Cause & Effect: Where is Your Focus? – The New Indian Express

Hiranyakasipu, a demon king who ruled the three worlds, abhorred Lord Vishnu for having killed his brother Hiranyaksha in his Varaha Avatar. The demon king ordered the sages and celestials to worship him instead of Lord Vishnu as God, and those who disobeyed were harassed and punished and their yagnas destroyed. The tormented rishis, along with Brahma, sought refuge under Lord Vishnu, narrating their tale of woes. The time had come for Lord Vishnus next avatar.

Hiranyakasipus wife was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. She used to hear hymns in praise of Lord Vishnu and her unborn son, Prahlada, also heard them when he was still in her womb. He grew up into a devout young boy and was duly initiated into Gurukula. He kept singing the glories of Lord Vishnu and encouraged the other boys too to emulate him. On hearing this, Hiranyakasipu was furious and ordered the boy to be tortured till he mended his ways. Lord Vishnu protected the boy from all the harrowing experiences. Prahlada remained unshakeable in his faith, much to the chagrin of his father. Frustrated, Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada, Where is your Lord Vishnu?

Everywhere, Prahlada said.Inside this pillar too? he asked.Yes, replied Prahlada.

Blind with rage, Hiranyakasipu slammed the pillar with his mace and Narasimha, in his frightening form of half-lion and half-man, emerged with a roar. With Hiranyakasipu immobilised in His lap, Narasimha sat on the threshold of the building, and tore the body of the demon king with His sharp fingers. To evade death, Hiranyakasipu had received a boon from Brahma according to which he could only be killed when it was neither day nor night, neither inside not outside, and by neither a man nor an animal. The tyranny ended and Prahlada inherited the throne and remained a devout and righteous ruler.As soon as Yogi (Corporate Yogi) finished the Puranic story, I straightaway got into the session with the first question:

How does this story connect with a CEOs life?CY: If you look at it, the character traits of Hiranyakasipu and Prahlada are in stark contrast to one another. Given his ideas of conquering the entire cosmic universe and proclaiming himself God, the father was obviously working on end results or effects; whereas the son, Prahlada, was working on cause, knowing well who the true lord was. While Hiranyakasipu was frenetically trying to expand his territorial monarchy and meting out punishments to those who didnt accept him as the supreme lord (it is fine if this reminds you of corporate situations), Prahlada was busy creating a promising future for himself by working on cause.

You recall lag vs. lead indicators? The message a CEO can discern from this Puranic episode, is to either choose to concentrate on control and results or focus on making the cause work for him (similar to Prahlada being protected from all harm by Vishnu, the Cause of everything). The why and how should take precedence over the what. Hiranyakasipu had to go through strenuous penance to become worthy of receiving the boon as a special reward, but the blunder that caused the tides to turn against him was when he tried to exercise his control over the source of the boon itself.

If Hiranyakasipu had learnt from his botched attempts at punishing his own son and tried to atone for the sins he had committed, he would have turned towards Lord Vishnu and got himself endeared to Him, as he had been prior to receiving the boon. Instead, all he was doing was sinking deeper in the cesspool, blinded by his senseless fury.

Can you elaborate on this idea, sharing some insights from a corporate situation?CY: I intend to do that myself. In the corporate world, we can find many examples where individuals/managers, aiming to grab more turf, engage in kingdom-building activities and find themselves inexplicably caught in the interplay of office politics. If they can ask why when such things pop up, it will give them a way to look at solving these proactively instead of being drawn into such negativities. Instead, what is disheartening is to find them focussing too much on what; they tend to point a finger at a colleagues fault or put the other team into a comparison trap, and try to project themselves as a cut above the rest.

The concept of discrimination is an important factor in decision-making and problem-solving and we can see that employees rarely spend time on introspection and development of discriminative intelligence. Man is endowed with the greatest intellectual faculty called Viveka or the ability to discriminate. This ability is not to just discriminate between good and bad, right and wrong etc. but to explore beyond those limitations. True Viveka enables one to differentiate between cause and effect. At every stage in life, you will have the ability to make a choice, considering the situational factors. Every choice creates a set of consequences that follow and once the choice is made, it is next to impossible to reverse or manipulate the impending outcome, as the choice is on its way to getting executed or manifestedstrategise and execute, to use corporate parlance. The best choices come from the best questions. As Voltaire would say Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

What kind of questions do you suggest?CY: Before I speak about the kind of questionsI hasten to add it is also important for the CEO and leaders to create an open environment where everyone feels free to ask the right questions. To ensure CEOs of high-growth companies get the optimum results they are hired for, it is imperative on their part to spend at least a third of their time thinking about business strategy, making adjustments, taking calculated risks, and communicating these decisions throughout the organisation. This kind of structured strategic planning should become a norm and must be diligently followed by CEOs, even in some of their day-to-day activities, by deciphering what will cause the effect. The questions they need to ask to get the required result would have to cover a wide range of possibilities, whether they are karmic based or management-related.

Karmic questions could cover points such as: how to make people think positively to build positive karma; how should I be treating my team members; how to build a culture of positive conscience to take the organisation through its chartered path, etc. Management questions could deal with points like: why do I want the result that I am aiming for or have been asked to aim for; why should my team cooperate with me to reach the goals that are laid out for the organisation, and so on and so forth.Excerpted with permission from The Spiritual CEO: The Ultimate Guide to Transforming Your Business Using Spiritual Principles by S Prakash, published by Westland Publications

Read more here:

Cause & Effect: Where is Your Focus? - The New Indian Express

Related Post

Comments are closed.