30.6.

2004

Principles of Development
This is an attempt to make a presentation about the important principles governing development. These principles describe how society functions and what is the nature of the interaction between the society and the individual in the course of development. Very first principle says that the knowledge of society generally resides at a sub-conscious level. As time rolls on society keeps on gathering lot of experience. The knowledge that is derived from the experience remains mainly at the sub-conscious level. It becomes conscious only through the appearance of a pioneering individual. The pioneer is one who helps society progress and advance to the higher stages by his own personal demonstration. (i.e.) He succeeds in achieving something new that is useful to the society he lives in by applying a conscious knowledge he has gained from the fund of experience that society has collected. These achievements may be a new scientific invention or a new type of industry or a new work of art or literature or even a new system of religion or politics. The pioneer then plays a constructive role guiding the rest of the society to get the same thing that he has secured or to follow him in the new direction that he has shown. When we look at the pioneer in a superficial manner we are easily tempted to say the achievements of the pioneer is his own exclusive achievement. Sometimes even a pioneer may also feel this way. But that is not correct. Pioneer is only a part of the society and is its conscious representative. He functions for the sake of the society and achieves on behalf of the society. Therefore his achievement is really the achievement of the society behind him and the society has the right to take full credits for his achievements. When a boy scores first mark in the school or college, he normally doesn't say that it is his own achievement. Normally he thanks his teachers for the coaching they have given him and also thanks his headmaster and his parents for the encouragement and support they have given him. Even he may thank his friends also. So when all these people have played a role in making him get first mark, they have every right to feel that its their own achievement. If the pioneer appreciates this point of view he will be received well by the society. If he doesn't appreciate this point of view the society will reject him and treat him as a nobody. The interaction between the pioneer and the society can differ depending upon the time he appears on the social scene. Some arrive at the right time when the people are looking for a change. Then the pioneer is able to show how to bring about the change. Therefore he is readily appreciated and becomes a leader. Gandhiji and Nehruji are good examples of pioneers who arrived at the right time. The Indian population was beginning to feel the need to get the British out of the country and recover its independence. Only that it didn't know how to go about it. Gandhiji then appeared on the scene and showed that independence could be won in a non-violent manner. The population liked this approach and therefore he immediately became a leader. But such a combination doesn't come all the time. Sometimes the pioneer arrives too soon for the society to accept him. (i.e.) He arrives at a time when the society is at an immature stage and cannot appreciate his view point or action. Then the pioneer instead of becoming an adorable leader turns into a rebel who has to enforce his view on the society by force. He also has to battle the social opposition in order to succeed in his mission. This is what happened in the case of Martin Luther, who ushered in the protestant reformation.

Sometimes the difference between the level of the society and the level of the pioneer is so great that his actions and ideas evoke fears and opposition that physically endangers his life. This is what happened in the lives of Jesus Christ and Socrates. Such incidents are not confined to ancient history alone. One can find instances of a similar nature even in modern history. In the 1970's the Shah of Iran tried to modernise his country. He offered a lot of freedom to the women of his country and in many other ways he tried to modernise his country. But the conservative clergy of Iran rose in full revolt and tried to depose the Shah. Apart from losing power his life came to be in danger. Therefore he physically fled the country. Now we will move to the next principle of development. Development is only one part of a four parts sequence in social evolution. The other three parts are survival, growth and evolution. Survival is defined as the stage where man is able to earn enough only for his minimum food, clothing and shelter expenses. People below the poverty line fall into this category and there are a lot of them in India. Farm labourers and daily wage earners whose annual income doesn’t exceed 12,000 Rupees per year fall into this group. Growth is a stage where there is a horizontal expansion at the level where the person is. The expansion is of a quantitative type. There is no quality improvement but a numerical expansion. Let us say, a small farmer with 1 acre holding manages to increase his holdings to 5 acres. Now instead of being a small farmer he becomes a medium size farmer. If his holdings are increased to 10 acres he will become a big farmer. But his condition as a farmer does not change. He still remains a farmer only that he has become a big farmer. This same applies to a small retail merchant who increases his sales and becomes a bigger merchant. But development is not the same as growth. In development there is vertical expansion and there is a change of quality. If a retail merchant becomes a manufacturer, if a clerk becomes an officer, and a village becomes a town, then we can say that these are instances of development. If a primary school becomes a high school, and a college becomes a university, a MLA becomes a MP, we can say these are all signs of development. Even a farmer can be said to show the sign of development if he gives up paddy cultivation and takes to fruits and flower cultivation. The later is a higher type of farming than simple paddy cultivation. As such there is a qualitative improvement and therefore we can say some development has taken place. The final part of the four parts sequence is the process of evolution. There is a physical, social, spiritual dimension to the evolution. We define evolution as the process of moving from one plane to a entirely new plane. The ape giving rise to man is an instance of physical evolution. In man’s social existence itself, he has moved from a stage of hunter gatherer to that of the settled agriculturist. Then he moved on to the stage of an industrialized urban educated society that we are living in today. Beyond this a day will come when the present mental man himself will turn into a supramental man, who will be as different from us, as we are from the ape. That is the spiritual part of the evolution waiting to occur. Now we come to another important principle of development, which says the basic laws governing development are the same whether it be an individual, family, community or even society in general. Let us see now what are some of these basic laws. First and foremost is organisation. Development can come only through organisation. This is as much true of individuals and families as it is true for companies, communities and nation. Let us now try a definition of organisation. Organisation is the process whereby the available energy and resources are used in a planned and systematic manner to bring about the desired result in the most efficient manner.
