Ask Himanshu Rai

Have any questions about management, philosophy, education, literature, yoga, mountaineering in India, or psychological issues or all of these?

Disclaimer:The responses in this column given by me are based on my learnings and experience. They should, by no means, be taken as a substitute for medical/professional help.

    1. Hello Himanshu,

      I need assistance with the translation and exact meaning of the enclosed (modified), version of the Maha Mrityunjay Mantra. I have been asked to recite the same for my husbands wellbeing.

      OM tryambakam yajaamahe sughandhim pativedanam urvaa-ruk-miv bandhanaan mrityor-muksheey maamutah.

      I could find the translation for most words online, however I need help with the words
      1. Pativedanam
      2. maamutah

      In addition I would appreciate if I could be explained the contextual meaning of the entire mantra in this modified form.

      Thank you.

    2. Dear Sir,
      I would like to know how does one judge another in the most right way possible.
      This days everyone just jumps to a conclusion and judges a person very inappropriately.
      The same happens with me as Im a working employee and I get judged on basis of my academics when Im in an interview. My acads are not good because lets face it our education methodology is outdated but this doesnt mean that I cannot perform. On the contrary I have performed in my professional career and got recognized too.
      Why is that so ?
      Why cant people judge others on their credibility?
      I have experienced failure and have learned from it. This experience is very rich according to me and would be valuable to any organization or institution.
      Why do people in India dont think such ?
      Also dont you think its our systems fault of not helping us groom.
      What are your thoughts about this and how do you judge a person..? What has to be changed and how ?

      Thank you.

    3. With regards sir, sir I need to apprise you that I have applied to pgpb program in Misb for this year but due to somehow less score in ETS GRE exam admission committee at Misb respond me that these scores are less and I am not be considered for admission in Misb. But sir I need to tell you that I have two acceptance offers of MBA ie one is from Boston ( ranked under top 100 th universities of world according to US news ), and other is from Albama USA (ranked top 68th university according to US news), on the same GRE score and they have found something outstanding in my application regarding my statement of purpose , letter of recommendations, transcripts, and essays and found great above to my Low GRE score.
      Sir ,i just need to ask that why i am not being considered to pgpb program as these universities have very much rigorous programs than Misb.
      Sir , i just need to tell you that i am just lacking in finding the scholarship availability and funding sources to submit the fees and expenses in these universities and for this i am taking time to accept their offer letters.
      But sir i really want to study in Misb and able to perform as a valuable asset. Misb is my first choice of getting admission as i want to study in my home country.
      Sir please do tell me that why just because of Exam score my leadership skill and managerial activities and industrial experiences are not considered for this admission process.
      (Sir i can tell you the name of the above universities and their acceptance letter if i get valuable reply and admission acceptance in misb, just for your knowledge that i really have the acceptance letters.),

      sir i had sent this letter to dia khan of misb and she refers me that she will send this email to u as misb didnt provide me your email address for direct contact.please refer to this and suggest.

    4. Hi Sir,
      I am working with Coal India Ltd. as Manager(Excv.),. I have attended your class at IIML while I was there as a participant of MDP for Coal India Executives(28/07/14 to 08/08/14),. I am suffering from following problems which are making me mentally sick gradually-
      1),My daughter is a student of std.8 at Carmel Convent High School,Durgapur. She is intelligent,very good at science subjects but putting less efforts in studies.As the competition is high for iits and nits,also this is the high time to put sincere efforts for those studies. her lack in effort is irritating me a lot, often the evenings are ending with severe quarreling and mental agonies.Studies are getting disrupted . One day she tried to hit herself with a knife after I used few harsh words.But I cannot resist myself when I find that she is not studying up to the level required. Some peculiar sensation happens in my brain. This pain is getting intolerable . I must admit that she does not waste time in watching television except Maharana Pratap.But her performance in exams are suffering due to silly mistakes or due to over confidence or due to lack in studying text-books.Presently she is hiding her marks from us that she has got in class-tests . Pl. advise me what I should do now.
      2),My job is also telling upon my mental stability.The environment , culture,values in the work-place are the things which are in sharp contrast with those of mine. Everyday I find myself getting entangled in a strife either with my seniors or my work-men whenever I find anything wrong in them.Though I was more tolerant earlier. but I am failing to control myself now.This is also making my condition worse. My reputation as sincere, honest and sober officer is at stake. I need a change for my survival. I have come from a famly where most of the members are associated with teaching.It is also my passion.So I have done my M.Tech after my B.E(Mech), but could not find a suitable job in that profession.Now I am 44Yrs old and desperately seeking a chance to do Ph.D in management from either IIMs or any reputed Univ. of US , if I get a chance so that I can shift to the teaching profession in a reputed management institute. Pl. advise me whether I should go with this plan at this position.If I should go with this plan,then pl. give me tips for being successful in my
      mission.Also if your advise is negative, then what I should do now.
      3),I am very much weak in speaking english.My daughter is not very good in writing english essays or like things.Pl. give us tips for improvement as without these things it is not possible to get success in our aim.

      Waiting for your kind advise.

      With regards,

      Moulinath.

    5. I am a Chartered Accountant from Kollkata. I have developed an online education portal http://www.zeroinfy.com. On this portal we give a platform to everyone who have knowledge in any domain to share it with masses by creating courses. I have been following your website for a long time and really like your answers.It would be great if you could take some time out and give us some valuable piece of advice on the type of courses we should try and put and some other management practises we should follow to take the site forward

    6. Dear Sir
      My aunt is a judge in Chattisgarh and she was taught by you at IIM Lucknow. Im in a dilemma, and she advised me to ask you for advice.
      I scored 96.8% in my CBSE class 12 exams. I now have to choose between studying B.Com in Delhi (Delhi University, North Campus), and doing a Bachelors of Business Management (specialising in Finance), from Singapore (Singapore Management University),.
      Im having a hard time in deciding which option to choose, and would like your advice for the same.
      Thanks
      Siddhant

    7. Dear Sir,
      I really appreciate your efforts in helping out people with their issues.
      I am a 28 yrs, B.Com graduate having brief experience of working in a reputed corporate during the start of my career. Later I had to take a career break when I was blessed with a daughter. Now, since the daughter (4.5 yrs), is less dependent, I am exploring the career options afresh.
      Though it is not related to my education background, I realize that the subject of maintaining a healthy lifestyle interests me most.
      1. Since I am interested in this subject, I have decided to pursue a career in this area. Please advise if it’s a wise decision.
      2. Secondly, to identify sources of professional training, I scanned through your earlier posts and saw a reference of sivananda.org.in. Request you to please advise if such one month course (Teacher Training Course), will suffice to be a trainer in Yoga. I have been following an exercise regime for quite some time now. Certain yoga exercises are also part of the regime.
      3. S-VYASA Deemed University, Bangaluru also offers such courses in Yoga Training. Request you to please advise if it’s a worthy option.
      4. Please also recommend a creditworthy institute in Mumbai for training on Yoga.
      Sir, I have been hesitant in asking such trivial information from a person of your stature. However, unfortunately I do not know any other trustworthy person for such advice. Therefore, once again request you to please help me with this; I want to pursue this career thoroughly.

      With regards

    8. Hello Sir,

      As discussed with you last time regarding procrastination, I am trying all that you told but still not getting desired results.
      Sir as of now, 1 year is left for my CA final exams and my parents are having very high expectations from me. These expectations are now becoming a pressure. Still my mind is rambling between anxieties.
      The moment I start studying, I get distracted towards whatsapp/ fb and ultimately I waste hours on it and end up doing nothing.
      Moreover I am not able to deal with such expectations. Theyre creating much pressure on me. I am trying very hard but things are not turning out.

      Please suggest an help me out sir.

      Paramjeet

    9. sir,

      pl. accept my heartiest respect and reverence.you have taught me in the mdp for coal india executives(28/07/14 to 8/8/14),.i am 44yrs old.i am a graduate in mech. engg. and a post-graduate in prod. and design.i am considering to pursue ph.d in management from any of the iims or US universities if get a chance.pl. suggest me should i proceed with this?teaching is my passion.

      regards,

      moulinath

      1. Thank you very much for the kind words. It was indeed my pleasure to have facilitated your learning. If you are passionate about teaching you must indeed go for a doctoral program.

        The Fellow Program of IIMs are respected across the world and FPM is not just just accepted, but rather preferred by the premier institutes in India. Also, FPM from IIMs is received well by universities abroad for Hiring as faculty, Post Doctoral program both directly and through a scholarship program, say Fulbright. The admission process for the FPM are detailed in the individual website of the different IIMs. For most, you will need to have a valid CAT or GMAT score.

        If you have figured out a tentative topic of research I can help you with identifying the universities in US that you may want to target.

    10. Dear Sir,

      In many of your posts, you have suggested to take Ashwagandha Choorna with milk. I got motivated by your posts and got it, but after few days I had to leave it as the taste was so pathetic. 😛

      I am wondering if I had taken wrong Ashwagandha Choorna or its taste is usually very bad.

      And thanks for the awesome motivation that you provide through this post.

      Your ex-student

      1. Well. I guess the taste takes a little getting used to :-), As an alternative you can take tablets of Ashwagandha as per the prescribed numbers given on the box.

    11. Hi
      Sir I am pursuing CA internship in Grant Thornton. Ive to give my CA final exams in May 16, for that Ive to start preparations. But studies are being hampered due to workload in office. Moreover not able to concentrate, whenever I start studying, mind starts rambling between anxieties and tensions that if I wont be able to clear my CA Final exam then what will happen!!
      Sir please suggest some good tips so that I can control this rambling between distractions and how to manage work load with studies!!
      Thanks

      1. I suggest the following techniques to manage your time efficiently:

        Organize your activities in the following pecking order: Important and Urgent; Important but not Urgent; Urgent but not Important; Not Urgent and not Important.

        Use a calendar daily, weekly, or monthly. Use your calendar to write down all of your upcoming MEETINGS, assignments and activities, Look at the calendar for the month to see how busy you will be each week, and study in advance if you have several projects or activities during the same week.

        Follow a routine each day or week; nothing works better than a well oiled routine.

        Follow your natural time clock. Are you a morning, afternoon or evening person? Plan accordingly.

        To avoid distractions:

        Set aside a certain place for working.

        Reduce the distractions where you work by ensuring that the place is free from noise or ambient activity.

        Don’t eat or watch TV while working

        Establish certain times to work & stick to the times, create a routine

        Let others know you are working & don’t want to be disturbed

        Avoid the following: Making Excuses; Perfectionism; Indecisiveness; Negative Emotions; Excessive Tension; Insecurity; Poor Goal Setting; Procrastination

        Chant the following mantra every night before you sleep, and just after waking up in the morning:

        Om Yajjagrito doormudaiti daivam tadu suptasya tathaivaiti; dooramgamam jyotishaam jyotirekam tanme manah shiv sankalpamastu

    12. Hello sir
      I m very much worried bout my studies and my life. I am preparing for Civil Services 2015 and am highly distracted all the time. I have completed 30 yrs this august. I got married in Jan 2013. The same year in month of June, my in-laws sent me to Delhi for preparation. I was all alone in Delhi in girls hostel. I was feeling very much absence of my husband coz I love him too much. The same year in October I got pregnant due to precautionary measure failure. My husband wanted abortion as he is very concerned about my studies. But my in-laws insisted not to abort as this was the first child. So I myself had taken care of me during whole pregnancy in hostel. Now this year in July my child has taken birth, but this time they forcibly sent me to Delhi for preparation keeping the child to themselves. My husband and my sister in law are only issues of my parent in laws. My sister in law is very much dominating; handles all the economic issues and major decisions of family. She is unmarried and 6 months younger than me. She is well versed in making big issues out of minute things. Since marriage I have been scolded by her many times. For my mother in law, she is always right…
      I think of all these issues all the time, miss my baby like anything; also feel high sex drive…all these things are diverting me badly from my goal what should I do as I have been warned that this time I have to crack the civil…
      Please help me sir…

      1. Do not let anyone tell you what you should do with your life and your child. It is ironical that on the one hand, you are preparing to be a Civil servant who will make decisions for the future of the country, and on the other hand you are being coerced into decisions. You need to see this and you need to remedy this. You must learn to be assertive, communicate their needs firmly, and learn to say no to things you do not wish to do. Ask yourself, Is it possible for me to please everyone all the time, and can I achieve that? If the answer is no, then stand up for what you believe in!

        It is clear that this is bothering you from deep inside, at a subliminal level, and you are in a dilemma over these choices that you have to make in your life. First you need to sort out these issues in your head. Reflect and explore inside your own mind; alternatively talk to someone who you can trust (usually friends are not the best people to talk to on these issues for they would end up giving you advice according to their convictions), to give you an objective analysis of your state of mind and help you sort them out. Prioritize things in your life.

        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter the multiplicity of conflicting thoughts with Dhruv Asana and, Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.

        You may wish to chant the following mantra every night before you sleep:
        Om yajjagrito doormudaiti daivam tadu suptasya tathaivaiti
        Dooram gaman jyotishaam jyotirekam tanme manah shiv sankalpam astu

        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    13. Dear Himanshuji,

      I very much follow your blogs. I want to know your opinion about the ROTHSCHILDS.

      Can you suggest me where i can get enrolled for doing Ph.D on Mahabharatha and its relevance to present society (still i myself am not clear about it),. can you please guide me in this regard.
      thank you
      y.n.rao

      1. I am not too sure as to what you really wish to know from me regarding Rothschild. The details of their history and business are available on the internet. If you are looking for my opinion on the conspiracy theories surrounding the family, then I am afraid I have none to give! I am not much of a fan of conspiracy theories, and wouldnt like to speculate on this one either.
        You could do a PhD on any aspect of Mahabharata that interests you, by enrolling yourself into a PhD program of a University. If you could give me some more details on your background and place of stay I would be able to give you more specific suggestions.

    14. Dear Sir
      I am pursuing my PhD (already completed 4.5 years),.I had joined the program by taking study leave from my parent Institute.The PhD problem defined was difficult.Now I am in a dead end.Feeling very depressed.
      I feel partly I am responsible for trying to be perfectionist and partly my supervisor is responsible as one of his previous bright student had faced the same difficulty and switched over to a new area. In-spite of that he assigned me the same problem. I am planning to take a co-guide and work in a different area.But I cant leave the old area where I worked so hard. Please advise me how to over come this difficult situation.

    15. Dear Sir,

      This question relates to the right age of marriage for an urban girl in India, if there exist any.

      My sister turned 23 last Nov. She is a Post Graduate and working in junior management cadre in a reputed Indian corporate. I would not say she has settled or achieved significantly in her career, but she is clearly set in the right direction on the right path. Besides there is no such thing as ultimate goal. While we feel this is the right age to at least start looking for prospects with a target marriage age of 24, sister is not willing. She has some further career goals which she would like to achieve before getting married. Now we have following apprehensions –
      1. Beyond 24-25 years the options get limited and this challenge gets compounded by the fact that one becomes more selective with the age. I have seen people in 28 upwards bracket facing serious issues in finding a decent match.
      2. 26-27 is probably the age for becoming a mother. And if one gets married only by this age, she would hardly get enough time with spouse as a couple (without kid), which I believe is essential in a relationship.

      Having said this, I am myself not sure whether this perception is correct or not. Please guide.

      1. While I understand the confusion and concern that plague you, I am afraid I do not agree with your perspective.

        To begin with, there IS something like an ultimate goal. And that indeed is your Swadharma. What you mention as goals, are in fact, milestones towards that ultimate goal.

        The first thing you need to do is extend the courtesy to your sister that she is an educated independent woman perfectly capable of making her own decisions. Marriage is a choice, and more importantly, it is HER choice. She is the one who has to live with it. Later, motherhood is also a choice which is for HER to make. Trying to tell her how to plan both is outright patronising and condescending.

        I do however, appreciate the concern that you have as a brother. Let me address those concerns now. First, I am not sure whether there is something called the right age to marry; you are however right about the motherhood, in the sense that beyond an age both conception and delivery are susceptible to complications according to medical sciences. With better standards of living and quality of health services however, this line would be 35, and as a point of fact, it is not surprising to see many women opting for motherhood in the late 30s or even early 40s.

        My suggestion to you, therefore, is to be supportive of her decisions and help her in making a choice for herself. Share with her your concern as a brother but do not try to direct her life. I know it is hard to let go of the roles we have taken for ourselves, courtesy our own upbringing, but then life is all about learning and changing. In this case, you need to change, not her!

        1. Thanks for your advice sir.

          We fully agree that it is ultimately her decision. I just wanted to do my part – offer the right advice. However, being confused myself, I sought your thoughts on the same. Thanks for clearing the doubts.

          I really appreciate your efforts despite other enormous responsibilities.

    16. Hello Sir,
      I aspire to be a visionary leader and an entrepreneur in the near future, but I feel neglected when I share my views as they are more ethically based rather being practical according to the peoples. Facing these reviews from them, Sometimes I even question myself Am I really thinking impractical?. As a result to these constant remarks, I feel devastated and loose temper. Please suggest some meditations or deeds to get that leader out of me and also to have control over my temper.

      Warm regards!

    17. Hi Sir,

      I have applied to MISB Bocconi from Delhi. Would I be meeting you in the interview process?

      Please attend it sir. Me and my friend Sakshi both wish to interact with you

      You are a great person!

      1. Thank you for your nice words. I am afraid that I wont be in Delhi for this round. However, I shall certainly interact with you once you join us. Even otherwise, drop in whenever you are in Mumbai.

        1. Sir,

          What about the February session in Delhi?

          So many of us are dying to meet you. We all took part in the live chat session with MISB, and would love to see you back here in Delhi.

          Please let us know!

    18. Dear Sir,
      Are you the same Professor Rai who has provided consultation to the UP high court re: arms license?
      I would like to use your research in a study that I am doing re: violence.

    19. Hi Sir,

      Hope this message finds you well.

      I was privileged to have attended your very insightful sessions as part of APHRM batch @ IIML.

      I carry more than 8 yrs of HR generalist role, and worked mostly in IT industry. After completing my program I moved to Noida to join a small IT Product company, in May 2014. Before that I had taken six months sabbatical.

      I like my profile here and its been a learning experience professionally and personally. But since last few months I have developed some vascular health issues and finding it very difficult to give nine hours a day at work. The company does not provide telecommuting flexibility. You can imagine the conflict here.

      While I am really interested in pursuing my HR career, and took this conscious decision to move to NCR, from a smaller city, only for career advancement, I am finding myself at a loss, as there are not many employers whod provide such flexibility to HR.

      Sir, could you pls guide me what should be the best career move for me in such a situation.

      Thank you very much for your help.

    20. Respected Sir,

      What is the difference between a good-logic and majoritarian-logic? Nowdays, in era of social networking, the logic supported by (or seems to be supported by), greater number of people become most powerful/valid idea. What is your view on this?

      Regards,
      Sudhanshu

      1. Logic, by definition is the use of valid reasoning, and hence, cannot be qualified as good or bad. Philosophers like Kant did assert to bring in the element of judgement in its conception, but the idea ofthought and truth need to be separated. Essentially, two forms of reasoning are considered valid: deductive (conclusion drawn from axioms or established premises), and inductive (conclusion drawn from multiple empirical observations),. Some philosophers also consider Abductive reasoning as a valid form that considers inference to the best explanation. The Indian philosophy also talks about transcendence as a valid form of seeking truth.

        If not internally valid, the content of a seemingly logical conclusion is likely to come apart sooner or later. Sometimes assertions made through pathos (emotion), are mistakenly taken as logical statements, however, these logical fallacies are usually short lived. Most of these are logical fallacies arising out of the error in logical argument independent of the truth of the premises.

        Some of the examples of such popular fallacies are as follows:

        Ad hominem abusive:Example: He cannot take this responsibility because he is an atheist/religious.
        Ad hominem circumstantial: Example: Cola manufacturers are wrong when they say that their products do not contain pesticides because they want to sell their products.
        Appeal to emotion: Example: You must perform well or you will disappoint your family.

    21. Respected Sir,

      What are different types of yoga? What are your views about Iyengar way of learning yoga? What are its advantage-disadvantage compared to other school?

      Regards,
      Sudhanshu

      1. There is just one Yoga as explained in the Yoga Sutra by Patanjali, and it comprises eight limbs: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahar, Dhaarna, Dhyan, and Samadhi. There are many schools of Yoga though that focus on a particular aspect of Yoga or create some variations or fusions of asanas with other forms of exercises.

        To prepare your body for Yoga, you need to start with the first limb (phase),: the 5 Yamas: Ahinsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Aparigrah (non-possessiveness), and Brahmacharya (energy conservation),.

        The second limb of Yoga: The 5 Niyamas (rules, discipline),: Shauch (physical and spiritual cleanliness), Santosh (contentment), Tapa (hard work, focus, dedication), Swadhyaya (self-learning and introspective reflection), and Ishvara Pranidhan (connecting with the cosmic consciousness),.

        The third limb of Yoga: Asana: refers to the mastery over the body (Kayajeet),. Asana implies the ability to sit in a position (to be later used for pranayam and meditation), for extended periods. Some of the yogic asanas include padmasana, siddhasana etc. All other asanas practiced in typical hathayoga exercises, such as sarvangasana, dhanurasana, surya namaskar etc, are directed towards developing this capability. Most yoga teachers agree that one is believed to have attained mastery if one can stay in a yogic Asana for a period of 3 hours and 45 minutes without discomfort.

        The fourth limb of Yoga: Pranayama: refers to the mastery and control over the breathing. This relates to controlling the apana vayu and prana vayu and ensuring its free flow through the seven chakras, viz, Mooladhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddhi, Ajna, and Sahasrara. This in turn ensures control over mind and longevity with good health.

        While the first four limbs of Yoga, Yama, Niyama, Asana, and Pranayama are the external (bahiranga), aspects, the next four limbs, Pratyahara, Dharna, Dhyan and Samadhi are the internal (antaranga), aspects in so much as that they are the result (pratifal), of the mastery of the first four!

        The fifth limb of Yoga: Pratyahara: refers to the withdrawal of senses (mastery over senses), thereby preparing the mind for the next three stages of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. This is achieved through practice of pranayama while concentrating on the third eye (Ajna Chakra),.

        The sixth limb of Yoga: Dharana: refers to the steadfastness and is the initial step of deeper meditation (Dhyana),. Here the meditator is conscious of the object of meditation and the act of meditation. In the subsequent stages, this consciousness disappears. This is the first stage of Samyama.

        The seventh limb of Yoga: Dhyana: refers to meditation, where the meditator is conscious of the object of meditation and also conscious of being but is NOT conscious of the act of meditation.

        The eighth limb of Yoga: Samadhi: refers to the highest level of meditation, the transcendental state, where the consciousness of the subject becomes one with that of the object, where the connection between the body and the soul is suspended at will, and the mind is completely still.

    22. Dear sir,

      I have a stage fear. Whenever I have to speak in front of public or a group my legs shiver and I become very conscious of myself. It obviously affects my public speaking. I am 24 years old. How should I overcome this fear.

      1. First let me assure you that most people have a fear of public speaking, and second there are easy ways to counter it. Stage fear is usually a reflection of lack of confidence, and manifests symptomatically in the form of shaking hands, shaking knees, drying throat etc. Stage fear leads to secretion of extra acids in the body and that causes most of the symptoms I have listed above.

        You need to address both the root cause and the symptoms. Prepare yourself well and dont try to rely on your extempore skills unless you have ample experience in public speaking. Try to rehearse your speech/presentation in front of a live audience (friends who can point out some obvious mistakes), or a mirror. Time yourself and organize your speech in such a manner that should there be a time crunch, you could just peel away portions and not try to make up for it by speaking fast),. Drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before you go on to the stage/podium, and take several deep breaths just before entering. Pump your fists in the gesture of celebration just before you enter the stage and tell yourself aloud that you can do it.

        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    23. hello sir, im in a total strange situation. Because of immaturity or some other unknown nature, I used to get these thoughts. I dont want to get married, I dont want to live normal life but abnormal as per the current system, I dont want to live according to rules of my family because of their conservatism. These are all because of sheer dissatisfaction and immaturity. But I love my family. Even I didnt take any serious actions to live like that. But suddenly because of some others stupid actions(Which was totally not under my control), I got involved in serious problems. My life is totally changed now. The current situation will lead to the life which I aspired because of immaturity, innocence and disappointment. Sometimes I wonder, why it happened. Is there any connection between our thoughts, occurrence of random uncontrollable events and the fruits? Is there any supernatural power which govern our life according to our wishes? Is there any concept of previous life(according to your personal belief system),? If so, is there any possibility that I owe something to those people who created problems for me?

      1. I am afraid that I havent understood your real problem. You will need to tell me exactly what happened and why is it bothering you.
        To answer your generic question, yes, I do believe that your past life influences some of the events of your present. The debit and credit of our Karma continues till we transcend beyond it all and achieve bliss.

        1. Dear sir, what happened my friend and I were going on a bike, and met with an accident in which we were damaged physically so much. In current situation, Im almost unfit for normal social life. I always regret that bike journey, always wanted to go to past and change the course of action, which is in fact impossible. Im regretting about my friend as he is the only child in the family. Because of this accident, my life totally changed. I couldnt even predict this in my dreams, in fact its a tsunami in my life. In childhood I used to think of non-marriage, living away from people, living extraordinary life(opposite to this normal life like, study, job, marry, children , die kind of life),. I really didnt want that life seriously, now the reality is I am living that life. I am unable explain my situation to anybody because of my stupid action of bike riding. Please help me… Is there any explanation about why such bad things(like accidents, death, poverty, betrayal, injustice, false imprisonment, rapes, bombings etc), happen to good people(who are righteous, honest, loving and caring, soft, generous, innocent, etc),? Does the concept of Previous life and its karma exist? Did I do anything bad in my previous life?

    24. Dear sir, usually people will be born, study, get job and earn money, marry, and the cycle repeats for their children. They consume food, sex, other essentials and media . In the end, they die regretting. This happens to 99 percent population. I dont want to live that consumer life.
      I want to live differently by making some contribution and some recognition.. How to find out my that living?

      1. As answered elsewhere, you need to figure out the purpose of your life, your Swadharma. Swadharma is your responsibility, your duty and your Karma, that you are good at, and by virtue of you being good at it, it becomes your responsibility to follow it! It’s a realization of your potential (in the sense of self actualization), and then acting on it. Thus, simply trying to be happy cannot be a Swadharma. You need to find that which is your calling, your destiny!

        If you wish to find it out you can try any of the three ways: One, try out different things and then figure out what you enjoy the most without being fearful, shameful or doubtful. Two, you could reflect on your past: what kind of stuff did you like, what kind of assignments did you enjoy, what kind of things excited you in your life, and so on, and then intellectually draw a conclusion through deductive reasoning. Or three, seek a guru, a teacher, a guide, who could talk to you, evaluate your skills, your attitude, your personality, and then suggest what is it that you ought to do with your life. Either of these ways is effective, so just go ahead and make your choice!

    25. Dear Sir,

      I have posted questions to you in the past, never got back to thank you for your responses. I cannot explain how greatly your inputs have helped me in the past 1-2 years. In fact, with each day I appreciate even more the importance of the thoughts that you would put across in your lectures.

      Well, I am trying to figure out my self and heres what troubles me.

      I have come across people in my life who have been great at certain things. One of them has been great in creating a personal presence and taking charge of situations. Another has been great with situations involving negotiations or bonding with peers. Yet another has been great at always taking the right path, choosing the right thing (however subjective), to do. One more has been great at captivating the other persons attention through his antics and storytelling skills.

      During the course of my life, I have picked up traits from such people.

      So much so that as I would go about doing my daily work / living my life, and come across situations; I could almost visualize myself being that person and performing the act. Right now, while I dont visualize myself being that persons, whenever confronted by a situation, I recall him, involuntarily.

      Somehow, this realization takes me back to the difference between method acting and classical acting that you spoke of in your classes.

      What troubles me is that this realization hurts my pride. It posts several questions on my individuality. More so, because these persons have been my peers.

      Why, would you believe, that I experience this? Do you believe this is most normal with the majority of people? Should I accept this as my reality? Or should I make efforts to change it? How?

      1. I am glad that I have been of some help to you. Coming to your question, you are doing a great disservice to yourself by letting this affect your pride. All of us, to some or the other extent, are influenced by people around us, as well as, by people we read or hear about (including fiction and mythology),. While we strive to be individuals, we cannot escape playing out the series of reciprocal roles that we get into right from the time we are born. Since these roles have been shaped by others before us as well as by collective consciousness of that particular time and space, it is imminent that we be affected by this collective construction. Those very peers that you seem to be emulating in some way or the other might be getting influenced by YOU in many other ways. And thats our reality. So quit fretting, and rejoice in what you are and what you can be!

    26. Could you suggest the most authentic and reliable source for reading Mahabharata ?

      Most sources seem to paraphrase it. I would like the original unadulterated version which was written by Ved Vyas.

      1. The original unadulterated version, in my opinion, is not available. All versions published these days have prakshipt (contaminations), in it. The better version of the lot is published by Gita Press and is translated by Sahityacharya Pandit Ramnarayandutt Shastri Pandey.

    27. Hello Sir

      I am one of your ex-students. I am having a terrible situation which is burning me out.

      I am looking for a life partner but very very fixated with a girls beauty. I have had so many meetings with girls where I found them very good as a person but I was not attracted to them. As you say, love is attraction, respect and trust. Since attraction is missing I hate losing on good prospects.

      At the same time, again and again I see so many beautiful and gorgeous women with stupid nothing looking guys. I get so jealous. My heart boils and burns inside. I somehow feel I deserve a beautiful girl as I have been qualified from and working with top companies in the country.

      I know everything about theory of karma and desire but I hate to accept not having that person in my life without which I find my life worthless. I am imagining to trade everything if I could get this one beautiful partner who I would madly be in love with and genuinely loves me in return.

      Please help.

