What is an Organization?
What is an organization and why an organization? These are the basic questions. The simple and ordinary meaning of the word organization is an act of organizing. It means a state of being organized. It is indicative of the manner in which anything is organized. It is indicative of an organic system, or body. It can include many organizations: business, social, political, spiritual, etc. The root of this word organization is from the Latin word Organum and from the Greek words Organon and Ergon. And all these words mean work. Just look at the human body how it is organizing everything. It is the greatest example of a self-organizing mechanism. No organization of any kind whether business, social, political or spiritual can really come closer to the human body as an organization. The way things are happening and the way things are getting organized in the human body are beyond our imagination. It is said by the computer scientists that to create a mechanical device that is similar to the human mind requires hundreds of super computers and acres of land. But still it won't be a parallel to the human mind. Dr. V. S. Ramachandran (popularly known as Rama) is a world renowned neurologist. He is working on the mysteries of the human mind. He says the human mind is a three pound jelly-like substance containing more than three billion neurons. And the number of possible combinations of their networking is more than the known elementary particles in the whole universe. This is the complexity of the human mind. That is why the Vedas and the Upanishads say that the human mind is an universe itself. The functions of the human body are really mysterious. It is an organic whole and hence called an organism. What is the ultimate goal of this organization called the human body? The ultimate goal is to attain to the true happiness of the body. This is the ultimate goal of the organism called the human body. We are all living here for this ultimate happiness and bliss. Another meaning of the word organ means any musical instrument in general. An organ is an instrument or means by which anything is done. The organization is also an instrument or a means by which the objectives of the organization are achieved. The Greek and Latin meanings of the word organization is only work. Can work become a music? Can work become a song? Can work become a worship? Can work become a dance and celebration? Can work become a symphony? Can work become a harmony? These are the other questions to be probed and explored.
What are the objectives of the organization? Let us explore. Let us go into the very beginning if there was any beginning. In the beginning there was nothing and out of this nothing the cosmos is born. Brahma created the cosmos and as a consequence a cosmic organization has come into being. The whole cosmos is an eternal organization that has come into being. With this cosmic organization Brahma created two values. These two values are embedded within this cosmic organization. He created one value in the form of Goddess Lakshmi. She is the Goddess of wealth. And He created the other value in the form of Goddess Saraswati. She is the Goddess of knowledge. So the cosmic and eternal organization is embedded with two basic values: Wealth and Knowledge. These are the two basic goals of any organization. All knowledge is to create wealth and all wealth is to create more knowledge. It is said that knowledge is wealth and knowledge is power. The ultimate wealth is a synthesis of material wealth and spiritual wealth. In ancient Indian tradition this synthesis is called Aishwarya. Aishwarya is generally thought to mean only wealth. But that is not the true meaning. Aishwarya means material prosperity and spiritual prosperity. It means a divine glory. It means a splendor. It is an attribute of God or Ishwara. The root of Aishwarya is Ishwara. They both are Sanskrit words. Ishwara means the divinity. The wealth in the context of Aishwarya means a combination of material wealth and spiritual wealth.
In the Hindu Mythology all the metaphors of quality are feminine. The Goddess is a feminine metaphor. Feminine means receptivity. Without receptivity quality is not possible. But the quality can be either positive or negative. The quality can be either creative or destructive. The God is masculine and the Goddess is feminine. Masculine means the one who is striving for a quality. Masculine means the one who is striving to be receptive. Receptivity is a quality and it is an attribute. This quality of receptivity is depicted metaphorically as Goddess. Let us understand the root words of these two words Lakshmi and Saraswati. The word Lakshmi is a Sanskrit word and its root word is 'Lakshya' meaning an aim or objective. The whole objective or aim of Goddess Lakshmi is to remove poverty and create prosperity. This is possible only through wealth creation. The word Saraswati is again a Sanskrit word and it is derived from the words 'Saras' meaning flow and 'Wati' meaning a woman or feminine. It symbolizes a quality of receptivity. Lakshmi is a quality of being possessive and objective. And Saraswati is a quality of being receptive and subjective. Therefore, wealth is possessive and objective, and knowledge is receptive and subjective. Lakshmi means something tangible and Saraswati means something intangible. Lakshmi means objective and Saraswati means subjective. Intellectual Quotient (IQ) is being objective and possessive. Emotional Quotient (EQ) is being receptive and subjective. The whole aim or objective of Goddess Saraswati is to give knowledge and remove ignorance. Goddess Saraswati is in possession of an instrument called 'Veena'. It is a musical instrument. So true knowledge can create music and harmony in an individual. Goddess Saraswati is also considered to be the mother of all Vedas and Upanishads. The vehicle (Vahan) or mount