Six Essentials For Blissful Living.

28 08 2014

for blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Essentials for Blissful Living

Based on Jaina Knowledge
An interpretation by Mihir Gajrawala

©Mihir Gajrawala
Published on http://www.mihirgajrawala.com on 28.8.14

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Note : Many of the nouns and verbs used in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Ardhmagdhi do not have synonyms in English. Jaina knowledge documents exists in the above three languages. Historians and Translators (of English language) over centuries have created certain synonyms, which as per my understanding are misguiding. For eg. Vrat is made synonymous with fasting and Maya with magic or allure. Similarly Yoga is today a term which means Indian exercise system. There could be several such examples. To truly understand this words a lot of effort has to be put in understanding the context of the Indian knowledge base. However I wouldn’t say the same for vernacular translation works.

In my piece I have tried not to produce a translation. Instead the attempt is to share the crux of the subject in a totally new context. Wherever required I have made use of the original words.

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Each one of us is aspiring to be contended. In other words each one wants a permanent state of happiness. Putting it simply we all aspire to be blissful. The current order of world has prescribed us a certain way of living, a certain set of activities to be done at specific times of our lives. We all have subscribed to this prescription of schooling, economic pursuits, material achievements, wealth accumulation etc. Our common sense is enough to tell us that this prescription is not working. Than what could be the way to blissful living? How does one achieve a permanent state of bliss?

Jaina knowledge has, many eons back, discovered SIX essential activities or rituals which if executed on regular basis with honesty and belief has the potential to lead each seeker to a blissful state of being. However such a suggestion has always garnered stiff resistance and it has peaked in the current era. Before getting on to the main subject let us take a small digression here.

The two main arguments in support of resistance are: 1) the feeling that ‘rituals’ are useless and 2) the importance of theory over practice, when it comes to the domain of traditional wisdom.

These can be argued against as follows: We fail to understand that whatever we are doing today, for our living is also a ritual. A Ritual is not about a religious practice, it is about a certain set of prescribed activities to be done in a certain specific manner.

Secondly ‘Knowing’ per se is not the path, but ‘conduct’ acquired from ‘knowing’ is the path to bliss! In other words it is not knowledge, but the conduct based on that knowledge that leads to blissful existence! The essence of all knowledge is conduct and essence of all conduct is liberation. Knowledge acquired without intent for good conduct is ignorance and any form of conduct executed without the intent of liberation is an illusion. Knowledge that does not lead to right conduct and conduct that does not lead to path of liberation are rendered fruitless and meaningless, in the pursuit of blissful living.
In other words if one practices certain prescribed conduct, it would lead the seeker to the fruits that are linked with that conduct.
Simply put, a ritual is knowledge in action.

This forms the base for all the prescribed activities that a seeker must subscribe too. For all those demanding an explanation for existence of rituals should consider the above.

Now let us come back to the point.

The activities or rituals which have the potential to lead a seeker to a blissful state of being are the SIX Essentials. Before we move further let us define ‘Blissful state’. From a spiritual perspective we are aiming at ‘liberation’ or ‘moksha’. From a more worldly perspective we mean Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy relations and healthy career, a combination of these can be considered as a blissful state of being. So the essentials are a way to attain and sustain the above mentioned four states.

In Sanskrit these essentials are referred as ‘shadavashyak’ (षडावश्यक ). Shad (षड)  means SIX and avashyak (आवश्यक)  means essential requirements. The six essentials prescribed are :

  1. Samayik – To experience equanimity
  2. Chauvisathao – To cultivate higher aspirations
  3. Vandana – To develop gratitude
  4. Pratikramana – To re-calibrate the self
  5. Kayotsarga – To treat a transgressed mind
  6. Pratyakhyan – To develop discipline

These six essentials are same for both the monks (who have renounced worldly life) and the commoner. The life style of a monk and a commoner is extremely different, yet the SIX Essentials are said to benefit both of them.

Let us understand one more fact before moving ahead. Any act has three parts, 1)object/goal 2) doer and 3) method. Certain eligibility of all the three is necessary for the successful accomplishment of any act. We shall try and understand each of the six essentials with respect to its objective and its method. The focus of this article is the ‘ritual’ and hence we shall not spend much time on the eligibility of the doer. Though it is of equal importance we shall not be able to touch upon it here.

