Vrindavan/Silicon Valley 2019.06.23 (VT): Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji, Mahant of Vrindavan’s Jiva Institute was invited to speak at Facebook and Intel head office as part of the current corporate practice of inviting inspiring speakers to keep workers healthy and motivated.
During two interactive sessions (one at Intel and one at Facebook), Babaji shared insights stemming from Vedic wisdom and Ayurveda, which helped to enlighten staff about causes and cures of the illnesses, stress and unhappiness that often accompany modern life.
Mr Sanjay Verma, founder of Wellopathy, and ex-employee of Intel facilitated the presentations in both places, which were conducted in interview format. Sanjay Verma thanked Babaji for agreeing to share the wisdom he has collected from years of research. Verma introduced Babaji to the audience and spoke about the stress epidemic that they are currently facing,
“Surveys show that 54% of Americans have reported impact on their relationship due to stress. Workplace stress and burnout is a known big-issue in Silicon Valley. According to a recent survey by Blind App of 11000 employees across 30 Valley companies, nearly 60% of respondents felt burned out by their jobs. What is your advice to us?”
The main focus of the talk was on the stress and health issues faced by many employees of Facebook and Intel. Babaji was also asked to speak about what support is needed to bring Ayurvedic treatments and Vedic wisdom to the masses.
“According to Vedic scriptures, the standard of advancement is measured by peace and happiness, not by external possessions”.
Babaji said that stress comes because life is very competitive and there is always pressure to achieve more. Mostly, people don’t receive education about self-care and the purpose of life.
“Life is guided by media. Media sets the standard for us, and then we work hard to achieve it. But the goal of media is not the welfare to humanity. Media organizations are driven by the profit motive, like any other business enterprise. Most of the programs on media are interspersed with advertisements that lure the viewer to buy some product with the promise to make them happy.
Then we work hard to acquire that object, hoping that we will become happy or our life will improve, but when we acquire the object, the happiness eludes us and by that time some other desire occupies our mind and this continues from birth till death. Nobody ever becomes permanently happy but goes on living in the hope until death.
In the process, one faces stress, anxiety, distress and other such problems. The Vedic scriptures teach us that our journey should not be only external, but also internal. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that we should live a balanced life. If we do anything in an imbalanced manner, then that brings a problem.
We study so many topics in our life and now, by the grace of the internet, so much information is available, yet the quality of our life has not improved. By quality, I mean peace and happiness, not material comforts. According to Vedic scriptures, the standard of advancement is measured by peace and happiness, not by external appearances.
Our body is part of the universe. The universe undergoes certain cycles, such as the cycle of day and night, and the yearly cycles of various seasons. If we follow a lifestyle, which is in harmony with the cycles of nature, then we can avoid stress.”
Babaji mentioned that according to Yoga and Ayurveda, when there is a stress in the mind, the prana and apana vayus become imbalanced.
After explaining the ancient wisdom about the causes of stress and anxiety, Babaji gave some practical tips to the audience for managing their stress. He said that at the physical level, we can take some ayurvedic herbs, such as Shankpushpi, Ashwaghanda and Brahmi. We can do daily oil massage, head massage, and listen to Om chanting, or chant the Om Mantra. This will balance the disturbance in the mind, which causes stress.
He also recommended some breathing exercises and gave a demonstration to the audience, then, he asked the audience if they felt calm and peaceful. Many agreed that just by doing a two-minute exercise they felt peaceful.
Babaji advised that this mindful breathing can be done anywhere, at any time, but it would be good if this can be included in our daily routine. Every day, 10 minutes of mindful breathing will help to make the mind peaceful. Then he explained that ultimately, we as human beings are endowed with the reasoning faculty called buddhi. We should always use our buddhi to introspect. Why do we get stressed? Is it reasonable to be stressed? Does it help me to be stressed? Does it improve my quality of work? If the answer to these questions is no, then I should not feel stressed.
Babaji also said that according to Bhagavad Gita, we should not worry about things that are inevitable and beyond our control. Many things in our life happen and there is nothing much that we can do about them, so there is no point in becoming stressed over them. If you are caught in a traffic jam, there is not much you can do about it. Therefore, instead of getting frustrated, angry, and stressed, it would be more beneficial to just relax and do mindful breathing and just surrender to the situation.
So, one of the important principles of avoiding stress is accepting the situation, especially if we have no control over it. We become stressed because of other people’s behaviour, but we have no control over their behaviour. Indeed we don’t even have control over our own behaviour. Therefore, instead of worrying about other peoples’ actions, it would be prudent to worry about oneself and try to change one’s own life.”
After the talk, there were many questions from the audience, which Babaji answered. To help the participants on the path of healing, all received a gift pack of supplements from Jiva Ayurvedic. The talk ended with a statement of gratitude from the organizer.
Babaji was thanked for dedicating his life to serving humanity as a renowned Vedic and Sanskrit scholar, having spent decades studying Vedic literature, publishing greatly useful insights and serving humanity by helping so many to follow the path of wisdom and peacefulness.