MMA’s 6th Raghu Pillai Memorial Oration
Swami Shuddhaanandaa enlightens the crowd
The Madras Management Association (MMA) hosted a very spiritual Raghu Pillai Memorial Oration this year on July 30, as Swami Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari spoke on the topic “Mindful Leadership in the 21st Century”. This was the 6th Annual Oration, held in the memory of Raghu Pillai, who was one of the founders of Indian corporate retail.
He was best known to be part of the team that created FoodWorld Supermarkets and the CEO of Future Value Retail. He passed away in 2011 due to a sudden heart attack.
This year’s speaker Swami Shuddhaanandaa is the founder and mentor of the Lokenath Divine Life Mission in Kolkata. He is a motivational speaker and has authored books on meditation and stress reduction. The event was held at the MMA Management Centre in Chennai.
Swami began his speech by remembering Raghu Pillai’s legacy and hoped to address the audience using the way Mr. Pillai lived. He said that even if our ‘Physical’ time on this earth was short, the legacy that is left behind keeps us alive forever.
He referred to Raghu Pillai’s mission and his vision. And the way he conducted himself with his team and colleagues and more importantly, his mindful empowered self, which made him a pioneer in the retail industry. “The enlightened are those who practice before they preach”, said Swami, directly referring to Pillai’s leadership.
He said that his leadership spread values to the people, rather than just motivation. Swami explained that it was important to be a ‘doer’ and influence people with energy, just as Pillai.
Quoting the words of yogi Sri Aurobindo, that the night is darkest before dawn, Swami explained that one can have excessive negative thoughts in the mind, which is fuelled by external substances such as the news, etc.
But, in order to create a presence of global divine conscience, we have to look ahead for the dawn and see the good things around us. He assured that there are good people engaged in peaceful activities and one should get to know the good, such as them.
Swami cleared this statement, using another quote by Elon Musk when he said, “The whole world in nothing but energy.” And according to Swami, the energy should be positive.
According to Swami, a global research found out that the amount of ‘Screen Time’ in the world is steadily increasing. With more people engaged in their electronic gadgets, such as the mobile phones or computers, the amount of physical interaction and engaging in pleasant, everyday conversations has come down.
“The expression that the ‘world is out there’ is a myth. The world is our minds”, explained Swami. This statement was well received by the audience, as he made the crowd realize that mindful empowerment is the result of our personal actions and not by influences from the outside.
Finally, after a short meditation session guided by Swami, he ended his enlightening speech of the evening.