Components of Indian Ethos
Principles of Indian Ethos
Teaching from major Indian Scriptures,
Application of Indian Ethos to
Quality of work life and Indian Ethos
Oxford defines ethos as :
“The characteristic Spirit and Beliefs of
community/ people” which distinguishes one
culture from the other.
Indian ethos is drawn from the Vedas, the
Ramayana, Mahabharat, the Bhagwadgita, and
Ethos vs. Ethics
Ethos is a discipline that examines one’s morality or the
moral standard of the society.
Where as ;
Ethics means expected standards in terms of your personal
and social welfare. It includes honesty, morality,
Difference Between Ethics and Ethos
Ethics is a set of principles that
guide the behavior of an individual
as regard to what is right and what
is wrong, good and bad, moral,
Ethics are derived from Shastra
Ethics are universal in nature
Ethics determine Functions such as
paap,punya, Swarg, narak etc
Example- Truth, Violence,
Ethos is a character or fundamental
values of a person, people, culture
It is based on customs and
Ethos is derived from culture
Ethos are culture
It determines cultural behavior or
Welcome,Pranam, love to
Indian Ethos refers to values , beliefs or ideals that are drawn from Indian
Customs and traditions.
Indian ethos refers the values and beliefs of our traditional scriptures such
as Vedas, Upanishads and epics like Ramayana, Maharashtra and Bhagwad
Indian Ethos in Management
'Indian Ethos in Management' refers to the values and
practices that the culture of India (Bharatheeya Sanskriti)
can contribute to service, leadership and management.
These values and practices are rooted in Sanathana
Dharma (the eternal essence), and have been influenced
by various strands of Indian philosophy.
What is Indian Ethos For Management?
It means application of principles of management revealed in our ancient wisdom
described in Upanishades and Gita. The following basic principles of management are as
per ancient Indian Wisdom and Insight :
Principles of Indian Ethos:
Divinity of all souls
Dignity of work
Ananda or Bliss
Unique Work Culture
Holistic Approach to Management
Work Results and Detachment
Equal Importance to Subjectivity/Objectivity
Who are you? All of us are part of supreme power (GOD) & hence all of us have all the divine qualities like integrity,
patience, courage, loyalty, forgiveness, service attitude i.e. mind so if you try to develop our self by improving our qualities
we will not only make our self happy but also the society be live in.
Each Soul is a Potential God A human being has a soul, a spark of Divine.The Divide resides in the heart of a person. The
Divine means perfection in knowledge, wisdom and power. Therefore, a human being has immense potential power or
energy for selfdevelopment. The partnership of God and Man can bring about extraordinary or miraculous result. Indian
wisdom indicates that productivity of human being is more important than plant capacity. Hence, management is helping
ordinary people to produce extraordinary results.
Holistic Approach in Management is based on spiritual principle of unity,
oneness, non-dual or Advaita concept. Under this principle of unity, the
universe is an undivided whole where every particle is connected with
every other particle. Hence, entire Humanity is ONE. Management must
recognise Oneness of Humanity. Respect the Divine in all beings.
We should behave in same way of manner which we expect from others.
Efficiency & effectiveness in an organization will increase only when there
is co-operation team spirit & positive energy in employees.
Equal Importance to Subjectivity/Objectivity-
Indian ethos for management distinguish subject and object.
Subject is subtle and intangible.
Object is gross or concrete, and tangible or invisible.
Human and ethical values or qualities such as courage, vision, social awareness, fearlessness and clear mind,
truth, etc are subjective, subtle and intangible concept.
These represents divine wealth.
Inner resource of human being are more powerful than external resources.
Eg- Japan could prosper in industry, business and trade due to optimum utilisation of inner resources. Japan
does not have coal, mineral and petroleum. ‘Creator is subjective. Creation is objective’. Therefore, manager
must develop third eye, the eye of vision, intuition, foresight and such other divine qualities or values. This is
the essence of Indian ethos for management.
Sewa Or Service Attitude:
The person should have altitude of service providing & at the same time have
happy face i.e. smile on face.eg: organization should be service oriented & not
profit oriented, provide best possible service to your entire customer.
Karma Yoga (selfless work) It is yoga of moral endeavour, self-less service to
others. It brings about union of human being with the Divine. Work is done as
workship to the Divine in human beings who is also all pervading in the
universe(which is just a projection of the Divine).
