Management Sutras – Preamble


Management Sutra – Preamble

Human race has always led a life that required efforts in Managing the environment in which he lived. Though all other living system has its own mechanism to manage its environment, mankind was unique in many ways.  The word environment is used here in much larger context. Human was probably the most expressive and thoughtful product of nature. The method of expression and language used may have changed over a period of time. The essence have remain by and large same.

I am personally a curious reader of this such literatures as close to its original form as possible. I attempt to seek relevance of the Practices explained in the books of History and Religion including Mythology in current context. While many may ridicule the mythology or may look at them only a passion of “devouts”, I see them as a way of communicating “Best Practices”.

I intend to share some insights, through these books of past, on current days Management Practices and Concepts. Some may even label it as Old Wine in New Bottle. I cannot disagree with them. That is why the Old Wine are precious and we should not loose them in oblivion of disbelief or modernism.

In the current series I have chosen Maharishi Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. This is a Hindu Scripture and foundation of Yoga. It forms part of Sutra literature dating to India’s Mauryan period. This period also gave us famous Kautilya Shastra which is even today a reference book on Management and Economy. 


Yoga is defined (as sourced from web)
  1. A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation
  2. Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity that is achieved through the three paths of actions and knowledge and devotion
  3. A system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind
  4. Yoga (Sanskrit, Pāli) refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Wikipedia link on Yoga (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga) describes it further as below:

Major branches of yoga in Hindu philosophy include Rāja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga. Yoga based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, comprises one of the six main Hindu schools of philosophy (darshanas), together with Kapila’s Samkhya, Gautama’s Nyaya, Kanada’s Vaisheshika, Jaimini’s Purva Mimamsa, and Badarayana’s Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta. Many other Hindu texts discuss aspects of yoga, including the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Shiva Samhita and various Tantras.

The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings and is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” meaning “to control,” “to yoke” or “to unite.”  Translations include “joining,” “uniting,” “union,” “conjunction,” and “means.”

The word yoga may also derive from the root “yujir samadhau,” which means “contemplation” or “absorption”.

The attempt to define the term Yoga is more to do with the market of Yoga as mean to gain control over mind and body. In the process, the strength of Yoga in wholesome is lost. Yoga has become a Packaged Product like any other Premium FMCG product in the market. Like any other product and services, it attempts to capture the attention through something that is Sulabha (easy). The wholistic approach of Yoga is explained in Patanjali Yoga Sutras and several other texts.

Our body system is made up of a system called panchakosha पंचकोश, which literally means – five layers of existence; Kosh means layers of existence.

The existence of human beings has been described having five layers (Tattiriyopanishad). This is the primary Upanishad for Krishna Yajurveda. The five koshas are –

अन्नमयकोश Annamaya Kosh (Physical Layer / Physical Body)

प्राणमयकोश Pranamaya Kosh (Vitality Layer/ Pranic Body/ Life)

मनोमयकोश Manomaya Kosh (Consciousness Layer/ Senses)

विज्ञानमयकोश Vigyanamaya Kosh (Intellect Layer/ Budhhi – Knowledge/ Ahankara- EGO)

आनंदमयकोश Anandmaya Kosh (Blissful Layer / Ultimate Joy)

The existence of a business organisation can be depicted as below:

The outer layer represents the अन्नमयकोश Annamaya Kosh. They are physical in nature. They decay. They change. They get revived, renewed, lost, discovered etc. Most organisations that have lived long enough would realise that their products & services have gone through changes in form and content through the period. Some of these changes may be driven by external or internal needs. The new Body makes way for new Body. Windows and Apple made DOS based system redundant. The market segment undergoes change. Rural Market that was once considered “Not”worth has become “Note”worthy for most marketing professionals.

अन्नमयकोश Annamaya Kosh from organisation perspective can be shown physically in form of Men, Machineries, Materials in various forms, Infrastructures. Each of these undergoes change over period of time. Let us look at the change that has happened to each of them. These changes made the science and art of management challenging.

Men

Men (here indicated workforce without any bias to a specific gender) has undergone significant change in its intellect (Knowledge), ability to perform (Skill) and behaviour (Attributes).

At a basic level we correlate knowledge to education level (though that may not be always true). One cannot fail to notice the increase in number of qualified people in almost every field. If one want to ignore the qualification, the understanding and vastness in knowledge that the next generation demonstrates is far from imagination. While the early men were also good at reasoning and thinking, which is the base for “knowledge”, the number of such people has increased.

“Ability to Perform” refers to one’s ability to do or perform a task. The advancement in technology has enabled even ordinary people to perform extraordinary both in terms of quality and quantity. In today’s job market if an organisation wants a hire an accountant who may not know how to use accounting software is next to impossible. Stephen Hawking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking) is an example of how technology can enable people to achieve feats that are unimaginable earlier. With advancement in office automation, the role of secretaries is disappearing.

Behaviour (Attribute) of job seekers and Job providers has also changed. Job Seekers are more open to path less travelled. Job Providers are now moving from industry specific experience to generic skill background. The traditional employment process driven by “apprenticeship” associated individuals to an industry or trade. A “papermaker” was “papermaker” for life. Today people migration from one industry to another and one function to another function is order of the day.

Machineries

Machineries have changed that way home or factory used to operate. They have influenced people’s ability to work. Many have become obsolete. For example it extremely difficult to locate a convention printing press. It is not possible for one to now use statistical machines that were used in colleges earlier for large scale computing.

Material

Material in almost all area have either already become rare or on the verge of becoming one. The conservation of material is the key. Most struggles between countries today can be traced to a desire to gain control over Material.

Infrastructures

The change in infrastructure need not be highlighted. Almost every form of infrastructure has undergone change since mankind discovered wheel. Thinking Global and Acting Local is feasible only because of reduction in the geographical boundaries.

I will continue with other Koshas in next issue.

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