A seminar on Work-Life Integration by Swami Chidanandaji - for Corporate Executives.
With Inspiration from Ancient Upanishads
FOR CORPORATE EXECUTIVES
The wisdom of right living looks at life as a whole and compartments like ‘work’ and ‘family’ cannot disturb this holistic balance. The intelligence that the Upanishads awaken in us enables us to embrace the whole of life with regard and respect for its essential aspects. We do not wish to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ nor can we tolerate any lopsided growth.
Mantras 12, 13 and 14 of Ishavasya Upanishad talk of the damage to the holistic beauty of life when some of us neglect ‘the part’ for the sake of ‘the whole’ and some others among us neglect ‘the whole’ for the sake of ‘the part’. The third of this set of three mantras makes a strong appeal to carry together ‘the part’ and ‘the whole’.
Everywhere in different Upanishads, the correction applied to our vision of life is essentially this: we come out of mental hang ups; we become free from self-centred living; we become truly sensitive to real issues of life; we gain a high degree of control over our turbulent senses and fickle mind; we move towards Self-realization, where – out of deep, first hand understanding of human values – we are able to provide “a place for everything but everything in its right place.”
We may apply the principle and the outlook above to the challenge of ‘integration of work, family and society’. We may invite views of (internal and external) experts on the following questions:
1 What causes the imbalance between work (professional involvement) and life (engagement with our own family)?
2 Have we become mechanical? Have we stopped looking at the ‘whole’ of our life, and got stuck with a particular part?
3 Are modern times to be blamed?
4 Are our (psychological) attachments either to work or to family behind the sense of imbalance?
5 Do we really enjoy ‘work’ and ‘earning money’ or has it become an ‘escape’ from certain home scenarios that we may not like?
6 Has love in our hearts dried up, making us go through life in repetitive patterns?
7 Are the techniques or sutras (formulas, aphorisms) to set right our way of living?