Professionalism at work व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः

I got a diagram of “Ways to be professional at work” from a post on Facebook by my friend Mr. Dattatray Shelke. I thought the theme of the diagram “Ways to be professional at work” connects well with the phrase व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः

ways-to-be-professional-at-work

व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनदन |

बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् (2’41)

पदच्छेदैः व्यवसाय-आत्मिका बुद्धिः एका इह कुरु-नन्दन | बहु-शाखाः हि अनन्ताः च बुद्धयः अव्यवसायिनाम् ||

अन्वयः – कुरुनन्दन इह व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः एका | अव्यवसायिनाम् च बुद्धयः बहुशाखाः अनन्ताः हि ||

For interpretation of the verse one needs to check up

  1. what is बुद्धिः and where or when does one apply बुद्धिः
  2. How and when can it be called व्यवसायात्मिका ? For that, what is व्यवसाय ?
  • बुद्धिः f. [बुध्-क्तिन्] 1 Perception, comprehension. -2 Intellect, understanding, intelligence, talent; तीक्ष्णा नारुंतुदा बुद्धिः Śi.2.19; शास्त्रेष्वकुण्ठिता बुद्धिः R.1.19. -3 Information, knowledge; बुद्धिर्यस्य बलं तस्य H.2.122 ‘knowledge is power’; P.I.4.52. -4 Discrimination, judgement, discernment; विदेशेष्वपि विज्ञाताः सर्वतो बुद्धिनिश्चयाः Rām.1.7.17. -5 Mind; मूढः परप्रत्ययनेयबुद्धिः M.1.2; so कृपण˚, पाप˚ &c. -6 Presence of mind, readiness of wit. -7 An impression, opinion, belief, idea, feeling; दूरात्तमवलोक्य व्याघ्रबुद्ध्या पलायन्ते H.3; अनया बुद्ध्या Mu.1 ‘in this belief’; अनुक्रोशबुद्ध्या Me.117. -8 Intention, purpose, design; मन्दीचकार मरणव्यवसायबुद्धिम् Ku.4.45. (बुद्ध्या ‘intentionally’, ‘purposely’, deliberately’). -9 Returning to consciousness, recovery from a swoon; Māl.4.1. -10 (In Sāṅ. phil.) Intellect, the second of the 25 elements of the Sāṅkhyas; एषा ते$भिहिता सांख्ये बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां शृणु Bg.2.39. -11 Nature (प्रकृति); Bhāg.3.27.18. -12 A means, way (उपाय); किं करिष्याम भद्रं ते बुद्धिरत्र विचार्यताम् Rām.1.4.9. -13 N. of the 5th astrological mansion.
  • From Apte’s dictionary – व्यवसायः 1 Effort, exertion, energy, industry, perseverance; करोतु नाम नीतिज्ञो व्यवसायमितस्ततः H.2.14. -2 Resolve, resolution, determination; मन्दीचकार मरण- व्यवसायबुद्धिम् Ku.4.45 ‘the thought of resolving to die’; व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः Bg.2.41; व्यवसायो$स्मि 10.36. -3 An act, action, performance; व्यवसायः प्रतिपत्तिनिष्ठुरः R.8.65. -4 (a) Business, employment, trade. (b) Following a particular profession or trade. -5 Conduct, behaviour. -6 Device, stratagem, artifice.
  • This is from verbal root व्यवसो 4 P. 1 To strive, endeavour, try, seek, attempt, set about; यथा मे गौतमः प्राह ततो न व्यवसाम्यहम् Mb.3.185.9; ध्रुवं स नीलोत्पलपत्रधारया शमीलतां छेत्तुमृषि- व्यवस्यति Ś.1.18; V.4. -2 To think of, wish, desire; पातुं न प्रथमं व्यवस्यति जलं युष्मास्वपीतेषु या Ś.4.9. -3 To exert strenuously, be industrious or diligent. -4 To resolve, determine, settle, decide; य आत्मनो दृश्यगुणेषु सन्निति व्यवस्यते स्वव्यतिरेकतो$वुधः Bhāg.1.3.18; प्रथमपरि- गृहीतं स्यान्न वेत्यव्यवस्यन् Ś.5.19. -5 To accept, undertake; कच्चित् सौम्य व्यवसितमिदं बन्धुकृत्यं त्वया मे Me.116. -6 To be convinced or persuaded. -7 To reflect.

In the diagram, the words “at work” should rather be understood as related to doing every job, every task, every action.

When reading the phrase व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः and the diagram together, because, one meaning of व्यवसाय is profession, obviously for being professional at work, बुद्धिः has to be व्यवसायात्मिका. At work, meaning, when doing every job, every task, every action, बुद्धिः should be व्यवसायात्मिका.

But is there a good definition of what व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः is ? Possibly the diagram summarises a definition of what व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः is, by identifying ten faculties in the ten circles.

