In the previous post Physics of Karma we have read what actually the Karma is and characteristics of Karma. We have also read why knowing about karma is the most important thing in the post The Law of Karma – 1.
Now in this post we will see why a soul attracts Karma which makes the soul its bondage. Just to re-emphasise the importance of Karma, knowing definition of Moksha is important.
Definition of Moksha is:
Karmaless Soul. I.e. when a soul sheds all Karma, it need not take a new birth as a body and attain omniscience status of the soul i.e. Kewal Gyan (Omniscience).
As per the Jain Literature Tattvarthadhigam Sutras by Upadhyaya Umaswatiji Soul attracts Karma because of Yoga that means Mental, Physical and Verbal Activities.
A good deed attracts good Karma. A bad deed attracts bad Karma.
This attraction of Karma, good or bad is known as Aashrav. When Moksha or Salvation means Karmaless Soul, all kinds of Karmas whether good or bad is Aahrav and must be shed to attain Moksha. In short, whatever attracts new Karma to the soul is known as Aashrav.
Before I elaborate on Aashrav it is pertinent to know about Ratnatraya i.e.
We have also read in one of the previous posts The Real Maths who we really are. We all living beings are Souls, but almost every one of us believes self as a body. Therefore, we all lack the basic understanding about the self, i.e. not having Samyak Darshan.
As per the Karma Granth,
One of the fundamental reasons for Aashrav is Mithyatva i.e. not having the right view of the self. Therefore, not believing self as a soul is the first and foremost reason for attracting new Karma to the soul i.e. Aashrav.
Over and above Mithyatva, Karma is also attracted by;
This Granth further defined Kashaya as:
Things which enhance cycles of life and death for the soul.
There are four kinds of Kashaya:
These four Kashayas have four degrees of intensity.
This intensity decides how long a Karma will remain with the soul.
These are all bad Aashrav.
Similarly, a soul attracts new Karma by its good deeds also. These are known as Satavedniya Karma:
All these are the causes of good Aashrav.
These bad and good Karmas can be done by following nine ways:
A soul considering the self as a body; (Mithyatva)
Attracts New Karma to the Soul. This attraction of new Karma to the soul is known as Aashrav.
As long as a soul believes the self as a body – whether it is a good Karma or bad Karma it is Aashrav and Karma is attracted to the body.
In the next post on the subject, we will see how a soul can stop attracting new Karma and even shed existing Karmas.
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Most of us are not happy with our public utility services provided by Governments, but we are also not happy with the banking or insurance or hotel or airline or railway or telecom services. Many a times poor services are the reason for our frustration, but also of our changing of service providers.
Imagine an iPhone with poor functionality and some functionality even are even are not working. IPhone is a product, its manufacturers are known for superior customer experience and therefore what they design is for better customer experience, be it product design or service design at Apple stores.
When a customer buys a product it can inspect the product about quality and flaws. No such possibility exists when a customer buys a service which many a times is going to be utilised on a future date. We buy Insurance product or an airline ticket – its actual availment comes later than the date of purchase. We don’t know what quality of actual service we will get. Services are invisible, so it has to be deliberately designed like a product in order to get the desired result it is expected to serve.
User Experience is a new phenomenon when websites came into play. Customer Experience came into play when the book The Experience Economy was published. Service Design, though, is a relatively latest in the lot but used without nomenclature for ages. Any service be it banking, insurance, public utility services, railway, airlines, transport and communication everything is service design. Whether it is deliberately designed or not. It includes a gamut of services we use and experience around us.
In the experience economy, User Experience and Service Design are critical parts of customer experience an enterprise offers to its customers or a government offers to its citizen. Service Design is defined as:
Service design is a form of conceptual design which involves the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between service providers and customers.
Long queues are a bad design, huge traffic on the road is a bad design, any human inconvenience caused by enterprises and governments are examples of bad design.
Yes, we all are the victims of bad design by our service providers.
