Peace Invocation

good prayer

Advaita Vedanta

Peace Invocation (Shanti Mantra शांति मंत्र)

ॐ सह नाववतु  |  सह नौ भुनक्तु  |
सह वीर्यं करवावहै |
तेजस्वि  नावधीतमस्तु  | मा विद्विषावहै ||
ॐ शान्तिः | शान्तिः| शान्तिः|

ॐ – Symbol of the Para-Brahman; सह – together; नौ – (both) us ; अवतु – (Let Him) protect;
सह – together; नौ – (both) us ; भुनक्तु – come to enjoy (Bliss of knowledge);
सह – together; नौ – (both) us ;वीर्यम् –  effort; करवावहै – (Let us both) do;
तेजस्वि – well studied; नौ – (both) us; अधीतम् अस्तु – may what we study;
मा – never; विद्विषावहै – quarrel with each other

Let Him protect us both. May He bless us with bliss of Knowledge. Let us exert together. May what we study, be well studied. May we not hate (quarrel with) each other.

Om Peace ! Peace !! Peace !!

View original post



If after being a british stooge, not even participating in the circus of freedom fight, after demanding a separate land for dalits and supporting the partition of country, a man becomes your “rastranayak” you can very well guess the state of clown country you are living in

Question is that at that time British ruler were Kshytria who were ruling this country what they had done to control menace. Britisher after destroying rural economy of carpentry temple architecture, weaving industries and destroyed backbone of


z:\ ambedkar\vol-09\vol9-04.indd MK SJ+YS 29-9-2013/YS-14-11-2013 217

The Bania is the worst parasitic class known to history.
In him the vice of money-making is unredeemed by culture or
conscience. He is like an undertaker who prospers when there
is an epidemic. The only difference between the undertaker and
the Bania is that the undertaker does not create an epidemic
while the Bania does. He does not use his money for production.
He uses it to create poverty and more poverty by lending
money for unproductive purposes. He lives on interest and
as he is told by his religion that money lending is the occupation
prescribed to him by Manu, he looks upon it as both right and
righteous. With the help and assistance of the Brahmin judge
who is read to decree his suits, he is able to carry on his trade.
Interest, interest on interest, he adds on and on and thereby
draws families perpetually into his net: Pay him as much as a
debtor may, he is always in debt. With no conscience, there is no
fraud, and no chicanery that he will not commit. His grip over
the nation is complete. The whole of poor, starving, illiterate
India is mortgaged to the Bania.
To sum up, the Brahmin enslaves the mind and the Bania
enslaves the body. Between them, they divide the spoils which
belong to the governing classes. Can anyone who realizes what
the outlook, tradition and social philosophy of the governing class
in India, is believe that under the Congress regime, a sovereign
and independent India will be different from the India we have
today ?

Accounting For Value – 1

Seeking Wisdom

To be a successful investor you need to know two things – How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices. Buffett wrote about this in his 1996 letter to shareholders.

To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, in fact, be better off knowing nothing of these. That, of course, is not the prevailing view at most business schools , whose finance curriculum tends to be dominated by such subjects. In our view, though, investment students need only two well-taught courses— How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices.

I will be writing several posts focusing on valuing a business and this is the first one. Before learning how to value a business let us invert and learn how not to value a business.

1. How not to value a business

Our ability to process information…

View original post 2,323 more words



Dharampal wrote,1 in he Beautiful Tree: Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century

British interest was not centered on the people, their knowledge, or education, or the lack of it. Rather, their interest in ancient texts served their purpose: that of making the people conform to what was chosen for them from such texts and their new interpretations. Their other interest (till 1813, this was only amongst a section of the British) was in the Christianization of those who were considered ready for such conversions (or, in the British phraseology of the period, for receiving ‘the blessings of Christian light and moral improvements’). These conversions were also expected to serve a more political purpose, in as much as it was felt that it could establish some affinity of outlook between the ruled and the rulers.

Further, Dharampal noted,1
The more practical and immediate purposes of governance (following Adam Ferguson) led to the writing of works on Hindu and Muslim law, investigations into the rights of property and the revenues of various areas, and to assist all this, to a cultivation of Sanskrit and Persian amongst some of the British themselves. Acquaintance with these languages was felt necessary so as to enable the British to discover better, or to discard, choose, or select what suited their purpose most. To achieve such a purpose in India, and to assist evangelical exhortation and propaganda for extending Christian ‘light’ and ‘knowledge’ to the people, preparation of the grammars of various Indian languages became urgent. The task, according to William Wilberforce, called for ‘the circulation of the holy scriptures in the native languages’ with a view to the general diffusion of Christianity, so that the Indians would, in short, become Christians, if I may so express myself, without knowing it.

