Lectures by Swami Bodhananda


Watch Videos of the Annual Lecture series organised by

Ahmedabad Management Association, Ahmedabad, India

2016 - Indian Philosophy for Self-management & Leadership Development          

  • These talks will cover the entire spectrum of Indian philosophy-- Brahmanic and Shramanic, theistic and atheistic, ancient and modern. The purpose is to find ground in our unbroken tradition for contemporary Indian thought and for organizational and leadership values. Decision making is the greatest leadership challenge and which is a function of knowledge, values and purpose. The integral nature of Indian philosophy can contribute significantly to measure up to this challenge, where science and evolutionary biology have failed humanity. Click here for Programme Flyer

2016 - Meditation                                                                                                  

2015 -  INDIAN LEADERSHIP - ANCIENT AND MODERN                                        

  • These talks will deal with topics such as change management, Visionary leadership, motivation, risk taking, team building, empowerment and ethical responsibility through an analysis of the life and works of India's great leaders: Vyasa, Chanakya, Sankara, Vivekananda and Gandhi.

2014 Lecture series - The Bhagavad Gita and Wise Leadership                              

  • Inclusive development, democracy, pluralism, human rights, gender equality, environment, green energy, win-win solutions etc. are the current buzz words. But what the present world lacks is wise leadership in all areas of human activity to lead us out of a pervasive meaninglessness, crass materialism and paralyzing moral relativism. Swami Bodhananda discusses, in the light of Bhagavad Gita, the present leadership crisis taking up five themes - 1. Self reflection of the Wise Leader 2. Detached Engagement 3. The Big and the Small Picture 4. The Problem of the Other, and, 5. Fight to win

2013 Lecture series - Five Principles of Excellence                                                                      

  • 10 Feb 2013 - TRUTH - Watch Video(Abstract: Truth has been the singular objective of human kind from time immemorial. Scientists and philosophers; poets and logicians; materialists and spiritualists, traditionalists and modernists--all agree on truth as the ultimate purpose of life. Gandhi and Einstein believed that truth is god. What is the epistemology/pramana of truth and its deepest experience? Swami Bodhananda takes us to an exciting journey through the multidimensional facets of truth.)
  • 11 Feb 2013 - GOODNESS - - Watch Video (Abstract: Goodness is considered coeval with truth in the Indian wisdom tradition. Lived truth is goodness. Is goodness an end or a means to an end? But what is goodness and who is good? Is it difficult to be good and do good in this tough and rough world?. Swami Bodhananda discusses the ethics/dharma of goodness.)
  • 12 Feb 2013 - BEAUTY - - Watch Video
    (Abstract: Truth is beautiful. Or is it the other way round: the beautiful is the truth? God is said to be the most beautiful. Nature is beautiful, soul is beautiful. Mathematics is beautiful. Swami Bodhananda discusses the aesthetics/rasa/beauty of being alive, active and interactive in embodiment.)
  • 13 Feb 2013 - FREEDOM - Watch Video
    (Abstract: This is the greatest and universal ideal that human kind cherishes and pursues in social and individual life. Freedom from fear and freedom to choose ones destiny. Is freedom a matter of choice or a state of awareness? Swami Bodhananda brings the wisdom of the east in contrast to the west to throw light on this fascinating topic--the experience/anubhava of freedom.)
  • 14 Feb 2013 - JUSTICE - - Watch Video
    (Abstract: Another ideal that communities and political systems try to guarantee to the individual. Is justice fair play or absolute equality? What is the basis of justice--to each according to his need or according his deed? Justice at what cost and at whose cost? What is the survival value of justice? Let us walk with Swami Bodhananda through the thick jungle of the ideal and practice of justice/neeti.)