When the share of the service industry is on the rise, this discipline of service design is going to grow and used more extensively by all the service providers.
Recently I joined a FREE online course of Human Centered Design (HCD) conducted by NOVOED course designed in collaboration with IDEO, a firm pioneer in service design. They define HCD as;
Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem-solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. Human-centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas; building a bunch of prototypes; sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world.
This new science can be effectively used by for-profit and not for profit social enterprises. For profit enterprises are and will use it to better their customer experience. This they will be compelled to do in this sharing economy.
Insurance company Gjensidige, Norway has redesigned the customer experience with an extreme customer orientation by using the concepts of service design.
NHS (Ealing PCT), United Kingdom is working with the help of service design principles to reduce patient cost and the need for personal consultation
Entercard, Credit card provider Entercard wanted to know how to engage with customers to encourage them to use their cards more. Looking at card usage from the customer perspective, we defined a new customer engagement strategy.
This new science is effective and now extensively used by Governments to better citizen experience. All Govt – Citizen interaction is about service delivery. If the Govt is alert and sensitive about the concerns of their citizen application of Service Design principles can not only better existing services but many unresolved problems can be solved. These problems society is faced with are known as wicked problems.
There is a book called Wicked Problems, Problems Worth Solving by Austin Center for Design i.e. AC4D. The author defines Wicked Problems as:
A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems. Poverty is linked with education, nutrition with poverty, the economy with nutrition, and so on.
What are these Smart Cards for Mumbai local commuters? This is service design thinking in action. Avoid long queues for customers and advance revenue for the railway. Win-win solution for both.
One of the African countries is using service design approach in tackling the spread of Aids.
Chicago library is using design thinking to transform into learning labs.
Design thinking is helping US Govt to become more humane.
The Business Registration and Licensing division within Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) worked with the leading service design consultant for assistance to overhaul its customer service.
There are enterprises that are using design thinking approach to double country’s middle class i.e. lifting the people from poverty. (Just look at their problem statement!)
All Governments across the world is doing enormous investments in public infrastructure, healthcare, education and everything else. Imagine if the Government employs a team of design thinkers and practitioners what a miracle it can create with the resources in command.
What Roger Martin is a professor at and former dean of the Rotman School of Management, says in the interview Capitalism needs design thinking is interesting and applicable universally:
I don’t see it taking hold much. I think the way that government generally works is to think, think, think, think, and then finally create legislation that brings about some change, and then they ignore their legislation and say okay, we’re finished with that. Then people go and figure out how to game that legislation, and the government doesn’t do anything about it. Whereas if they had a design view of it, they’d say when they passed a bill, that’s just the best idea we’ve got now, we have to go see how it works in practice, and then fix it. That’s just not the mentality.
The meaning of the word Design, what we used to believe as some form of an art is expanded beyond art galleries. This art of design thinking is now influencing our lives, customer experience, citizen experience & can help us resolve many problems and tackle many challenges.
Next time we will see HOW of Service Design and HOW we all can become Service Designers.
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In the previous post on the subject The Law of Karma – 1, we have read, there are predominately eight types of Karma which a soul can attract. In this post we will see what is Karma & its Physics.
There are in all nine elements in the universe. One out of nine is Ajeev i.e Non Living. This Ajeev has five types and one of the five types is Pudgala. Pudgala is derived from the words ‘pud’, which is defined as Supplement (Addition), and gala, which is defined as Disintegrate, or Division. Therefore, Pudgalas are best defined as all things that are continuously changing by the process of Supplementation or Disintegration, namely matter.
The individual unit of Pudgala is the material from which all is made, smaller than protons, called a Paramänu, which, by the process of supplementation, can combine to form what can be roughly said is an atom, called a Skandha, Either individually or in combination, this similar type of Skandha is known as Vargana.