      Mr. Depressed.

      Please help me

      1. Hi Sir,
        Well I happen to chance upon your response of not being fixated upon the good looking dimension when looking for a life partner. I completely second your view. However I happen to read about a study published in the TOI recently (I do not recall the date), that reveals than men shall always find an unknown female face attractive while women find a known male face attractive. Assuming the study is methodologically rigorous, this means that men can never stop ogling and hence cannot help feel jealous (which is very very bad news!),. I believe the only way out is contentment and practicing spirituality (you are the best person on this advice),. But I think your answer shall be more complete to our friend if you may reveal the attributes/parameters/dimensions he shall keep in mind when he chooses (assuming it is for marriage and that too arranged marriage), his bride. And it shall be even more better if you rank the dimensions.

        Regards
        Surya (your one more student),

        1. Although you havent really mentioned what you mean by beautiful, given the tone of your statements, I asssume you mean good looking in the conventional sense of the word. First, you are assuming that you will fall in love only with someone who is conventionally good looking or drop-dead gorgeous. Free your mind from this obsession and you will be pleasantly surprised. If you look for people with a preconceived set of characteristics in your mind, then you will never love the person! You will instead love the set of characteristics that YOU attribute to the person. And then later, if some other person, who scores more than this person on this rating scale in your head comes along, you will become disillusioned with the previous one and go after the next! This is a vicious cycle and it can lead only to perpetual dissatisfaction, and often, destruction. And I am not even talking about the moral compass here!
          You have to give yourself a chance to fall in love with some person, without any preset parameters. By no means am I saying that you should not, or would not, get married to a conventionally good looking girl. All I am saying is dont start with that parametric notion. This is not an object whose specs you need to predetremine, but a living, loving human being who has to betaken for what she is.
          No point being jealous either. Jealousy consumes you totally, and if you have read Othello, you would know what I am talking about. However, your jealousy is directed towards no one in particular, and thats certainly a good news! Keep your heart and mind open, and you will surely meet someone you can love forever.

    28. Hi sir,

      I have heard about you from a friend of mine who is your student.
      I have terribly low self esteem. I am 24, have great communication skills and am studying in one of the premier b schools of the country.
      My issue is that I have terribly low self esteem. Despite of making it to a college where most people just aspire to be I feel that I have not done enough. I feel that I have missed many opportunities in college. This might sound funny but sometimes I also tie my self worth to something as trivial as the number of likes on my Facebook profile picture.
      I am not sure what is the reason. I am an only kid and only about a year back have I moved out of the comforts of my home. I feel this is creating a mental block and is hampering my potential. I feel that I am not popular enough in college. I am unable to even get over a relationship which I was in for the past 6 years and is keeping me unhappy.
      Kindly guide me how to deal with all these issues.
      TIA,
      Anwesha

      1. I see two separate problems here: One, your understanding of self-esteem, and two, your desire to become more popular, and may I venture, more likeable?

        First of all, Self esteem is the sense of worth and esteem you have in your own eyes, and thus, cannot be linked with externalities. You have to learn to seek happiness from within. Your experiences in the past have eroded your sense of self-worth, and therefore, you are now seeking approbation from the outside world to restore it. This wont work. It might do good to your sense of pride, but it wont last long. You need to strengthen your core. Put the past behind you and revel in your present. Look at your achievements in life and tell yourself that there is no reason why these will not continue pouring in. Introspect and figure out what in life really makes you happy. Once you have figured it out, you will get a sense of direction. This will also help you get over your mental block, if any, and push you towards the realization of your potential. Talk to yourself every morning just after you get up and every night before sleeping. Remember, happiness and grief are both transitory and thus you ought to look for THAT thing which would give you peace and bliss.

        Should you wish to be popular, the best way of achieving it is to read like a maniac! When you have an eclectic repertoire of reading, you can make and participate in any conversation and be a contributing part of it. Develop a hobby and make yourself good at it. Very good. be good at what you do and how you talk (not just the language but the content), and people will want to be around you!

    29. Sir,
      I need your guidance and valuable suggestions. I joined the corporate world last year after taking voluntary retirement from the central government services.
      I have a passion and sincere interest for motivational talks on topics like stress management, laughing, leadership etc. I have been giving small talks since last few years but I am not formally trained.
      I sincerely want to contribute something to our school children by educating them the importance of positive thinking, personality development, stress management etc. But before taking a decision firstly I want to take advice from you whether i should Opt this path and secondly where can I get a formal training on motivational talks.
      Can you please guide me as to how to go about.

      1. If you are passionate about this path, then it certainly IS the path for you. Now what you need to do is to back up your passion with knowledge and learning. Pick up the topics that you feel most passionate about and then look up for training programs offered on these by premier institutes like the IIMs. Many IIMs including IIML offer 3-5 day MDPs on topics such as Leadership, Communication Skills, Stress Management etc. Attend these MDPs and build up your knowledge base. This will also help you in networking with people from related fields.

        1. Sir,
          Thank you very much for a prompt, very encouraging and a valuable reply.As suggested by you i have been reading these books. Now that you have encouraged me and reiterated on my passion and belief,I will take a step forward towards this. I will find the courses and will do one. Bye the way sir, As per your website you also undertake such training courses for individuals?? Kindly update me on locations. I am presently working at Mumbai
          Thanks once again

    30. Respected Himanshu Sir,
      Nice to see you on your website.

      I was going through the Human resource management subject and was referring Grievance management and discipline.

      I saw you have written a critical study on Employee grievance management. Is there a possibility that this can be shared with me.

      Gaurav Joshi
      GMPE 06/013.

      1. Certainly. You can find that paper if you do a google search. Alternatively, you can email me and I will send you that paper.

    31. I want to know that how do I find purpose of my existence. is their any concrete way or its trial and error? or is it a long process to explore? or is there anything like purpose of existence? or we just have to live our lives as they come and live them as a responsible human being.

      1. The purpose of one’s life is to realize one’s destiny! As I have explained elsewhere, this is what we call one’s Swadharma, which is one’s responsibility, one’s duty and one’s Karma, that one is good at, and by virtue of one being good at it, it becomes one’s responsibility to follow it! It’s a realization of one’s potential (in the sense of self actualization), and then acting on it. If you wish to find it out you can try any of the three ways: One, you could continue following your heart, try out different things and then figure out what you enjoy the most. Two, you could reflect on your past: what kind of stuff did you like, what kind of assignments did you enjoy, what kind of things excited you in your life, and so on, and then intellectually draw a conclusion through deductive reasoning. Or three, you take in a guru, a teacher, a guide, who could talk to you, evaluate your skills, your attitude, your personality, and then suggest what is it that you ought to do with your life. Either of these ways is effective, so just go ahead and make your choice!
        You would know that you have made the right choice when you start having fun in living life; when life feels beautiful.

      1. There are multiple ethical theories that dwell on the means to categorize actions into moral and immoral. I will briefly outline 3 important ones. Consequentialism that states that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action in so much as a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome, or consequence. Deontology approach to ethics determines goodness or rightness from examining acts, or the rules and duties that the person doing the act strove to fulfill, and thus, an act may be considered right even if the act produces a bad consequence. Finally, Utilitarianism, which is a form of consequentialism, argues that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its contribution to overall utility: that is, its contribution to happiness or pleasure as summed among all people. Take your pick!

    32. Sir,
      I should really applaud you for taking out time to make your own website, write a blog on current events and answer (mostly philosophical), questions.
      Your areas of interest are also interesting … related to Human & Organizational psychology.

      This leads me to an interesting topic of discussion. I think human psychology is a double edged sword. The theories and concepts of human psychology are very interesting. On the flip side, the experiments done for psychology may not be accurate and more importantly, the interpretations of the results of these experiments may be even more inaccurate.

      Human psychology may draw a lot of conclusions/predictions given a humans personality traits and experiences. However, humans can surpass these expectations. Ultimately, whether you can surpass expectation depends on how motivated you are to accomplish something.
      Can we measure motivation, happiness and energy of a person? I think we can only feel it :),

      Can we measure the effect a person has on the team and the effect a team has on a person? The same person may perform better in one team than the others ?

      1. Thank you very much for your kind and motivating words. Coming to your question, yes, we can measure the levels of motivation albeit with a caveat. Motivation is a result of the interaction between an individual and the situation, and can be defined as the process that accounts for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal. The caveat is that we can measure the attitudinal aspect of motivation (and not behavioral), that is, the individuals predisposition and inclination towards a certain behaviour. Behaviour, by its very definition can be studied only post hoc. Similarly happiness and energy can be measured in attitudinal terms.
        The influence of a person on the team and vice versa can also be measured; however, you are right in saying that the same person may perform differently in different teams. The relationship between an individuals ability and performance is influenced by certain factors called moderators. These moderators may include environmental factors such as state of economy, organizational factors such as Perceived Organizational Support, Quality of Leader Member Exchange etc., team factors such as team identity, team cohesiveness etc., and individual and demographic factors. One needs to evolve a comprehensive model to generate predictive capabilities for such situations.

      1. Different philosophies explain the meaning, nature, and the method of doing Pooja. I would talk about two such philosophies. The Vedic philosophy considers Karma as Pooja, and thus pooja refers to performing your duties to the best of your abilities. This concept is in line with the maxim of Work is Worship, and finds a resonance in many thoughts cutting across religions. When you put your heart and soul into your work, it is known as Tapasya, the philosophy adds.

        The popular meaning of Pooja is paying obeisance to God, and the nature and the method are varied across cultures and boundaries. Among Hindus, Pooja could be a simple ritual undertaken in the mornings and involving chanting of mantras/shlokas from scriptures and/or aratis, or it could be a detailed process involving several steps. One of the detailed types of Puja involves sixteen steps viz Dhyaana, Aavahana, Aasana, Paadya, Arghya, Aachmana, Snana, Vastra, Yajyopaveet, Gandha, Archana, Dhoopa, Deepa, Naivedya, Tamboola and Aarati.

    33. Hello, sir I came to know about you through a friend. I have a doubt. Why are only some people are blessed with higher IQ levels, while major numbers are not. If someone is having average to least IQ, arent they blessed to with other skills? Einstein says if we judge a fish its quality by judging whether it can fly or not, it feels foolish throughout its life. In current scenario in india, people judge us with marks, great paying MNC job. For most of people who are grown in this pre decided framework, given they are average and dull students and they couldnt stop making others satisfied, wont they excel in other fields with newly found set of skills? Will they able to find such skill in their lifetime, if so how to proceed?

      1. Traits are both genetic and acquired. Therefore, when we talk about the abilities of a person, we are essentially talking about a combination of genetics, environment, socio-cultural construction, and learning. Consequently people are, to use your word, blessed, with certain abilities because of a variation in either of these four factors. However, as you have rightly pointed out, judgment of people ought not influence what we do with our lives. Elsewhere in an answer I have mentioned that you need to figure out your Swadharma, and that is prime obligation. You need not worry about what people think about you or how they would judge you; think about how best can you fulfill this obligation of yours!

      1. It is very difficult to locate that point in time which I can call modern in the context of Human Migration. If I were to start with the Homo Sapiens (and not Homo Erectus, who moved out of Africa about a million year ago, possibly to Europe and Asia), according to the accepted western scientific theories today, the movement began about 70,000 years ago from Africa. Migration to Australia, Asia and Europe can be dated 40,000 years BC, that to Americas about 13,000 BC, and Pacific Islands about 2000 years ago.
        Indo-Aryan Migration, according to the Western theories, happened around 1500 BC from the Indus Valley to Northern India. The Greek colonization dates back to 728 BC.
        More modern migrations include those of Turkic people to Europe and Middle East between 6th and 11th centuries, while those in Asia took place between 11th and 18th centuries, including those of the Vatsayan priests from Eastern Himalaya hills to Kashmir.
        Most recent migrations have started from 18th century onwards in the form of labour migration, refugee migration, and urbanization.

    34. Sir, I would like to read the famous plays of Shakespeare but found the language used in the plays to be difficult. Either I dont know the meaning of the words or the actual intended meaning is different from what I think it is. I did find some books which would give the meaning of such words/phrases at the bottom of the page but that has not made the reading any more interesting. Can you suggest some easier versions to start with.

      1. I am afraid there are no books/publications that offer a simpler version of Shakespeares works. My suggestion to you would be to read them in original, get the meanings using a companion (like a dictionary), and then reread them. However, if you would still like to read them in modern text, you may go to nfs.sparknotes.com and read some of his works in modern English.

    35. Dear Sir,
      I am 25, Female. I have been suffering from PCOS since last 8 years. Have tried allopathic medicines but no permanent cure as such. Due to this, I have gained weight. Have been on ayurvedic medicines since last one year, but my problem is persistent. I have gained a lot of weight specially around the belly area and thighs. My weight is 73kgs. Please suggest a permanent solution for weight loss.
      Thanks in advance.

      1. The most important thing you need to do is go for a diet change. Remember, diet control/change is not the same as eating less. On the contrary, you still eat well but you just eat smart.

        Replace the fat and carbohydrates in your diet with green vegetables, salad, and fruit juices.

        Eat smaller portions 6 times in a day instead of 3 big meals.

        Get up before sunrise and drink 1-2 litres of water.

        Take walks (30 minutes-brisk), both in the morning and evening.

        Dont sleep during the day (no naps either),.

        Take 15 grains of guggulu (you will get them in any ayurvedic medicine shop),; ask the shopkeeper to ensure it is purified, and have it with warm water 4 times in a day.

        Practice kapalbhati pranayaam (10 minutes), and vahya pranayam (3 sets), twice every day.

        I will be putting forth on youtube a set of yogasanas specially meant for reducing weight. Practice those for 30 to 60 minutes every day. You could also give me a call to discuss these asanas.

      1. From a very basic perspective of human relations and survival, marriage is said to be the institutionalization of paired bonding, which is meant to ensure peace in the social fabric of humans through mitigation of sexual tensions between competing males. I think that marriage is much more than just this. Marriage is an irrevocable commitment of two people, to be together in love, and institutionalize their rightful place in the society. According to Hindu scriptures, it is a union between a male and a female with a commitment to pursue Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha together. Since it is expected to lead to procreation, it is considered to be the most important of the 16 Sanskaras, and is considered equal to a spiritual experience.

    36. Hi Himanshu (you prefer to be instead of sir),..
      my regards to you. Thanks for your guideline on communication and leadership for us (09:00, 20 June, IIML),. Now I can say, how we were thinking and communicating our thought among our team. Analyzing for several time, checking the notes that i have made during your session, I have concluded <>. And I start struggling. Some internal factor, I can manage perhaps.. but external factor is out of me.. can you please give me some tips what may be the external factor and how can i overcome the situation (possible), to become an effective communicator among a huge team?
      we have very few hours of interaction and you were busy also at that time. please send me the ppt of that presentation too.

      1. To be a good speaker you need to speak with your entire body, and to do so you would need to practice hard till such time that essence of good speaking gets internalized in you. To make sure that you are collecting information, and not merely, data, make sure that what you have is accurate, current, complete and relevant. Subsequently you may wish to keep the following in mind:

        While speaking/making presentations, vary distances (use space), make sure there is harmony between your physical moves & message, Prepare yourself, Read and respond to audience. Also don’t speak generally to entire audience for long (try and focus on certain individuals who seem to be paying more attention to you; maintain eye contact with them predominantly), don’t move back and forth in a rhythm, don’t turn away while speaking, and don’t fidget.

        To address the voice concerns, enunciate well and try to throw your voice from the stomach, rather than the throat. Join dramatic classes if you have access and time.

        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    37. Sir, I was hyperactive in the past. Dissatisfaction at family life, distress at workplace, sudden change of good frends to boring companions, betrayal because of money, and my gullibility, ironical wrong friends led me to dangerous state of my life. Because of that event, I understood the value of life. I started living and loving my life.
      I want to go through some kind of spiritual and yoga life training in any ashram in India for 15 days to one month(I can even spend two months if it demands), . Can you please suggest me one such thing?

      1. I am glad that you have realized that life is beautiful, no matter what. If you are looking for introspection and reflection, you may want to do a Vipassana course, the details and schedules for which you would find on http://www.dhamma.org/en/bycountry/ap/in/
        If you are looking for a training on Yoga, you may want to do an intensive yoga training course at one of the Sivananda Ashramas, the details of which may be found on http://www.sivananda.org/india/ttc.html

    38. Respected Sir
      I live in Lucknow.
      Can you please tell me some good yoga teacher in Lucknow.
      My home is not far away from IIM, Lucknow.So If you conduct any yoga training and allow me to participate , then I can easily come their also.
      Regards
      Ashok

    39. Is there any upcoming training programs of yours either in Chennai or Bangalore?

      It would be of great help if you could kindly let me know about the programs and dates.

    40. Sir, I have a mental condition, that is unconsciously I do give wrong replies. For example, I surely know, I watched a movie x, and if someone asks me about the name of the movie, something happens in me, Ill get dizziness, some kind of losing conscious for one or seconds, get tired, and Ill say I saw movie named y. This doesnt happen frequently. But my karma is it happens at critical moments of my life. This kind of mental situation caused me terrible loss in my personal life, coupling with my hyper activity, gullibility. Now I know I just cant undo the past events, I decided not to damage my life further. Please suggest me what should I do?

      1. Your state is symptomatic of restlessness and anxiety, which in turn is a symptom of a disturbed mind and lack of patience. It could be a direct consequence of your not liking what you are doing predominantly in work or life. Reflect on it and sort these issues out in your head. If there is something else bothering you, think about it and write to me.

        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter the mutiplicity of conflicting thoughts with Paadangushtha Asana, Dhruv Asana & Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.
        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        To reduce anxiety and stay calm, take a quarter of teaspoon of Brahmi first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

      1. Certainly. I would however respond to it only if I feel that I have enough knowledge on the subject/issue that your question explores.

    41. Hi Sir,

      I just attended your session on negotiations in IIML on 11th Dec13. It was awesome and tremendous amount of learning. Thanks a lot for that.

      I want some help as I am looking forward to go for PHD in management. However need some guidance

      – to select the institution
      – decide on the topic
      – how to write a research proposal
      etc etc

      I do not have any idea how to go about it.

      Please help..

      Regards
      Fayaz Khan

      1. Thank you for your kind words. If there is something specific you would want to know, do ask me here on this forum. If you need to discuss it out with me, then give me a call and I will try to answer your questions.

    42. Sir,
      With all due respect to you and your teachings i would be more than obliged if you could guide me with the answer to my question..
      I have been working as an HR generalist since 1.5 years but i have realized that i am good when it comes to public speaking than sitting in front of a system 24/7, i have got that 1% talent and persistently looking out to become a professional public speaker.Kindly elaborate that is it a degree from reputed institution that is required to become a professional speaker or is it the talent and hard work that pays off?

      1. I am not too sure what you mean by a Professional Public Speaker. If you mean that you wish to make a living out of public speaking then you may look at a career as a Communication/Public Speaking trainer or a Motivational Speaker. There are no degrees for either but you may find some courses offered in the area of Communication, Public Speaking, Motivation, Leadership etc by IIMs or other good business schools, useful. That aside, talent and hard work are two essential ingredients to success in this field. The first thing that you need to do, however, is have a directional clarity. Figure out which area would you want to use your public speaking skills in, and once you have that sense of direction, intensity and persistence ought to follow!

    43. Dear Sir,

      Trust you are doing good.

      Hope you have seen a recent television advertising commercial of Reckitt Benckiser India Ltd for its Dettol dishwashing liquid, explicitly attacking Vim of Unilever. We have witnessed the same war, while HLL attacked Tide brand of P&G with RIN in TV commercials.

      While few say it’s a calculated risk (legal implications), and advocate this strategy saying for a brand entering a new space, the organic way of building the brand and creating brand recall among consumers would take a long time. However, by pitching itself against the market leader you can position your brand as a serious alternative to the market leader. It gives the brand a competitive advantage and is a smart approach.

      Request your views on this strategy (in general and not particularly about VIM Vs. Dettol or Tide vs RIN),. Isnt this unethical and gives a wrong message to market?

      Regards- Prajay Kumar

      1. In my opinion, this would be certainly unethical under two circumstances:One, if the claim they are making about the competitor (the shortcoming of product or service), is false, and two, if the claim they are making about their own product or service is false. All other cases would need to be looked at individually for their ethical transgression, if any.
        An ad hominem reference to a competitor in terms of either attack or contrast, makes strategic sense to some under the following circumstances:
        Taking on an established player; Taking on a player with deeper pockets; when you are new in the market; when you are sure that the competitors product/service has a flaw. However, this can alienate people who put a premium on fair fight, procedural justice and fair play. It could also be disastrous if it is unethical in terms of the two conditions I mentioned in the beginning.

    44. Sir,

      Why are people born with different abilities and opportunities? I mean, some are born healthy while some are not, some are good looking while some are not, some are born rich while some are not, etc. The process of action and consequences has not yet begun but still it seems as if the privileges or the lack of them with which a man is born with is a baggage (of consequences), he is carrying from a journey in the past. Do you believe this is a result of his actions in the last birth (theory of multiple births),?

      Even if the theory of multiple births is considered to justify the congenital inequalities, why does the design need to be so? I mean, why shouldnt the consequences be following the actions immediately in the same birth itself? Wouldnt this help in causing the man to be more vigilant about following his dharma (since the fear of negative consequences will be more as he is able to see them happening),.

      1. The answer would differ depending on which school of thought you are coming from. Vedic perspective would talk about the eternal soul, Buddhist thought would describe it as the eternal stream of consciousness, while Darwinian thought would dismiss it as a ghost in the machine!
        Those who do not believe in the concept of the soul would attribute this to chance and would look at congenital defects as aberrations. The buck thus stops here.
        Vedic perspective, that believes in the concept of eternal soul, would ascribe it to be a consequence of the moral quality of ones actions during a lifetime. The Vedic conceptualization of God is not of one that is benevolent, i.e., one that forgives if you do a certain act of repentance, but one that is just meaning that you every action of yours will necessarily lead to a Karmic consequence.
        You have also asked as to why is the action not judged immediately. It takes us a year to figure out if a person has passed or failed a certain degree of knowledge, and many such years to ascertain his/her performance in life. Similarly, to ascertain and assess the performance of a persons moral life, one would need time. A life-time is perhaps just that long.

        1. Sir, the judgement may not be immediate but why are we not having the ability to be cognizant of the actions, occuring in the last life, which have led to the inequality/defect in this life. I mean, this cognizance would have propelled man to be more dutiful due to fear, leading to greater prevalence/practice of dharma.

          1. Memories of previous births can have disastrous effects on the present life, especially relationships. Imagine people who had hurt you (or who you had hurt), previously coming now as kith and kin (say as parents), and/or incompatible relationships across births. This could easily throw your mind in a tizzy and cloud your judgments. In any case, ideally a person ought to do the right thing not out of fear, but because it is the right thing to do!

    45. Dear sir,
      i just need to know do you actually need guru to show u the path…..or? why you get attracted to someone… is it manifestation or its destiny. i had bad experiences as far relationship goes and vary of them… i recently came across someone, whose aura was very strong. my whole group was impressed by him specially boys but i resisted. i picked up arrogance in him but gradually realised that he is very different from rest. when i started talking to him i realised he is on same path as i am. so what do i call it destiny or my manifestation.. cos i was thinking of him quite a bit.. basically wanted to know him….may be inner calling…should i resist him? or should i tell him to teach me what he has learnt because i also want to be at peace with myself..though i know its not easy to approach him. so what do i do?

      1. You dont need a guru necessarily though having one does make things a little easier. As I have mentioned elsewhere in my answers there are two other methods to figure out your destiny: through learning, introspection and reflection, and through experience.

        You get attracted to someone for two reasons: one, you see similarity with that person in terms of attributes, attitudes, values etc. and/or, two, you see in the person certain characteristics/skills/attributes that you aspire for. So in a way you might be projecting either your own self or your desired self on to the other person. You will need to introspect and then figure out why you are attracted to someone.

        Coming to this person whose aura you felt/observed, I am not too sure how you apprehend someones aura! How did you do it? What makes you feel that you have understood that persons spiritual/other self accurately? Second, I am not clear about what you mean by resisting him. Do you feel attracted to him in the physical sense or in some spiritual way? Tell me more and I might be able to help you.

    46. sir, i have a big question in mind my regarding my carrer…
      I am a student of FDDI(footwear design and development institute), ,persuing a diploma in footwear technology and a degree from IGNOU of B.Sc in footwear technology…
      Now, i m aiming for IIMs n preparing for cat exam.
      my question is- this IGNOU degree will be acceptable for my admission in IIMs or not???
      and would it affect my selection in top IIMs????

      1. You need to hold a Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA [45% in case of the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Differently Abled (DA), (It may also referred to as Persons with Disability (PWD), category),], awarded by any of the Universities incorporated by an act of the central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. Just make sure that the degree you are pursuing meets these criteria. Your degree will not affect your selection to the top IIMs; what you score, will.

    47. Hi Sir,

      How important is companionship in life to fulfill emotional needs? I, in general, have this compelling need to be around people else I feel lonely and depressed too soon. But offlate I feel the need to have a partner in life and I get the feeling of insecurity and emotional weakness in absence of so.

      Thanks

      1. Creating, developing, and living with meaningful relationships is necessary for physical, mental and emotional health. Research has established that people who have meaningful relationships live healthier and longer. Loneliness causes several psychosomatic effects and is not worth it. Should your loneliness be taken care of by seeking relationships outside of you, by all means go for it. Build a healthy relationship and rejoice in its warmth.

    48. Sir, How to do a self appraisal? Can it have good adjectives about my own work or should some tact be used based on my impression about my manager. Lets say, if my manager is very humble and likes to maintain a low profile, wont the good adjectives (if they can be used), be taken in the wrong way? Also, can I give the top/very good ratings to my self? Wont it be too bold? I mean, given that there will be some abstractness in any appraisal and given that they cant be done with absolute detachedness, how should a self appraisal be?

      1. Your self appraisal has to be objective and just. You should not inflate your strengths, but at the same time you should not play them down simply because you have a modest boss. The most objective way to do so would be to anchor your rating behaviorally. For every element of Key Performance Indicator, outline incident(s), that justify the ratings you are giving yourself. For instance, if you rated yourself an 8 out of 10 on leadership, outline a set of incidents that talk about the leadership skills that you displayed in the assessment period. This needs to be descriptive and of course something that you and others can corroborate. This outline will be over and above numbers that you may bring in to justify your stance.

      1. Spiritual experience is a subjective experience, conscious or subconscious, that is related to our understanding of our own self, the universe around us, and our relationship with this universe. For instance a person may see forms, figures, or have conversations with invisible beings. The explanations for these range from divine revelations to evolved features of the human brain. These are sensations and/or perceptual experiences that physical information may not be able to explain. The experience introduced by the duality between the experiencer and experienced is often mediated by intellectual and cognitive processes, while the pure experience is considered to be the highest form of spiritual enlightenment.

        Yoga is a traditional method that can lead to such experiences. Others have reported methods such as praying, meditation, near-death experiences, music and dance etc. as bringing on specific kinds of experiences that can be said to be spiritual.

    49. Hello Sir,

      Thanks for your earlier response. Trust things are well with you. I have more to ask, please!

      For several months, in fact since a long time, I have been bothered to a great extent by the question of being and existing. I can now sense the purpose that is encoded in us by nature. I can and have always appreciated the fact that we can never understand the efficient cause of creation – and that I have revered to as God.

      The most critical peg in the puzzle for me, at this point, is to be convinced fully that we are not just made of matter, but also consists of something that is spiritual.

      I can understand that for any system to function, there has to be a controller and an observer. Here I am trying to understand the system that I am.

      I can sense (see, touch, taste, hear, smell), my presence – which are my sense organs that are sending signals to my mind. There is a part of my brain that interprets the signals that are sent by those parts which intern interpret the signals of my sense organs.

      But what is that part of me, that finally interprets the signal and exclaims that I exist?

      My mind, my memory, my senses, my id, my superego, my ego, my thoughts, my feelings are matter. Because, I can observe them. This I has been observing myself since Ive been a child, happy or sad or jealous or in hate or in love, or greed, lust, etc.

      But then, what is this I?

      The question, to the point is, how do I know that this I is also not made of matter? How do we know that our consciousness is not material? How do I believe that consciousness can exist even outside of us (outside of a physical life form),?

      Perhaps I am not approaching this subject in the right way to understand it.

      If I were asked to just take a leap of faith, I would. But this question would remain and I feel will not allow me to manifest myself to the greatest extent.

      Could you please help me to understand this? An understanding of this would have profound implication on my life.

      Id deeply appreciate your help in this regard.

      Thanks, in anticipation!

      1. There are three dominant thought processes that explain the relationship between self and God: One, Dwaitvaad, in simple words, asserts that the self (consciousness), and God (super-consciousness), exist independently. Second, Adwaitvaad (most popular among Western thinkers as well who have been influenced by Indian philosophy), suggests that the self and God are interconnected and though they have individual attributes, the consciousness is a part of super-consciousness and becomes one with it when one attains Nirvana. Third, Traitvaad, argues that the self (Atman, consciousness), and God (Paramatma, super-consciousness), and Prakriti (nature), all three have independent existence and are eternal. A discourse on each of these would be too long and complex. I, personally, tend to agree with Traitvaad. Should you have questions on any particular aspect of one of these, do let me know and I will elaborate.
        In all three, self has been seen as akin to soul, the jeevatma, the consciousness that is the reason for and in fact is life!

        1. Dear Sir,

          Is traitvaad the same as vishishtadvaitavaad?

          There are very few resources tagged with the word traitvaad on the internet – and I read in one of the posts that these two are the same.