of the Goddess Lakshmi is an Elephant or an Owl. Elephant is a symbol of strength. One can ask why not a lion? Because lion is the most powerful animal. It is more powerful than the elephant. The simple answer to this is that the lion is not a domestic animal. We can't possess the animal called the lion. It is a wild animal. It can only be used in a circus. In the past the power of a king or an emperor was reckoned on the basis of the number of elephants he possessed. This one symbol of Lakshmi signifies strength and power. So wealth can be a great strength. The very soul of any business organization or commercial organization is money or wealth. Without money no organization can survive or sustain. So the whole business or busyness of any organization is to create money or wealth. This is the basic and primary objective of any organization. This is the most fundamental objective of any organization. But this should not be the only objective. Never forget what Henry Ford says. He says that a business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. The other mount or vehicle of Lakshmi is an owl. According to the Hindu Mythology an owl is an inauspicious symbol. Please remember that it is only a metaphor for a particular quality or an attribute. In some other countries an owl is an auspicious symbol. An owl, an elephant or a swan or anything are just symbols and metaphors to indicate some quality or attribute. They are all just creatures or animals. And they are all beautiful in themselves. Hindu Mythology is a rich heritage of these symbols and metaphors. The true meanings of the symbols and metaphors are deep and hidden. Mythology is a symbolic expression of a hidden truth or reality. When the right meaning of the myth is understood it can reveal the truth and when the right meaning is not understood it can remain a myth. So wealth can either be creative or destructive. Wealth can either bring good luck or bad luck.
We have to also focus on the other value that Brahma has created. The other value is Saraswati or Goddess of knowledge. Wealth or material prosperity is one value, and knowledge or spiritual prosperity is another value. The world of knowledge is vast and infinite. It can start from mundane knowledge to divine knowledge. The ultimate knowledge is divine knowledge or Brahmavidya. Brahmavidya or divine knowledge means the knowledge of Brahma. This can be possible only through Saraswati or the Goddess of knowledge. Even knowledge can be either creative or destructive. That is why even Goddess Lakshmi also has two vehicles or mounts. One vehicle is 'Hansa' or the Swan. The swan is again a metaphor for a quality or an attribute. The swan has one of the most beautiful qualities. If we give a mixture of water and milk the swan has an ability to drink milk alone by separating water. This symbolizes a quality of discrimination between the good and the bad. The swan is a metaphor for this quality. That is why Ramakrishna, the spiritual guru of Swami Vivekananda was called Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. The swan is only a symbol or a metaphor for a quality of an ability to separate good from bad. The other vehicle or mount of Goddess Saraswati is Peacock. The peacock is a symbol that represents arrogance or pride of its beauty. Knowledge can be either right or wrong. Wrong knowledge can be destructive. And right knowledge is always creative. The ultimate knowledge is neither right nor wrong but transcendental. The ultimate knowledge can bring music and harmony in life. With this knowledge the work can become a worship. The doing can become divine. The action can become a celebration. The journey can become a joy. The destination can become a destiny. With the help of this knowledge the workplace can be transformed to a worship place. With the help of this knowledge the 'Kurukshetra' can be transformed to be a 'Dharmakshetra'. Therefore, it all depends on the organization what it wants. The wrong use of wealth can be destructive. And the wrong use of knowledge can also be destructive.
Therefore, wealth creation and knowledge creation are the two values of this eternal organization called the cosmos. There are three custodians of this eternal organization. And they are: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the maintainer) and Shiva (the destroyer). Brahma creates the organization, Vishnu maintains the organization and Shiva destroys the organization or transforms the organization. Buddha destroyed the entire old organization of his father and recreated a new organization. Jiddu Krishnamurti recreated a new organization called the Order of the Star in the East (OSE). And then he dissolved the same when he realized that the truth is a pathless land and no organization can really organize it. The moment the truth is organized it becomes a religion. And all religions are just pseudo religions and they are far away from the truth. Truth is an individual path and hence it can never be organized. Bhagwan Rajneesh recreated a new brand and a new vibrant organization called Osho. This is called the transformation of the pyramid. The CEO of any organization must possess these three qualities. He must create the organization and he must continuously transform the organization to recreate the new organization. Old organizations die and new organizations are being born. Old values die and new values come into being. This is the story of the entire creation. There are only two choices: One, the transformation of the pyramid and the second, the death of the pyramid. The choice is ours. And it is a choice-less choice. It is said that in the next 45 years at least 40% of the existing Fortune 500 companies will disappear from the list. Everything is changing except the change itself. The CEO must prepare the organization and its people for this eternal change because the CEO is an Alchemist.