HOW TO MANAGE
A.K. KRISHNA NAMBIAR
HOW TO MANAGE ONESELF
It is interesting and
useful to know about the functioning of our body. It is also equally interesting
to know that our heart is said to be the seat of ‘Jivatma’ or the individual
self which is the basis of every life. The Physical Science reveals that the
purifying process of our blood and pumping of the pure blood to every part
of our body which is absolutely needed for its survival is taking place every
moment without any interruption. We breathe in air through our nostrils or
mouth and the oxygen which is needed to purify the blood is used and the impure
air or carbon dioxide is thrown out through our nostrils or mouth at least
once in every second. This process goes on even while we are sleeping; it
happens by the grace of Mother Nature.
At the same time, it
is also our spiritual understanding that the power which is making this process
working within is a spark of spirituality, which is called Soul or Atma or
self. There is no death for this spark and it cannot be destroyed by any means.
It exercised Its own free will to come in a body and leave the same. When
It comes in a body, we call it birth and when It leaves the body we call death.
When It continues to remain in a body It helps the growth of it. When It leaves
the abode it causes the body to degenerate. Therefore the Soul or Atma or
Self is the real sustainer of this physical body. After It leaves the body
It goes back to its source. This body which is made of five elements, namely
Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space goes back to its source, i.e., the subtle
elements known as ‘Tanmatras’, under Natural Law.
In order to make progress
in spiritual life, one of the techniques used by spiritual aspirants is ‘Pranayama’
or breath control. In this process, breathing is regulated to purify the heart.
The heart becomes an important centre of this purificatory process. Through
this method purification of the heart is obtained gradually.
In order to empty impurities
from the heart, desires for sensual pleasures, all impurities such as lust,
greed, anger, fear are thrown out along with the outgoing breath. Truth, Non-injury,
continence, absence of a tendency to grab others’ wealth, contentment etc.,
are taken in along with inward breath which helps a practitioner to maintain
smooth functioning of his heart.
In order to make progress
in spiritual life, the spiritual aspirant makes his deity sit in his heart
which is made pure by doing certain purificatory process such as repeating
the name of his favourite deity seated in the heart and concentrating and
meditating on It. This enables him to expand his spiritual thought originated
from the heart, the seat of self, in absolute purity. This helps an individual
to integrate his thoughts, words and actions to enable him to make further
and further progress till he attains the goal of realising spirituality.
There are two important
things in this life. One thing is this body. The other one is the soul or
Atma or Self, which is the Deathless source of life in every body. Now every
individual who has a physical form on which his or her entire personality
depends, should keep this form in a healthy condition so long as the self
remains within the individual form, so that it can be used for further progress
in spiritual life. Therefore, one should know the art of managing the above-mentioned
two aspects in life so that individual life becomes healthy and happy.
Why is this management
of oneself needed? Nowadays, professionals who are well-versed in their own
subject are seeking an additional qualification in management. A scientist
feels that he should possess the knowledge of managing his own work and so
is the case with a Medical Doctor, who wants to know how to manage a hospital,
or an engineer who wants to manage an Industrial establishment or an Administrator
who wants to manage an Office. Therefore Management studies are made popular
in all the universities to raise all-round efficiency in many professions,
carried out in a fiercely competitive world.
It is proved beyond doubt
that better management either of government of any country or a business establishment
or an Industrial establishment or a spiritual establishment or an individual’s
own house brings on better efficiency which ultimately brings in the progress
of a country and the well-being of living beings at large. When we consider
the problems and techniques of management, it is always done by human beings
and it is man that remains as the backbone ofthis process. Therefore the management
of human beings is not only important, but also a necessity for a better life.
In order to manage an
industrial, business or any other establishment, the activities reorganised
under various heads like Personnel, Works, Sales, Accounts etc. But these
activities are managed by Man, Money, Material, Marketing and Management.
This ensures efficiency, discipline and progress in any business concern.
