Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Mr. Bala Ramchandran, an alumnus of SBMAF(Sri Sathya Sai University) currently serving as Manager, Learning & Development, South India, HDFC Bank, Chennai, takes a page out of his corporate diary:

"During the recent annual appraisal (2007-2008), one day, my boss called me to his chamber and confided this to me: 'Whenever I suggest something, even when your opinion on that is different from mine, you listen and initially seem to accept. And then, at a later date, you come out with your point of view. And in almost all cases, I seem to finally go by your suggestion. Can you tell me how you do that?'

"I then explained to him that this was one of the many values I learnt from my stay at Puttaparthi. Sri Sathya Sai Baba always taught us that 'You may not always oblige, but can speak obligingly'. Additionally, He advised us to be calm under any situation, and first obey our seniors before anything else.

After mentioning this, to illustrate my point better, I went on to relate the story from the Epic Mahabharatha which Baba often narrates in this context. The Mahabharata, by the way, is as important to businessmen as to spiritual seekers, because in it is contained profound lessons about holistic life and living. In any case, this is what I narrated to my boss.

"On one occasion, Balarama, the brother of Krishna, is furious with Arjuna and decides to kill him. And on this mission, he asks Krishna to accompany him. Even though Krishna is very close to Arjuna, at that juncture he calmly agrees to Balarama's proposal and accompanies him. (See photos)

"After they have gone halfway, sensing that Balarama's fury has subsided noticeably, Krishna, slowly tells Balarama, 'Brother, you are right. Ajuna clearly deserves to be punished. However, there is a technical constraint here.'

Balarama, who is now more receptive than before, is inquisitive and wants to know the reason. Then Krishna continues, 'No doubt, Arjuna should be punished. But, since he has married our sister Subhadra, if we take away his life, she would become a widow.'

"Balarama now realises his folly, and then turns to Krishna and says, 'I never thought of this. Turn the chariot, let's go back'.

"This is a classic example of good emotional quotient – to maintain composure at all times and understand the emotions of the other person and react most appropriately at the right time, just like Krishna did.

My boss was so impressed with this that he asked me to share this anecdote with all my colleagues in the Training Department. As expected, it stuck a deep chord with them too, as they understood the significant import conveyed by the incident.


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