The most logically thought decisions of our lives are often guided by –loss-gain considerations. We want every outcome to be a win-win for us, from every standpoint.
In organisations too, we are used to making structured analysis to evaluate every decision thread-bare so that it is a productive one.
At the heart of this logical thinking is the fear of loss. It comes from a strong attachment to things we like, as well as our attachment to our body-mind identities.
This fear-motivated reasoning brings with it a short-term ’What’s in it for me?’ orientation.
Unless our intellectual faculties are purified with spiritual intelligence, we will not be able to break out of this myopic orientation. We will not be able to combine our intellect and heart to take crucial decisions. The ideal combination.
In the Bhagwad Gita, we find a powerful shloka that provides the framework to get out of the clutches of emotions such as fear and anger:
‘Vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upashritah bahavo jnana-tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah’.
It says when a person is able to take refuge in the divine, by purifying ones being by the fire of knowledge, spiritual wisdom, he is able to get rid of the negative emotions of fear, anger, and attachment, and attain the highest.
These emotions, when un-restrained become a huge negative force. Swami Ranganathananda of the Ramakrishna Mission in his commentary on this shloka says: “Vedanta considers fear as an inhibitor of high action. We have to overcome fear. We have to transform the negative energies of fear, attachment, and anger.” The way to transform is the crux of this shloka.
It talks about a powerful concept of Jnana Tapas, the austerity of mental knowledge; using our metal faculties to imbibe the highest spiritual wisdom with sincerity and grit. Assimilating it and making the philosophy real in our lives. And through the fire of this knowledge, purify the mind to transform negative emotions. Blessed with enlightened intelligence thus, a person is able to manifest the power of the purified heart.
Swami Vivekananda underlines the importance of combing the faculties of the head and heart. He says: “There is room for an infinite amount of feeling, and so also for an infinite amount of reason. Let them come together, let them be running together, as it were, in parallel lines. When there is a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow the heart. Because it is the heart that takes one to the highest plane where the intellect can never reach. It is through the heart, and the heart alone, that inspiration comes.”
Therefore, when we are able to work towards a higher purpose, and realise it through our actions, we start purifying ourselves. From a purified heart, impulses are spontaneous. Combined with our logical faculties, the motive force behind every decision thus will have a more collective and empathetic flavour.
Men and women with this mindset will be able to flood the world with unbounded character energy. An intrinsic fearlessness arising from spiritual strength will power their journey through adversities. The highest recognition will come from working for the benefit of their families, colleagues, and the community. Thereby building a grand platform for both success and fulfilment.