Hari Krishnamurthy's blog

Sunday, 25 March 2012

points to ponder

something to ponder

The enemy army was almost at the gates. The city would surely fall. The
only solution was to get Akbar to lead his soldiers. Mansingh ran into the
palace to fetch the emperor and found Akbar in the garden listening to
Tansen. Birbal stopped Mansingh from entering the garden. The emperor did
not want to be disturbed. Tansen's song ended.

Akbar asked him to sing another song. An impatient Mansingh said, "The city
is on the verge of being destroyed and he is listening to music ! What's
wrong with him." Birbal retorted, "He is not listening to music. He is
figuring out battle strategies." Mansingh retorted, "What nonsense, all I
can hear is the notes of Tansen's wonderful voice. No strategies there."
Birbal laughed, "That is why you are merely a commander and Akbar is the

Wisdom comes from the oddest of places. Ideas can come from anywhere. The
difference between a pathfinder and a follower is the pathfinder's ability
to see similarities between even the most distinct domains - music and
battle strategies, for example. Followers are unable to understand the
underlying principle and so need clear domain-specific examples.

When Michael moved to Mumbai to take up a job at a pharmaceutical company,
he realised that rules that worked back home in Germany would not work in
India. When asked why, he said, "Oh, just look at how Indians eat!" Nobody
understood. He explained, "In Germany, a proper meal is a course meal:
soup, starter, main course and dessert. You eat what the chef cooks. But in
India, a proper meal is a thali: all dishes are served simultaneously, the
sweet and the sour and the pungent and the crispy. Everyone mixes and
matches the food differently.

So what one person puts in his mouth is very different from what another
person puts in his mouth. This is the ultimate in customisation. A culture
like this would not be comfortable with rules. People here would always
like to bend the rules to their convenience, unlike Germany, where we enjoy
following rules. I have to work harder here to get everyone to align and
comply." Unlike most expats, Michael figured out a way to work with his
Indian colleagues without being autocratic or authoritarian. He was wise
enough to see common patterns between office behaviour and the way we eat
food - a true hallmark of a pathfinder.

During interviews, Narendra would ask the interviewees about Bollywood. As
they spoke, he would see how they analysed the plots and the characters and
the stars and by that he would be able to figure out how their mind
functioned. Did they think originally? Did they follow the trend? Were the
trend followers or trendsetters? Were they open to suggestion? Were they
opinionated? Were they arrogant? The study of principles that are not
impacted by the domain is known as tattva-gyan.

News reached the king of Matsya that his son, Uttar, had singlehandedly
defeated the Kaurava army, pushing back great warriors like Karna and
Duryodhana. The city prepared to welcome the young prince - the streets
were watered, the buildings decorated with flowers, lamps and fluttering
flags. King Virata's heart was filled with pride. His son had done the
impossible. He ordered the poets to compose a song in Uttar's honor.

"But sir," said a priest standing next to Virata, "Does it not seem odd
that a slip of a boy was able to defeat such mighty warriors? Surely he had
help. Maybe from his charioteer, Brihanalla, the eunuch, who once served
Arjun, the great archer?" The king ignored what the priest had to say and
continued praising his son. Once again the priest said, "Surely sir, you do
not believe he did it all alone. He must have had the support of another,
perhaps Brihanalla, the eunuch, who once served Arjun, the great archer."
Again the king ignored him and continued praising the king. Again the
priest suggested that it might have been the eunuch-charioteer not the
prince. Only this time, the king reacted violently. "Shut up!" he shouted
and slapped the priest so hard that his nose started to bleed.

The priest had been speaking the truth. Uttar had indeed been helped by the
eunuch-charioteer, Brihanalla, who was actually Arjuna in disguise. But the
king was not ready to receive the truth. He wanted to enjoy the alleged
success of his son but the priest, in his relentless pursuit of
correctness, did not appreciate a father's desire. The priest's truth was
cold and insensitive. The king wanted compassion, at the cost of the truth,
for some time at least.

The priest was Yudhishtira in disguise. This event takes place in the final
year of exile of the Pandavas when they had to lose their identity and live
incognito. The purpose of this humiliation was to reveal to Yudhishtira the
human desire for delusions and the importance of being gentle with harsh

One day, Brahma, father of all living creatures, found a grain of rice at
his feet. "Who is responsible for you?" he asked. The farmer claimed
responsibility, as he had sown the seed and harvested the grain. The seed
claimed responsibility, as without a seed, no grain can be created. The
soil claimed responsibility, as without soil a seed cannot germinate.

