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  1. I think there is some misnderstanding. I am not talking in the context of organized religion- that is dharma, not svadharma.Svadharma implies your calling in life- if your are a teacher out of compulsion, it is career but if you are a teacher becasue you enjoy teaching , it is a calling. Svarharma means spontaneous occupation or what you are naturally inclined to do.
  2. I had given a point by point reply to the above but for some reason, the message keeps coming that I cannot insert urls when I have not given any web message. I will sum it up by saying that if a majority of what is written in the scriptures is followed by a majority of Indians, India can be deemed spiritual in letter and spirit.
  3. I tried to reply to a post without any web address . Then why do I go on receiving the message that you cannot post URL to other sites till you have 15 posts.
  4. Holy apart, I also find it surprising abiout India being a spiritual country. India is a country with a lot of spiritual knowledge no doubt but when you think about implementation, one wonders. If a majority of people truly believed in spiritual detachment, India would not have been named one of the most corrupt countries in the world by transparency international. What is so holy about the caste system that continues to this day.? India has reason to be proud of things like Ayurveda, Yoga, Zen and Viipasana meditation, The game of Chess and many of the things displayed in the Akshardaham temple in Delhi that originated in India. The focus should be more on the present than how great we were in the past.
  5. In the Hindu Shastras, the word “Svadharma” is used to define one’s vocation or calling. The word literally means “what is right for an individual” or “"One's own way."Personal law, or svadharma, is our own perfect individual pattern in life. It is the sum of our accumulated seed karmas. Svadharma, "one's own law," is molded by our background and experiences, tendencies and desires-indicated by astrology-all of which determine our personality, profession and associations. "Better to do one's own dharma imperfectly than the dharma of another, however well discharged. Better is death in one's own dharma; the dharma of another is fraught with fear" [bhagavad Gita 3.35] According to the Gita, one definition of Yoga is "Dexterity in action". This is not really possible if one is not in a profession of spontaneous inclination. The word "spiritual" also implies being peaceful, balanced and equanomous which one is more likely to be when one is in a profession that suits one's talents and tempraments. The problem is that how to detect one's vocation or calling is not given anywhere. One can take even a lifetime to search for it:- Thomas Carlyle , “The person who has found his vocation in life is a blessed human being. Let him ask for no other blessedness.” Benjamin Franklin “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond and to know oneself.” I have a blog devoted to this which has links to my 15 published articles on the subject(I have written for spiritual/management/education magazines apart from the Times of India) but I can't give reference to it as URLs are not allowed to new members. Some people talk about career meditations but I don't think any vocational psychologist can determine vocation accurately. Does anybody know whether hindu shastras say how it is to be determined aparpt from the three gunas- Saatvik, Rajasik, Tamsik . The four types of yoga- Raja yoga, Bhakti, Karma and Jnana along with the gunas can give a broad direction but is there anyway of knowing one's vocation more speicifically and accurately according to Hinduism? Thanks in advance.
  6. Very interesting thread.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> The basic issue is how does one determine one's correct occupation and train him accordingly. There is a saying in Hindi "Manushya karm isliye karta hai taki use apni pehchaan se pehchaan ho" or "In work, we have the possibility of discovering ourselves". Correct occupation can certainly not be determined by birth but many times even degrees and qualifications prove deceptive. One maybe qualified for something but when one works practically, it may turn out that he has "functional skill" or "Operative talent"(as defined by Harvard business review) to be something else. These days. all American management literature talks of "Passion for work" and a few Indian books have also started talking about it. <o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> So much so that I have named my latest article on the subject "Heart v/s Mind" in choosing one's career. The other articles written before are there on my blog Make your passion your profession(mypyp.wordpress)(Url not allowed currently) which has quotes both by intellectual/ spiritual people and other celebrities on the subject. Occupation and spouse are the two biggest decisions of one's life but in my view, the former is more critical as a majority of waking hours go in that. As seen from the practical examples in my blog, there are so many people who are miserable because of being work misfits and saying that one should have a detached mind is trying to avoid the problem or missing the wood for the trees. Many people get stuck in the wrong occupation as career transition even in a country like the fulfilling one's full potential; life is only the means of bringing forth an inner <o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> sense of "be-ness" or "self"". She says that the work one selects is very important as it always helps the soul to go to another level of maturity and our souls must feel that they have done the best work possible, whether as Senators or clerks. She said that dying with feelings of worthlessness can carry forward in subsequent lifetimes if not corrected.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> She explains vividly how the person remains restless unless he gets the work of his inclination and how much the families and friends have to adjust if he has to go back to school. These days there are so many articles on "Talent Management" which state that companies are devising tailor made programs to ensure that they get the customized talent suited to their requirements. Last year, another article stated that only 20% of the students coming out of institutes were talented enough for corporate <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region>. <o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Being in the wrong occupation is bad both from the perspective of individual happiness and society's productivity.