The Six Essentials

1. Samayik
Objective: the installation of the doctrine ‘I am better than none and I am lesser to none’ on the seekers mind.

The root of all our conflicts is ‘fear’ and ‘insecurity’. Fear exists in mind as it is conditioned to believe in comparisons. Comparisons lead to feelings of superiority or inferiority. Unless one is freed of these complexes it is impossible to find success in the journey to discover bliss.

In management context, unless one gains equanimity a fair and objective analysis of work done is impossible. In an organization there are only a few who are eligible for objective analysis.

In other words to be in a state of a new born child is the objective of this act. All the tools, techniques, rituals and activities that could help the effort of being in this state are ‘Samayik’. Equanimity is the true nature of every being; it remains hidden in unawareness and ignorance. ‘Samayik’ is the ritual or method or technique to discover this nature of self.

समत्वं योग उच्यते    (bhavad gita, 2-48)
योग:कर्मसु – कौशलम् (bhagvad gita, 2-50)

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोध: (patanjali yogsutra, 1-2)

चतुर्वेगग्रनिर्मेक्षो योगस्तस्य च कारणम्।
ग्यान – श्रद्धां – चरित्ररूपम् रत्नत्रय च स:। ।  (Yogshastra, 1 – 15)

Many will find it radical when I say ‘Samayik’ is an equivalent of ‘Yoga’. To prove the point I have quoted three sages/scholars who are undisputed as far as their ability of comprehension is concerned. Sage Ved Vyasa in Bhagvad Gita has described ‘Yoga’ as equanimity and deftness of action; Sage Patanjali, helmed as father of ‘Yoga’ has described cessation of the perturbations of the mind as ‘Yoga’; Sage Hemchandracharya in his work ‘Yogashastra’ has described ‘Yoga’ as the technique to attain ‘moksha’ or Liberation. All these definitions of ‘Yoga’ are comparable to the concept of ‘Samayik’. To attain liberation, to learn right conduct, to develop equanimity, to free mind from presence of conflicts and develop stillness – both Samayik and Yoga have practically same results, which is transforming the mind of the doer.

Yoga has four types: Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Raja Yoga and Hath yoga. ‘Samayik’ falls under the ‘Rajayog’ category which focuses on mind by way of self-discipline.

To sum it up ‘Samayik’ is a form of Yoga called ‘Raja Yoga’; the practical form of ‘Raja Yoga’ is ‘Samayik’

2. Chauvisathao
Objective : To cultivate and install aspirations of higher degrees.

Men have the tendency to become what they believe in. So it is important to have right beliefs. If for someone, a small hilltop is the only peak to visit, s/he will only reach till there, but if someone knows about the existence of Mt. Everest, the highest peak, than s/he might strive to reach there. This means that the quality of one’s pursuit depends on the quality of one’s aspirations. Given this, each one should understand and imbibe the highest possible aspirations on one’s mind.

This leads us to the inquiry that what is the ‘peak’ of blissful living? The peak of blissful living are the 24 Tirtankaras, who had achieved the most any individual can ever comprehend. Hence knowing about them, and accepting them as peak of existence is the second essential to strive for. A Tirthankar is a being who has become ‘Arihant’ – devoid of all conflicts. There cannot be a higher state of being than this. Each of the 24 Tirthankaras have exhibited 12 distinct qualities. ‘Chauvisathao’ is the technique to know and develop those qualities within oneself.

I would here take another digression to explain a basic tenet of Jaina Knowledge. In Jaina knowledge there is no ‘creator’. It believes that universe was, is and will remain. In the most ancient of Jain Texts one would find reference to the term ‘Pudgal’. It is mentioned that he Universe is a ‘Pudgal’; ‘Pudgal’ means that which is created and destroyed simultaneously. Today, in modern science, the twenty first century description of vacuum states that in a vacuum state where there is supposed to be nothing, there is a constant eruption of particles and destruction of particles. Creation and Destruction are happening at the same time in a vacuum state. All these years we believed that a vacuum means total nothingness; that nothing happens there. But now we know a vacuum state is phenomenally dynamic. Creation and destruction is happening at the same time. Modern Science is saying that today. This is what Jaina Knowledge has been saying since thousands of years ago. Scientists now talk about black hole – something which is nothing yet powerful. This fundamental of physics is already discovered in the meaning of ‘Pudgal’. There is no creation and hence no creator. In Jaina School it is not about ‘being’ it is about ‘becoming’. And hence the entire focus shifts from ‘creator’ to the ‘doer’. In that perspective it is an atheist’s religion. In Jain school ‘Dharma’ is not the end, it is a means to an end; the end is becoming one’s own self, discovering one’s true nature, totally free of all influences and impressions. The Navkar mantra considered among the most powerful sound in universe never talks about any individual. It only talks about qualities and states of being. Same is applied in various suggestions from Jaina Knowledge.

