Watch the recording of the event here.
“To do the work that one does with all sincerity, as perfectly as one can, is certainly one of the best ways to serve the Divine.” (The Mother, CWM, 14: 307)
Since June 2021, every issue of Renaissance, the monthly journal of AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, has been featuring a series of Insightful Conversations.
Explore the series here.
The series has included recorded conversations with authors, educators, artists, storytellers, thinkers, experts and others, on a wide range of topics concerning India’s past, present and future. We have been featuring conversations with individuals who in their own specific area of activity are creatively expressing the eternal spirit of India in newer forms and ways, and through that have been reawakening the Shakti that is Bhārata.
For the November-December 2022 Renaissance issue on the theme ‘Work and Yoga’, we organised a special live Insightful Conversation session titled ‘Work as Sadhana.’ Our guest for this session was Shri Arul Dev, who brings an interesting synthesis of long experience in modern organisational and business contexts and a deep grounding in inner work for one’s psychic and spiritual growth.
Given that topic Work as Sadhana is of a much wider interest, especially to the aspirants on the path of Integral Yoga, hosting this as a live interactive session was the appropriate thing. The event was conducted on Zoom and also livestreamed on Sri Aurobindo Society’s Facebook page.
It is also important to note that the event happened on the day of Gita Jayanti, a most appropriate day to contemplate on a topic concerning Yoga of Works. Sri Aurobindo has said that Bhagavad Gita is the greatest gospel given to human race and “the most perfect system of Karmayoga known to man in the past.”
The session began with Dr. Beloo Mehra, Editor of Renaissance briefly introducing the topic and Mr. Raamkumar, editorial assistant of Renaissance introducing the guest speaker of the event. The whole session was conducted in a Q & A format. While most of the questions were asked by Dr. Mehra and Mr. Raamkumar, several of the participants on the zoom also asked some key questions that brought out several key aspects of what it means to have the right yogic attitude toward work, even when one is working in a business or corporate setting.
During the session Shri Arul Dev shared briefly about his work as an entrepreneur and how he approaches it as part of your sadhana. This also led to a discussion on how one can maintain an inner concentrated attitude, keep a poise that helps one remain in touch with the deepest and highest part within while interacting with many individuals and teams at workplace.
Some of the questions also allowed the guest speaker to share some of the insights he has gained from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, especially regarding one's attitude to work in a collective context which he, as an HR professional, thinks have the potential to bring a higher light into how organisations facilitate the outer and inner development of their employees.
Shri Arul Dev also brings years of coaching experience. Having worked in this capacity with people from various professional backgrounds he was able to share some relevant observations regarding what prevents most people from seeing work as means of their means for inner progress, and not merely as a means to fulfill their financial needs or ambition or other such vital-mental desires.
Another key question that came up during the session was concerning a situation when a young person is not sure as to the kind of career or job that he or she should take. In that scenario how can he or she develop a yogic attitude toward work so that whatever work he or she ends up taking can become a means for his inner progress.
There was also some highly relevant discussion around how can work as sadhana be a joyful experience. And how can one avoid seeing work as a burden. Throughout the session, Shri Arul Dev shared several personal anecdotes – either from his own personal or professional life, or that of others he had observed or worked with – to illustrate his points. This made the session very lively and highly relatable.
Toward the end of the session, he also facilitated a few simple exercises which one can easily do while at work, as a means to get back to that inner concentrated poise, and to find that natural rhythm of the life-force within so that one doesn’t feel distracted or dispersed.
About our guest:
Arul Dev is the Founder CEO of People First Consultants, in the field of Talent Hiring, Coaching, Integral Education and Leadership Development for 27 years. Across his works he coaches and guides people to discover true purpose, fulfil potentials, nurture inner evolution and augment creative manifestation. He is a key facilitator of the 'Coaching with Depth' programs and offerings.
He has authored two books ‘Into Great Depth of Your Being’ & ‘The Flame Within’. He anchors workshops like 'Beyond Schooling', 'New Creation', 'Creative Excellence', ' Love of Ideas', 'Sadhana', 'Substance of our Body', etc.
He is an Engineer from BITS PILANI and found this resonant calling to be a trainer, human resources consultant and entrepreneur and has been walking his path in this direction.
His hobby is doing deep research on body, breath & evolution. He facilitates residential retreats on 'Vision, Strategy & Culture' for leaders and 'Substance of our Body & Harmony' for individuals.