          What could be a good text to start understanding these better (apart from the upanishads!),

          1. Dear Sir,
            Thank you for always showing us the right path.
            Going further on the question about the relationship between God and Self, (pardon me if my question not entirely relevant with the topic), –
            The world around me believes in Stone Rings, Hymns, and other chores; does God expect that we pray n number of times? or does he expect us to do well for ourselves, take care of our family and if there is a surplus take care of those around us with that surplus?
            I feel my relationship with God goes beyond a prayer hall, we do not bond over hymns (frankly i cannot pronounce and do not understand their meaning most of the times),. I dont want to do things to please god, I want to please my family, friends, at times strangers. And I am not sure if Stone Rings add value or not. Isnt a person evaluated on all his actions rather than his penance and prayer?

            Thank you Sir.

    50. Hello Sir,

      Thanks for helping me earlier with some tips on protien rich veg food. I have now lost 37 kilos from 108 to 71. Now I got into cycling and have totally fallen in love with it. I enjoy riding long distances at good speed.

      I am planning to participate in Tour of Nilgiris – 2013, which is a 1000+ km ride over 8 days which also includes some competitive sections.

      It will be of great help if you can suggest some Pranayama/breathing exercises which can further increase my stamina? I practice once in a week, the Yoga postures learned from you while in IIM, however havent practiced the Pranayamas.

      Thanks,
      Anoop

      1. Many congratulations on your achievement. I am glad I could be of help. You may wish to practice Bhastrika and Anulom Vilom Pranayam to increase your stamina. Practice Bhastrika (2 minutes through each nostril and then 2 minutes with both), for 6 minutes and Anulom-Vilom for 5 minutes every day.

    51. Dear Sir,

      Firstly, I really liked the way you have answered the questions posed by other participants. I do have some serious queries related to career and need your expert guidance. Please be patient with my questions.

      I am an MBA-HR with total seven years of working exp. in industry & academics. My areas of interest in HR are Emotional Intelligence, Counselling, Spiritual Intelligence etc. My favourite movie is Taare Zameen Par by Aamir Khan. I wish to impact peoples lives by touching on sensitive issues.

      1. I wish to go for PhD in HR / OB. I came across FPM from XLRI & IIMs having high credibility & scholarship but on the flip side some fellow programs are not approved by AIU (Association of Indian Universities – the body that gives equivalence to FPM with PhD ),. For instance, FPM from XLRI is in the process of getting approved by AIU. Please clarify.

      2. How far an FPM in HR from XLRI Jamshedpur or IIMs would be useful in applying for a Govt. job later on?

      3. Which FPM (from which institute in India), would you recommend to be best in HR & OB and also equivalent to PhD?

      4. How far an FPM from XLRI or IIMs would be received by Universities abroad for Post Doctoral fellowships?

      5. According to you Sir, which is the best university internationally with respect to PhD in HR & Psychology? Like there is world renowned Babson College for entrepreneurship, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennyslavania etc.

      6. Kindly also share some fully-paid scholarships across the world for pursuing PhD in HR & Psychology from abroad.

      7. Could you recommend some specific short-term course on counselling (with practical inputs), that can give me an edge in my career?

      I shall be sincerely thankful to you from the bottom of my heart.

      Regards,
      Ashley

      1. Thank you for your kind words. I will answer your questions in the sequence asked:
        1), The Fellow Program of IIMs stand on their own (with or without AIU approvals), and are respected across the world.
        2), If by government jobs you mean, academic jobs in IIMs/IITs/XLRI, then an FPM is not just just accepted, but rather preferred by the premier institutes in India.
        3), FPMs from any of the top IIMs would hold you in good stead. For instance our FPM students from IIM Lucknow (in the last 4 years), are currently teaching at IIM-A, IIM-C, and IIM-K.
        4), FPM from IIMs is received well by universities abroad for Post Doctoral program both directly and through a scholarship program, say Fulbright.
        5), My vote would go for Harvard, especially because of some very interesting work happening there in psychology at the moment.
        6), All universities offer different level and extent of scholarships for their doctoral program. You will need to sift through individual websites.
        7), You havent told me which field are you currently working in. I would be able to advice better if I had that information.

    52. hello sir, greetings !
      i have had an honor of meeting you once in TiE U.P. in kanpur. sir i am planning to go to Singapore for completing my under graduate degree from SIM (singapore institute of management),. The degree i am planning to opt for is B.Sc (hons.), in economics & management or maybe in baking & finance, which will be awarded by University of London and the lead college will be London school of economics and political science. But what is stopping me to do this is the feedback i am getting from some people about getting a working visa in Singapore , which i am being told is a difficult thing, specially for foreigners. As for SIM, it is giving me an internship of 1 year after i complete my course, and that too, according to its record, only 92% students got it in 2012. and after that internship the company one is in , might or might not absorb him/her. the thing is i am planning to finance my tuition fees via bank loan and other expenses will be paid by my parents, as it is coming out to be a expensive deal. Now i am really perplexed , if i go with a loan-which is the only way- and land up not getting a job for lets say 4 or 5 years, frankly i will be in a problem. please help me with this. the degree is good, the college is great, but Is this difficult to get a job/working visa thing true? should i go to Singapore ?
      i have always wanted to do something in management or economics, and the career path i am choosing is to get a UG , work for somewhere around 4 years and then get my PG or MBA. and that is why i am hesitating, if i dont get a good job , the whole equation will be affected, badly.
      to get you an idea of my academics, i completed my school from Methodist high school that is an ISC board and got 80% in 10th(science), and 75% in 12th(commerce), and recently gave IELTS and got a band of 7.5.
      plus CA and other commerce courses is not my cup of tea. please help.

      p.s. i am an active follower of you and love your point of view, in fact a fan of it. thank you for sharing your views with us, i have learned a lot from it, many times.

      1. You need to have belief in yourself and your abilities. I think a B.Sc. in Economics and Management is a good idea provided that is what you wish to do. If the study of economics (and by extension the philosophy of rational thinking and decision making thereof), excites you, and if you think playing with numbers and data is fun, then just go ahead and do this. Have faith in your abilities, and the course that you are doing, and you will certainly get to do something professionally satisfying as well. Looking to do an MBA after 3-4 years of working makes good sense. My advise is-go for it!

    53. Dear Sir,

      I have always been grateful for your guidance!

      You have explained in several places that ones swadharma (purpose), is to realise what he is good at and by virtue of this realization, work towards utilizing this capability.

      When I read about self actualization, what I infer to is that as I strive to actualize myself, I should fundamentally be able to overcome my limitations and perhaps reach an end state where I can discharge any work.

      In my mind, these appear as opposites when it comes to taking decisions. Should I choose to do what I am good at or should I choose to do something that I naturally not good at and strive to still master it? If I succeed in the latter, would I not be more self actualized?

      I always felt that I would not be great at sales as I hated to ask, to followup, to negotiate – as these acts did not motivate me. But I was thrown into a sales role with no fall back. And while I struggled very hard, I have emerged overcoming these mind-blocks to an extent that I am a changed person completely!

      What is the right way that I should look at this?

      1. Self actualization refers to understanding your true nature and capabilities, and then exploring and becoming your potentialities. To this extent it is the reflection on and realization of your true potential. It has to be understood in a more abstract way rather than narrowing down to an occupational quest. For instance, if your potential lies in persuading people, you can utilize this potential to persuade people to vote for a certain person (or yourself), or to buy a certain product. The occupation, in both cases, utilizes the same potential.

        Mastery of a skill is something different and can be achieved through discipline, not necessarily passion or reflection (karat karat abhyaas ke…),. And once we perform an action for a long time, it tends to become a habit, and subsequently a character trait.

    54. Respected Sir,
      I visited your website and must admit that, am impressed by your replies under askhimanshu especially by the reply on Karmic connection and Vedic philosophy.
      My query relates to a phenomenon, which i have witnessed, of late. My eleven year old son, despite knowing his answers and lessons well, while writing his test papers, has been resorting to several cuttings, additions and alterations to his answers, making his work appear slipshod work. Perhaps, he is not able to organise his thoughts, resultantly thoughts come in fits and start to him and a conflict arises between the two versions- one, which he has crammed from his school notebook and the other which comes naturally to him as a response. I also feel, that expression in English which exerts pressure on him with regard to correct grammatical usage and digging appropriate words from vocabulary add to his confusion. I keep on telling him to close his eyes and ponder over his response, for a while, so that he may gather all his thoughts, before he actually attempts writing the response. But, am not getting the desired results. What can I do to help him develop a crystal clear, unclogged thinking where thoughts flow effortlessly? How can i help him build confidence?I write to you with great hope. Kindly guide,
      Regards,
      V

      1. The lack of concentration can be attributed to one or more of the following reasons: age, interest, environment (both at school and home), and early habits. At his age, it is difficult to concentrate for more than 15-30 minutes, and therefore resting the mind after every 30 minutes should help. Analyze and figure out if his lack of concentration problem is generic or specific to certain subjects/activities. Get him to develop interest in those areas where he seems to be lacking them by pointing out interesting things he can learn and more interesting ways in which he can learn them. Provide a helpful (as against pushy), environment both at home and school; get him off excess sugar/junk diet and include lots of leafy vegetables and fruits in his food. Get him into the habit of making notes and advice him to avoid multitasking. These steps, taken together, ought to help.

    55. Dear Sir,
      I have taken some wrong decisions recently in my personal life, which has led to others lives being seriously affected. My regret is that I knew that there was a chance that things could go wrong but still went ahead with my decision. Now I experience continuous feelings of guilt and remorse.
      Do the scriptures provide any guidance on how to atone for your major sins? I cannot change the past, but I look forward to atleast doing things right henceforth.

      Thanks.

      1. You have shown a lot of courage in accepting your fault, and then talking about it. Scriptures clearly state that there is no make-up for the sins/actions that you have committed. You WILL have to pay for them. However, what you need to do as a point of contrition is to talk to those people who have been affected by your actions. Seek their forgiveness and mean it. Further, you should use this as an opportunity to introspect, reflect upon your actions and modify your belief systems that led you towards that action in the first place. Move on with life and take pride in what you would be rather than what has already happened in the past.

    56. Hi Sir,

      I am one of your ex-students at IIM Lucknow. There are two things that are really concerning me now in my profession.
      1), I have been given most of the accolades given by company as possible for my role like promotions, hikes, awards, appreciation etc. and consistently rated as top performer. But still I havent felt so good about my job. It is not that I cant do or dont want to do it but dont get an exhilarating feeling by doing it. How do i evaluate my situation?
      2), Secondly, it always seem that at the time getting such recognition in work i seem to be too busy and by the time i get some relaxed the news would have become a normal event and it fizzles out. So, dont get an opportunity to enjoy it. But can not drop the ball on the work to enjoy such news too. What is the best way to deal with it?

      No the way i expressed the problems are a bit ambiguous but i couldnt find a better way to express it.

      1. I can appreciate your problem and the mental tumult you are going through. You need to figure out what will really get you to achieve self actualization; your Swadharma, as I have mentioned while answering an earlier question. The three ways in which you can do it have been outlined as a response to a question on Swadharma. Do look it up.
        Many a times we become so engrossed with our end goals that we totally fail to enjoy the journey that takes us there. While you need to keep your goals in sight, you need to also live the life that passes you by and enjoy every moment of it. Revel in your successes, howsoever small they may be, and you will have many more coming.

    57. Dear Sir,

      In our class we had discussed about the McClellands Need Theory. So some where you talked about the blue collared workers, who manifest their Need for power as Need for voice. And thus a union is a natural extension of their need for voice.

      But the theory talks about 3 needs Power Achievement and Affiliation, and these 3 can be present in any individual in any amount. And a role is more suited to an individual based on the combination of need that he has.

      So to generalize the needs and say that Need for Power is higher than the others for workers might not be correct.

      Nevertheless we might have had class discussion on this point but seems i am missing something or some point we might have discussed, thus kindly guide me on this.

      1. It is not that the need for power is higher for everyone. It is the degree of dependency on others which is highest in the case of nPower. nAch is totally self-determined and self driven. nAff is partly dependent on others though you could still drive the direction and magnitude of your relationships. nPower is something for which you are totally dependent on your position, or other organizationally determined sources, unless you have some spectacular expertise or some source of referent power. A worker is unlikely to have any personal, or for that matter, an organizational source of power. This can be partially taken care of by providing voice since the frustration of nPower will lead to a regression to need for voice.

    58. Dear Sir,

      One thing once we discussed in our class was about the fact that Gandhi ji bileaved that when one gives others pain, he will also suffer due to my suffering.
      Have you ever experienced that? I want to understand how do you understand your views and its practical application/meaning.

      1. What Gandhi said, in his speech in South Africa in 1907, was: We will not strike a blow, but we will receive them. And through our pain we will make them see their injustice. And it will hurt since all fighting hurts.This is both pertinent and true, for most humans. If we cause pain to others, and when we see the hurt in their eyes, we too feel pained, in the sense we share the same pain. It is the basis for remorse/contrition.
        I have certainly experienced it on the occasions that I have hurt people in the past, inadvertently or otherwise.

    59. Sir, huge pendency of cases in courts is a hurdle in human development in India. Should mobile courts be established in India for speedy trial and justice?

      1. Mobile courts not only help in easing the pressure on conventional courts but also bring Justice closer to the masses, saving them time and money. In fact Indias first mobile court was inaugurated on 4 August 2007, though thereafter, we havent really seen wider replications of the idea. I believe that we should set up more mobile courts, and also create a list of issues which need to be put on fast-track courts.

        Besides, we also need to encourage Alternative Dispute Resolution forums. We do have the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which is a world wide approach towards ADR, as well as the uniquely Indian, Lok Adalat system constituted under National Legal Services Authority Act, 1987, but then again, these havent seen wider acceptance or encouragement. We need to strengthen ADR processes and empanel individuals adept in the art of Negotiation to such forums.

        1. Thanks Sir: u have given the most useful ideas in your sessions. One question that I have been pondering on for a while is: whether jury system for speedy trial may also be helpful in India?

          1. The government of India abolished the Jury Trials in 1960 after the famous 1959 case of KM Nanavati vs Government of Maharashtra, which saw unprecedented media coverage and thus, apparently, swayed public opinion. I believe that more trust ought to be placed on the wisdom of the people (who we incidentally trust to choose our government), and Jury Trials be brought back. This would help speed up the judicial processes.

    60. Dear Sir,

      I was one of your students in JEM course. My question to you is on how to bring about a change in the ethical behavior of people we constantly interact with. In the last class, we had discussed that one should be able to question the wrongdoing or moral stand of others. As an example, we were discussing about questioning a student for cheating in exams. Ive experienced such situations quite a few times when I tried telling my friends that they should refrain from things such as copying in exams or proxy attendance etc. However, my suggestion to them goes in vain. I get responses such as, Everybody does it, Its not that the institute is perfectly right in what it practices, so what if I did something, Its not a big deal etc.
      So how do we actually reason with such people and maybe bring about a change in their perspectives?

      Thanks & Regards

    61. Greetings of the day, Sir, I am taking classes of BBA and MBA at various learning centre like PTU, Symbiosis, IMEI etc. I have B,A in Sociology & English, M.A in Sociology both from Dr R M L Awadh University Faizabad, PGDHRM from IGNOU, MA(PMIR), from Alagappa University and MBA from Punjab Technical University. I havent any exam certification like NET, GATE etc but I wish to do FPM from IIML. Is it possible sir?

    62. Respected Sir,
      I am a working professional and 32 year old.My height is 59 and weight is around 85 Kg. I want to lose weight.So, what will be your suggestions regarding this. I have started practicing yoga as suggested by Baba Ramdev. Should, I continue the same or take some formal training ?Please suggest some good source of online training or training center which gives training for a week or so.
      My second question is about better concentration.I have just started preparation of GMAT and after office when I start studying, some official , social or family issue start creeping in my mind and then my studies go aside and I start thinking about that issue.Sir, please suggest me some form of basic meditation or something to overcome this problem.
      Thank You
      Iqbal

      1. The most important thing you need to do is go for a diet change. Remember, diet control/change is not the same as eating less. On the contrary, you still eat well but you just eat smart.
        Replace the fat and carbohydrates in your diet with green vegetables, salad, and fruit juices.
        Eat smaller portions 6 times in a day instead of 3 big meals.
        Get up before sunrise and drink 1-2 litres of water.
        Take walks (30 minutes-brisk), both in the morning and evening.
        Dont sleep during the day (no naps either),.
        Take 15 grains of guggulu (you will get them in any ayurvedic medicine shop),; ask the shopkeeper to ensure it is purified, and have it with warm water 4 times in a day.
        Practice kapalbhati pranayaam (10 minutes), and vahya pranayam (3 sets), twice every day. Details of these pranayaams are available on the website mentioned under the yoga section of my website.

        It is always better to practice Yoga under someones instruction.

        Restlessness is a symptom of a disturbed mind. Either you have something that is bothering you from deep inside, at a subliminal level, or you are in a dilemma over some choices that you have to make in your life. First you need to sort out these issues in your head. Reflect and explore inside your own mind; alternatively talk to someone who you can trust (usually friends are not the best people to talk to on these issues for they would end up giving you advice according to their convictions), to give you an objective analysis of your state of mind and help you sort them out.
        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter the mutiplicity of conflicting thoughts with Dhruv Asana & Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.
        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru
        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

        1. Respected sir,
          Thank you for the reply.
          I found suddh gugulu By Himalaya in capsule from. each of 250mg. How many time should I take these capsules?
          Sir, swastipath website is not working, which other website you will suggest?
          I always want to talk someone to sort out these issue, but not finding anyone. should I contact some psychiatrist?
          Thank you
          Iqbal

          1. You start with one per day with warm water. You could go to any Yoga teacher who is trained well and has good credibility. If you can inbox me your location, I could suggest some names to you. If you feel you would want to seek professional help to sort out some issues, by all means to do so. Talking it out is always a better option than bottling it in.

    63. Dear Prof,

      I attended your session today @IIML Noida from APHRM group. It was fab i just wanted to let you know that.. And also felt nice to know that you also practice Yoga; I practice Shivananda Yoga and i am TT from their Neyyar Dam Branch. I am sure you must have also read Living With Himalayan Masters from Swami Rama, would be very curious to know your views on the same.

      1. Thank you so much for those nice words. Indeed, I have read the book and I find it interesting in parts. Is there a particular aspect of the book or the writing that you would want my views on?

    64. I am curious to know little more about the pictures
      that appear next to the questions asked by people on your website do they represent anything at all…

    65. hello sir, i m lecturer in B.ed college n my qualification is M.Sc (maths), M.Ed M.Phil n i m interested in managment too .sir pls suggest me some course related to management in IIM.

      1. I would need some more details about your interest, aims and background before I can give you some specific suggestions. Do email these details to me.

      1. I found the book to be superficial and incoherent. To me, it is an attempt at self-glorification. If I were to still point out 3 interesting things in the book, they would be the discussion on Experience, Perseverance, and Compassion.

    66. Sir, these days I am losing self-esteem. I am an average student with a mediocre IQ. But I want achieve more in my life. Many speakers, motivators say everything is possible for human beings. Just clarify me, is it practically possible to achieve outstanding results, with high motivation, correct attitude, and some mediocre IQ?

      1. According to social sciences, Performance is a function of ability, motivation and opportunity. Even if we assume that you have an average ability (though I do not believe that and I will later explain why), with enhanced motivation and a keen eye out for all opportunities, you can bring in a sterling performance in whatever field you may choose to do so in.
        Your analysis of self makes me wonder if there are some other reasons because of which you have this lower rating of self-worth. When you say you are an average student, how exactly do you mean average? Is it in terms of marks? Is it in terms of learning? There is a strong psychological effect called the self-fulfilling prophesy and the more you think of yourself as average, the more average you are likely to become. Have faith in your capabilities. Intelligence is not merely about a subject or two, but about how well-rounded you are in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities in diverse fields like music, mathematics, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, kinesics, language, and spatial comprehension. Find out what is it that excites you and then put your heart and soul into it. Good performance will follow. Stay positive for you have already shown how courageous you are!

    67. Sir,

      This is my first attempt to get any psychological help from anyone. My problem is that i do not have any passion about anything. One moment i am excited about something and on the second moment if anything hurts me then all the excitement is gone. I just can not get myself out. I am 28 but still not settled. I am a qualified commerce graduate with an mba in finance. I worked as a prof. too but same problem. I just cant get hold of myself. I have lost my interest in life. I do not think about ending my life but i am living a remote life. I have few friends and i have the capability to make friends with my talk but still i prefer to be alone. My friends get annoyed with me. My family cares for me and is worried about me but still i live in solitude. I know everything i understand everything still i have lost that spark in me.

      1. You are trying to understand yourself, your passions and your potential, and this process is often fraught with periods of introspection, and sometimes, loneliness and despair. First, understand that a lot of people go through this phase, so do not despair. When we make an attempt to anchor our identity and vision, at times things do not make sense. You need to adopt a two-pronged approach to your dilemma. One, you need to figure out what motivates you and two, you need to engage with people around you.
        I would suggest you do the second thing first! Engage with the universe around you. Communicate with people around you (even though you have kept just a few of them), and allow them to be a part of your world. Share your dilemmas, your fears and your joys; let them be a part of this engagement, and you never know when you might just have that aha moment when a few things will start making sense to you. Do not let your cognitive abilities take hold of your self; move beyond. Even if you do not naturally feel like doing so, just do it. The journey of life, like any other journey, makes more sense if there are fellow travelers.
        This engagement with others will help you do the first thing. You may connect with others in an inside-out way insofar as you‚ feel what the others feel and then try to articulate it for a cognitive analysis inside your head, or, alternatively, you may connect in an outside-in way where you don’t really feel, but you use your cognitive ability to understand what others are saying and then transform your analysis into a feeling that helps you relate better. Whichever of the two ways you choose, rest assured, you will find some answers, and if you still don’t, then get back to me on this column.

        1. Dear Sir,

          You understood my situation quite close. I tried to be with the friends i have. Actually my very close friends are staying far away from me. So it is hard to meet them but i called them. They were happy and so was i. I figured out that my problem is i am not constant. I give up quite easily and i am always double minded. The things which are by my character goes pretty well but when i try to go with my personality the problem arises (Seven Habits),. Please give me suggestion on how to get my self out of this double mind situation. I read it somewhere that when a marwari is double minded about his business or food. He actually go for it because he thinks that if it was not good for him he would have rejected it on the first place. I am really thankful to you that you gave me some of your precious time.

          Sincerly,

          AAKi

    68. Sir,
      Of the many things that I have read and heard about you, the fact that has impressed me the most is your quick response to all queries/advices/suggestions people seek from you. I have never had the honour of attending your lectures but by reading your replies to these queries I have realized that you are,indeed, a complete institution in your own right!
      I did my MBA from University of Lucknow last year with finance as my specialization.Belonging to a family of academicians, I have harboured an innate desire to enter the field of academics since early childhood. Presently, I am teaching in a management college in Lucknow. I qualified UGC NET & JRF this year and it is now my whole sole mission to get enrolled in an FPM/ Ph.D Programme as soon as possible. Keeping this objective in mind, I am now applying to various colleges/universities. I would be greatly indebted to you if you would guide me in this regard.
      Should I apply for the FPM Programme of IIM-Lucknow? What are the specializations that I can opt for?

      1. You give me far more credit than I deserve. Thank you, nonetheless, for the kind words. If you have a JRF, you can opt for any specialization assuming that you have a NET score in Management. To advice you further, I will need some more information such as the subject in which you cleared NET, and also the subjects that you teach at Sherwood.

    69. Dear Sir,
      Am 29 yrs old, my daughter was born last year in january through c section. Thereafter in july I was rushed for a gall stone operation before which they did two endoscopies to find out if any stone had slipped out. I missed out on eating my calcium iron tablets for a long time due to which the vital nutrients in my body went down. I started the tablets but in september I started feeling giddy and it continued for a very long time. In december the same year I faced another problem called shortness of breath. And now finally in march this year doctors told me am suffering from anxiety disorder. And am under depression. I got myself checked from a senior psychiatrist at ganga ram. He said its post partum depression and anxiety and prescribed me pexep CR 12.5 mg every morning and half a rivotril every afternoon. I started feeling alright for a while and without anyones guidance or further check up tried to leave these meds. It resulted in major anxiety attack. I started homeopathic treatment. Kali phos and tranquil and some liquid meds. My homeo doc told me to take the anti deps on alternate days for a week and then after every two days and so gradually get rid off them. Am in a dilemma, the homeo meds didnt work more powerfully and I so desperately want to get rid off the anti deps. Every alternate day I feel sick and restless so much so that I feel am going to die. Heart palpitation fast heart beat etc., please guide me sir, I want to lead a normal life and like last year I am not going through any problems or worries. Now my husband is very supportive so I dont want to take these medications anymore and I want to happily look after my daughter who is now 18 months old. Please help me. Thanks in advance.

      1. It appears to be something different from postpartum depression for that ought to last not more than a year or so after childbirth. However, it would not be advisable for you to completely stop the current treatment without proper medical guidance. What I suggest is that you start the ayurvedic and yogic treatment simultaneously and then progressively reduce your dependency on pills.

        Take 5 gm of Brahmi and jatamansi twice a day with warm milk.In the night also add half teaspoon of ashwagandha and mishri in your milk. Add lots of proteins (I have indicated the various vegetarian sources of proteins elsewhere in this column), and fruits rich in Vitamin C in your diet. Avoid food high on oil and spices, meat and dairy products.

        Practice padangushtha asana, and dhruvasana; also practice anulom vilom pranayaam and abhyantar pranayaam.

        Chant the following mantra every night before sleeping:
        Om yajjagrito doormudayti daivam tadu suptasya tathaivaiti
        dooram gamam jyotisham jyotirekam tanme manah shiv sankalpamastu.

    70. Dear Sir,

      We have all read and made to believe on the Maslow’s pyramid depicting the hierarchy of needs. However, I came across a reading that Zohar (ref- Spiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By), revealed that Maslow before he died regretted what he had said earlier and felt his pyramid ought to have been upside down. The inverted pyramid would then place the fulfillment of self actualization as a prime need of all human beings.

      Reference of this extract is also mentioned in Marketing 3.0 by Philip Kotler (page no-19),.

      This has created a lot of ambiguity in my mind with regard to the captioned theory and I request your assistance to properly comprehend the extract.

      1. Danah Zohar talks about inverting the pyramid in the context of Spiritual Intelligence. I am not sure if Maslow really regretted the rigidity he put in his theory or if it is a hearsay, but one thing is certain and that is that Maslows Hierarchy of needs, as he pointed out, has not been supported by research. Maslow asserted that people move to higher order needs only once the lower order needs are satisfied. However, this has been found to be untrue for across cultures we find people who have multiple levels of needs operative at the same time.
        Alderfers ERG theory comes closer to truth in terms of being supported by empirical evidence. There are fundamentally 3 differences that he pointed out with reference to Maslows hierarchy. First he combined Physiological and Safety needs to form Existence need; Social and Esteem (in the eyes of others: status), to form Relatedness need; and Esteem (self), and Self-Actualization to form Growth Need. Next, he postulated that multiple needs can be operative in a person at the same time. And finally, he propounded the concept of frustration regression wherein he says that if a higher order need of a person is frustrated, then he regresses to a lower order need. So, to exemplify, if my self esteem needs are not being met, I will try to substitute it by making many friends or a ton of money etc. This theory is tighter both in term of explaining behaviour across cultures as well in terms of empirical evidence within cultures.

      1. You have to emphasize on both, and in equal measures. While efficiency is all about getting the maximum output given a certain input, effectiveness is about successful achievement of goals. Colloquially, therefore, efficiency is doing the things right, effectiveness is about doing the right things. Looking at it from the rubric of Marketing, say, cost per sale would be a subject matter of efficiency while customer satisfaction would be a matter of effectiveness. You need to focus on both!

    71. Dear sir, I am getting some weird mental issue. I am working. My age is around 25. I grew up in a culture where domestic violence is prevalent. I saw many many problems in marriage. I saw many economic social responsibilities attached with parents. I was shocked by problems faced by middle class parents in educating their children, trying hard along with them in competitive world, and if the girl child is born, they needed to bring them up in a certain a way which abducts their freedom. By my choice of being away from the Gen X herd, I didnt get those thoughts. I am having total western kind of mentality. The problem is if I marry, I need to follow the herd, otherwise I cant survive. I am afraid of these rules and regulations, responsibilities attached with parenthood. I decided not to marry and live alone. Even If I marry I dont want to get children. Cant I have a choice to live like this? Am I thinking wrong? I am not interested in living in conventional society. I want to roam around all the places on the earth, try all new things like sports, singing, dancing, adventurous sports and any new thing.

      1. I can understand what you feel and I can also understand the tearing contradictions running through your mind. First, let me assure you that not all individuals are same, and while genetics does play its own role in pre-disposing people towards a certain behaviour, we always have free will, and thus we can control our basic and baser instincts. Simply because you have seen domestic violence around you coupled with unhappy marriages, it does not automatically imply that you would suffer a similar fate. The very fact that you think about this reflects the sensitivity that you have towards the vileness of this act/social norm in certain parts of our world.
        All the same, you do have the choice to not marry and stay on your own; however, let me point out that sans companionship, life is pretty difficult, especially as one grows older. Research has also established that married people (read people with companions), live longer and more satisfactorily than otherwise. While things like sports, singing, dancing etc do keep one alive and active, they by themselves, are not enough to lead a satisfying life. You will need to connect with people in some way or the other, institutionally or otherwise. You can live an unconventional life even if you are married provided you have a partner who gives you space, of course, reciprocally.
        Should you choose to marry, however, then the decision about whether or not to have kids is a decision that you would need to take jointly with your partner. If you do find someone who doesnt want to have kids either, then just go ahead. However, make that choice only if you are reasonably convinced that you really dont want them. Not out of some fear that has set inside you because of the baggage that you carry from the past. Remember, you are not alone to have grown up in these environs; there are many more. Face these ghosts of the past, make peace with them, and move on! Life is beautiful, enjoy it.