Ambedkar himself had no first hand knowledge of Sanskrit and depended heavily on western author like Max Muller and Muir’s works for his own understanding of Hinduism. Therefore, it comes hardly as a surprise that his views have a striking dissonance with his contemporaries like Ananda Coomaraswamy and Aurobindo Ghosh, who were also writing primarily in English and whose erudition is beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in the town and military cantonment of Mhow (now officially known as Dr Ambedkar Nagar) (now in Madhya Pradesh).[15] He was the 14th and last child of Ramji Maloji Sakpal, an army officer who held the rank of Subedar, and Bhimabai Sakpal, daughter of Laxman Murbadkar. Through out his life he was actively helped by people of higher caste. During school days his Marathi Brahmin teacher, Krishnaji Keshav Ambedkar, changed his surname from ‘Ambadawekar’ to his own surname ‘Ambedkar’ in school records. At  at the age of 22, Ambedkar was awarded a Baroda State Scholarship of £11.50 (Sterling) per month for three years under a scheme established by Sayajirao Gaekwad III (Gaekwad of Baroda) that was designed to provide opportunities for postgraduate education at Columbia University in New York City.  In 1920, he began the publication of the weekly Mooknayak (Leader of the Silent) in Mumbai with the help of Shahu of Kolhapur, that is, Shahu IV (1874–1922).[40]. He married 2nd time to brahmin after death of his first wife. Ambedkar’s first wife Ramabai died in 1935 after a long illness. After completing the draft of India’s constitution in the late 1940s, he suffered from lack of sleep, had neuropathic pain in his legs, and was taking insulin and homoeopathic medicines. He went to Bombay for treatment, and there met Sharada Kabir, whom he married on 15 April 1948, at his home in New Delhi. Thus it can be inferred that he was helped by person of upper caste to build career but he left no stone unturned to criticize hindu religion. In contrast swami Vivekananda traveled United states representing India and delivered Chicago address in 11th September 1893 which brought praise and applause of Hindu Religion. . Swami Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. Swami founded the Vedanta Society of New York in 1894.[124] Compare difficulty faced by Swami Vivekanand with that of Dr Baba saheb Ambedkar. After his Guru Ramakrishna’s death, his devotees and admirers stopped supporting his disciples.[82] Unpaid rent accumulated, and Narendra and the other disciples had to find a new place to live.[83] Many returned home, adopting a Grihastha (family-oriented) way of life.[84] Narendra decided to convert a dilapidated house at Baranagar into a new math (monastery) for the remaining disciples. Rent for the Baranagar Math was low, raised by “holy begging” (mādhukarī). The math became the first building of the Ramakrishna Math: the monastery of the monastic order of Ramakrishna. In 1888, Narendra left the monastery as a Parivrâjaka— the Hindu religious life of a wandering monk, “without fixed abode, without ties, independent and strangers wherever they go”.[89] His sole possessions were a kamandalu (water pot), staff and his two favourite books: the Bhagavad Gita and The Imitation of Christ.[90] Narendra travelled extensively in India for five years, visiting centres of learning and acquainting himself with diverse religious traditions and social patterns.[91][92] He developed sympathy for the suffering and poverty of the people, and resolved to uplift the nation.[91][93] Living primarily on bhiksha (alms), Narendra travelled on foot and by railway (with tickets bought by admirers). During his travels he met, and stayed with Indians from all religions and walks of life: scholars, dewansrajas, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, paraiyars (low-caste workers) and government officials.[93] Narendra left Bombay for Chicago on 31 May 1893 with the name “Vivekananda”, as suggested by Ajit Singh of Khetri,[94] which means “the bliss of discerning wisdom,” from Sanskrit viveka and ānanda.[95]. Vivekananda attracted followers and admirers in the US and Europe, including Josephine MacLeodWilliam JamesJosiah RoyceRobert G. IngersollLord KelvinHarriet MonroeElla Wheeler WilcoxSarah BernhardtNikola TeslaEmma Calvé and Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz.[27][125][127][134][135]. This names mentioned above represent reputed scientist, physicist, philosopher physician and writer. He initiated several followers : Marie Louise (a French woman) became Swami Abhayananda, and Leon Landsberg became Swami Kripananda,[136] so that they could continue the work of the mission of the Vedanta Society. This society still is filled with foreign nationals and is also located in Los Angeles.[137] During his stay in America, Vivekananda was given land in the mountains to the southeast of San Jose, California to establish a retreat for Vedanta students. He called it “Peace retreat”, or, Shanti Asrama.[138] The largest American centre is the Vedanta Society of Southern California in Hollywood, one of the twelve main centres. There is also a Vedanta Press in Hollywood which publishes books about Vedanta and English translations of Hindu scriptures and texts.[139] Christina Greenstidel of Detroit was also initiated by Vivekananda with a mantra and she became Sister Christine,[and they established a close father–daughter relationship. So during the political career of Baba saheb ambedkar it cannot be said that that he was not aware of life of Swami Vivekananda. Prior to Vivekananda’s (in 1893) visit to America to speak at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Upanishads had influenced several American transcendentalist poets. Emerson’s poem Brahma, wherein he extols the parama-atman, the cause and result all things as well as the strength and weakness all that is living or inert, is a classic.


If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near;
Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished goods to me appear;
And one to me are the shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn of the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

Thoreau was influenced by Indian spiritual thought. In Walden, there are many overt references to the sacred texts of India. For example, in the first chapter (“Economy”), he writes: “How much more admirable the Bhagvat-Geeta than all the ruins of the East!”[5]American Philosophy: An Encyclopedia classes him as one of several figures who “took a more pantheist or pandeist approach by rejecting views of God as separate from the world”,[97] also a characteristic of Hinduism. Furthermore, in “The Pond in Winter”, he equates Walden Pond with the sacred Ganges river, writing:Furthermore, in “The Pond in Winter”, he equates Walden Pond with the sacred Ganges river, writing:

“In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat Geeta since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions. I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo! there I meet the servant of the Brahmin, priest of Brahma and Vishnu and Indra, who still sits in his temple on the Ganges reading the Vedas, or dwells at the root of a tree with his crust and water jug. I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well. The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges”

Compare this with views of Baba Saheb Ambedkar who had no knowledge of sanskrit. He specifically talks about the Gita in one unfinished chapter of his book ‘Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India‘ (Chapter 9, of Part III, which you can find online

 The Bhagvat Gita is not a gospel and it can therefore have no message and it is futile to search for one. The question will no doubt be asked : What is the Bhagvat Gita if it is not a gospel? My answer is that the Bhagvat Gita is neither a book of religion nor a treatise on philosophy. What the Bhagvat Gita does is to defend certain dogmas of religion on philosphic grounds. If on that account anybody wants to call it a book of religion or a book of philosophy he may please himself. But essentially it is neither. It uses philosophy to defend religion. In this book Baba Saheb Ambedkar shamelessly criticized Bhagwat Gita which had influenced westerner and inspired many learned men to think radically differently from what their own established religion had taught them. This statement shows how far he was influenced by biblical teaching because you find four Gospel in New testament. New Testament is foundation of Christianity in respect of which Voiltaire has following to say”Ours [i.e., the Christian religion] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. … My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out.