Gita evolves moral and ethical theory of human conduct and expounds the art
of right living- the doctrine of duty with discipline and devotion without
attachment to work and agency. Do your duty without ego and without
calculations of gain or loss. Let not the fruit of action motivate you. Let not the
fruits divert your concentration on work. Pour your heart and soul in the
performance of your assigned duty. Concentrate your attention only on your
Self sacrifice refers to sacrifice of self ego. We should be ready to sacrifice
Treat work as YAJNA – together i.e. T- Together E- Everyone, A- Achieves,
Think only about
a) What is there in front of you at present?
b) We cannot change the past or predict future.
c) So have total focus & dedication present in situation.
d) Do not take unnecessary stress of work, take it as a play.
Perfection In Work:
Bhagwad Gita emphasizes on while doing your present duty we should use our judgment &
perform with utmost concentration. Do work without expecting what will be the result.
“Do the works for the sake of your organization result will follow automatically”
No one can encourage us for long. Nobody can encourage us more than our self. “Work should
be worship”. If we love the work we do it will bring happiness & effectiveness. “Do what you
love to do a& love what you are doing”
Bliss (Ananda): Happiness of Soul.
One should be equanimous i.e. accept pleasure and pain joys and sorrows is a
part of life.
Dharma – Right
Artha – Money
Kama – Work
Moksha – Freedom
Dignity of Work:
Dignity of work is much important as far as Indian ethos is concerned. No work
is great or small. Each work whether it is a peon’s job or General Manager’s job,
is of equal importance, worthy & honorable. It lays stress on “Sarvabhutastha
Atmanam Sarvabhutani Chatmani” which means to treat all as equals.
Components of Indian ethos
1. Ego sublimation rather than ego assertion
2. Sacrificing spirit rather than fighting spirit
3. Team achievement rather than individual achievement
4. Spiritual attainment rather than material prosperity
5. Self control rather than outside control
6. Concept of duties rather than concept of rights
7. Yielding rather than dominating
8. Concern for this age world and improvement
9. Respect for and search for all truth whatever be its source
Interiorizing (self) management
Self dynamising meditation
Role of intuition (feeling)
Need of the Indian ethos
Top management must have firm belief in values-oriented holistic management of
business. The management is called upon to meet expectations of all stakeholders, e.g.,
employees, customers, citizens and shareholders and fulfill the social responsibility. Profit
is earned through service and satisfaction of all these interested parties
There are three aspects of humane organisation : 1. Inter-personal relations 2. Man-
machine equation and 3. Inner management- mental and spiritual. An organisation can
create best inter-personal relations based on promotion from within, equality, autonomy,
self-esteem and fraternal affection. Unity, harmony and effective communication can
assure team spirit and team work in an organisation.
Interiorizing (self) management:
Self management: The manager is first a man and then a manager. The manager should
first learn to manage and control himself. Without selfmanagement and control, how can
he manage and control others? The first need is to understand and know himself. This is
a course in the subjective system of management.
We have to embark upon self-study, self analysis and self criticism to locate areas of friction and
disharmony. We should prepare a balance sheet of our own strengths and weaknesses. our
mind and heart may indicate weak spots. By regular introspection we would find out solution to
problem so that the concerned parts of our being can be persuaded and guided to play the
Brain stilling (Decision-making in silence)
The western management resorts to brain-storming, i.e., loud thinking by
managers for decisions to solve management problems. The Indian insight
advocates a better alternative in the form of brain-stilling. For rational and
enduring decisions, silent mind is a much more effective medium to get sound
and lasting solution to all management problems. By this method the manager
and his employees come into contacts with the inner mind or higher
consciousness for arriving at proper solution to their
The stepping back or drawing back into yourself is another device of learning to go deep within
and look; you can remain quiet and call on the inner consciousness force and wait for a while
for an answer. Then you know exactly what to do. Remember therefore, that you cannot receive
the answer before you are very peaceful. The stepping back from a situation for a while enables
you to control and even master the situation. When you have a problem to solve, when you are
caught in a difficulty, try this method. ‘Never decide anything, never speak a word, never throw
yourself into action without stepping-back.’
Self dynamising meditation
A dynamic meditation is meditation of transforming of lower consciousness into higher
consciousness. Hence we call it transforming meditation. It opens the third eye of wisdom
through insight. Through meditation, in a silent and calm mind, you are able to contact this
centre or higher conciousness. This is called consciousness approach to management, a process
of ‘within to without’ management. The management and workers must have absolute faith or
trust on the Supreme’s Infinite Power. Our inner being has the true knowledge. It says, “ I know,
I cannot give reasons, but I know.”