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The power of organisation is a great catalyst for development. The difference between the advanced nations of the West, and the developing nations of Asia and Africa is that they are more organised than us in all their activities. Their educational systems, production systems, transport system, political and administrative system and even their sports and entertainment system are more organised than ours. What is this magic power of organisation. The power comes from integrating and co-ordinating all the various components that go into productive work. The power of organisation will be more obvious in business concerns than in personal life, still the basic process is same. Energy is the source of all accomplishments. Without energy nothing can be done. That energy is of four kinds namely, physical, vital, mental and spiritual. Most of us are familiar with the first three varieties of energy which is enough for our ordinary social purposes. Something is needed to release the energy in the first place. That trigger is provided by aspiration which is the desire for accomplishment. When we formulate an aim in our life and aspire to realise the aim in our life that releases our physical and psychological energies. The energy exhibited by children is all expended in playing as they do not have any specific projects in their mind. Because play is the only aim, all the energy goes into playing. But adults cannot afford to squander their energy like this, otherwise there will be no energy left for accomplishments. The energy released by aspiration gets a direction by the aim that the individual is keeping. Let us say a student wants to become a doctor. The ambition to become a doctor releases the energy. All that energy is directed into doing whatever is necessary to become a doctor. So the aim of becoming a doctor gives his energy a certain direction that turns it into a productive power. Now his whole life is organised around the focus of becoming a doctor. His attention will be focussed on studying that will help him become a doctor. The financial resources of his family are directed to secure him a medical seat. He attends and appears in all the exams and interviews necessary for the selection to a medical course. So his energy, his time and his financial resources are all organised to get him what he wants. It is this organisation of resources that turns the force of his energies into a productive power. Once he gets the medical seat he employs his mental intelligence to understand all that is taught in the medical college for a student of medicine. This is the skill part of his work. So when the organised power of his energy is combined with the skill of his intelligence, he gets the result he wants. The result is he passes the medical exam and become a doctor. In essence the process is as follows: Aspiration Energy Force Power Organisation + Skill = Result.

What I have shown at an individual level gets repeated in a bigger way in a business organisation. One aim of business organisations is to make profit. All the resources are organised to fulfill this one aim. They have four basic components which are their people, their capital, technology and their product and its market. These four have to be coordinated and integrated in such a manner as to make the profit. That is the role played by organisation. The other four are visible while the last one is not. But without this the other four cannot yield a productive result. If a company is very profitable and successful it invariably means that all these four components are very well organised in their operations. When a company is failing it means that this organisation is missing in them. Coco-Cola company is doing very well because it has a very good co-ordination between its distribution network and its customer base. The company is very sensitive to complaints about the quality from the customers. It takes very great care to maintain the quality. But Chryster Car company which is an auto giant suffered loses to the tune of 3 billion dollars because of a lack of co-ordination between the product and the customer. The company went on making models it liked irrespective of changes in customer’s taste. It became technology for
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its own sake and got disconnected from the realities of the market. The result came in the form of a huge loss. What is true of companies is also true for the nations. Indian development can be vastly accelerated if the right co-ordination is there, between the various resources that are there at the nation’s disposal. If the peoples manpower, financial resources and technology and the demands and the developmental needs of the nation are fine tuned and co-ordinated, the Indian prosperity will become equal to that of USA in a matter of 2 or 3 decades. The next basic law is the law concerning resources. Resources are of two kinds. Physical and mental. Physical resources includes land, raw materials like coal, oil, wood, etc. Such physical resources can be renewable or non-renewable. For example, wood is a renewable resource but coal and oil are not renewable. Some resources are finite and limited, while some others are unlimited and infinite. For example, sunlight is an unlimited and infinite resource. Solar power plants depend upon the sunlight for production of electricity. That sunlight they get in plenty and it also comes free of cost. But good cultivable land is becoming scarce and limited. In a country like India with a huge population, we don’t have the luxury of infinitely expanding the supply of cultivable land available to us in order to feed our growing population. We have to increase our food supply by increasing the productivity of our lands. That is where our mental resources come into play. Physical resources may be limited in quantity. Our mental resources have no limit at all. By the application of our mental intelligence we can immensely increase the productivity of our physical resource. Our Indian farmers are getting only 12 tons of tomatoes per acre. At the same time tomato farmers in California in USA are harvesting 36 tons of tomatoes per acre. Difference is not in the soil. Difference comes from methods of cultivation. American farmers are using advanced methods of soil nutrition to boost the yield of the tomato crops. And these advanced methods were developed by an innovative Indian farm scientist Dr. Lakshmanan. So we see that the origin of the increased tomato yield lies in the innovative idea that came from the mind of the Indian scientist. The abundance of a physical resource does not guarantee that it will be used productively. Rather the very abundance makes man waste and misuse the resource. In the days when lot of water was flowing in the Cauvery, Thanjavur farmers were wasting a lot of that water by wide open channel irrigation. They would not consider using aluminium pipes and sprinkler systems for better utilisation of water. But the paddy yields of farm lands in Tanjore is not very high. At best they harvest some 30 bags of rice per season and their per acre earnings per year from paddy cultivation does not cross more than 18,000 Rupees. But look at farmers in Israel where land is scarce and water is scarce. Israeli farmers know how precious these things are and so they use them to the maximum possible extent. Israeli farmers use drip irrigation to give each plant the exact amount of water it needs and they have taken to flower and fruit cultivation which are much more profitable than mere paddy cultivation. So when an Indian farmer earns a mere 18,000 rupees from paddy cultivation, an Israeli farmer’s earnings from an acre of flower cultivation runs into lakhs and lakhs. Actually there is no such thing as an inherently useful resource. It is human intelligence that finds a use value in a material and thereby turns it into a resource. Let us take the sand in the beach that is there in abundance. For a long time nobody had any use for it and it was considered useless. After the discovery of cement it was discovered that sand could be used as a mixer with cement to develop cement paste for construction purpose. Then a more intelligent person discovered that it could be melted and turned into glass, which is a more valuable product than cement paste. After the discovery of transisters, scientists have discovered that this common sand could be turned into valuable silicon chips that are very essential for electronics.