Such reckless statement only proves that his writing and act were inspired by missionary and British ruler that wanted to be said and worst that they had been hurling at our civilization and people. Ambedkar appeared to be stenographer of British rule and missionary. Such blatant hypocrisies is found in the face of fact that he registered for Sanskrit course in university in Bonn in Germany on 29/04/1921. He did not sign any lectures or attended classes and he was taken off the university register on 12-01-1922. But for his scathing attack on Hinduism as well his most creative view on Buddhism he had to rely on translation of person more affiliated with Christian missionary and British ruler in contrast to Indian and celebrated foreign author

Even lack of Sanskrit would not have been impediment for true appreciation Hindu literature because before Ambedkar was born books of Richard Garbe (1894) about the Sankhya doctrines, PaulDeussen (1906) about Vedânta was available in English language.  Deussen’s first publication (1877) was published in English as The Deussen’s first publication (1877) was published in English as The Elements of Metaphysics in 1894. It was followed by the translations of The Sutra of the Vedanta in 1906; The Philosophy of the Upanishads also in 1906; and The System of the Vedanta in 1912. His visit to India in 1904 was published in English as My Indian Reminiscences in 1912 Elements of Metaphysics in 1894. It was followed by the translations of The Sutra of the Vedanta in 1906; The Philosophy of the Upanishads also in 1906; and The System of the Vedanta in 1912. His visit to India in 1904 was published in English as My Indian Reminiscences in 1912

Now let examine how Bhagwat Gita Upanishad and hindu Philosopy had influenced famous personalities around the world which lived before Ambedkar was born or at the time of Ambedkar life which he could not have been unknown to him or he ignored because he performed sacred duties of Missionary and British ruler or to advance his own personal political carear.

Henry David Thoreau

In his noted book titled Walden, he referenced the Bhagvad Gita in many instances. In the very first chapter of the book he writes:   “How much more admirable the Bhagvad Gita than all the ruins of the East.”

J. Robert Oppenheimer

Shortly after Robert J Oppenheimer, director of the laboratory that developed the atomic bomb, saw the fireball glowing over the New Mexico desert at the Trinity test site on 16 July 1945, those words derived from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad-Gita came to his mind “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” The quotation appears throughout the literature on nuclear weapons,often in a slightly different form: “I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds.”. This video can be assessed at youtube

Oppenheimer acquired a deeper knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita in 1933 when, as a young professor of physics with interests ranging far beyond his academic specialty, he studied Sanskrit with ProfessorArthur W. Ryder at Berkeley.  After President Franklin Roosevelt’s death in April 1945, Oppenheimer spoke at a memorial service at Los Alamos and quoted a passage from the Gita “Man is a creature whose substance is faith. What his faith is, he is” (Chapter 17: Verse3). Quoted in Smith and Weiner, Robert Oppenheimer, 288

In 1963, Christian Century magazine asked him to list the ten books that “did most to shape your vocational attitude and your philosophy of life.”Along with Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Eliot’s Waste Land, Oppenheimer listed the Gita. It is significant that two of the ten works that Oppenheimer claimed as most influential were Indian and a third, The Waste Land, alluded to the Hindu scriptures the Upanishads and concluded with a Sanskrit incantation: “Shantih shantih shantih.” Cf. Eliot, Collected Poems1909–1962 (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970), 69, 76.  First two book alluded by Oppenheimer were Bhagwat Gita and Bhartrihari’s The Three Centuries (Satakatrayam)

Aldous Huxley

Beginning in 1939 and continuing until his death in 1963, Huxley had an extensive association with the Vedanta Society of Southern California, founded and headed by Swami Prabhavananda. Together with Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood and other followers, he was initiated by the Swami and was taught meditation and spiritual practices.[14]

In 1944, Huxley wrote the introduction to the “Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God”,[49] translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, which was published by the Vedanta Society of Southern California. From 1941 until 1960, Huxley contributed 48 articles to Vedanta and the West, published by Vedanta Society of Southern California

T.S Eliot

While at Haward Eliot studied Sanskrit and some India Philosophy. In his words ” Two year spent on the study of sanskrit under Charles Lanman and a year in the mazes of Patanjali metaphysic under the guidance the guidance James wood left me in a state of enlightened mystification…… And I come to the conclusion that my only hope of really penetrating to the heart of that mystery would be in forgetting how to think and feel as American or European which for practical as well as sentimental reason I did not wish to do (T.S Eliot After strange god A primer of modern Hearsay Ist edition (New York(1934) pg 43-44 K. S. Narayana Rao. “T. S. Eliot and the Bhagavad-Gita.” American Quarterly, vol. 15, no. 4, 1963, pp. 572–78, Accessed 17 Apr. 2022.

Annie Besant

As an educationist, her contributions included being one of the founders of the Banaras Hindu University.  In 1898 she helped establish the Central Hindu School, and in 1922 she helped establish the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board in Bombay (today’s Mumbai), India. In 1893, she was a representative of The Theosophical Society at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The World Parliament is famous in India because of Indian monk Swami Vivekananda addressed in the same event and which has received global recognition.

Her translated work of the Bhagavad Gita is titled The Lord’s Song. The text from her book reads: “That the spiritual man need not be a recluse, that union with the divine life may be achieved and maintained in the midst of worldly affairs, that the obstacles to that union lie not outside us but within us—such is the central lesson of the Bhagvad Gita.” As early as 1902 Besant had written that “India is not ruled for the prospering of the people, but rather for the profit of her conquerors, and her sons are being treated as a conquered race.” She encouraged Indian national consciousness, attacked caste and child marriage, and worked effectively for Indian education. Besant opined that for centuries the leaders of Christian thought spoke of women as a necessary evil and that the greatest saints of the Church were those who despised women the most, “Against the teachings of eternal torture, of the vicarious atonement, of the infallibility of the Bible, I leveled all the strength of my brain and tongue, and I exposed the history of the Christian Church with unsparing hand, its persecutions, its religious wars, its cruelties, its oppression’s. (Annie Besant, An Autobiography Chapter VII).” In the section named “Its Evidences Unreliable” of her work “Christianity”, Besant presents the case of why the Gospels are not authentic: “before about A.D. 180 there is no trace of FOUR gospels among the Christians.”[52]

Warren Hastings

Titled Bhagwat Geeta- or the Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjooon, Wilkins’ book was published by the prestigious Nourse printing press in Central London in 1785.