  1. Competence
  2. Reliability
  3. Honesty
  4. Integrity
  5. Listening carefully
  6. Staying work-focused
  7. Supporting others
  8. Being positive
  9. Self up-grading
  10. Respect for others

As a diagram, it looks good and one would be impressed at first glance. But thinking deeper on the ten faculties, I wonder what the difference is

  • Between (1) Competence and (2) Reliability – If the person is not competent enough you will always doubt relying on him.
  • Between (2) Reliability and (3) Honesty – If you now that the person is not honest, you will not rely on him.
  • Between (3) Honesty and (4) Integrity  
  • Between (4) Integrity and (6) Staying work-focused.
  • Between (5) Listening carefully and (10) Respect for others or
  • Between (8) Being positive vis-a-vis (1) Competence (2) Reliability (3) Honesty (4) Integrity (5) Staying work-focused

Actually nine out of the ten faculties can be considered as characteristics of human intellect बुद्धिः. The first one ‘competence’ seems to include aptitude, skills and learning or training, which in turn are related to mind, body and intellect.

Analysis in Gita identifies three entities body इन्द्रियाणि mind मनः and intellect बुद्धिः [इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः | मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्योबुद्धेः परतस्तु सः (3’42)] – These three entities have faculties, which then make up one’s personality and character.

Faculties of intellect are qualified to be सात्त्विक, राजस and तामस – प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च कार्याकार्ये भयाभये | बन्धं मोक्षं च या वेत्ति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी (18’30) यया तु धर्ममधर्मं च कार्यं चाकार्यमेव च | अयथावत्प्रजानाति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ राजसी (18’31) अधर्मं धर्ममिति या मन्यते तमसावृता | सर्वार्थान्विपरीतांश्च बुद्धिः सा पार्थ तामसी (18’32) From this analysis one can read that the most important faculty of बुद्धिः is to exercise right discretion in respect of both, do’s and don’ts कार्याकार्ये.

This right discretion is further detailed in

नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नतः |

न चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन (6’16)

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु |

युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा (6’17)

न अति-अश्नतः योगः अस्ति, न च एकान्तम् अनश्नतः | न च अतिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतः न एव च अर्जुन (6’16)

  • न अति-अश्नतः योगः अस्ति = It cannot be observance of योग for one who eats too much
  • न च एकान्तम् अनश्नतः = (It cannot be observance of योग) also for one who totally abstains from eating
  • न च अतिस्वप्नशीलस्य = (It cannot be observance of योग) for one who sleepy or dreamy
  • जाग्रतः न एव च = (It cannot be observance of योग) for one who stays awake (i.e. who does not sleep at all, has lost his sleep)

युक्त-आहार-विहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु | युक्त-स्वप्न-अवबोधस्य योगः भवति दुःखहा (6’17)

  • युक्त-आहार-विहारस्य = For one whose intake of food and indulgence in enjoyment are appropriate
  • युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु = For one whose actions employ appropriate activities
  • युक्त-स्वप्न-अवबोधस्य = For one whose sleep and attentiveness are appropriate
  • योगः भवति दुःखहा = for such person योगः alleviates all sorrows and discomforts.

It comes to mind that appropriateness is needed even in running and use of machineries. For example machineries have bearings and bearings need lubrication. Lack of lubrication or inadequate lubrication is of course harmful. But excessive lubrication is also harmful. If lubrication is the food आहार for the bearings, it has to be युक्त, neither excessive nor starving.

Pumping systems are often designed, say with 3 pumps (A, B and C), of which 2 are to be running and one standby. This does not mean that one pump, say, pump C has to be designated as the standby pump. It only means that at any time two of the three pumps will be running. Running and idle times have to be so distributed that all pumps will have equal running and idle times. This will ensure that all pumps are “available” at any time. Here the running and idle times are the same as स्वप्न and अवबोध states, both of which have to be युक्त appropriate for all pumps.

I translated the word विहार as indulgence in enjoyment. I think congenial environment at work is also part of professionalism at work. Indulgence in enjoyment helps to make work-environment congenial. At the end of the episode of “Whitewashing the fence” in “Adventures of Tom Sawyer” Mark Twain summarises the moral of the episode as “Work is what one is obliged to do. Play is what one is not obliged to do”. Work should never appeal as an obligation to be discharged. It should appeal as play, Work and work-environment have to be only so “designed”. So युक्तविहार is also essential part of professionalism at work ! Considering teaching profession, that too teaching mathematics, are there not teachers of mathematics, who make the subject of mathematics also so interesting that students who were once dull, start shining. I would think that such teacher indulge in युक्तविहार. They do not just indulge in enjoyment, they create enjoyment. That is professionalism. I think creativity is inherent to युक्तविहार. In fact, I think that the diagram misses out on creativity, which is certainly an essential part of professionalism.