    72. Dear sir,
      First of all thanking you for appreciating me during the time of PI and presentation in Central Univ of Kashmir. I got admission in CUK for PH.d. programme and your inspiration is valuable for me.

      Now I want to know if an MBA (DLP), through distance learning mode eligible for Phd in central or state level university or on the basis of PGDBM one is eligible for PH.D. admission.

      1. Congratulations. I am sure you would produce some sterling research in your doctorate programme. You need to have a two-year masters degree to be eligible for PhD. Even an MBA from a recognized institute in distance mode is acceptable. However, if you have a one-year diploma, then you need to do another year of course work, and there are several distance education institutes which offer lateral entry into the second year for those with a one-year diploma.

    73. Sir, why do you think India did not have a period like renaissance and missed the science and technology bus. Why havent we seen many rebellion/revolutions opposing oppression in the form of caste and deprivation of education based on caste and religion?

      1. There are two parts to your question and I will deal with them separately.Though there were social and political upheavals as well, essentially the renaissance period from the 14th to 17th century, was essentially a cultural movement that heralded significant artistic developments and created polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci. Of course there was the emergence of humanism in the form of increased studentship in the areas of poetry, grammar, history, rhetoric and moral philosophy, as well as explorations of Columbus and some giant strides in science with Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler etc., but all in all, the highlight was the cultural contribution.

        India did not really miss the bus, but saw some significant movements like the translation of Vedic texts into different languages, construction of GT road and Taj Mahal, scientific contributions (though later in the 19th century because otherwise we were occupied by the British and scientific independence was absent), by the likes of JC Bose, Ramanujan, PC Ray, CV Raman, Meghnad Saha, Bhabha, Mahalonobis etc.

        The movements opposing social oppression started as early as 12th century in the form of Lingayat movement by Basavanna. Subsequently, in the 19th century we had a spate of reform movements spearheaded by the likes of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, Shri Aurobindo, Tagore, Swami Sivananda, and Paramhansa Yogananda. For instance Dayananda Saraswati condemned idol worship, caste system, untouchability, child marriage and discrimination against women. He started the institution of Arya Samaj, which even today, with its schools and colleges (DAVs), practice and propagate those reformist ideals. His followers including Bismil, Bhagat Singh, Shyamji Varma, Lala Hardayal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Ranade etc imbibed and propagated many of these ideals apart from fighting for Indian independence.

    74. Sir,
      I heard about you from somebody.

      And today i saw your blog and i found it really useful after going through it.

      I am basically an electrical engineer. But I myself feel that I will be good at management. Should I go for MBA..?? And if yes can please suggest me about what to study and to refer if I am giving CAT or any other management entrance exam. I dont have much idea about what i should do to enter into a management college. Please give me some suggestion.

      1. If you feel you would be good at management, then it makes sense to pursue an MBA from a good institute in India. For that you have to do exceptionally well in management entrance tests like Common Admission Test (CAT), conducted by IIMs, XAT conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur, MAT conducted by AIMA, SNAP Test by Symbiosis, Pune NMAT by AIMA for NMIMS, Mumbai and relevant state level, common entrance test for business schools in various states. These include MHCET in Maharashtra , ICET in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala MBA CET, GCET in Gujarat , UPSEE for UP etc.
        To do well in CAT, you need to prepare yourself in Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. You could look up the CAT website, http://www.catiim.in for further details including the practical guide and practice test. Subsequently, you can prepare from books relevant to the topical themes. Look up the websites of other exams to get a handle on what it requires to do well in their respective tests. Let me know then if you have a specific query.

    75. Dear sir,

      I was reading this week’s Outlook article Silence Eva Jayate by S. Anand (I don’t know anything about the author),. He refers to bourgeois moralism of the most pathological sort in the article. I sort of didn’t understand the meaning. And I was wondering if the article was too cynical as suggested by many comments (too many Aamir Khan fan followers or something of that sort?), or true in terms of the points being mentioned by the author (as facts),?
      Link- http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?281646

      I was wondering if you could help me deciphering this.

      1. The bourgeois moralism of the most pathological sort is a condescending reference (by S Anand), to the fake sense of morality that the middle class and upper middle class people display. What he is saying is that the middle class people (according to him they are the ones who watch and appreciate Satyamev Jaqyate), have a sense of morality that is limited to drawing room conversations and is not meant sincerely. Of course he has made that statement in the context of the topic, which was the subject matter of that particular episode of Satyamev Jayate. The article being cynical is a foregone conclusion for it presents facts convenient to the author in his pursuit of Amir Khan bashing, but then very few people in this world are not cynical :-), In fact it hardly matters whether the article is cynical or not; it represents a perspective that needs to be appreciated and not necessarily agreed with. Similarly, what Amir Khan believes in and does is his perspective and we have no right to label it as wrong or otherwise. We always have a choice of not watching what people produce or write, as well as watch and read, but not agree.

        In my personal opinion, while a lot needs to be done to remedy social evils from the past, one must not denounce the baby steps anyone might be taking in that direction. Good deeds should not be questioned just because they seem to be small.

        As we said in our class on Gandhi, big people make small mistakes; small people point them out!

    76. Dear Sir,

      I am Chitra, residing in pondicherry, India. I have a good education background and working experience also. but if i work i have some problems in the working areas and in family also. So currently I am at home and I am very much interested in doing yoga. I used to do exercise and meditation and I came to realise that I want to lead spiritual life rather than going for job. I want to know myself further to enhance in the path of spirituality. Can you help me with my queries ?

      1. While it is a great idea to lead a spiritual life, I do not see it as a substitute for job. Your question assumes that you can either be in a job or be spiritual! That is not true. Unless what you mean is that you wish to make a career out of spirituality or its manifestations in the form of isms/movements/institutions.
        The purpose of your life is to realize your destiny! As I have explained elsewhere, this is what we call one’s Swadharma, which is one’s responsibility, one’s duty and one’s Karma, that one is good at, and by virtue of one being good at it, it becomes one’s responsibility to follow it! You will NOT be leading a spiritual life if you do not contribute to the society. It’s a realization of one’s potential (in the sense of self actualization), and then acting on it. If you wish to find it out you can try any of the three ways: One, you could continue following your heart, try out different things and then figure out what you enjoy the most. Two, you could reflect on your past: what kind of stuff did you like, what kind of assignments did you enjoy, what kind of things excited you in your life, and so on, and then intellectually draw a conclusion through deductive reasoning. Or three, you take in a guru, a teacher, a guide, who could talk to you, evaluate your skills, your attitude, your personality, and then suggest what is it that you ought to do with your life. Either of these ways is effective, so just go ahead and make your choice!
        If you are looking at spirituality as a career, then may wish to look at practicing/teaching Yoga, Ayurveda, or working with an NGO. Pondicherry itself ought to provide you with many avenues to pursue that. Let me know if you need any specific information about a specific institute/work.

    77. Dear Sir,

      Hope you are doing great…!!!!!!

      How can we deal with bias performance appraisal…? Also how can we have the best negotiation done (for upward movement i.e. salary & grade ), with a new boss?

      Many Thanks in advance..

      Warm Regards,
      Chitra

      1. I am doing good, thank you!
        Coming to your problem, first of all you need to figure out which aspect of your appraisal do you perceive as unfair! Do you think that the outcome of your appraisal was unfair (i.e. you did not get the increment/promotion that you thought you deserved),; or do you think it was the process adopted to decide the outcome that was unfair; or do you think you were not given enough feedback/not treated with dignity whenever your boss spoke with you? Or do you think it was a combination of two or more of these reasons?
        If it is the outcome issue, then try to use logical arguments and factual evidence to persuade your boss that you deserve better. You could also use praise, flattery, friendly behavior, or helpful behavior to get your boss in a good mood or to think favorably of you before putting in your point. If this does not work, or if you are not comfortable using either of these tactics, then go for an upward appeal, i.e., take your case to your bosss boss.
        If it is the process issue, then seek the assistance of your boss to change it while pointing out the deficiencies in the current system of appraisal. Also, seek the aid of other colleagues to persuade your boss since they could also be at the receiving end of a faulty system and are likely to support you.
        If it is the issue of interaction, tell your boss exactly how you would like to be treated. If the problem persists, appeal to the bosss boss. Make sure however that while you speak, you also treat the boss (and others), the same way as you would like to be treated, that is, with dignity. Be firm but polite.
        Salary Negotiation is a vast topic, and it would be nigh impossible for me to answer it here. If you have some specific queries within it, let me know. Else attend an mdp of mine on Negotiation Skills Development :-),

        1. Dear Sir,

          Thanks a ton..!! for a detailed explanation, it would certainly help.

          Surely it would be a great learning & enriching experience to be a part of any of your course… :-),
          Definitely would participant in future..!!

          Many Thanks,

          Warm Regrds,
          Chitra.

      1. You always start from the beginning :-), I am assuming that by an expedition you mean trekking and not NOT climbing. If you wish to go for a peak expedition it is useful to first get a basic training done. This is available both at NIM Uttarkashi and HMI Darjeeling, provided you have 3 weeks to spare.
        If you are interested in trekking, then I can suggest some basic treks which you can organize yourself with a group of like minded people. Some good treks for the beginners (and which do not require professional help, except porters if you find it difficult to carry your own rucksack), are Dodital, Har-ki-Dun, Chandrashila. The route to Dodital through Sangamchatti is in shambles right now but I am sure it would be repaired by mid September or so. If you wish to be a part of an organized trek look up the site of TSAF (Tata Steel Adventure Foundation), and join any of their treks. If you want me to chart out a route and other details for you, just choose on of these treks, let me know the number of people in your group, and I will help you organize it.

    78. Dear sir, I feel I committed a blunder mistake by following herd. I joined MBA by following peers. I got a job where I am not liking the culture, people , work. Whenever I enter the gates of our office in the morning, I feel. In some HR courses and some daily examples, I found I am a right brained person. I will enjoy the work where creativity is required. I really love giving new ideas, I dont want to go with existing rules of the system. I like the creativity of united colours of benetton advertisements(the creativity or craziness),. I will question the basics of system which keeps me away from people sometimes, because of which I didnt mingle with people much. I always discuss philosophical issues and Indian value systems and epics. I can connect myself with rebellious thoughts. Now I want to change my whole career where fun is derived out of the work. If I continue the current job, I cant live the life i dreamed of. I know it takes too much effort to find out my true strengths, and find career in those things. But I dont want to compromise on my future. I am searching regarding this in internet. But I am not getting clear idea, how to proceed. Can you please suggest me how to find out my true self, and live the 100 percent everyday where my home and office are synonymous.

      1. I think besides meditating on what are not enjoying, you also need to do an objective assessment of your current capabilities. While it is good to note that you engage in philosophical discussions, you also need to look at backing your vision with concrete action. To do so, you ought to be clear not only about what you think you like, but also what you are good at for THAT is your Swadharma As I have mentioned before, Swadharma is your responsibility, your duty and your Karma, that you are good at, and by virtue of you being good at it, it becomes your responsibility to follow it! It is a realization of your potential (in the sense of self actualization), and then acting on it. Thus, simply trying to be happy cannot be a Swadharma. You need to find that which is your calling, your destiny!

        If you wish to find it out you can try any of the three ways: One, try out different things and then figure out what you enjoy the most without being fearful, shameful or doubtful. Two, you could reflect on your past: what kind of stuff did you like, what kind of assignments did you enjoy, what kind of things excited you in your life, and so on, and then intellectually draw a conclusion through deductive reasoning. Or three, seek a guru, a teacher, a guide, who could talk to you, evaluate your skills, your attitude, your personality, and then suggest what is it that you ought to do with your life. Either of these ways is effective, so just go ahead and make your choice!

        You seem to be restless and restlessness is a symptom of a disturbed mind and lack of patience. Specifically in your case, it appears to be a direct consequence of your not liking what you are doing predominantly. So sort these issues out in your head.
        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter the mutiplicity of conflicting thoughts with Paadangushtha Asana, Dhruv Asana & Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.

        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        To reduce anxiety and stay calm, take a quarter of teaspoon of Brahmi first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    79. I had a boss who was too intimate with one of my junior. My boss expected me to give extra weightage to her and the lady used her proximity to the boss to prove herself over others. My boss is the regional head but preferred being in my unit due to this lady who is a divorcee with a 15 year old son and an underage marriage. This love advantage whatever be it relation had become a pain in my working and the excessive stay of the RM in one unit and interfering in daily working and petty issues and entertaining direct reportings had become a headache to the extent of my quitting the job.
      I could not handle the situation as my boss is 13year old in the company and I was pretty new and he was targetting me on unrealistic grounds …he had never given any input on business growth and service growth tools. Seeing no growth and no possible outcome I decided to quit the situation and move on as it was no value addition to me and I was unable to get my breathing space to perform with such a bottleneck boss.
      If you were in my place could you have sustained with work there and if yes, how? Though I am better placed now I would like to know how to deal in such cases and why we should not include such true problems I am sure many working ladies facing are not addressed as case studies so that they do not loose career and time in such issues which leave you just perplexed about what to do.

      1. This (favoritism), could happen to anyone irrespective of the gender involved, and for reasons other than workplace dalliances or the likes. The first thing that you needed to do was to separate the two issues. For your boss to have an affair with your junior is a personal business between him and her, and you should not let that cloud/formulate your judgment. Next, if he was undermining your authority by taking direct reports from your junior, THAT is an issue you should have addressed.
        First you could have tried the indirect approach by narrating to your boss some story about some fictitious character who undermined authorities in an organization thus creating bad blood and lack of motivation among subordinates. You could have also told him that you would like to learn from him and thus would like him to keep you in the loop about important decisions. Simultaneously you could have been assertive with your junior and told her to work through proper channels in matters of profession.
        If this didnt work you could have used the tactics of either coalition or upward appeal. In the former, you collect a bunch of people (assuming that others would also be at the receiving end of this habit of his), and approach him for a feedback session while in the latter, you talk to your bosss boss. The latter, should however, be the last resort.

    80. Dear Sir,

      How can we overcome the differences of opinion in a tricky situation without making it nasty or embarrassing & also in our favor?

      1. I am not quite sure as to what you have really asked me, but what I get out of your question is how to disagree with someone without hurting his sentiment? Is that the question? If so, then the best way of doing it is by being extremely polite. Begin with something like, While you do have an interesting point, I would like to suggest something different….. Make sure that you highlight the difference on the perspective/subject and not the difference with the person. Differentiate between the subject and the object. Further, substantiate your perspective with logical arguments or established theories/research. Try to lighten it with humour if you think the other person has one! Else avoid humour for some people may see it as sarcasm and react negatively.
        If it was something else that you were asking then please write again elaborating on the exact situation that you face(d),.

    81. Dear Sir

      I have been following your blogs for a while now. It is commendable & highly appreciating that you have given solutions to soöö many small or big issues in peoples life. .

      Sir I am suffering from depression as I always
      think that I am not as successful or talented as my peer groups also for whatever reasons my choices of jobs have never be good…

      It would be kind of you…& also I shall be grateful if you can advise me as to how do I deal with this situation..?

      1. As answered elsewhere, more often than not we are surrounded by negative thoughts for we have been told by people around us that we are not good enough, or not as good as someone else. List down all accomplishments that you may have attained in your lifetime. Do they mean something to you? Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you like what you see? You must learn to love yourself for what you are. Do not seek love or approbation from outside; seek it from within.Success is defined by us in the context of what we have set out to achieve for ourselves. Using somebody elses parameters to evaluate YOUR life will always lead to unhappiness. Desist from doing so.
        You should use Yoga to counter depression. First you need to take the following precautions in your diet:
        Avoid food high on oil and spices, meat and dairy products
        Use lots of fruit, especially ones rich in Vitamin C in your diet
        Practice sarvangasana (provided you do not suffer from high blood pressure), matsyasana, padangushtha asana, and dhruvasana; also practice anulom vilom pranayaam and abhyantar pranayaam.
        Take 5 gm of Brahmi and jatamansi twice a day with warm milk.
        Chant the following mantra every night before sleeping:
        “Om yajjagrito doormudayti daivam tadu suptasya tathaivaiti
        dooram gamam jyotisham jyotirekam tanme manah shiv sankalpamastu”.

    82. Dear Sir,

      How do you look at the current anti corruption movement, and the fact that it has split into two lines. What is your call on the future of this movement, and does it have a potential to provide the country with alternate line of politics.

      1. While responding to a question earlier on Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, and their methods, I had mentioned that while they come across as people of integrity with a strong sense of purpose, they lacked diplomacy, tact and tended to focus on the people and not the issues. Now that the Anna team has split into two, the fissures seem to be entrenched not only in the method but also ideology. It is likely that Anna and Baba Ramdev will join hands now and continue with the apolitical movement.
        However, since your question is targeted towards the fate of the other group, I will keep my response limited to my understanding of the political movement. Considering that this is the same team that went ahead with its anshan while the the parliament was discussing the bill, it is hard to see them succeeding at politics. Their action, then, was akin to going on a strike while a matter was sub-judice, and thus illegal, and contrary to good form. This also, in a way, represented their complete disregard for parliamentary processes. Given their earlier stance, therefore, it is hard for me to see them as serious politicians. For them to regain credibility as serious political contenders, would take an enormous amount of time, groundwork, and rebranding of their own selves.

    83. Sir… I would like to be under your guidance…Could you please refer books which are consider good for organisational theory, organisational behaviour..Human resource and development and industrial relations?

      1. You may wish to refer to the following books:
        Organizational Theory: Organisational Theory and Design by Richard L. Daft, Latest Edition
        Organizational Behaviour: Robbins, S.P., Judge, T.A. & Vohra, N.. (2012),. Organizational Behavior (14th Edition),.
        HRM: Human Resource Management, Gary Dessler & Biju Varkkey, Latest Edition & Industrial Relations, C.S. Venkata Ratnam

    84. Hello Sir.. Sir I met you once in CSJM University Kanpur when you came to speak on a seminar on employee retention during recession.
      Times have changed since then sir.. I was pursuing BBA at that time and now I am into my final year of MBA with HR and MARKETING as my dual specialization from the same university.
      But one thing hasnt changed Sir. Since the time I have heard you speaking in the seminar I am longing to grow under your supervision. At that time I wanted to ask that is it not advisable to opt for HR for a person doing MBA from Kanpur since many people discourage to do so.. and now when I have taken HR as my specialization people still say that i will end up nowhere just because i am doing it from CSJMU Kanpur and i wont be allowed to go beyond the limits of Lucknow for the job in future. Though I dont bother myself much with such statements because I feel an affinity with HR. But it has been hitting my ears for so long that at times i think what if i have to sit back after MBA? Kindly make some suggestions upon this…

      Sir, I read the concept of Swadharma in your various replies. I also want to share that I did not have an english background till class 5. I was then given an admission to Huddard, one of the famous convent schools in Kanpur. The very first day when a girl came to notice that i did not know English she made me sit at the back. I really struggled there in the initial years of my schooling because I could hardly understand what teachers used to teach. But when i passed intermediate, English was the subject where I secured highest marks. With tears of happiness I left my school which actually made me. When I started pursuing BBA, English was the stuff that people recognized me for. The very first day I was made the representative of my class. This is the kind of background I belong to.
      Sir, I want to share that I feel very passionate about making communication in english. No matter how sad and how depressed i am,a few minute conversation in english relieves me to much extent. I actually feel happy being recognized for that. I also took a myers briggs personality test which told that i belong to the group of inspirers. Besides, I am empathetic, emotional and I also like teaching my friends at times and they also like the way I make them understand things. I also dont hesitate addressing mass of people.
      Sir, in the concept of Swadharma you said that we must realize what we are made for and it is our duty to follow that. Would you please help me realize my destiny by going through what I have shared about myself and also suggest how can I transform it into a successful career.. Which profession I am made for and how can I get there?

      1. I will comment on/answer your questions in the order they appear. The brand of the institution you do your MBA from DOES matter, so there is no point in ignoring the fact. Were you to be doing your MBA from a good b-school it would have made things easier for you from the placement perspective. And that is irrespective of your specialization. Having said that, a good MBA degree makes just the entry to good companies easier; what matters once you are there is your capability and your hard work. So yes, things will be difficult for you to begin with. It may be difficult to find a good job once you pass out, but then once you do find it, you will do well provided you have learnt well and are willing to work hard. Remember, good things take time, but you have to have the patience and the conviction.

        You have to let go of the anguish that some people may have caused to you in the past. They were acting in accordance with their stereotypical notions, and it is they who have lost in the process. You need to look at what you got out of it. A passion for a language. And this passion is also liberating for you, so rejoice in it. Smile at the past and fortify yourself for the future.

        I will need to put you through some tests and interviews before I can suggest something concrete for the kind of career you are likely to do well in. Do give me some more inputs to work with.

    85. Dear sir, I really get a blissful feeling when I do yoga asanas. Due to some reasons I couldnt practice and I forgot the sequence of asanas. I want any book or video, which could help me in practice. Can you please suggest me in this regard? And one more doubt I have regarding Yoga asanas and Gym exercise. Some people created doubt in mind regarding efficiency of these methods. They said yoga is for old aged people, not for youngsters. I want to get peaceful mind and I want to maintain good physique. Can you please show me the path? Thank you sir.

      1. Ignore those uninformed people who tell you that Yoga is not meant for youngsters! In fact, Yoga is beneficial for all people irrespective of age and gender. I would be putting up the sequence on my website soon, along with pictures of various asanas. If you wish to consult a good book, you could buy the publication taken out by Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, recently, in the memory of Swami Shivananda.

    86. Dear Sir,
      I have been lucky to be part of your class last friday, MDP-243/12. I have a background of Environmental Sciences (MSc, JNU), i have worked in field of Remote Sensing & GIS in for 2 years (after PG Diploma IIRS, Dehradun), and since last 3 1/2 years i have been working with PSU. Besides that i have interest Management and Research. I have few questions which are as follows:

      1), In what domain of Management I can work upon so that my experiences with Env. Sc. could be integrated optimally?
      2), Negotiations Skills have very imp. role in solving issues related to allocation of Natural Resources, we can have stakeholders from MNCs to local people, involving legal, technical and other aspects. What books or references i can look upon to understand negotiation skills in a better way ?
      3), How can i use yoga to improve my listening and comprehension skills?

      thanking you,

      Regards
      Amit Bhadula

      1. Thank you for the kind words. It is I who is fortunate to have thinking and sensitive people around me. I will respond to your questions in the order asked:

        With your background, you can work in any domain of management because now we are talking about triple bottomlines, where environment has become a central issue. Direct correlation of your subject could be found in the areas of Public Administration, Organizational Behaviour and Strategy.

        I would recommend books/papers by Roy Levicki, Bruce Barry, Roger Fisher, and Michael Wheeler. I have published three papers on the subject so far in peer reviewed journals and my book on Negotiation will be out early next year; I daresay you may find them useful.

        You should practice Sarvangasana, Chakrasana, Paadangushtha Asana, Dhruvasana, Bhramari Pranayam and Onkar Pranayam to improve your listening and comprehension skills.

    87. Sir, I am using Brahmi for reducing anxiety as per your suggestion. I observe the results and I can say its working. Thank you a lot for this. I have one query. I attended one play on The Pandavas in my village in childhood. The player narrated The fifth one Sahadaev asks Sri Krishna to burn dead bodies of all Pandavas, on the body of krishna, if they die before Krishna dies. That means Krishna shouldnt let all pandavas die before him. So that is the reason to protect Arjuna in the war between Arjuna and Karna. Finally Krishna dies before all pandavas, after the great war. Can we believe this one, even though it is logical. Its not mentioned in any Mahabharat Book.

      1. I am glad that Brahmi is working for you. The particular story that you mention is not a part of Mahabharata and hence I would not give any credence to it. Krishna considered Arjuna as his friend, in fact a close friend, and that was a reason good enough to protect him.

    88. sir i wanted to find the poem with the lines maanav jab hein jor lagaata but i cannot find it. Can u plse tell where i can find this awesome poem plssss!

    89. Dear Sir,
      I may be asking a question which has been already answered thousand times. I want to know how to control your anger,any kind of anger, be it justified or unjustified. By justified I mean here is that when you see something wrong happening or something wrong happens to you, you get to lose your temper a bit. I have seen people who stays calm at worst of the situations, they must be feeling angry but they doesnt show that aggression. But my case is different, if I have any feeling I will show it, I cant keep it to myself, be it happiness, sadness or anger. But the problem is that when you show your anger or frustration people focus more on your anger rather than the source of anger.
      So my problem is how to handle those 10 sec of anger coming to my mind and let it go?

      1. Anger is symptomatic of attachment. You can get angry if and only if, you are attached to someone or something. That thing could just be your pride or your ego. You need to treat your anger both symptomatically and at the root.
        For symptomatic treatment, practice Paadangushtha Asana, Dhruv Asana, as well as Bhastrika, Bhramari and Onkara Pranayaam. Also, take a quarter of teaspoon of Brahmi first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. To handle anger when it comes, try to remove yourself from the physical location where you are. That could include pulling over if you are experiencing road rage, taking a loo break if there is some work related issue and so on. If that is not possible, take a few deep breaths, have a glass of water and think about something or someone that makes you feel happy.
        For analyzing the root cause, meditate. Reflect on what makes you angry, note everything down for a month or so, and then look for patterns. Once you see the patterns, keep asking yourself why till you get to something where a why question becomes redundant. That element will be your attachment to someone or something. Address it through reflection or counselling. Meanwhile make sure you engage in a lot of physical exercises that provide a suitable vent to your pent up emotions.

    90. Sir, Can we do yoga and gym together? I want to reduce fat in belly and maintain six packs. What sort of food should I take? Yoga demands total vegetarian food, but gym demands non vegetarian food…..

      1. Yes. You can most certainly do them together. In fact it is advisable that you do Yogasanas specially when you are pumping irons in the gym so that the body remains flexible and supple. I have known many people who do gym on a vegetarian diet, so discard this assumption that to build muscles/strength you need non-vegetarian diet. Rustam-e-hind Dara Singh who recently passed away was one of such luminaries. I am recommended the vegetarian substitute of non-vegetarian protein diet elsewhere in this column. Include that in your diet and work out as much as you wish!

    91. Hello Sir, Havent gone through most of the queries answered by you here at your page, but still feel u can satisfy my concerns over my query well. Just want to have some guiding words in reference to your expertise in how one can promote himself.

      1. I am assuming that you would like to promote yourself in the eyes of others for the right reasons. Having said that, there are a number of impression management and influence tactics available to you to choose from. What you essentially need to do is build on the personal bases of power through either getting an expertise in some area (any area), and/or developing characteristics that others find desirable. Subsequent to that you influence people using one or more of the following methods:

        Networking: Build networks with people who have expertise in their areas, people who have legitimate power

        Ingratiation: Make the target feel good, superior and important

        Rational persuasion: Convince the target through use of reason and logic

        Target gratification: Appease the target by asking questions, sharing personal interests, in short, satisfying the ego of the target

        Instrumental dependency: Seek advice, inform the target of happenings in office or keep the target in the loop

    92. Sir, I have a natural tendency of thinking too much of various things. Perhaps, because of that, I am getting some kind of pain in my brain. sometimes my facial temperature will rise too much. I am getting pain in my back of neck sometimes. I am getting white hair also because of the thoughts. I am thinking something is wrong with my health. please help me….

      1. You seem to be restless and restlessness is a symptom of a disturbed mind and lack of patience. Specifically in your case, it appears to be a direct consequence of your lack of focus. So find out what it is that you love doing and try spending some time every day doing just that!
        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter the mutiplicity of conflicting thoughts with Paadangushtha Asana, Dhruv Asana & Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.

        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        To reduce anxiety and stay calm, take a quarter of teaspoon of Brahmi first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

        Specifically for your graying hair, practice halasana, sarvangasana, vajrasana, and bhastrika, kapalbhati, and anulom-vilom pranayaams.

    93. Sir

      Do you think the method of comparing horoscopes for marriage still has relevance? Several modern educated people are also thinking that horoscope matching is must and manglik effects can kill spouse.

      1. There is no scientific evidence to support the accuracy of horoscopes and thus they are a matter of individual belief. I personally feel that manglik effect can kill the spouse only if the mangal grah were to fall on the spouses head! However, as I said, it is difficult to obliterate beliefs that are closely held by an individual, and if it does not interfere with your own value system, you may choose to play along with it.

    94. Dear Sir,

      For the last 6 months, I am reducing my body weight and I have now reduced around 26 Kgs, from 108 to 82. I have done this through running/jogging/elliptical/freehands/weight training etc with the help of an excellent trainer. I have also followed a low carb low fat diet, with lot of vegetables/fish. I have become more muscular also. I would like to be even more muscular and even more lighter (at around 74 Kg, which is higher end of my BMI, my height is 58),. I am more focusing on weight training and changed diet to include lot of proteins (chicken/beef/egg whites),.
      Now I am in a dilema whether to continue doing weight/machine training or switch to Yoga, or a mix of both. I really enjoy working out at gym, lifting weights..it is more like a passion for me (I used to regularly do workouts for 2 years from 2004 to 2006), but at the sametime the meaninglessness of buidling muscularity which will fade away soon, makes me feel I should go for Yoga, given the longevity of its effects and my inclination to explore more on spiritual side.

      It will be great if you can help me with answers for the below:

      1. Do you think I have to worry about any health issues if I lose weight further till 74 kg (total loss of 34 kg in around 8 months?),
      2. Do I have to really think, that lifting weights and eating protein food just for sake of muscularity is meaningless? or Can I take it as a sport, which I am following for passion?
      3. Can I achieve these goals of muscularity and lightness through yoga alone?
      4. Can you please suggest some excellent sources of protein which is Veg?

      Thanks a lot!

      Regards,

      1. First of all congratulations on the passion with which you have gone about your fitness and the efficacy with which you have achieved it. To answer your questions now in the order:

        1), You dont have to worry about the health issues, but do not shock the body beyond a point. I strongly recommend that you do a combination of Yoga and weights to ease the body to this new weight and diet. I am assuming that for weight loss you were doing lighter weights with more reps to achieve the desired result. If you were going for heavier weights, then change that routine to lighter weights with more reps.