There is infinite Vargana or cluster of Vargana in each Pudgala. There are eight clusters of Varganas which a soul can attract. Out of these eight Varganas, four are visible and four are invisible. Like our body is also made up of these Varganas and we can see that. Karma is one of the four invisible Varganas. Invisible Varganas are:
Varganas which helps us in speaking, breathing and thinking are known as Bhasha (Language) Vargana, Swasoswas (Breathing) Vargana and Mano (Thinking) Vargana. Fourth one is Karman Vargana i.e. Karma which is attracted to the soul.
This Karman Vargana is extremely minute and invisible. These Vargana are present everywhere in the cosmos. Every soul has this invisible Karma Body which is made up of Karman Varganas. The Karma body is a dynamic structure having a regular input of Karma Vargana and exit of karma, which have matured.
Soul attracts Karman Vargana due to vibrations. The soul experiences vibrations due to activity involving attraction (Raag) and aversion (Dwesh) attributes. Vibration takes place every moment at the level of our thoughts, speech and body movements.
That means with every vibration of a Soul, it attracts Karman Vargana which is like invisible minute particle is attracted to the Soul. Karman Vargana attached to the Soul is known as Karma.
Dr Narayan Lal Kachhara in his paper – Jain Dualism – 2, writes;
“The vibration in the soul (non-physical) induces vibrations in the karma body, which experiences vibrations of the same type that is the karma body vibrates at a particular frequency. The vibrating karma body attracts karman vargnas of the same frequency from the cosmos due to the phenomenon of resonance. These incoming varganas get bonded with the similar karma, present in the karma body due to the force of activities of body, speech and mind and the passions that originated vibrations in the soul. Thus new karmas are formed in the karma body.”
The attraction of Karmas to the Soul can be compared with:
A person with oil applied on his body attracts many more particles than a person without oil. Oil can be compared with the vibration of the soul. Quantity and stickiness of the particles will be much more of an oily body as compared to non oily body.
When a soul attracts Karma, Karma comes with four kinds of bondage to the Soul. These are:
Every Karma when attach to the body, comes with these four types of feature. This can be understood by an example of medicine tablet.
A tablet can have a few types, expiry date, its power of intensity and size.
Type and quantum are decided by the level of involvement of mind, body and speech while tenure and intensity is decided by level of attraction (Raag) and aversions (Dwesh).
Till now we have known:
This is very important as well as a bit heavy subject, so more on this next time.
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Prime Minister Narendra Mode announced the opening of 170 mn account opening during last less than 12 months under Jan Dhan Yojana. Additionally, he also asked bankers to finance start-ups. Indian banks, especially public sector banks are struggling with customer service. Imagine the additional customer load and service expectations.
About a year back I had blogged Everyone Else but Customers, wherein I had stated banks are for customers, but bank boards have nominees from all other stakeholders like RBI, Govt, Employees, Officers & Shareholders but no customer nominees. In the absence of customer nominees who will advocate customers cause?
Few days back, I saw a recruitment advertise in a leading daily. A leading public sector bank is inviting an application for Chief Customer Officer. When public sector banks are suffering from problems of plenty, this bank has thought it apt to deal with customer onslaught is to offer them a better customer experience.
Competitive pressures coupled with social media sharing, banks are awakening to the dire need for better customer experience. Every consulting company is it Mckinsey and Boston Consulting or big four – E & Y, KPMG, Deloitte or PWC and Technology Consulting Companies Infosys, IBM, Accenture, Cognizant, Capgemini and Oracle all are talking about the importance and therefore the necessity of customer experience in the banking sector.
Capgemini’s World Retail Banking report 2015 has some very interesting finding about the state of customer experience in the global banking industry. The report reports;
Banks are facing stagnating customer experience. Their data of the world’s banks suggest customer experience at banks are deteriorating. In most countries customer experience index is down from 2013 index.
Percentage of customers likely to stay, refer and buy have decreased and percentage of customers unlikely to stay, refer and buy has increased as compared to 2014 data.