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Here we see increasingly better use for common sand depending upon the level of human intelligence that is applied on it. Depletion of limited natural resources is causing concern to many people. For example, coal and petroleum are fast dwindling in quantity as human consumption continues to increase. What is going to replace these resources for our fuel and energy needs is a question haunting the civilised world. But such fears are unnecessary because the power of human ingenuity can always come up with better alternative energy resources. Scientists are working on replacing the existing power distribution lines with that of fibre optic cables where the transmission loss is very negligible. The world is awaiting a break through in nuclear fusion to produce electricity in an unlimited measure. It has been calculated that one kg. of radio active uranium contains energy equivalent to 1.5 million metric tones of coal. The difference in energy value is simply beyond comparison. If the dream of controlled nuclear fusion becomes a reality in the next two or three decades, then we will truly understand the power of human mental resources to enhance our living standards. When we talk about resources, one cannot miss talking about money which is seen by many people as the most valuable resource. Many people have a strong belief that unless there is enough money for investment purposes, accelerated development is not possible. Such people forget that money is only an invention of man and as such it is in his power to increase its supply. It is a fatal mistake for humanity to become a slave of its own creation. According to Sri Aurobindo it is a mistake we very often make. Money is only a symbol of economic value. What we call economic value is itself the product of many other values such as hard work, efficiency, quality, integrity, punctuality, cleanliness, harmony, etc. We can always increase these values to any extent possible and thereby increase our money supply. For all those who see the connection between values and money, it should not be difficult to command any amount of money supply. The American car company Chrysler Corpn., lost a staggering amount of 1.7 billion dollars due to inefficient operation. As a result it was virtually written off as a bankrupt company that was impossible to salvage. But one man CuIacocca who believed in the power of values stepped into the scene and promised to rescue the company in a matter of 3 years only. He dismissed inefficient Vice-Presidents, cut the salaries of refractory workers, redesigned the car models to suit the wishes of the American customers. He personally appeared on the TV commercial ads to promote the sale of his company cars. The values that he restored to the company were efficiency, customer service, quality, money back guarantee, and a sense of responsibility. In three years, these values in combination worked wonders. The company earned 2.4 billion dollars, which was more than enough to offset the loses and post an amount of profit also. If values can bring about this miracle, then why should we have any doubt about the power of values to increase our money supply. If some people still have some doubt, what happened in the life of the software professional named Sabir Bhatia should dispel any lingering doubt whatsoever. Atleast Iacocca had his factory, his technology and his people to launch his programme of recovery. But Sabir Bhatia who wanted to become a millionaire had nothing except his brains. All he did was to open free Hot mail accounts for people who could not use their company email accounts to retrieve personal messages. The values he exhibited in doing this was goodwill and generosity. Very soon his site attracted so many people that advertises found his site a goldmine. In 5 years it attracted the attention of Microsoft which bought his site for 350 million dollars. The only investment he had made were the power of his mental ingenuity plus the application of values such as goodwill and generosity. If these could fetch him 350 million in 5
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years, it should become obvious to everybody that the best resource available to us is our mental resource of intelligence and values. The next principle is that efficiency is essential for development. Intelligent functioning makes a man efficient. Wherever systems are in operation it helps to raise the efficiency. We can try a definition of what it means to be efficient. Efficiency is defined as the accomplishment of the maximum result with the minimum of resources. We all know that when tenders are called for the execution of public works the contract is normally awarded to the company that quotes the least price for executing the contract. Signs of raising efficiency is reduction in time and space, reduction of material consumption and the reduction of cost. When the papers and files are properly organised in a company it will be easy to trace any particular paper or file in a matter of 5 minutes. But there are companies where papers and files are not systematically organised. In such companies, tracing a particular paper or file may take more than an hour, with even 2 or 3 people doing the searching job. Now-a-days many offices are getting computerised. Instead of keeping all the files and papers that occupy 3 or 4 godrej almirahs many offices have started storing all their files in the computers. The transfer of all the files to the computers saves enormous space. There is also saving of time in retrieving the files. In many western countries the post offices are becoming idle with less and less work. The main reason is people have stopped writing letters, since all of them have switched over to the e-mail communications. E-mails are faster and also much cheaper. Today an air mail costs minimum of Rs.15/-. But the same communication can be sent as an e-mail for a cost of one local phone call. CDs carrying the printed matter have vastly reduced the cost of gathering information. A 24 volume Britanica encylopeadia set costs a minimum of $ 3000. The whole set can be compressed into a set of 2 CDs for a cost as low as $ 250. When such a price reduction is available it is obvious that the future lies with the CD and not with the printed books. Our Indian nation can vastly speed up its development by raising the standards of efficiency in all its walks of life. We are familiar with the bureaucratic hurdles that the government imposes on the public, when the public wants sanctions for a new project. In Andhra Pradesh, Chandra Babu Naidu’s government gave a big relief to the farmers when it announced those farmers seeking the copies of ownership certificates can get it from computers by simply entering their name and details about the certificate. In this manner they are relieved of the burden of having to wait upon the clerks and officers and be at the mercy of their whims and fancies. They also do not have to spend on corruption. If the granting of birth and death certificates, granting of school TCs and passports can be computerised in this way, it will vastly improve the efficiency of our operations. Next we come to the principle of obstacles and anachronisms. Obstacles and anachronisms impede our progress by insisting on doing things in the old way. A anachronism is the persistence of our old way of functioning when it is no longer needed. When a city gets bigger and bigger the traffic on the road will naturally increase. Common sense requires that in order to accommodate the expanding traffic flow the existing roads have to be widened. If the roads are not widened, more traffic flowing through the same old, narrow roads will cause terrible conjestion. But this type of situation prevails in many cities. Residents of Chennai know how difficult it is to move in vehicles in areas like George town where the roads are still very narrow. The construction of a new bus stand at Koyembedu has broken the anachronism of conjested narrow roads and has given a big relief to the traffic flow.