Where it is not properly managed, the progress is always retarded. In Spiritual
Establishments also, the activities are regulated under Service, Devotion,
Self-discipline, Dedication, Publishing and Study of Scriptures and Practice
of Yoga Exercises and Meditation. In all such activities, their management
is placed under the charge of well-qualified persons. This leads to better
production or Service by any establishment to ensure economic as well as total
Well-being of man and to know how to manage oneself and to make men happy.
Swami Sivananda, the Founder-President of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh,
taught a unique and modern method of management under SERVE, LOVE, GIVE, PURIFY,
MEDITATE, REALISE, ‘BE GOOD, DO GOOD,’ in order to attain the betterment of
the entire living beings and realization of God Almighty by human beings.
The Rig Veda Says: “Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti” (The One truth is named
by the wise in many ways). He is that which is in everybody and in everything
in this Universe: this one God manages everybody and everything individually.
He manages the microcosm and macrocosm through the Universal Divine Mother
Nature and provides us with water, air, fire and space and everything useful
for the survival of living beings, in this Universe.
The first one word ‘SERVE’
contains the entire philosophy of action which is known as ‘Karma Yoga’ as
mentioned in various Scriptures, the essence of which is ‘Yogah karmasu
kausalam’—Bh. Gita-Chapter II-50 or ‘Skill in action is Yoga’; and ‘Karmanyevadhikaraste
ma phaleshu kadachana’—Bh. Gita-Chapter II-47 or ‘You are only to perform
your duty well without thinking of the fruits thereof’. All the good work
done by many noble people, saints and sages in this world have been done only
in this spirit. The Great Saint Vasishtha asked Sri Rama to do his duties
well in a spirit of ‘Purushartha’ or personal effort. Nobody can prosper in
this world without properly serving oneself or others. When a man recognises
that that which is in him is also in everybody else in this world, it becomes
easy for him to really understand the spirit of ‘SERVE’.
The next word is ‘LOVE’.
Everybody in this world owes allegiance to Love as we come into existence
on account of the Love of God. Love thy neighbour as thyself is a quotation
from the Bible. Because God loves us, He has provided everything essential
for our survival in this world. This is done in a spirit of Love only and
therefore we are to love God, as well as His Creations. Solid, Liquid, Light,
Air and Space which are needed for keeping our life to continue are always
there in this universe to meet our requirements. There is no lust in pure
Love which we get from God, our Creator; we are to learn to love everybody
alike. When we cultivate ‘SERVE’ and ‘LOVE’ in its true spirit, we become
part and parcel of a society where do good and be good alone govern the social
quality cultivated by each member of such a society. In this manner the entire
humanity can become happy.
‘GIVE’ means sharing
what one has with others who are in need of it. It should be done within one’s
means, without expecting anything in return. When charity is done in this
spirit, purification of mind comes to oneself easily. A pure mind alone can
do meditation on God who is actually keeping us alive, living within one’s
heart as the Self. We are bound to realise God in and through meditation in
daily life which is made pure by serving and loving others, thus observing
‘Be good and do good’. Therefore what Swami Sivananda asked everyone of us
through his spiritual instructions, conveyed in a few words, namely, SERVE,
LOVE, GIVE, PURIFY, MEDITATE, REALISE, BE GOOD and DO GOOD is Yoga in itself.
Swami Sivananda’s aim was to make the entire humanity healthy, happy and prosperous
in life in and through cultivation of spiritual values of life to realise
God in this very life.
Life Activity Nexus
In this process, life
and activities are to be considered complementary and never contradictory.
Better and integrated management of any institution or oneself is truly possible
only in this spirit. How could one attain management of oneself? It is the
co-ordination of various aspects that build lasting and better results as
quickly as possible. And at the same time it remains a continuing process
till one becomes sure that a perfect and well-integrated management of oneself
has been attained. In fact, when these remain so, there is no contradiction
in thought, word and action; there develops a dynamic force within one capable
of directing an integrated personality to any problem entirely, to find a
satisfactory solution to any problem without the least difficulty.