This data suggests customers are not happy with their banking experience. This is coupled with the trend of the emergence of financial technology firms offering some of the banking products. The report says that the banks agree;
Customers are more comfortable with internet/technology firms, significantly higher than the comfort level they have with banks.
The potential of the Fintech firms to disrupt the market comes from their agility and ability to leverage technology, derive insight from data and develop simple and intuitive offerings.
Yesterday only RBI has given in-principle approval to eleven payment banks which will mostly operate through mobile and internet.
Imagine the situation; Unhappy customer experience on the rise and new players to capture the market. Banks are stuffed with huge manpower which is a cost, enormous NPA problem & low focus on customer experience. Fintech firms are agile, branchless, lower on people and high on technology.
The banking industry world over is facing an unprecedented challenge.
The report also says;
Customer experience figured prominently as a driver of investments in the front office, but not in middle or back office investment.
The trend is also going to continue and this is a major cause of concern as majority of customer dissatisfaction emanates from back offices leading to increase in negative customer experience levels which have already risen from past years.
As far as India is concerned, CE Index dropped from 75.4 to 70.9 and customers with positive experience down from 46.2 to 38.1 during 2015 as compared to 2013.
All the reports on banking by leading consultancy firms are unanimous about the importance of customer experience and steps to become customer-centric. While there is no doubt about this KPMG report – Customer Experience Barometer – Banking drill down to attributes of customer experience:
While many still believe customer experience is all out the ambiance, branding, attire this report further drill down in detail by stating importance of 30 attributes from the seven broad stated above and performance vis a vis importance.
|1||Value for money (i.e. fair and appropriate fees and charges)||74%||49%|
|2||Staff who are honest and tell the truth||74%||56%|
|3||Staff who consistently follow through on their promises||70%||51%|
|4||Getting things right the first time||69%||53%|
|5||A company that puts the consumer first||69%||46%|
All these reports and data suggest how seriously banks need to focus on customer centricity and create a better customer experience.
Following image from a report Banking on Customer Centricity by Mckinsey says it all very aptly:
Banks are at the cross road. Technology, social media, population, Govt focus on growth, average age of staff, NPA – issues are plenty but the option is only one – Fanatical Focus on Customer Experience. In a case study on customer satisfaction at co-operative bank in UK states:
The Co-operative Bank’s Corporate Banking Division puts much of its success in recent years down to its fanatical focus on customer service.
Yes, this is the level of focus on customer experience banks need to fine-tune in order to meet the challenges stated above. Bottomline is:
Know your customer more than KYC regulation demands, make it easy, give them multichannel options and access & sensitise the organisation – front, middle and back about the importance of customer experience. Technology company reports are more obsessed with digitalisation of banking customer experience but human touch and emotional experience are irreplaceable. Developing holistic customer experience is the way forward.
As Mr. Vermon Hill, Chairman and CEO of Commerce Bancorp said,
“We have shown that you can decommoditize a commodity business. Nobody wants another me-too bank. We have created an unusual, unduplicatable experience for our customers. We are creating emotional attachment with our customers. I have had more people tell me that their kids used to go to Starbucks with them on Saturday morning. Now they want to come to the bank! We have created a cult brand out of a dead business. ”
(Source book: Mavericks @ Work by William C Taylor & Polly G. Labarre)
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During the monsoon session, it was a logjam and parliament failed to legislate new GST law. Without this new law, the economy will fail to speed up & blah blah blah… We have plenty of laws which govern our lives. We have a parliament to legislate and have lawyers to guide us about these new laws we are governed by. Important is we are expected to know all these laws and our courts do not accept ignorance as an excuse if we fail to abide by these laws.
Point to ponder is, we human beings are governed by a plethora of men made laws, but all other living beings are not governed at all by these laws legislated by the Parliament. But there is one law which equally applies to us, the human beings and animals. However, we are oblivious of these laws because we are oblivious about who we are. We all are souls living with a body. If you don’t agree, just find out the difference between a dead body and a living body.
