Conscious Capitalism - A discussion around socially responsible businesses
Moderated by Rahul Singh, the discussion features Ajay Piramal (Philanthropist & Chairman, Piramal Group), Radhanath Swami (Spiritual Guru & Founder, Govardhan Eco Village), and Vivek Bindra (Motivational Speaker & Founder, Bada Business)
Glimpses of the vision from Radhanath Swami
Radhanath Swami, a monk without any assets and bank account for the past 50 years is feeding 300 thousand million children daily in India alone. Swamiji says, the knowledge he got from his Guru Swami Prabhupada and his willingness to serve the community makes the path to meet people – administrators, doctors, donators who take forward the causes he wants to work upon, few of many such initiatives by him are Bhaktivedanta Hospital, Food Relief Foundation and Govardhan Ecovillage.
Swami Ji’s message was “Earn with Integrity, Spend with Compassion”. Swami Ji, drew emphasis towards living with integrity and without harming others. The Mother Nature belongs to every living being. However in practice the more we earn the more proud we get. We start thinking of others as inferior and feel that we have control over others. This makes us impose rights over others including the environment and people; eventually leading to an overall disbalance.
The one who accumulates wealth is in reality a caretaker of that wealth. Capitalism as resultant of wealth accumulation is freedom to solve world problems by proper distribution of the fund for basic necessities of all. A wealth earn with integrity is a blessing to mankind when spend with compassion.
Capitalism, when practiced consciously is a wonderful way of living. When this caretaker mentality is lost and one starts thinking themselves as proprietor the obstruction comes. Proprietorship on wealth is equivalent to death. Bhagvatam teaches to consider everyone with respect and gratitude. When we water the root of a tree every part of the tree flourishes. Origin of everything is same, when we lay the foundation of harmony we all live in compassion. A knife in the hands of a thief is for killing others, the same knife in the hands of a surgeon is to save lives. Our values and characters are everything. Swamiji quoted Woodrow Wilson - "If you lose your wealth, you have lost nothing, If you lose your health, you have lost something, but if you lose your character, you have lost everything."
Even during the challenges and tests of life one should live with integrity, earn with character and spend with compassion. Conscious Capitalism are the two words that needs to be harmonised. Bhagavad Gita was spoken in the battlefield and Krishna preached us to carry our duty with consciousness. Uplift others is the greatest responsibility that we have. The greatest need of the world is not wealth, science, technology, environmental changes, the greatest need is the people to value compassion.
Unity in diversity is what world needs more than ever to understand and apply. We are diverse in so many ways, what brings us together is to appreciate, respect and empower one another. People living with disrespect, arrogance, greed, fear, is what is creating a disbalance. We can appreciate diversity even is disagreements to bring harmony. No matter if one is a prince or a popper, greed or monkhood is a choice.
When a doctor, educator, businessman can see what a monk can do and vice-versa together they can bring out the best to do good to the society. As a body works in harmony with each organ, to run a healthy body.
The complete discussion is available on Gyanalogy Youtube
Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. He spent his youth wandering through disparate countries and cultures yearning for an experience of truth; after finally meeting his spiritual teacher in India he has spent the last 50 years internalising that spiritual practice and sharing it with others. He is not only a guide, but a community builder, activist, and a New York Times Best selling author. Rooted in his study of ancient India’s mystic devotional tradition, Radhanath Swami’s message is as profound as it is simple: by cultivating a rich inner life of self-awareness and a genuine practice of service, we can become instruments of compassion and agents of sustainable change in the world.
Contributor: Paromita Bannerjee - Paromita is a leader in People Practices with a knack towards solving problems. An IIM Bangalore alumna and a story visualizer, her focus is on bridging the gap between education and industry by supporting fresh graduates to kick-start their career and helping the women to return to the workforce after mandatory breaks.
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