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Work Enjoyment and Progress (Questions and Answers)

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About the Author Dr. R. L. Kashyap is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana in USA. He had his Master's degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and obtained Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is there recipient of many International awards. In 2003 he has received 'Vedanga Vidvan'award instituted by Maharshi Sandipani Vedavidya Pratishthan (Ujjain), and autonomous body of HRD, Govt. of India. He has receive...
About the Author

Dr. R. L. Kashyap is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana in USA. He had his Master's degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and obtained Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is there recipient of many International awards. In 2003 he has received 'Vedanga Vidvan'award instituted by Maharshi Sandipani Vedavidya Pratishthan (Ujjain), and autonomous body of HRD, Govt. of India. He has received Karnataka State Aqard for the year 2012.

He has authored more than 350 research articles of which 220 are published in scholarly journals and the rest were presented at conferences. He has guided above 50 doctoral students.

He has written extensively on Vada. Some of his widely read books on veda are : 'Rig Veda Samhita' – (12 Volumes), 'Yajur Veda' (4 Volumes), Sama Veda' (2 Volumes), 'Atharva veda' (6 Volumes), 'Why Read Rig Veda', 'Rudra Mantra-s', 'Essentials of Rig Veda', 'Essentials of Yajur Veda', Essentials of Sama Veda', 'Work, Enjoyment & Progress'.

He is the Honorary Director of Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bengaluru.

 

Preface

This book belongs to the genre of self-help books focusing on the wisdom of the ancient scriptures of the Hindus such as Rig Veda Samhita, Isha Upanishad and Bhagavad Guta. It grew out of the talks given to postgraduate students at Purdue University, U.S.A., over a period of twenty five years (1976-2001) in the weekly 'Gita class', an extra curricular activity. Some students had no exposure to the Hindu Scriptures, some others had some exposure thanks mainly to their grandfather (not parents!). Some questions were posed by me to ascertain their background. To illustrate, I will give the following dialogue, (S) student (M) myself. (M): What is the aim of life? ; (S): I have heard it as 'moksha'. (M): What is Moksha? (S): Liberation from bondage or misery. (M): Do you believe that your life is full of misery? (S) Not really: but moksha may have other meanings. I do not know Sanskrit.

Many students had ambivalent feelings regarding the key ideas like work, enjoyment and spiritual life. One said that we recite in several hymns that out life (samsara) is full of misery even though it is not part of his experience. Another said, 'we are told by many preachers that enjoyment and spiritual life are incompatible; what is the source book for this statement?' Another said, 'Buddha is supposed to have said all work leads to misery; it is hard to believe?'.

Some students were aware of the daily Bible Study Group attended by several of their Christian American colleagues. What surprised the Hindu Students was the opinion on the Bible (New Testament) voiced by their colleagues. "It is the word of God. The words have been useful in our daily life. We are not bothered by the criticisms of the so-called rationalists; it is futile to comment on a book after a casual perusal". Some Hindu students were surprised to see many of the senior professors, including some Noble prize winners, being active in their church (Christian or Jewish) activities. Some students were openly critical of their parents for not exposing them to any to systematic study of the Hindu scriptures in contrast to the Bible study encouraged by Christian parents. Some were impressed by the efforts made by the Jewish parents in exposing the Jewish culture to their children. All this created some interest among some Hindu students in our scriptures.

This book is graced with many quotations from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo who emphasized the role of work not merely as a method of earning money but also as a means of attaining spiritual perfection. There is no need to regard money as, 'an evil' or even as, 'a necessary evil'.

Some of the rules of life enunciated by the great teachers of earlier times are ambivalent. One teacher states that, 'one should not pray to the Divine for any worldly goods". To whom should we petition for satisfying the needs? The idea of begging from house to house is exalted by some persons who themselves would never practice it. Another says, "you should place all responsibility in the hands of God", or "you have to pray, "O God, may your will be done". God does not need our nudging to do His will. The usual comment, 'it will happen as God has ordained', underlies a deep defeatist attitude.

God is not an arbitrary dictator; your sincere thoughts and aspiration can change the direction of the world. Merely Praising God with all superlatives will not make God satisfy your demand, you have to take the first step. Recall the Mahabharata war. Even though the Pandavas were righteous and were great devotees, Sri Krishna did not make them victorious by magic. They had to fight long and arduous battles. At times, when defeat was almost certain, Sri Krishna used his superhuman powers to save the Pandavas. Again in the war, all the five children of Pandavas and all their relatives and the kings on their side were killed.