        2), Muscularity is a choice that you have made, and there is no value judgment I can attach to it. Remember one thing. You should feel comfortable in your skin and you should like yourself for what you are and what you become. So long as you like what you see, just go ahead and continue doing it.

        3), Yes. You can achieve both these goals through proper diet and Yoga routines including Shakti Yoga.

        4), You may wish to use the following as sources of proteins:
        Soybean, soy yoghurt, soy cheese, soy nuts
        All beans, lentils and legumes
        Whole grain bread, brown rice, barley
        Peanut, cashew, almond and walnut (but they also contain fat; so take post workout),
        Artichokes, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green peas, green pepper, lettuce, mushroom, onions, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes
        Apple, banana, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, watermelon, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, strawberry

    95. i have done B.Tech(IT),. i want to do MBA in HR.plz let me know can mba correspondance be done as i want 2 pursue PH.D
      in management only.if so suggest me some good university for this..i will be very thankful to you.

      1. I would strongly recommend that you do a regular MBA in HR from a good b-school, if you wish to make a career in academia (I am assuming that that is the reason why you wish to do a PhD),. However, if due to some extenuating circumstances you cannot do a regular MBA, you could look at the correspondence courses of IGNOU or other such institutes, which are AICTE approved and thus would make you eligible for a PhD. Email me the details of your current/preferred locations, and I will suggest you suitable universities.

    96. Hello Sir,

      Trust you are keeping well.
      I am glad that I found your web page while browsing via some content on IIM- L. I wanted to share that I completed my post graduation and specialised in Human Resource last year. I am a part of the talent acquisition team with a leading firm currently and I would very soon complete one year with them. Sir, I did not do my post graduation from any reknowned institution but I always had that belief and confidence that I will fare well in my career and I did it. I definately got a kick start for my career but I am planning to do some short term course which can help me grow and excel in the HR Domain. I would request you to guide me on the following aspects:
      1. Should I gain some more experience and then think about any such courses?
      2. If this is the right time, kindly suggest me some courses which can help me plan my career in a better way.

      They say What is important is not only working hard but working hard in the right direction and I want to do the same.
      I would also like to appreciate your efforts of sharing your learnings, helping & guiding others. Many Thanks!!

      1. Thank you; it is my good fortune that I am in a position to share some of my learning with others. First, you need to shed this baggage of not having done MBA from a renowned school because that is past. You already have a good role in a good company, and now it is your hard work, continuous learning, and self-belief that will carry you through. Promise yourself on this day of Dussehra that you would kill the demons that hold you back and liberate you from your fears (I posted this on my fb wall as well for all who read my writing), and misgivings. Your destiny is in your own hands.

        In particular, I would strongly recommend that you go through some short term MDPs in Strategic Human Resource Management, and Leadership Development.

    97. Sir…you seem to have the answer to just about everything and all of it is so well written. My problem is a little different and I would be eternally grateful if you could provide a solution to it. My hair has suddenly started to fall in large quantities and no amount of scalp treatments are helping. Is there any ayurvedic/yogic cure for it? Please help!

      1. There is a very effective cure for stopping copious hair fall. The juice of brinjal (baingan ka rus),. Chop a few brinjals into small pieces, pulp them in a mixie to the extent you can, put the pulp in a clean white cotton cloth and squeeze it to get the juice of brinjal. Apply on your scalp and massage gently for 5 minutes in the morning; keep it for 30 minutes and then wash it off. You will see the effect within 3 days but continue to do so for at least a month and then do it once a week thereafter.

        If you have acute dandruff problem as well, then smear honey on your scalp 10 minutes before bathing once a week. In addition mix 3-5 gm of Aamla powder with plain water and have it before sleeping.

        Practice halasana, sarvangasana, vajrasana, and bhastrika, kapalbhati, and anulom-vilom pranayaams.

    98. Sir,

      Please suggest a book which contains explanation of Gita which is easier to relate to the current day decisions/doubts/fears and duties, especially the karmayoga part with a clear illustration/explanation of practice of detachedness.

      Also please suggest a book/material which tells how to pronounce the shlokas, containing the breaking of words (sandhi-vichedd), and the meaning of the individual sanskrit words.

      1. Although there are many books which will provide you with the authors interpretation of the Gita, and thereby, a connection with present day issues, I strongly recommend that you read a translation and then draw your own interpretations. I think you ought to see Gita for what it means to you. Pick up the translation published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur.
        There is no comprehensive book which will provide you all that you ask for. My suggestion is that you do a 6-month course from either the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth or Samskrit Bharati that teach Sanskrit through the Ashtadhyayi route. Both these institutes provide distance education courses in Sanskrit.

        1. Thank you for this, Sir! There should be a way to search through your ask section. Please consider tagging or some other sort of organization. Too much unsorted valuable stuff in this one page :),

    99. I feel restless,anxious, and rushed most of the times.
      I try to reason with my self and get some peace and calm in my head but then soon again I find myself back to the state of feeling anxious and rushed.
      At the back of my mind, there is an underlying tension that I am not living life. At age of 34, I am dissatisfied with my past. When I look back, I feel I have always had (maybe since I was a child), this underlying tension/feeling within me that I would permit myself to be happy only after I achieved a particular result.

      In the process, I feel I have been blind to life. When I look back, I feel my achievements are mediocre as my focus has been more on not failing rather than excelling. I recognize that I may have plans and life will have its own but I want to be able to handle life with strength and love.
      I want to live life…and not waste my energies by brooding the past or being anxious about my goals. The anxiety and fear has also led me to be too sensitive as I get emotionally hurt from small things, which I feel I should be able to take in my stride. Basically, I feel my mind gets injured too easily and most of my efforts are to soothe it and help it recover rather than initiate positive actions.
      I have been reading your writings on this blog and I feel, my swadharma as you call it, is be happy and vibrant (balance of accepting life and initiating action),.I feel by being in this state, I shall be live life fully.

      What can I do so that my energies are vibrant and happy?. (I get to this good zone where I am happy and vibrant but am unable to sustain it and myself slipping back to feeling anxious and rushed),

      1. First of all, Swadharma is not about being happy or leading a balanced life! Those are the consequences if you follow Swadharma. As I have mentioned before, Swadharma is your responsibility, your duty and your Karma, that you are good at, and by virtue of you being good at it, it becomes your responsibility to follow it! It is a realization of your potential (in the sense of self actualization), and then acting on it. Thus, simply trying to be happy cannot be a Swadharma. You need to find that which is your calling, your destiny!

        If you wish to find it out you can try any of the three ways: One, try out different things and then figure out what you enjoy the most without being fearful, shameful or doubtful. Two, you could reflect on your past: what kind of stuff did you like, what kind of assignments did you enjoy, what kind of things excited you in your life, and so on, and then intellectually draw a conclusion through deductive reasoning. Or three, seek a guru, a teacher, a guide, who could talk to you, evaluate your skills, your attitude, your personality, and then suggest what is it that you ought to do with your life. Either of these ways is effective, so just go ahead and make your choice!

        Restlessness is a symptom of a disturbed mind and lack of patience. Specifically in your case, it appears to be a direct consequence of your not liking what you are doing predominantly. So sort these issues out in your head.
        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter the mutiplicity of conflicting thoughts with Paadangushtha Asana, Dhruv Asana & Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.

        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        To reduce anxiety and stay calm, take a quarter of teaspoon of Brahmi first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

        1. Hi Sir,

          What is the source of this mantra that you have mentioned here? (Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru),

          and also of: Om yajjagrito doormudayti daivam tadu suptasya tathaivaiti
          dooram gamam jyotisham jyotirekam tanme manah shiv sankalpamastu

          Regards,
          Suhani

          1. Both are from Yajurveda. Om Yaam Medhaam is the 14th mantra of the 32nd chapter of Yajurveda, while Om Yajjagrito is the 1st mantra of the 34th chapter of Yajurveda.

    100. Dear Sir

      I have a question for you. How can we change the preconceived (negative), perception about us that anyone may have to a positive one.?

      Many thanks ,

      Warm Regards,

      Chitra

      1. Perceptions, once formed, are difficult to obliterate. However, if one really wants to modify an existing perception earnestly, then the task is going to be an arduous one. You will have to use either or both of the following impression management techniques:
        Self Enhancement techniques: These techniques focus on enhancing others impression of you, and include name dropping (mentioning association with important people, relevant to the impression you are trying to create),; managing appearances including the way you dress and talk; and self-descriptions (statements/stories about your characteristics that would enhance a particular impression),.
        Other-enhancing techniques: These techniques focus on the individual (target), on whom you are trying to make an impression, and include ingratiation (making the target feel good, superior or important),; rational persuasion (convince using logic over a period of time and build credibility on that particular issue),; target gratification (appeasing the target by asking questions, sharing personal interests, in short, satisfying the ego of the target),; and instrumental dependency ( informing the target of happenings in office or keeping the target in the loop),.
        However, do bear in mind that this process is a long and tedious one and you will have to use the techniques consistently to achieve the desired impression.

    101. I work in a large MNC and have recently been promoted to a management position where I will need to appraise some people in my division. This is the first time I will be doing it and I am nervous. Can you give me a few tips and things I should keep in mind during the appraisal interviews?

      1. Three fundamental things that you would always need to keep in mind are: Always talk in terms of objective data and not unsubstantiated opinions; never ever get personal, i.e., differentiate between the subject and the object; and finally, encourage the person to talk and share.
        While conducting the appraisal interviews, ensure the following 7 things:
        Discuss all the goals and objectives that had been established for the employee and note down areas of agreement and disagreement.
        Reinforce the accomplishments of the employee through compliments/praise; highlight the potentials and abilities.
        Try to reach a consensus on areas where improvement is necessary and desirable (keep the two separate),.
        Try to reach a consensus on areas of training and development required.
        Indicate, though gently, the consequences of non-compliance.
        Mutually, set objectives for next appraisal period.
        Indicate the standards of evaluation and time frames for next appraisal, and thank the employee for his/her time and effort.

    102. Dear Sir,

      This is in reference to the possibility of Yoga/ excercise during Pregnancy. I desperately wish for a normal delivery and ready to do anything at my end for the same.

      At present I am 11 weeks pregnant. I just walk for 15 mins and do certain stretching exercises (that you taught us during our Yoga Classes at L – the one we used to do during the initial 15 mins to open up the body, am not doing any asans),. However, I am in touch with certain Yoga teachers for classes on Prenatal Yoga and was planning to start Yoga from 15th week. I also try my level best to follow the dietary recommended in the site and book. But due to nausea find it difficult to eat only healthy food.

      Kindly guide Sir. Would be very much thankful to you for the same.

      1. As of now you should just walk and walk for at least 30 minutes, both in the morning and evening. Along with the walks, sit in Vajrasana for say 10 minutes everyday and do the Sookshma Vyayams, both in the standing position and sitting position, that I taught you. I will soon put them up on my website as a separate section on my Yoga page. Apart from these you can do side stretches for the pelvic region but nothing in which you have to bend forward or backward. Subsequently after 5 weeks, you should start doing anulom vilom, bhramari, and onkar pranayaams as well. If you dont remember them, let me know and I will explain them to you over the phone or gmail video chat. Meanwhile you may continue to do household work like dusting, sweeping etc but without bending forward.

        Change your meal habits with time and get on to eating smaller meals more frequently. If you eat thrice a day as of now, make it four times a day with smaller portions and continue to make them smaller and more frequent till it is 6 times a day.

        Have kaccha nariyal (coconut), and anaar ka rus (pomegranate juice), everyday right till birth time. add lots of dal and leafy vegetables in your diet. Also add ankurit chana and gehun in your morning meals. And yes..NEVER eat papita (papaya),!!!

        1. Thank You Sir.

          I have two more concerns:
          1), I read somewhere that while doing Bhramari, Anulam Vilom and Onkar it is extremely essential to ensure that all the air while breathing in is filled in lungs not in stomach (especially for pregnant women),. Is it true? If yes, how would I ensure that I do these Pranayams in the right manner?

          2), As I understand the best time to do Pranayams is early in the morning. However, is it essential to do it with empty stomach? Can I do it sometime during evening?

          Warm Regards,
          Parul

          1. Not just for pregnant women, but for everyone, it is essential that you fill the air in your lungs while breathing in. You have to just do it consciously, as in tell your mind to direct the air coming in with the breath to go to the lungs; try and feel the air getting inside your lungs. It sounds crazy, but it actually happens. You can direct your mind to do a whole lot of things in Yoga :-),
            Yes. It is best to do asanas and pranayams in the morning on an empty stomach (you may have water),. If you cannot find time in the morning you may do them in the evening but after a period of at least 3 hours after a big meal. Also after doing asanas and pranayams, you should not eat for at least that long as your exercise lasted. For instance if you did an hour of rigorous asana and pranayam, you should not eat a meal for at least an hour.

    103. Sir

      What do you think of the Wall street movement and the persistent inequality?

      Do u feel bad for what is happening with the 99%?

      Thanks.

      1. What started at Zuccotti Park on 17 September 2011, goes beyond economic inequality; in fact it encompasses a reaction to social inequality, corruption, and greed, both individual and institutional. It was also a reaction to the moral rot which has set in some institutional mindsets where the motive of profit outweighs all other considerations, and the concept of triple bottomline is merely an eyewash.
        Inequality, by itself, is a natural phenomenon insomuch as being an attribution which we are prisoners of, by birth. However, subsequent inequality which comes in because of lack of equal opportunities and lack of due diligence by governments is lamentable. And inequality which is showcased by some people in form of multistoried buildings and mansions is totally inexplicable.
        I dont feel bad or sad by it, though I am certainly moved by it, and therefore, am trying to explain it using anthropological and sociological theories, which hopefully would provide a strategic framework for governments to counter this. Else, be warned, though the rich may have the property rights, the meek shall eventually reclaim the earth. Unless of course we give them their due.

    104. Dear Sir,

      You would mention in your classes about masculine v/s feminine energies – and also maintained that it had no bearing on ones masculinity or femininity.

      Obviously, growth is a sequence of creative disruption followed by stabilization. I have read that the creative disruptive and explosive energies are feminine while the stabilizing focussed energies are masculine. Or that all energy itself is feminine while form is masculine. Some places, they talk about ones essence that one carries from earlier incarnations. They also speak about the goal of all souls is to strike the perfect balance between their two sides.

      If this is true, why is it that we see most females playing the role of the stabilizing agent while most men playing the role of the change agent? Why is it that in todays society, the alpha male is celebrated as the restless, disruptive force, the fighter, the philanderer; while the female is celebrated as the one who stabilizes the family?

      What implication does this have on marriage? In your opinion, do these forces play a role in determining the ideal matrimony?

      Moreover, can we envision the universe as a play between these two energies? Or is there yet another orthogonal dimension to the play? Can we envision our planet as the stabilizing force in the otherwise chaotic universe? And in that case, isnt Mother Earth a misnomer? :-),

      Or am I completely off the track?

      1. Well, you seem to have intertwined the concept of guna, energy (as dwelt upon by the Buddhist philosophers and Chinese philosophers), and its manifestations.
        First of all, the concept of categorizing energy as masculine and feminine is a Confucian concept that extrapolates these attributes to yang and yin respectively. So while yin is characterized as slow, low, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive, and is associated with water, earth, the moon, feminity and nighttime, Yang, by contrast, is fast, high, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime. However, this distinction is essentially Confucian in nature and not in lines with Taoist philosophy of energy, which looked at Yin and Yang as complementary opposites that interact in a dynamic system.
        The tantrik concept of the male energy Shiva and female energy Shakti is again a result of mixed, and often misrepresented philosophies, emanating from different isms.
        The Vedic concept of guna explains the nature of nature, if you know what I mean. It talks about the trigunatmak nature (nature with 3 gunas),: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, and these do not have any attributes of masculinity and feminity. Sattva has attributes of purity, order and balance; Rajas has attributes of movement, change and dynamism (and so can become either Sattva or Tamas depending on the quantity and the way in which it is used; like salt. in small quantities it has Satvik properties, in large quantities, it has Tamsik properties),; and Tamas, which has attributes of slowness, dullness, inactivity and negativity. Each of these are present in us and nature, and it is the balance of these which keeps the universe and human nature and form as it is.
        The reasons for attributing properties to alpha male and females is very workplace specific. In fact at workplace my own research has suggested that there is NO correlation between biological sex and psychological gender!!! This means that all men and women at workplaces have similar characteristics (in general), on attributes of masculinity and feminity. I will do a similar research on non-executive (I cant see how a woman can be non-working), women and see what I can find there.
        I will dwell more on the philosophy of gunas when I start writing on Indian philosophy, the shad darshanas!

    105. I want to know the conceptual difference between the terms Self-actualization and Self-realization.
      As I have underdstood these terms, I believe that Self-actualization (Maslows term), is a western concept and is about fulfillment of potential related to human personality in terms of worldly aspects (matter), and self-realization is an eastern concept which goes beyond matter and is more wider in approach then self-actualization.
      I want to know if I am right in my understanding of these terms or there is something that I am missing on?

      1. There is no qualification in terms of it being limited to worldly aspects so far as the definition of self-actualization is concerned. Although attributed to Maslow (and hence the understanding is limited to workplace matters, and thus worldly aspects), the term was originally used by Goldstein where he equated it with the motive to realize ones full potential (to become fully what one is capable of),. Philosophically this definition and its understanding is not very different from the Karma that Krishna talks about in Gita. It is just that in Indian philosophy we use the term self-realization more often than self-actualization. The latter has lost its wider appeal because of its prominence only in the discussion of the need hierarchy.

    106. Dear Sir,
      Its a wonderful thing that you have here and I wonder if you realize how many lives you are changing just through this. Thanks you very much. I have been an avid reader of topics on meditation and would want to practice it. Osho also talks about the necessity for it. Is it possible for me to learn meditation? What is the right way to learn meditation?

      1. Thank you very much for your nice words; I would consider it an honour if I manage to change even one life for good! To begin with, indeed you can learn meditation, however, the path is a tough one and needs complete dedication and relentless effort. The right way to learn meditation is through the ashtanga way, where Dhyana comes as the seventh stage in the practice of Yoga! To meditate in the real sense, one has to prepare the mind and the body for it.
        The first stage, therefore, is Yama where you discipline your life by practicing non-violence, truth, abstinence, non-covetousness and non-possessiveness. Then you follow the niyama by keeping your body clean and engaging in learning and reflections. Next, you train your body through asanas and control your breath through pranayam. Subsequently, you withdraw your senses from external objects though pratyahar, and learn to concentrate through dharana.
        Now you would be ready to get into the seventh stage, which is dhyana: Meditation. Once you reach this stage, I would guide you how to go about it. Let me know if you need help for the earlier stages as well.

        1. Hi Sir,

          Stage 1 seems to be the toughest :-), How can I work towards non-covetousness and non-possessiveness?

          Warm Regards,
          Suhani

          1. These can come through inculcating the values of detachedness by reflecting on the nature of the self and the universe. Try to differentiate between the subject and the object consciously in all your dealings with people. Try to differentiate between your judgments and desires consciously in all your thoughts. It is just a matter of practice and time before these conscious behaviors will shape your attitude and then become a part of you. Practicing the asanas for balancing the mind will help immensely. I will soon put up a separate section on those specific asanas on my Yoga page.

      1. The purpose of ones life is to realize ones destiny! As I have explained elsewhere, this is what we call ones Swadharma, which is one’s responsibility, one’s duty and one’s Karma, that one is good at, and by virtue of one being good at it, it becomes one’s responsibility to follow it! It’s a realization of one’s potential (in the sense of self actualization), and then acting on it. If you wish to find it out you can try any of the three ways: One, you could continue following your heart, try out different things and then figure out what you enjoy the most. Two, you could reflect on your past: what kind of stuff did you like, what kind of assignments did you enjoy, what kind of things excited you in your life, and so on, and then intellectually draw a conclusion through deductive reasoning. Or three, you take in a guru, a teacher, a guide, who could talk to you, evaluate your skills, your attitude, your personality, and then suggest what is it that you ought to do with your life. Either of these ways is effective, so just go ahead and make your choice!
        You would know that you have made the right choice when you start having fun in living life; when life feels beautiful.

        1. Is there any right or wrong swadharma? For example, a thief enjoys stealing and he is really good at it. Should he continue to do that. A terrorist – good at killing people – should he continue to do that. If there is any distinction between right and wrong swadharma what are those parameters on which it can be distinguished.
          Secondly, if one is not supposed to follow the wrong swadharma (if at all there is any such classification), like terrorism, stealing etc, then due absense of a catalyst for destruction, wont it lead to an imbalance in the creation – destruction equation ! (assuming, in an ideal situation where no one follows wrong swadharma, rate of creation would be faster than rate destruction ),.

          1. There is a test of right and wrong in the context of Swadharma. Western philosophy would use one of the following four theories to determine the difference:
            Egoism: Do what is your own long-term best interest.
            Virtue: Do what your group considers to be just and fair.
            Utilitarianism: Do what will maximize aggregate happiness.
            Moral Rights: Respect each individual moral rights.
            An explanation of each of these may prove to be too much for consumption at this point of time, but I think you get the gist of the assertions.
            Vedic theory suggests a simpler way of figuring out this differentiation. Right is what makes us fearless, blissful, and passionate while wrong is what creates fear, doubt and shame in us.
            You could use any of these philosophies to check the rightness or wrongness of the actions you have mentioned in your question.
            Further, the creation-destruction cycle should not be confused between the wrong pushing the universe over. It is like saying that since death is imminent, I should screw up my health to conserve the birth-death cycle. Not at all. In fact you strive to remain healthy till such time the natural process of death carries you beyond.

    107. Dear Himanshu
      I have been reading your blog for a few weeks… amazing blog…. really informative and knowledgeable… Keep up the wonderful job….. Keep on inspiring people like this….
      Now my problem is…I have been treating depression with allopathic medicines…..
      There is an improvement since I first started the medicine, the improvement seems to be that I get relief at times but the depression when it comes is as deep as ever …………….Is it really possible to cure depression with yoga? … I know Yoga is not a substitute for medical advice …It’s a tool to get your life back on track…..
      I will be very grateful and appreciate if you give me some effective tips to overcome depression….

      Regards

      1. It is absolutely possible, and in fact recommended to use Yoga to counter depression. First you need to take the following precautions in your diet:
        Avoid food high on oil and spices, meat and dairy products
        Use lots of fruit, especially ones rich in Vitamin C in your diet
        Practice sarvangasana (provided you do not suffer from high blood pressure), matsyasana, padangushtha asana, and dhruvasana; also practice anulom vilom pranayaam and abhyantar pranayaam.
        Take 5 gm of Brahmi and jatamansi twice a day with warm milk.
        Chant the following mantra every night before sleeping:
        Om yajjagrito doormudayti daivam tadu suptasya tathaivaiti
        dooram gamam jyotisham jyotirekam tanme manah shiv sankalpamastu

    108. Sir, In todays industry perspective in marketing, and wrt a business schools point of view, what are the 5 most important things they should incorporate in their curriculum so as to make their course more relevant to current marketing scenario and their students more industry ready?

      1. If you meant the aspects of the curriculum for a b-school in general, I would say a good b-school should have the following specifically included in their curriculum:

        1), A strong emphasis on courses like Leadership, Negotiation, and Communication
        2), Presence of sector-relevant specialized elective courses
        3), Pedagogy that is student-centric, and stimulating as opposed to faculty-centric (for instance, simulation/role play based),
        4), Regular feedback mechanism between the industry and the curriculum through networks with industry leaders and alumni
        5), Gradable systems for industry and social learning

    109. Dear sir!
      One of student has shown me ur web-site and i am highly motivated after seeing ur profile and question -answer section.tomorrow i have to introduce Motivation chapter as the part of OB,i need ur help regarding How to make this chapter beautiful and motivational so that it creates interest amongst the students.kindly provide me few introductory motivational lines or slokas.
      regards!

      1. I am afraid that owing to some travelling and limited connectivity therein, I couldnt respond to your question earlier. While your question is too specific for me to answer, I will give you some general suggestions while making topical presentations. Make sure that you cover the following themes related to the topic:
        Conceptual framework
        Implication for practitioners
        Example from your own experience that brings out the utility of the concept
        Relevance of the theme in modern day business

        Lets take the example of the topic on Motivation. Your presentation needs to bring out the following:
        Different theories of motivation organized under generic domains like need theories, contingency theories etc.
        How do these theories pan out for practicing managers? For instance, you can talk about the use of equity theory to determine compensation.
        Give an example from your own experiences where you may have motivated someone (say a project team member/your sibling), by using any of these theories.
        Finally wrap it up by suggesting how these theories are still relevant; for instance, Herzbergs two-factor theory explains why money has limited value as a motivator in senior managerial levels, while challenges in the work itself, leads to better satisfaction levels.

    110. good evng sir..
      Sir my confidence level is very low and i stammer while speaking.!! Sir please give some advice how can i improve my confidence..??

      1. As answered elsewhere, more often than not we are surrounded by negative thoughts for we have been told by people around us that we are not good enough, or not as good as someone else. List down all accomplishments that you may have attained in your lifetime. Do they mean something to you? Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you like what you see? You must learn to love yourself for what you are. Do not seek love or approbation from outside; seek it from within.

        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        Eat healthy, sleep well and just do what makes you happy. Positive thoughts have to come from within; they cant come from outside. Do Anulom-vilom, Ujjayi and Bhramari pranayaams regularly (details of these could be find other the website mentioned in my Yoga section),. Also take half teaspoon of Ashwagandha Choorna (you will get it in any Ayurvedic medicine shop), with warm milk every night before sleeping.

        So far as stammering is concerned, please remember that stammering is in the mind, not the voice, i.e., it has psychological antecedents. I will need to talk to you to figure out what those possible triggers could be and then address them. You may call me on the number given on my website and fix up an appointment.

    111. Hello Sir,
      I read some of your past replies and blogs. Just want to congratulates you to have such wonderful thinking process.
      I want to know how can i increase me memory power, which is not that good(i think in my case),.

      1. Thank you for your nice words. I would suggest the following steps to increase your memory power:
        1), Declutter your mind before getting to work on something (that you wish to memorize),. Doing bhastrika pranayam helps.
        2), Use mnemonics/mental pictures/repetition in head/writing simultaneously while reading. Pick up any one or a combination of these techniques based on your comfort level.
        3), Associate whatever you memorize with its practical use somewhere and then try to use that information repetitively. For instance if you want to learn new words and their meaning, once you have memorized the meaning, make a sentence out of that word and use that enstence in your conversations that day itself and then at some intervals.
        3), Nourish your brain by a diet of nuts and dried fruits, lots of water, 1/4 teaspoon of Brahmi on an empty stomach in the morning, and 1/2 teaspoon of ashwagandha with warm milk before sleeping. Avoid use of toxic substances.
        4), Include physical exercise in your daily regimen. This needs to include bakasana and dhruvasana.
        5), Ensure that you get a good stress-free sleep every day.

    112. Sir
      I find that when a lot of things come together on my plate (I do understand it is inevitable), I find myself getting agitated and irritable and that response, I know impacts my ability to be seen as a potential leader. I can handle things, and do so well, but somehow, when sudden operational demands relating to work come up, often I find myself getting irritable and critical. It is a mix of two things i), I feel these operational demands have little value addition to my profile, so while learning part is nil, work and risk remains as one has to check for accuracy of data etc 2),I find myself doing things in a manner than consume a lot of time
      I have tried to allow myself to react to such situations in a positive and effective manner. I have succeeded at times, but often I find myself reverting to the old cycle of getting irritable.
      Can you please guide me on this.
      Thank You

      1. Irritability is a symptom of a disturbed mind and lack of patience. Specifically in your case, it appears to be a case of not liking what you are doing predominantly. First you need to sort out this issue in your head. Do you like what you are doing? Would you be rather doing something different in and with your life? Reflect and explore inside your own mind; alternatively talk to someone who you can trust (usually friends are not the best people to talk to on these issues for they would end up giving you advice according to their convictions), to give you an objective analysis of your state of mind and help you sort them out.

        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter the mutiplicity of conflicting thoughts with Dhruv Asana & Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.

        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        To reduce anxiety and stay calm, take a quarter of teaspoon of Brahmi first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    113. Dear Himanshu

      I would like to know your candid views on Anna Hazare and Ramdev as persons and as their current efforts/ambitions

      1. I dont know either of them personally, so I would not be able to comment on them as persons. What I do have views on are their public postures and the their work.
        Anna Hazare comes across as a person of integrity with a strong sense of purpose. At the same time, he seems to lack the skills in diplomacy and tact, which the person he reveres, Gandhi, had in abundance. His mission to counter corruption is indeed beyond debate, and the pressing need of the hour. His means of achieving that terminal end of a corruption-free nation in form of fasts/non-cooperation is also beyond reproach. However, the complete disregard for the parliamentary processes that has been exhibited by his team at times is baffling. For instance, continuing with an anshan while the parliament is discussing the bill, is akin to going on a strike while a matter is sub-judice, and that is illegal, and contrary to good form. That the parliament failed to come to a consensus on the bill is actually not germane to the issue as many people might want to argue, for presumption of failure (even though historical data/extenuating circumstances may suggest it),cannot be used as a defence for lack of legality. I would think that team Anna needs to keep the conflict focused around the issue and not the people involved in the issue. Any conflict that focuses on the people is bound to be destructive. Team Anna needs to differentiate between the subject and the object.
        Baba Ramdev comes across as a popular yoga-guru, who has brought yoga and ayurveda to the masses through efficient use of support at the grassroots level and dedicated media. His interjections into social issues are built on the strong cadre that he has managed to build across some regions, and in fact, Team Anna would do well by joining hands with him on specific issues. Baba Ramdeva needs to hone his control over his emotions and appreciate the fact that interjections spread thin often become ineffective. While a person is entitled to have a view on pretty much everything under the sun, one is taken seriously only if one has ethos in terms of credibility on the subject matter one is trying to convince or persuade people in.
        Both of them also need to avoid the idiosyncrasies that befall people when they get too attached to their point of view and fail to appreciate the presence of multiple vantage points that different people view the world from.