The phrase युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु brings to mind an observation made by my colleague, who was the Production Supervisor. Two turners Ram and Shyam were doing identical jobs on their respective lathes. At the end of the shift both had done equal work. But Shyam seemed to be more exhausted than Ram. The reason was obvious. Shyam was more vigorous in his actions. When retracting the boring tool, the tool would come out 6 cms. Ram’s actions were ‘cool’. In his case the tool would retract only 2 to 3 cms. To be कर्मसु युक्तचेष्टः includes working with economy of motions, not to overexert. To the company it did not matter, as long as both were giving equal output. But for himself, why should Shyam overexert himself ? In the least, overexertion is inefficiency, spending more energy for the same output. Overexertion is not व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः. 

We need to also deliberate on the second line of (2’41) बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् (पदच्छेदैः अन्वयेन च) – अव्यवसायिनाम् बुद्धयः बहुशाखाः अनन्ताः च meaning, those who are not professional at work have intellects endlessly digressing in many directions.

  • One does not have to see very far for explanation of this edict. For any group-discussion to be fruitful, everyone of the group needs to have व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः. Many meetings end up with inconclusive discussions, simply because there is no dearth of people who cause the discussions to digress variously and endlessly.
  • Both, participating in a meeting and conducting a meeting very much demand professionalism.

Professionalism at work is of three types – (1) to work in a group (2) to do a job by oneself (3) to get work done. The third type is supervisory or managerial function. Once when preparing a speech on “Management Challenges in the third millennium” the topic involved making a forecast or prediction of what the management challenges would be, that too, over a period of 1000 years. I got an idea to do statistical extrapolation of management thought. To do statistical extrapolation I needed records or mentions of management thoughts as old as possible. I got some fairly old management thought in

पञ्चैतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे |

साङ्ख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्माणाम् (गीता 18’13)

अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम् |

विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टाः दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम् (गीता 18’14)

First of all, I contend that these verses delineate management thought, because they detail elements कारणानि which need to be provided for सिद्धये सर्वकर्माणाम् fulfilment of tasks.

Date and reference of the thought is mentioned as साङ्ख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि i.e. quoted in the साङ्ख्य-philosophy, which is dated as of कृतान्त end of कृत-युग. The war was towards the end of द्वापारयुग. The period between कृतान्त and the war was of almost two युग-s, त्रेता and द्वापार. By this dating, this management thought is thousands of years old.

Five elements are identified (1) workplace अधिष्ठानम् (2) doer कर्ता (3) materials, tools and equipment करणं च पृथग्विधम् (4) energy-systems विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टाः (5) organization of these in right proportion, in right time दैवम्. In the theory of production in the classical theory of economics, mention is made of four factors of production – land, labor, capital, organization. In modern management concepts, there is mention of six ‘M’s – Men, Machines, Materials, Methods, Money, Market. One can see quite some one-to-one correspondence in the elements of management. One may hence predict that in any furtherance of management thought over another millennium, may not identify any new element. But weightages of the elements may vary. For example, in a software development company, since development of software requires strong logical thinking which is really व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः, one employee will not be much different from another intellectually. In such a situation, man-management is really a challenge of managing among equals. In Marathi there is a proverb उंटावरून शेळ्या हांकणे managing a herd of sheep, when riding a camel. That often will be simpler than managing a horde of camels, when riding one of those camels. A man-management function of managing among equals is certainly challenging. Once I had an assignment to conduct a half-day program on Supervisory Development. I wanted a ready crisp list of Supervisory functions. I got it in

शमो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च |

ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् (गीता 18’42)

I derive from this that a good supervisor or manager needs to cultivate and promote (1) शमः = peace, to make peace, to maintain peace, to ensure positive environment (2) दमः = regulation, control (3) तपः = readiness to do hard work (4) शौचम् = purity of thoughts विचारशुचिता and purity of means साधनशुचिता (5) क्षान्तिः = capacity to tolerate and pardon (6) आर्जवम् = transparency (7) ज्ञानम् = knowledge, know-how (8) विज्ञानम् = know why (9) आस्तिक्यम् = faith

In respect of the other aspect of professionalism at work, i.e. doing a job by oneself, I contend that professionalism at work is योगः, which is defined as योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् (2’50) and also as समत्वं योग उच्यते (2’48). Actually (2’48) merits to be studied and understood more completely. The complete verse is

योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय |

सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते (2’48)

अन्वयेन – धनञ्जय, सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा योगस्थः कर्माणि कुरु | (यतः) समत्वं योगः उच्यते |

Oh Dhananjaya, perform tasks devoid of attachment, equanimous of success or failure and as one settled in योग, i.e. with steadfast conscience. Equanimity is योग.

Thomas Alva Edison confessed that he succeeded in making the light bulb only after 1000 failures. He said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.’. Thomas Edison was certainly a योगी. He had cultivated व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः

However in Gita, there is one very challenging advocacy सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् | सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृताः (18’48) Any कर्म which can be called as सहजं कर्म must not be forsaken, even if it prima facie appears to be malafide, rather, devoid of bonafides. This advocacy appeals to be challenging because of the phrase सहजं कर्म. The challenge is in understanding, first of all, what सहजं कर्म is.

