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How to effectively balance the commercial and the spiritual life

A huge amount of debate is now on how to balance our commercial and spiritual lives. For, as human beings, we are all part of a big race where we do not have any choice. We just have to live through it. The journey is a very tough journey, though. Nevertheless, we do go through it. How to balance our spiritual lives with our commercial lives has several dimensions. Some ideas are shared in this article.


There are several ideas on how to balance our commercial and spiritual lives. There are so many philosophers who have tried to answer very tricky questions. However, it is always wise to learn from life's real world experiences. Based on such real world practical experiences, three main ideas in this connection are a) having a basic philosophical view of life b) doing some solid social work that gives us satisfaction and happiness c) not doing any harm to anyone and c) Exploring ways to maximize peace in any situation.

Having a basic philosophical view of life

Having a basic philosophical view of life is a rather complicated exercise. However, it is essential that we ask the basic question: what do we take back in our heads when we are gone? In Tamil, it is beautifully called "ethai kondu vanthom kondu chella?". This simply means that we came to this empty handed and shall also return empty handed when we die.

This basic question simply makes us at least be more balanced and forget all anger, at least for a few days.

Consider this real life case study. Mohan (name changed), an MBA from a Chennai college, would always ventilate his anger on a small ten year boy, his neighbor. This innocent boy would merely ask him what he had for lunch or why he did not go to office on a particular day. It so happened that Mohan did not like this small boy for some reason. Mohan's parents were very nice people. They lived in the next portion. On a particular day, after Mohan left for office, a thief came calling and tried to break open the lock of Mohan's house. ( a single room and kitchen facility with a common rest room for two families).

Mohan's mother noticed the thief. She raised an alarm and with the help of neighbors managed to pin the thief down. He was thrashed and handed over to the police. When Mohan came to know about the incident and thanked Mohan's old mother, the latter merely said the aforesaid thing in Tamil. She explained that all of us need to help each other, and did not make any sense to be selfish.

Mohan regretted for his peevish behavior. He knew that the lady had a lesson to teach him. From that particular minute, Mohan became very friendly with the boy. He would teach him some mathematics in his spare time. Mohan's attitude changed to the philosophical stance.

It does take some incident like the one quoted above for each of us, to get to the philosophical point of view. We should try to develop that. It is not at all easy. There will always be at least some improvement if we try.

Having a philosophical view does help us to take temporary breaks from our rat race and look at life at least a little differently. There is every chance that we will have some temporary change and even attempt to take that to the next level.

Doing some solid social work for peace and happiness

Doing some solid social work for peace and happiness will be possible with some commitment to take the plunge and the initiative. In Coimbatore city, a good Samaritan started a superb service to give a very decent burial or cremation, to any poor person who dies a natural death or in accidents or even commits suicide. The police merely informs him. There are college students who act as volunteers. The money comes from donations. The student population is growing day after day. This has in fact prompted some voluntary organizations to donate more for this noble cause. It is gratifying to note that many employed people who are economically very sound,are also taking a huge interest in this service. A single initiative like this can indeed act as a trigger for larger initiatives and can help us have a balance between our commercial and spiritual lives.

Not doing any harm to anyone

We can achieve a good balance if we do not do any harm to anyone. This is easier said than done. However, the best thing we can do is to not harm anyone at all. The lives of some great leaders can indeed teach us many lessons. When Mr Kamaraj was the Chief Minister, he refused to give any bad comment when the DMK party won a by election. He merely said "this is the mandate of the people, and I respect it". There are so many people, even today, who follow this in their lives. Never speak ill of anyone. It is a very difficult proposition. However, we must indeed try. It goes without saying that we should never do any physical harm to anyone.

Exploring ways to maximize peace in any situation

If we explore some means to maximize peace in any given situation, a certain balance between commercial and spiritual lives is possible to some extent. This might going to a temple. Or playing with a small child. Or chatting with an elderly neighbor. Or simply "letting go" by just resting. This becomes particularly important when we had a bad day at work, when we were fired by the boss or the Top Management, when we had met with an accident and we were injured and had to remain at home or even be admitted to a hospital and so on. Emotions and feelings expressed by well wishers, on many occasions, have a huge sobering influence on our minds. To some extent, we do feel a lot more confident, after leaving through the experience.

For those employed in the Corporate Sector, there is what is called as the T group training. This is also called sensitivity training and this training opens up new dimensions of what is called as "self, role and identity". However, the results can also temporarily put off some people who are not emotionally strong. Still, this has been found to be very effective.

Whatever be our position in life, whatever be the nature of our commercial life at the moment, a certain amount of success to balance our commercial and spiritual lives can indeed occur, if we try to give some meaning to the three steps outlined above.

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