Let us now examine the
various aspects that need attention in life. Every living being has a body
and as such proper care of the physical self is the first necessity. Next
one is how one makes use when he comes in contact with other bodies. It is
what governs the social aspect of one’s self. The emotional aspect governs
feelings like love, devotion etc. The ethical aspects decide the behavioural
norms, towards other beings. The intellectual aspect helps to increase the
power to discriminate what is good and what is bad. Finally the spiritual
aspect generates awareness of happiness and peace not only in oneself, but
also in all other fellow-beings.
The Physical Basis
Every one of us should
try to possess a healthy body. Food, exercise and rest play an important role
in maintaining a healthy body. Taste, place and time determine the food requirements.
There are some who like the taste of vegetarian food. In a place like Kashmir
or the North Pole, the requirement of food is different from that of a place
like Rajasthan or Central Africa. A young boy has to have less food than a
grown-up man and the requirement changes from time to time according to winter
or summer. However one thing is common to all, i.e., moderation in food habits.
Over-eating and under-eating are the causes of ill-health in most cases. If
one eats only when one is hungry and drinks only when one is thirsty, one
can retain a good physique. The solid food should be pure and must be properly
chewed before it goes into the stomach. What one eats is more important than
what quantity he eats. The food should be wholesome and should contain protein,
fat and carbohydrates in adequate proportion. Under normal circumstances the
intake of solid food should be limited to half the stomach and the liquid
one to one-fourth of it. The water one drinks should be pure. If the water
happens to be impure, it should be properly boiled before it is drunk. After
a full meal, one should have the feeling that he has left one-fourth of the
stomach empty for proper ventilation. This must make one feel at ease after
a full meal, taken peacefully.
Proper exercise for the
body is essential to maintain its health. It should be done intelligently
according to one’s own convenience and time at one’s disposal either in his
own house or in a playground in moderation. There are some people who prefer
Yogic exercise for half-an hour a day. Many others play games like tennis,
cricket, hockey, football etc., for two or three hours every day. Though all
these are good, it becomes harmful to oneself when he neglects to do it regularly.
Over exercise produces fatigue while under exercise causes laziness, if not
dullness. Moderation makes the body healthy and mind alert.
Rest is an art in itself.
One should know how to relax. It is not only a state in which one remains
sleeping doing nothing, but also the way in which it is done that matters.
An hour of sound sleep is far better than hours spent in bed in a disturbed
half-sleep. The state of the mind when relaxed also matters a lot since it
determines the quality of the rest that one enjoys. If the mind is free from
causes of worry while at rest, one is capable of being completely relaxed.
It is possible to do so by thorough tuning it with sublime thoughts generated
by repeating the names of Gods in one’s own Faith. For that matter ‘Savasana’
is the best pose for physical and mental relaxation. Lie supine on a soft
blanket or carpet. Stretch the legs straight keeping the hands closed while
the toes remain separated. Keep the hands on both sides of the body. Close
the eyes and relax all organs, muscles, nerves etc. Breathe slowly. Now repeat
any prayer or name of your personal god according to your faith. Do it mentally.
Do not sleep in this pose, but meditate or concentrate gently with a feeling
of purity, spiritual or self awareness.
Be Other Centred
Social quality is inherent
in every being. Awareness of the fact that man is not only living for the
good of himself, but also for the good of others is essential to make the
good out of this concept of life. Needless to stress that that is one way
to make the best of oneself. It is only a man with such an attitude who can
help others. It is practice oriented. The lives of many industrialists, businessman,
philanthropists, saints etc., prove that the highest form of social quality
is to work for the betterment of others without expecting anything in return.
Recently in our own country Mother Theresa demonstrated the use of the social
aspect by looking after many people who were dying in the streets of our big
cities for want of food and medical attention. This is still fresh in our
memory and every individual can emulate this example of selfless service within
his own capacity.