The first governor of Bengal and the first Governor-General of India strongly supported Charles Wilkins, the English typographer and orientalist who translated the Bhagvad Gita in English. It is said that Warren Hastings handed over a copy of the Bhagvad Gita, translated by Wilkins, to the chairman of the East India Company, and said that: “A performance of great originality, of a sublimity of conception, reasoning and diction almost unequalled, and single exception among all the known religions of mankind.” 

Erwin Schrödinger, 1933. Photo: Nobel Foundation

Erwin Schrödinger was first exposed to Indian philosophy around 1918, through the writings of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. An ardent student of the Upanishads, Arthur Schopenhauer had declared, “In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life. It will be the solace of my death.”

It is well known that Arthur Schopenhauer’s favorite book called
Oupnek’hat, id est, secretum tegendum Latin translation of Upanishad . He called it “the most rewarding and uplifting reading in the world” and informed his readers that the Oupnek’hat “has been the solace of my life and will be the solace of my death.”. Erwin Schrodinger himself vedantist received Nobel Price for his work in Quantum Physic. The Upanishads were translated from Sanskrit into Persian by or may be for for Dara shukoh, the eldest son of Shah Jehan. The translation was finished in 1657. Three year after the accomplishment of his work in 1659 the prince was put to death by his brother Aurangzib because he was the eldest son and legitimate successor of shah Jehan but under the pretext that he was infidel, and the dangerous to the established religion of the empire. This translation of Dara Shukho did not attract attention of European scholars till the year 1775. In the year 1775 Anquetil Duperron, famous traveller translated Persian version into french and Latin although french version was not published. Arthur Schopenhauer not only read this translation carefully, be he makes no secret of it, that his own philosophy is powerfully impregnated by the fundamental doctrines of the Upanishads. On Ascendancy of throne of Delhi by Aurangzeb known as Muhammad Muhiuddin Aurangzeb Alamgir compiled Fatawa-e-Alamgiri which came as death toll on hinduism. What was content of of ? Lets briefly examine

  • If two or more Muslims, or persons subject to Muslims, who enter a non-Muslim controlled territory for the purpose of pillage without the permission of the Imam, and thus seize some property of the inhabitants there, and bring it back into the Muslim territory, that property would be legally theirs.[28]
  • The right of Muslims to purchase and own slaves,[29]
  • A Muslim man’s right to have sex with a captive slave girl he owns.[30]
  • No inheritance rights for slaves,[31]
  • The testimony of all slaves was inadmissible in a court of law,[32]
  • Slaves require permission of the master before they can marry,[33]
  • An unmarried Muslim may marry a slave girl owned by another but a Muslim married to a Muslim woman may not marry a slave girl,[34]
  • Conditions under which the slaves may be emancipated partially or fully
  • The Fatawa-e-Alamgiri (also spelled Fatawa al-Alamgiriyya) was compiled in the late 17th century, by 500 Muslim scholars from MedinaBaghdad and in the Indian Subcontinent, in Delhi (India) and Lahore (Pakistan), led by Sheikh Nizam Burhanpuri.[14] It was a creative application of Islamic law within the Hanafi fiqh

Hence it stand to reason that Manusmrit which baba saheb had burned

Nicolas Tesla

Swami Vivekanada met many scientists in U.S.A. and Europe. For example, Sir William Thompson (Lord Kelvin, the then president of Royal Society) and Professor
Helmholtz, the two leading representatives of western science, met Swamiji. Thus, Swami himself later remarked during a lecture in Bharat, “I have myself been
told by some of the best scientific minds of the day, how wonderfully rational the conclusions of the Vedanta are. ”He further remarked, “I know one of them [a scientist]personally, who scarcely has time to eat his meal, or go out of his laboratory, but who yet would stand by the hour to attend my lectures on the Vedanta.” The scientist referred here is Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla was charmed to hear about the Vedantic Prana and Akasha and the Kalpas, as explained by Swami Vivekanada and told, “According tome, they are the only theories modern science can entertain. Nikola Tesla, after listening to the explanations of Swami Vivekananda at his interview with Sarah Bernhardt, used the words Prana and Akasha to denote Energy and Matter in all his latter scientific papers and articles. Apparently he understood that when speed increases, mass must decrease. He seems to have thought that mass might be “converted” to energy and vice versa, rather than that they were identical in some way, as is pointed out in Einstein’s equations. Thus, it was not Nikola Tesla, but Albert Einstein only came out with the equation E=MC2. This bring out fact how Swami Vivekananda was able influence even scientist with Hindu knowledge.

Swami Vivekanada met many scientists in U.S.A. and Europe. For example, Sir William Thompson (Lord Kelvin, the then president of Royal Society) and Professor
Helmholtz, the two leading representatives of western science, met Swamiji. Thus, not only the ordinary people,even the scientists of the western world were also enthralled by Swamiji’s speeches and deeds. They admired Swamiji with high regards and respects. This fact can be verified

Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood (26 August 1904 – 4 January 1986) was an Anglo-American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, autobiographer, and diarist. He is best known for his book Goodbye to Berlin. Christopher Isherwood had close friendship with Aldous Huxley with whom he sometimes collaborated. Isherwood became a dedicated Vedantist himself and was initiated by Prabhavananda of Ramkrishna Monk Order, his guru. For next 35 years he collaborated with swami on translation of Vedanta scripture including Bhagawat Geeta and occasionally lecturing at Hollywood and Barbara Vedanta Temples

