The Significance and Impact of the ‘Keyurani na bhushayanthi’ Verse in Our Lives

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“Keyurani na bhushayanthi” was the first verse recited every morning in the Sanskrit class on All India Radio (AIR) in past years, delivered with a melodious tune. For those interested, a rendition is available in the linked video.

The meaning of “Keyurani Na Bhushayanti” is profoundly significant. It asserts that a person’s true adornment does not come from bracelets, necklaces that shine like the moon, a clean bath, smearing or anointing, or flowers in the hair. These are mere external decorations, transient and diminishable. In contrast, the verse elevates well-cultured and groomed speech as the real ornament of a person. Such speech, when consistently practiced, does not perish like physical ornaments but remains eternally valued.

Lord Rama embodies this verse through his exemplary speech. In the Valmiki Ramayana, Lord Rama’s eloquence and effective communication mark him as a paragon of virtuous and cultured speech. His words, pleasing and wise, reflect his innate goodness and intelligence, earning him widespread admiration. Thus, Lord Rama personifies the essence of “Keyurani na bhushayanthi,” showcasing wisdom and virtue in speech over physical adornments.

Similarly, #Sai SatCharitra recounts how Shirdi Sai Baba cautioned against speaking ill of others, urging devotees to embrace self-improvement and avoid slander. Chapter XVIII & XIX highlight the importance of pure, kind, and considerate speech and actions. Like Lord Rama, Sai Baba’s teachings embody the verse’s message, emphasizing virtuous speech and actions as the true adornments of a person.

In conclusion, the verse “Keyurani na bhushayanthi” delivers a powerful message about the essence of true adornment. It reminds us that while physical ornaments are ephemeral, the ornament of cultured speech is everlasting and universally esteemed. Through the examples of Lord Rama and Sai Baba, we are inspired to prioritize virtuous and respectful speech, demonstrating wisdom and good conduct. This verse’s profound message continues to inspire and guide us, underscoring the lasting value of our words and actions in daily life.

AI: The Unbiased Collaborator That Asks for Nothing in Return

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Unlike human interactions which often carry expectations of reciprocity, AI operates without the expectation of receiving anything in return. This lack of inherent bias allows AI to perform tasks and provide services objectively, leading to more efficient operations. AI’s ability to work tirelessly without expecting compensation can save significant time and resources, making it a highly efficient coworker.

AI can play six strategic roles to help individuals and teams become more effective:

  1. The Executive: AI can emulate the behavior and expectations of a senior leader, evaluate presentation skills, and anticipate potential questions or objections. This can help individuals tailor their message and be better prepared for high-pressure situations.

Example Prompt: “I have an important presentation to give to the board next week on our quarterly results. Can you role-play as the CEO and let me practice running through the slides? Give me tough questions they might ask.”

  1. The Negotiator: AI provides a risk-free environment to practice challenging conversations, understand the perspective of the opponent, and point out potential blind spots. This can improve negotiation tactics and preparedness for unexpected scenarios.

Example Prompt: “I’m going into contract negotiations with a major supplier next month. Can you take the role of their lead negotiator so I can practice my stance and responding to their potential demands?”

  1. The Reviewer: AI can provide unbiased feedback, simulate different stakeholders’ reactions, and allow for real-time brainstorming and iteration. This can lead to more refined projects and ideas.

Example Prompt: “I’ve drafted a new marketing campaign, but I’m not sure if the message will resonate with our target audience. Can you provide feedback as if you were a potential customer reviewing the materials?”

  1. The Mediator: AI can facilitate tough conversations, suggest conflict resolution techniques, and enforce ground rules for respectful communication. This can help resolve conflicts in a fair and impartial manner.

Example Prompt: “There’s a lot of tension between two people on my team who just can’t see eye-to-eye. Can you mediate a conversation between them to help find a resolution?”

  1. The Counsellor: An individual can present a problem to AI as if it were another person, and AI can provide an objective solution from that unbiased perspective, freed from personal agendas.

Example Prompt: “My friend John has been feeling really stressed and burned out from working long hours at his job. Can you act as a counsellor that John is talking to about his situation and provide some objective advice?”