Many think that ‘Chauvisanthao’ is about worshiping the Tirthankaras. That is a grave misunderstanding. The entire focus of this essential is to memorize the qualities that make a Tirthankara. AS discussed above if the reality is not about ‘being someone’ but ‘becoming someone’, the pursuit is to be more, to be deep and to be constantly turning into something more and more. We can be more only when we desire more, to be at the peak. a Tirthankar is the peark, and if the qualities of 24 Tirthankaras are remembered regularly it can have unfathomable impact on the aspirations of a seeker which eventually would positively impact the quality of life of the seeker. Science has proved that habitual doing of any act has an effect on the mind and belief system.

‘Chauvisathao’ is the ritual to do the same.

3. Vandana
Objective : To develop gratitude towards learned beings.

It is not possible to travel the path of bliss without the guidance of a ‘guru’. A guru means ‘dispeller of darkness’. In our society there are individuals who have dedicated their being to knowledge and attainment of the ultimate state of liberation. These individuals have given up on the worldly chores so that they focus all their energies in the single pursuit of liberation. We call them monks or ‘sadhu’ and ‘sadhvi’. The qualities of right knowledge, right perception, right conduct and penance are what define a monk. The practical form of it can be seen when an individual exhibits a coherence between his/her deeds, words and actions.

Respecting and surrender to such a monk is the first step to path of bliss. Gratitude is the greatest quality of a seeker, and ‘Vandana’ explores this quality of a being.

In today’s world, we ask children to celebrate Teachers Day. We ask them to develop gratitude for their teachers who impart knowledge to them. Same applies for a seeker who is set on a higher pursuit of blissful living.

‘Vandan’ or ‘Bowing’ is an act which prepares a seeker for surrender. Surrender means absence of struggle, just falling. Such a surrender can exponentially open the receptivity of the seeker and make him  imbibe the higher qualities.

Vandana is the ritual for the same.

4. Pratikramana
Objective: To recalibrate the self through introspection and retrospection.

Influenced by indifference(towards self) the soul gets displaced, the movement of soul from its displaced position to its original position is termed as ‘pratikramana’ in jain science. In simple terms the process of re-calibrating a self indulged in digressions or the process of bringing the self back to self is called ‘pratikramana’.

Many of us working in corporate environment would have struggled with frustration, resulting out of one’s inability to attain one’s goals. This happens because in every day activities we lose sight of our goals. Worse is when many of us have no goals. Such a self remains lost and dissatisfied, irrespective of one’s potential and ability. Management Gurus have formed a theory that every company and every individual should have their personal Vision and Mission statement, which on timely basis should be re-looked at, so that one doesn’t lose sight of where one is heading.

From other perspective, the main reason for this displacement is too much focus on ‘future’ or ‘tomorrow’. The goal lies in the future and hence we remain focused on future, forgetting that learning lies in the past. Learning happens from knowing what happened before, what happened yesterday. Unless this is done, one cannot gain experience. One just blindly keeps on doing. And in all possibility will keep on falling in the same puddle every day, because one has forgotten to retrospect, one has forgotten to introspect, to look within!

Such an effort of introspection and retrospection when done in a certain disciplined manner for life’s objective of attaining bliss is called ‘Pratikramana’.

5. Kayotsarga
Objective: treating a transgressed mind

In our every day routines we are focused only on our physical being. Jain knowledge says that state of bliss can be attained once the focus shifts from matter to non-matter. Self is made up of both the matter and non-matter; non-matter is trapped within the matter that is how a physical being is constructed. Matter is known as ‘ajiva’ and non-matter is termed as ‘jiva’. ‘Ajiva’ is that which will die and ‘Jiva’ is that which cannot die, it is infinite.