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Our public life is full of anachronistic ways of living. In our domestic life, we are keeping in tune with the progress the world is making and don’t behave in an anachronistic manner. The gas cylinder has replaced the wooden oven, a grinder has replaced the pestle and the mortar, the mixie has replaced the ural and ammi, the pipes and taps have replaced the traditional well. No man with common sense will go back to the wooden oven, the pestle and the mortar, the ural and ammi. If anybody does that he will be laughed at. But the sanity we display in our household functioning is not there in our public life. India has taken to democracy, secularism, modern education and the scientific outlook towards life. Acceptance of these things should mean that the caste system should have been given up long ago. Secularism means that religion should not be allowed to enter politics. Modern education means the education system should be such as to promote original thinking and understanding. Scientific outlook on life should mean the giving up of superstition. But, what do we actually find? Democracy co-exists with the caste system, caste conflicts are very common occurrences, religious parties have entered the political scene and they are promoting conflicts and disharmonies among the various religious groups in the country. This is making a virtual non-sense of our secularistic principles. The Western world has achieved the division of the church and the state more than 200 years ago. Since then the religious forces have had no scope in their national politics. We, in India are reviving today what they gave up 200 years ago. The whole Western world is laughing at India; we are not even aware of it. I said modern education means the educational system should promote original thinking. But, what do we find? The traditional system of education is still very much in force. Children are still learning by memorisation and are answering the exam questionnaires without even understanding the answers that they are writing. Any student who raises a question or expresses another point of view is still scolded by the teacher and looked upon as arrogant and impertinent. When the Saint Ramanuja expressed some different opinion about the nature of God to his teacher, the teacher got very angry and asked him, what right he had to express a different opinion than that of the teacher. Ramanuja lived thousand years ago. At the present day, teachers still behave very much like the teacher of Ramanuja. When we talk about anachronisms, it is not simply a physical phenomenon, there is a psychological dimension to the anachronism. Whenever our thinking and mentality are not in keeping with the spirit of the time, we can be labelled to be psychologically anachronistic. Parents who still beat the children, husbands who treat the wives as inferiors, employers who still treat the employees as slaves and the salaried employees who look upon self enterprising people as foolish and those conservative people who still consult the horoscope and believe in Raghu Kalam, Yama Kandam and Vasthu are all people who are psychologically anachronistic. It is like their mentality is frozen and set in an inflexible mode. The future of the country does not lie with people like this. It lies in the hands of people who are innovative, flexible, bold, adventurous and eager to learn. Now we move on to the next principle of accomplishment and enjoyment. These two things always go together. Wherever you find the one, you will find the other. In other words, what we accomplish, we can enjoy and what we enjoy, we necessarily accomplish. It is not possible to accomplish something without enjoying it or that we can enjoy something without accomplishing.