There cannot be anyone
without emotion. The feeling generated in oneself is emotion. Feelings are
generated when one comes into contact with objects and subjects. Feeling of
love towards fellow beings is inherent in everyone. The feeling to adore something
(God in most cases) is also ingrained in man. Anything that is emotional in
man can be improved upon or altered by oneself. Surroundings, circumstances
and contacts help to improve the emotive aspect. Emotions can be discriminated
and controlled before being acted upon for the overall improvement in one’s
personality. The experience of one’s self makes the emotion subside in knowledge
and integrate the emotive and intellectual aspects in one’s self.
The ethical aspect regulates
the behaviour in oneself. Where this quality is absent, one’s behaviour causes
disturbance in society. To maintain the necessary rhythm in the proper functioning
of society, proper attention to this fundamental aspect is necessary. Laws
of ethics have been formulated by man for the good of society as a well-organised
group of men and every member of it owes a certain responsibility towards
it. It may vary from place to place and group to group. But wherever it is
disregarded or violated confusion is bound to prevail.
What Is Intelligence?
Intelligence is the quality
of a higher mind. It is steadily acquired by the conscientious integration
of theory and practice. A really intelligent man uses this quality and overcomes
all disturbances which cause unhappiness in life or in his social ramifications.
The ability to discriminate is the means employed by the intelligent man to
triumph over his difficulties. For that matter a knowledgeable and well-experienced
man is an asset to any institution or establishment, since he is able to arrive
at a decision that may do good to him as well as to others. When other qualities
are neglected, intelligence gets perverted and does the individual more harm
than good. It therefore goes without saying that intelligence has to be integrated
with other qualities. A truly intelligent mind is capable of deciding what
is good and what is bad for itself as well as for society at large with a
correct analysis of the pros and cons behind every question.
The spiritual aspect
is the final one. All of us are essentially spiritual. The presence of that
Power which exists in oneself, but which is unknown, is the spiritual aspect
in man. When all other qualities are fully developed and man is completely
satisfied with himself, he becomes aware of the ESSENCE which is inherent
In order to attain this,
one has to direct all other attendant qualities to work simultaneously towards
this. A man possesses a healthy physique. He is well-set socially and ethically.
He has integrated his intellect and emotions and is quite capable of arriving
at just and proper decisions relating to his work. Notwithstanding such attainments
something that lurks within craves for fulfilment. It is here that he finds
refuge in the spiritual aspect and tries to direct all other qualities towards
the spirit within him. True happiness descends on him only when he becomes
conscious of the spirit within.
In order to develop this
awareness of oneself Nature has provided man with another aspect of this life,
known in common parlance as the mind. This mind is always struggling within
us to know as to what is oneself as also on what basis it has been set in
this universe. This is because man has by his own effort garnered the knowledge
that his physique has been structured out of the five elements, i.e., earth
(solid), water, (liquid), fire (gas), air (oxygen), space-mind and the self.
It works harmoniously in and through the inbuilt provided for all by Nature.
He also observes even with his naked eyes that the whole universe is also
working harmoniously on a bigger scale employing the very stuff, i.e., Earth,
Water, Fire, Air, Cosmic space and an overself or unmanifested Spirituality.
Individually it is termed as the microcosm where the Atma or Self is the basis.
The manifested Universe is a natural Product and functions under the fundamental
laws formulated by Nature. The unmanifested spirituality remains unaffected
by changes taking place in this universe under the laws of physics.
It may therefore be observe
that the unmanifested Spirituality never changes, but ever remains in Cosmic
consciousness. Under Natural Laws, it is possible for an individual to realise,
both the Self and the Unmanifested spirituality using the mind in its conscious
state and Cosmic consciousness, respectively, step by step; one after the
other. This is because while oneself remains in the consciousness of an individual,
the unmanifested spirituality remains in Cosmic Consciousness, as one without
a second for all and at all times.
