Drawing your inner strengths to handle Ethical Dilemmas


By

Jonaki Mahajan
Lecturer
Auro University
Surat
 


Objective

When we focus towards our inner powerhouse of internal strength and mind power we become empowered. Mental empowerment gives us the mental strength to take correct decisions. We learn to exercise self control and thus take ethically correct decisions. By trying to understand the deeper implications of the Mahabharata, we try to simplify the ethical decision making process. Thus our objective is to overcome ethical dilemma by following few guidelines explained metaphorically in the Bhagvad Gita.

Self-empowerment helps us to take ethically correct decisions. Each correct decision relieves us from stress and anxiety. When we learn to listen to our true inner voice which is, our super consciousness, we in turn learn to become super powerful. Petty worldly success seems too small and we learn to achieve true excellence. We learn to strike a balance between spiritual and material life. When we achieve this harmony our inner power gears our life towards achievement of worldly goals and targets. This enables us to rise higher up in the success ladder, by which we are normally ranked most of the times in the society.

From times immemorial,"The Bhagvad Gita" has inspired us to live a positive and ethical life. Gita has been our main guiding book even in the field of management. Organizational problems like ethical and moral decision making can be definably improved by following and practicing some of the guidelines given in the Bhagvad Gita in a back drop of a mythological story. Mahabharata has been written metaphorically where each character has a deeper implication and meaning. If we dwell into the inner meanings, a whole new way of thinking emerges which can make our ethical decision making process simpler.

In today's organizational world, increased expectations of employee and employer, tough competition and higher monetary needs are constantly pressurizing employees to cut corners, break rules and engage in questionable practices.

Employees and Organizations are increasingly finding themselves facing ethical dilemmas-situations in which they are required to define right and wrong conduct. For e.g.should they 'blow the whistle' if they uncover unethical, illegal activities taking place in an organization? Should they allow themselves to play politics in the organization? Should they take favors to buy some happiness at home? On being asked about ethical behavior, every person in al- most all organization has the same answer "everyone does it", or maybe they say, "you have to seize every opportunity now a days".

Every individual wants to climb the invisible ladder of success. Every person wants to live materialistically a complete life. Yet if you ask a rich person a simple question, "are you happy?" you might get "NO!" as an answer. Some who face ethical dilemmas might not be happy with their own decisions; his inner conscious rebukes him for his wrong actions.

Ethical dilemma is a psychological conflict in our conscious mind.  The fight between the good and the bad.  The battle between the right and wrong or the battle between the Kurus (the wicked impulsive mental desires) and Pandavas (the pure indiscriminating intellect Buddhi).

Manas or the blind mind is allegorically represented as the blind King Dhritarastra, father of one hundred Kurus, or the sensory inclinations which are bent towards, (pravritti): worldly enjoyment. On the other hand Buddhi(Pandavas) draws its discriminating power from the super consciousness (Krishna) of the soul.

Individual is a combination of Kurus("Mann" bent towards worldly desires)and Pandavas ("Buddhi"i.e. intelligence guided by super consciousness of the soul which is also known as Krishna consciousness).Buddhi "the intelligence" draws the consciousness towards truth or the eternal realities, soul consciousness or self-realization.  "Mann (Manas)" sense mind repels the consciousness from truth and engages it in worldly desires (money, power, status- Maya).

The battle field of Kurukshetra is actually the environment "the field of action" in which we exist in the present time. The chariot depicted in the battle of Kurukshetra is the human body. Arjuna is the soul who owns the body. The five horses are the five senses-(touch, sight, hearing, smelling and taste) held by the reigns of manas and "buddhi" (mind and intelligence) Arjun the soul is guided by his inner super consciousness i.e. Krishna consciousness allegorically represented as Lord Krishna in the Mahabharata.

Ethical dilemma is a moral struggle between good and evil, right and wrong on the plain of Kurukshetra. This has been happening from the beginning of life. A psychological war is waged on the plain of - Kurukshetra between the mental tendencies - inclinations pulling the life and consciousness outward towards worldly desires)  and the pure discriminative tendencies of Buddha- intelligence drawing the life and consciousness inward toward the soul.

Even in today's organizational context we actually fight all these moral, psychological and spiritual wars constantly without even focusing on them or knowing about them. Only those who are very conscious about the whole decision making process, believes in impartial self-introspection are aware of these internal conflict that we face every day. In the context of OB they are the intra-personal conflict. Few examples

  • "A child begins his first conscious struggle when he has to choose between his desires to play aimlessly and his desire to learn."
  • "A youth finds himself confronted suddenly with a host of problems that often he has been ill-prepared to meet, like temptations of sex, greed, perversions, money, peer pressure and social influences."