  • Certainly a task planned and then undertaken cannot be called as सहजं कर्म. A task planned and undertaken is संकल्पितं कर्म.
    • In (6’2) Gita denounces the very concept of संकल्प. See न ह्यसंन्यस्तसंकल्पो योगी भवति कश्चन (न हि असंन्यस्तसंकल्पः योगी भवति कश्चन = असंन्यस्तसंकल्पः कश्चन योगी न हि भवति) Note असंन्यस्तसंकल्पः = one who has not renounced संकल्प. Such असंन्यस्तसंकल्पः cannot become a योगी.  
    • In fact in (6’4) सर्वसंकल्पसंन्यासी योगारूढस्तदोच्यते reiterates संन्यास of सर्वसंकल्प.
    • It comes to mind that the reason for denouncing संकल्प must be, because संकल्प implies “I plan and undertake”. Thus संकल्प has अहंकार inherent. Anything which has अहंकार inherent is wrong, it is bad.
  • In Apte’s dictionary meaning of सहज is given as “.. inborn, natural, innate ..” and exactly this verse (18’48) is quoted.
  • Idea of सहजं कर्म seems to be that it is that कर्म, which just presents itself.
  • Simple example of how सहजं कर्म presents itself is this instance of my compiling my thoughts on व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः. I saw that diagram on Facebook and got the prompt for this write-up.
  • I did not at all plan, how this write-up was going to proceed from one point to another. I must admit that the thoughts kept flowing and the write-up kept evolving. Should I put in a ‘disclaimer’ इदं न मम !

Certainly, Professionalism at work व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः has been delineated in Gita both philosophically and practically, rather, in terms of practical philosophy. May such fraternity of people with व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः grow !

शुभमस्तु !

-o-O-o-

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योगारोहणम् – About Climbing and योगः

Some analytical thinking about योगारोहणम् – Climbing and योगः is provoked by आरुरुक्षोर्मुनेर्योगं कर्म कारणमुच्यते | योगारूढस्य तस्यैव शमः कारणमुच्यते (6’3).

Before indulging in the analytical thinking, let me proceed with understanding the श्लोक itself step by step.

First पदच्छेदाः – आरुरुक्षोः मुनेः योगं कर्म कारणम् उच्यते | योग-आरूढस्य तस्य एव शमः कारणम् उच्यते

Next शब्दानां विश्लेषणानि

आरुरुक्षोः – आरोढुम् इच्छति इति आरुरुक्षुः – तस्य | आरुरुक्षु a. Wishing to ascend, mount or reach

मुनेः – मुनिः [मन्-इन् उच्च Uṇ.4.122] तस्य षष्ठी विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

योगम् – योगः [युज् भावादौ घञ् कुत्वम्]

  • युज् – चुरादिः उभयपदी | युजँऽ [सं॒यम॑ने] १०.३३८ (योजति, योजयति-ते) To unite, join, yoke &c.
  • युज् – दिवादिः आत्मनेपदी | यु॒जँ॒ समा॒धौ ४.७४ (युज्यते) To concentrate the mind (identical with the pass. of युज् I)
  • युज् – रुधादिः उभयपदी | यु॒जिँ॑र् योगे॑ ७.७ (युनक्ति, युङ्क्ते, युयोज, युयुजे, अयुजत्, अयौक्षीत्, अयुक्त, योक्ष्यति-ते, योक्तुम्, युक्त) 1 To join, unite, attach, connect, add 2 To yoke, harness, put to 3 To furnish or endow with 4 To use, employ, apply 5 To appoint, set (with locative) 6 To direct, turn or fix upon (as the mind &c.) 7 To concentrate one’s attention upon 8 To put, place or fix on (with locative) 9 To prepare, arrange, make ready, fit. -10 To give, bestow, confer 11 To adhere or cleave to. -12 To enjoin, charge -13 To put in, insert. -14 To think or meditate upon

कर्म – कर्मन् [कृ-मनिन् Uṇ.4.144] 1 Action, work, deed. -2 Execution, performance

कारणम् – [कृ-णिच् ल्युट्] [1] A cause, reason [2] Ground, motive, object [3] An instrument, means [4] (In Nyāya phil.) A cause, that which is invariably antecedent to some product and is not otherwise constituted; or, according to Mill, ‘the antecedent or concurrence of antecedents on which the effect is invariably and unconditionally consequent’; according to Naiyāyikas, it is of three kinds; (1) समवायि (intimate or inherent); as threads in the case of cloth; (2) असमवायि (non-intimate or non-inherent), as the conjunction of the threads in the case of cloth; (3) निमित्त (instrumental) as the weaver’s loom. [5] The generative cause, creator, father [6] An element, elementary matter

उच्यते – वच्-धातोः कर्मणि लटि प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् | अदादिः परस्मैपदी | व॒चँ परि॒भाष॑णे २.५८ | वच् 2 P. (Ā. also in non-conjugational tenses; in conjugational tenses it is said to be defective in the third person plural by some authorities, or in the whole plural by others; वक्ति, उवाच, अवोचत्, वक्ष्यति, वक्तुम्, उक्त) 1 To say, speak

योगारूढस्य – योगम् आरूढस्य – आरुह् 1 P. 1 To ascend, mount, bestride, get upon (with acc., sometimes loc.) आरूढ p. p. 1 Mounted, ascended; seated on.

