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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

In Search of Happiness by Swati Shiv


a soul becomes a diamond if it remains positive in difficulties,
the soul becomes dark like coal if it becomes revengeful , sad and negative ,
soul tests arouse conscience  and help move onwards in life ,
the souls which succeed shine brighter ,healthier and happier  by choice to evolve

All of us are caught in ideological wars from the time we start conceiving of an identity as distinct from our parents. Till we are children, we are taught the distinction between good and bad and we try to believe as taught without inner conflict.

However, as teenagers, we start seeking an identity distinct from our parents. We do not agree with everything they say and there are often several conflicts experienced due to differing ideologies.
This pattern of development creates personalities in us. There is a part of us which agrees with our parents /family values whereas there is another part which has strong individual opinions.

The divergence of a person from traditional thinking to having an identity of his/her own is a part of evolution of consciousness. For example, the need to kiss other people in public is a need to imitate the west, be more open about sexuality and break the concept wherein Indian marriages function like jails for several seeking free expression. However, there are pitfalls with every rise. Opening of sexual needs and physical intimacy can also increase irresponsible sex, create unwed mothers, increase divorces for escape reasons and increase callousness among people.

Overtime, the negative effects reduce and evolution happens but it takes centuries of revolutions in economic and social fronts. The primitive man evolved to the modern human being because of rebellion from set ways of being to development of new ways of thinking.

The divergence from traditional thinking starts at individual levels. The conflict is an inner war and later escalates to anger outburst or anxiety related problems when the person lacks emotional management skills to cope up with personality dictates from within.

A weak person allows dominant people who control money to win whereas a strong person struggles to create a new belief system. The personality war may not be visible at the conscious level. However, this personality war dominates our relationships. We get tired of living with people because there is too much personality conflict with their belief systems, which escalates overtime.
When we start rebelling from our parents, initially, as young adults; we start following someone else who is outside family. This person may be a lover, teacher, husband or wife.

We become close to this person because we want to be away from our childhood conditioning and find individual self esteem.

But, as we grow older, we realize that the friend or lover may not be the person we knew at all because his personality may undergo a complete shift while dealing with life’s challenges. A loving, modern, open minded person may become rigid, traditional and as dog minded as the parents you try to escape from. Sometimes, a bad person becomes good because a past life personality rises from within which was murdered as a saint. So, if your friend who was criminal minded no longer likes cheating or thieving, it is because his personality has become different. The inner soul takes over when a person passes through tests of life.

Relationships break as people change when one personality subsides and another rises from within. People no longer love the same people when their personality changes as the spirit which rises from the subconscious may have completely different beliefs and values of life.

Several marriages continue only superficially when personalities change of the husband or wife. Their souls can no longer connect to each other as they do not remain the same people.
The personality which rules is the one who is most dominant. This personality may not be the person himself/herself, at all. The person may literally become exactly like his father or mother who he hated in his teenage years; simply because a dominating personality takes over during difficulties and, then reigns.

Meditation and hypnotherapy are necessary to integrate personalities and find out who we really are, at the core. We need to throw out all spirit attachments/thought patterns/ beliefs and values which we follow of others. We need to stop struggling because of bossy people so that we find our inner peace and happiness.
Instead of feeling rejected because lovers change or parents disapprove, we need to realize that each person has several hidden personalities .If you no longer connect to that person; it means that the values he imbibed from other people in his life were more dominating than yours. The choice to be with God or devil lies with each person.

The metaphor of THE Devil is a thought pattern which seeks to kill THE CREATOR. Destruction is opposite of creation. Destruction of happiness is opposite of creation of happiness.
Positive energies rule when we align our thinking with faith in God/life force /expansion of live consciousness.  The person, who chooses to be weak and helpless, chooses devil over God whereas the person who chooses to uphold individual self esteem, moves onwards the path of evolution.

