Certificate in Life Management with 'Karma Yoga'
Modern life is increasingly becoming stressful for people of all age groups throughout the world. Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the situation - repeated lockdowns ensuing in business closures, job losses, continual school interruptions, infection through the virus itself, hospitalization, long-Covid, work-from-home, bickering with family members all sitting at home all the time, and an unprecedented lifestyle. Add to that human-made catastrophes through wars and incumbent regimes forbidding their female population on going to schools and pursuing jobs. Perhaps, it is high time to reflect upon life goals and priorities in a pragmatic way to reduce/ remove stress. Leading a blissful life, may appear like an illusion in the current times, but is doable through ‘Karma Yoga’.
As the ancient texts of Valmiki Ramayan and Srimad Bhagwat Gita were authored thousands of years ago, much before the word “religion” was born, the content therein belongs to the whole humanity rather than any specific religion. The term “dharma” in Sanskrit (the language in which these texts were written) means “righteousness” rather than religion as it is considered in the contemporary time. Therefore, anyone interested in taking practical lessons of “Karma Yoga” from the preaching in these texts is most welcome without any restriction. This course uses moderate terms like “the Lord” or “Almighty” to denote the supreme power known in the various religions as Allah, Bhagwan, God, Parmeshwar or Rab. Atheists may consider nature as personification of the Lord and therefore, may use ‘Nature’ and ‘Lord’ interchangeably.
It is indeed a misconception that these ancient texts exhort people to become ascetics and live a secluded life in the forest, away from the family, for attaining the enlightenment necessary for a blissful life. In Bhagwat Gita, Krishna cites the example of King Janak (Sita’s father), who lived the life of a sage while performing the duties of a king. Janak is therefore aptly called “Raj-rishi” (the king-sage). Likewise, Sita and Rama are arguably the prime examples of leading a blissful life irrespective of extreme unfavorable circumstances. However, we need to qualify this argument with solid reasoning and objective evidence, which we will do in this course. We intentionally refrain from using suffixes like Lord, God, or Goddess before Sita, Krishna and Rama to be able to critically evaluate their preaching and more importantly, their demeanor/ human behavior under tough circumstances. This will help in understanding that it is pragmatic to apply them in the life of ordinary humans for leading a blissful and stress-free life in the current times.
Likewise, the word “I” used by Krishna while referencing himself in the Gita, has been replaced in this course by the word “the Lord”. This is to accentuate the fact that Krishna explained much in detail about the practical value of “yoga” in his own incarnation as a human being. “Karma Yoga” is much broader in philosophy compared to the conventional use of the term yoga in the context of physical exercises to keep the human body fit. It is more to do with conditioning the human mind rather than just the human body.
Several concepts of management may need a rethink based on the deliberations in this course:
1. Strategic management: Defined as long-term planning having long-term objectives with a planning horizon typically spanning several years. In this course, a person can set strategic objectives for the current life as well as afterlife.
2. Servant leadership: is to lead by example through service to humankind. This leadership style is at the core of the strategic objectives for a human life, as explained in this course citing the Gita.
3. Productivity and quality improvement: This course, through the preaching in Bhagwat Gita, exhorts everyone to work in the chosen profession in an equipoised manner without ever abstaining from work. By disowning the outcomes of the work, the worker relieves herself/ himself from all sorts of tensions and therefore, works with full dedication. It automatically ensues in higher productivity and better quality of the output.
4. Stress management: The causes of stress can be of different types at different points of time. Mostly, it is either due to fear of unwanted outcomes or bad behavior on part of close family members, relatives, friends, colleagues, or the reporting manager. This course helps in changing your perspective in either of these scenarios, and hence, helps in alleviating all the worries and tensions.
5. Blissful and successful life/ career: Removing stress at one point in time is one thing but living a happy and blissful life eternally is another. The lessons in this course help you in elevating your mind to such a higher level of consciousness that all differences between friends and enemies, distress and pleasure, pebbles and gold start fading away. The boundaries between heaven and hell start to merge in this state of permanent bliss and ecstasy, which few human beings can achieve in their lifetime. Indeed, the strategic objectives of a successful life and career are reimagined and realigned in the six stages prescribed in this course.
Course Learning Outcomes
After completing this course, the learners should be able to:
CO1: Formulate the strategic objectives of their life
CO2: Delegate the ownership of their actions while never abstaining from work, thus relieving themselves of tensions and worries of their outcomes
CO3: Attain the highest level of consciousness ensuing in eternal bliss and ecstasy