Role of intuition (feeling)
Intuition is the act of coming to direct knowledge or certainty without reasoning or inferring. It
is immediate cognition by the inner mind and when fully developed is efficient and effective for
taking prompt and sound decisions. Intuition skills enable one to cope with confidence the
fluctuating environment and rapid changes. Faith is Prerequisite to develop and realize the
power of intuition.
In the scheme of management as per Indian ethos, the inner
mind and the inner aspects of man are emphasised and the inner
being has to develop for manifestation in the physical. In the
management process consciousness is the approach, harmony is
the tool and perfection is the aim. Centralisation of authority is
meant to diffuse and decentralise functions and the power to
Managerial effectiveness under Indian
ethos in management
Western management Management Based on Indian
Belief Production, productivity, profit at any cost Material gain, with belief in achieving human and
social welfare also
Guidance Management guided by mind only, led
away by ego and desire, soulless
Management by consciousness power beyond mind,
i.e., soul. Interiorized management
Emphasis Worker development, management of
others, profit maximization. Human being
given only lip sympathy
Development of man, integrated growth, harmony,
happiness and health, Management of self
Tools 5Ms as resources- men, money, materials,
machines, markets. Science and
technology information for decision
Men, machines, materials and methods as conscious
partners all having consciousness whether manifested
or dormant. Information and intuition for decision.
Ethics and values combined with skills
Western management Management Based on Indian
Conflict resolution by negotiation,
compromise, arbitration, liquidation
of differences only for a temporary
period. No reference to higher
Conflict resolution through integration and
stressing super ordinate common goals so that
enduring harmony and unity is assured. Self
introspection, stepping back aids the search for
Brain storming (round table approach) Brain stilling (entering the room of timeless silence)
Development Physical, vital and mental only.
Soul or spirit ignored. Material
development only, even at the cost of
man and nature
Integrated development, whole man approach,
control and meditation emphasized. Human
enrichment and total quality
Approach External behavior. Mental, material,
selfish only- soulless
Noble attitudes. Inner guidance, team spirit, total
harmony, global good
Business ethos principles practiced by Indian Companies
Indian companies are guided by certain rules of conduct in the form of ethical and moral standards. Some
of the business ethos principles, practiced by Indian companies are listed below
1. Principle of `sacrifice’
An individual is trained by the principle of `sacrifice’ through the process of `give and take’
policy. A person, who is willing to sacrifice part of his bread or effort, commands a superior
place in the organization.
2. Principle of `harmony’
An individual is trained in such a way that to avoid conflicts and friction one should be
guided by certain set of moral conducts and principles.
3. Principle of `non-violence’
This principle protects an organization from strikes and lockouts and unnecessary
4. Principle of `reward’
The one who performs well are encouraged to do so. This implies that the activities of
individuals need to be monitored and encouragement in the form of `rewards’ may
cultivate the spirit of higher productivity among groups.
5. Principle of `justice’
The one who works hard is `rewarded’ and the one who fails to do so is `punished’. This is
essence the principle of Justice.
6. Principle of `Integrity’
An integrated mind is more productive. Groups are encouraged to stay united in order to
reap the benefits of division of labour.
Application of Indian Ethos to Management
– Indian ethos provides that „Business‟ need not be regarded evil,
tainted and unethical. Business is sacred. It is a matter of attitude,
approach and level of management consciousness. One can do
business, make money, earn profit, build up property and even then it
can be managed with due recognition to human and ethical values and
respecting all persons in the enterprise and in the society as human
beings. Indian ethos demands subjective management system, giving
due importance to virtues like compassion, honesty, co-operation etc.
Teaching from major Indian Scriptures
TheVedas TherearefourVedasviz.Rig-Veda,Yajur-Veda,Sama-Veda,andAtharva-Veda. The
Upanishads TheVedantaseekstoknowtheultimatereality(Brahman)andthecause behind
BhagavadaGita It depictslessonsonspiritualityandethicsthroughadialogue between
ofethicalleadership, decisionmakingandmanagementwhichwewilldiscuss subsequently.
Ramayana It depictsthedutiesofrelationships, portraying ideal characters liketheideal father,
ideal servant,theideal brother,theideal wifeandtheideal king.Apartfromthis, the
Ramayanaalsoteacheshowthetemptation for lust canbringapowerfulandwell
Buddhism (1)Thefounderofthis schoolwasGautamSidhharthawholater becameLord Gautam
Buddha.TheBuddhismis basedonthefournobletruths: (i) Suffering exists; (ii) There
is acauseofthesuffering;(iii) Sufferingcanbeeradicated;(iv)Thereis ameansfor
permanent.And,nothingonearth is self. Henceeverythingonthis earthis “anatta”or
not-self.Finally, Buddhataughttheeightfoldpath toliberation fromall suffering.
