided while dealing with them, Falsehood and
opportunism of a disconcerting degree afflict large sections of Indian intellgentsia. This is bringing no good to
any quarter; rather irreparable harm is being done.
Truth or Wisdom of the Spirit has always been possessed by persons of tyaga (abnegation) The history of the
human race proves this fact irrefutably. But decisive drift of the human mind since the 18th century has been
towards bhoga (hedonism). The more the better. Overloaded with matter, crushed under its weight, typical 21st
century minds cannot recognize their incapacity for Truth, for Spirit even for clear thinking. Fragmented, vested
'truths' in endless succession are creating bewildering chaos. Yet the much-derided superstitious ancient mind
had left a virgin Mother Earth for succeeding generation. The enlightened scientific mind has, however, since the
18th Century, been bequeathing to us a groaning Mother Earth. It is this vital Truth which awaits its hour in the
new discourse on Spirituality in business, technology management and much else. Once this begins to happen
stock phrases like self-actualization, achievement motivation etc. will carry theoretical meanings and practical
implications altogether superior to those implied even in the seminal writings on these topics. Only then could
man, instead of business, become the 'measure of all things'.
Another angle of the theme of this book. The centralized and volatile, rights-driven and conflict-creating urban
culture of the present is hostile to Spirituality. This is an issue of paramount principle. Whether such a state of
affairs can be undone, sooner or later is no question. It is the decentralized and stable, duties-inspired and
cooperative grass root culture of organic times (at least in Bharatvarsha) which had produced the long line of
spiritual giants-the rishis. There are disquieting sings that the 'don't care, except bottom line' attitude of
business and commerce is trying to make an ally of even Spirituality as a technique for its own ends. Pray, let us
be sensible enough not to fiddle with the priceless legacy of the rishis. This perspective too should exert a
sobering influence on the newborn glamour-child called 'business spirituality' (much like 'business ethics') in the
scorching lap of despotic economism.
Months after completing this manuscript, and during the third revision of this preface, we perchance came upon
these words of Swami Vivekananda (spoken in reply to the welcome address by the Maharaja of Khetri):
'Whoever tries to bring the past to the door of everyone, is a great benefactor to his nation' (Complete Works,
vol. iv. P.324). This was an immensely gratifying retrospective endorsement of what this book has attempted.
The authors thankfully acknowledge the following Journals for the inclusion of our papers published by them, with
appropriate modifications and/or extensions, for this book
Journal of Organizational Change Management (Vol.17, No.2, 2004) for Chapter 3 Management Review
(Vol.18, No.2, 2006) (IIM Bangalore) for Chapter 4 International Journal of Social Economics, September
2007 for Chapter 7 Vilakshan (Vol.3. Issue 2, 2006) (XIM-Bhubaneshwar) for Chapter 6Vedanta
Kesari (December, 2006) for Chapter 8
The authors are also grateful to Mrs. Paushali Chakraborty for continuous help in transferring the handwritten
chapters on to the PC with alacrity and dexterity.
Spirituality pervades every sphere, be it business, management, governance, health care, or any other secular
engagements. This book explores and analyses how spirituality can stall degenerative trends in these areas.
After pioneering the indigenization of the 'soft' aspect of management in India and four-and-a-half decades of
teaching, S.K. Chakraborty, along with his co-author Debangshu offer glimpses of the deep structure
relationship between ethically healthy performance and spirituality. The volume is enriched with illustrations from
the long history of spirituality inspired leadership practices that provide positive inspiration to Indian businesses
and everyday life.
The study cautions against a casual or glib approach to spirituality that can never be another instrument or
programme for the single-minded pursuit of unquestioned business goals. It should also not be treated as just
another new pasture of so-called research. It is essentially not an intellectual landscape. It is, first and foremost
an experimental-realization journey for the sacred.
This book offers critical insights into spirituality-in-action that will be useful for leaders and managers of
enterprises, scholars and researchers in management, sociology, and psychology, and post-graduate students
in these areas.
S.K. Chakraborty is farmer Professor and Founder Convenor, Management Centre for Human Values,
Debangshu Chakraborty is lecturer, Department of Management, BIT (Mesra), Kolkata Centre.
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