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Sachin Tendulkar and Saurau Ganguly are super stars in the game of cricket. If they have become accomplished batsmen, it is obviously because they enjoy the game they play. It is not necessary that enjoyment be restricted only to games and sports. People can enjoy the work that they are doing and that enjoyment will help them to become leaders in their field. This is true whether the work one is doing is big or small. Let us take a cook employed in a household. Her job may be to cook for only 5 or 6 people. If she earns the name of a good cook, and if people like the way she serves, it is not possible to earn that good name without enjoying the act of cooking and serving. Those who earn the name of bad cook will be invaringly those who dislike cooking and who do not have the spirit of self giving that is so essential for serving. What is true for cooking is also equally true for achievement in big business, professions, politics and arts, etc. When we are keenly interested in what we are doing, it improves our efficiency with respect to that act. When a businessman enjoys running his business it makes him be alert and watchful about all the various components of his business. His eagerness to get orders makes him be pleasant to the customers. How can he please the customer unless he can deliver his order on time. Concern about prompt execution of orders makes him be sensitive to variation in stock position. If he wants his company to grow that is not possible unless his work force is happy. They will be happy only if they are paid on time and they are duly compensated by timely increments for improvements in their performance. Prompt purchases and prompt payments can only be made when the businessman has a good idea about the cash flow in the company. So his interest in keeping his company efficient, makes him keep his accounts perfect. So in this manner, the pervasive interest that a businessman shows in running his company helps him raise the standard of efficiency in all the components of his organisation and thereby helps him to accomplish in business. Now imagine another company where the proprietor is not interested in what he is doing. His lack of interest and enjoyment makes him be negligent about every aspect of his organisation. As he is not interested in his business growing, he will not be worried about diminishing orders. As he is not interested in executing orders, naturally he will not be worried about diminishing stocks. If workers are upset about late payment, that will not bother him. If he is not keen on prompt payment and purchase where is the need for him to keep his accounts in order and know his cash flow position. In this manner we see, once the interest is not there, it triggers a vicious downward spiral that depress every aspect of the company and eventually brings it to a halt. On the contrary if the required interest and enjoyment are there, again it triggers a positive healthy spiral that touches every aspect of the company and pushes it upwards more and more. This is a fundamental law of life — One has to honour it if he is serious about accomplishing in life. Moreover this is a matter of choice and we have to decide what is the type of work that brings out our interest, and what is it that we can do and at the same time enjoy doing it. Others cannot force us to do something and order us to enjoy doing that work. If a boy wants to become a doctor, he will naturally enjoy reading those subject that will help him to become a doctor. Those parents who compel their son to join a course of their choice which may not be to his liking, will be bitterly disappointed, if they expect him to enjoy and accomplish in the course they have chosen for him. So accomplishment and enjoyment are very much matters of our own choice. Next we move on to the principle of the qualifying line. Accomplishment requires that we be qualified in the first place to do what we want to do. If the qualifications are missing,
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then it becomes obvious that we are disqualified with respect to the task that we want to perform. So the line of qualification operates like a dividing line. The dividing line separates the winners and the losers. Those above the line are above average and those below the line are below average. Life co-operates with those who are above the line and will refuse to co-operate with those below the line. This is a common phenomenon in life and we can see this principle in operation in our daily occurrences. When a rich man applies for a loan, it will be readily sanctioned. But if a poor man applies, he will be asked all sorts of questions and the amount will be sanctioned after much delay and he may also not get the full amount he has asked for. The rich man applies for 10 lakhs of loan, the bank manager will tell him to take 20 lakhs, that is he will give him more than asked for. But if the poor man has applied for Rs.10,000 loan, he will be asked why he dares to ask for 10,000 rupees and he will be told to settle for 5,000 rupees. That is he gets half of what he has asked for. Technically speaking both are only customers. They deserve equal treatment. But they are treated differently because with respect to money, one is above average and the other is below average. By using this device of qualifying line, we can separate people it four different groups. First group is the group of winners. Whatever they do, they start it successfully, sustain it successfully and finish it successfully. They are winners all the way. The second group is the group of losers. They fail in everything they do and they cannot even start anything on a successful note. The third group is an intermediate group, they will fail in the beginning, but succeed in the end. The fourth group is also intermediate but they are the reverse of the third — that is they will begin successfully, but they will fail in the end. One may wonder on what basis these groupings are formed. These groupings are a result of the combination of four things. We have inner merits as well as inner deficiencies. We also have outer merits and outer deficiencies. This can combine in four different ways. A combination that consists of inner merit and outer merit enables a man to become a winner. The unfortunate combination of inner as well as outer deficiencies will make a man looser. A combination of outer deficiency and inner merits will make a man a looser in the beginning but a winner in the end. A combination of outer merit and inner deficiency will make a man a winner in the beginning but a looser in the end. People may want to know what are inner merits and outer merits, similarly what are inner deficiencies and outer deficiencies. Intelligence, capacity, honesty, enthusiasm, perseverance, hard work, courage, generosity, co-operation, creativity, humility, purity and such other good psychological qualities are all classified as inner merits. For devotees we can add qualities like devotion, faith, capacity for consecration and aspiration to the list of inner merits. The opposite of all these positive qualities will constitute inner deficiencies — that is stupidity, incapacity, dishonesty, laziness, impatience, fear, stinginess, disharmony, non-creativity, arrogance, impurity, etc. For devotees lacking in devotion, faith, capacity for consecration and aspiration will be demerits. Outer merits include prosperity, good educational qualifications, good family upbringing, conducive environment, cleanliness, punctuality, availability of resources – both physical and human, good technology, good product and a good market, etc. Opposite of all these will constitute outer deficiencies — poverty, poor education, bad family upbringing, negative environment, absence of cleanliness, procastination, paucity of resources, defective technology, defective product and a poor market, etc. Those who are endowed with rich inner qualities and whose outer life is also filled with all the outer merits, will naturally become winners and accomplish what they want. Those who have neither the inner support nor the outer support will naturally fail. Those who are intelligent, hard working, honest and adventurous but who are deficient in their financial resources and who face a negative environment (shortage of resources, obstructive bureaucracy, criticising