शमः – [शम्-घञ्] 1 Quiet, tranquility, calmness; धृतिं न विन्दामि शमं च विष्णो Bg.11.24. -2 Rest, calm, repose, cessation. -3 Absence or restraint of passions, mental quietness, quietism; शमरते$मरतेजसि पार्थिवे R.9.4; Ki.1.1;16.48; Śi.2.94; Bg.1.4. -4 Allayment, mitigation, alleviation, satisfaction, pacification (of grief, thirst, hunger &c.); शममुपयातु ममापि चित्तदाहः U.6.8; शम- मेष्यति मम शोकः कथं नु वत्से Ś.4.21. -5 Peace; as in अस्माकं शमकामा वै त्वं च पुत्रो ममेत्यथ Mb.12.1.27; शमोपन्यास Ve.5. -6 Final emancipation (from all worldly illusions and attachments). -7 The hand. -8 Cure of disease, convalescence. -9 Indifference, apathy.

  • शम् I. 4 P. (शाम्यति, शान्त) 1 To be calm, quiet or tranquil, be appeased or pacified (as a person)

अन्वयाः – योगम् आरुरुक्षोः मुनेः कर्म कारणम् उच्यते | तस्य एव योगारूढस्य (मुनेः) शमः कारणम् उच्यते ||

Discussion – (1) As is obvious, there are two stages mentioned – (अ) आरुरुक्षु (आ) आरूढ

Since the action is of आरोहणम् three instances of आरोहणम् come to mind – गिर्यारोहणम्, अश्वारोहणम्, निश्रेण्यारोहणम् (Note निश्रयणी /निश्रेणि/ निश्रेणी A ladder, a staircase) The questions then are –  

  • to what is योगारोहणम् closest – गिर्यारोहणम् or अश्वारोहणम् or निश्रेण्यारोहणम् ?
  • Where does attaining परं श्रेयः fit in योगारोहणम् ?

Thinking of परं श्रेयः it came to mind that some specific aspects have to devolve, viz.  

  1. Our mind and character be washed clean of vices. One should become निर्धूतकल्मष (5’17)
  2. Our mind and character be adorned with virtues. One should become दैवीसम्पदमभिजातः (16’3)
  3. Our mind and character should rather transcend virtuosity. One should become गुणातीतः (14’25)
  4. Our faith should become firm. One should become श्रद्धया परयोपेतः (12’2)
  5. Our devotion should be our all-time platform. One should become भक्तिमान्यः (12’17)
  6. Asceticism should become our nature. त्रिविधं तपः तप्तम् (17’17)
  7. Our senses should become free of distractions. इन्द्रियार्थेभ्यः इन्द्रियाणि सर्वशः निगृहीतानि (2’68)
  8. Our intellect should become steadfast at all times, at all instances. दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीः (2’56)
  9. We should experience oneness with all creation. सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा (5’7)

Though I have made a numbered list of nine devolutions, we need not consider that these would devolve sequentially. For example, character being cleansed of vices and it being adorned with virtues can be simultaneous. Of course transcending virtuosity will mature in course of time, but that also may become a corollary of cleansing of vices and adornment with virtues. Firmness of faith and devotion becoming all time can also be simultaneous.

By this consideration, I would think that योगारोहणम् is akin to अश्वारोहणम्. Riding a horse has two distinct phases – (1) getting astride the horse (2) staying put. In the first phase, there is not much significance for the reins. In the second phase it is all reins. This matches with योगम् आरुरुक्षोः मुनेः कर्म कारणम् उच्यते and तस्य एव योगारूढस्य (मुनेः) शमः कारणम् उच्यते. Getting astride the horse is all action कर्म कारणम् उच्यते. Staying put is all शमः.

योगारोहणम् is not at all like निश्रेण्यारोहणम् climbing a ladder, because the devolutions need not be taken to be sequential. Anyway, a ladder निश्रेणी does not take one to any high elevation.

Now let us consider how योगारोहणम् compares with गिर्यारोहणम्. By गिर्यारोहणम् I would not consider climbing a hillock. I would rather consider mountaineering, say, scaling the Everest. It is well-known that गिर्यारोहणम् becomes more and more challenging, higher one goes. Frankly, I do not know, whether योगारोहणम् also becomes more challenging as one progresses upwards on the spiritual path. But in गिर्यारोहणम् one does not stay put at the mountain top. In योगारोहणम् one has to stay put.

At least for myself I would like to think that योगारोहणम् is like अश्वारोहणम्.