Sir Edwin Arnold

Sir Edwin Arnold was an English poet and journalist, who is most known for his work The Light of Asia. In “The Song Celestial” Sir Edwin produced a well-known poetic rendering of the sacred Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita.   In 1856 he came to India and held post of Principal of the Deccan College at Poona, a post which he held for seven years, which includes a period during the mutiny of 1857. He was knighted in 1888 as as KCIE. KCIE is most imminent order of the Indian Empire founded by queen Victoria on 01 january 1878

Paul Deussen

Deussen’s first publication (1877) was published in English as The Elements of Metaphysics in 1894. It was followed by the translations of The Sutra of the Vedanta in 1906; The Philosophy of the Upanishads also in 1906; and The System of the Vedanta in 1912. His visit to India in 1904 was published in English as My Indian Reminiscences in 1912. However, his autobiographical papers, edited by his daughter Erika (1894-1956) and published in German in 1922, have so far not been translated into English.[citation needed]

Deussen’s System of the Vedanta has been reprinted several times: he uses the Brahmasutra and – rather less — Adi Shankara’s commentary on it, as the structure for his exposition

Seeking Wisdom

Few days back, my friend Anil Tulsiram tweeted about the importance of having a proper system in place while reading. I couldn’t agree more with what he stated. Reading more is useless if you can’t recall what you read. Click here to read the rest.

View original post

The Zen of Corporate Finance

Seeking Wisdom

I promised my friends that I will do a small presentation on the drivers of the intrinsic value of a business. To fulfill that promise I am doing this write up. Take a look at the Net Operating Profits Less Adjusted Taxes (NOPLAT) for Great and Gruesome. Both companies are generating the same NOPLAT and growing at the same rate of 10 percent. What is the fair multiple to pay for Great and Gruesome? Click here to read the rest.

View original post

The Comeback Kid

Rajiv Bajaj’s swagger is unmistakable. Dressed in track pants and a white T-shirt, the tall, broadshouldered Bajaj leads us into his bedroom for the photo shoot. At first glance, it could pass off as any Spartan middle class home in India. He lays open a yoga mat, begins his warm-up in practiced rhythm, and easily slips into one pose after other — standing, sitting, bending forward and backward. Mid-way through his routine, we tell him that his adhomukhaswanasana or the dog-like pose is almost perfect. Bajaj doesn’t lose a moment to retort even as he is stretches his limbs to the maximum: “That’s because you work like a dog at Bajaj Auto.”

Clearly, he hasn’t lost his sense of humour. When we met him in early November, we found him surprisingly cool and unflappable. Never once did he come across as a man who till recently had been assailed from all sides — by media, stock market analysts, vendors, dealers and even his own board.

For almost a year now, the 42-year-old managing director of Pune-based Bajaj Auto and India’s No. Two motorcycle maker had tried to shut out the outside world. He kept away from media interviews. Even today, he says he doesn’t read the pink papers or watch television. Barring the newspaper and magazine snippets that get circulated with clockwork regularity from the chairman’s office, he has no access to mass media. Rahul Bajaj, his dad, devours every bit of what gets reported on the company. “The chairman ensures that we get our mandatory fill of media,” jokes Rajiv Bajaj.

These snippets would have at least ensured that Bajaj knew what the world was saying about him. They weren’t exactly flattering. There was a constant stream of stories about how the company’s market share had plummeted or how its share price had dropped to its lowest level in over a decade. His dealers and vendors were worried that their business had become unviable. Even the company board, including chairman Rahul Bajaj, was more than a wee bit anxious about the future. But there was one particular strand that would have hurt father and son most: Almost everybody seemed to think that their bête noire, the Munjals of Hero Honda, had turned out to be decisive winners in their fight with the Bajaj family. No one gave the young Bajaj any chance of a comeback. For a family that was used to being a leader, this wasn’t easy.

But today, the siege is finally lifting. Bajaj is finally stepping out of his selfimposed exile. And there’s a good reason for that. News has just trickled out that Discover M, a new 100 cc bike Bajaj Auto launched in July, has taken the market by storm. There’s been very little advertising to back the launch. Yet in a matter of four months, it has sold more than 200,000 bikes and helped Bajaj Auto regain almost all the market share it lost last year. In the last six months, Bajaj Auto’s market share has jumped from 17% to 28%. Bajaj isn’t celebrating yet. Instead, he is fighting back in the only way he knows. Next week, he plans to launch yet another new bike: An affordable variant of the Pulsar. It is a project that has been in the works for almost three and a half years and is expected to drive another wedge into Hero Honda territory.

But this isn’t just about two new launches, regaining lost share and repairing bruised egos. The real story is a lot deeper. While the Munjals were running circles around his company, Bajaj did some serious soul-searching. He thought hard about his strategy — why he had failed — and more importantly, what would Bajaj Auto have to do survive five years later?

Ironically, the secret was hidden inside three of the biggest two wheeler brand successes in the last four decades: Chetak, Splendor and Pulsar. All it needed was a new prism to discover the true essence of their success. And Bajaj found that through two unusual sources of knowledge: Yoga and homeopathy.

Now, to understand Bajaj’s mind, you’ll need to go back in time.

When he first stepped into Bajaj Auto in the early nineties, it was apparent that the young engineering graduate from Warwick had no interest in the scooters his dad built. For him, Bajaj Chetak, the company’s warhorse, was a symbol of the past. But neither his dad nor the rest of Bajaj Auto could see the writing on the wall. It was only many years later that his father would concede in private conversations with senior executives that without Rajiv, there was no way that they could have saved the company.

At that time, much against his father’s wishes, he built a new plant in Chakan near Pune, away from the old set-up at Akurdi, to make motorbikes. He invested big money in R&D and product development and began to remake the fuddy-duddy “Hamara Bajaj” image of the company.

Even as he was trying to get his divergent views accepted, by the late 90s, Hero Honda had dethroned Bajaj Auto as the numero uno of the two wheeler market. The bulwark of Hero Honda’s strategy was its biggest selling model, the Splendor. It sold 11 million bikes since it had been launched. At annual sales of 1.5 million, it was the single biggest brand in the world. Hero Honda accounted for two-third of all bike sales in India.