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Our Shastras say a lot of things but one wonders how much of it is practically followed. I read in a blog that somebody who had been staying in the <st1:country-region><st1:place>United states</st1:place></st1:country-region> for six years was very impressed with one thing - in his own words "In the United States, a professor can be seen sitting with a Janitor on the same table and chatting with each other on a one-to-one basis" . This kind of thing is more an exception than the rule in <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region> despite all its "spiritual knowledge".<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> In science, the innovator is often given more importance than the inventor because he makes it possible to practically implement on a mass scale whatever the inventor invents. We need to follow this in spirituality as well. It's easy to say that if you are born a Brahman but have the talent of a Shudra, you should do it with a detached mind becasue the scriptures say so. If everybody had been following the scriptures like good boys, the caste system would never have been distorted by vested interests in the first place. How does one achieve this practically?<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> To my mind, the book "First, break all the rules" has the answer. It reveals a survey or an overall study involving 105680 employee responses spread over 2528 business units- an average of 42 business employees per business unit and 90 business units per company. It gives examples of what happens in business when people are promoted to the wrong jobs. Building on the basic example of Sachin Tendulkar/ Saurav Ganguly, it gives several examples of how the best performer(Sachin) does not necessarily become the best man manager( Saurav-captain). The best example I liked was that of a police officer(performer) getting paid more than his sergeant(boss) because he was a better performer than that person a man manager and there were different compensations for different roles by a process called broadbanding. <o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Distinguishing between talent and non-talents, it gives examples of waiters, bar tenders, housekeepers, nurses, data entry operators etc as to how the best were different from the rest even in minor jobs and were compensated highly without necessarily being promoted. The best bartender was someone who remembered names of 3000 guests and their drinks and the champion data entry operator was four times faster than the rest. They gave prestige and money to these best performers without necessarily promoting them if they did not have talent for man management.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> This is the way to do it practically- to offer good money and prestige to people having low-profile occupations. In addition to this the person should be encouraged into serious spirituality by following acceptance or surrender to his life's work with a detached mind. If somebody has to move from a higher to a lower caste, doing the latter without the former is like putting the cart before the horse and can work only with genuine satwiks or those who are intellectually and spiritually inclined but they don't have this problem.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> In addition to this eminent people like Einstein should freely admit their shortcomings. Einstein once said that "The hardest thing in the world to follow is income tax". He also mentioned that he refused the Presidency of Israel because he had no experience of working with human beings. In another context, he said that in his next life, he wanted to become a plumber. All this shows what International lateral thinking expert , Edward De Bono says " Just because you have solved a complicated problem is no guarantee that you will be able to solve a simple problem". Such efforts will make some of the exalted occupations less exalted and will add more respectability to low profile jobs.Just as prohibition has never ever succeeded the world over, tp give someobody who has to be demoted, a lecture on the virtues of Nishkam krama while focussing on the word and consider his work divine is not likely to work.<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Just as applied science is more important than pure science, it is applied spirituality that matters. We can do endless verbal gymnastics on our “spiritual legacy”- how great the caste system used to be, how great <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region> used to be, how divine we and our occupations are etc. Unless pragmatic ways are thought to apply whatever is written in the scriptures to the requirements of modern times, the so called spiritual knowledge is just theory.
  7. Interesting quotes though god alone knows how much of it is followed because if that were so, many of our problems would not have been there in the first place. Swamiji was a very practical spiritualist and one quote that I liked goes something like that "Spirituality is all about being balalnced and a weak person cannot be balanced in all situations. Be physically strong- Instead of reading Gita play footlball." I read this in a book and feel that it is an interesting quote.
  8. Hello! My name is Hiren Shah and I am new to this forum. Though I do finance work, I have a keen interest in spirituality and have written articles in Indian newspapers and magazines. The word Svadharma implies one's vocation or correct occupation in life. References to this have been given in the Gita in various places. However the online version of Gita is only available chapter by chapter in most websites. Can someone please tell me if it is possible to get the whole text of the Gita in one shot in Ms-word and serarch for isvadharma using the find facility. Is there any way by which one can go through the whole text of the Gita to search for this word "Svarharma". Most advanced searches do not give any result but this word is mentioned at several places in the Gita. I have already done a google search but I want it only from the Gita. If anyone knows, kindly let me know. Thanks.
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