Stock Taking

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While the New Year in the calendar of the modern world starts on 1st January, the Commercial Calendar starts on 1st April and ends on 31st March.

This probably is so because in days of yore, the calendar of different civilizations started with the Vernal Equinox which occurred around early April.

   VernalEquinox

Vernal Equinox – Sun’s rays falling parallel to the earth’s Equator, Equal Day and Equal Night

The traders of the world, continuing their tradition, have therefore been using April 1st as the start date for their Commercial Calendar which has continued to this date.

Time to take stock

The end of the previous Commercial Calendar is the time that we take stock of all our dealings. This is commonly known as the stock taking period. It is the time to take stock as we transition from one year to another, to carry forward what is needed for the next year, our future.

The traders take stock of their goods.

Similarly, in our personal lives too, there is need for a time, when each of us can take stock of our personal lives. Take stock of the situation, events and progress around us. Take stock of where we stand and where we are heading and at the end of our personal stock taking, discard unnecessary baggage and carry forward only what is of relevance to bring prosperity and happiness unto oneself and others.

So, this transition period is a period of taking stock of oneself, one’s situation and one’s environment.

Transition – Sandhi

India, through the ages has given a great deal of significance to the concept of transition and the transition phase.

The concept of transition from one stage to another, is known as Sandhi in the Indian thought.

Starting from

  • the daily transition of thithi, day to night and day,

  • to the transition of paksha, lunar fortnights from waxing to waning to waxing,

  • to the transition of rtu, seasons,

  • to the transition of varsha, year,

  • to the transition of yuga, time cycles,

these transitions have all been continuously tracked, recorded, revered and observed by our ancestors all the way from 8000 years ago to the present generation of Indians even to this day.

Sandhi

Transition, Sandhi period

Transitions periods were cherished as poignant moments in space and time to take stock of one’s personal life vis-à-vis the space, time, environs and society, i.e entire Nature, around us and adjust our behaviour, attitude and approach to life thereon.

The concept of Sandhi, how it has was revered and celebrated, has been discussed in good detail in our latest book “2012-The Real Story”, which is part of the Bharath Gyan series.

  2012-back cover 2012-front cover

When we talk of taking stock, there are various happenings and shifts that we need to take stock of.

Decentralization

The world in the last couple of hundred years has been going through a commercial era. It has also gone through a phase of colonization and fight for independence by many lands. The colonization and commercialization era led to the overbearing thought and practice of centralization of power and a centralized economic model therefore.

As the world steps out of the shadow of colonialism, it sees itself in a new light. While the world seems to be more connected, the increasing interdependency across lands, even for basic needs, which erodes into each nation’s economic insulation and quickly leads the entire world into waves of depression or boom, has started to cause concern.

As the world is slowly getting over the hangover of colonialism and its offshoot, the concept of centralization, we see more and more cases of fragmentation occurring, the world over.

We have seen colonialism itself breaking down with the independence movements in the various colonies, giving rise to independent nations.

We have seen large confederations such as USSR breaking up into constituent smaller nations.

We have seen larger states in India breaking up into smaller states.

We keep continually seeing demands, world over, by groups wanting their own state or nation inorder to govern themselves.

While many of these have taken the extreme shape of violent uprisings, most are an expression of the people’s innate desire to be free of hegemony and control.

It is an expression of their innate desire to control themselves.

It is an expression of their wanting their primary localized needs to be met by local production, local supply and local economies, over which they can have local control. Basically, call for a local administration for deploying available funds, for generating more funds, produce and services, to meet the local requirements with local priorities and local relevance.

Fundamentally, a more decentralized model.

When these cries are not listened to and instead suppressed, through usage of power or politics, it leads to violent uprisings.

If instead, this innate desire is steered in the right direction of a healthy, decentralized model of administration with a centralized oversight to keep them united, networked and interconnected through basic resource sharing and cultural bonds, it can lead to seeing prosperity and harmony.

Through many millennia too, people in many parts of the world, had enjoyed their respective, sustained prosperity for successive generations, mainly due to the practice of such a healthy, decentralized model.

It is just not a preferred, but a natural model for the coming age too. We discuss about this model in good detail in our book ‘You turn India’.

You Turn-Back Cover You Turn-Front Cover

 Isms of past

In the process of colonization and commercialization, the world went though many “isms”, successively one after the other and at times, concurrently too. Some of the prominent ones being, colonialism, capitalism, communism, socialism, mixed economy model is also an ism, so on and so forth.

In all these “isms” of economic models, the practices, the ideas that got marginalized were the crucial practices of sustainability with relevance and reverence to Nature, value for human life and human endeavour.

These words and the thought these words represent, are now slowly coming back in the discussions of economic models.

Most ancient civilizations which had their times of glory, were glorious because they focused on the model of sustainability with relevance to Nature and reverence for the humans who toiled in it.

Let us pause, think, take stock of the past and position ourselves for the future.

Let us ready ourselves to be part of the process to usher in a new era in the world for, in a way, we are in a Sandhi.

We can see that changes in many ways, are imminent. We can see that we are in the threshold of a new era – an era where old age mantras, come back as new age coinages.