"This is the time when ethical dilemma silently creeps in. The youth usually discovers he possesses no sword of wisdom with which to fight the invading armies of worldly experiences.

The adult who lives without cultivating and employing his innate powers of wisdom and spiritual discrimination finds the kingdom of body and mind is being overrun by the insurgents of misery-making wrong desires, destructive habits, failure, ignorance, disease and unhappiness.

Few are even aware that a state of constant warfare exists in their kingdom. Usually it is only when the devastation is nearly complete that men helplessly realize the sad ruin of their lives. The psychological conflict for health, prosperity, self-control and wisdom has to be started anew each day for man to advance towards victory, reclaiming inch by inch the territories of the soul occupied by the rebels of ignorance."-Paramahansa Yogananda.

In Mahabharata, the blind king Dhritrashtra (blind mind) enquires to Sanjay (impartial introspection) about the battle between the Kuru (the wicked impulsive mental and sense tendencies) and the virtuous Pandavas (pure discriminative tendencies) on the holy plain of Kurukshetra (the bodily field of activity).

Who is Sanjay in Mahabharata and what is his significance? Sanjay means, "completely victorious; one who has conquered himself." He alone who is not self-centered has the ability to see clearly and to be impartial. Thus in real life, Sanjay is divine insight for managers who want to overcome their personal internal conflict on decision making and ethics. Sanjay means self-analysis and introspection. It is the ability to stand aside, observe oneself without one's conscious awareness.  Introspection is that power of intuition by which the consciousness can watch its thoughts. It does not reason, it feels-not with biased emotion, but with clear, calm intuition.

The timeless message of The Bhagvad Gita does not refer to one historical battle, but to the cosmic conflict between good and evil; life as a series of battles between spirit and matter, soul and body, life and death, knowledge and ignorance, health and disease, self-control and temptations, discrimination and the blind sense mind. Each of us has the power of one's self-introspection. Self-introspection is invoked to review the conflicts of the day in one's mind in order to determine the favorable or unfavorable outcome.

If you look at yourself as a warrior who has faced several battles and has won most of them. Of course have lost in some but nevertheless have tried your best, you will definitely feel more powerful and strong from within. Smaller battles like ethical dilemmas in organization will look very petty and small and you will learn to take correct, honest and stronger decisions relating to your inner consciousness. Once you learn to introspect yourself and empathize with others, your entire perspective towards life, organizational issues and interpersonal relationships begin to change. When you give the reins of your five powered horses (senses) on to the hands of your intelligence and supreme consciousness (Krishna) you will definitely be able to speed up your chariot in the right direction and would easily win over all battles in life.

Actually each one of us are engineered to function 100% correct in every situation. Gita teaches us self-empowerment. Each one of us wants to be happy. Happiness can be achieved only by aligning our life with the principle of truth, peace and bliss. We can live in bliss if we follow our true nature which in itself is purity and truthfulness. We can remain empowered if we follow our innate, original nature of truthfulness and purity.

The moment we diverge from the point of truthfulness we experience stress and discomfort.

One must remember few essential points as lessons of life

  • Inner strength is that power which helps you accomplish everything with faith.
  • Acquiring inner strength implies attaining our true nature.
  • People think that we need to possess external strength to show people that we are powerful, however true strength is drawn from within from self.
  • If we use our mind and body appropriately it can lead to an incredible growth in our faith.
  • The power of truth can change your world.

Conclusion:

If we are self-empowered and mentally strong we would always take ethically correct decisions. Each correct decision would relive us from the stress and anxiety. When we learn to listen to our true inner voice, which is our super consciousness, we learn to achieve true excellence. We need to strike a balance between spiritual and material life.

References:

The Bhagvad Gita (Paramahansa Yogananda.)
Organizational Behavior-Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn
The Invisible ladder-Sirshree
Organizational Behavior-Nelson and Quick
 


Jonaki Mahajan
Lecturer
Auro University
Surat
 

Source: E-mail July 14, 2011

          

Articles No. 1-99 / Articles No. 100-199 / Articles No. 200-299 / Articles No. 300-399 / Articles No. 400-499/ Articles No. 500-599
Articles No. 600-699 / Articles No. 700-799 / Articles No. 800-899 / Articles No. 900-1000 / Articles No. 1001-1100
Articles No. 1101-1200 / Articles No. 1201-1300 / Articles No. 1301 Onward / Faculty Column Main Page