Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal
Dr. H. P. Kanoria, Manisha Lohia, Sunil Kanoria, Madhumanti Maitra , distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen. I am happy to be here at this inaugural session of the 10th World Confluence of Humanity, Power & Spirituality organised by the Srei Foundation This is a timely initiative and I must congratulate all those who have taken up this initiative of building a Sach Bharat - an India that stands glorified through spirituality, devotion to work, welfare, humanity, righteousness, and self-governance. These can be essential components for a Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat and Shikshit Bharat. I think that a serious attempt has to be made to bring spirituality into boardrooms and at work places. This will augur well for business, the nation and the world. Humanity, harmony, peace, interfaith harmony, creation of wealth, elimination of poverty are the essence of this confluence. Truth is one of the basic pillars of a civilized society. But sometimes it suffers at the hands of materialistic outlook where material gains predominate due to abdication of the concept of larger social good. Truth is not merely narration of events, good or bad, happening in society. Truth is on a higher level. It depicts highest ideals of life based on spirituality, morality and ethics. Truth was there at the beginning of the universe, truth alone will be there at the end of the universe. Today, there is truth but is obliterated by lack of its vision. ‘Sach’ is the basis of our existence. It was never created and cannot be destroyed. Truth forms the base of every religion. Time has come to make spirituality the basis of our education, our public life and personal life. It will make our society and our governance more humane and more caring. Swami Vivekananda said- “Manifest spirituality within you. Mark, if you give up spirituality the result will be that in three generations you will be extinct.”
The confluence has seen the convergence of ideas and principles to build on the strong and wide sense of spirituality that permeates the personal lives of millions across the globe. Eminent scholars from various walks of society came together with a belief that the fundamentals of universal spiritualism can be inherited into the workplace in order to benefit society and humanity at large. Businesses are increasingly becoming core sources of community for people in societies. Spiritual organisations should respect and value an individual’s experiences of life and the lessons learnt from them. Business leaders are also recognising the aspirations of employees in the course of businesses and spirituality is becoming very important aspect of our lives. Success in any endeavour can be obtained by hard, sincere and devoted work. One has to keep in mind certain principles. Find delight in hard work. Work with devotion and righteousness. God is the giver. Share fruits of hard work. Be noble. Perform noble deeds diligently. Be happy. Make others happy. Have hearts full of generosity, kindness and love. Arise, Awake, work at the knocking of dawn. Enlighten the souls with divine words. Enjoy riches by sharing them with all. There is no doubt that in the last century humanity has made phenomenal material progress but at the cost of moral and spiritual degradation. This has been evident by both increase in corruption and moral decay. It is manifested in the form of vices like greed, corruption, stress, violence against women, exploitation of the poor, etc. I firmly believe that every person’s conscience instantly tells him whether his action is good or bad, correct or incorrect. The only possible explanation behind all the corruption in our society and the moral decay is a singular lack of spirituality and self-righteousness.
Spiritualism is the path to self-consciousness. The lure of material success in a competitive world sometimes becomes so strong that it overpowers one’s senses and makes him blind to what is right and what is wrong. It is spiritualism that can help one stick to the path of righteousness. Spiritualism can help people remain connected to themselves. One must not renounce the performance of deeds, but renounce the desire for the fruits of those actions. Lord Krishna has said ‘Karmanye Vaadhikaraste, ma phaleshu kadachin.’ Spirituality in workplace is an attitude towards creation of wealth and generation of wealth for the welfare of humanity. It has to be driven from the top of the management of any business entity. By improving the spiritual climate amongst the employees, business managers can promote organisational commitment and thereby ensure better individual performance by developing their internal capabilities.
Spirituality helps to ignite self-governance from within, along with sustainability, creativity, principles, vocation and sincerity in work, which are the prime factors for restoring trust and confidence in the new idea of India that is rooted in our culture. Spirituality today becomes essential as we live in exciting times, a moment of history when we are at the cusp of responding to the resounding call of Swami Vivekananda: “Arise, Awake and stop not till the goal is reached.”
We, in India, have always taken spirituality as being integral to humanity. If the two meet together, a different kind of power emerges. Integrating spirituality at work will help each one of us to do the same work that we are doing now but in a better manner. There has to be an element of compassion for the people we serve. It will improve the outcome of the various developmental programmes initiated by the government. People will be awakened to discharge their duties. Spirituality is far more important than any other aspect of the human mind. A spiritually developed human being will be far happier than any other and will be far more peaceful. He will not indulge in activities which could damage society. Developing a person spiritually and bringing about the transformation of individual human beings will bring about the transformation of society at large and will bring peace and happiness. With profound and often unrecognizable changes taking place in the politico-economic and socio cultural landscape around us, and with steady transformation of global perception about India’s potential as a world power in progress, it seems incumbent upon the influential business community and all far sighted organisations to lend weight to efforts in this direction.
We must continue to honour organisations who have demonstrated spirituality at work by explaining how they have imbibed the qualities of work with devotion and righteousness. The employees perceive to work hard without any expectation of rewards. The organisation absorbs the concept of trusteeship for the promoters, employees, society, nation and all other stakeholders. It requires the spirit of simplicity and austerity without any show of unwanted energies. The organisations will start to adapt the practice of cosmic co-operative existence and independence. This confluence will ensure devotion and righteousness at work and self-governance. We will see that there will be growth and welfare of all while following simplicity and austerity at work. This is a beginning where we can gain inspiration and guidance to move ahead and create an environment of cosmic co-operative existence and Interdependence.
It is obligatory on the part of the influential business community, in truth all far sighted organisations, to lend support to spirituality at work with harmony facet. Time has come to bring together business leaders and activists from disparate groups towards attaining the overdue goal of national regeneration and restoration of confidence amongst one and quarter billion people of India, especially the youth, women, intelligentsia and the marginalised.
India is a youthful country. With such a huge percentage of the young it has the capability to change not only its own, but the fate of the entire world. Spirituality is the strength of India. It is the duty, the duty of the individual. The capsule idea of India today is to make the nation united, strong and prosperous.
In this challenging endeavour, the influential business community has a vital role to play as a catalyst by leading and doing. My best wishes to the organisers for propagating the message of working hard with righteousness, harmony, peace, realizing the care for humanity which is the essence of all religion. Spirituality ignites divinity. Thank You. Jai Bharat.