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public, and abscence of ready market) will have difficulty in the beginning of their operations but their inner strengths will prevail in the end by enabling them to mobilise their required financial and other physical resources and by turning the environment into a positive one that is to say the inner strength wins against outer deficiencies by eventually turning the outer into a positive one also. But for those with outer merits and inner deficiencies, the picture will be some what different. Due to the availability of money, a good product, good technology and a good market, and a conducive environment they will make a good beginning, but due to their inner deficiencies of laziness, incapacity, dishonesty, impatience, they will loose the initial momentum they gained and will eventually become losers. Now it is upto each individual to decide for himself to which group he belongs and what are his inner and outer merits and demerits. But the diving line is not a permanent fixed line. It is not like those who are below average now will have to forever remain below the line and be resigned to failure. Those who are willing to make an effort to improve their personality and who persevere in that effort can always hope to cross the line one day and become above average and qualify to accomplish what they want to do and especially for devotees who are very aspiring and faithful, this transition to above the line is always possible. Now we move to the next fundamental principle of authority. Authority is not a term generally liked because it is liable to be misused. Power has a tendency to corrupt. Those who are fond of power can easily over do it thus becoming tyrannical and dictatorial. Though this negative possibility is always there authority does have a constructive role to play in the context of developmental activities. All organisations whether big or small always have an individual at the top to function as a leader who gets work done on the strength of his authority. In a family it is usually the father, who functions as the head. The captain of a cricket team, the headmaster of a school, the proprietor of a company, the director of a dept., chief minister of a state, prime minister of a country, the army general are all people who play the role of a leader. All of them can do the work very well only if they are given the sufficient authority. That too only to the extent the people obey them. The authority that the head of the family exercises over the other members of the family is purely personal, how effective it will be is dependent upon the strength of his personality plus the status that he enjoys on the basis of his job, income. The head of the family who has very meagre income or is jobless may not be able to exert any authority over his family members. In that case the authority may pass on to the lady of the house if she is employed and earning well. In that way the authority is neutral and not partial to any one. It will flow towards those who have the leadership, it will not necessarily stay in the hands of those who are supposed to exercise it if they are deficient in leadership. The authority wielded by the leader of an organisation is more impersonal in the sense that it is based on the aims and objectives and rules and regulations governing the company. Still the personality factor very much counts. The MD of a company who can handle the striking workers, and deal with them effectively will enhance his authority. If he is afraid to face the workers and is unable to negotiate, effectively his authority will be weakened inspite of the weight of his post. I said the authority is necessary to get the work done, because people are generally unwilling to work. Unless there is somebody on top supervising the performance and threatening them with punishment, in case the work is not performed, work will move very slowly in many offices. But for above average individuals who like and enjoy doing work and are eager to progress, external authority is not necessary. Their own inner aspiration for progress functions
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as an inner authority driving them to do the necessary work. This is a far better type of authority than conventional outside authority. For Mother devotees, especially this is what will turn the power of grace coming to them into concrete results such as abundant prosperity, progress in career, social advancement for the family, etc. Now we have finished with the major laws that apply equally to individuals, families, organisations and nations in general. We will now move on to some broader principles. Because development is a physical event, it may be tempting to pronounce that it is external factors that mainly decide the extent and course of development. But this is a superficial point of view. There is an inner dimension to development. In the long range it will be seen that it is our inner resources that really decide the course and extent of our development. In their impact they can far out weigh the intensity of external factors, i.e., even if the external factors are not conducive our inner resources can compensate for outer deficiencies, and manage to bring about the desired improvement. An example will make the point clear. When a region has good fertile lands, and a good water supply it is easy to expect the people there to be prosperous and economically advanced. On the contrary if the region is arid and deficient in water we expect the people to be poor and be backward. But our actual experience is very different. The Cauvery delta in Tanjore, the Gangetic delta in Bangladesh are places with fertile lands and a good water supply. The people there are not doing very well financially. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world and the district of Thanjavur is one of the backward districts of Tamil Nadu. It is the people who are lazy and unenterprising. They have not made full use of the positive environment in which they are living. Let us take the Chettiars of Ramnad districts and the Marwaris of Rajasthan. These two places are arid with meagre rainfall. The people there are not resigned to poverty and failure. They have developed qualities of enterprise, diligence and hard work, all of which have helped them to come up in life through the avenue of business. What is true within India is true at the international levels. The Isralis and the Arabs are all living in the same type of arid, desert environment. If the desert is the deciding factor, then all these countries should be equally backward. The Isralis are far advanced than the backward Arabs. Though the water supply is very sparse they are making good use of the sprinkler and drip irrigation and achieving very good result in fruits and flowers. The entire cut flower market in Europe is supplied mainly by Isrel. Oranges from Israel are very famous for being very juicy. So what is setting the Isralis apart from the neighbouring Arabs? Why has the arid climate not subdued the Isralis as it has subdued the Arabs. It is because the Isralis use the inner resources to dominate the outer ones. They are intelligent, hard working, innovative and far more persevering than the Arabs. Though the resources are scarce, they have increased the productivity of soil and water. The Arabs are satisfied with the easy flow of money from the export of oil. Therefore they have not developed the inner resources as Isralis have done and they are satisfied with whatever living standards that are made possible by the oil revenue. The oil revenue goes to the government, but it has not helped to improve the individual prosperity of the Arabs. Such incidents will help us understand clearly that the only worthwhile development is the development that comes by inner choice. Whatever is imposed from outside by way of external pressure and authority lasts only so long as the pressure remains. This can be seen at the individual, organisational, and even at the national level. Children who are fond of studies will study on their own. The parents don’t have to remind them that they should stop playing by 6’o clock and do their homework. Our Mother’s Service Society is running a school named Primrose where the teaching method is designed to foster the child’s curiosity for learning. Because it is