The sun claimed responsibility, as without sunlight plants cannot grow.
Finally the rain claimed responsibility as unless there is timely and
adequate rain, nothing can grow. "Everyone is essential for the creation of
the grain," said Brahma, "But only one is critical: the farmer. It is the
farmer who makes a plant a valued crop. Without him, rice would have been
just another weed in the wild forest."

So it is with business. Who claims responsibility for success? At the time
of investment, no one really knows if the business will be successful.
Success is always realised in hindsight. Who takes the credit for the
business: the entrepreneur, his employees, the banker?

It is very difficult to pinpoint a single factor to success. But
ultimately, everything depends on the entrepreneur who took the initiative
to transform an idea into reality. Had he not had the desire, had he not
overcome his doubt, the enterprise would never take shape.

In the Rig Veda, the poet wonders what existed before everything else. And
after much pondering he concludes, the first to exist, even before breath,
is desire - kama. Without kama, there would no movement from formlessness
(asat) to form (sat), from darkness (tamas) to light (jyoti), from
hopelessness (mrityu) to hope (amrita). The entrepreneur is the seat of
kama, without whom culture would not exist.

Parakh asked his father: to what did the family owe its fortune? His father
said, "To the consumers who buy the metal we produce, to the workers who
work in our mines, to the government which regulates us fairly, to the
market that has been favorable, to the earth which provides us the minerals
that we mine, but most importantly to my grandfather who invested all his
wealth in the mining business.

They were traders then, but he wanted to be involved in a primary industry,
something close to earth, that would support all other industries. His
family did not support him. So he raised capital on his own. Your great
grandfather's desire and ability to cope with risk, is the critical factor
without which we would not be where we are."

Unable to bear his poverty, a priest went to the temple and begged the
deity there for a solution. That night the deity left a golden pot in the
courtyard of the priest's house. The priest found the golden pot with some
water in it. He threw the water out and went to the market where he sold
the pot to a merchant. With the money he received, he repaid all his debts
and returned home a rich man laden with gifts for his family. Soon after,
his family fought over the vast wealth, everyone from his wife to his
children to his parents and his siblings demanding their share.

Unable to bear the mental agony, the priest went back to the temple and
complained to the deity. "You have added to my problem not solved it with
the golden pot". And deity said, "Golden pot? What golden pot? I gave you
the elixir of contentment, enough for you and your family. It happened to
be contained in a golden pot. Did you not drink it?"

Every job is a golden container full of water. The pot is the salary that
pays our bills and the designation that pleases our desire to feel
significant. But in each job is potentially the opportunity to grow
intellectually and emotionally. Each job contains the seed of learning that
can germinate in our mind, if we allow it to. Unfortunately, jobs are seen
more in economic terms (the pot) than in learning terms (the water).

When Jacob retired, he expected that the company would throw a farewell
party. This did not happen. He expected that the company would miss him
terribly and call him back. This did not happen either. He felt unwanted
and small. He did not matter, he realised. So when he went back to claim
his final dues, he went with a heavy heart. As he waited outside the
office, familiar faces passed him by. Some stopped and spoke to him, some
smiled, some just ignored him. At that moment, Jacob had a Eureka moment.
He realised he did not need his job to validate himself.

That is what he was doing and that was his problem. The office, like the
forest, outlives the resident beasts. The beasts find nourishment in the
forest but eventually they die. The forest continues to be neither loving
nor hating towards its resident beasts. Animals do not resent the forest
when it is time for them to go, but humans do. Why?

Animals work for survival. Humans are the only animals who also work for
meaning. Hence in Sanskrit, the same word, artha, is used to indicate
economics, politics and meaning. Jobs can give us money and power (the pot)
but they can also give us wisdom (the water). Do we drink the water?

As Jacob speculated, he drank the water. Suddenly wisdom dawned. He felt
like Newton hit by an apple. He realized that he was expecting too much
from the organisation. It neither loved him nor hated it. It gave him value
and he gave value to it. And now it was time to part ways, without rage or
resentment. With that, Jacob found his final artha and quenched his thirst.
He took his dues and left with a smile.

A king wanted the perfect groom for his daughter. So he travelled to the
abode of the gods to find out who the most perfect man ever created was.
When he returned with the information, the world had changed dramatically:
a hundred years had passed, his daughter and his entire family had died and
no one remembered him. He then learned that time flows faster in the realm
of the gods and a day there equals a hundred years on earth.