Discussion (2) – Having listed 9 devolutions, it comes to mind that अष्टाङ्गयोग speaks of eight devolutions to be imbibed through यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम, प्रत्त्याहार, ध्यान, धारणा, समाधि.

Let me check whether one can see some correspondence between them. Before that I should check whether I understand the devolutions of अष्टाङ्गयोग.

  1. यम – The yamas are usually said to be ten, but, their names are given differently by different writers; e. g. ब्रह्मचर्यं दया क्षान्तिर्दानं सत्यमकल्कता । अहिंसा$स्तेयमाधुर्ये दमश्चेति यमाः स्मृताः ॥ Y.3.312; or आनृशंस्यं दया सत्यमहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम् । प्रीतिः प्रसादो माधुर्यं मार्दवं च यमा दश ॥ sometimes only five yamas are mentioned:– अहिंसा सत्यवचनं ब्रह्मचर्यमकल्कता । अस्तेयमिति पञ्चैते यमाख्यानि व्रतानि च ॥
  2. नियम – शौचमिज्या तपो दानं स्वाध्यायोपस्थनिग्रहः । व्रतमौनोपवासं च स्नानं च नियमा दश ॥
  3. आसनम् – अनायासेन येन स्यादजस्रं ब्रह्मचिन्तनम् । आसनं तद् विजानीयाद् योगिनां सुखदायकम् ॥
  4. प्राणायामः – restraining or suspending the breath during the mental recitation of the names or attributes of a deity.
  5. प्रत्याहारः –  Restraining the organs; स्वविषया$संप्रयोगे चित्तस्य स्वरूपानुकार इवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्या- हारः Pātañjala.
  6. ध्यानम् – Meditation, reflection, thought; contemplation; ज्ञानाद् ध्यानं विशिष्यते Bg.12.12
  7. धारणा – Keeping the mind collected, holding the breath suspended, steady abstraction of mind; धारणेत्युच्यते चेयं धार्यते यन्मनो तया ।
  8. समाधिः – Intentness, concentration (in general), fixing of thoughts; यथा भानुगतं तेजो मणिः शुद्धः समाधिना । आदत्ते राजशार्दूल तथा योगः प्रवर्तते ॥ Mb.12.298.12 सम्यगाधीयते यत्र स समाधिः स्मृतो यथा ।
Sr. No. Nine devolutions to imbibe अष्टाङ्गयोग
1 Be free of vices यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम and प्रत्याहार all these together help the devolutions 1, 2 and 3
2 Cultivate virtues
3 Transcend virtuosity
4 Faith should be firm धारणा
5 Be devout all the time ध्यान
6 Asceticism as nature प्रत्याहार
7 Control on senses यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम and प्रत्याहार all these together help the devolution 7 and 8.
8 Steadfast intellect
9 Oneness with all creation समाधिः

I think, the nine devolutions are easier to understand, practise and gradually imbibe. अष्टाङ्गयोग does not seem to be as easy to understand. Practising and imbibing can happen only when understanding is clear.

May we all succeed in योगारोहणम् !

शुभमस्तु !

-o-O-o-

Analytics in गीता

If it is to be contended that much of गीता is based on साङ्ख्य-philosophy, that philosophy itself seems to be very analytical in its spirit. Since the words साङ्ख्य and सङ्ख्या are closely related and since one meaning of सङ्ख्या is number, the word साङ्ख्य can be taken to mean ‘enumerative’. Analytics is inherent to enumeration. That would be some explanation of why this philosophy, which is analytical in its spirit is called as साङ्ख्य philosophy.

(A) A very prominent instance which comes to mind is – पञ्चैतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे | साङ्ख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम् (18’12) अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम् | विविधाश्च पृथक् चेष्टाः दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम् (18’13). Here we have the analysis of the five elements, which participate in fulfilment of tasks सर्वकर्मणाम् सिद्धये. The five elements are (1) अधिष्ठानम् (2) कर्ता (3) पृथग्विधम् करणम् (4) विविधाश्च पृथक् चेष्टाः (5) दैवम्. These five elements are of course as साङ्ख्ये प्रोक्तानि.

  • The first element is mentioned as अधिष्ठानम्, not just स्थानम्. I would contend that अधिष्ठानम् is such स्थानम्, which is fit for कर्मसिद्धिः. I read  शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरमासनमात्मनः | नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् (6’11) as specifying how a स्थानम् would become अधिष्ठानम्. Note शुचौ देशे connotes pleasant, cleaned, purified, conducive location and ambience, स्थिरमासनम् connotes steadiness, rigidity नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचम् connotes uniform equilibrium चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् connotes leveled and also cushioned to isolate vibrations and shocks

(B) A good study of psychoanalysis of, how association, attachment and involvement in worldly matters leads to self-destruction, can be learnt in ध्यायतो विषयान् पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते | सङ्गात्सञ्जायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोsभिजायते (2’62) क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः संमोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः | स्मृतिभ्रंशाद्बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति (2’63)

(C) The cycle of interdependence of natural and ethereal phenomena is detailed in अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसंभवः | यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः (3’14) कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भवम् | तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम् (3’15) एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह यः | अघायुरिन्द्रियारामो मोघं पार्थ स जीवति (3’16)

(D) The analytics is both subtle and comprehensive at the same time as can be seen in कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्ध्यव्यं च विकर्मणः | अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः (4’17)

(E) The concept of यज्ञ is both minute and varied, as is detailed in 4’28, 4’29, 4’30.