Kayotsarga word is combination of Kaya (body) + utsarga(upward movement, arising) , meaning the act to experience the self beyond the physical boundaries. If one is able to establish this belief that s/he is more than this body, a completely new set of possibilities would emerge.

Continuing from above example of frustration from corporate life, many times even after having a vision or mission statement, even after regularly re-looking at it, one finds unable to see any direction. This is due to extreme negative habitual patterns developed which hurt the individual’s ability and capacity. The modern Management guru’s have no great solution for such a state. The only solution offered are ‘taking a break’, ‘a sabbatical’ or ‘switch your job’ kind of non-descript acts.

However if one is focused on attaining a blissful state of living such a wandering soul is offered a technique to overcome such severe perturbations.

The ritual to do the same is termed ‘Kayotsarga’; wherein one is made to experience the non-physical part of self. Simply put it is a deeper form of meditation.

6. Pratyakhyan
Objective : To develop discipline

The path to bliss is the path to gradually ‘not do’. Slowly and silently as the seeker starts realizing the fruitlessness of his actions, he should start to ‘not do’ those actions. There are innumerable actions that a self performs. And this realization may happen over a certain breadth of time. Given this it is important to build tomorrow upon today’s realization. The method to do this is by way to taking vows of self control.

Even in modern corporate context, a management executive is asked to keep a log of his/her learning’s and build his/her future strategies based on those learning’s. Same if applied to spiritual context can take one ahead in his/her path to bliss.

‘Pratyakhyan’ is the ritual to build self-control. None of the essentials would give benefit unless discipline and self control is practiced. There are systematic tools provided to help one develop such discipline.
I haven’t gone into the details of the procedures of each ritual. As discussed above for successful accomplishment of any act – eligibility of the objective, the doer and the method – all three are important. In this piece we have attempted to understand the objective and know the concept behind the method. We are not touching the details of method nor are we discussing the eligibility of the doer.

Many will have question, that if above is done in ritualistic manner, will one attain bliss? The response to that is – apart from the efficiency of technology the eligibility of the user is also important. A tablet’s efficiency and utility changes from user to user, even if they all have the same operating system. Same applies to this bliss attainment technologies.

These six rituals are the six essential activities to be performed to attain a permanent state of blissful living. There could be other activities too, but these SIX are the essential most; the compulsory ones.

Let us sum it up :
1. Equanimity
2. Higher aspirations
3. Gratitude
4. Re-calibration
5. Meditation
6. Self-discipline.

These Six terms are to be tattooed on one’s mind. If these SIX words are incorporated in one’s life, there is no stopping to achieve a healthy body, a healthy mind, healthy relations and healthy career.

These actions (essentials) put together is what in layman terms we know as ‘pratikramana’. A ‘pratikramana’ is actually a combination of these six essential rituals to be performed in a sequential manner as part of a regular ritual practice.

It is suggested to perform this at following intervals :
• Every morning at dawn : Rayasi pratikramana
• Every evening after sunset : Devasi pratikramana
• Every month : Pakhi pratikramana
• Every four months : Chaumasi pratikramana (on full moon day of kartk, Fagun and ashadh months of Jain calendar)
• Every year : Samvatsari pratikramana

Importance is given to different essentials in this different pratikramana’s. It is a deep science; having said that more than scientific exploration, the better way to understand it would be the way of doing.

Each of this essential can also be performed individually. Important is discipline and regular execution.

In our work and businesses we do keep audits at regular intervals, in order to know where the business is going. Even employees go through appraisals at regular intervals. The point is regular check points are pre-requisite for successful goal achievement. Similarly if the goal is a permanent state of bliss, the above discussed rituals would act as check points, on the path of spiritual progression.

Post Script: I would not want to categorize the above as a piece of research. And hence I am not offering the bibliography. However the strength and quality of the interpretation attempted is capable to withstand severe critical analysis. There is no claim about my authority on the subject. The above piece is an outcome of various readings, various discussions with scholars and my own observation of ritual practices that I have been part of in my family tradition. Hence I call it an ‘Interpretation’ and not an essay. I have deliberately kept it concise to garner greater engagement. This piece shall form the basis of further research and analysis work which I intend to take up; whereby I shall look at each of these essentials in greater detail. With this I humbly accept my limited capacity of comprehension and apologize for any pertinent errors.