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an innovative type of school, the children are not even required to do homework. Still the parents are finding that after returning from school, the children are eagerly reading whatever book is available and they are asking so many questions. A similar type of school is being run in a village near Kumbakonam. There the poor children from the village are given free education. These children are so fond of learning, that even on holidays and vacation time the children keep coming back to the school asking the founder of the school to continue teaching. We can never hope to see such a sight in any other school. Normally in high schools when annual summer holidays are declared, the hostel will be empty the next morning. That is the result of teaching done by the force of compulsion. So when the compulsion is removed immediately the students flee from the school and the hostel. The same is true of moral values. The children who value good moral behaviour will behave alright whether they are under the supervision of the parents or when they are on their own. Those who do not have any inherent value of good moral behaviour will do what they want, once they are out of parent’s sight. Such children without self discipline will dissipate and waste their time and energy once they go to cities to study in a college. Adults are not any different from children. Those who are fond of working won’t adhere, won’t follow a strict 9 - 5 schedule. When the work is not over by 5’o clock, they will extend the timing till the work is over. A business man eager to get an order will wait upon a customer at the hotel at 6 or 7’o clock in the morning if necessary. If raw materials are in short supply, he won’t mind losing a few nights sleep in order to get the raw material wherever it is available. If a man strictly adheres to 9 - 5 work schedule and refuses to work overtime or to take extra efforts, then you can be sure that he is not at all fond of work. He works only because he has to maintain his family. In many government offices, you will find the clerical cadre people leaving exactly at the stroke of 5 or 5.30. Such people will remain clerks for long time to come. Those who get quickly promoted to officer cadre won’t be like this. They will be working overtime, take extra initiatives and will be demonstrating a greater sense of responsibility. In many Western countries they are now relaxing the rules of retirement and allowing people to keep on working even after 60, if they feel like it. They are finding that many are coming back to their office and continuing with their work. This shows that these people are really fond of work. But in our country, most people will happily retire at the age of 60 and settle down to a routine life of reading newspaper, watching T.V., playing with the grand children and going to the provision store and ration shop. But, even in India at the elite level, the trend is changing. There are doctors, lawyers, professors and bank officers, who are working as much after retirement as before and keeping up the same level of earning. If the trend catches on at the middle class and the working class level also, then the aged population of this country will remain an asset to the country and not be looked upon as burden. We said that what applies to the individual also applys to communities and also nations in general. In India, the government is actively encouraging the downtrodden population to come up in life by offering preferential treatment in education, employment and loan facilities. But the same government is not at all behaving in a helpful manner towards forward communities. If the government help is the only criterion by now we should find that the downtrodden population to have become equal with the forward communities. But are we finding that to be the truth? Though the weaker sections have come up in the life to some extent, the gap between the forward and the backward community is still very wide. The
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difference comes from the difference in the respective mentality. Though the weaker sections are pampered in so many ways, the urge to develop and progress in life is not strongly organised in them. That is why so many of them misuse the money they get by way of loan facilities and remain where they are. The forward communities are aware that the government is against them and not helpful to them. But that has not deterred the people from developing because they have the inner urge to develop and know the value of good education and a good career. So if the government quota for reservation for the weaker section is increased correspondingly the allotment for the forward community is decreased. The forward community comes up with new ways of employment. So instead of seeking government jobs they search for new avenues of employment such as software programming and thereby they manage to increase their earnings even by 3 or 4 times. So it becomes obvious that it is not government incentives and subsidies that will help the community come up in the long run. What will really help them come up is to cultivate within themselves an ambition to progress and be prosperous. Once that comes these government incentives and subsidies can all be withdrawn and that will not alter the development. At the national level we also find that the type of the government that people have chosen willingly endures in the long run. All the others which came to power by force will be rejected by the people at some time or another. The communists came to power in Russia and Eastern Europe by staging revolution and using military power. But today after 70 years of rule by force we find the people of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Europian people rejecting the communist government and going back to democracy and free trade. China still remains a communist state but even there it won’t be communism in its original form as followed by Mau zee Dong and Chou-en-Lai. It has all been highly diluted and revised to accommodate to the needs and aspiration of the Chinese population. Today the Western countries are investing more in China than in India which is a democratic and free trade country. Then we can imagine what must have been the extent of liberalisation that must have been allowed in China. All the socialistic measures that the congress government introduced in India like the formation of the public sector, nationalisation of banks, reservation for the weaker section, free education in government schools and free treatment in government hospitals have all endured to this day because the people have accepted the socialistic measures willingly. When the British left, there was no compulsion to retain the English language, the English system of bureaucracy or even the English system of law. That these things have remained only means that the people have retained them willingly. So in all these ways the point becomes very clear that only self choice and inner acceptance help us progress in the long run. The progress brought about by external pressure, authority and incentives won’t last in the long run. Assuming that an individual or a community or even a nation wants to improve itself, we have to look at the quantitative as well as qualitative dimensions of the extra effort required. If progress can come by increasing the quantitative dimension alone, then progress is not that difficult to achieve. Progress is difficult to achieve because the qualitative dimension has a key role to play. Improving the qualitative dimension of an effort is not as easy as improving the quantitative dimension. The transformation of an unskilled labourer into a skilled labourer, that of a dull student into a top scoring student, of a salaried employee into a self enterprising person, of a merchant into a manufacturer, transition of poor country to a rich country and subject nation into an independent nation are all not merely quantitative transitions. Qualitative dimension is more responsible for the transition than the quantitative. The unskilled labourer, the dull student, have to improve their skill and understanding if they want to successfully emerge as a skilled person or a bright student. It is easy for a merchant to buy goods from one person and sell to another. All he has to do is to invest money in the purchase of goods and