This book is in form of answers to some specific questions posed by students and others in various contexts. The interesting and complex interplay between our calling the Divine for His (Her) help and His (Her) response is brought out in these questions and answers.

An important aspect of this book is the clarifications of the concepts such as desire, enjoyment, which rarely find a place even in the voluminous tomes of learned preachers. More than half of the questions deal with work including the precise statement of the purpose of life and works. The table of contents should give an idea of the type of questions posed.

Unlike the self-help books published in the USA, this book is brief and to the point. There is no excess verbiage. There is no obsession with becoming the Number One in your career. The emphasis is on developing yourself all through your life. Our goal should be to attain allround perfection not only at the individual level but also at the interpersonal level and at the level of society at large. The growth should not stop even during the years of senior citizen hood.

 

Contents

 

  Preface for the Revised Edition vi
  Preface for the First Edition vii
  Part – I: Aim of life  
1 Goal of Life 3
2 Our unique path 4
3 Supreme spirit and web of truth 5
4 Human Being and the Divine 7
5 Mechanistic world-view 9
6 Anecdotes 10
7 Becoming Conscious and perfecting the body 13
8 Body 14
9 Aim of life 15
10 Divine within 16
  Part - II: Work  
11 What is work and who does it? 19
12 Bhagavad Gita on the 98:2 idea 21
13 Joy of work 22
14 Benefits of awareness 23
15 Awareness while Doing Action 24
16 Conscious Walking: Example 25
17 Degree of Perfection 26
18 Experience the Divine 28
19 Ego and Individuality 29
20 Type of Work and Personality Development 30
21 Ways of Doing Work: Anecdote 33
22 Work & Result: More Details 35
23 Work as in Bhagavad Gita: Case Study of SAKSI 37
24 A Daring Example in Publishing for Children 41
25 Home-makers' Role 44
26 Commenting on the Work of Others 46
27 Sticky Aspect of Work 47
28 Workaholics 48
29 Quitting the job 49
30 Exhaustion After Work 50
31 Decision Making and Silence 52
32 Calm Mind for a Better Grasp 54
33 Positive and Negative Thoughts 55
34 Effect of Negative Thoughts: Examples 57
35 Beginning of Creative Work: Resistance 59
36 Development of Will Power 61
37 Correct path 63
38 Is Prayer a Superstition? 64
39 Prayer: Correct Attitude 65
40 Work in a Changing World: Anecdote 68
41 Accepting Challenge of Change: More Anecdotes 71
42 From Failure to Success: Anecdote of VIS 73
43 Success and Failure: Anecdote of C.V Raman+ 75
  Part - III: Enjoyment  
44 Happiness 79
45 Work and Enjoyment 82
46 Mundane Work 83
47 Enjoyment in Conversation 84
48 Unhappiness 85
49 Boredom 86
50 Need, Manifesting Talent and Desire 87
51 Money 89
52 Asceticism and Consumerism 91
53 Money and Mahalakshmi 93
  Part - IV: Progress  
54 Overview of this Section (14 Chapters) 97
55 GDP and the Relative Development of Countries 100
56 Global Industrial Economy during (0-1998 CE) 106
57 Economic causes of the Western Rise 111
58 The Unification of India: The Prelude to its development 119
59 Sustainable Developments 126
60 Hindu view of food supports sustainable development 129
61 Food Preparation and Distribution 132
62 Beliefs & Practices in agriculture (An East-West Comparison) 137
63 The Rural Scene 140
64 Zero Capital Harmless Natural Farming (ZCHNF) 144
65 Science, Technology and their workings 148
66 Twelve psychological powers 152
67 All-round Perfection: Necessary for all 154
68 Live for a Hundred years 156
  Appendices  
69 Active and Passive Brahman 159
70 Quiescence and Movement 160
71 Rebirth and Learning 162

Sample Page

Item Code: NAK023 Author: R. L. Kashyap Cover: Paperback Edition: 2013 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastri Institute of Vedic Culture ISBN: 8179940101 Language: English Size: 9.0 inch x 6 .0 inch Pages: 78 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 145 gms
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