|The Pancha Koshas - The Five Human Sheaths|
Man is a manifestation of Panch-Koshas (five sheaths). First, there is the Annamaya Kosha, i.e. our physical body. We have a lot of interest in this Kosha (sheath). The amount of attention and care we show towards this, the attire we put on, the ornamentations used for decoration and the amount of the cleansing done to this, we do not perhaps do the same to any other constituent of the human system. This may be construed as quite necessary, but it should be borne in mind that man must not get stuck here only, but must journey to the Pranamaya Kosha. Without life, what is the worth of the physical frame (body)? As such, the individual develops great deal of concern about life, which is unquestionably essential for individual survival. To safeguard this life, an individual would not hesitate even to spare a lion’s share of his income. Some people move ahead from the Annamaya to the Pranamaya and from there to the Manomaya Kosha (mind sheath). But it should be enquired as to what is meant by the mind and how should we use the mind? Nobody is making efforts to progress towards the Vijnanamaya Kosha (knowledge sheath) and the Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss sheath). Therefore, no one is able to get permanent bliss. We have to continue on our journey till we reach the sheath of knowledge (Vijnanamaya Kosha). Knowledge in this context does not connote mere possessing of information. The blossoming of the Atman is knowledge (Vijnana). The recognition of the Atman as the true basis of oneself is knowledge. Self-realisation (identification with the Atman which is the reflection of the same Divine principle that is present in all beings) is knowledge. The joy experienced by merging oneself with Atman is knowledge.
The fusion of self-respect, knowledge and bliss is true knowledge. Nobody is bothered about this type of enquiry. So, if we wish to do MBA, we should understand the meaning of each of the seven letters of the term ‘Manager’. Take any object, for instance, a mic (microphone used in public address system). What is the meaning of the word ‘mic’? The form itself suggests the meaning of the object. As is the case with the mic, similar is the case with the tumbler, kerchief or any other item. Padaartha refers to material. Similarly, the inner significance of ‘mind’ and ‘man’ lies in the words themselves. The equivalent word for ‘man’ in Sanskrit is ‘Manuja’, which means the one who is the descendent of Manu. As per the Indian culture and history, Manu [i] is considered as the codifier of all types of Dharma and is said to be the foremost among all human beings. Manu’s principles of moral codes [as enunciated in his Dharma Shastra (treatise of moral codes)] have been guiding the progress of Bharat right from the times of yore. All our activities are guided and governed by Manu’s Dharma Shastra. ‘Manu’ means the foremost person and ‘Ja’ means being born. Therefore, Manuja means ‘one who is the descendant of Manu. Thus every word conveys to us how it has originated and what is its meaning. Everyone should thoroughly assimilate the meaning of each of the seven letters of the word ‘Manager’ in spirit and be able to put it into practice through sincere effort. One should realise that since we are human beings, we should have a mind that humans ought to possess. One must also make all efforts to master this mind. If one internalises the meaning of the seven letters and demonstrates the same in one’s conduct, one would gain the eligibility to achieve the status of being a master; else, we would slide to sub-human levels.
One has to acquire self-mastery for the sake of self-development. Education is not for acquiring affluence per se, but for acquiring good qualities. Without good qualities, any amount of learning is futile. What is the use of learning, if after studying so much, one is not able to realise one’s true identity (meaning that one should be able to understand who the real Self is: whether it is the body or the spirit)? People acquire several degrees such as M.A., M.Sc., M.Com, M.B.A and Ph.D., but they are ignorant of their true nature. We have to be familiar with the basic principles and should not get swayed by the vicissitudes of life.
Today, learning is similar to the following analogy. From the worldly perspective, humanity is undoubtedly making rapid strides, but on the moral front it is deteriorating swiftly. Here is a small example. To drive away the birds causing damage to the fields and crops, farmers in the bygone times used to employ some traditional methods. A catapult was used to drive away the birds. If the stone hit the bird, it would be killed. Our pseudo-modern people condemned such killing, alleging that the modus-operandi was crude and savage. Slowly, the modern methods such as bow and arrow arrived, followed by rifles, smaller version ‘pistol’ and still later, bombs. Some pseudo-animal sympathizers who objected to the killing of birds with stones are now silent when millions of innocent people and creatures are perishing with weapons of mass-scale destruction. This has become so common in the present-day world. The modern people, who charge people of olden times as primitive, do not even possess a fraction of the concern, which those people had towards living beings. Which of the two is crueller: killing a bird with a stone or killing millions of innocent people with weapons? Is this not a demonic quality?
[i] In Hinduism, Manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of humankind, the first king to rule this earth, who saves humankind from the Pralaya (universal flood). Mahabharata says, “And Manu was endued with great wisdom and devoted to virtue. And he became the progenitor of a line. And in Manu’s race have been born all human beings, who have, therefore, been called Manavas. And it is of Manu that all men including Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and others have been descended, and are, therefore, all called Manavas”.
Source: Source: The Manager and Values-Based Management: Significance and Salient Features, Chapter 9, Man Management: A Values-Based Management Perspective