On April 25, 2015, Artha Forum Singapore Chapter organized its fourth event in the city state. The venue for this event was M Hotel, an apt location situated at the hearth of hustling bustling central business district of the city. The event titled as “Spirituality and Sustained Capitalism” attracted intriguing audience of more than 100 entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors and professionals.
The event was set off by the Guest of Honor Mr Sat Pal Khattar, a renowned Lawyer, businessmen and community, who provided introductory speech and welcomed the keynote speaker His Holiness Bhakti Rasamrita Swami. Mr Khattar spoke of why the sustainability in commerce and spiritualty and good values may appear contradictory values at first glance, but they are not, and he also looks forwards to hear Swamiji’s views. He emphasized that morality and good value needs to be integral part of our daily life and our dealings, as without them one will be left unsatisfied in the life irrespective of whatever success he achieves in the business.
HH Bhakti Rasamrita swami started his keynote address by describing different variants and gradients of economic systems ranging from capitalism to socialism to communism and their underlying characteristics. He emphasized primarily on two characteristics namely: ownership and motive. He mentioned that any of the economic systems are bound to fail unless they address the basic human nature: which is full of greed, pride, ego among others. “The modern day capitalism is fanning unending desire of individuals” said Swamiji. He described why the creation of the wealth is not a problem but the means used to create this wealth needs to be correct. He quoted economist John Kenneth Galbraith saying “Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite”
Spirituality on the other hand, HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami described, is looking inside. It is to rediscover our original nature and our identity. He described that in the spiritual model, the ownership is seen in light of trusteeship. The properties or businesses are bequeath to us for the higher purpose. Similarly, the motive in the spiritual model, is to satisfy the “needs” and not “greed”. He described how we depend on the gifts of nature, and when the greed is let loose, we exploit both nature and people. “Capitalism can be sustainable only when we recognize the fundamental ownership rests with higher entity or atleast not with us and when the motive for economics is ‘need’ and not the ‘greed’” he said.
The keynote was followed by panel discussion which comprised of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs: Gautam Banerjee, Chairman of Blackstone Singapore, Jayesh Parekh Co-Founder of Sony Entertainment Television- Managing Partner at Jungle Ventures and Dane Anderson Vice President, and Research Director at Forrester along with HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami and Mr. Khattar. The panelist shared their perspective on the subject, challenges the world at large faces in the context of capitalism and how the points mentioned by Swamiji in his keynote can be of practical value. Gautam gave the example of how Ajay Piramal, who has ingrained the core values of Knowledge, Action and Care in the DNA of the of his group of companies. The panel discussion was followed by intriguing lineup of questions from the very perspective audience, who asked questions ranging from: How does one know “how much is enough?” Or “How to bring the shift in the businesses who are trying to make wrong things efficient instead of doing right things in first place?” or “In the current times, is spirituality un-natural for the masses?” The questions were very aptly answered by the Swamji and esteem panelists. The event received a raving feedback from the participant, confirming that the talks from Swamiji and panelist brought lot of clarity on the subject and they feel very inspired.
Key Note (Part 01)
Key Note (Part 02)
Key Note (Part 03)