It is therefore obvious
that in case an individual wants to realise his own Self, he should seek Him
in his heart as Self or with a feeling that God in the form of his personal
deity is seated therein and that he must concentrate and meditate on Him.
However God abides only where Purity abides. Hence a seeker after Self should
ensure that his body, heart and mind are pure. It is through the practice
of a daily purificatory process as laid down for us by our Saints and Sages
that one can purify oneself.
We were all born at a
particular time and are growing in every moment in time. We are also very
well aware that we shall all end at a particular time. Hence, each individual
in point, is time only since each life-span remains within a particular or
appointed time only. This happens to every living being on earth. When a body
ceases to perform its vital functions, we term it as death. As death seizes
us, our body made up of five elements returns to its source, referred to as
‘Tanmatras’. The Self or soul or Atma which entered into our body when our
mother conceived us returns to its spiritual source. And Modern Science also
tells us that nothing in this world gets destroyed completely; it only gets
transformed into a subtle form, invisible to the naked eyes.
Death is a backward movement
towards the Deathless source of our life known as Atma and Tanmatras. This
Atma can never be destroyed in any way, (Bhagavad Gita. ch. II-23, 24). A
personal effort to remain in tune with this backward movement towards the
Deathless source of life, while an individual is alive is called spiritual
life. There are various methods and techniques to maintain this spiritual
course and they vary from individual to individual. But all are complementary
and help a Spiritual Practitioner to develop and maintain his concentration
on a single point and thus meditate on the Self within. In this way when the
self-surrender is attained by the Grace of the Guru or God, one attains the
State which can be referred to as ‘Spirit over Matter’. This is what Patanjali
Maharshi in his Yoga Sutra refers to as ‘Pratiprasava’ (backward movement)
Patanjali Yoga Sutra Ch. IV. 4. This expands in an earnest seeker after truth
and expands in life-space. This experience, i.e. ‘Spirit over Matter’ expands,
spreads into higher realms slowly, but steadily even as ‘nimisha’ expands
into a second, second into minute and minute into hour, thus passing on with
expansion from hour into day, day into fortnight, fortnight into month, month
into a year, year into a century, century in Yuga, Yuga in Kalpa. And Kalpa
expands in the Cosmic form of God, that is Space. The whole Universe consisting
of Suns, Moons, Stars, Planets, animate and inanimate things are created and
contained in space, by the will of God. This Self is to be abjectly surrendered
at the Lotus feet of the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent God.
It then assumes a completed
integrated state of Universal Pure, Natural, Expanded, Spiritual Awareness
in Chittakasa or mind-space wherein Spirit and matter are integrated in Love.
Even so do father and mother, husband and wife, Siva and Sakti, Narayana and
Lakshmi, Brahma and Saraswati, Rama and Sita, Radha and Krishna, Father in
Heaven and His son, Allah and His creations, Subramanya and Valli and so on—examples
can be multiplied, but not necessary a never-ended stream, all integrated
by love. The thinking that continuously permeate through our brain when alert
and the feelings that crowd our heart-it goes without saying are also, for
that matter closely integrated, in Love. As has already been stated earlier,
this awareness develops in the seeker after Truth by the grace of his Guru
or God, causing him to see and feel everything manifesting as Cosmic Love.
In this state of mind-space
or Chittakasa, one’s pure mind comprehends the truth conveyed in the Bhagavad
Gita, Chapter X-20; Lord Krishna tells Gudakesha or Arjuna in the battlefield
of Kurukshetra that He as the Self is present in all the elements and the
very same Self is the beginning, the middle and the end of all elements in
As such, one feels Lord
Krishna’s presence in everything and everywhere in this set up in and through
one’s own self and sing ‘Sarvam Krishnamayam Pasyantam’ ‘Krishna Krishna’
iti Sada japantam’. In this way one feels the presence of Krishna everywhere;
hence he sings mentally ‘Krishna, Krishna’ at all times even when he is fast
asleep. This becomes possible for a Spiritual Practitioner only when he acquires
a mind and a heart, absolutely pure or free from any blemish, one like the
‘Gudakesha’ with perfect control over his mind even when he is asleep.