Splendor epitomised the needs of the Indian customer. They were willing to sacrifice performance for reliability and fuel efficiency. For Bajaj though, Splendor was the new Chetak. In many ways, it represented his dad’s why-fix-it-when-it-ain’tbroke philosophy. And that was anathema for the young man.

Initially, he looked to take on Splendor head on. His initial products did sell a few thousands but they were not even enough to compensate for the fall in scooter sales. Bajaj Auto had only two stroke technology as against Hero Honda’s more fuel efficient four stroke. When changing regulation made it unviable to make two stroke bikes, Bajaj Auto put out its first four stroke bike. But without strong technology support in the early days, every product failed against Hero Honda’s juggernaut.

The young Bajaj didn’t give up hope. He would zip around Pune in his Ducati Monster. Last year, he finally acquired another hunk of a bike: The Triumph Bonneville. “This is a beauty and the design is so easy on the shoulders,” he says.

To be sure, design and product engineering became his obsession. For over a decade now, he had launched a slew of new bikes. Every new project that his 150 member product development team took up was based on a very explicit brief from the MD. “What’s more, he usually throws in some very good suggestions on where to look for inspiration,” says a senior colleague. Each time a new bike was ready to be launched, it was wheeled out to the lawn in front of his home in the company’s Akurdi campus, and Bajaj would give the machine a good rip.

After trying hard for four years, Bajaj decided to change his strategy. He upped the ante, knowing full well that Honda wasn’t about to easily share new technology with its Indian partner. He decided to create a niche segment of sporty bikes. These bikes would have an engine capacity that was 50-80% more than Hero Honda and naturally, far less fuel efficient. His research team, headed by Abraham Joseph, put out the first Pulsar 150cc and 180cc models. Bajaj calls it their worst product launch ever. Unusually for a company that once ruled the two wheeler market, Bajaj had to extend the service warranty to keep sales going.

But things have vastly improved today. There were two things that Bajaj wanted to achieve with the Pulsar. He wanted to take his mind off chasing Hero Honda and instead create a halo around Bajaj Auto’s motorcycles. Pulsar did just that for him. The bike looked strikingly different. It successfully created a niche in the more expensive executive segment, as opposed to the entry level dominated by Splendor. That also gave Bajaj the comfort to launch new products that kept the competition busy. As he grabbed the higher ground with Pulsar, Bajaj thought it would be easy to attract new customers to his other products, especially those that directly took on Hero Honda’s Splendor and the slightly more powerful Passion.

Everything seemed on the right track till early 2007. Pulsar sales were topping 30,000 a month and Bajaj Auto was making more money on each bike it sold than ever before. Sales of its two models, Discover 125cc and 110cc, were slowly taking away share from Hero Honda. By 2006, the gap was just 32,000 bikes a year.

But at that point, perhaps Bajaj may not have fully grasped the significance of Pulsar’s success. He didn’t pause to reflect on why the Pulsar may have actually held the key to Bajaj Auto’s future. He simply moved ahead in his search for a new and better bike.

His team developed another model — XCD 125 packed with technology normally not available in entry segment bikes. By design, the bike was more compact to make handling easier. Bajaj pulled out the Discover 110 and replaced it with the XCD.

Customers rejected the XCD outright. They reasoned that a more powerful bike could not be smaller than the 100cc Splendor. The downturn didn’t help either. Says S. Sridhar, CEO of Bajaj’s two wheeler business: “As the economic conditions weakened, customers tended to feel safer buying tried and tested products.” Splendor sales shot up shortly after the launch of XCD. By the time the global downturn struck, Bajaj was in a complete funk. Banks pulled out of two-wheeler financing. Rural sales took a hit. And Bajaj Auto sales hit the lowest point in its history.

This may well have been the decisive moment. But at that point, Bajaj may not have clearly grasped the real significance of why XCD had failed — or the real lessons it held out. That realization would emerge much later.

Meanwhile, by mid 2009, the picture had completely changed. Hero Honda had bounced back decisively. In the March quarter of 2009, it had made as much profit as Bajaj Auto had made in the entire year. For the entire financial year, its profits were nearly double that of Bajaj Auto.

Even as Bajaj was trying to regroup, by early 2009, Pawan Munjal, the managing director of Hero Honda laid out an audacious goal for his company: He would sell four million bikes, the highest that any two wheeler maker had done anywhere in the world in a single year. For the first two quarters, he appeared well on course.

The pressure had begun to mount on the young scion. “It was hard to miss the media headlines every other morning,” says a senior marketing executive at Bajaj Auto. As volumes nose-dived, dealers and vendors began to complain that their operations had become unviable. Analysts began to turn bearish. Bajaj Auto’s stock price plummeted to Rs. 296, its lowest level in the last decade.

It hurt even more because Bajaj Auto had always prided itself as a market leader. “The pressure on us was because of our own ambition. We wanted to do a lot. It was frustrating that we had come close to regaining that leadership and then lost it,” adds Sridhar.

Rahul Bajaj was equally concerned about the future of his company. Over the past one year, he began to hold closed door meetings with Rajiv, Sridhar and S. Ravikumar (vice president, business development) once every quarter. “He communicated his anxiety to us and listened to what we had to say,” says Sridhar.

Rajiv Bajaj was chairing a session at the annual conference of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in the capital, in August this year. The discussion was about the entry of Harley Davidson and the need to raise the technological capabilities of the Indian two wheeler industry. A slightly emotional Bajaj admitted that Hero Honda had become so big that a small frog like Bajaj would have to jump out of the well. A few minutes later, when his chance came to speak, Pawan Munjal immediately picked up the gauntlet: “Why jump out of the well, when there is enough for everybody,” he teased.

But while many folks were trying to write him off, the young Bajaj was busy figuring things out for himself. “He was like a sponge taking in all the pressure all by himself. Never once did he transfer the pressure on to us,” says a close confidant.