  1. The Debater: AI can present a range of arguments and counterarguments, guide through a structured exploration of different arguments, and provide supporting evidence. This can help in making tough decisions and strengthening cases.

Example Prompt: “My company is deciding whether to invest in a new product line. Can you lay out the pros and cons of this decision and debate me from both sides to help me think it through?”

AI can be a valuable tool for role-playing scenarios, making us better decision-makers, presenters, collaborators, and leaders. By removing the reciprocal expectations inherent in human interactions, AI allows us to practice, prepare, and refine our skills in a judgment-free environment. Its unbiased nature makes AI the perfect impartial collaborator.

Ethical Considerations and Confidentiality: When employing AI in sensitive scenarios, such as counseling, it’s prudent to maintain confidentiality by discussing issues through hypothetical situations or anonymized examples. This creative approach allows users to gain insights without direct exposure of personal details. However, this does not fully mitigate ethical concerns. Users should be aware of AI’s limitations in understanding complex human emotions and contexts, and the importance of privacy and data security. Ethical responsibility, accountability for AI’s advice, and ensuring user education on these aspects are crucial. Engaging with AI for personal development or problem-solving should always be done within a framework of responsible use, recognizing the technology’s current capabilities and boundaries.

Moving from Typewriters to AI: Welcoming Tech Changes

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In 1996, as part of my job application to a US firm, I was required to submit a statement of purpose. It took me a few days to craft a compelling statement. Once written on paper, I took it to a typist at my cousin’s company to transcribe it into MS Word. After printing it using a laser printer, I stored my code samples in three 1.44MB floppy diskettes. These diskettes were designed for sequential processing, prompting the user to insert one disk after the other.

Fast forward to 2024, how drastically things have changed. Now, we live in a time where technology has grown a lot. We use Artificial Intelligence (AI), like smart homes and self-driving cars, every day. The way we apply for jobs has changed too. Instead of giving paper documents and code samples on diskettes, we do everything online. We send our applications, resumes, and code samples through email or job websites. Even writing a good statement of purpose is easier with AI, which can give tips and fixes to make our writing better. Also, thanks to cloud storage, we don’t need things like floppy diskettes to store our files. We can keep and share big files online without worrying about losing them. It’s really cool to see how much has changed in just a few decades.

This is how most of the world is preparing. So, if we are still using old methods and still printing out documents, we might want to reconsider. Embracing the advancements in technology, especially in AI, is not just about keeping up with the times. It’s about optimizing our efforts, enhancing our productivity, and expanding our capabilities. Whether it’s writing a compelling statement of purpose using AI tools, or storing and sharing large files through cloud storage, these technological advancements are designed to make our lives easier and more efficient.

However, while we enjoy these benefits, it’s also important to remember the essence of why we do what we do. In our quest for efficiency and progress, we must not lose sight of the primary purpose of our actions – to connect, to share ideas, to express our thoughts and emotions. So, let’s use technology to enhance our human potential, not replace it.

As we continue to navigate the digital era, let’s also take a moment to appreciate the journey we’ve taken, from typewriters and floppy diskettes to AI and cloud storage. It’s a testament to human innovation and our relentless pursuit of progress. So, let’s continue to learn, adapt, and grow with the changing times, and make the most of the opportunities they present.

Also, as we start doing things online, we are actually preparing ourselves for AI. By embracing digital technology and AI, we are not only streamlining our processes but also contributing to a vast pool of data that fuels AI’s learning and growth. Every online interaction, every piece of data we share, feeds into the continuous improvement of these systems. This interplay between human activity and AI is shaping the future, creating a symbiotic relationship where our actions inform AI development, and in turn, AI innovations enhance our capabilities.

In this digital age, the concept of ‘preparing’ has taken on a new dimension. Preparation is no longer just about having the right documents or following a set process. It’s about understanding and harnessing the power of technology, about being adaptable and flexible in the face of rapid changes. It’s about using AI to our advantage, leveraging its potential to enhance our productivity, creativity, and decision-making.

So, as we transition more and more into the digital realm, let’s view it not as a daunting challenge, but as an exciting opportunity. An opportunity to learn, to grow, and to shape the future. We are not just preparing for AI – we are part of its evolution.