Conscious Leadership & Ethics Summit 2022 | Mohanji
Mohanji: I think we’ve heard everything. All the speakers who spoke just now have touched our hearts. I don’t have anything different to tell you.
Consciousness, in spiritual terms, is that which sustains the universe. It’s called “brighter than a million suns”- pure brightness. A piece of it sits in us. It sits in all beings, whether it’s a bird or an animal, any being that’s moving, which is alive, has consciousness in it. We can call it the soul. We can call it energy – whatever we want to call it. When it leaves the body, we call it a dead body. So, that which sustains us is consciousness. Now, when we talk of conscious leadership, the onus, the strength, the stress, or the accent is on responsibility.
We’ve inherited this earth only for a short period of time. We have two boundaries – one is birth, and another is death, which we cannot control. We have no grip on these two. These boundaries are set. While we are here, in this space, how we behave – that’s what determines us. We can behave selfishly or selflessly. The degree of selflessness determines our relevance on earth. That’s why I constantly say, “It’s about what you give to the earth, not what you take from the earth.”
All of us are here, like on a tourist visa, just for a small period of time. The same earth was walked by a different set of people before we came, and in the next 100 years, it’ll be a totally different set of people who will be walking this earth.
How are we going to give this earth to the next generation? This is the question. We all have leadership; eight billion people are leaders in their own way – all of us. We can never underestimate any person, and everybody has an element of leadership in them. But when it comes to responsibility, over the country, over the people, over the world, or over the universe, we have to be very, very realistic. What are we trying to bring to the people or bring to this world or bring to ourselves? Like all of us, I mean, all the people who spoke before me, have stressed the same thing.
One thing I would like to tell you: When we live our life each moment, that which expands us is good for us, and that which contracts us or makes us feel less is not good for us. I use this benchmark – that which expands you, makes you brighter, makes you more effective, like in the sense when self-esteem is high, that’s good for you. But that which makes you feel less, like violence, for example, violence makes you feel less. We’ve seen this; it’s not that we don’t know this. We know this very well. But, in some way, all of us have been indifferent.
I was talking in one of the programs when I came last time on the television here in South Africa, and we were talking about the violence factor etc. Bishop was there. After the program, I came out and told Bishop, “Are we hypocrites? We talk on the television about bees, and out there, things are not the same. We should do something realistic about it.” There are a few suggestions which I had put forth at that time. This was before COVID, and the movement was to unite all the people of various frequencies.
United we stand
See, we are all frequency operating. We are all frequencies, different frequencies. If one person cannot understand another person, it’s not a problem because frequencies sometimes do not connect. So, I suggested that people of similar frequency should come together and make a difference in the world.
Uniting the entertainers, for example, to bring awareness: is there a possibility to be non-violent in this world, in this country? We can’t isolate South Africa from the whole world. South Africa is a part of the whole world. So, we look at the entire world, and we bring forth a kind of possibility to create a dynamic society which believes in kindness, compassion, and a few things only the people with authority can provide: food, clothing, and shelter.
These are the basics. This has to be provided. If this is provided, people are reasonably okay. To talk, to have a discussion, you need to have food, clothing, and shelter. Without this, there’s no point in talking. If somebody is hungry, you cannot talk about spirituality. You cannot even talk about anything in life. If we are communicating with the world outside, we should be extremely realistic. We should provide.
That reminds me of a businessman who initiated a political party. This is real, a real story. He won the election in a local community – it’s like a province. He made sure food was supplied at a very reasonable cost in his province. All the roads were good. Everything was good; zero corruption. He proved it. He was a businessman and still is a businessman.
But the political parties did not like it because there has to be corruption. They were looking for money, extra funds, extra money. There was a lot of conflict. So, he couldn’t expand further, but he proved one point that this is possible; that we’ve to take the steps of what we imagine as a possibility and prove it to the world. If we cannot prove it, it’s not real. It’s unreal.
I didn’t come here preparing a speech. I came to listen, and what I would like to tell now to this audience is there’s a big hope now from the words of the people who’ve spoken before. The initiative Brenda and the entire team have put forward – there’s hope, there’s clarity of purpose, and I think this is going to grow further beyond South Africa in the world. This is the feeling I’m getting. It must; it should.
Look at the last 100 years – just take 100 years; how many wars, how much bloodshed, displacement, and the world has taken displacements as normal. I heard from the United Nations also that every country should be responsible and take on as many refugees as possible. I thought that he would say, “Every country should be responsible, and there should be no refugees. Make sure there are no wars, no refugees.”
See, I would like to stay at my house. I’ll be uncomfortable if I’m staying in somebody else’s house. It’s the same – people from Afghanistan going to Canada and different countries, and the demographic imbalance apart – apart from that, it’s not comfortable. It’s not realistic. So, we are sometimes going in the wrong direction. There is a system imbalance happening in the brain itself, or we are communicating it that way.
Always be yourself
Second is the over-emphasis on religion. Instead of that, the over-emphasis is on spirituality. What is spirituality? You being you is spirituality; that means you are being authentic. It’s not about religion or external God or philosophy or theory. It’s about you, 100 per cent being you – the most authentic expression. That is spirituality. That everybody has. You don’t need any guide for it. You to be you; you don’t need to be trained.
It’s like you don’t need to teach a fish to swim. It’s almost like that. Finding you is listening to you and also keeping you stable. It also means you observe more silence. You speak where you have to speak. Otherwise, you don’t speak at all. Patience is very important. But none of these things works when there is no food, no clothing, and no shelter.