Bajaj realized that getting his company back on the rails required a new kind of thinking. It needed two things: A singleminded focus and a more sustainable way to think about growth.

Now, Bajaj isn’t a big fan of management education. He says he doesn’t see “any science or logic” in decision making. “Which market to go to, what technology to pursue, what bike to make, should your approach be cost-based or premium? Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but how do you make a choice?” he says.

For the most part, he relies on his intuition. This time, he found the answers in two areas that had begun to take a lot of his personal time: Yoga and homeopathy. He had begun to practice yoga and got closely involved with the renowned B.K.S. Iyengar yoga school in Pune.

Yoga helped him focus. Homeopathy aided him in identifying the principle on which to base the company’s growth. It started by strengthening the body (company) inside out. “So before you seek collaboration, try to have your own R&D; before you export everywhere, first you ask if you quality is up to standard; before you bring in consultants, first you ask yourself what you can do as an organisation, HR and training,” he says.

Next, he began to search for a new lever that would help him compete. He quickly realized it couldn’t be distribution or low-cost manufacturing. That was easy to replicate. It had to be the brand.

Yet the Bajaj brand had itself become a liability. “If you say Bajaj, you don’t know what you are saying. Is it Pulsar, is it Platina, three-wheeler or is it the Bajaj tube light or hair oil or general insurance or what the hell? Nobody knows what Bajaj is now. It is completely diffused,” he says.

And that’s where he drew some lessons from the works of Al Reese and Jack Trout, the branding gurus. “All successful businesses start with one sharp positioning. And the problem is when people brand extensively and diffuse their pricing power in the marketplace and screw up their business,” adds Bajaj.

That was pretty much the state of affairs at Bajaj Auto. Over the years the company has had several brands: Platina, Discover, Boxer, Kawasaki Caliber, Pulsar, XCD. Bajaj figured it wasn’t too late, he still had a chance to learn from the people who had done it the smart way. And the auto industry is replete with examples of successful brands like Toyota, the world’s largest auto manufacturer and Harley Davidson, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer.

For instance, Toyota had created a separate brand for its small car range under Daihatsu, leaving the mid-sized cars to itself and the top-end cars for Lexus. The truck business is carved out for Hino. That way, it helped consumers identify more clearly with the company.

And once a company has a clear brand positioning, pricing power follows automatically. Like Harley Davidson, Porsche or a BMW.

The key was specialization. But to achieve that focus, Bajaj could no longer work with a buffet of brands. “As we like to say internally that a zoo has no pedigree,” says Bajaj. In simple terms, the positioning has to be clear. For India, which is the largest mid-space motorcycle market in the world, he is banking on one brand to deliver the goods: The Pulsar.

For a company to be successful, it needs to define its core or a centre. For Bajaj, Chetak had been its core, be it in terms of technical skills, cost structures, consumer’s perception or capacity. Whether it was Priya, Classic, Super or Bravo, it succeeded as long as it came from the Chetak DNA. The problem with that is you couldn’t replace a Chetak with a better Chetak. Both LML and Honda had tried it, but it hadn’t worked.

To beat Chetak, you needed a diametrically opposite concept. And that’s exactly why Hero Honda’s Splendor became the reference brand in the two wheeler category. Chetak was a relatively cheap, two stroke Indian scooter, with a foot shift and small wheels. Splendor, on the other hand, was a more expensive, four stroke bike, with large wheels and a Japanese pedigree.

This was equally true for the Maruti 800 when it replaced the hoary Ambassador. “We realized that you cannot replace a Splendor with a better Splendor. That position is taken; we have got to do it differently,” says Bajaj.

In many ways, Pulsar had done just that. Pulsar may have had quality issues, but the fact that it was the only sporty bike of its kind, meant that consumers were willing to forget its niggling problems. In 2001, when the Pulsar was launched, everything about it was different from the Splendor: For small, it was big; for slow, it was fast; for fuel efficient, it was powerful for cheap it was expensive; for sober, it was sexy; for Japanese, it was Indian. “This is why the Pulsar succeeded. So we said we need a new centre. Pulsar is the new centre. Everything we do coming from Pulsar will succeed as long as people want a Pulsar,” adds Bajaj.

The Discover 100cc was built on this principle. “The first reaction you get from people is that this bike looks very much like the Pulsar,” says S Sridhar. Behind the scenes, a lot of work has gone in to make that happen. While the Discover 100cc has been in development since 2007, it was not scheduled for launch in 2009. “We fast tracked the product development by almost a year,” says Joseph. “It is a completely new engine and transmission while retaining the design aesthetics of the Pulsar.”

If the sales numbers are anything to go by, the strategy seems to be working. Sales in November compared to last year have gone up by 100%. And now the company says it will concentrate on building just two brands for the domestic market: The Pulsar and Discover.

The bad news: Sales may have taken off so sharply that Bajaj could land up with a peculiar problem on its hands. On the dint of its sheer volumes, Discover could displace Pulsar and become the ‘centre’.

That is perhaps why the company is quickly pushing through a new Pulsar 135cc to strengthen the core Pulsar brand. This is pretty much Bajaj Auto’s flanking strategy to take on Hero Honda. “The Discover 100cc will compete with the Splendor and the Pulsar 135cc with the Passion,” says an equity analyst who didn’t want to be quoted. At this stage it isn’t clear how Hero Honda is going to respond to Bajaj Auto’s move. “Hero Honda could respond by price cuts in order to protect its market share. However, given the much-higher contribution of the Splendor to Hero Honda’s volumes it would hurt Hero Honda more than Bajaj,” says Jatin Chawla, research analyst at stock brokerage firm IIFL.

By all indications, the results of Rajiv Bajaj’s new strategy will only become apparent by February next year. But now that the new strategy is in place, his marketing folks say that Bajaj is piling on all the pressure on the team to swiftly execute the strategy and deliver the volumes the company needs to regain its poise.