Patanjali Yoga It represents aformofpersonaldiscipline whereweintegrate thebodyandthesoul, the
individualself (Atman)withtheUniversalself (Brahman).AccordingtoPatanjali,
Yogais thecontrolofthemodificationsofthemind.It is mindthat leads to orto
liberation;thatmosthumanproblemsarementalandthat theonlyremedyto solvethem
Quality of work life and Indian Ethos
1 Why work? – Topurify my mind and heart and to become wise. To
provide public benefit.
2.What is work? – Tonurture each other. My work is a for of yagna,
sacrifice. I develop the spirit of sacrifice. It is a worship of the Divine.
3.How to work? – With the spirit of renunciation, i.e.. Tyag and to serve
others. I must work without self-interest.
4.Spirits of work : Excellence in work. Perfection in work and quality of
Explain dimensions of work Ethos
Protecting the interest of the Organization
Proper Communication System
Sense of Loyalty towards organization
Management ethics is the ethical treatment of employees, stockholders, owners
and the public by a company. A company, while needing to make a profit,
should have good ethics.
Employees should be treated well, whether they are employed here or
By being respectful of the environment in the community a compound ethics,
and good, honest records also show respect to stockholders and owners. Most
of us would agree that it is ethics in practice that makes sense; just having it
carefully drafted and redrafted in books may not serve the purpose.
Of course all of us want businesses to be fair, clean and beneficial to the society. For that to
happen, organizations need to abide by ethics or rule of law, engage themselves in fair
practices and competition; all of which will benefit the consumer, the society and organization.
Ethics are about making choices that may not always feel good or seem like they benefit you
but are the'right' choices to make.
They are the choices that are examples of 'model citizen' and are the examples of 'golden
rules' like; don't hurt, don't steal, don't be dishonest, don't lie. But if we take Ethics as a
subjective philosophy then what will happen to these golden rules.
Especially at the time of facing an ethical dilemma how one should decide - what is ethical and
what's unethical? Organization provides rules, regulations, code of conduct, protocols which
provide guidelines to work, it shows how to walk, but it does not show the correct path to walk
on. Ethical dilemmas faced by managers are often more real to life and highly complex with no
clear guidelines, whether in law or often in religion.
Concept of work in Vedanta Work is here considered as an exercise of
energy. A living being has no alternative but to be working physically or
mentally. A non working body is a dead body. A man has to work to realize
that divinity residing in him. Thus attitude towards work is quite different.
An Indian does not work for a livelihood only, but he considers it as his
duty( Sadhana), as Indian philosophy teaches that every work you perform
can only be an offering to that divine in you.
Indian ethos in management: Indian management is slowly emerging to
promote equally excellence and spiritual enrichment both in individual
and collective life.The salient ideas and thoughts of Indian ethos in
management revealed by our scriptures are:
1. Atmano Moksharathan, Jagat hitaya
All work is an opportunity for doing good to the world and thus gaining
materially and spiritually in ourlives.
2. Archyet Dana ManabhyamWorship people not only with material things
but also by showing respect to their ever present divinity within
3. Atmana Vindyate ViryanStrength and inspiration for excelling in work
comes from the divine, God within, through prayer, holyreadings and
4. Yogah karmasu kaushalam. Samatvam yoga uchyate
He who works with calm and even mind achieves the most
5. Yahishi Bhavana yasya siddhi bhavati tadrishiAs we think, so we
succeed, so we become. Attention to means ensures the end
6. Parasparam bhavayantah shreyah param bhavapsyathahBy mutual co-
operation, respect and fellow feeling all of us will enjoy the highest good
both materialand spiritual.
7. Tesham sukhm tesham shanty shaswatiInfinite happiness and infinite
peace comes to them, who see the Divine in all beings.8. Paraspar Devo
BhavRegard the other person as a divine being. All of us have the same
consciousness though ourcontainers are different
This theme is embedded in varying levels as part of programmes in business management offered by
various business schools and universities.
FMS-WISDOM at Banasthali Vidyapith under the National Resource Center setup by Ministry of Human
Resource Development, Government of India, developed video based modules with focus on Indian
ethos for management teachers.
IIM Calcutta has a centre for human values to foster research and academic activities in the domain of
IIM Indore organised a conference on Indian Management in December 2017 .
IBA Banglore linked cultural symbols to the idea of Indian ethos
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