How could the principles of Buddhism help boost levels of workplace happiness, productivity and profits while safeguarding workplace ethics and values was the main theme of a forum on â€˜Buddhist Leadership Practices in Businessâ€™ organized by the National Council for International Affairs of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) in Colombo yesterday.
Welcoming the gathering Lakshman R. Watawala, President National Council for International Affairs ACBC said that their main motive behind the forum is to practice and propagate Buddhist teachings in all humanitarian services.
â€œPractice is essential in all our activities otherwise we would forget what we are doing,â€ he said.
Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya said Buddhist values and principles should be used in businesses to achieve maximum wellbeing. â€œCurrently one of the main Buddhist practice, meditation is used in business environments to develop the mentality of the employees. Nevertheless in some business schools, it has been seen that Buddhist teaching programs have been conducted as part of their curriculum.
â€œBusiness is not a business if it incurs harm on others, physically or mentally.â€ These days, adopting Buddhist practices has become a global trend. Some of the worldsâ€™ major companies have adopted these teachings to ensure their success. â€œMindfulness and motivation are the chief principles of Buddhist management. Employeesâ€™ wishes can be satisfied through these,â€ he added. He also suggested the ACBC should expand this event to accommodate international Buddhist leaders and to share their ideas for the future development.
Sarath Jayamanna, Director General, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption said, all businessmen must practice the 10 perfections. As preached by the Buddha, the only three rules that one should follow are to guard your speech, guard your body and guard your mind. â€œGiving things without any expectations, having the thought that everyone is going to the same destination at stressful moments, giving attention to others and taking competition as a positive aspect are some practices of Buddhist teachings as followed by some businessmen.
â€œEven though we have resources we lack the skill of using them for our development unlike countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore. The environment should be preserved well irrespective of any business we are engaged in.â€
â€œOur Employees should be treated well so as to get the maximum benefit from them. We have to set an example to others through Buddhism,â€ he said.
Presenting the key note address Ven. Madagampitiya Wijithadhamma thera, Head of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Sri Jayawardhanapura said that teachings of all religions are not limited to any particular area. Compassion is the foundation for the user first approach to business. â€œCompassion is the sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings of others. Equally businesses provide solutions for customerâ€™s problems.â€ The customersâ€™ trust and respect could be gained by avoiding all ill practices. The more we respect the customer, the more we receive trust and loyalty. â€œIndividuals should fight against poverty by avoiding the six channels as stated in the Sigalovada Sutta of Deegha Nikayaâ€.
Accordingly the income received by an individual should be divided in such a way that quarter of each should be kept aside for family needs and savings.The rest needs to be used in the business processes you are engaged in. The role of wealth is to provide adequate services to oneself and society no to be craved for.
According to the Lord Buddha contentment is the greatest wealth that one can gain, he said.According to Jagath Sumathipala, President of All Ceylon Buddhist Congress and Vice President of The World Fellowship of Buddhists, this forum has been conducted consecutively for seven years all around the world. It is the first time that this forum is organized in Sri Lanka.
He also said that they are hoping to initiate a Buddhist Business Circle through ACBC. With this ideas could be shared internationally to develop businesses.