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Showing posts from December, 2009

Daivi Leadership

The Daivi Leadership model is based on the daivi sampad discussed in the sixteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. It is also based on the life of Krishna as a leader and on his teachings. Besides these, in developing the Daivi model of leadership, I have used insights from the wisdom of the Vedas and the Upanishads as well as from Indian leadership philosophy as discussed in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Arthashastra, Tirukkural and other ancient Indian literary works. The Daivi model of leadership is a contrast to the Asuri model of leadership, which I have developed from the asuri sampad as discussed by the Bhagavad Gita and leadership thoughts in the texts mentioned above. These two twin leadership models form the extreme ends of a continuum, the Daivi Leadership being the best and the Asuri Leadership being the worst. In the ultimate analysis, Daivi Leadership focuses on light that ennobles the life of all people involved, whereas Asuri Leadership focuses on power for its p…


I was reading Romain Rolland’s Life of Sri Ramakrishna this morning when I came across this fascinating incident from the life of the great master. The incident involves Sri Ramakrishna’s guru Tota Puri coming under the influence of Maya and the the sage of Dakshineshwar, the disciple, laughing at it with the merriment of a child.

Tota Puri, the naked saint, as everyone familiar with the life of Sri Ramakrishna knows, is one of the two teachers of the saint of Dakhineshwar, the other being Bhairavi Brahmani. While the Brahmani’s instructions to Sri Ramakrishna were mostly in tantric spiritual practices, Tota Puri was the master’s teacher in Advaita.

Speaking about Tota Puri, Ramain Rolland says: “Towards the end of 1864 just at the moment when Ramakrishna had achieved his conquest of the personal God, the messenger of the impersonal God, ignorant as yet of his mission, arrived at Dakshineshwar. This was Tota Puri – an extraordinary Vedantic ascetic, a wandering monk, who had reached t…

Romain Rolland: The Way of the East, The Way of the West

Reading The Life of Ramakrishna by Romain Rolland this morning, I came across a beautiful passage which I felt I should share with my readers. For those who are not familiar with Romain Rolland, he is a Frenchman and a Nobel Prize winner for literature, whose magnum opus is the giant Jean Christophe, acknowledged as one of the greatest works of modern literature. Rolland’s original book on Sri Ramakrishna is in French and what is given below is from an English translation by E. F. Malcolm-Smith, Ph.D.


“The age-long history of the spirit of India is the history of a countless throng marching ever to the conquest of supreme Reality. All the great peoples of the world, wittingly or unwittingly, have the same fundamental aim; they belong to the conquerors, who age by age go up to assault the Reality of which they form a part, and which lures them on the strive and climb; sometimes they fall out exhausted, then with recovered breath they mount undaunted until they have conquered or been …

Weakness and Strength

Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move. “Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?” “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in …

One Glass of Milk

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house.

However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?” “You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.” He said...”Then I thank you from my heart.”

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard t…


An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings had lived.