The history of commerce in India is beautifully narrated by Sandeep Singh of Swastik (Swadeshi School for Training in Indian Knowledge) at a recent gathering held by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India – Western India Regional Council. Mr Singh discusses various elements of modern day commerce that find their origin in India. Some of these include: double-entry accounting, insurance, financial year, zero, foundations of integral calculus etc. As the talk progresses, special mention is made of how spiritualism is entwined in commerce practices of the Indians. Goddess Lakshmi should be understood as the goddess of economy and not wealth per se. It is Kuber who is known for wealth. However, when one observes the symbolism of Kuber, he is depicted as an unpleasant God who is standing on the back of a man. The esoteric meaning behind this is that if you let wealth and greed take over, then you become somewhat of an undesirable tyrant. A key component of Mr Singh’s lecture revolves around ethics in commerce. He cites the incredible honesty and global reputation of the diamond merchants and cutters of Surat. Ethics in commerce cannot be taught in business school but certainly can at home. The Indians of the past were guided by their religious and family values. Some still are today. As a capstone, Mr Singh cites the example of how your average thelawala (loosely: street vendor) uses his or her manual scale to weigh the item that someone purchases. When the scale is balanced, the vendor adds some more of the product to the purchaser’s basket of goods as a goodwill gesture: if there was a mistake in balancing, then it was the vendor’s fault and he/she humbly offers you more of the product free of charge. That is the true ethos of Indian commerce.
Reported By: A Dubey
Source: WHN Media Network