2012 series - Knowledge, Imagination, Creativity, Optimal Solutions & Success                                                                    

  • 20 Feb 2012 - KNOWLEDGE - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: "Knowledge is power', 'Knowledge is freedom' 'Knowledge liberates' -- so are the wise sayings. But, what is knowledge? What is true and false knowledge? What are the means of knowledge and what are the proofs? How do socieites generate, control, package and disseminate knowledge? What are the differences between Vedic and Semitic perceptions of knowledge, and also between scientific and spiritual knowledge? Is knowledge value neutral? Is knowledge conditioned or unconditioned? What is the role of emotions and survival needs in the manufacturing of knowledge? These are some of the questions this presentation will raise and reflects upon. In this age of networking and internet, knowledge is oxygen, knowledge is fuel, knowledge is transport and knowledge is the passport to success. 'vidhya dhanam sarva dhanaat pradhanam' says a Sanskrit adage.
  • 21 Feb 2012 - IMAGINATION - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: Imagination plays an important role in knowledge generation and knowledge application. What the modern world lack is imagination. Mind is so saturated with old knowledge that there is no room for imagination. Imagination is the function of the right brain and the limbic system. It is the unleashing of the unconscious and the power of consciousness. The negative side of imagination is paranoia, depression and schizophrenia. It is the same power of imagination that creates beautiful work of art that leads people to forge weapons of mass destruction and fight wars. Imagination is a double edged weapon and has to be tamed with periodic reality checks. This talk will dwell on the extraordinary powers of human imagnation and its proper channelling.
  • 22 Feb 2012 - CREATIVITY - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: Using the power of knowledge and imagination humans have created a wonderful culture and civilization that have enhanced our general well-being. Creativity is an inside-out phenomenon. Creativity unfolds when we ask the 'why' question rather than the 'how' and 'what' questions. Creatitvity bubbles up from pure consciousness. Focus, diverse interests, love of nature, acute observation and self-awareness are the ingredients of a creative mind. Creativty is doing things differently, or doing different things, or doing things in ones own way. Creativity manifest when one enjoys what one does. We find creatve genuises in all fields of human endeavours. Mastery in a chosen field is a necessary condition for creative flowering. it is letting things happen, ideas explode, and words flow. Creativity is the energy of spontaniety. This talk probes and unravels the mystery of creativity, a unique human quality.
  • 23 Feb 2012 - OPTIMAL SOLUTIONS - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: One unchanging truth about the world and the human condition is that there are no perfect answers to problems. There can be only optimal answers. It is a compromise involving trade offs. To win something is to lose something else. Economists nick name this phenomenon "opportunity cost'. Every solution is a package, a mixed bag of good and bad. You get a package -- take or leave it. Strategic thinkers term it as win-win solutions, a situation where both you and your enemy win. The great challege today is optimizing human satisfaction with minimal resources for maximum people. It is a situation of the winner playing a positive sum game versus a zero sum game and sharing his/her victory with the loser. This talk will be an enquiry into the art of problem solving.
  • 24 Feb 2012 - SUCCESS - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: Nobody in this world wants to be a failure. All want to be winners, and successful. But what is success, who is successful -- the powerful, the rich, the strongest, the most beautiful? Based on a profit and loss analysis, we find that some times the early loser has the last laugh and that all the winners are not savouring their victories. Success like health seems to have material, mental, ethical and spiritual dimensions. Success also has long term and short term implications and cost factors. Swami Bodhananda gives a holistic picture of success and determines who is actually sucessfull.
2011 Lecture series - Leadership Excellence and The Power of Soft Skills                                              
  • 21 Feb 2011 - RELATIONSHIP - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: Relationship: Leaders and managers operate in a networked world of nested relationships. All the stake holders in an enterprise have to be satisfied for enduring success. More important is the personal touch and feeling that one can bring into relationships. How to develop the energy and language of the heart to develop and sustain enduring relationships will be the major thrust of this session.
  • 22 Feb 2011 - HAPPINESS - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: A successful leader or manager has to be a happy person to begin with. Every one looks up to him/her but s/he has no one to look up to for inspiration or solace. S/he is on his/her own, is the salt of the organization. By looking for happiness outside the leader forfeits right to leadership. How to invoke inner happiness will be the subject matter of this session.
  • 23 Feb 2011 - JOY OF DOING - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: Motivating people to work for organizational goals is the greatest management challenge. The worker has to enjoy work and know and feel that work is a means of self actualization. The secret of enjoying work for its own sake will be discussed in this session.
  • 24 Feb 2011 - NURTURING VALUES - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: One of the main challenges of modern business and professional career is the difficulty of being good and ethical. Lust for easy and quick profit has replaced all other considerations, which has led to the present economic crisis. Business leaders are now talking about value based and ethical business. How to be good and do good business and what are those enduring values will be the focus of this session.
  • 24 Feb 2011 - CARING & SHARING - Video Coming Soon
    (Abstract: 'To exist is to coexist', 'customer satisfaction' 'win-win solutions,' green business', 'compassionate capitalism', 'humane development', 'corporate social responsibilty' are some of the mantras of modern business. How caring for and sharing with your employees and customers you can build great organizations will be the theme of this final session. These presentations attempt to bring insights from Indian wisdom traditions to address modern management challenges.

