Monday, February 24, 2014


It was the 3rd evening of this month. Like every year, this year too, Tata Bearings family extended their invitation to be a part of their annual function where they remember Vivekananda's life and message. I worked in this Bearings Division of Tata Steel, situated about 10 KM from IIT Kharagpur campus, in 1992-1993. One may expect that I was at my unconventional best :-) in those years too! And the love, the affection I still enjoy there even after 20 years, shows the greatness, kindness of people there and people at large which we often underestimate. If I am in station, I do not give this annual function a miss.

We had speakers in this evening from Ramakrishna order who spoke nicely and at length. I spoke for few minutes. However, this post is about what Executive-in-Charge of Tata Bearings told in the occasion. He started by seeking forgiveness from the monk for being little late. It was a weekday and he had certain responsibilities. Talking about responsibilities, he said that he can never forget that as head of the organization he has to look after well-being of families of 500 employees. And though he wanted, he could not give as much time to study Vivekanada's works. That he was speaking from the heart and not for the occasion can be found from this youtube video which I dug out later (Link). Here he was taking Economic Times IMEA award and in his acceptance speech we hear him saying, "The only thing I want to say that my heart goes for my 500 people back in my Kharagpur unit who are my direct employees and another 500 who are indirectly associated with us...and it is all because of them I am here."

But in this 3rd Feb. function he did not stop just at that. He went on saying that what he takes inspiration from is an anecdote on Dharmabyadha which Vivekananda told in explaining Karmayoga. This he studied in Class VIII and preserves within him. He narrated the anecdote at length which I reproduce below from Vivekananda's works (Link).

The other day I was requesting a senior person here who is working tirelessly to take the institute forward, to take care of health and to get adequate sleep. This I tell whenever I find a person is not able to give enough attention to his/her health. As an executive, he/she is key not only for the well-being of the organization but also for contributing to the growth of the nation, its success, fulfilling aspiration of thousands.It is in everybody's interest to see that good people have a good going :-) physically and mentally. In fact, all of us should have a good going so that we can serve to the best of our capacity.
"The only way to rise is by doing the duty next to us, and thus gathering strength go on until we reach the highest state. A young Sannyâsin went to a forest; there he meditated, worshipped, and practiced Yoga for a long time. After years of hard work and practice, he was one day sitting under a tree, when some dry leaves fell upon his head. He looked up and saw a crow and a crane fighting on the top of the tree, which made him very angry. He said, "What! Dare you throw these dry leaves upon my head!" As with these words he angrily glanced at them, a flash of fire went out of his head — such was the Yogi's power — and burnt the birds to ashes. He was very glad, almost overjoyed at this development of power — he could burn the crow and the crane by a look. After a time he had to go to the town to beg his bread. He went, stood at a door, and said, "Mother, give me food." A voice came from inside the house, "Wait a little, my son." The young man thought, "You wretched woman, how dare you make me wait! You do not know my power yet." While he was thinking thus the voice came again: "Boy, don't be thinking too much of yourself. Here is neither crow nor crane." He was astonished; still he had to wait. At last the woman came, and he fell at her feet and said, "Mother, how did you know that?" She said, "My boy, I do not know your Yoga or your practices. I am a common everyday woman. I made you wait because my husband is ill, and I was nursing him. All my life I have struggled to do my duty. When I was unmarried, I did my duty to my parents; now that I am married, I do my duty to my husband; that is all the Yoga I practice. But by doing my duty I have become illumined; thus I could read your thoughts and know what you had done in the forest. If you want to know something higher than this, go to the market of such and such a town where you will find a Vyâdha (The lowest class of people in India who used to live as hunters and butchers.) who will tell you something that you will be very glad to learn." The Sannyasin thought, "Why should I go to that town and to a Vyadha?" But after what he had seen, his mind opened a little, so he went. When he came near the town, he found the market and there saw, at a distance, a big fat Vyadha cutting meat with big knives, talking and bargaining with different people. The young man said, "Lord help me! Is this the man from whom I am going to learn? He is the incarnation of a demon, if he is anything." In the meantime this man looked up and said, "O Swami, did that lady send you here? Take a seat until I have done my business." The Sannyasin thought, "What comes to me here?" He took his seat; the man went on with his work, and after he had finished he took his money and said to the Sannyasin, "Come sir, come to my home." On reaching home the Vyadha gave him a seat, saying, "Wait here," and went into the house. He then washed his old father and mother, fed them, and did all he could to please them, after which he came to the Sannyasin and said, "Now, sir, you have come here to see me; what can I do for you?" The Sannyasin asked him a few questions about soul and about God, and the Vyadha gave him a lecture which forms a part of the Mahâbhârata, called the Vyâdha-Gitâ. It contains one of the highest flights of the Vedanta. When the Vyadha finished his teaching, the Sannyasin felt astonished. He said, "Why are you in that body? With such knowledge as yours why are you in a Vyadha's body, and doing such filthy, ugly work?" "My son," replied the Vyadha, "no duty is ugly, no duty is impure. My birth placed me in these circumstances and environments. In my boyhood I learnt the trade; I am unattached, and I try to do my duty well. I try to do my duty as a householder, and I try to do all I can to make my father and mother happy. I neither know your Yoga, nor have I become a Sannyasin, nor did I go out of the world into a forest; nevertheless, all that you have heard and seen has come to me through the unattached doing of the duty which belongs to my position.""


anirbandeep said...
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anirbandeep said...

Throughout our life most of us strive to work diligently keeping lots of expectations in our mind: we spent hours in our jobs to boost our career prospects and to get recognition from our colleagues and appreciation from the higher authority. We build our houses and make it beautiful with the hope that our friends and relatives will be appreciative with envious mind. The students work hard in studies to get good marks, anticipating that this will bring them a prosperous future. We dress beautifully to hold the attraction of others. As a result, important parts of our lives is wasted simply in anticipation of future results that we do it, unconsciously.
All these desires in the form of expectations and anticipations will bring misery and unhappiness in our life either sooner or later. Misery is inevitable because our desires are unending and unstoppable. We will migrate from one disappointment stage to other disappointment stage because our motivation is to satisfy our undaunted ego; instead of worshiping the essence of karma yoga, we are forging fresh chains of rampant desires.
Goutamda you are always great inspiration for us.Keep postings such articles.
Anirbandeep Bose

Ish Mohan Garg said...

Thanks Mr. Gautam Saha, I am humbled. Lets keep in touch. Regards. Ish Mohan Garg

Goutam Saha said...

Thanks Mr. Garg. I look forward to learning opportunity like this. I try to share my experience with my blog-readers who are mostly students. Thanks and regards. Goutam