In another story, the gods asked a hermit to fetch them a pot of water. As
the hermit dipped the pot in the water, he saw a beautiful girl. He fell in
love with her and asked her to marry him. She agreed immediately and so the
hermit became a householder and had children by the woman, and the children
had children of their own. In his old age, there was suddenly a great
flood. The river broke its banks and washed everything away: his home, his
children, his grandchildren, even his wife. He was left ashore alone,
without anything, when suddenly he heard the gods shout, "Please pull out
the pot and give us the water!" The hermit realised he had been dreaming
all along.

In the first story, what seems like a day turns out to be a lifetime while
in the second story, what seems like a lifetime turns out to be a second.
In the former, time contracts. In the latter, time expands. This is a
common theme in Hindu mythology. What makes time change qualitatively is
attention. When you are concentrating, time contracts. When you are not
concentrating, time expands.

Nikhilesh loves working with Mark. Mark has the ability to turn every
project into a game with so much fun that everyone comes early to work,
leaves late and no one feels tired. Time passes quickly and weekends feel
boring and terrible. Nikhilesh does not speak of work-life balance; work is
life and life is work. His wife enjoys seeing Nikhilesh this way, as he
brings the energy and joy of work back home, to everybody's delight.

But Nikhilesh had a very different experience when he worked with Dinakar.
Dinakar was no fun. Every meeting was a drag. Everybody had to fill in long
reports and long forms. Everything was read and discussed, but no one
really paid attention. Every minute of the meeting was documented and filed
and circulated. It was torture to go to work and a joy to return home. But
the boredom and irritable mood at office travelled home and Nikhilesh would
often snap at his wife.

Mark managed to contract time by making everything a joyful activity.
Dinakar expanded time by making everything a boring chore. Time passes fast
when we are having a good time. Time moves slowly when we are not.

The best way to see figure out organisational culture is to see how people
behave during lunchtime. If they are eagerly waiting for the break, it
means time is passing slowly at their workstations. If they forget the
lunch break, then they clearly are doing something at the workstation that
they're enjoying a lot. Time is constantly contracting and expanding at the

Brahma creates the world but his worship is not encouraged. Shiva beheads
him. His crime? He chases his daughter with a lustful gaze. This is one of
the most awkward stories of Hindu mythology; awkward until one realises the
metaphorical nature of mythic vocabulary.

To understand this discomforting puzzle we have ask ourselves a difficult
philosophical question: do we create the world or does the world create us?
Does an entrepreneur create his enterprise or does the enterprise create
the entrepreneur? Is the business the 'mother' or 'daughter' of the
businessman? Does our job nourish us, or is the job there for our pleasure?

In the scriptures, creation is the Goddess. And the relationship between
creator and creation is an ambiguous one: is the Goddess the mother or the
daughter? He is the potter; she is the pot. Without the pot, can he be a
potter? And without him, can she be a pot? The Goddess is the enterprise of
the entrepreneur, the business of the businessman, the job of the salaried
man. What is our relationship with our creation? Are we nourished by it or
do we exploit it for our satisfaction? When we do the latter, Brahma needs
to be beheaded as he stops growing.

When we are nourished by our jobs, we grow. When we exploit our job for our
pleasure, we do not grow. Mothers challenge us and help us discover our
potential; daughters do not challenge us, and are to be given away to help
others discover their potential.

Yashwanth always wanted to set up his own business, despite family
protests. They wanted him to take up a regular salaried job but Yashwanth
wanted to be an entrepreneur. He worked hard and after two failures,
managed to set up a luxury car hire service. As the company became
successful, he was recognized and loved by his peers and finally
appreciated by his family. Needless to say his financial situation improved

Now Yashwanth is at a crossroad. What is his relationship to his business?
Until that moment, the business enabled him to grow. Now, he can sit back
and relax and enjoy the fruits of his labour. Should he see his business as
the nourishing mother or the pleasure-providing daughter? That is when his
professor told him, "If you simply sit back and relax you intellectually
stagnate. There will be no growth in outlook. Business is not just about
making money. It is about validating your existence, fulfilling your

So Yashwanth decided to grow. He had to behead the Brahma within him who
was 'chasing the daughter' and getting attached to the enterprise. He could
only do this by becoming Shiva, the hermit. Like a hermit he had to detach
himself from his old business, only then would he be able to grow into a
new role.

The sage Narada wanted to marry a young princess. But she said she wanted
to marry only Hari. Hari is the name of Vishnu , who is God and the
guardian of earth. Narada went to Vishnu and began singing his praises. So
Vishnu offered him a boon.

"Give me the face of Hari," said Narada. Vishnu granted that wish. Narada
went to the princess but instead of garlanding him, she turned around in
disgust. There behind her stood Vishnu. The overjoyed princess garlanded
Vishnu. Narada wondered what was wrong. Then he saw his face reflected on a

It was that of a monkey! He accused Vishnu of cheating him. Vishnu smiled
and replied, "I gave you the face of Hari, which literally means monkey,
though it happens to be my name."