    114. Sir, I was your student. My question is how to control greed, and how to stop desires and live with whatever we have.

      1. There is only one way to control greed and desires, and that is developing and honing Detachedness. Desires originate in the mind, and unless leashed by the intellect may run haywire. You need to control these desires by practising behaviors which hone the following abilities: rational thinking, dissociating judgement from desires, ability to distinguish between subject and object, control over anger, control on ego, ability to put things into perspective, being mindful of own competence, acting only after due deliberation etc. Pick up each of these abilities individually and start improving on them. In due course of time, you will be free of greed, or at least it would come down to manageable proportions.
        Also chant the following mantra regularly:
        Om Yajjagrito doormudayti, daivam tadu supthasya tathaivaiti
        Dooramgamam jyotisham jyotirekam, tanme manah shiv sankalpamastu

          1. Greed is defined as excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth and material possessions, and in the words of Gandhi, There is enough in this world for everyones need, but not enough for even one persons greed. So I stand by my assertion that greed needs to be controlled. Anything in excess needs to be restrained for it always impairs judgment.

      1. There are many ways of dealing with a situation where you find a physically stronger person trying to dominate. Assuming that you are the one who has truth on his side, you can choose any of the following methods:
        1), Form a coalition to support you; there is always strength in numbers.
        2), Influence the people stronger than him by using rational and persuasive appeals.
        3), Use the brain to counter the brawn.
        4), Play on the psychology of the stronger person by gratifying him initially, and then gently nudging him towards the direction you want him to go.
        5), Be patient, bide for your time, and work on yourself so that you become physically stronger!!!

    115. Hello sir,
      Greetings. I was a part of TYE programme, in which you gave a lecture on presentations , and that was a great help. Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful piece of knowledge with us.
      I have a query sir, i am in class 12 and will be applying for undergraduate programmes soon. I have plans to do B.ba . The confusion is, shold i do it from India or abroad. Now obviously that depends on which university i choose abroad. I got 76.4 % in class 10th n ISC results will be out soon, i expect between 78-82%. I have applied for Singapore institute of management , which is offering a degree of London school of economics and political science. What majority of folks i have met say that it is bettet than colleges in India, like Symbiosis, etc. What should i do, i am totally confused. My dream since i was a child is to get an MBA from a Ivy league college, i can just do anything for it. I am not saying that i cannot do that after an B.ba from India, offcourse i can, but studying in India, will i get that exposure, quality internships or rather i would say good enough placement as entry in a ivy league requires work experience , As good as people claim abroad. Please help sir.

      P.s. I am a fan of you and your personality sir, you are just great.
      Regards Nisheet

      1. Thank you for your kind words to begin with; I sincerely hope I deserve them.
        In my view, and of course feel free to challenge it, a BBA from anywhere, is not a great idea. Learning in a good MBA course presupposes a solid grounding in some field at the graduation level, be it Arts, Science, Engineering, Medicine, Commerce or any such. Most BBA courses offer a perfunctory familiarity with those very subjects that you would be further studying in your MBA. The value-add would be far greater if you would do a regular graduation in any stream of your choice.
        To get into the ivy leagues, you must do a graduation in a stream of your choice (not BBA), work for a couple of years, write your GMAT, and then start applying to the colleges of your choice.

        1. Thank you so much for the frank advice.
          Sir in that case, i need your help, you please suggest me some course that would suit me. I gueas i need to tell something about me or my interest in that case. I love being practical and logical. Have quite good communication skills and love managing things . Only thing which i am not good woth is being theoritical. That does not means i want a course that does not has exams , no , but some feild in which a bit of practical knowlwdge will be needed, dont like to talk on assumptions. I am sorry sir i am not abel to explain well. Please help.

          1. Send me a copy of your C.V. and give me a call. I will need to figure out your past performances and experiences to make an informed suggestion to you.

      1. The fear of success has two components: one, the fear that if you become successful, you would be weighed down by expectations, which you may not be able to fulfill all the time; and two, that success may attract attention from people who do not want to see you successful. It can be countered by engaging in Nishkaam Karma, which I have explained earlier in my answer to one of the questions in this column.

      1. Vision is a short, succinct, and inspiring statement of what the organization intends to become and to achieve at some point in the future, often stated in competitive terms. It is the image that a business must have of its goals before it sets out to reach them, and thus, describes aspirations for the future, without specifying the means that will be used to achieve those desired ends. On the other hand mission is an action statement for bringing about what is envisioned.

    116. Hello, sir. I am an ex student of yours and I have thoroughly enjoyed your lectures in SBN.

      I dont exactly have a well-defined problem to ask help for except for an everlasting intriguing sensation which I am going to describe in the following. I seek your guidance in sorting this out. I hope what follows from here doesnt bug your patience down.

      Today, I am with myself, close to 3 years of experience in corporate. I have been doing decently. However, a strong feeling of underachievement has been constantly haunting me for ages now. If I look back in my life of 27 (+), years, I have seen a few moments of proper glory followed by long hiatuses. It seems to me as though I am quite good at making an intermittent break-through. But it is the continuous growth which I lack. The world, talking from reference groups perspective, generally expects majority of our generation to be self-driven, possess that fire-in-the-belly attitude and move forward to achieve success. Success, though alluring, seems to me an entity without definition. While I have a vision of what I want to become, I don’t know whether I am on the right track.

      In my course of working in corporate, I have received mixed feedbacks. I have been told that I possess high degree of confidence, cooperation and commitment while lacking efficiency and leadership initiatives. Sometimes, I feel like I have the answers to all those ever-haunting questions of my mind, but I somehow fail to retain them for long. Enthusiasm and energy comes to me, but with intervals, creating those classic crests and troughs in performance. For a while, I kept on blaming my own attitude, but later refrained from doing so due to subsequent psychological reinforcement which came from several experiences of my life.

      I know for now that I am not very close to an image of a so-called leader, but I aspire to become one. Not a so-called one, but someone to be reckoned with high degree of positive traits. Not the traits that the world asks me to develop, but the traits I inherently exhibit.

      Sir, I need answers to my seemingly endless list of questions about self-awareness. I know I shall gain most of them in due course of life. But, I don’t want them at the cost of my vision. I want to embody them in the form of my vision.

      I would be more than willing to have a thread of communication with you in this regard. I am in no hurry as long as I get my answers or exert your valuable time that you can give to me. Looking forward to your reply.

      1. I am glad that you enjoyed some of what I have shared with my students. And I am even happier that you have figured out where you want to be in your life. Leadership alludes to the capability wherein a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Research has indicated that trust and confidence in the leader is the single most significant predictor of success as a leader. Therefore, my first suggestion is that you get your people to trust you. This can be achieved if you develop the abilities of artfulness, diplomacy, detachedness, fair-mindedness and sagacity, which I had spoken about at length in my SBN class. Further, research also tells us that successful leaders have personality traits of extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness, and have a good deal of emotional intelligence. See where you stand on each of these attributes (there are many tests available to rate yourself on these variables), look at the gaps and then plug them in. Write to me when you figure out these areas that need development.

        1. Thank you, sir, for your reply. I will surely get back to our conversation after getting a satisfactory hold on the gaps that I need to meet on this front.

    117. I want to know whether a person can fall in love or not, with someone whom he/she has never met but they know each other and understand each other? :),

      1. In order to answer your question I will have to define what I see as love for we all have different definitions in our head/heart on this construct. To me love is an emotion that encompasses attraction, respect and trust. While the latter two variables are cornerstones for any relationship (and love with all others), it is the attraction part which differentiates the love you feel for that special person from that you feel for others (say family, friends etc.),. Now coming to your question, if you havent met a person, I wonder if the trust aspect of this emotion can be fulfilled. I think not. Short of trust, the emotion that you feel would fall under one of the following: admiration or devotion, which taken to an extreme can become obsession. Hope this answers your question.

            1. Why is it not possible to trust somebody you have not met? Trust could be inspired by many subconsciously perceived aspects (even before we have met someone), which our conscious self may find difficult to define. For example, what the name connotes for us/ how certain others perceive the person/ … etc.

              Dont you think most marketing companies bank on the subliminal response to their brand names, associations, packaging, colours, logo, USP etc. to inspire trust?

              And finally, to fall back on, there is always the mother of all decision making algorithms … called intuition or gut feel!

            2. True. What you are talking about, however, is a very basic form of trust, the deterrence based trust. Deterrence based trust comes from knowing the potential harms/punishments that may come out of breaking the trust. A higher form of trust is knowledge based trust, which comes by knowing the person over a period of time. This is possible, though improbable, even with people you may not have met but may have read or heard about; usually such people are public figures. The highest form of trust is identification based trust, which is at a much deeper level where you can almost predict the behavior of the other person since you identify with him and his values. It is this form of trust which forms a cornerstone for love!

    118. Hi Himanshu,

      One of your students showed me this link. I hope you go through this and suggest me something.
      I have a lot of questions to ask. But again, I am not precise about what I need to ask!
      I am a simple guy who grew up in a lower middle class and a well respected conservative family.
      I am in working in a well known MNC and I am considerably self sufficient.
      I was a hard-worker, have toiled a lot in my graduation to get into a nice job.
      To put simply, I am a guy who has lost clarity in his life!
      I cant focus anymore, My mind doesnt agree to put 100% in what ever I am doing.
      I am not failing at work. But I am not giving 100%.
      And every penny I get for that work, I feel like I dont deserve it.
      I was always low in confidence, even now, and I fear that I will die the same!
      I never liked getting into competition, probably because I wasnt enough confident enough to win.
      Its like I always feel losing ll affect your psyche more than winning.
      I was fine till my graduation because even though I was not greatly confident, it was at a minimal level to get a job.
      But now, whatever work I take-up, I get the fear Will I be able to do it?
      So I end up taking work which is very easy and I start giving excuses when I have been given some difficult task.
      I just cant put one step ahead to enjoy the success. I am afraid of failure.
      And corporate world demands leadership and confidence.
      I have no goal in life except getting a mate who can understand me and stay forever with me!
      Thats the only motivating factor which is still driving me, the dream of getting the gal of my choice.

      I personally think my thoughts are junk! When will I get clarity in life?
      When will I know what I should actually be doing?
      Should I wait till I get to know it? or Just put the best in whatever you get?
      When can I become a leader?
      Are there guys out there like me, or am I the only idiot?

      1. First of all, you are not alone in this world Ajay. Most people at your age and time of life, stand at crossroads wondering what to do with their lives; what is their purpose in life; and where can they find real happiness! Most people are trying to find their identities and then getting enmeshed in the roles that they need to play, owing to the virtue of being born as a social being. Remember one thing, even if you consciously try to divert this question, it will come back to haunt you! So deal with it. Try and figure it out.
        As I have explained elsewhere, you need to figure out Swadharma, which is one’s responsibility, one’s duty and one’s Karma, that one is good at, and by virtue of one being good at it, it becomes one’s responsibility to follow it! It’s a realization of one’s potential (in the sense of self actualization), and then acting on it. If you wish to find it out you can try any of the three ways: One, you could continue following your heart, try out different things and then figure out what you enjoy the most. Two, you could reflect on your past: what kind of stuff did you like, what kind of assignments did you enjoy, what kind of things excited you in your life, and so on, and then intellectually draw a conclusion through deductive reasoning. Or three, you take in a guru, a teacher, a guide, who could talk to you, evaluate your skills, your attitude, your personality, and then suggest what is it that you ought to do with your life. Either of these ways is effective, so just go ahead and make your choice!
        You would know that you have made the right choice when you start having fun in living life; when life feels beautiful.
        You can choose to be a leader as well if you practice behaviors which are appropriate to leadership. Develop the traits of extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness in yourself. Communicate with your whole body. And hone your abilities of artfulness, diplomacy, detachedness, fair-mindedness, and sagacity. I have dwelt at length on these issues in my research papers which you could access through online search. The effective ways to communicate have been outlined in my answer to another question in this column.
        All the best. Let me know if you have some more specific queries or if you need explanation on any of the things I have mentioned here.

        1. Thanks Himanshu for ur valuable suggestions.
          And as you said, I am in search of my Swadharma.
          I would choose the third option, selecting a guru, because I have become so lazy that if I choose one among the first 2 options, I ll end up lying to myself and picking up some task which is easier!

    119. Purpose of life has been talked about a couple of times in this forum. Does every being has some purpose? Is the ability to think same as consciousness? Is it this ability to think which makes the purpose of mans life much more than mere survival? When we say purpose of life, arent we referring to the purpose of having this extra feature ability to think (i am assuming other abilities are sufficient for survival as in the case of plants and animals, but having this ability to think makes us believe that our purpose is much more than mere surviving and thriving),. If the purpose of life is the same as the correct usage of this extra feature of ours, why is it so mysterious? I mean, nobody tells me how to use my senses and physical attributes for various needs but when it comes to the way to use the mind and its objective, it is not there in the DNA and open for discussion.

      1. Every being does have a purpose and it is that purpose which has been explained under Swadharma. The ability to think certainly falls under the purview of consciousness, which is the awareness of ones existence, sensations and thoughts, in the light of what I explained in response to your question on Cogito ergo sum. However it is not just this consciousness that separates us from other lesser beings. We also have free will; higher emotions of mercy, compassion, love and the likes. When we say purpose we are talking about Swadharma to which the consciousness is one of the contributors!
        Further, scriptures/culture/people do tell you how to use your other senses as well!!! They ask you to keep all your senses (indriyan), under control by using the rein of mind in the hands of intellect! Culture tells you to use your sensory organs and perceptions therein, sensibly. Gandhi talked about bura na dekho….. And yet you have free will, limited, but you have it.

      1. It means I think, therefore I am, and is the fundamental principle on which Descartes has based his philosophy and subsequent propositions. What he has concluded is that I was a substance, of which the whole essence or nature consisted in thinking. That means that in order to exist, I needs no place and depends on no material thing! Consequently, the I is the mind, by which I am what I am, is distinct from the body, and even if the body were not, it would not cease to be all that is. If you need more explanation for this do let me know! In very simple words, someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an I, exists to do the thinking.

        1. Why has it been concluded that I just consists of thinking. Why couldnt it be concluded that I consists of what can be seen, heard, felt (touch), of me. Why is it that I consists of thinking only? In the first place why would one wonder whether he or she exists (i mean, what is the context in which one would arrive or start at such doubt?),. Why couldnt Descartes rely on what his senses told him (i mean, why couldnt he beleive in the body that he was seeing),? Sir, please elaborate on the explanation that you have given.

          1. Descartes is not trying to say that I consists of only thinking! On the other hand, he is saying that knowing for sure that one exists is a necessary premise to build further deductions as brought out in his meditations. Since existence precedes essence, it is necessary to first establish that beyond doubt, and that is what Descartes is trying to do. Given Poppers conditionals for theory construction (as discussed elsewhere in one of my answers), the existence of anything, being non-falsifiable, is difficult to deduce. Descartes has tried to give a solution to that.
            Now to come to a related point as to why sensory perception is not enough to establish existence, let us postulate that the body is the I, and can wholly justify ones existence. But how would you even activate the sensory perceptions without cognitive abilities? Cognition is a precondition to perception and sensing, and has to necessarily be first in temporal precedence. I hope this clears your doubts!

    120. Hello Sir,
      I am a Post Graduate in computers and I have been working in a medium sized companies as an HR since five years. I dont have any degree in HR but i have learned a lot of things through my and others experiences. Every time i appear for an interview in Tier 1 companies, mostly i get rejected as i dont hold an HR degree.
      Is it mandatory to hold a management degree in HR to become successful in the field?

      I am planning for the MDP program in HR. Do you think taking this certification will boost my career ?

      Regards,
      Neha Pathak

      1. There are two aspects to your question, one a philosophical one and the other, a practical one. Philosophically, I do not subscribe to the theory that you need a formal degree to be good at anything. You need learning, but that learning can come from many sources and not necessarily institutionalized ones. Experience itself is a great teacher.
        Having said that, you must also appreciate the dilemma of a recruiter. He has many applications and resumes to sift through, and he needs some metric to shortlist. The easiest, as well as a reliable metric, is the qualification, the degree, as well as the institute that degree comes from. The recruiter has no means to understand the value of your experience and the prohibitive costs of hiring prevent him from calling everyone who has applied for the next round of the process. So while it is not mandatory to hold a degree to be good at HR, it is essential to be considered for a good company.
        No, an MDP is usually a supplement and updation of a very narrow aspect of some field in management. It is like a refresher course that assumes that you already have the background, read, degree. It is not a substitute for a degree. I suggest that you go for a regular MBA programme in HR if you wish to make a career in this field. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from taking up a regular programme, do a good part-time or distance program. Let me know if you need any advice on that.

      1. Brahman has been defined as the supreme spirit which is the ultimate essence of all phenomena. He is, according to Maharishi Dayanad Saraswati, formless, omnisicient, unborn, endless, unchangeable, beginningless, the support of all, the master of all, omnipresent, immanent, unageing, immortal, fearless, eternal, holy, and the maker of all. Each of these attributes can be looked at both from a scientific and philosophic perspective. Let me know if you want me to elaborate on anything specific.

    121. Dear Sir
      I have some questions?
      Q1. Sir, when i have read something regarding from the course or any extra thing which is relevant to the course then at the end of the day my feeling was good and i am finding myself very happy, but still i cant continue with that. what can i do to be consistence with my thought or habit which keeps me happy?
      Q2. Sir, i am very much confused with my electives, i going to take the marketing as major and finance as minor but i dont have any clue on which basis? and how many subjects should i have opt from each stream?
      Q3. Sir, i have read your some of the responses but how to implement that or which is the best ways to react or behave on living is the feeling aspect rather than the thinking aspect and articulate it for cognitive analysis?
      Q4.Sir, i want to develop a regular routine but i couldnt, how could i do this?

      1. To bring in consistency in thought and action, you need to have self-discipline. Ideally, self-discipline ought to kick in as a matter of habit, and as a matter of keeping mind over heart. If that sounds abstract, and therefore tough, try thinking of the big picture, of everything that you will be able to do once you have forced yourself to do something today, which though good, seems to be uninteresting. Picture that big picture, or better still, paint it or draw it for yourself (it could be a painting,. drawing or merely some words written by you),. Put it in a prominent place in your living place so that it serves as a constant reminder of what you wish to achieve in life!
        You should choose subjects based on three criteria: Your interest in that particular subject, the usefulness of it for the industry, and the quality of instruction in that subject. The number of subjects you need to opt would be decided by the institutional rules related to concentrating in a particular area.
        There is nothing like better of the feeling and thinking aspects! It is just what you are! If you want to find out your orientation in terms of these personality traits take an MBTI test and you would be able to figure out where you stand on these traits.
        To prevent your mind from wandering chant the following mantra:

        Om yajjagrato doormudayti, daivam tadu suptasya tathai vaiti
        Dooram gamam, jyotishaam jyotirekam, tanmey manah shivsankalpamastu!

    122. sir i m very sensitive person. i think a lot.if anyone say bad words about me , i donot give response to that person. aftersome time i think about that. due to this i donot live in present . sir please tell me how to push negative energy from mind .

      sir i want to work with high concentration.

      1. More often than not we are surrounded by negative thoughts for we have been told by people around us that we are not good enough, or not as good as someone else.Reflect on all the achievements that you have had so far. Make your sensitivity a strength, for you have the ability to feel. Learn to love yourself for what you are. Do not seek love or approbation from outside; seek it from within.
        Auto suggestion is a powerful tool when used wisely. I will be putting up a video for autosuggestion shortly.
        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter negative thoughts with Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams. To increase your concentration, practice dhruvasana and bakasana under someones supervision.
        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru
        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    123. Chapter 6, Shloka 35 of the Gita:
      Sri Bhagavan said: The mind is restless no doubt, and difficult to curb, Arjuna; but it can be brought under control by repeated practice (of meditation), and by the exercise of dispassion, O son of Kunti.

      Sir, why is exercise of dispassion being preached? In the above context, does the word passion as used in the shloka and as used by you have different meanings?
      Can you also please elaborate on the feeling aspect and the Ãthinking aspect (as answered in living life inside out),.

      1. Krishna uses the word Vairagyen, which can be more closely defined as non-attachment rather than dispassion. Such subtle misinterpretations can lead to a completely different (and sometimes erroneous), understanding. Detachedness is different from dispassion in the sense that while the former induces you to differentiate between the subject and the object as well as between judgment and desire, the latter simply means the state of being unemotional or emotionally uninvolved. Krishna is most certainly alluding to detachedness here. In my understanding you can have passion and you can still be detached so long as you are not claiming rights to the fruits of your actions.
        By feeling I meant using your affective abilities to connect with someone, what we sometimes called heart-to-heart. Thinking refers to connect with someone by analysing somebodys feelings using your cognitive ability and then trying to understand the nuances of that emotion. I will try and write a separate blog on these two terms :-),

    124. I have a good reputation, work wise and have been in the finance field for almost 10 years, and with varying profiles.
      Over the last few months, I have been feeling burnt out and lack the passion to excel. Often, I feel I am responding more to well, maintaining my reputation as a good worker rather than acting out of interest and passion. As a result, am strained and also I feel losing my edge.
      A big factor, that I feel is contributing to my lack of interest at work is my boss. He is, too critical and yet never acknowledges the work when things go well (there may be an odd good day but by and large he is the type that likes to keep people on tenterhooks),. That, plus he plays favourites and somehow, I just feel that each day at work, I am slipping to a new low…..I find myself working in a way to avoid mistakes and hence somewhere within am creating a strain on my own mind, which is hampering my work in terms of efficiency and interest. Maybe I am internally reacting but then I have other colleagues. (i.e. who have same boss), and I feel they are handling this person much better.
      Any help on this?

      1. When people play out roles, reciprocal that they are, agreeable people tend to play them according to other peoples expectations rather than their own perceptions. Even the most brilliant of actors would feel the strain if they have to play out characters which they are not! You need to understand that while while agreeableness is a good quality to be a team worker, it is assertiveness which will make you a good leader. Try not to seek approbation from others; seek it from within.
        Your boss seems to be a person who believes in Theory X. You must first try rational persuasion with him. Using a big smile (practice it if you need to), and a calm demeanor, tell him that you would like to be treated with dignity. Dont say it as a reaction to something, but as a general topic of conversation with him and better still, as a means to actually seeking advice from him! Say that some people keep you on tenterhooks and are negative, and seek his advice as to how you can deal with them. Make him your mentor. If that doesnt work, try upward appeal, i.e., speak to your bosss boss and explain to him your predicament not as a complaint, but as something you need to have to be more productive and effective in your work.
        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter negative thoughts with Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams. You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru
        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    125. Dear Sir,

      What are the key strengths, competencies, skills/capabilties required to become a good Researcher in Management field, especially OB/HR area? What kind of people would enjoy such a role?

      Regards,
      Anoop

      1. To be a good management researcher you need both substantive knowledge (in the area that you wish to research in), and methodology knowledge (the modern scientific methods),. The former would include understanding of evolution of views in the relevant knowledge domain, philosophy of knowledge, paradigms/perspectives in the related field, and existing theories, while the latter would include knowledge of theory building, hypothesis generation and testing, research designs, coding and analysis and reporting.
        Besides these, a good researcher need to have the rigour of a scientist, extraordinary patience, values consistent with ethics of research, and above all, a belief in ones own work!

    126. I would like to know how I can increase my stamina. I have a desire to do well in my studies but at times my body gives up even after only 5-6 hours of study. I feel sleepy and tired quite some times during the day. Please tell me how can I increase my stamina to study for more hours and achieve my academic goals.

      1. There are two things I can see here: one, you are probably not fit physically, and two, perhaps your sleep is a disturbed one and hence it doesn’t invigorate you. Develop a fitness routine for yourself that includes walks (morning and evening), yoga and other form of exercises that YOU like. Remember, a healthy mind can dwell only in a healthy body. To ensure that you get good sleep (and 6 hours of it is enough), do Anulom-vilom, Ujjayi and Bhramari pranayaams regularly (details of these could be find other the website mentioned in my Yoga section),. Also take half teaspoon of Ashwagandha Choorna (you will get it in any Ayurvedic medicine shop), with warm milk every night before sleeping. Further, make sure that the moment you get up in the morning, you also get out of the bed and not loll around in the bed Try developing sleeping habits so that you get up just before sunrise. You could also have Brahmi in the morning for increased alertness.

    127. Dear Sri Rai, Good to know your promptness to reply each and every questions put before you. Please help me in improving my conflict management style. I always get in conflict with anybody who is not rational in thinking and work. As a result I become a talk of town. Although every one praises it in person but many a time people avoid talking with me. Results is I avoid talking and interrupting people unless my or others nose is under water. Result is again conflict. Although people praise me when they know me in person and appreciate my concern.

      I have attended several management development program and have been instrumental in implementing quality systems in a big non-ferrrous metal manufacturing company. I treat complaint as way of improving one self in a person and also in a company.

      1. Getting into conflict is not a bad thing in itself, especially if you can keep the focus of the conflict around the task or the process. However, the moment you make it personal, the conflict will automatically become dysfunctional. So the key is to keep it around tasks and processes.
        You seem to have a favorite style of handling conflict and you also seem to stick to it irrespective of the extenuating circumstances. Please note that your conflict management strategy has to emerge from your answer to these two questions:
        1), How important is the substantive outcome of this conflict (and its resolution thereof), to me?
        2), Do I need to or wish to keep a relationship with the other party (the one I am in conflict with),?

        If the answer to both these questions is yes, then you must adopt a collaborative approach. Push your agenda but also listen to the other person patiently and try to empathize.
        If the answer to 1), is yes, but 2), is no, then just run through with your agenda with a competitive approach. Try to get as much as you can out of the conflict resolution process.
        If the answer to 1), is no, but 2), is yes, or 2), is more important than 1), then accommodate; let the other person win.
        If the answer to both 1), and 2), is no, then just avoid the conflict. Dont waste your time and energy over it; not worth it!

    128. Dear Sir,

      I hope you are doing great as always.
      I remember you appreciatiing Sartre once in one of our Leadership through Literatue class.
      I have assumed him to be none other than Jean Paul Sartre.
      Could you kindly tell mem the name of the his book that influenced you most? Out of all the work, I need to know the specific readable that you admired.

      Thanks and Regards,
      Gaurav

      1. It was indeed Jean-Paul Sartre, the French philosopher who I spoke about. I would particularly recommend two of his philosophical essays, Being & Nothingness and The transcendence of the ego. I would also recommend a novel of his, The age of reason.

    129. Dear Sir,

      The reason why I am writing this is because I need someone helps in my present state of distress and confusion and by reading your posts I believe that you are the one who can help me here.

      To tell you little about me, I have done my schooling from Hindi Medium school and have done my engineering from IIT and then worked in industry for three years. After that I have done my MBA from IIM. Now I am working in finance field in Mumbai and staying very far from my family. I also want to reveal that my admission in IIT was result of my hard work but getting a good trade there and getting admission in MBA collage was possible because of the reservation as I belong to Schedule Caste.

      I am not performing up to the expectations of bosses at my job. I don’t have very good writing and communication skills. Therefore my boss in office doesn’t have good impression of me. I think that I am being left out. This feeling is making more and more stressful. I think reason behind not able to performing well is because I am not able work with full dedication.
      I am feeling very home sick (one reason of feeling home sickness is that my mother is not keeping well, she is suffering from cervical),. I want to go to Delhi. Therefore I requested my boss to transfer me to Delhi. But I was not persuasive enough and he did not allowed my transfer. He gave me reason that it is possible only after one year. But I think my boss believe that I was telling lie when I told him my mother illness as a reason for my transfer. I am uncertain whether I should ask again or not. Now whenever I talked over the phone at home I always felt heavy hearted.

      Whenever I compare myself with my classmate/collage mates, I see myself among the bottom both financially and psychologically. There was time I used to consider myself very strong emotionally and used to give consultation to my friends whenever they felt low.

      Day-by-day my confidence in myself is reducing and I am feeling more & more fearful. Also feeling of being Schedule Caste makes me diffidence as still I am not able feel the sense of achievement.
      I didn’t see any purpose in my life. I don’t feel anything doing with total dedication. Last thing which I remember towards which I have worked with my heart and mind for long time was preparation for JEE. After that whatever I have done it is because it is the best available alternative at times.
      Now, sometime I want to start my own venture and sometime I want to study more and more to understand the world and to know the meaning of life. I don’t know how to figure what I should do.

      I have started to cry whenever I am alone. I don’t remember when I have last felt total fearless and confident.

      In this state of confusion and stress can you please suggest me something which can help me at my workplace and which can bring back my confidence and more importantly make me fearless.
      Thank you in advance

      1. First of all accept my congratulations! I can well imagine how much courage it would have taken for you to write this, and indeed it shows that you have it in you to face the most testing of circumstances.
        To begin with, dont let your boss or anyone around you put you down. More often than not we are surrounded by negative thoughts for we have been told by people around us that we are not good enough, or not as good as someone else. Think about how you made it to IIT and IIM with your hard work. Dont think that it is the quota which got you places; it is not! It is your hard work, your determination to succeed, and your will to make something out of your life! Does this mean something to you? Look at yourself in the mirror. Dont you like what you see? You must learn to love yourself for what you are. Do not seek love or approbation from outside; seek it from within.

        Next, you need to tell yourself that you have choices in life. What makes you different from other species is free will. Tell yourself that you have it. It is okay if you are confused right now over your future course of action. Very few of us, if any, know what we really want to do with our lives! So welcome to the world! Reflect on your achievements in the past and correlate them to the effort you made to get them. Auto suggestion is a powerful tool when used wisely. I will be putting up a video for autosuggestion shortly.

