Vedanta is the science and the art of living life at its highest and the best. It is the very meaning of life, as simple as life; and also as complex as life is. Viki Shah talks to Sunandaji, the daughter disciple of internationally eminent philosopher A. Parthasarathy to know more
DOES THE VEDANTA PHILOSOPHY HAVE ANSWERS TO ALL OUR QUESTIONS? I MEAN HOW CAN IT HELP IN OUR DAY TO DAY LIFE?
The philosophy of Vedanta gives the eternal principles of life and living. The principles learnt and practiced prepare the individual with a complete manual for life. Without this knowledge one lives with stress and strain, discontent and disharmony in a world of opportunities.
HOW CAN WE PRACTICE IT IN OUR DAILY LIFE, AT WORK?
The knowledge of Vedanta enables one to live a life of dynamism and peace. People often become helpless victims to challenges of the world. Incapable of dealing with situations, they succumb to external pressures. Vedanta fortifies the human intellect with knowledge and prepares one to face and overcome any challenge in the world to lead a stress-free and successful life.
HOW CAN ONE FIND LASTING PEACE?
To find lasting peace, the elements of right living need to be followed at physical, mental and intellectual levels of the personality.
1. Actions performed by the body must change from being self-centered to selfless service.
2. Emotions felt in the mind should embrace the world with love, not preferential attachment.
3. Through independent reflection the intellect must seek true knowledge of the Self within. Not gather mere information and become scholastic. The three disciplines implemented in life lead to the ultimate state of peace and bliss.
WHAT IS ‘DEVELOPING THE INTELLECT’ ACCORDING TO YOU? AND HOW DOES ONE DEVELOP THE INTELLECT?
The inner personality of a human being is constituted of the mind and intellect. The mind comprises impulses, feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. The intellect is superior and subtler than the mind. The faculty which thinks, reasons, judges, decides. The intellect has the capacity to direct and control the mind.
Development of the intellect is different from being intelligent. The world offers opportunities to develop intelligence. Information gathered from external agencies like digital resources, books, teachers, educational institutions makes one intelligent. While the intellect is developed by individual effort, through a process of question and enquiry, not taking anything for granted. This approach must begin from early childhood. Constant application of this method cultivates and strengthens the intellect.
WHAT IS THE CORE OF LEADERSHIP?
Essence of leadership lies in possessing thorough knowledge and overall intelligence. Deep emotions and genuine identification equally towards all colleagues at work. A keen sense of service and sacrifice in achieving the ideals of the organisation.
FIVE TIPS FOR BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL LEADER:
1. Lead and not just point the way to colleagues at work.
2. Fix an ideal for oneself and the team to work for.
3. Act dynamically and maintain mental equanimity.
4. Be objective to optimise productivity.
5. Maintain a sense of dispassionate passion.
FIVE TIPS TO LEAD A HAPPY LIFE:
1. Intellect maintaining governance over mind’s activity.
2. Assess and relate appropriately with people, situations, environment.
3. Live by right choice of action, not leave it to chance.
4. Perform obligatory duties and flourish, never claim rights.
5. Be dispossessive towards possessions.
WHAT IS A DAY IN YOUR LIFE LIKE?
The day starts at 4:15 am with study and\ reflection on scriptural texts. Followed by yoga and exercises. Thereafter duties and obligations for each day.
Sunandaji is the daughter disciple of internationally eminent philosopher A. Parthasarathy. Under his guidance, Sunandaji has been imbibing Vedanta, the ancient philosophy of India for over three decades. Dedicating her life to the propagation of Vedanta philosophy, Sunandaji has addressed diverse audiences across four continents for the past twenty years. Her clear and powerful presentation of ancient wisdom in contemporary thought has been acclaimed by prestigious organisations including the Young Presidents’ Organization and many leading universities around the world. Sunandaji is a senior administrator and trustee of the Vedanta Cultural Foundation, a charitable trust dedicated to the study, research and propagation of Vedanta. The Foundation has been accorded the coveted status of a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by the Government of India. The Foundation also established the Vedanta Academy in Malavli Hills, 108 km from Mumbai. The Academy is a unique educational institution that imparts the knowledge of Vedanta to young men and women from all over the world.