 सिद्धि : स्याद – वादात्।

(To accept infinite beings made from infinite expectations and infinite perceptions is ‘Syadvad’. This acceptance is what leads one to ultimate knowledge and glory )

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‘hgang in dharamshala’ the film – now on Youtube!

5 08 2014

Director’s note.

Can you trek your way to Nirvana?

The above question is the result of an experience that we, as a lot, had during our trip to Dharamshala. Twelve friends, twelve entrepreneurs who set out for a petite get-together in this hilly town, returned as if they were reborn. And I am not exaggerating. It’s been almost 6 months since, and each one is showing a sustained attitudinal shift in their lives. What made this possible?

It all started with a letter we sent to His Holiness Dalai Lama’s office requesting a private audience with him. We shared the dilemmas bothering us and wished he sheds some light on it. Unfortunately(or fortunately!!) the meeting did not happen as HHDL was traveling during that period. But the fact of the matter is, we did get those answers without seeing HHDL; the events of the trip made us realize the answers to those dilemmas!!

The entire lot, each one of us, while returning, felt as if we were called to this place. We all believed,until this point, that the trip is our plan, but in the end we realized that we are all a part of a bigger plan.

This was felt in particular, at the trek of Triund. The trek that we took up just for kicks, made us sweat and battle like never before. With scarce resources as we ventured into the un-chartered, it took us to some mind-altering discoveries. Lasting for 9 hours, the trek tested our individual capacities and brought us face-to-face with values of togetherness and kinship along with courage and conviction. From being entrepreneurs fixated to the word ‘achievement’, we came back discovering a powerful agent called ‘letting go’.

As I came back home, I felt in me an uncontrollable desire to attempt to articulate this experience of ours in a visual medium. What I had with me were some thousand images and couple of hours of random video footage. I tried to put them all together in a manner that it makes some sense to the one who engages. I used voice over technique to narrate our mind state and have relied extensively on the songs to convey what we had felt. There is not much footage of the Triund trek which is of greater significance, but than that’s fine.

It may not make any sense to an unknown viewer, maybe. But anyone who knows this lot or any one from this lot, will definitely see some value in this effort. The discerning viewer will enjoy some breathtaking panoramic shots of the magnificent Dhauladhar range, taken right from the top of Triund.

Having said this I put forth the following disclaimer :
‘hgang in dharamshala’ is not a narrative film, nor it claims to be a document of a certain trip. It is a visual memoir of what we friends felt, experienced and realized during this 4 day period. To put it humbly it is just a home video, albeit with a difference.

The film is already shared with family and friends, but we have received lot of requests from many other friends, relatives and well-wishers who wished to engage themselves with this effort.

For them and for any one who ends up here, the film is made available on youtube. FYI the film is uploaded in two parts. Find below the links.

And yeah, watch it till the end the credits roll, it ends with an original poem recital by …

Yours truly,
Mihir Gajrwala





I wish to die, now – Video brief

3 05 2014

As mentioned in an earlier blog, as a new author, I need to be sensitive about my readers doubt. And I need to address the barriers that might prevent a mindful individual to engage with my writing.

With this thought a careful campaign is being gradually put in place to generate greater engagement.

This video is a brief about what the book “I wish to die, now”, is and what a reader can expect from it.

As an expressionist this is my maiden attempt to engage with readers from various cultures and societies. The campaign is an attempt to bridge that gap so that a sustained connection can be made at higher cognitive level.

Here it is – the video brief on “I wish to die, now”.

Happy exploring !

Mihir





Krishnaverse #1

29 04 2014

Student :  Sir, I get varied responses to my decision of moving to this new job which for some is not as healthy as the one I left. For me, may be coming to this city (ahmedabad) was of some social value, and at the back of mind I do harbor the urge to be independent. Quite a few of such factors led me to this decision. And I am fine if I am not comfortable for a while, its ok. But then these various views leave me perplexed.

