A difficult time
Bankers face a difficult time at the moment. The global economy is under pressure and world is against them!
Banking, in the public’s eyes, has grown into a culture of distrustful, deceitful behaviour based around a never-ending thirst for greed and power. Yet it has also been the backbone of global trade and attracted the best and brightest individuals to strive to better themselves and test their limits. In short we need bankers! But not the negative associations.
This post is not intended to be party to playing the blame game, but will attempt to be part of the solution: to encourage the simultaneous development of character along with ability.
So how can we derive the positive benefits without the negatives?
The solution is surprisingly simple! Pray to Maha Lakshmi!
But isnt Lakshmi the Goddess of Wealth? Surely, bankers are all already rich!
The downturn has undoubtedly highlighted that a culture of excess is prevalent in banking. But wealth should not be equated to just money and greed. The abundance one attracts through the Divine is much greater than just the material kind: Lakshmi is also the Goddess of Virtue and wealth of Character!
More than Money
There are 16 kinds of wealth one can attract through praising the Divine. They are enumerated in a prior post (click here to see it), but they include: Courage and Strength, Morality and Ethics and Higher thinking.
The wisdom locked in ancient mantras is relevant even in today’s complex world. Here are a set of mantras that may prove helpful to banking professionals at a time of great uncertainty and difficulty:
- Ganesha Gayatri – click here. For foresight to aid us in understanding the longer term repercussions of our actions than the short term effects.
- Lakshmi Gayatri – click here, or simply Shreem. Invoke Lakshmi to grant you the character required to acquire and sustain wealth.
- Narayana Gayatri, or simply: Rama. Why praise Vishnu as Narayana or Rama too? In the opening verses of the Vishnu Sahasranama, Vishnu is extolled as the King of Dharma (righteous conduct and behaviour). Such valour and knowledge of what’s right and wrong is a natural complement and pre-requisite to wealth accumulation. In his incarnation as Rama, he established a powerful precedent of how the ideal King (or any person of significant responsibility) should behave – in virtually every test. Understanding this by meditating on the name of Rama is therefore also an excellent method of character development.
Navaratri is over, what next?
Vijayadasami is related to both the victory of the Goddess Durga and the victory of Lord Rama – the incarnation of Vishnu – over Ravana, the 10 headed demon king of Ancient Lanka.
There is a wealth of literature and posts on Rama and the Ramayana out there so let’s skip over the explanation for now.
Ravana had how many heads…?!
- Kama vasana (Lust)
- Krodha (Anger)
- Moha (delusion)
- Lobha (Greed)
- Mada (Over Pride)
- Matsara (Jealousy)
- Manas (Mind)
- Buddhi (Intellect)
- Chitta (will)
- Ahankara (Ego).
Sounds too simple!
It sounds so simple its hard to believe. But the reality is the name “Rama” was the product of 1000s of years of meditation and intense tapas (spiritual penance) by the Rishis of yore before Ramachandra (the actual King and central protagonist of the Ramayana) came to have the name.
One reason why it holds such power is because it is composed of two primal sounds:
- “Ra” – from the Maha Mantra to Vishnu – Om Namo NaRAyanaya. Note that this is incidentally the name of the Egyptians’ Sun God.
- “Ma” – from the Maha Mantra to Shiva – Om NaMA Shivaya
Thus the compression of the mantras of two of the most powerful deities in the Hindu pantheon into one word gives it unbelievable power.
Why write the mantra?
Writing a mantra has been found to have more power than chanting for many people. There are a variety of reasons, such as: the mantra embeds itself in your subconscious mind; it prevents the beginner from fidgeting by concentrating thought and action on one purpose; it provides a finite number of repetitions and a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment at the end when one looks over their sadhana.
- Rids yourself of negative qualities by meditating on the perfection of Rama and the ruin of Ravana
- Builds a strong, courageous and righteous character
- Burns negative Karma given the mantra’s power is drawn from Shiva and Narayana themselves
- I have noted powerful benefits to writing Rama nama in conjunction with the Vishnu Sahasranama and the Hanuman Chalisa. Of course everyone is differently inclined and affected by mantras – you should try it and see if it works for you.