The only difference is the presence of the soul in a living body, which a dead body doesn’t have. Every Body is different and every Soul is similar – be it human or animal. The living thing is a soul. Though invisible, but a reality, living body and the dead body example proves this. All laws legislated by the parliament is governing human BODY and not the SOUL. All laws legislated by the parliament are ONLY governing human BODY that too of respective countries and not any other BODIES.
But SOULs are governed by natural laws – be it in human being or animal being, whether in India or in the US or in Ethiopia. With the BODY, SOUL becomes so much engrossed in bodily responsibilities, pain and pleasure that it forgets to realise the true nature of the self and laws governing the true nature i.e. SOULs.
The law of Karma governs every soul in the universe. It is a science. It has nothing to do with religion. Souls are nature’s creation and so is the law governing the souls. Like the laws of maths or physics or biology are same for every human being irrespective of following any religion and living in any parts of the world, laws of Karma is uniformly applicable to every soul.
The question, therefore is: What are these laws and who knows this right? As per the Jain philosophy, Soul attains Moksha or Salvation or Nirvana after it sheds all the layers of karma. The existence of Karma with the soul is the reason for life and death and soul getting a new body after every death. The existence of different Karmas with the soul is the reason for different body and different lives of every body. The existence of different Karmas with the soul is the reason for bodily pain, pleasure, happiness, sorrow and everything the soul suffers and enjoys.
There are numerous types of Karma which a soul attracts by its body, thoughts and spoken words. Out of these numerous types of Karma, there are eight types of main Karmas. These are:
When a soul sheds the first four types of Karma, it attains the omniscient potential of the soul. They are known as Kevalgyani. In this condition, Soul can know everything that is there to know in the universe. Jain Tirthankars had attained this status before their Nirvana i.e. shedding all eight types of Karma. According to Jain philosophy, these are the Gods. They don’t manage the universe or do anything but by shedding the Karmas from the soul, these souls have become liberated from the cycles of life and death.
After shedding first four types of Karma, they deliver sermons, many a times before finally attaining Moksha. When Jain Tirthankaras deliver their sermon after becoming Omniscient (Kevalgyan), they do it in a specially designed place called ‘Samavsharan’. Their speeches are captured by scholars known as ‘Ganadharas’ i.e chief disciples. They are renowned scholars so as to understand the speech of an Omniscient soul. These Ganadharas have to remember the speech and then pass it on to the future generations. After hearing the speech, whatever they could comprehend and remember they write it down. These written documents by Ganadharas are known as ‘Agams’.
Enlightened souls are omniscient, so what they know and experience cannot be fully understood by non-enlightened souls. These Ganadharas though highly scholars also could not comprehend 100% of the sermons of the Tirhankaras. Like Physics students howsoever knowledgeable can’t fully understand what professor, who is PhD in physics, speaks. Therefore, knowledge available in Agams, though mammoth, is not the complete knowledge expressed during sermons by the enlightened Souls.
In these Agamas, the theory of Karma applicable to every soul is given quite in-depth. Every doubt or question of an inquisitive soul is answered. There are various books that are written about the laws of karma after the sermons of Mahavira which he had delivered before attaining Moksha some 2550 years back.
I am referring to the book called ‘Karma Vipak’, a commentary by Mr. Dhirajlal Mehta on ‘Karma Granth – 1’ written during 12th or 13th century by Acharyashri Devendrasuswarji.
What is Karma, its characteristics, types of Karma, how the soul attracts new Karma, how it can be stopped, how it can be discarded – everything is there in the Jain scriptures.