        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter negative thoughts with Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.
        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru
        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

        You certainly need to improve your communication skills. To be a good speaker you need to speak with your entire body, and to do so you would need to practice hard till such time that essence of good speaking gets internalized in you. While speaking, make sure there is harmony between your physical moves & message. Prepare yourself before you go to make an important presentation or before an important meeting. For instance, maybe, you were not able to put across your point to your boss simply because you were not prepared.

        I can appreciate your concern for your mother; however, ask yourself, what is it that your mother would have wanted? Would she want you to be by her side at any cost, or would she rather that you come to her as and when circumstances permit? Be assertive with your boss but only after you have prepared your script. If it doesnt work, go for upward appeal i.e. speak to your bosss boss.

        You can also talk to me if you think that would help.

    130. Dear Sir,

      Congratulations for the very nice blog and the valuable inputs that make it.

      Sir, I have a technical question that pertains to the recruitment of disabled persons in a listed company. The information is required in the context of drafting a disability-friendly hiring policy for the company.

      The PWD Act, 1995, Chapter VI (Employment), Section 41 states that the appropriate government shall provide incentives to organizations where at least 5% of the workforce is composed of persons with disabilities. The details of the incentives, however, are not mentioned.

      Could you please shed some light on how the incentives are structured or decided?

      Regards

      1. Thank you for your kind words. One specific incentive that the government provides is Payment by Government of the employers contribution to the Employees Provident Fund and Employees State Insurance for the first three years. The administrative charges of 1.1% of the wages of the employees covered under the Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions (EPF&MP), Act will continue to be paid by the employer. Apart from this the government also provides awards and tax exemptions, though the details of these have not been specified. To know the details get a copy of the following:

        Document No. 2-4/2007-DDIII (Vol. II),
        GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
        MINISTRY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE & EMPOWERMENT
        (Disabilities Division),

      1. Living life inside-out means letting the heart and passion emanating thereof determine the course of ones life. The guiding principle in this state of living is the feeling aspect rather than the thinking aspect. It also extends to the way we relate to the others, and understand them, in the sense that you feel what the others feel and then try to articulate it for a cognitive analysis inside your head.

        1. Chapter 6, Shloka 35 of the Gita:
          Sri Bhagavan said: The mind is restless no doubt, and difficult to curb, Arjuna; but it can be brought under control by repeated practice (of meditation), and by the exercise of dispassion, O son of Kunti.

          Sir, why is exercise of dispassion being preached? In the above context, does the word passion as used in the shloka and as used by you have different meanings?
          Can you also please elaborate on the feeling aspect and the thinking aspect. Isnt each followed by the other?

    131. How would you compare Vipassana Meditation as taught by S N Goenka (www.dhamma.org), with Osho Experience (www.oshoworld.com),. S N Goenka follows Buddhas teachings that life is full of pain, and the root cause of this suffering is desire. By detaching ourselves from worldly sensations, it is possible to attain freedom (moksha), from the otherwise endless cycle of life and death. On the other hand, Osho believes that Buddhas teachings need to be taken in context of Buddhas life. Gautam Buddha had lived in tremendous luxury, surrounded by beautiful girls, beautiful palaces… He had seen all that was possible in those days for a man of power and riches to see, but he could not find peace, contentment, silence…Gautam Buddha’s search for truth, for himself, for the source of life which is eternal, cannot be the search of a poor man who is hungry, who is searching for a loaf of bread.

      1. Osho errs in terms of causation when he gives the example of the poor man to substantiate his point while Buddhas perspective is limited by the lack of substantive definition of the middle path. Control over desires does not mean depriving self of physiological necessities. The concept of detachment as propounded by Vedic scriptures (Buddha had a different take on it), relates to living ones life and doing ones Karma while not attaching oneself to the fruits of the effort (Nishkaam karma),. Also the scriptures instruct people not to be attached to their desires (dum), or to sensory pleasures (indriyanigrah), in the sense that one should not be a slave to ones desires or the demands of the sensory pleasures.

        Kathopnishad points out:

        Atmanam rathinam viddhi shariram ratham eva cha, buddhim tu sarathim viddhi manah pragraham eva cha
        indriyani hayan ahur visayams tesu gocaran, atmendriya-mano-yuktam bhoktety ahur manisinah

        In simple words, what it suggests is that we ought to control our senses (which are like horses of a chariot), by keeping the reins (mann), on desires in the hands of intellect (buddhi, which is akin to the chariot driver),.

        Now this is very different from depriving self or considering life as full of pain.

    132. Dr Rai, this is an excerpt from the book Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance. The author puts a question and explains how Hume and Kant would have answered it respectively but somehow I wasnt satisfied totally. I would like to put the same question to you:
      Hume had previously submitted that if one follows the strictest rules of logical induction and
      deduction from experience to determine the true nature of the world, one must arrive at certain
      conclusions. His reasoning followed lines that would result from answers to this question: Suppose a
      child is born devoid of all senses; he has no sight, no hearing, no touch, no smell, no taste…nothing.
      There’s no way whatsoever for him to receive any sensations from the outside world. And suppose this
      child is fed intravenously and otherwise attended to and kept alive for eighteen years in this state of
      existence. The question is then asked: Does this eighteen-year-old person have a thought in his head? If
      so, where does it come from? How does he get it?

      1. Pirsigs argument while quoting this example was to demonstrate that Hume was an empiricist, which represents a powerful school of thought in Western philosophy. Hume, therefore, would argue with the belief that knowledge is derived from sensory perceptions. Kant may have demurred with a different leaning in the inductive-deductive reasoning debate. Popper would subject the theory to the test of falsifiability. I had explored on this at another forum quoting that this concept of falsifiability came from Popper, who in his work, The logic of scientific discovery (1959), said that It must be possible for an empirical scientific system to be refuted by experience. This means that theories ought to be constructed in such a way that their empirical refutation is possible. For example, the statement All swans are white is falsifiable, because it can come in conflict with the observation this swan is black. In contrast, the statement White swans do exist is not falsifiable, since no counter-example is logically possible.
        However, I believe that while this criterion may be sound in terms of establishing a valid theory, it ignores the possibility of reaching the truth in ways other than induction or deduction, the hallmarks of reasoning in Western Philosophy. My argument is that we should not discount the possibility of reaching the truth through transcendence, the hallmark of Yogdarshan of Indian Philosophy. Scientific methods limit themselves to themes that could be apprehended with physical, sensory or cognitive perceptions, and to my mind this is a limitation. Thus I would like to go beyond what Hume, Kant, Popper or even Pirsig might sugest.
        Transcendence is the stage where you overcome the limitations of physical existence, and are in a position to apprehend reality through looking inwards. This is achieved in the eight stage of Yogic practice, where you have already perfected yama, niyam, asana, pranayaam, pratyahar, dharna, and dhyan!
        Therefore, to answer your question, yes, the person can have a thought and it will and can come from within!

    133. Sir,

      As read in some of the spiritual books, as per Vedas the entire world is Maya, a drama, or like a movie, or a veil, exhibiting the traits of duality and relativity and is also transient. From this it sounds that no ordeal could be better than the ordeal of piercing this veil. And then it is also says one has to do his karma, as you say as an exampe of a business man. But if the reality is ony Maya or shadow reality what meaning it is to be a business man? Shouldnt all of us strive to pierce the veil of Maya for Moksha?

      1. This is a Vedantic theory that expounds that the physical world that we see (and live in), is Maya, and there is a reality beyond it. So reality and Maya are different entities, and while the former can be apprehended by reflection and looking inwards, the latter is apprehended through sensory perceptions. You are right when you say that we ought to pierce the veil of Maya for Moksha, and that is precisely where Karma comes in! The point is how will you pierce this veil? And that is where Gita comes in with its concept of Gyana Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. One can pierce this veil by one or more (combination), of these three methods.

      1. In my personal opinion, astrology is valid in so far as the arithmetic of it is concerned (which is more for astronomical calcuations), and not the predictive part of it (for any prediction of destiny will violate the free will concept),.
        Vastu-shastra is valid to the extent of pragmatism of construction in terms of wind movements, sunlight exposure, alignment (or not), of sleeping direction with the magnetic poles etc.

      1. Management is the art and science of motivating people to perform roles, which help satisfy a societal need through conscious organizational activities. These roles are interpersonal, informational and decisional in nature, and may require a combination of conceptual, technical, and human skills to perform the functions of planning, organizing, leading and controlling.

    134. Do you think there is any inherent goodness in the concept of morality, apart from the expectation of reciprocal behavior?

      1. There are two popular theories (among others, but I quote these two only for they suffice to answer your question), which can help explore the question that you have raised. One, that it is the consequences of actions that make them good or bad. Second, that it is the motive of the person that makes the action good or bad. The former does not differentiate action a priori while the latter may suggest that the inverse of the golden rule (do unto others…), as an intention may drive moral action. Feel free to embrace either of the two and you have your answer.

        1. Thank you for the response, Sir.

          But I always argue that the rules set by nature are the same for everyone. And by everyone I mean all living things. For eg. when a new alpha male lion takes over a pride, he kills all the cubs born by the previous alpha male, morally it seems very wrong. But its natures way of ensuring only the strongest survive.
          Such an act among humans is immoral. And therefore, I argue that the concept of morality is only an outcome of evolved societies, purely for the purpose of survival by the expectation of reciprocal behavior from its members.
          Indirectly I therefore believe that since there is no inherent goodness in the act and thus God (if there is one), does not judge you on such acts, because these are not the laws set by him.
          Which then brings me to the conclusion, that the only expectation God has from us (all living things), is to survive, irrespective of the means. Thats the whole purpose of life. To survive.

          1. You see the inherent contradiction in your own argument? :-), If survival was the ultimate end-state, then morality (or using other evolved means), is redundant. Nature would have provided us the instincts to survive and not given us free will !

    135. Hi , I have a major problem of self-study. I want to concentrate on my studies and do well but the moment the thought of sitting down and studying crosses the mind, I feel frustrated and ignore it. I have been going through this problem for past two and a half years. This is the reason why despite having a desire to succeed , I could not do well in my board exams this year. But , on the other hand , I study with full interest while in school and coaching classes. I remain focused during these times and then studies do not become a burden for me. What can you suggest for me?

      1. It appears that your problem is that while you can focus on things when you have similar-minded company, you get distracted easily when you are alone. You need to first find out what these distractions are. Once they have been identified, you can let me know and I will help you sort them out. The other alternative is to try and do more of group studies. If both these appear to be difficult, then try and follow the steps below (in no particular order),:
        Change the place where you usually study at home
        Sit on hard straight chair, and make sure that the height of the desk and the amount of light are appropriate
        Fix your study timeline as well as scheduled breaks
        Make sure that you have water and some snacks on your table before you sit on it

        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        Eat healthy and sleep well. Do Anulom-vilom, Ujjayi and Bhramari pranayaams regularly (details of these could be find other the website mentioned in my Yoga section),. Also take half teaspoon of Ashwagandha Choorna (you will get it in any Ayurvedic medicine shop), with warm milk every night before sleeping.

    136. Dear Sir,

      What is my swadharma? Is it the path in sync with the way that I have always been (my nature),?
      Or is it the path in sync with what I have always aspired to be?

      Say, I am not comfortable with ambiguity, not great at accepting rejections, like to work at my own pace (without the topline hassles), and not street smart. But I have always aspired for a career in business development and believed that I would be good at it.

      The Gita says it is spiritually incorrect to go against ones swadharma. Books such as Jonathan Livingstone Seagull celebrate breaching limitations.

      Its quite confusing!

      1. Swadharma is your responsibility, your duty and your Karma, that you are good at, and by virtue of you being good at it, it becomes your responsibility to follow it! Its a realization of your potential (in the sense of self actualization), and then acting on it. For instance, if you are good at business then your responsibility is to do good ethical business. Performing to your fullest potential is what swadharma all about.
        Some scholars have tried to link it to nature and also varna (as an extension/surrogate of nature), but then the morphology of the Varna has to be understood to clearly reflect on its nuances. Therefore, of the two alternatives you have given in your question, I will go with the latter with a caveat. It is the path in syn with what you have always aspired to be, PROVIDED, you are also good at it! That is your potential (natural or trained), lies in it. If you believe you would be good at business development, then that is what you should be looking at. Since you dont seem to like the front-end part of that career, you could be the backroom business developer! Look for opportunities in Business Development Analytics!

    137. Himanshu, I wouldnt consider myself religious or ritualistic, or religiously literate for that matter, but I do appreciate the foundation and structure a religion provides. Lately I have been feeling the need to understand Hinduism – and dont know where to begin. My knowledge of the Hindu way is from the Ramayan and Mahabharta strories my grandmom told me when I was a kid (which btw have shaped my values to a large extent!),. I tried reading the Bhagvat Gita (in English), but found it to be very poorly written. Any suggestions on books I can read? Thanks, sandip

      1. You need to begin with the epics for they will be easy to read (comparatively speaking that is), and will give you a foundation on the philosophy of Indian texts, in particular, Mahabharata gives you the basic perspectives from the Vedanta, Yoga and Sankhya sub-schools of our shad-darshan (six sub-schools of Indian philosophy, the other three being Nyaya, Vaisheshik and Mimamsa),. While English translations and commentaries are available, I would recommend that you read the Hindi version of these two, probably the one published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur. Should you prefer English translations (none of them are true though and are, at best, close interpretations), the available ones are Ramayana (Valmiki version, which I assert is the true version),: by R.K. Narayana, Ravi Prakash Arya, Keshavadas, Prabhavanand, and Mahabharata: by Rajagopalachari, Radhakrishnan, Chidbhavanand, Chinmayanand, and Paramhansa Yogananda (in that order of my appreciation),.
        Once you are through with them, then we will move you on to the Upanishadas or Darshanas depending on which way you would want to go. All the best!

        1. Dear Sir,
          I have enquired about the availability of Mahabharata. There are two version of epic in the market. One comes in two parts and another comes in seven parts. Which version will you suggest to read?
          I have acquired the knowledge of Mahabharata mainly from the Mahabharata series made by B.R. Chopra.
          I have read the book Yoganta, by Irawati Karve, which has inspired me to read the Mahabharata and try to understand the each and every actor of the epic and to understand the political or any other motive of each one.

          Warm Regards,
          Rajan

          1. Tell me the name of the author (as in translator),/publisher and I will let you know. Else, I would suggest that you read the version translated by Sahityacharya Pandit Ramnarayandutt Shastri Pandey Ram (1988: Gita Press, Gorakhpur),. If you are not comfortable with Hindi, then you may read the versions by Rajagopalachari, though that would be interpretive rather than a true translation.

            1. Thanks sir for your prompt reponse. I hope, I will soon get in touch with you along with doubts/clarifications from the epic.

    138. Hi,

      Im a big admirer of you and a regular follower of this section. Also, Im between 25-30 years of age, male, unmarried and recently employed.

      Recently, Ive been facing a lot of instability in my life because Ive been trying to answer the question What do I want to achieve in my life?. This leads me to a bigger question What describes me as a person?. Myers-Briggs personality test brands me as an INTJ/INTP (close-call),. My questions to you are

      a. Apart from the MBTI, what other tests/indicators would you recommend me to understand myself, and what is their difference and significance?

      b. Is it right to focus on these questions at this point of time, or would you recommend me to keep doing whatever comes in my way now and connect the dots later on?

      1. INTJ suggests that you have a great drive for implementing your ideas and achieving your goals. You can effortlessly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. Skeptical and independent, you have high standards of competence and performance for yourself and others. If you are closer to INTP then you seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests you. Theoretical and abstract, you are interested more in ideas than in social interaction. You have an unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in your areas of interest. You are likely to be skeptical, sometimes critical, and always analytical.
        There is yet another test that you may take (and it has a greater validity in research than the MBTI), and that is the Big Five personality measure that rates you on the parameters of Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness. You can also look at Cattell 16PF- Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, by Raymond B. Cattell; The Global Factors
        DISC (Drive, Influence, Steadiness, Compliance),; Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior (FIRO-B),; and PA Preference Inventory (PAPI), Job Profile. These five are amongs the most popular tests though Big Five has the highest validity and reliability in terms of psychometric properties.
        It is always good to try and understand who you are, and if possible, why you are what you are. Personality being the the sum total of ways in which you react and interact with others, it is also the precursor to your character. Having an understanding of self may give you the chance to take corrective measures, if need be, or in the least be at peace with your own real self. The sooner you do it, the better it is!

    139. 1. Quality vs. Quantity time for your child: ever since I have started doing a full-time management course the quantity of time I spend with my 2 year old daughter has fallen drastically- I had quit my job after she was born and was a full time mom till I joined this course- the fact that I am not around for her makes me feel very guilty- my friends keep telling me it is the quality and not the quantity of time you spend with our child that is important however I somehow am unable to accept it- will she ever forgive me for not being there for her? Will me not being with her have an adverse effect on her psychologically- I stay in the family accommodation hence she is with me just that since she is with her nanny the whole day and I have seen her becoming very dependant on her- to the extent she sometimes prefers the nanny to me; that makes me very sad. Also now that I will have to start doing a job the long hours will come back to haunt me- honestly I want to do a job that gives me the flexibility of time but am scared whether I will get one- also I have taken a loan for this course and hence will have to work at least for next 3-4 years till my EMIs are taken care of. I don’t know what to do…..i don’t want life to pass me by when I am busy sitting in an office and attending meetings………you might ask if the decision of doing this course was well thought- honestly i over estimated my ability to manage both studies and parenting……

      2. What is the reason of fear? Even though God gives you things you want (he takes his own sweet time though), one lives in a constant state of fear…..of not getting what you want, of your future, etc how do you move away from fear?

      3. Why is ˜having expectations such an ugly phrase? Why should we not have expectations from others?

      4. In the so called harsh corporate world to move ahead do we need to change ourselves? If I am not diplomatic and do not sugar coat things should I change myself to fit into the world or should I find a place wherein I fit in? Can u really change the person you are?

      1. I will answer your questions in the sequence they have been asked in.
        1), I am afraid I dont have good news for you here. Your friends are wrong! An infant (up to 3 years of age), has no clue (or concern), about the quality of time, a term often used by people to justify their pursuit of their interests (I know it sounds cruel, but that is what it usually is),. Attachments, that are the basis of an infants capacity to form relationships in life, tend to develop between the age of 6 months and 3 years. These attachments happen with people who are responsive to their needs (especially those during distress), and more often than not, the foundation to these is determined by the infants social relationship with the mother. In the case of your daughter, it is likely to happen with the nanny. The good news is that if the nanny is sensitive to the child, the emotional development of the child would be normal. All I can suggest for your conundrum is to spend as much time as you can with your daughter. Especially if you can be there during the crucial moments (feeding time/toilet/cleaning/sleeping time/waking time), you could make up for some of the void. In any case stop feeling guilty for its an informed decision that you have taken after due deliberation. Make sure she has a good nanny and do your best.

        2), Fear is a consequence of attachment. When we are attached to someone or something, we are afraid of losing them, and it manifests itself as fear of failure, fear of success! (believe me on this), fear of unknown and so on. Understanding the concept of Nishkam Karma, and a belief in ones own self are the only ways out. If you think that is difficult to achieve, start with small steps. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen to you given your current circumstances, and then ask yourself if you can live with it. The chances are you would respond in the affirmative. Once you have that out of the way, things will start looking easier. If the answer is in the negative think of all the support systems you have in place. Draw strength from them. Having done that, start looking inward. Talk to yourself every day the first thing in the morning. Rejoice in the life that is yours. Besides, make sure that you eat healthy, sleep well and do a few things that make you happy. Positive thoughts will come from within.
        Do Anulom-vilom, Ujjayi and Bhramari pranayaams regularly (details of these could be find other the website mentioned in my Yoga section),. Also take half teaspoon of Ashwagandha Choorna (you will get it in any Ayurvedic medicine shop), with warm milk every night before sleeping.

        3), The moment you start having expectations, you start doing things for the sake of what you would get out of them. Ma karmafal heturbhooh: Do not do Karma for the sake of its fruits (Gita),. To give you a rather crude example, pardon me, what if you realize someday that you have been looking after your child with the expectation that she would look after you in your old age? That does start sounding ugly now, doesnt it.

        4), Being diplomatic does not mean you got to sugar coat your words necessarily. It means using tact and sensitivity. For instance if an aging parent asks you if he/she is looking too old, what would your response be? The difference between sugarcoating and sensitivity comes because of the intent. The latter trait would hold you in good stead all your life, including the corporate one, without having you to sacrifice your integrity.
        Yes. Personality traits can be changed by constantly and consciously behaving in ways corresponding to the trait that you wish to adopt (or change),. Traits and behaviours have a two way relationship.

        1. I really admire the way you have dealt with the issue of quality time and defined crucial moments. Its helped me reflect and sort out quite a few doubts I had :-),

    140. When I analyse myself, I understand that I lack self confidence. I compare myself with others and end up with wrong decisions. How should I come out of this?

      1. As answered elsewhere, more often than not we are surrounded by negative thoughts for we have been told by people around us that we are not good enough, or not as good as someone else. List down all accomplishments that you may have attained in your lifetime. Do they mean something to you? Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you like what you see? You must learn to love yourself for what you are. Do not seek love or approbation from outside; seek it from within.

        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        Eat healthy, sleep well and just do what makes you happy. Positive thoughts have to come from within; they can’t come from outside. Do Anulom-vilom, Ujjayi and Bhramari pranayaams regularly (details of these could be find other the website mentioned in my Yoga section),. Also take half teaspoon of Ashwagandha Choorna (you will get it in any Ayurvedic medicine shop), with warm milk every night before sleeping.

        1. Thank you Sir for the reply. I will try to love myself, as of now its difficult, but will surely try. Will also share with you my progress..

    141. Dr Rai,

      I would like to know what according to you is an individuals foremost duty his/her calling or his/her responsibilities. If your calling is for the greater good and if in pursuing that you may hurt people who have been exceedingly kind to you, what would you choose? How do you deal with the guilt that follows either decision?

      I have also lately realized that putting your interests above others actually requires a lot of courage. What are your views on this observation?

      Chintan

      1. It would be wrong to presume that ones calling and ones responsibilities would always be at opposing ends. Should this be the case, however, listening to your calling is the right thing to do. That, is your foremost duty as a human being, your Karma, and nothing should keep you away from it. Remember Krishnas words to Arjuna in Mahabharata! At the same time, it is also your duty to explain to your loved ones the reason for your choosing your calling above anything else and this explanation ought to be pre-action (unlike Buddha who explained post-action to his wife about his journey, noble though it was),. People if indeed kind, would understand what you are doing and why you are doing it, for thats what makes them kind in the first place. The guilt comes in because of your attachment. The reciprocal roles that we play out in life make us follow expectations rather than our own perceptions about what that role entails. Once you start seeing yourself as a soul which is a part of the larger universe than just the body that embodies that soul, things will become easier insomuchas you would be aware of the larger consciousness that you are. Though easier said than done, it is the only way to remove guilt. Detachment.
        Counterintuitive though it may sound, you are right in a way. More often than not we use others interests merely to glorify or rationalize our fear of attempting what we would really like to do. For instance one may say that being a family man, one doesnt want to change ones job and so on. At the root of all this, mostly, is fear of failure. From this standpoint, therefore, I would believe that putting your interests above others requires a lot of courage!

    142. If someone very close to you expires, how do you reconcile with the fact? It is easy to talk of the cycle of life and death but when it actually happens, when a person you have been seeing for as long as you have lived goes away, how can you brace yourself?

      1. First of all, I can understand the pain that you must be going through. The fact that you chose to talk about it shows that you have the courage to handle it, and thats a good thing! First of all, please remember that the pain will not go away if you ignore it, nor do you have to be necessarily brave or philosophical or spiritual to deal with it. Next, grieve all you can for the loss you have had. If you wish to cry out (to yourself or with others), do so. If you feel angry, express it. If you feel guilty, share it with someone you trust or write it down using as many words as you possibly can. If it is profound sadness/depression, try to vent it out through tears. Having done that remember that grief gets managed far more easily if you dont do it alone. Seek support from your friends and/or family who can understand your grief. If you dont wish to do so, seek support from any ritualistic action that you have found solace with. It could be praying, meditating, or simply listening to your spiritual guru/guide/religious leader. If these dont help and/or you are not comfortable with it, see a counselor.
        Alongside all of this, give a creative vent to your emotions. Write in a diary, write a poem, story, anything; maybe draw, to express whatever it is that you wanted to (and may never have expressed before), tell this person you lost. Avoid people who tend to give advice on how you ought to feel. Simultaneously take care of your health. Eat healthy, sleep well and counter sad thoughts with Dhruv Asana & Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.

        You may wish to chant the following mantra:
        Om trayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, urvarukmiv bandhanaat, mrityurmukshiya mammrataat!
        Trayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pativedanam, urvarukmiv bandhanaadito mukshiya maamutah!

        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    143. Hi sir,
      Can you please suggest..how can i increase my concentration towards work… sometimes feel very restless.how to overcome these situations

      1. Restlessness is a symptom of a disturbed mind. Either you have something that is bothering you from deep inside, at a subliminal level, or you are in a dilemma over some choices that you have to make in your life. First you need to sort out these issues in your head. Reflect and explore inside your own mind; alternatively talk to someone who you can trust (usually friends are not the best people to talk to on these issues for they would end up giving you advice according to their convictions), to give you an objective analysis of your state of mind and help you sort them out.

        Eat healthy, sleep well and counter the mutiplicity of conflicting thoughts with Dhruv Asana & Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams.

        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru

        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

      1. Professions by themselves cannot be noble; it is the people in those professions that make them noble. If you do what you are good at with everything that you have, it makes you and your profession a noble one!

    144. Dear Dr.Rai,
      Your insights into the world of religion is quite mind boggling to say the least! (Btw I agree with the larger font preference, much too often, we enlarge the page since the fonts are way too small and the page appears quite chaotic),.

      But I was interested on your take on FountainHead, and yea the idealist Howard Roark. Is it even possible to even attempt to be like Howard in the current world (cut-throat scenario),? If so how?

      1. Howard Roark represents the triumph of individualism over collectivism, which he condemns as a collective of convention and mediocrity. The equating of convention with mediocrity, of course, is an assumption, which Rand subscribes to without offering any explanation. If one accepts Fountainhead and its story as a subject matter of human spirit, it ought to be applauded, however, if one looks at it from a political or cultural thought perspective, it represents rather a blinkered view of a larger concept. I believe that if one has a vision, howsoever unconventional it might be, and then has the courage to back it up with action, one would achieve success sooner than later. More often than not, we get bogged down by criticism and fail to keep the motivation to persist. The only way to remedy this is to have oodles of self belief and an internal locus of control. How to do so has been answered by me elsewhere in this column.

        1. Highly interesting! (as pretty much expected),. I have never looked at Roark (and Fountainhead for that matter), from a political and cultural perspective. I guess I need to re-visit it again. I always subscribed to the belief that, that book spoke about individualism (and maybe even being idealism), and the strong self-belief of a man, who was steadfast in his beliefs. It appeared almost as if Rany was portraying Roark as an ideal man that every man would want to be, and every woman want to be with!

          Thanks for your insight!

    145. Dear Sir,

      Recently happened to read a book Apprenticed to Himalayan Master, autobiography of Sri M.

      His experiences mentioned in the book is incredible and unbelievable (His Gurus living for several hundred years, connecting with minds of others etc),

      In case you have read the book, can you please give your comments on the same.

      Regards,
      Anoop

      1. I havent read this particular book, but I have read many others from the same genre, starting from Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Some of the incidents outlines in these books are indeed incredible, and as you say, unbelievable; however there are two ways in which we can look at this. One, we totally discard these incidents as being the creations of somebodys imaginations and thereon abandon the book as well. Alternatively, we could leave the incidents alone for what they are and try to understand the lesson it is trying to impart us and focus on that. Just like what one would do to mythology. Either of these two courses of action, when done with conviction, is fine.
        Having trekked extensively in the Himalayas, I have personally had experiences, which many would find incredible and unbelievable. Yet, those being my experiences, they hold a value for me at least in terms of being messages in the universal language, which we all interpret in our own ways. I would not ponder much on the unbelievable part of it, but would only concern myself with what i can get from them.

    146. Dear Sir
      What is your take on the following –
      1. Plan your career/life on a long term basis – have an end goal in mind and then take small steps towards it
      2. You do not have a long term/end goal in your mind. you plan your career/life on a short term basis .. say 2-3 years at a time, live life in moments, enjoy what you enjoy doing and then move forward again with short term landmarks.
      Regards

      1. If I understand you correctly, you want me to make a choice between the two, which essentially is something only you can do for yourself :-), What I can do is explore and dissect both the options for you.
        Option one requires you to have an end goal which is more philosophical and related to a profound aspiration. For instance someone says that his end goal is to help the world become a more peaceful place. This gives him both direction and motivation. Having identified this terminal value, he can then choose how to reach it or at least walk towards it. One may do it through direct interventions in conflicts, making a lot of money and using it to promote peace, or any other of the myriad possibilities. Furthermore, in this case, career becomes a subset of life and not a distinct entity.
        Option two, on the other hand, makes more sense if you treat career and life differently (though it is not necessary to do so),. So you live a life which has meaning and value insofar as instrumental values are concerned and not bother about a long term desirable state of affairs. On the career, once again, it is in line with your then and there inclinations and if (because it is not necessary), these happen to stay consistent in their direction, it may add to something of note (purely from a professional achievement perspective),.
        You got to now figure this out for yourself. Which of these lives appeals to you intuitively? Whatever decision you make, remember, you can always change it if you are not happy with subsequent outcomes/process. However, do not experiment by randomly choosing one of the two. Reflect and decide.

