Advice to Businessmen
SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
There is a business ethics and a businessman should practice this ethics. Only then he will not be affected by sin. Only then he will prosper.
People say that one will have to tell lies in business if he wants to prosper. This is a serious mistake. Those who are strictly honest and truthful will flourish in business. More customers will go to them only, as they are truthful in their dealings.
Falsehood first entered a cloth-merchant’s shop. If you enter a cloth- merchant’s shop, he says first, the one yard costs Rs. 8/-, then bargaining or haggling goes on for one or two hours. At last he comes to Rs 1.50 per yard. This sort of business goes on in most of the business-houses. Cheating and falsehood are the basic traits of a businessman. His conscience has been blunted by covetousness and dishonesty. He is miserable in this world despite his wealth and possessions and will be unhappy in the next world also, because he is not leading a moral life. He does not know what he is exactly doing, as his understanding is clouded.
Immorality does not mean sexual depravity and illegal adultery only. He who tells lies and cheats others is also leading an immoral life. He is also an immoral man in the broad sense of the term.
A manufacturer pits a spurious preparation in the market. One man mixes small stones in the wheat. One businessman adulterates ghee, flour and other foodstuffs. The carpenter uses inferior quality if wood and charges as for the best wood. A contractor uses third-class bricks and charges for first- class bricks, etc. These are all instances of cheating.
What is this glittering prosperity in the business, after all? To eat a little delicious food, to move in a car, to become a Municipal Councilor cannot give you everlasting happiness. This is not the goal of life. This is a foolish man’s idea of happiness. Quite puerile indeed! These are all toys of ignorant children. Wise people will laugh at these things.
Earn your bread by honest means. Dishonesty and cheating will bring on you incurable diseases like cancer, tuberculosis, ulcer in the stomach, fistula, deafness, dumbness, blindness, burning in the heart and feet, and deformity of limbs in your next birth. Action and reaction are equal and opposite. You will have to suffer in your next birth for every wrong deed you commit in this birth. Be careful in your thought, speech and action. Be good and do good. Understand the law of cause and effect.
Spend one-tenth of your income in charity. Charity covers multitude of sins. Do regular charity. Merely giving a few rupees in charity occasionally when you are in distress, is not praiseworthy.
Take a moderate and reasonable profit. Be truthful and honest in your dealings. Do not smother and kill your conscience. Keep your conscience ever clean and pure. Do abundant charity. You can prosper in your business. You will not be tainted and corrupted by business. Goddess Lakshmi will ever dwell with you.
Do Satyanarayana Katha every full-moon day. Help social and religious institutions. Open Sanskrit schools and Ayurvedic dispensaries, hospitals, girls’ schools, free primary schools. Dig wells in the villages. Construct Sankirtan Bhavans. Let your profit be well utilised in charitable purposes. You will earn great merit. You will be happy here and in the next world.
If you are ever conscious that the Lord or the Indweller is witnessing your thoughts and actions, if you really have understood the law of cause and effect, you will not dare to do any wrong deed, you will try to avoid evil action and gradually minimise your wrong deeds.
If you have really understood the Vedantic truth of oneness you will not try to deceive others. In deceiving others you deceive yourself. In helping others you help yourself. There is only one Self in all beings. That is the only Reality.