Friday, 13 June 2014


- Mehrab Irani

We are all born into genius. Sadly, most of us die in mediocrity. I am going to die one day. We all are going to someday shed our earthly bodies and leave for another voyage – the journey of the soul. But then, does the journey of the soul begin when we actually die physically. Is the soul actually alive when we are here on this planet?

A child knows what it wants to accomplish in life. At that point, everything is clear and everything seems possible. As children, we are not afraid to dream and yearn for everything. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince us that it is not possible. By repeating the same pattern again and again, are we moving towards the death of our very soul?

Everybody has a ‘personal calling’. This is the promise between God and us. It is the promise each one of us makes to God before embarking on our earthly journey. Whoever you are, you have a personal calling, a desire that originated in your soul. This is clearly your mission on earth; the purpose of your very existence on this planet.

Everything is this world is mysteriously linked to other things – some visible, some invisible. Consider the example of the relationship between man and money. In the golden old days there used to be no money. Goods and services used to be exchanged for goods and services. However, with the invention of “paper currency” the relationship between man and money has totally changed. The creator himself has become the slave of its creation!

The world is moving forward technologically but we humans are moving backwards financially. We may have all modern facilities like online banking and investing, credit and debit cards, access to financial information, easy loan facilities but our financial knowledge is diminishing. Today, we see young educated people earning very good income but then not able to protect their money from financial predators, they pay everybody like the government, banks, electricity bills, telephone bills, children school fees etc but forget to pay themselves via surplus budget, don’t know when to cut spending and when to spend to get rich, have no protection in the form of financial insurance, are not aware of the difference between saving and investing, buy liabilities mistaking it to be assets with negative leverage which puts them in the web of unnecessary avoidable recurring expenses which then sadly makes them “slaves of money” for life – wage slave of the employer, tax slave of the government and loan slave of the bank.

The only thing certain about money is that it is uncertain. There is a need to unravel the mysterious behaviour of money and reveal its deepest secret rules. Money is the only thing which is available in abundant in the world today, it is available at the free will of the government and how fast their printing machines can function. The poor work for a living, the middle class get into debt and keep working for money while the rich make their and other people’s money work for themselves. We need to learn to make our as well as other people’s money work for us. When you achieve financial independence, you can live a personal debt-free life, enjoy your retirement, spend without feeling guilty and leave your legacy. Someone needs to make you retire from your work as your money will start working for you.

Perhaps its my personal calling and duty of the soul to make you realize your relationship with money, your life and introduce you to your highest self and inner soul purpose.

But then, do we have the courage to live our life and attain our highest goals? Or do we start believing in the greatest lie? We reach a certain point in our lives when we lose control of what’s happening to us and our lives become controlled by fate. We begin to talk like those around us -- we walk like them, work like them and live like them. This is the world’s greatest lie.

We are all trained in this world to live a lie and let our soul perish while still physically alive.

To keep our soul alive, we need to let our physical mind and body take some risks. Each one of us needs to do something that is sometimes scary – physically or mentally – because it brings out the very essence of our existence and enriches the soul. While doing so, there will no doubt be certain experiences that try to derail us from achieving our highest self.

People: Choose your companions with care. So many of the good souls on earth have lost their way in the crowd. They have forgotten the real purpose of their existence. The more you worry about being applauded by others and making money, the less you’ll focus on doing the great work that will generate applause and make you money. To double your net worth, double your self-worth because you will never exceed the height of your self-image. 

Love: This is a very powerful force and bonds each one of us strongly to the world. We are influenced by ties of love to move in certain directions in life. Those who love us will always want us to move in the right direction. But to many of our loved ones, the right direction is the tried and tested direction of the world. They may not recognize their own journey and may misguide us as well. Don’t allow love to weaken you. Instead, use it to light your own true path. And guide your loved ones to discover their soul’s true journey. 

Money: Whether you like it or not, money is a powerful drug that can make or break you. It is a medium of exchange and a store of value. It has lot of energy. If you don’t know the 10 Commandments for Financial Freedom, you are likely to face both problems of scarcity as well as of excess money. Recognize your relationship with money. If you don’t become its master and achieve financial freedom, it can become the most formidable wall on your path to true success.  

