Bhagavata and Corporate life
By Venu Payyanur
Most of us visit places of worship (temples, churches, mosques, etc) to pray to God to solve our problems or grand us a boon to fulfil our wishes. But does that work always? What do our scriptures teach us?
The Bhagavata (also known as Śrīmad Bhāgavatam) is one of the “Maha” Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti (devotion) to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna. It is also known as the fifth Veda and the authorship is credited to Sage Veda Vyasa. This story was told to Maharaja Parikshit by Sri Suka Brahmarishi, in seven days while Parikshit was waiting for his death due to the curse of Sage Sringin, son of Sage Samika.
Maharaja Parikshit was the grandson of Arjuna and grand nephew of Lord Krishna. He had the great fortune of seeing the God while in the womb of his mother Uttara, as Krishna saved him from sure death by the unstoppable Brahmastra shot by Ashwathama at the end of Kurukshetra war. Later on he ruled the kingdom for many years and was considered to be one of the best kings, comparable to King Rama or Ikshaku of the previous yugas. Though Parikshit was so great, due to the effect of Kali (a demon), unfortunately did a mistake — for which the punishment was death! Once after a hunting expedition, tired and very thirsty, Parikshit reaches the ashram of the great Sage Samika. The sage at that time was in deep meditation and completely detached from the environment. Hence, he did not notice the exhausted King Parikshit and his request for water. Thinking that the sage is intentionally ignoring and insulting him, the king became angry and puts a dead snake around the neck of Samika and leaves the place. Shringin, the son of Samika, realizing that Parikshit did such an insult to his father, curses Parikshit that in seven days he will die of snake bite. Having known about the curse, what Raja Parikshit did was to prepare him for the death and did not try to escape from it. Even though Parikshit has seen God even before birth and has been guided through out by His presence, he only asked for guidance to face the problem, and not help him live longer by neutralizing the effect of the curse. When great sages like Vyasa and Suka visited him, his request to them was to teach him how to overcome fear and focus his mind on to God and prepare him for Moksha.
Most of us are not as blessed as Raja Parikshit, seeing God in dreams also is very rare. Yet we ask God to solve our problem! Please understand that we have to accept our “Karmaphala” (results of our deeds) based on our Karma (deeds). We should only ask God to help us face the problem; give us the strength, courage and ability to face the problem.
Similar things happen in many organizations too! Employees expect the management to do everything to ensure, guarantee their success. If one is in Sales or Marketing, the expectation is that the company must have the best products in its category, price should be the lowest and to be sold with a promise of lifelong free support! We all expect to be paid better than the best company, excellent offices and other infrastructure, working hours limited to 9 to 5 for five days a week and no pressure to perform as it will impact work life balance! Great! What one should expect from the organization is training and education and support to produce excellent results with whatever products are available with the company. The company can prepare us to face the challenges of the market place, but it is the employee who should go out and meet the challenges to be successful. Of course comparable salaries and good work environments are essential but expecting beyond that is like expecting the God to solve all our problems!