Sir : Not falling prey to comfort zone dreams is a good thing, and I fully agree there…but then one doesn’t have to be on the extreme side either; a fine balance is what is required. See it’s not about our safety or safety nets that matter, what matters is at no point in time our potential to contribute should go wasted, whether it gets translated in economies or not, what is important is that wastage has to be controlled. Because a wastage now is a wastage forever, you see. that’s the danger. So we have to be a little careful about that. Every day the contribution has to get recorded. If we work in that spirit, its fine. Whether you are stationary or jumpy, it may not make any great difference; so long that you are contributing and not sitting idle.
That’s the kind of thing we can do…this is a ‘karma- bhumi’ this place, all said n done we should hold to it; we should give, every day we should give – that’s how we can shape up the world in our own small bit. You contribute, plan it that way.
When I heard you are being a bit jumpy it appears a bit risky, but then you are not sitting idle, you are doing your best . So that’s fine. No need to remain perplexed.





Krishnaverse.

29 04 2014

Most of ancient Indian knowledge is written in the form of ‘verse’ known as ‘shloka’ or ‘sutra’. A sutra is like a seed, from which thoughts would emerge. A Universe is the term used to define ‘all that exists’. ‘Krishna’ – the hindu god who gave profound wisdom to his devotee and relative ‘Arjuna’, said it all in the form of verses, which is celebrated all across the world as the ‘Gita’ (song of god); this happened while the world was at the cusp of a mythical time zone.

For me and hundreds of students all of this comes through our teacher Dr. KVSM Krishna. Since classroom days to real life situations filled with dilemmas, he is a teacher who is always around to make us learn the ability to take our own decisions. Over a decade and a half a lot of us students would have interacted with him and many who continue to do so, have learn a lot  from these conversations. These conversations contain a lot of meaning for everyone who is a student of this University called Life.

A few of those conversations that happened with me, a few with someone else, but were shared with me, I am attempting to bring them here in the form of question and answers, for every student to learn and enrich himself/herself.

This i would like to term as ‘Krishnaverse’.

The next blog will be a first in this series.

 

My earlier writings on Dr. Krishna can be found here :

https://mihirgajrawala.com/2009/05/10/a-teacher-as-is-see/

https://mihirgajrawala.com/category/my-musings/dr-krishna/

Note : My faculty of memory and comprehension is extremely limited in comparison to the quantum of wisdom Dr. Krishna would have shared. The writings I present will be contained by this limitation. I request every reader to consider this as my interpretation of a conversation and not a verbose representation of what he would have said or meant. I apologize for any wrong comprehension that I might end up doing in this process. My intention is to share with many, what some of us have learn from him.

I also invite other students to share the conversations they had with Dr. Krishna over this years. I will be happy to articulate them to the best of my abilities.

 





Shifting Paradigms of Entrepreneurship Strategy.

26 04 2014

Shifting Paradigms of Entrepreneurship Strategy
(in a new world order driven by the rise of New Media)

© mihir gajrawala
Published on http://www.mihirgajrawala.com on 26.4.14

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New Media : a phenomenon created due to the advent of social media converging with the tremendous spread of mobile technology. The key features (at this point in time), being on-demand access to data, inherent interactive feedback capability and community formation potential.

It has been an age old dictum in our business tradition – ‘it takes 1000 days for an enterprise to set up, after which one may think of driving it to above average profits’.

Does this still hold true? Try this…
It took Instagram 730 days to turn itself into an enterprise valued at a humongous $1bn, around ` 5500 crores. Around 24 months back, Facebook came up with an IPO having valuation at a staggering $100 bn; the point is it took the company less than 3000 days to reach here. This social media behemoth went on to acquire a 5 year old start up – Whatsapp-for an unbelievable sum of $19billion dollars. These are not the only events. Let’s take an Indian example. Cisco Systems, the technology behemoth took a 17% stake in a lesser known start up, Qyuki – founded by Shekar Kapur and AR Rahman, at a great pricing of `27 crores. And this was even before the beta version launch.

Just look around in the spectrum of New Media and the concept of time value of money seems to be going through a fundamental change. And if we delve deeper it seems the global consumer behavior is changing dramatically leading to sweeping transformations in the contemporary business environment. Every paradigm that we know is changing, already.

So what are the fresh paradigms shaping up?

Let’s go back in time to put our discussion in a better context.

Powered by the discovery of electricity, entrepreneur/scientists worked on it and some life changing inventions took place during the late 18th till late 19th century. These phenomena carried on in the entire 20th century leading to the invention of computer followed by the Internet. The world has changed. The skill sets existing a century before are not even known now. Who would use Human or bird messengers for communication, you had telegraph and later email. Who would have even imagined that the skill set of making earthen vessels would become redundant before steel and other metals came into being? But nothing could stop human imagination, and with it the world order went through change.