1. Kevin D’sa

president, business development and chief financial officer (55)

Been with Bajaj Auto for 30 years, has seen it through the toughest years, 1999-2001. Is one of the few people “who believed in Rajiv and came out with him”. Doesn’t believe in building products for emotional reasons, is responsible for keeping a close watch on bottom line contribution.

2. Pradeep Shrivastava

president, engineering (45)

Is really Bajaj’s manufacturing engineer. Rajiv Bajaj is proud of the Chakan plant and he has Shrivastava to thank for it. He is the point man for Bajaj’s interest in KTM, the Austrian super bike company in which Bajaj has a 31.72% stake. Currently, he is busy working on building a KTM bike to be manufactured by Bajaj.

3. A. Joseph

president, research and development (42)

Joined Bajaj Auto in 1989 as graduate trainee. Picked up by Rajiv Bajaj to be a part of the method improvement team at the Chakan factory and later lead the Pulsar R&D. Brain behind almost every motorcycle in the portfolio. Ensured the launch of the Discover 100cc a year ahead of schedule.

4. S. Sridhar

chief executive officer, two wheelers (47)

Joined as general manager, sales in 2001. Was Rajiv Bajaj’s key aide throughout the slowdown. Putting an end to the research report and data mining culture, he got involved directly into customer, vendor and dealer relations. When volumes hit rock bottom late last year, Sridhar maintained the ‘fight back spirit’ by resolving differences and dispelling self doubt among the stakeholders.

5. Rakesh Sharma

chief executive officer, international business (47)

Has been at Bajaj only for the last two years. Responsible for driving Bajaj Auto’s presence in Africa and the Middle East at a time when Indian market was reeling under the credit crisis — region’s share rose from 30% of the export business in 2007-08 to 43% in 2008-09. Under him, Bajaj registered a 91% growth in Nigeria.

6. S. Ravikumar

vice president, business development (52)

Rajiv’s big picture man. When the chips were down last year and Bajaj Auto had an opportunity to increase their stake in Austrian bike maker KTM, Ravikumar did not bat a eyelid. He argued that long term programmes should not suffer from short term upheavals. Ravikumar claims that plans for Brazil and China, two large motorcycle markets, are also on track without a change.

What Inspires Rajiv bajaj’s new vision

Yoga: At the core of B.K.S. Iyengar’s yoga, is the emphasis on getting the foundation of any asana or pose right. To do advanced standing poses, Iyengar would want his students to work a lot on just standing correctly, with mounds and toes of the feet evenly pressed on the ground. Bajaj’s parallel was getting the core product, Pulsar, correct. He could then extend his product range, keeping in mind the Pulsar identity. The new Discover M draws heavily from Pulsar’s lines.

Homeopathy: If you have an headache, a homeopathist wouldn’t immediately prescribe a drug. Instead, he would dwell on the patient’s medical history first. The idea is to get to the root of the pain. Bajaj used that philosophy to not fight Hero Honda’s Splendor head on. His pitch for Discover M doesn’t talk of fuel efficiency, Splendor’s trump card. Instead, it talks only of those little things Splendor buyers would love to have in their bikes.

Auto History: Which automaker would outlast competition and survive ultimately? Bajaj found companies that put their might behind building a few distinctive brands that were valued higher than those who diffused by creating me-toos. Over a long period, he found that Harley Davidson was more valuable than a much larger Chrysler. As opposed to a Honda, Bajaj’s idea for making his company purely focused on building few brands like Pulsar was drawn from Toyota and Volkswagen. Over the years, Bajaj has gravitated to making Pulsar its core, its centre. It will be what Chetak was previously to the company.

“Brand Is Our Lever”

Rajiv Bajaj on why sharp positioning is key to pricing power in the marketplace


You believe very strongly that in management there is no science. How did you arrive at this belief?

In management there is no science. Even in cricket there is a science. You know he will tell you how to stand, hold the bat; you look at your replay 10 times and then correct your posture. But this damn MBA there is no science. The proof is that Harvard Business School’s teaching methodology is case study methodology. You take a case, you read it, discuss it with people and then come and debate it. So six people in the room will have six opinions, nobody needs to be right or wrong, it is only how well you articulate yourself that determines how well you have done.

So, I told my chaps, we have to find something firm to stand on. Otherwise, which market to go to, what technology to pursue, what bike to make, should your approach be cost approach or premium? In management there are only two ways to make a choice; either it is top down or bottom up.

So, how did you arrive at your differentiating strategy?

I personally turned to two things. One was the science of yoga because of the presence of B.K.S. Iyengar in Pune who is now 91 and still does three hours of yoga every day. The second was homeopathy from which I learnt a lot about what actually is disease and what actually is cure!

So we said we must go the homeopathic way — basically strengthen the body inside out; so before you seek collaboration, try to have your own R&D, before you export everywhere, ask if your quality is up to standard, before you bring in consultants, ask what you can do as an organization, HR and training. So, first you strengthen yourself inside out and see how much you can walk. After that if you need a crutch; take a crutch. So, the question was which lever should we work on and we chose the lever of brand. We found the best ideas of brand came from the works of Reese & Trout. So we put yoga, homeopathy and the works of Reese & Trout together.

Why did you choose brand as the differentiating strategy?

The reason we chose brand is this: A brand is something unique that is positioned in the mind of the customer. And the problem is people brand extend and diffuse their pricing power in the marketplace and screw up their business. All successful businesses start with one sharp positioning, they stray from that centre then they fail provided the competition is smart. So we said look at Honda; from a 50cc scooter to an Accord everything is Honda. Even the jet they are making is a Honda. This is a huge stretch of the brand. How can they? And it is the same for Yamaha or Suzuki? It doesn’t make sense. Which is why even today although people like Harley Davidson, KTM, Ducati, BMW, they don’t have anything superior about them compared to the Japanese in terms of technology or quality, but if you see pricing power in the market place they will still have 20-30% more pricing power compared to the Japanese despite the huge size of the Japanese. In one word, if you say what is the strategy for the auto industry, it is specialization.

This article appears in the December 18 issue of Forbes India, a Forbes Media licensee.