Rather than seeing it narrowly as Jain or some religious things, the ideal way to look at it is as a science. Science and rules of science governing our souls, every soul. We cannot afford to remain ignorant about it, as only the human being has the potential to know this and must know it before the soul gets a new body and human body is lost. Not knowing the self as a soul is the biggest reason for our misplaced priorities. Aren’t we living in the state of The Highest Ignorance? More on the laws of Karma in the post, next weekend.
Happiness is a pursuit. Everyone is running after Happiness. All our activities, even if we dislike is pursuing Happiness for the future. We discount present Happiness for unknown and uncertain future Happiness.
Whether have we understood the Happiness? Usual belief is once we have something or some experience or some possession or some relationship or achieve some goal – we will be happy. This is aptly stated by the author Shawn Achor in his book Happiness Advantage. He says;
If you work hard, you will become successful and once you become successful, then you will be happy. ….. We think If I just get a raise, or hit the next sales target, I will be happy, if I can just get that next good grade, I will be happy. If I lose that five pounds, I will be happy. And so on. Success first, happiness second.
But this is a myth. We have many achievers, but once they achieve their goal posts, shifts and happiness is pushed over the horizon. The author informs, there is a research which suggests a relationship between happiness and success is in fact reverse. Happiness is the precursor to success. Happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement giving us the competitive edge i.e. Happiness Advantage.
The Happiness Advantage: Because positive brains have a biological advantage over brains that are neutral or negative, this principle teaches us how to retain our brains to capitalise on positivity and improve our productivity and performance.
The Fulcrum and the Lever: How we experience the world and our ability to succeed within it, constantly changes based on our mindset. This principle teaches us how we can adjust our mindset (Our fulcrum) in a way that gives the power (the lever) to be more fulfilled and successful.
The Tetris Effect: When our brains get stuck in a pattern that focuses on stress, negativity and failure, we set ourselves up to fail. This principle teaches us how to retrain our brains to spot patterns of possibility, so we can see and seize – opportunity wherever we look.
Falling Up: In the midst of defeat, stress and crisis, our brains map different paths to help us cope. This principle is about finding the mental path that not only leads us up of failure or suffering, but teaches us to be happier and more successful because of it.
The Zorro Circle: When challenges loom ad we get overwhelmed, our rational brains can get hijacked by emotions. This principle teaches us how to regain control by focussing first on small, manageable goals, and then gradually expanding our circle to achieve bigger and bigger ones.
The 20 Second Rule: Sustaining lasting change often feels impossible because our willpower is limited. And when willpower fails, we fall back on our old habits and succumb to our path of least resistance. This principle shows how; by making small energy adjustments, we can reroute the path of least resistance and replace bad habits with good ones.
Social Investment: In the midst of challenges and stress some people choose to hunker down and retreat within themselves. But the most successful people invest in their friends, peers and family members to propel themselves forward. This principle teaches us how to invest more in one of the greatest predictors of success and excellence – our social support network.
The author has surveyed 1600 undergraduate students from Harvard and found how these seven principles helped them to overcome obstacles, reverse bad habits, become more efficient and productive, make the most of opportunities, conquer their most ambitious goal and reach their fullest potential.
This is very important as the author says;
When we are happy, when our mindset and mood are positive – we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success resolves around it.
Out of the seven rules I found Social Investment, the last one, very powerful. Aren’t we happy with friends and family members? One of the longest surveys which ran for 70 years concludes;
Our relationship with other people matter, and matter more than anything else in the world.
Happiness is not only important your our individual success, but it has a ripple effect. Happy person can influence 1000 people within three degrees. This was very aptly stated by Danial Goleman;
Like secondhand smoke, the leakage of emotions can make a bystander an innocent casualty of someone else’s toxic state.
This means positive and negative – both emotions can have a ripple effect. This has an instant proof. Why people cry and laugh with the characters’ situations in movies, even if they are illusionary?
The best thing is, having known Happiness Advantage, applying the same in our daily life situations can give us a competitive advantage. Remember: Happiness First, Success follows. The book offers excellent examples of real life situations which are worth experiencing.