      1. Someone who has a belief and is willing to back it up with personal, professional and financial risk taking can be an entrepreneur. Recent research suggests that entrepreneurs have the following characteristics: psychological characteristics such as high need for achievement, internal locus of control, propensity for risk, tolerance for ambiguity; and personality traits such as hardworking, nurturing, reward orientation, optimism etc. To me, anyone who has a strong desire to create something new (be it a brick and mortar edifice, institution or a thought system), and the conviction to back himself up for it, can be an entrepreneur.

        1. How to have Internal Locus of Control , as we have been conditioned to leave/blame most of the things on some or the other External Factors(read God/Luck), ? Is there a way through Yoga ?

          1. You need to tell yourself that you have choices in life. What makes you different from other species is free will. Tell yourself that you have it. Reflect on your achievements in the past and correlate them to the effort you made to get them. Auto suggestion is a powerful tool when used wisely.
            Eat healthy, sleep well and counter negative thoughts with Bhramari and Onkar pranayaams. Positive thoughts have to come from within; they can’t come from outside.
            You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
            Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru
            To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    147. In Mahabharat, Pandavas (especially Yudhisthira), were severely criticized for the gambling and playing with their wife Draupadi. Yudhisthira later disguised as Kanka (during Agyatvas), explains it to Virat King that though he was not wrong in gambling with his wife as if he had not done that, mankind would not have known the consequences of this bad game.

      Sir, in this way, anything and everything can be explained. Do you agree with Yudhisthiras statement?

      1. Not at all. Yudhishthiras argument is an abject and weak defence of his one big failing! Vedas are replete with mantras pointing out the bad effects of gambling, especially on the family. At the same time, gambling was considered to be one of Kshatriyas preferred pastimes during that era. Do remember that Mahabharata is situated chronologically at the end of Dwapara Yuga, and thus marked the end of all things good from a spiritual perspective and a move towards materialism.

    148. Excellent blog. i have two questions. 1), How can i reduce my sleeping hours to 6 hrs.and be active the whole day? i usually need eight hours of sleep or else i become very lethargic and dull the whole day. but, i can’t afford eight hrs. of sleep. 2), Why was Karna so ill fated, inspite of him being more capable and better individual than Pandavas.

      1. You can reduce your sleeping hours by ensuring that you get deep sleep for about 6 hours. To ensure that you get good sleep (and 6 hours of it is enough), do Anulom-vilom, Ujjayi and Bhramari pranayaams regularly (details of these could be find other the website mentioned in my Yoga section),. Also take half teaspoon of Ashwagandha Choorna (you will get it in any Ayurvedic medicine shop), with warm milk every night before sleeping. Further, make sure that the moment you get up in the morning, you also get out of the bed and not loll around in the bed Try developing sleeping habits so that you get up just before sunrise.
        Karna chose his own destiny when he decided to put friendship over other considerations, especially those of right and wrong. His greatest failing was his constantly thinking of himself as Arjunas opponent/nemesis/alter ego. In my personal analysis though, Karna and Arjun are the two sides of the same coin. Karna represents the illegitimate avatar of Arjun. Be it in bravery or be it in skill, Karna was an equal if not better than Arjun. However, all his life he lived under the shadowy slurs of his lowly birth, which made him small when amidst the royal Kshatriya clan. It was this illegitimacy that Karna fought with his valued principles of friendship and righteousness. Although, destiny always sided with his opponents, Karna refused to go astray in his path to truth. Even Yudhishthira, erred from his path of truth, but not Karna. He epitomises truth, honesty, righteousness and benevolence in measures one can only dream of.

    149. What according to you Sir is the Kingfisher crisis all about. Mr. Rahul Bajaj has remarked today that what should die should die. Did it all start with Deccan and were there problems from the days of Gopinath? Mr. Mallya blames it on oil prices and bad sectors – so is it for other carriers too. Should Kingfisher be bailed out? Are private sector organisations meant to be bailed out when they land in muddy waters due to incompetent vision and management, pure loss of focus and extravagance on non-essentials ignoring the industry norms?

      1. The Kingfisher crisis is a result of high import duties and taxes, plying on loss-making sectors, as well as mismanagement by KF top brass. To add to it, the bohemian lifestyle of Mr. Mallya and his recent association with F-1 in India, the lackadaisical management of the airlines for a while despite seeing the writing on the wall, their pandering to the whims of their top honchos personal demands, changing aircrafts (leading to delay), to pander to their film world/cricket world friends, and many such actions have eroded their goodwill among institutions and people at large. Thus, while industry honchos have categorically stated that it ought not be bailed out by the govt., people have started questioning the personal lifestyle of the KF chief, which is actually irrelevant to the larger question of bailout or not.
        The question of bailout is a rather tricky one. On the one hand, we have examples from the recent past where the mother of Capitalism, the US bailed out its banks, UK did so too, and now EU is bailing out Greece, Portugal and Ireland. India, in the past, has also stepped in if one were to recall the cases of Satyam, and GTB, though the situations were different for these organizations. The question to be asked here is what happens if the govt. does not bail out KF? KF can declare itself bankrupt, and the impact, if any, would be only on its employees, and passengers who are already booked on to it. The impact on its lenders would be minimal, on the economy, even less. However, should the govt. choose not to bail KF out, it should apply that policy universally to all companies, else it will be labeled as prejudiced. It should also not allow banks to restructure their loans as and when they please. However, if there is a reason why govt. has done all that (and it is I who is not privy to them), then by all means even Mr. Mallya has a case when he expects the govt. to help him tide this over!

    150. I have always been confused about leadership. Most of the time I see the leader emerges as the people around him are too timid to take charge. And in case there are two or more equally ambitious people then it becomes that hard for one leader to emerge and if that situation worsens there are loud disagreements with each others personality. I know it is not a question but still want to know your views on it. Or if I can try and phrase my confusion: Are leaders self-made or are they result of our unwillingness to come to the front ourselves? Which one is expected to last long?

      1. Leaders could be both self-made and trained. These assertions are consistent withe trait theories, and behavioral theories of leadership. Trait theory suggests that people high on Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness are likely to emerge as leaders. Behavioral theories predict success for those who balance their focus on tasks and people while leading. However, leadership under both theories is apparently moderated by situational variables. A crisis or important event may cause a person to rise to the occasion, which brings out extraordinary leadership qualities in an ordinary person. These three theories together explain emergence and development of leadership. It would be difficult to say which has a longer/stronger effect. Suffice to say that you may use trait theory to choose leaders (should time be a constraint), behavioral theory to train leaders, and situational theory to look at the possible effects of situational factors.

    151. hello sir…

      I ve been aspiring for CAT this yr. I work hard day and night for it. And ve been thorough with all the type pf questions that are normally asked in the exam.
      One thing I am facing problem with is delivering the maximum output during those 140 mins of my exam. Whenever the paper starts…thousands of thousand thoughts start revolvin in my mind and thus screwin my paper.
      Can u guide me how should i get over this anxiety?

      1. As I have mentioned in another of my answers, more often than not we are surrounded by negative thoughts/anxiety for we have been told by people around us that we are not good enough, or not as good as someone else. Provided of course that you have done your end of the homework well. Shut your mind to the outside world and tell yourself everyday that you can and will do well.
        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru
        Eat healthy, sleep well and just do what makes you happy. Positive thoughts have to come from within; they can not come from outside. To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

          1. I agree with Sir completely. And being calm in the face of a storm is not just related to CAT. It is a life long exercise. Try to consciously practise it in small situations in everyday life. Before long, it will become a habit and will surely help you in almost everythin that you do. It is one of the best gifts one can give to oneself.

    152. I want to be a good speaker. My work involves analysis and a quick presentation on analysis. I am someone who, well by nature prefers quality time, preferably by myself, to research and analyse. However, my current profile requires me to gather facts on events within say 10 minutes to an hour, with some amount of distraction and present them. So I feel rushed and stressed a lot and when I present, I feel I am not deep enough. I find myself stuttering at times as well.
      While I am working towards improving my fundamental understanding so that I can grasp events faster, can you suggest ways to i), counter the stress as I feel I am always racing against time and ii), to improve my concentration. Also, any tips for being a good speaker. My voice is thin and of a low pitch.

      1. To be a good speaker you need to speak with your entire body, and to do so you would need to practice hard till such time that essence of good speaking gets internalized in you. To make sure that you are collecting information, and not merely, data, make sure that what you have is accurate, current, complete and relevant. Subsequently you may wish to keep the following in mind:
        While speaking/making presentations, Vary distances (use space), make sure there is harmony between your physical moves & message, Prepare yourself, Read and respond to audience. Also Don’t speak generally to entire audience for long (try and focus on certain individuals who seem to be paying more attention to you; maintain eye contact with them predominantly), don’t move back and forth in a rhythm, do not turn away while speaking, and don’t fidget.
        To address the voice concerns, enunciate well and try to throw your voice from the stomach, rather than the throat. Join dramatic classes if you have access and time.
        To reduce anxiety, take Ashwagandha Choorna-half teaspoon with warm milk before sleeping.

    153. Recently, I have been engrossed by watching Mahabharata (B.R. Chopra version),. Since you are the foremost impartial personality in the case of Mahabharata among all the dignitaries I have the pleasure of knowing, I would like to seek your comments regarding the followings.
      a. Is the B.R. Chopra version of the Mahabharata pretty accurate as compared to the official Manuscript?
      b. Is there any literature available that is based on the Mahabharata but has a different ending (Kauravas defeat Pandavas),. I feel that the B.R. Chopra version portrays Pandavas in a positive light and Kauravas in a negative light. It would be interesting to read a version that portrays Kauravas in the positive light and Pandavas in the negative
      light.

      1. Your compliments are too generous. Thank you.
        No. BR Chopras Mahabharata, though a great work, is not an accurate version of the official manuscript. It has mixed the story with some excerpts from Puranas and some interpretations.
        The Mahabharata itself portrays Pandavas in a positive light (predominantly), and Kauravas in a negative one. However, the predominance comes from the interpretations mainly; if you read the Mahabharata yourself (I recommend the Gita press version, translated and endorsed by Sahityacharya Pandit Ramnarayandutt Shastri Pandey Ram (1988: Gita Press, Gorakhpur), though this is not also the most accurate, it is the best among the available ones),.
        There is no story/literature which shows the opposite ending. However, to get a different perspective (a feminist one to be precise), you may wish to read Yuganta by Irawati Karve.

    154. Good Morning Sir…
      First and foremost Happy Teachers Day sir. Sir actually I am about to start my P.Hd(HR), and I am too confused regarding my topic. Sir there are certain topics which I found good like Managing Workforce especially physically challenged people, Talent Management, Faculty Attrition, Academic Leadership. But due to some reason I cannot connect them with Rajasthan as I am from there only. Sir can you guide in this respect with some current topic of research or which topic can I pick and connect with the HR that is related around me????
      And thank you Sir for Yoga as after reading your blog ive truly got inspired to fit it into my everyday life…

      Thank You Sir

      1. All of these topics are worth pursuing; what you need to do is see which of these excites you the most. There are a few things you need to keep in mind while choosing a topic. First, it ought to be relevant, current and meaningful. Second, you need to be excited about it. Third, you should have someone (guide), who also has his research interest along the lines of the topic that you are thinking of. Fourth, which of the three modes, discovery, incremental, or replication, would you like to do your research in. And finally, would the research design around that topic be convenient for you to pursue. Ally these criteria to your topics and I am sure you will get some meaningful conclusion!

    155. Sir,

      A very straightforward question. What are you views on god, religion, faith and a superpower which is sitting there and balances everything out here?

      1. It certainly is not a straightforward question :-), Look out for my blogs for these answers. I will address both the issues, God, and Religion!

    156. Can you suggest some yoga to improve on the effects of hypothyroidism. I have been taking 100mg eltroxin now for13 years and have this problem of falling asleep all of a sudden, it happens during meetings, during lectures and even while driving and this sleep is just for a few seconds but something I could never understand. People do not believe me that it is a problem they say I deliberately fell asleep. Firstly, do you think it could be due to thyroid and does yoga have any answer cause I have met with several accidents due to this and its risky at times specially if i have someone else sitting with me. I know you are not a doctor(rather an engineer practicing the art and science of curing 😀 and teaching management and philosophy), and would not have asked if you were one cause they say no more than controlling my TSH levels. Also wished to say after reading your articles that the kind and way you use words in english is a rare attribute a limited few can practice – its amazing and beautiful too.

      1. Drink about 15 gm of juice of jalakumbhi every day. Include milk and milk products in your diet. Avoid spicy, oily, and sour food items. Apart from this practice Halasana, and Sarvangasana, Sookshma Yoga, and Kapalbhati and Ujjayi Pranayam.

    157. What is your opinion about self conceit and bragging.. in present day world people who blow their own trumpets are given due respect than humble beings..

      1. This is simply because we live in a noisy world. To be heard above the din, it requires us at times to shout louder than others around us. usually this activity was limited to wars earlier, where the opposite parties blew their conches to display supremacy. Those who think of life as a constant war (against others who are also competing), would usually resort to bragging. However, excellence, even if understated, will show sometime or the other. What matters is that if you have the patience to wait that long.
        At times, assertiveness by people may also be mistaken as bragging. Assertions, if backed by critical judgment based on logical argumentation, should be taken as an individuals right of expression.
        Conceit (by very virtue of its definition, it has to be self), is again something that is borne out of comparison of self with chosen others (and usually the chosen ones are ignorant in the eyes of the conceited),. One could possibly be using it for self aggrandizement or simply for impression management and thus, as an influencing tactic.

    158. sir, very small but very important query—- how to stop feeling sleepy during morning lectures even after getting a 6-7 hr sleep at night?

      1. Obviously your sleep is a disturbed one and hence it doesnt invigorate you. To ensure that you get good sleep (and 6 hours of it is enough), do Anulom-vilom, Ujjayi and Bhramari pranayaams regularly (details of these could be find other the website mentioned in my Yoga section),. Also take half teaspoon of Ashwagandha Choorna (you will get it in any Ayurvedic medicine shop), with warm milk every night before sleeping. Further, make sure that the moment you get up in the morning, you also get out of the bed and not loll around in the bed :-), Try developing sleeping habits so that you get up just before sunrise.

    159. Sir, always wanted to ask you what exactly do you mean by I dont believe in miracles; I rely on them. Occasionally I create some!.

      1. It actually is inspired by an Og Mandino quote which said, I can accomplish far more than I have, and I will, for why would the miracle which produced me end with my birth? Why can I not extend that miracle to my deeds of today? . Further, I have realized that I have been more fortunate than many others in my life and I owe it to divine intervention :-),. Being an eternal optimist, I expect these interventions to continue and in the journey, possibly, make a difference to some other lives as well.

    160. Sir i want to ask how to reduce negative thinking what books should i read and exercises should i practice for overcoming negative thoughts?everytime i participate in something it keeps going in my mind i cant do this ,this is not meant for me and in this way my negative vibes get converted to reality.

      1. More often than not we are surrounded by negative thoughts for we have been told by people around us that we are not good enough, or not as good as someone else. List down all accomplishments that you may have attained in your lifetime. Do they mean something to you? Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you like what you see? You must learn to love yourself for what you are. Do not seek love or approbation from outside; seek it from within.
        You may wish to chant the Gayatri Mantra, given in one of my answers here as well as the following mantra:
        Om yaam medhaam devganah, pitarashchopaasatey. Taya maamadhya medhayaagney medhavinam kuru
        Eat healthy, sleep well and just do what makes you happy. Positive thoughts have to come from within; they cant come from outside.

      1. Om Bhoorbhuvah swah tatsaviturvarenyam. Bhargodevasya dheemahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat!
        You are the one who created us and are now nourishing us. We get our life from you and you are the remover of our plight and misery. The light of your supremacy falls all over the universe and you are inside each and every element on this universe. We concentrate on you and you alone and ask for your inspiration so that you guide our mind and intellect towards the path of wisdom and greatness!

    161. Can you suggest from where I can get to read more about Supply Chain issues of Toyota Motors post 2008, Toyotas mistakes and the corrections initiated. Most books talk of its Supply Chain JIT and direct models only and the need for supply chain re-engineering is not discussed anywhere.

      1. You may wish to read an article in The Economist on 24 February 2010 on this. You may also wish to read Texas Magazine, Fall/Winter2009, p14-14, McKenzie-Manifie, Martha. Supply Management, 3/19/2009, Chappell, Lindsay; Sedgwick, David. Automotive News, 4/27/2009, Vol. 83 Issue 6357, p1-23, and LAMB, JOHN. Logistics Manager, Apr2010, p32-32. There is no book on this issue thus far.

      1. I am what I am for during a sojourn of mine in my spiritual abode, the Himalayas, I realized that this is what I ought to be and herein lies my destiny! Since then I have just been living it.

          1. You just need the will to do it; everything else has to be planned in accordance with the particular trip that you would be doing. Let me know when you decide to take one and I will give you specific suggestions.

    162. My son has good memory and intellect. At just six he knows capitals of almost all countries their currencies and state capitals of India. He watches Discovery and Nat Geo along with normal cartoons and talks of becoming a scientist. He is hyperactive too – do you say it is ok or I should put some breaks on his inquisitiveness and association with material above his age cause that is what his father says I should do with him. I stay very worried for him. Is teaching at home better or should a child be sent to tutions? With every passing day he is getting hooked to me and distancing from his friends as his questions are rebuffed by his friends and he will discuss things like hurricanes, earthquake, bhoo-madhya rekha, etc?If I refuse to answer he immediately types his question on Google and surfs. How can this be balanced to bring things to his age? Should I get Tata Sky removed? I understand it is a typical query but Do reply whenever you can squeeze out time.
      Warm regards

      1. A childs capacity to learn is phenomenal and needs to be encouraged rather than thwarted. If this curiosity in him is innate, and not being pushed onto him by you, then let him be. Let him enjoy the marvels of learning. However, as Taitreya Upanishad would point out, also make sure that he gets opportunities to appreciate music, languages, art/craft which involves use of hands, as well as opportunities for outdoor activities! This would ensure a well-balanced growth.

    163. In the Mahabharata, why does Krishna ask Bheema to fight Jarasandha when he could have defeated him,himself? Does Krishna offer any explanations in the Bhagvat Purana? Moreover, when Jarasandha attacked Dwarka, Krishna fled the city. Likewise, no explanations offered.

      Could you throw some light on this sir? I couldnt find any forums that addressed the question.

      1. Jarasandha attacked Mathura 17 times and was defeated every time by Krishna and his armies. However, Krishnas armies took fatal losses in each of these attacks. Krishna realized that Jarasandha would continue to attack for he was stubborn and seething with the sense of revenge (Krishna having killed Kansa, who was Jarasandhas son-in-law),. To save the Yadavas from further losses, as well as to expand his reach, Krishna decided to relocate to Dwarka, and converted it into a planned, thriving and safe kingdom.
        Several theories try to explain why Krishna asked Bheema to kill Jarasandha, though there is no direct reference to the reasons in any of the original texts. As a rule, Krishna (being the Lord), got the divine acts done through his disciples (Nimitta; e.g., Arjun in Mahabharata), thereby giving them a chance at glory. Other theories include a promise to Jarasandhas wife (that Krishna would not kill him), destiny that only Bheema ought to kill Duryodhana, Bakasura, and Jarasandha, as well as one remote theory that Jarasandha deserved to be killed by a Kshatriya for he was (despite his evils), a brave man.

        1. I have a theory on the same. Krishna-the avatara was born to end the Dwapara Yuga and usher in the KaliYuga. There are ample instances of Krishna sowing the seeds of a great war to end the yuga throughout the Mahabharata. For eg: asking Yudhishthira to get a Mayaa Sabha built in Indraprastha, the Rajasuya Yagna to free Pandu from Yama,etc

          I believe the killing of Jarasandha by Bheema had a initially subtle but subsequently profound implication in the culmination of the great war.But i am unable to make the connect.Would like your thoughts on this sir.

            1. Bakasura, Bheema, Keechaka, Jarasandha and Duryodhana were all born with their fate mingled with each other. As a result of that, the first amongst the five to kill the another… will eventually kill the other three. This secret is known to Krishna alone. Bheema has already killed Keechaka and so he was the one destined to kill Jarasandha and others too. So, in effect the fate of the war was decided even before the war had begun…….So unfair 🙁

            2. The how part may have been destined (as suggested by some scholars, though disputed by others), however, the when part certainly wasnt. Once an event has happened, its probability becomes 1 anyway, insomuch as that was the only event that would have happened. All else is arithmetic.

    164. Sir, recently when Karnataka Govt. was contemplating to make Bhagvad Gita reading compulsory in schools, there was a big hue n cry from the (pseudo), secularists. They even pointed out that Gita supports caste system and should not be made compulsory. Some other people argued that if Gita can be taught, why not Quran or Bible (without analyzing whether they are also as rich as Gita),. In many Christian minority institutions, reading of Bible is a common phenomenon. But nobody points out that.
      When lot of wealth was found in Shri Padmanabhaswamy temple (Kerala), secularists (& even atheists !), suddenly remembered about Indias poverty and wanted to use the temples wealth for countrys welfare. Probably their secular credentials prevent them from pointing out that Christian NGOs, missionaries and Churches get funds from abroad for conversion.
      If M F Hussain paints Hindu Godesses inappropriately then it is art and we have to respect freedom of expression but when Taslima Nasreen/Saman Rushdie/Subramanian Swamy writes anything against the minority community, it becomes communal.
      BJP is communal but Congress in alliance with Muslim League/Farooq Abdullah is secular ! ?
      People talk about Gujarat violence (2002), or Babri Masjid demolition and violence that followed aftermath in depth but little about ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits. There are lot of other examples.
      Why do secularists target only Hinduism? Is the English main stream media (TV), also hand in glove with pseudo secularists?

      1. India is a secular state as laid down in our constitution vide the 42nd amendment in 1976. What it means is that the state would have no official religion and the right to preach, practice and propagate any religion lies with the individuals. While the state must treat all religions with equal respect, no religious instruction can be imparted in government or government-aided schools; there could of course be general information on all religions provided in specific courses where it may be so required, for instance, history, sociology etc. In this context, it would be wrong for any government to make a discourse based on a religious text compulsory in a school. At the same time, the government(s), should also withdraw funding to schools/institutions that impart any religious discourse as a compulsory part of their curriculum or declare a transparent mechanism to provide equal funding to all such institutions.
        Freedom of expression cannot be absolute for anyone, and all people (including artists), have the same rights of expression so long as they do not cause offence to anyone or a group of people knowingly. The problem arises when different yardsticks are applied for different cases. Some of it is justified because just like you always tend to be more protective towards a weak child in the family, similarly, you may tend to be more protective about the weaker sections of the society. And this makes sense. However, you would not protect the weak child by trodding on the healthier ones. This is where the balancing act becomes important. In line with the diktats of realpolitik, sometimes, this balance is upset by individuals for short-term gains; however, it can never be healthy for the democracy as a whole.
        So far as the media is concerned, you would find them aligned to one thought or the other, it being very difficult for people to stay neutral and/or detached. If you analyse the news, both in content and presentation, it is not too difficult to figure out which channel is leaning towards which ideology. At the same time, the media plays a very important and increasingly critical role in creating mass awareness and support for issues relevant for everyone irrespective of their political leanings. It is on you and me to make sure that we do our bit to ensure that the democratic institutions and media do what they are best at. Good public opinion prevails always…and so does truth!

    165. Dear Sir,
      Greetings ! I actually dont know whether its related to you or not, but I feel like taking expert advise from you. Basically I am a professional social worker and have worked for more than 9 years with non governmental organizations (WHO, UNICEF, Govt. of UP (health dept.), Now I feel to develop my own organization, but dont where to get assistance/grant for projects, however I can implement social development projects very well but dont where and how to approach. My organization is 10 years old but with little work in field now I actually need to take up some projects (to start with even very small ones), I have bad experience of appraoachig for projects with Government in Uttarpradesh and people ask for bribe which I cant give them. I really want to make a difference in the life of people especially my town – shahjahanpur in Uttarpradesh. If you can guide or support or help me out where to start and how to approach or whom to approach. I am ready for any type of hard work, but need proper guidance & councelling and small support also intially. I wish you could help me out. If you provide your e-mail ID, I can mail my organizations profile to you.

      Kindest Regards
      Fardin khan
      Shahjahanpur

      1. I am assuming that your organization is a registered one and you already have an NGO status. If not, then you need to register your organization (as a society), and work for a period of 3 years before you get the requisite NGO status. You will get all the details on http://www.karmayog.org/startanngo/
        I am glad that you have refused to bribe your way through; remember, hard work and honesty always pays! It may take time but it will happen for you. Once you have registered yourself and figured out the precise area you want to focus on, let me know and I will see if I can advise you any further.

    166. Dear Dr Rai,
      I am visiting this page for the first time but i am really mesmerized by the width of topics discussed here and you excellent answers/suggestions. You are multitasking in its true sense. I am an MBA and after 1.5yrs of work exp i am realizing that my inclination is towards reserch and i want to go for Phd…i have some teaching experience in past.
      Related to it, i have written a Management research paper Most likely consequences of Unethical Organizational Behaviour. I dont know whom to approach for review or where to get it published. If you take some time out of your busy schedule then i would welcome your comments on it.

      1. There are many medications available to help quit/replace nicotine. However, I would suggest that you use that one thing which works the best. Determination. Just decide on a date and quit. Write down 10 good reasons why you wish to quit smoking and put them up in all the places you frequent.
        To help ease the physiological consequences of quitting I recommend the following:
        Drink 1-2 litres of water the first thing in the morning after waking up.
        If you like smoking after meals, replace it with either sugar free gum or a small glass of juice.
        If you like smoking with alcohol, drink only in non-smoking environs and chew on a cocktail stick when you feel like it.
        Tell all your friends that you have quit smoking and would appreciate it if they do not smoke around you!
        Having done this, make paste of about 1gram of garlic, mix with a glass of buttermilk, and take twice a day. Include morning walks in your regimen. Practice anulom-vilom pranayaam for 5 minutes every morning and evening.

      1. These are two completely different things. Send me your CV and a statement of purpose. I would be able to help you better then.

    167. I have a question regarding the Work Timing for knowledge workers especially in IT industry. I would like your views from legal, ethical and sociological perspective.

      As you would know IT companies are known for their long working hours. The Units where I am partnering is also not an exception. I can see employees slogging it out for upto 60-70 hours a week without getting any extra benefits. However when the same employees move to a customer location in US or Europe to do the same work, they are protected under various labour laws in those countries and hence enjoy benefits like over time pay which is sometimes 1.5 to 2 times their actual pay. Consequently the management make sure that employees doesnt work for more than 35 or 40 hours a week.

      However, in India, I am of the view that management has taken the employees for granted and there is a lack of proper planning and organizing from management to reduce the work timing of employees. Here in some projects, it is expected that you have to work for long hours. My questions to you on this topic are as below:

      – Is it ethical for the employer to ask employees to work beyond the office hours. Especially when this is a planned work, assuming employees will work for long hours. Also please consider the fact that the same employer pays for over time in other countries for the same work.

      – Do we have currently or will have in future any legal protection for IT/ITes workers in terms of working hours.

      – There are some senior management folks who maintain a view that, if such labour laws come in India then it will adversly affect our Industries. Do you think this is true, given that western industries have done well while they were having such labour laws. Even if it adversly affect industry, shouldnt welfare (not only economic), of employees come before welfare of industries even though both are highly coupled to each other?

      Regards,

      1. Work ethic is, as are many other organizational variables, dependent on organizational culture, which more often than not, is influenced by national cultures. Expecting employees to work for longer hours, if required, is more of a norm in most parts of the world. This is also a part of the psychological contract, which among other things, includes the informal obligations between an employer and an employee. While in some contract work is usually looked at as transactional (monetary base with inbuilt expectations that the organization will adequately compensate the performance delivered), in India, and many other countries, it also has a huge relational component (socio-emotional base that highlights shared ideals, values, unwritten norms etc.),. The organization, in its turn, ought to reciprocate by going beyond the rule book if and when you need a favour (like emergency leave, extra leave, soft loans),.
        The legal protection for all industrial workers is provided through the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders), Act, 1946, a copy of which is available on the Government website, http://www.labour.nic.in
        Thereafter procure a book of standing orders for your state (where you are currently working), and check the schedule under which this industry is mentioned. Remember, that any standing order followed by your company has to stipulate conditions which are the same as or better than these model standing orders. Also the standing orders supersede individual contracts.
        Labour laws, till such time they are in consonance with rights and interests of both the employees and the employers, and are based on the ethical framework of equity, would always be beneficial. This skepticism towards labour laws and welfare schemes is a myopic view, based on memories of times when Trade Unions were militant and regressive.

      1. The most important thing you need to do is go for a diet change. Remember, diet control/change is not the same as eating less. On the contrary, you still eat well but you just eat smart.
        Replace the fat and carbohydrates in your diet with green vegetables, salad, and fruit juices.
        Eat smaller portions 6 times in a day instead of 3 big meals.
        Get up before sunrise and drink 1-2 litres of water.
        Take walks (30 minutes-brisk), both in the morning and evening.
        Do not sleep during the day (no naps either),.
        Take 15 grains of guggulu (you will get them in any ayurvedic medicine shop),; ask the shopkeeper to ensure it is purified, and have it with warm water 4 times in a day.
        Practice kapalbhati pranayaam (10 minutes), and vahya pranayam (3 sets), twice every day. Details of these pranayaams are available on the website mentioned under the yoga section of my website.

      1. The approach of avoidance strategically makes sense only if you do not have concern for your own outcome or the relationship with the other party. As a style, it indicates lack of both assertiveness and cooperation. The plunge, however, is a special case and would not be explained by either strategy or style. What you need to do is to picture a future with the person and then ask yourself if it makes you happier than what you are. If the answer is yes, and hopefully it will be, keep that picture firmly in mind and it will help you get over the jitters. Talk to your friends, especially those who have joined the bandwagon not too long ago and talk about everything good that has come out of it for them. All the best!

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