Narad can be read the situation in two ways: a strategic narrative or a
sincere narrative. In a strategic narrative, Narad can see Vishnu behaving
like a lawyer, playing with words to make him feel like a fool. In a
sincere narrative, Narada can see Vishnu behave like God, using a play of
words to enlighten him not to trick a young girl simply because he can.

In a strategic narrative, Vishnu is the wily trickster who wants the
princess for himself. In a sincere narrative, Vishnu stops Narada from
being a trickster and grants the princess her wish. In a strategic
narrative, Narada feels like a fool. In a sincere narrative, Narada is

Every situation can be read strategically or sincerely. When we read a
situation strategically, we feel manipulated; we feel we have been reduced
to a performing monkey. When we read a situation sincerely , we learn from
it; we feel someone cares for us enough to demonstrate to us our
shortcomings rather than simply pointing it out.

After completing his course in Australia, Jason returned to India with
plans to start a fast food joint. His father, Paul, was a renowned
restaurateur, with many small boutique hotels in East and South India , saw
the business plan and knew that it would not work. But he gave his son the
seeding capital he needed.

The hotel started with much fanfare but was in the red in less than six
months. That is why Paul sent his team to help out the son. They made two
key changes, in the menu and in the advertising. The same place, which was
empty for six months, was now full of customers.

Now Jason has two options, just like Narada. Read his father's actions
strategically or sincerely. He can see Paul as a manipulator, a dominant
father, who wanted to put him in his place. Or he can see Paul as a
teacher, a caring father, who wanted to show him what actually works in the
restaurant business. Jason can feel like Hari, the monkey, or thank Hari,
the teacher. The choice is very much his.

The author is the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group. He can be
reached at devdutt@devdutt .com

What is Swarga?" Yayati asked Indra. Indra replied, "It is a place where
you get everything without any effort. You stand under a tree called
Kalpataru and wish for what you want - and you will have it. You stand
before a cow called Kamadhenu and wish for what you want - and you will
have it. You hold a jewel called Chintamani and wish for what you want -
and you will have it." Yayati realized that Swarga was a place with
infinite return despite zero investment.

Humans have always yearned for paradise. And to remind them of Swarga,
humans have venerated and adored certain plants that bear fruit all year
round with little or no effort. This is why the banana tree is auspicious.
The tree does not require much maintenance but it provides delicious
energy-rich fruit and leaves that can be used as plates. The same can be
said of the coconut, part of every household ritual.

We all seek paradise, or a place closest to it. High return on investment
is desirable. Or ideally high return with no investment. And that is what
we do at work: to get a high ROI either employers demand increase returns
or employees try to reduce investment. And it is often tough to measure

Sandeep was unemployed for six months. During his interview that finally
landed him a job in a tuition class, he was determined to give his best
show, work hard and prove to the employers that he was worth the salary
they were paying him, even more. So in June of that year he started his job
in full earnestness: arriving on time, preparing for his lectures, giving
his full attention to the students, following up all home assignments with

But two months later in August, Sandeep's enthusiasm had waned. The job had
become routine and boring. There was no excitement. He felt his returns for
the effort put in was too less. There was no chance of the salary being
increased, and so he decided to increase his return by decreasing his
investment. So yes, he did arrive on time and did do all his lectures, but
he reduced his enthusiasm and attention. He gave lip service to the task at
hand and refused to do more than what was expected of him in the job
description handed out at the time of appointment.



[image: || Samastha Lokaaha Sukhino Bhavanthu ||
*|| Samastha Lokaaha Sukhino Bhavanthu *
[image: Fun & Info @ Keralites.net]
hari krishnamurthy(K. HARIHARAN)
"Give a thousand chance to your enemy to become your friend, But, don't
give a single chance to your friend to become your enemy."
'God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your God. The soul is your
*நல்லது செய் நல்லதே நடக்கும்*
जन सेवा इश्वर सेवा

*எல்லோரும் இன்புற்றிருக்க நினைப்பவதுவே அல்லாமல் வேறொன்று அறியேன் பராபரமே !
Ellorum Inbutrirukka Ninaippathuve Allaamal Verondru Ariyen Paraparame !
[Excepting to think and act for the well being of all beings, I don’t know
anything else !*]

*Don't choose Friends who have reached Heights.....*
*But choose Friends who can Hold u when u fall from Heights.*
*Because LOYAL is better than ROYAL.....*

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