2010 - Leadership Excellence: Insights from Ancient Indian Wisdom Tradition                              

  • Leadership is the most critical factor in a complex and ever changing world – be it in business, politics or social work. Human resource is more important than raw materials, capital and technology in value addition and in creating optimal output. India, and the world, is facing humongous problems in terms of poverty, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and terrorism. These are global problems that cry for global solutions. But action has to be on the national and local levels. The supreme leadership challenge is harmonizing local needs and national aspirations with global concerns. In a democratic market economy no decision, however well thought out, can be rammed down the throat of unwilling people. Individual choices, group and local initiatives have to be harnessed and harmonized in a bottom up decision making process. An informed citizenry making rational economic choices alone can ensure sustainable and optimal solutions for problems of production and equitable distribution. It is leadership that drives a good company to become a great company and an average nation to become a great nation. A Gandhi, or a Roosevelt or Lee Quan Yu or a Jack Welsh or an Ambani makes all the difference to a nation or a company. An organization without an effective leader is like an orchestra without a conductor.

    Swami Bodhananda in this five days presentation delves into the Indian wisdom tradition to enlighten modern managers and business leaders on the virtues of an effective and transformational leader.
    Goal-setting and Team building– The Yajna model
    (Lecture 1 ) Watch Video
    The central leadership task is to define organizational goals and put together an effective team to realize those goals with minimal cost in a reasonable time frame. The ancient Yajna practices throw valuable light on this major leadership task.
    Conflict resolution and Decision making - The Dharma model
    (Lecture 2) Watch Video
    The non-negotiable interests of all stakeholders are to be synergistically incorporated in envisioning sustainable solutions to conflicts that arise among individuals, departments and communities. Decision making is prioritising and balancing those interests for positive and organised action and to create acceptable outcomes. The character and empathy of the leader matter a lot in this area. The Vedic ideal of dharma gives us valuable insights in this complex matter.
    Motivation and Communication – The Guna model (Lecture 3) Watch Video
    Motivation is a matter of knowing human mind and its inner workings. Communication has to be directed to address that mind subliminally. The Indian guna theory analyses the deeper structure and motivations of human mind in thought and action – its individual orientation, group dynamics and the nature of human satisfaction and flourishing.
    Public service and Professional excellence (Lecture 4) Watch Video
    The Nishkama-karma model Professional excellence for public good is the motto of modern societies. Serving public good seems the best business strategy. A great leader strategizes organizational interest, with concern for public good, especially in the present post capitalist global business context. The ideal of nishkama-karma or self giving work to promote public good offers valuable lessons for the modern leader who wants to do well by doing good.
    Ethical Leadership – The Rajarshi model
    (Lecture 5) Watch Video
    The primary duty of a leader is to make decisions that affect people's thinking and choices and eventually the quality of their lives. In this ever changing complex world no leader has the time and leisure to ponder eternally and process all the information effectively to arrive at optimal decisions. The leader has to tap into his/her guts or intuitive faculties to make effective and innovative decisions. Principles and ethics give conviction and direction in times of confusion and ambiguity. The Rajarshi model of leadership discussed in Ramayana and Mahabharata is a treasure chest of insights on ethical leadership in times of crisis.

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