The prime driver of this change was the human craving for ‘convenience’. In today’s scenario, ‘convenience’ & ‘ease’ are being taken over by a totally new set of values, which is – the human craving to express, to share and eventually to INFLUENCE. The change occurring today is potentially far more impactful than what the world has ever seen earlier.

And we are all part of this change. We have changed. Our motives to do ‘something’ are going through a sea change. And the reason I am quoting this change to be more powerful is the speed at which it is occurring. What earlier took centuries to occur, now may just happen in decades or even years.
You don’t take pictures to make an album to show to your kids, you take them to instantly share it with your community. You do not wait for a weekly film review, but you are plugged into the first show tweet review. You do not have to wait for tomorrow’s newspaper to tell you what your favorite sportsman did on his birthday; he would have already shared it with his followers on Twitter. You do not need to have ‘contacts’ to let a film maker notice your story, you connect with an expert on Qyuki. Before we even leveraged ‘networking’, the concept of ‘community’ is taking over. While as a nation, we still haven’t ended bloating about ‘outsourcing’; the early signs and power of ‘crowd sourcing’ is out to behold!

Creative individuals from across the world come together to develop new art or commercial offerings; a phenomenon unthinkable just a few years ago. Entrepreneurs have now an option of crowd funding at their disposal, and thousands of new start ups are coming up just because of the availability of such unique funding. These phenomena are huge, considering they are bringing about a sea change in the existing understanding of the idea of ‘ownership’.

We would be blind if we are not seeing this. The new paradigms have already emerged in the world of Entrepreneurship strategy. And we all know that business has to follow where the ‘community’ is heading.

Let me list down what’s happening:
• Job creation as the prime motivator of entrepreneurship is taken over by ‘potential to co-create’
• The demise of stand-alone firm as the primary unit of competition; linear hierarchic firm structures are giving way to multi polar, decentralized structures – where the skill, power and control is spread widely across individual firms/individuals.
• The demise of nation-state as the principal unit around which international economic activity is organized and conducted.
• The focus of business is shifting from ‘the firm’ to ‘the community’

Based on all of these the over arching trend in front of us is :
‘Shifting focus from consumption economy to influence economy’

As entrepreneurs we cannot over look this trend. Every aspect of enterprise creation is changing in a phenomenal way. We will need to develop ways to identify community based opportunities for developing capabilities and acquiring the specialized resources needed to compete in today’s fluidic market place, and we need to understand our own strategic value in the context of shifting focus from Investment management to Access management.

Driven by need of convenience we created a consumption based economic model and ended up given control and power to Investment houses. This may soon become obsolete. Driven by the desire to ‘express’, an Influence based economic model is emerging leading to hand over control and power to those with ‘Access’.

Do you wish to wait till suddenly you realize that no one uses earthen pots any more? As evolving entrepreneurs we have to understand the essence of this emerging paradigm and generate keys to long term entrepreneurial existence.

 

Inputs taken from :
1) Shekhar Kapur’s Speech at NASSCOM India Leadership forum 2013
2) “Changing Paradigms of International Entrepreneurship Strategy” Paper published by Richard W. Wright & Leo-Paul Dana in the Journal of International Entrepreneurship in 2003.





“I wish to die, now” ranked #3 on Amazon best sellers

26 04 2014

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Our time is precious. And i firmly believe that it has to be utilized and invested on with extreme discretion. Given this as a new author, i need to be sensitive about my readers doubt. And so whoever decides to invest their time on my book, i need to give that reader a benefit of cost that they may be investing.

With this thought I am running a campaign on Amazon for this weekend, whereby my ebook can be downloaded for no cost. The campaign will last only till 8 am , 28.4.14 (pacific time). My objective is to introduce myself to a host of intelligent readers and start a dialogue with them.

And i am so delighted that in less than 24 hours of campaign being initiated, my title “I wish to die, now” is ranked #3 under the philosophy section of Kindle books collection.

(the list is updated every hour, the heartening fact is it immediately found its way in the Top 100 free best sellers in Philosophy)

I promise to make my relationship with my reader more and more enriching in times to come.

Thanks,
Mihir