‘WATCH’ Method of Transformational Leadership – Part 2

[Note: This Article is based on the Discourses given by Sri Sathya Sai Baba on various occasions. This is not a direct excerpt from any Discourse, but an essay based on His Message on Management and Leadership.] 

Continued from Part 1

Most people wear a watch, and we refer to it a number of times in a day. The acronym ‘WATCH’ comprises five letters, and we can learn a great lesson in self-development through these five letters. ‘W’ tells us ‘Watch your Words’; ‘A’ warns us, ‘Watch yours Actions’; ‘T’ indicates, ‘Watch your Thoughts’; ‘C’ advises us, ‘Watch your Character’, and ‘H’ declares, ‘Watch your Heart’. When people check their own watch, they should imbibe the lesson that the watch is imparting. If everyone consults the watch not only for time but also for the great message the acronym conveys, one will be greatly benefitted and the world would be radically different. 

Analysis of Components of ‘WATCH’ Method:

As soon as one wakes up from sleep, when one looks at one’s watch to know the time, one can start the day recapitulating what the word ‘WATCH’ is directing one to watch. One must conduct oneself throughout the day with that awareness! A detailed analysis of the five letters of ‘WATCH’ would perhaps spur all those interested in personal development to first understand and then internalise in a gradual manner, its inner significance and its application for self-development. 

The ‘WATCH’ Panchakshari [i] 

1. Watch Your Words: 

A word is a unit of language that carries meaning and consists of one or more morphemes, linked more or less tightly together, with a phonetic value. One should watch one’s words and use them very carefully. The first step in spiritual Sadhana is purification of speech. Most misunderstandings and factions arise out of words spoken carelessly. When the foot slips, the wound can be healed, but when the tongue slips, the wound it causes in the heart of another will fester for life. Therefore, if one uses words (overtly or covertly) which are good, holy, sacred, decent, wholesome and positive, there will be positive recordings in the sub-conscious mind, which will have a positive influence on one’s personality and behaviour. On the contrary, if one uses words that are harmful, negative, unholy, foul and indecent, there will be negative recordings in the sub-conscious mind, which produce negative influence on one’s personality and behaviour. Baba prescribes the “Ten Commandments of the Tongue” to exercise greater control over one’s own tongue. 

Baba exhorts: “Satyam Bhruyaat, Priyam Bhruyaat, Na Bhruyaat Satyam Apriyam” – “Speak the truth; Speak pleasingly; Do not speak that fact which may sound unpleasant”. 

Baba's Ten Commandments to the Tongue

Sound is Sacred: A Story

One teacher, having about 10 students, was teaching them some good things.  To such an Ashram, came a person who had some position and power in the society. This teacher did not go to the door to welcome and receive this visitor. This man came there because he had some position and authority. He felt somewhat hurt and he went right into the class and asked the teacher. “Why is it you didn’t care for me? You have not come and received me. What are you doing?”  The teacher said, “I am busy teaching the children some good things”. The person who came in asked, “Just because you are teaching them some good things, are the hearts of these children going to change and become more sacred?”  The teacher took some courage and said, “Yes, of course, there is every possibility of their mind changing by my teaching”. The intruder said, “No, I cannot believe it”. To this the teacher replied, “It simply means that you have no faith in it. Because of that, I cannot give up teaching these boys some good thing”.  The visitor then started arguing and said there was no possibility of changing a mind merely by words. The teacher who was clever and who had known three things, asked one of the youngest boys to stand up. In the bearing of this visitor, the teacher told the young boy, “Look here! My dear boy! You just get hold of the neck of this visitor and throw him out of the door”. Immediately on hearing these words, the visitor becomes very agitated and his eyes were red. He was very angry and he came to beat the teacher. Then the teacher asked, “Sir, what is the reason for you becoming so angry? We did not beat you. We did not throw you out. The only thing that has excited you to this stage of anger is the word, which I conveyed to this young boy a few moments ago. You were arguing that words do not have the power to transform minds. What is the reason that these mere words, which I have uttered to this young boy, have changed your mind so much that you are so agitated?” The visitor realised his mistake. The teacher then continued, “It is very wrong to say that with mere words you cannot cause any amount of affection. With words, you can earn the grace of anyone”. Therefore, if in this world you want to promote friendship, you can do so by using sweet words, by talking in a very sweet manner and by speaking about sacred words. On the other hand, if one uses harsh words, one is not going to promote friendship in this world. 


[i] Panchakshari in Sanskrit means five-lettered. The famous five-lettered incantation in Hindu Mantra Shastra is “Na Mah Shi Va Ya”, which is believed to be very powerful. The acronym of WATCH as presented here is also very powerful in the arena of business and management.

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