- Links to the audio for these mantras and stotras can be accessed by clicking here.
“Om NArayanAya Vidhmahe,
TannO VishnU PrachOdayAth.“
“We know the Abode of Man,
We meditate on the Son of Vasudeva,
May The All-Pervading One enlighten us”
- Gain respect and authority; leadership and management abilities
- Character and wealth
- A strong sense of right conduct (Dharma) and diplomacy
Worship Vishnu to develop Leadership
Vishnu is the grand Manager of the Universe – the CEO if you will! Worshipping Vishnu through the Gayatri above will help one ‘lead from the front’. First, it will establish a strong intuition of strategy, the correct way of doing things and more fundamentally, a clear cut understanding of what is right and wrong. Second, the improvement of one’s character in this regard will shine for others to see and they will automatically fall in line to your leadership.
One should also worship Vishnu to regain control of one’s life, develop a strong sense of inner direction and improve your diplomacy in dealing with others in a fair and just manner.
“Om VajranakhAya vidmahe
Tanno Narasimhah PracodhayAt“
“We know the one with diamond nails,
We meditate on the sharp-toothed,
May Narasimha enlighten us”
- Defeat enemies
- Protection from attack – this is a powerful counter in times of grave personal danger
- Increases your courage and bravery in the face of adversity
- Nullifies the effect of evil deeds by your enemies
A powerful force against the evil deeds of others
There comes a time in everyone’s life where others wish you harm or misfortune. The worship of Narasimha and invoking his grace at times of distress – particularly during physical attack can have great power against such people.
In more practical and sattvik terms, you can consider the mantra to nullify the ill wills of others and steadily remove their feelings of enmity toward you.
Oftentimes in our lives we find ourselves faced lacking confidence. Confidence in ourselves, confidence in our predicament, confidence in the future, not to mention in others! Each person’s situation is unique and usually complex.
Like Einstein, I too believe in presenting a simple solution (albeit with a complex proof ;)) – and preferably through mantras – so let’s simplify this problem. One may argue that a lack of confidence is a lack of faith. If you are lacking in faith (known as Bhakti in the East) then what better way to seek guidance than through Hanuman, the ultimate Bhakta, or devotee.
As well known from his exploits in the Ramayana, a Hindu epic centered on Rama (an Avatar of Vishnu), Hanuman’s faith was simple, pure, unwavering and for these reasons – legendary. But he was no foolish starry eyed follower of Rama. A brief post cannot remotely capture his greatness but he is a highly complex and learned character whose accomplishments include intimidating and eventually learning all scripture from the deity of the Sun Himself, mastery of the 8 Siddhis (Ashta Siddhis) and eventually becoming one of an elite set of immortals (Chiranjeevi). Imagine then the greatness of Rama, in comparison, to render Hanuman tongue-tied and transfixed on their first meeting!
I have found this simple shloka (below) to have immense power. It increases one’s confidence, sense of certainty and eventually, owns on faith in a greater guiding force which in conjunction with our own choices, shapes our lives.
Buddhir balam yasO dhairyam
Ajaadyam vaak patuthvam cha
HanUmath smaranaath bhavEth
May intelligence, strength, total daring, a lack of fear and excellent speech be available to me through Hanuman’s grace.
A great edge in corporate life:
Note that this is also an ideal mantra for corporate success! It is especially useful when in critical conversations to impress one’s superiors, clients and perhaps even help to attract the opposite sex! Remember however, if things do not go well, it is entirely the work of the guiding force above placing you on the right path toward your own happiness. How easily we forget that everything happens for a reason and that the Lord works in mysterious ways.
- A key complement to this is chanting the name of Rama (just say the name over an over like a Bija mantra). It is said that Hanuman appears wherever Rama’s name is spoken with faith. I will elaborate in later posts.
- A video on YouTube accessible here has a transliteration and allows you to chant along with the speaker.
- I also find Rattan Mohan Sharma’s pronunciation to be impeccable and would recommend hearing his Hanuman MP3s through Raaga.com.