6. Moral Codes
In the journey of life, man’s conduct has to be guided by certain Neeti (moral principles). Neeti is derived from the root word Nita in Sanskrit, which means that which is proper or right. Right conduct is the royal road for man to achieve the highest state in life. When morality declines in an individual, society, or nation that person, society or nation gets ruined. The loss of morality may even result in the extinction of an entire civilisation built-up over centuries. Without morality, people perish. Morality is the life-breath of humanity. It is because of the decline of morals that humanity today is self-indulgent. A man without morals is worse than a monkey. Darwin attributed to the monkey the following claim, ‘Without me, there is no existence of man’. Whatever may be the truth (about the evolution of man from the ape), the monkey does throw a challenge to man in the following terms, ‘I am present in the human mind and form and by involving you busily in the affairs of the world, make you forget the Divine’.
Example: Gullible Persons
There is a story to illustrate how naively obliging the suggestions of everyone would render one a laughing stock and consequently subject him/her to quandary. A fruit vendor placed a signboard over his stall thus: ‘Fruits are sold here’. A passer-by told the shopkeeper that the word ‘here’ in the signboard was not required. The vendor therefore arranged to get the word ‘here’ erased. Another man came along to say that there was no need to declare that fruits were being ‘sold’ as that was self-evident. And so, the word ‘sold’ was also removed. A third man who came that way commented that there was no need to mention that ‘fruits’ were being sold, as it was obvious to anyone what was being sold in the shop. Ultimately, all that remained was a blank board. The fruit vendor thereby realised the folly of acting hastily upon the thoughtless suggestions of every passer-by, instead of relying on his own judgment.
That is why man’s mind is described as ‘monkey mind’. The monkey claims, “I am indeed greater than you. I rendered service to Lord Rama (referring to the service rendered by Hanuman in the Indian epic Ramayana). You (referring to normal human beings in general today) are serving Kama (the demon of desire). But, since I became the servant of Rama, Kama (desires) became my servant.” Rama is God; Kama is demon (meaning negative tendencies). Only when man cultivates moral values and makes the Divinity manifest in him, will his true personality as a human being be revealed. Man should strive constantly to like good thoughts and act righteously.
Human being is called a ‘person’ (Purusha in Sanskrit). Only a man with the right personality deserves to be called as person. This Paurushyam (personality) is a term applicable only to a person who leads a moral and truthful life, filled with good thoughts and deeds. The Latin word ‘persona’ means one who is a spark of the Divine. Only by recognizing the inherent Divinity in him can man become truly human. The recognition of the Divinity in man will lead to the realisation of the unity of humankind. Everyone will then realise that one belongs to one human family just as all flowers in a creeper belong to the same plant, and all birds in a flock belong to the same species. It is this spirit of unity that has been the core of Bharat’s Sanatana Dharma (eternal culture). It always sought the welfare of all creation, which is described in Upanishads as “Samasta Lokaha Sukhino Bhavantu”.
Thus, a manager should epitomise love and become a role model in different spheres of organisational activities. Values-based ‘managers’ as well as ‘organisations’ can thus become centers of excellence for emulation. Business should not aim at excess profits or wealth maximisation but should realise the significance of social-responsiveness. Therefore, corporate philosophy should be inspired by Dharma (righteousness). In the pilgrimage of life, man’s conduct has to be guided by Neeti (moral principles). A business organisation ought to be regarded as a temple, wherein the entire workforce worships God through dedicated hard work. It is the spirit of unity that has been the core of Sanatana Dharma (eternal culture) of India. It always sought the welfare of all. Without morality, people perish and as such morality is the life-breath of humanity.
Source: Art and Science of Management in Ancient India, Chapter 4, Man Management: A Values-Based Management Perspective