Fear of Failure: Every journey has its ups and downs and life is no exception. It will be full of hits and misses. Sometimes, even after doing everything right, you might still fail to achieve your goal. But so long as there is life, there is hope of success. Remember that there is no true failure except that of no longer trying. If you really want to achieve true lasting success, then learn to “fail forward,” i.e. move ahead from initial failures to ultimate success. People who “finally succeed” embrace failures as their friends, learn from their negative experiences and don’t repeat them. So my friends, don’t let initial failure derail you from your journey towards fulfilling the purpose of your soul.

Lack of Appreciation: When you don’t behave like others, when you don’t walk on the path selected by others, it is likely that people will not appreciate you initially. The one’s who don’t answer their own callings can’t really appreciate your calling. Think of the musician who is sitting at the corner of a party hall and playing his music. People are walking around, talking around, eating around and making merry but nobody cares to listen to his music. Nobody appreciates his music. Nobody is listening to his music. But this is not completely true. God is listening to his music. God is enjoying his music. He is playing the music for God by answering his personal calling. And when his soul unites with that of God, it’s a matter of time before ordinary souls, mortal humans, are attracted to him and his work strikes a chord with the whole universe.

I have listened to the calling of my soul. Through my book Mad Money Journey, it is my destiny to help you discover your destiny. It is my purpose to teach you the relation between man and money. It is my mission to take you on a life-changing expedition across countries, cultures and professions, where you are bound to experience joy and fear and discover the very purpose of your existence on this planet.

Do write to me about how you were freed from the shackles of money, how you were introduced to your soul’s mission, and how you are now on the correct path towards achieving it. I can be reached at 
or follow me on Twitter at  
& my Facebook page is

Let us start a community of soul searchers.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Leadership lessons

Leadership lessons

A visionary economist who failed to deliver. Manmohan Singh's tenure is a lesson for corporate India, say brand gurus.

In the aftermath of their decimation, several Congress leaders - especially the Gandhi family - have been asked to take responsibility for the party's worst ever performance. And yet, a large chunk of the blame, believe some leaders, lies with outgoing PM Manmohan Singh. Two days ago, Kamal Nath faulted Dr Singh for being uncommunicative, saying, while lack of communication was at the root of the government's problems, the PM's silence made it worse. 

Management experts agree. Here, they chalk out lessons young leaders in corporate jobs can learn from how the PM managed his affairs. 

BE AND ACT AS LEADER. Head of a brand management firm, Suhel Seth says, "When you are in a position of power, you must be accountable. The PM was seen as the man in the office, but not in power." This, he argues, compromised his credibility. 

Bangalore-based brand consultant Harish Bijoor says that Singh was seen as part of a dual power centre. This made it worse. "Sonia Gandhi was viewed as the doer, while Singh was only holding the front. That isn't how leadership works. People need to know that their leader can achieve, what needs to be achieved." 

COMMUNICATE, WITH EVERYONE. Bijoor says it's imperative that managers and leaders communicate with their stakeholders. "In the case of the PM, the stakeholders fell into two categories: within the party, i.e. the Congress leaders and its allies, and outside the party i.e. the citizens. There was no communication with either," he adds. When heading an organisation, communicate with everyone from the board of directors to the worker on the shop floor. 

Silence is hardly golden, especially in times of crisis or when your and the firm's reputation is under threat. Not talking, says Seth, makes it seem like you have something to hide. 

DEMONSTRATE BY SETTING EXAMPLES. When someone falls out of line, you need to pull them back. In the PM's case, it first took the Supreme Court and then the CBI to arrest the former telecom minister alleged to have played a role in the 2G spectrum scam, A Raja. "Why leave it to external agencies to act? Indecisiveness is the hallmark of a wimp, not a leader," adds Seth. 