(F) In तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया | उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः (4’34) I find wonderful summary of the entire theory of education. Since education has two aspects, learning and teaching, I find the first line to be summarizing the theory of learning and the second line, the theory of teaching.

  • तद्विद्धि = get to know that, i.e. whichever topic of knowledge, you want to learn
  • प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया
    • प्रणिपातेन = प्रकृष्टः नितान्तः पातः, तेन = By intensive thorough analysis
    • परिप्रश्नेन = circumspect questioning of the logic, detailed enquiry into the concepts involved
    • सेवया = by verification and validation of the theory, which is often obtained by Exercising, Experimenting and Experiencing
    • Mr. Herbert Casson summarized the theory of Learning by an acronym OTA (Observation, Thinking, Action). Here प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया.
  • उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः –
    • Teacher, to impart the knowledge has to be himself ज्ञानी.
    • Even if one is ज्ञानी, teaching is an aptitude by itself. So to impart the knowledge the teacher has to have the aptitude of being तत्त्वदर्शी.
    • The teacher also needs to keep a judgement, an assessment of the student of how much hand-holding a student needs. The teacher should never ever give the answer. The answers have to be explored by the student only. The teacher should guide and lead the student towards the answer. That is the significance of the prefix उप in उपदेक्ष्यन्ति – उप, i.e. near enough, as the student would need, but never the answer. Again उपदेक्ष्यन्ति contains the meaning of showing the direction, again, just showing the direction. Treading the path has to be done by the student himself.
    • In chapter 39 of श्रीसाईसच्चरितम् one would get flabbergasted by a wonderful perception lent by श्रीसाईबाबा by suggesting ते ज्ञानं to be rather read as तेsज्ञानम्. That prompts a very challenging thought, “Is a teacher supposed to impart Knowledge or is supposed to remove ignorance ?” Knowledge is said to be self-revealing तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति (4’38). Saint Kabir also said जिन दूँढा तिन पाइयाँ गहरे पानी पैठ. Teacher should remove the doubts, clear the obstacles, help overcome the impediments on the path. There is a श्लोक, defining why गुरु is called a गुरु – गुकारस्त्वन्धकारो वै । रुकारस्तन्निवर्तनम् । अन्धकारनिवर्तित्वात् । गुरुरित्यभिधीयते.॥
    • The second line does summarize the theory of teaching.

(G) The Godhood or परमात्वतत्त्व or ब्रह्मतत्त्व or पुरुषः is said to have two identities परा प्रकृतिः अपरा प्रकृतिश्च.

  • Of these अपरा प्रकृतिः is stated to be the eightfold cognitive identity – भूमिरापोsनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च | अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा (7’4) अपरेयम् (= अपरा इयम्)
  • परा प्रकृतिः is then the noncognitive identity, which is both the genesis and support system of the cosmos – इतस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम् | जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत् (7’5)
  • I get to use the word identity, which, as in mathematics, connotes an equation or statement or theory, which is eternally true and valid.

In 13’5 and 13’6 क्षेत्रम् is analyzed to be comprising of as many as 31 aspects.

  1. महाभूतानि …………. 5
  2. अहङ्कारः ………….. 1
  3. बुद्धिः ………………. 1
  4. अव्यक्तम् …………… 1
  5. इन्द्रियाणि दश ..……. 10
  6. एकम् ………………. 1
  7. पञ्च इन्द्रियगोचराः …..  5
  8. इच्छा ……………….  1
  9. द्वेषः ………………..  1
  10. सुखम् दुःखम् ………..  2
  11. सङ्घातः ……………. 1 त्वक् च मांसं तथा$स्थीनि मज्जा स्नायुश्च पञ्चमम् । इत्येतदिह संघातम् Mb.12.184.2
  12. चेतना ………………. 1
  13. धृतिः ……………….. 1