Similarly, devotees of
their own personal deities can install it in their pure heart and sing ‘Sarvam
Sri Guru-mayam Pasyantam, Sri Guru . . . Sri Guru iti Sada japantam’ or ‘Sarvam
Rama-mayam Pasyantam, Rama, Rama iti Sada japantam’ or ‘Sarvam Siva-mayam
Pasyantam Siva, Siva iti Sada japantam’ or ‘Sarvam Sakti-mayam Pasyantam,
Sakti, Sakti iti Sada Japantam’ or ‘Sarvam Subramanya-mayam Pasyantam, Subramanya,
Subramanya iti Sada Japantam’ or ‘Sarvam Surya-mayam Pasyantam, Surya, Surya
iti Sada Japantam,’ thus one is completely free to worship any God or Goddess
in his spiritual path as the Ultimate Reality or Spirituality that created
this Universe under Its Free Will. The spark of this Free Will alone will
make us worship Him as our own Self. Under the Natural Law there are three
qualities inherent in every human being. These three qualities are Sattva
(Purity), Rajas (Activity) and Tamas (Inertia). Every individual is prompted
to act when he is under the influence of one of these qualities predominant
in him. In this way evolution of every human being takes place under an impartial
Law which guarantees just and proper reward for an individual’s actions under
the Law of Nature. Thus good actions lead to good results and bad actions
to bad results to the doer concerned. When one undertakes a Spiritual Venture
that is intuitional in character, one has to pass through five different states
of the mind. The first state is the awakened one or the conscious state. Next
is the Dream or sub-conscious state. When we are awake we see everything around
us limited by the power of our sense organs, while as we dream, we gravitate
between the awakened and the dream states, since we do not dream when we are
either in the awakened or in the ‘deep-sleep state’ which is the third state
the mind passes through a state in which we are not normally aware of anything
that happens around us. In order to pass beyond this state one has to have
complete control over one’s ‘deep sleep state’ like ‘Gudakesa’. Such a state
is the ‘Turiya’ or the ‘state transcendental’ or the ‘Serene and Blessed state’
that the Mystic Poets and Saints like Sri Aurobindo are reported to have experienced.
It is the Natural Law that controls the entry into the ‘Turiya State’. This
entry is possible only to one who has completely purified the mind. ‘Turiya
is absolutely intuitional’ and can be experienced only in meditation or sequestered
contemplation. The fifth state is ‘Turiyatita’. The great Saints and Sages
remained in ‘Turiyatita’ when they attained a mindless-space (Chidakasa) in
Cosmic Consciousness. Here the Self or the one ceases to function since the
‘mind-space’ transforms itself into mindless-space in unmitigated Spirituality,
that never manifests itself. In this state, there is no question of return
to the oneself, since it becomes one with the source by the Grace of Unmanifested
Attainment of the capacity
to manage oneself is therefore not a negative approach, but an entirely positive
one. It enables a person to develop an ‘integrated personality’ which in its
turn helps the dynamic and scientifically-oriented man of the present-day
to acquire the spiritual wisdom—the sine qua non for harmonious personality,
a relaxed heart and an enlightened soul in the midst of all the pleasures
and pains brought about by science in a sweating, struggling and fiercely
competitive world. To conclude, such an integrated personality is necessary
not only for the individual, but also for all living beings moving around
him. ‘Let the entire world be happy; even so shall I be happy.’
A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION
First Edition: 1998
World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 1999
WWW site: http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/
This WWW reprint is for free distribution
© The Divine Life Trust Society
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. Shivanandanagar249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,