We’ve to think about this. Now, as a business community, it’s not that you’re isolated to business; there’s a possibility that so many other things are possible in the world. It can be done. Freebies are not a good idea. So, we’ve been providing food in many countries, and in 90 countries or so, we’ve been giving food to people who are hungry. This is okay.
But I was telling them they should not be complacent because we are giving them food. Some people may become complacent. They may say, “Food is coming, so I don’t have to do anything.” That’s not a good idea. Like we are working hard, there should be a kind of empowering them, so they can be self-sufficient. This is possible; definitely possible.
As of now, we’re working on the plantation of fruit trees. That was because the idea came to me when I saw during the Covid time, so many animals were on the streets, which they had been in the forest before. They all came onto the streets, and many of them came. Some of them were shot and killed because society couldn’t handle them or they weren’t suitable for society.
I asked a few people, and I understood that there are hardly any trees which are giving fruits in the forest. You see, in old times, when the American tribes, original American Indians – they used to have these islands of fruits in the forests so that the animals were staying there. Birds, animals, all – they create islands; they plant fruit trees, and they stay there. So, the villages were saved. We are trying to do the same thing now. We planted a few trees, now almost 100 trees in Turkey and about 80,000 trees were planted in the world now, America we did. The thing is that we can all do within our capacity, but united, we are a force.
All people coming together – It needn’t be fruit trees. Like Sadhguru was talking about, “Save the soil”- a very, very relevant subject because the water level has gone down, the water level is subsided, and soil is affected. In the matter of greed, so many things have changed. It’s time for us to take a step. With extreme gratitude for inviting me here and to all of you who’ve assembled here, I should also say thanks to Ami, who introduced me to Brenda. Thanks to all of you.
In short, what I suggest is that let’s continue talking; let’s continue acting together, working together in our capacities, so that at every point in time, we are doing something for the world. If this movement can happen, it can spread in the world, and it can spread to all the 190 countries in the world.
Please remember; the 190 countries divided by language, class, colour, and culture is a sign of human degeneracy. We are all one. There’s no difference. Our hearts are the same. Our intentions are the same. Inspirations are the same; aspirations are the same. So, everywhere we go, everywhere we see is that all people need that love and kindness, that understanding, that unity. The travel from selfishness to selflessness will create that effect. We are all together in that.
There are no parting words, but I would like to say, “Please remain healthy, happy and effective.” Lots of love. Thank you.
Mohanji on conscious leadership
Question: What does it mean to you to be a conscious leader in the world, hopefully moving out of Covid?
Mohanji: I believe that the Covid situation is a kind of a blessing because it forced us to redefine ourselves. Otherwise, it was mostly an unconscious existence. We were completely driven by our pleasures and things, but in a helpless situation like COVID, which is across the world, we had to redefine. We had to really put things in order.
This time and space came by itself. The result of Covid, which I’ve seen, is flexibility. People learnt to be flexible; there was no choice. You cannot be rigid anymore. You cannot have your usual pleasures and usual habits. Everything had to be reassessed, redefined and made flexible. So, this is one side. On the other side, what I’ve experienced, I’ve seen, is that many people became so frustrated because, on one side, it was the loss of jobs and things like that. On the other side, none of your usual habits was working.
People sometimes became violent. We’ve experienced domestic violence. For example, husband and wife don’t talk to each other, but they are forced to be in the house, and they’re forced to see each other and communicate with each other. So many things like that. In my community, we’ve been sorting out many such problems. So, Covid actually, according to me, forced the world to redefine itself.
(Mohanji answers about the vulnerability and women during COVID.)
Mohanji: Well, I don’t think women are the only ones who are vulnerable. I was talking to the mayor of Orangeville in Canada. There are men between the age of 40 and 50. Many of them were on the verge of suicide. Because of job losses, they can’t handle their families; there’s a lot of self-esteem in it.
When the men cannot provide for the family, they feel terrible, and they cannot cry; they can’t tell anybody. We were discussing what we could do in that community. Everybody is affected. It’s not about gender; all people are affected. We got to give practical solutions. What solution I gave in the larger community (we are active on six continents) is that – unite the strengths together. Various people are of various talents. Many lost jobs, some people have jobs but were laid off or had delayed payments and that kind of stuff, but in effect- no money. So, people united their talents and then they bid for jobs.
See, the advantage during Covid time was the internet. That was the only advantage we had. Use that for securing some income, and income flow, and that worked very well. So many people found their positions and seeming stability, not real stability, but relative stability with this effort. As I said in the beginning, flexibility. What can we do differently during this time? This is individualistic. You cannot have a general guideline. Also, never look for perfection. Perfection is always a process. It’s never an end.
The idea that perfection is an end itself has to be deleted. Otherwise, we can’t move forward, especially in adverse times. So, you keep doing that; there’s more perfection happening. I fully agree with the dialogue thing. You know, many times, instead of talking, it’s revolt or revolting.
People are angry, and they are revolting and reacting. That aggravates the situation. So, mainly, I feel that most of the things we can solve through dialogues, through discussion. The first aspect is discussion. Then, true leadership has to have a vision. Any leadership should have vision and flexibility along with it so that, in this situation, what can we do?
Immediately you’ll find a detour, or there’s something we can do. Then comes collective effort. So, there’s always room; there’s always a gateway in all this.
Transcribed by Nada Rakovic
Proofread by Geetha K.S.