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have a place for their storing and sales. But manufacturing the item that now he is selling will demand the capacity to maintain the quality of the product, and a the greater element of risk taking. If he cannot maintain quality, demand for his products will come down, and there is a danger of losing the money he has invested in the manufacture. As far the salaried employees, it is not that easy to give up the sense of security that employment offers and opt for the risks that go with self employment. When a person is an employee, he only carries out instructions. That is he is not deciding for himself. Somebody makes the decision, he executes the order. But when a person is his own master, he has to decide for himself what is good and what is bad. Wise decision will help us advance in a career but wrong decisions can prove very detrimental. Not many people have the courage to decide for themselves in matters involving their earnings or their accomplishments. A film actor is an artist on his own. He has to be constantly deciding which is a good banner, who is a good director, which is a good story and with whom he can costas as heroine. For upcoming actors these decisions are very crucial. If his initial choices makes his film a hit, he keeps rising in the industry. And if his initial selections are wrong, that will weaken his position and in the competitive atmosphere of the film industry, two or three consecutive flops can finish an actor’s career. If qualitative improvements are difficult to achieve at individual’s level, then imagine how difficult it will be for a whole nation to improve its qualitative performance. It is precisely this problem of improving qualitative performance that stands in the way of a poor country like India becoming a rich country like USA. If we want to become equal to USA in the next two decades, qualitative improvement of our human resources requires an effort thousand times greater than that we are taking now. Our educational standards have to be improved tremendously. People must become more hardworking, more enterprising, more self reliant, more honest and more dedicated to values. Now the whole population is insisting on their rights only but they are oblivious about their duties and commitments. If we want the nation to prosper, there should be an equal stress laid on what we can do for the nation. This requires a radical change in our attitude and that is not easy to achieve. That is why I am saying that qualitative improvement requires effort thousand times greater than the one we are taking now. Nehruji was aware of this point in the very beginning of our independent era. He once had a meeting with a batch of IAS recruits who were all ready to sholuder their important responsibilities. He asked them all what they thought this country needed very much to speed up its development. All the IAS recruits gave a uniform answer insisting that heavy capital investment and technology can do the miracle. Finally Nehruji had to tell them that it is not these things that will rid this country of poverty. He said the need of the country was an improvement in the consciousness of the people which involved a radical change in their attitudes. Not one of the IAS recruits expected this kind of an answer. These kinds of observations lead us to the conclusion that more than physical resources, subtle factors such as values, mental intelligence and moral integrity are powerfully productive. When we look at lands, buildings, machinery and capital funds, it is tempting to say that the productive power of these is enough to bring abundant prosperity to this country or even to the whole world. But what good are these lands, buildings and machinery, if the people supposed to use them are not capable, intelligent or hard working. Mental capacity is a subtle thing, it is not physical. Certainly the productivity of the mind is far greater than that of the physical body. An unskilled farm labourer working in the hot sun for 8 hours a day may at best earn Rs.150, but an educated professional like doctors, lawyers, auditors, who employ their mental knowledge in their work are able to earn many thousands, that is the difference between the productivity of the body and mind.
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The Tatas and Birlas have built up their business empires in a span of three decades by using enormous capital funds and heavy investment in technology. The founder of the Reliance group Dhirubhai Ambani built up a bigger business empire in half the time. He managed that miracle by promoting equity participation. Raising money by issuing shares and bonds is an organisational device for increasing cash in flow. That one device helped him surpass the Tatas and Birlas in half the time that they required. But what do we find now, the founder of Infosys Mr. Narayanamurthy has overtaken ever the Reliance group by abridging the time required to emerge as a big business group in the country. The assets of Infosys are not in the factories, buildings, or the computers that the company runs. The asset of the company is software programming which is a mental achievement. In their accounts books we will not find the software programming as an asset. As an asset it is invisible, therefore the accountants do not ever consider it as worth mentioning. But it is the productive power of software programming that has brought for Infosys all its crores of revenues. If the productivity of our mind is so great, then the productivity of spirit which is even more subtle is even greater. When we rely on our mental resources, we have to exhaust them fully to bring out the desired results, but when it comes to spirit, even token prayers, and token acts are powerful enough to bring the full results. We find people running loosing concerns witnessing a transformation in their business by simply voicing a prayer to Mother. One or two days of intensive cleaning in the factory brings new orders to companies that have been lying idle for want of orders. Outstandings running into lakhs of rupees get cleared when the concerned company spends a few hours updating its accounts. Small acts of goodwill towards employees or staff like creating a cycle stand for employee vehicles, or giving coffee or tea in the morning and evening or taking them on a holiday tour sets in motion the subtle chain of events that materialise in a short span of time in the form of concrete improvements in the volume of sales and revenues. From a rational point of view, it will be very hard to believe that the voicing of a prayer or the few days of cleaning or a few hours of accounts updating or acts of goodwill and generosity can bring about dramatic improvements in a company’s fortune. But when these things are supported by the power of spirit from behind, we do see that these things are possible. It is not necessary that the mental disbelief be a bar on the performance of the spirit. I could have stopped my presentation with my comments on the productivity of the mind. But since I am facing a devotee audience, I thought that it might be apt to give some remarks on the productive power of the spirit also.

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