DON'T DO SOMEONE'S DIRTY WORK FOR THEM. Seth says that the PM allowed the Gandhis to mess up his legacy. "He ended up ridiculed; he didn't deserve it. This also affected the station of the PM's post. Not even dolts like Deve Gowda were able to ruin the position of his office. A leader must maintain the strength and character of his institute," he adds. 

ADMIT YOU GOOFED UP. IT'S GRACEFUL. A leader, says Seth, takes the rap first. "You can't say, I didn't do it therefore I don't have anything to do with it, and put the blame on others. Ignorance is not the virtue of leaders. Great managers are known for taking a stand. You may end up being wrong, but you will still be appreciated for it." 

PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT IS YOUR JOB. Congress candidate from North Goa, Ravi Naik, on Tuesday blamed Singh for the party's debacle, saying he failed to project achievements of the UPA government before the people. Radhakrishna Pillai, author of Corporate Chanakya, agrees. Citing the example of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, he adds, "Jobs was not just a great innovator but also good at marketing his product. The iPhone is something everyone talks about and wants. The PM, could have also marketed the achievements of his government better." Perception management, adds Pillai, is the CEO's job. "When there is a crisis at hand, like say the Adarsh scam or a Coalgate, it's the leader's job to step out for damage control. The PM, as CEO of the government, should have called a press conference immediately. Taking ownership sends out a positive message." 

DON'T GET INSULAR. Often, managers get caught up with their persona and forget the outside world. The PM shouldn't have depended on ministers to understand what's happening at grassroot levels, says Bijoor. "As per the old structure of management, you'd have to follow protocol. You couldn't ask a junior staffer for certain information; you'd have to go through the vice-president. But in our times, you can say, 'to hell with that'. Jump the barricades and see what the voter wants," he says. Rahul Gandhi tried it occasionally but Bijoor feels it was incidental. "It should have been a process. For instance, CMs in some states hold lok adalats every week to allow the common man to discuss his issues. As a manager, adopt this principle. Allow your staff to speak to you freely," Bijoor says. 

DON'T JUSTIFY WHAT'S NOT UP TO THE MARK. You can't justify poor GDP with 'economies world over are doing badly'. "Instead, if you say you'll fight the global to make the local happen, you'll generate confidence," Bijoor says.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Ideal leadership qualities for India’s next Prime Minister according to Chanakya

Ideal leadership qualities for India’s next Prime Minister according to Chanakya

-          Radhakrishnan Pillai

(Author – Chanakya’s 7 secrets of leadership along with D.Sivanandhan)

We are a young nation with an old tradition. Young because as a newly formed nation in 1947, we are just 67 years old. While we have taken forward a wisdom which is over 5000 years. As we are in the process of electing our next prime minster what are the insights we can draw about the qualities that are expected in such a person. Can our ancient wisdom of ancestors come to guide us in this aspect? Why not – we have documented proofs of good governance in many of our scriptures like Ramayana - an epic that talks about Ram Rajya, the pinnacle of a happy kingdom. We can learn from Mahabharata – where Bhishma guides Yudhistira on leadership. And of course we have the magnam opus Kautilya Arthashastrawhere  Chanakya is the leader of all king makers who provides six thousand sutras on leadership, governance, economics, foreign policies, law and war and various other topics related to nation building.

Lets us look at a few sutras from the Arthashastra where an ‘ideal’ king is defined by Chanakya. One may consider that a king is no more relevant in the era of democracy. But we need to understand that more than the form of governance; the leader plays an important role. One may have the best form of governance, yet people may not be happy. On the other end, if we have a good leader, he or she can create good systems and make people happy.

India is known to be the largest Democracy in the world and yet one which falls short of flawless leadership skills and accountability. As goes the saying, “Yatha rajah – Tatah Prajah”.

What makes a good prime minister according to Chanakya? Let us look at a few ideas given in the Arthashastra. Kindly note, these sutras are to be taken as gender-neutral given this day and age. After all as they said about Indira Gandhi, she was the only man in the parliament.