Out of these 13,

  1. (1) महाभूतानि, (5) इन्द्रियाणि (5 out of 10), (7) इन्द्रियगोचराः, (11) सङ्घातः seem to be physiological with material content.
    1. (1) महाभूतानि are well known to be पञ्च and are enlisted as भूमिरापोsनलो वायुः खम् in 7’4.
    2. The count ‘5 out of 10’ for इन्द्रियाणि would take note of कर्मेन्द्रियाणि  
  2. (2) अहङ्कारः (3) बुद्धिः (6) एकम् (मनः) (8) इच्छा (9) द्वेषः (10) सुखं दुःखम् (12) चेतना (13) धृतिः seem to be aspects of psychology
    1. Out of these (2) अहङ्कारः (3) बुद्धिः (8) इच्छा (12) चेतना (13) धृतिः seem to be primarily inherent or internal instincts.
    2. (6) एकम् (मनः) (9) द्वेषः (10) सुखं दुःखम् would contain responses to external instincts, as received by पञ्च ज्ञानेन्द्रियाणि – श्रोत्रं चक्षुः स्पर्शनं च रसनं घ्राणमेव च (15’9) by which मनः विषयानुपसेवते. And corresponding विषयाः are शब्दाः, रूपाणि, रसाः, गन्धाः, स्पर्शाश्च  
  3. (4) अव्यक्तम् appeals to be the philosophical aspect

(H) Virtues are enlisted in अमानित्वमदंभित्वमहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम् | आचार्योपासनं शौचं स्थैर्यमात्मविनिग्रहः (13’7) इन्द्रियार्थेषु वैराग्यमनहङ्कारमेव च | जन्ममृत्युजराव्याधिदुःखदोषानुदर्शनम् (13’8) असक्तिरनभिष्वङ्गः पुत्रदारगृहादिषु | नित्यं च समचित्तत्वमिष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु (13’9) मयि चानन्ययोगेन भक्तिरव्यभिचारिणी | विविक्तदेशसेवित्वमरतिर्जनसंसदि (13’10) अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वं तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् | एतज्ज्ञानमिति प्रोक्तमज्ञानं यदतोsन्यथा (13’11) Virtues are also listed in अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः | दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् (16’1) अहिंसासत्यमक्रोधस्त्यागः शान्तिरपैशुनम् | दया भूतेष्वलोलुप्त्वम् मार्दवं ह्रीरचापलम् (16’2) तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचमद्रोहो नातिमानिता | भवन्ति संपदं दैवीमभिजातस्य भारत (16’3)

Of people, who become spiritually inclined, there would be four categories. See चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोर्जुन | आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ (7’16). What are detailed as inherent aptitudes of ब्रह्मकर्म, क्षात्रकर्म, वैश्यकर्म and शूद्रकर्म are in fact lists of virtues only. See शमो दमः तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च | ज्ञानविज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् (18’42) शौर्यं तेजो धृतिर्दाक्ष्यं युद्धे चाप्यपलायनम् | दानमीश्वरभावश्च क्षात्रं कर्म स्वभावजम् (18’43) कृषिगोरक्षवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम् | परिचार्यात्मकं कर्म शूद्रस्यापि स्वभावजम् (18’44).

(I) Given the virtues, what becomes the ideal conduct is detailed as कायिक, वाचिक and मानस तप-s in देवद्विजगुरुप्राज्ञपूजनं शौचमार्जवम् | ब्रह्मचर्यमहिंसा च शारीरं तप उच्यते (17’14) अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत् | स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्-मयं तप उच्यते (17’15) मनःप्रसादः सौम्यत्वं मौनमात्मविनिग्रहः | भावसंशुद्धिरित्येतत्तपो मानसमुच्यते (17’16)

(J) Given the virtues and the ideal conduct, the vices to be refraining from and to be guarded against are stated in दम्भो दर्पोभिमानश्च क्रोधः पारुष्यमेव च | अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ सम्पदमासुरीम् (16’4) and also in अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् | विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते (18’53)

The गुणाः – सत्त्वम्, रजः, तमः have the capacity to keep one engaged in worldly bonds, as has been detailed in 14’6, 14’7, 14’8. How they thrive is detailed in 14’9. How their influence grows is detailed in 14’11, 14’12 and 14’13. The carryovers of their influences are detailed in 14’14 and 14’15. Their results are detailed in 14’16. Their corollaries are detailed in 14’17. What they lead to are detailed in 14’18.

There is threefold (सात्विक, राजस, तामस) detailing

  1. of श्रद्धा in 17’4
  2. of आहार in 17’8, 17’9 and 17’10
  3. Of यज्ञ in 17’11, 17’12, 17’13
  4. Of तप in 17’17, 17’18, 17’19,
  5. Of दान in 17’20, 17’21, 17’22
  6. Of ज्ञानम् in 18’20, 18’21, 18’22
  7. Of कर्म in 18’23, 18’24, 18’25
  8. Of कर्ता in 18’26, 18’27, 18’28
  9. Of बुद्धिः in 18’30, 18’31, 18’32
  10. Of धृतिः  in 18’33, 18’34, 18’35
  11. Of सुखम् in 18’37, 18’38, 18’39

(K) One who becomes ineligible for all the knowledge, due to oneself being otherwise, is also summarized in इदं ते नातपस्काय नाभक्ताय कदाचन | न चाशुश्रूषवे वाच्यं न च मां योऽभ्यसूयति (18’67).

शुभमस्तु !

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