Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Young and the faithful

Aristotle said that good habits formed at youth make all the difference. The 20- and 30- somethings featured here all have successful careers. But they have also harnessed spirituality through a spiritual organisation to be much more than individuals chasing success, money and fame. Anil Pandey profiles these spiritual volunteers

Considering the crumbling corporations around us, there seems to be hardly anything remotely spiritual about values in the corporate world. By definition too, business – which aims at ‘maximising shareholder wealth’ – and spirituality, which promotes renunciation of materialist desires, hardly seem to overlap. And yet, if you speak to Ruchika Arora, Relationship Manager with Axis Bank; Gitanjali Atri, Copy Editor in Times of India; Nitesh Kumar, President (Marketing), Real Estate in Indiabulls; Neeraj Sharma, Chartered Accountant in Price water house Coopers, Aditi Mehdiratta, Programme Assistant in International Union for Conservation of Nature; MBA student Akhil Kumar et al, it isn’t too difficult to see a connection.

In a refreshing coming together of ostensibly divergent cultures, successfully employed youth are finding time for meditation and service spirit. Even as they remain earnest in their Karmakshetra or field of work – their jobs – they are also intent on discovering the greater meaning of life and self, dedicating themselves to spiritual pursuits and social philanthropies in the process. While some teach slum children and impart vocational training to prisoners, others work during holidays towards environment awareness and protection; some others even make themselves available during rescue and relief activities in the wake of calamities.

While the iPhone and Xbox generation may seem to have little to do with spirituality, people like Nitesh, Ruchika and the aforementioned others lend hope that all is probably not lost yet. Ruchika explains, “Spirituality teaches us the right way to lead our lives. It does not stop us from acquiring riches; it only warns against avarice and extreme indulgence.” Does it not then come in the way of their career ambitions? Nitesh Kumar thinks, “Dhyan-Sadhana has in fact shaped my career graph better. It has helped check my aggression, and bettered my integrity levels and decision-making ability. With reduced stress, I feel more energetic and my efficiency has increased.” Nitesh, and hundreds like him are part of full-time volunteer team of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (DJJS), a spiritual organisation that helps them channelise their positive energies towards giving a little back to society. Over the last few weeks, more than 5,000 such volunteers have been brainstorming, practicing and pounding the streets to make a success of their annual Janmashtami celebrations.

Mostly professionals in various private organisations, a considerable number claim to relate to Lord Krishna, a popular deity in the Hindu pantheon, designating Him as the original ‘management Guru’! Says Neeraj, “ Today the youth is much inspired by Lord Krishna; His message to Arjuna holds equal relevance for the current generation, particularly His emphasis on Karma.” Of course, they all are grateful to DJJS and its founder Sri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji for helping them fuse career ambitions with spirituality and social service. Talking out of her experience, Gitanjali says, “Dhyan and Sadhana not only bring us equanimity, but also make us much better human beings, intent on the welfare of mankind.”

Many claim to have been automatically and naturally compelled to quit drinking and smoking after a stint as a volunteer. They choose to spend money on social work and welfare programmes.

35-year-old Vipin Sawhney, General Manager at Virgin Mobile sums it up, “Our lives must be made akin to that of a lotus; even though it flourishes in a swamp, its flower remains untouched by the muck. Likewise, to live in this world and yet not be in bondage to it, and remain unaffected by adversities and vices, is how we must strive to be.”

Everyone talks about how the Indian youth can exert a powerfully positive influence on India and its future. But most people just talk and spend time and money on parties, gadgets and senseless TV shows. But these volunteers of DJJS are truly walking the talk. From rehabilitating prisoners at Tihar Jail to helping visually impaired to giving solace to the troubled and the needy, they seem to be doing it all.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2008
An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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