1.      Energy

“If the king is energetic, his subjects will be equally energetic. If he is slack (and lazy in performing his duties) the subjects will also be lazy, thereby, eat into his wealth. Besides, a lazy king will easily fall into the hands of the enemies. Hence the king should himself always be energetic” (1.19.1-5)

One may use different words to explain this quality – dynamic, passionate, enthusiastic, charismatic, but the central quality is that the leader has to be a go-getter. Thus he needs to be a role model for the entire system. Walking the talk, leading by example, doing what he says, delivering on the promises made.

Where does he get the source of such energy? – From within oneself, says Chanakya. When problems are around, he is the solution. He is the one who charges up the nation for a higher cause. 

2.      Attitude of a leader

“In the happiness of the subjects lies the benefit of the king and in what is beneficial to the subjects is his own benefit. What is dear to himself is not beneficial to the king, but what is dear to the subjects is beneficial to him” (1.19.34)

The leader should be able to connect to everyone. Their happiness becomes his prime responsibility. Chanakya says that a king is like a father. He cares for the children, nourishes them, gives them security, educates them and makes them fit for life’s challenges.

Even 6 decades after India’s independence, why is it that the nation’s billions continue to suffer from unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and disease? Until the last individual in the country is not relieved of all troubles, the government’s work is far from over.
Given that India was free 6 decades ago,

3.      Speed

“He should hear (at once) every urgent matter, (and) not put it off. An (affair) postponed becomes difficult to settle or even impossible to settle” (1.19.30)

Apart from having a vision he should be a good executor and get them implemented in the given time frame. It also means taking timely and quick decisions so that we are not just analysing but moving things forward. The outcome is what every Indian wishes to see; we will not rest on false promises.

We need to work on war mode to solve problems like electricity, roads, infrastructure, water and what not. Get set go and make sure things get done. Swami Vivekananda had said ‘stop not till the goal is achieved’.

Hello Prime minister… are you listening to Chanakya’s wisdom?

You need to Mr. Prime Minister… because our Indian wisdom is not just ancient – it is eternal. It has survived the test of time and can once again help us to bounce back and get our dignity back at the global level.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Sivanandan’s literary encounter

He was the head of the Crime Branch in the mid-1990s when gang wars had peaked — Mumbai witnessed an astonishing 238 ‘encounters’ during D Sivanandan’s tenure, more or less breaking the back of the dreaded Underworld. It was a cat-and-mouse game, with almost equal parts of brute force and clever strategy, and the former DGP of Maharashtra claims he drew much of his inspiration from the undisputed master of the game, Chanakya. The distillation of his own experiences seen through the prism of the Arthashastra has now become the subject of a masterly tome called Chanakya’s 7 Secrets of Leadership. While it certainly must have helped to have Radhakrishna Pillai as a co-author — his deep research in the subject was evident in his first book, The Corporate Chanakya — Sivanandan’s larger-than-life signature is inescapable. One of the examples quoted by the former top cop while elaborating the need for a leader to “pick out a rotten apple and eliminate it from the system before it can cause severe damage” is, surprisingly, a gripping scene from the Bollywood potboiler Company. A police officer, played by Mohanlal, traps a fellow cop who is an underworld informer by tapping his phone — and ‘eliminates’ him. While we don’t need Ram Gopal Varma to tell us who Mohanlal’s character was inspired by, is does suggest that there’s a racy memoir hidden somewhere between the lines.

D. Sivanandhan is co- author of the book, Chanakya's 7 Secrets of Leadership, along with national bestseller Corporate Chanakya's author Radhakrishnan Pillai.

Monday, 10 February 2014

A Costly Mistake

Swami Shubha Vilas tells a compelling story about leadership & overconfidence from the Ramayana

A leader making a mistake does not imply lack of intelligence but a lack of foresight. But repeating the mistake definitely indicates a lack of intelligence.

