Manager and Mind-Control - Part 3: Sri Sathya Sai Perspective

[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.] 


The ego thus faces a relentless struggle with ID and super-ego, which is described as a ‘Holy-War’ in certain cultures. Ego must strike a balance between our primitive urges (the ID) and our learned moral values (super-ego). This perennial struggle among ID, ego and super-ego plays a key role in self / personality development. 

Holy War 

Follow the Master

The basic question that arises here is: Who is the Follower and who is the Master? The ‘Follower’ here is ‘Ego’ and the ‘Master’ is ‘Super-ego’. Ego should be motivated to follow the directions and instructions of the super-ego and not become slave of the ID. However, the hands of the Master (super-ego) should be strengthened in order to be able to positively influence the follower (ego) without any strife that may cause stress because of intra-personal conflict. The strengthening of super-ego, which takes a given shape during the formative period of individuals, is the responsibility of parents and parent substitutes (teachers, books, radio, television, web, etc.). Here comes the responsibility of parents at home and teachers in the schools and higher education to play a positive role in providing with positive and useful inputs for strengthening of super-ego or parent ego state of people in society. There should not be however, gaps between what parents / teachers say / teach, and what they do. The parents as well as teachers should become essentially good role models, which would go a long way in influencing the individuals by creating proper values and morals. Values-oriented education and good environment at home and educational institutions would have potent influence on the wards to create a strong master - super-ego. 

Face the Devil

The devil is the ID, which is described as Satan by some people.  Ego will have to face a constant battle with ID. If the ID is purified by disallowing all the unfavourable inputs from all the five senses: eyes, ears, tongue, nose and skin, then the job of ego will be facilitated in prevailing over ID with least friction. Satvic / nutritious food for the palate, wholesome entertainment for the eyes, good and inspiring stories / lessons for the ears, vigorous and regular physical exercises / sports and games for the body, Yoga, meditation, etc., go a long way in creating positive influence on ID through sensory inputs. The parents at home or parent substitutes in case of residential institutions (school / college managements) should take care of this in warding off unfavourable stimuli / influences.

Fight to the End

What is the meaning of ‘End’? The end could mean until the last breath or until we reach our goal: Uttishthata, Jagrata, Prapya Varan Nibodhata: ‘Arise and awake and stop not till the goal is reached’. If the environment allows individuals to develop strong super-ego and a clean ID, then the ego will no longer have a clash with ID, but then it becomes a pleasant exercise among ID, ego and super-ego. Ego will then find less resistance in ID and in reality have more cooperation from ID like a tamed lion in circus. ID will cease to pose formidable problems as in the case of regimented personalities. Thus, ego will not be exhausted in the game of life, and it will have enough capacity to fight to the end. 

Finish the Game

‘Life is a Game – Play it’. Thus, an individual (ego) by identifying himself/herself to super-ego (I) instead of ID (i) would be able to lead a purposeful life and find fulfilment at the end of life to finish the game without getting discouraged. Finishing the game successfully means minimising (gradually eliminating) the animal qualities and enhancing the human qualities: Satya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanti (Peace), Prema (Love), and Ahimsa (Non-violence), which in other words would mean distancing ego from the animal qualities of ID and cultivating the higher values of super-ego by means of developing nearness with it. 

In Conclusion

Personality is individual’s unique and relatively stable patterns of behaviour, thoughts and feelings. Mind is the cause for either misery or happiness in life and as such, it is the mind, which has to be properly trained and tamed. Mind is a bunch of thoughts and is present everywhere. The mind of an individual, especially at youth, is akin to a hundred monkeys. It is said, ‘Brahmachari Shata Markataha’ – meaning the mind of a bachelor / student is similar to the cumulative mind of a hundred monkeys. It is said, “War begins not on the battlefields, but in the minds of the people”. The real manager in a true sense is the one who can manage his own mind. Today people cannot manage their own mind. If you are not able to manage your own mind that is inside, how can you manage the world of objects outside? In terms of the inputs of personality structure, ego with the help of super-ego should be able to prevail over ID for effective mind control. There should be a harmonious relationship between ID, ego and super-ego for balanced personality development and mind control, and no one component of the personality structure should become tyrannical. 

Values-oriented education and good environment at home and educational institutions would have powerful influence on youth to create a strong master (super-ego). The parents as well as teachers should become essentially good role models, which would go a long way in influencing the individuals by creating proper values and morals. If governments all over the world, through their various organs such as educational institutions, work organisations, non-governmental institutions, print and electronic media, and religious bodies, could take proper measures in the form of good schools, colleges, universities, playgrounds and recreational facilities, wholesome entertainment programmes in electronic media, etc. in a concerted manner, they would be able to bring order in the society. This would streamline the energies of youth for long-lasting social harmony, peace and security. 

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