Humanism model

Going forth, let us look forward to a harmonious, sustainable, interconnected future, through a new decentralized, economic and administration model based on humanism where humans, along with all other components of Nature, live in a harmonious, sustainable way.

Navaratri – A Time to Honour Women

Life on earth is discernable by 3 basic qualities –

  1. to know
  2. to feel
  3. to act.

Knowing gives rise to desire, a want, an impulse, a response. This impulse makes one act in that direction. Acting, doing anything again gives knowledge which further drives wants again and the cycle goes on endlessly.

It can also be seen as there is a want, a desire which drives one to know what to do to get it fulfilled and this knowledge enables one to act in the direction of getting the want fulfilled. Once this want is fulfilled, there arises the next want and the cycle goes on endlessly.

These 3 basic aspects can be seen in living beings in varying degrees depending on their form of existence from micro-organism, plant, insect, birds, animal to human life. Those in which, one of more of these 3 aspects, i.e. free thought, free will, free act, is missing, is considered to be non-living.

It is the power of such free thought, free will and free act, which has been described in Indian thought as Gnana Shakti, Iccha Shakti and Kriya Shakti. Together they form a part of one’s consciousness.

A new born baby, soon as it is born itself, as it struggles for air, subconsciously wants to breathe, knows how to breathe and breathes without anyone teaching it so. The cycle starts from there.

Similar is the case with a seed. When a seed is ready, there is an impulse to germinate, it knows how to germinate and it germinates on its own without anyone teaching it or making it to do so. One can only create a conducive environment. The rest is upto the seed.

These 3 energies form a part of the consciousness of every entity on earth, every entity in the cosmos and of the cosmos itself too as it is also alive.

The cosmos as an entity too is living as it is continuously evolving, goes through its cycles of births and deaths and most of all is driven by a cosmic consciousness – a consciousness that makes it want to get created, know how to create itself and to go through the process of creation.

Thus these 3 energies exist at all levels in the cosmos.

The ancients of this land had well understood consciousness and life. They had also seen a complementary nature in this universe.

Every living being on earth, be it from plant or animal kingdom, bears a predominant male or female characteristic, commonly called gender. In each species, the male and female of the species evolve roles, responsibilities innate to their character so that they complement each other in keeping themselves sustained, creating progeny and safeguarding them for the continued existence, survival of the species as a whole.

Such a complementing nature is at work in the whole of Nature.

The ancients had therefore divined the principles and workings of the cosmos into three primary masculine divinities – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and their feminine counterpart divinities – Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Durga or Shakti respectively.

Each of the pair of masculine and feminine divinities were associated with one aspect of the existence of the cosmos all the way down to the smallest being on it –

  1. Brahma – Sarasvati pair associated with the expansion, growth, evolution of the Universe. They represent the Gnana Shakti, knowledge to create the Universe and everything in it.
  2. Vishnu – Lakshmi pair associated with the purpose, orderly functioning, sustenance of the Universe. They represent the Iccha Shakti, the act of willful, purposeful creation and sustenance.
  3. Shiva – Shakti pair associated with the manifestation and regeneration of the matter of the Universe. They represent the Kriya Shakti, potential, energy and process of manifestation of the Universe.

Three-Powers

The cosmos is not a chaos. On the contrary it is well organized with clear distinction of characteristics, roles and responsibilities starting all the way from the divine cosmic principles to the smallest and myriad forms of existence.

Every role needs an actor to play it and the actor needs a character, Guna.

Similarly in the 3 roles played by the 3 pairs of divinities, the masculine divinity denotes the actor while the feminine divinity is the character of that actor.

If Shiva plays the role of the manifestor, Shakti is the energy in Shiva to go through the process of manifestation, Kriya Shakti.

If Vishnu plays the role of maintaining order in the cosmos and sustaining it, Lakshmi within Vishnu is the desire, principle, goal that drives this creation and its sustenance, Iccha Shakti.

If Brahma plays the role of expanding the Universe and consciousness, Sarasvati is the one inside Brahma who knows it all, the Gnana Shakti.

These feminine divinities were perhaps the earliest “Women of Substance”.

Navaratri is the celebration of these earliest “Women of Substance”.

These three divinities, Goddesses, Durga, Lakshmi and Sarasvati, who represent power, achievement and knowledge resources respectively, are propitiated during Navaratri to enrich our lives with the above resources, vital to the survival and prosperity of any civilization.

This festival is not celebrated for a day, but for nine nights as the term Navaratri suggests. It is the time window to align the divine feminine forces in each one of us governing the three aspects of our life with that of the cosmos.

This symbolism of the Goddesses denotes the higher understanding in the civilization that the functioning and the resources needed to function, coming together with a purpose, is what ensures successful completion of any activity.

It is the understanding of this complementary nature of Nature, all the way from the divine forces at work throughout the Universe, to the various living forms in this Universe, including man and woman on earth that formed the ethos of the land of India.

This ethos through the ages has given the due position and respect, in all spheres of life, to men and women. Navaratri is the time to honour the women in the cosmos all the way from divine to human.

 Navaratri celebrations