This trait of leadership is brought out graphically through an enduring story from the timeless saga of Ramayana.

As a nonchalant passing comment it is mentioned in the Ramayana that Ayodhya’s soldiers who were skilled in all kinds of weapons and military tactics, were also experts in sonic archery; and yet they did not practice it.

If left unscrutinized, this statement would also remain lost like countless other statements in the scripture. But within this statement lies a deep lesson on leadership.

Dasaratha, in his youth, went on hunting expeditions where he loved using the powerful method of sonic archery as often as possible. Sonic archery referred to the art of shooting arrows without seeing the object but rather relying on hearing the objects movements. On one such hunting expedition, he heard a sound, much like the rumbling of a tiger or like an elephant drinking water from a river. He shot an eager arrow in that direction.

Acting without seeing the reality is a sign of overconfidence.
Little did he realize that the sound was that of a pot being dunked into the river; an eager-to-serve son was filling water for his thirsty parents. The expert archer’s arrow hit its mark followed by a blood-curdling, agonizing scream! It was the dying boy’s cry of despair and misery. Almost simultaneously, reverberating through the forest was Dasaratha’s scream; a scream emanating from sheer guilt!

Dasaratha’s pain was probably more excruciating than the pain the arrow caused the boy. The pain of guilt is the toughest to deal with.
Before him was a young boy writhing in pain, an arrow pierced right through his chest. The boy was the only child of his old, blind and invalid parents. As the boy began to inch closer to death, his pain became more excruciating at the thought of who would look after his parents after he was no more. No sooner than he told Dasaratha about his concern, he passed away.

When the old couple heard the rustle of the footsteps of a stranger and not their son’s approach them, inexplicable fear gripped them. When Dasaratha told the couple of his dreadful mistake, their wounded hearts let out a curse: Dasaratha, too, would die of the pain of separation from his son.  

One begs forgiveness for a mistake one commits. It is extremely important to think before making that mistake. Passion makes reasoning difficult. Dasaratha’s passion for hunting made him overconfident; before shooting the arrow, he did not use reason. Now that the consequences of his action were waiting for him, he resorted to reasoning. If we allow our passion to prevail over reasoning, we are in for a curse instead of a blessing.
A despondent Dasaratha returned to Ayodhya. He vowed that day never to practice sonic archery, lest it bring upon him another painful curse. He banned the practice of sonic archery in Ayodhya.
To lament for one’s mistake is important, but far more important is to learn from that mistake. To make mistakes does not imply lack of intelligence but a lack of foresight. Not repeating mistakes is a sign of intelligence.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Vote for Best Title

We're coming out soon with a six-volume Ramayana and this is the first book in the series spanning the Balakanda period of the great epic. We'd like you, our readers, to vote for which title you like best from the options given below. Please type in your vote in the comment section.

One of the world’s great literary masterpieces is skillfully retold for modern audiences

EPICS LIKE THE RAMAYAN have been recounted infinite times. Is there a need for another chronicle in the presence of so many? How is it different? And is it relevant to our ever-changing modern lives?
Yes, there is a need; yes, this is different; and yes, it is most relevant! This new series of books, each following one khand of the Ramayan, decodes the eternal wisdom of that poetic scripture through gripping narrative and thought-provoking instruction. In the time-honored custom of spreading wisdom through tales, every fascinating story in the Ramayan is retold here and every character unfolded to enrapture you heart and open your mind to life’s deepest questions.

The narrative closely follows Valmiki’s Ramayan, gently weaving in folk tales that are in philosophical alignment with it, as well as the beautiful analogies of the Kamba Ramayan. The first of this six-volume series, the Bala Khand, takes you through the divine story of Lord Ram from the circumstances of his birth up to His marriage. Through these pages are revealed the tales of Dasharath’s leadership, the early lessons of the four brothers, Vishwamitra’s quest for power and the intriguing story of a little-known stone maiden. Bala Khand has all of this and much more – food for contemporary thought drawn from an ancient and enduring masterpiece.