Executives’ Questions and Answers – Guruji S N Goenkaji

1. I am in a business where I could be my breaking sila. I know enough not to be involved in a business that is going to harm anyone. For instance, making missiles is certainly going to harm people; I obviously won’t do that. But what about the gray area where I am building a third-party product and I really don’t know where itÂ’’s going to end up. If I know it is going to be used to kill people, then it’s obviously not good. When I don’t know, then what?

You manufacture a knife and people use it to cut vegetables. But if someone uses it to murder somebody, thatÂ’s not your responsibility. If you sell a knife that you know is going to be used to kill somebody, then it’s wrong; otherwise, you have no intention of harming anyone.

2. So, as long as you don’t have the intention.

Goenkaji: Yes, that is more important.

3) Investing in the stock market—is that harmful or it is okay? Because my gain may be a loss to someone that I don’t even know.

Goenkaji: Well, if your intention is to harm somebody, then it is wrong. If you are just trying to earn some money, there’s nothing wrong in that.
But whatever you earn, then you have to pay attention to how you are using it. If it is just to inflate your ego—look, I am wealthier than everybody else, I am one inch taller than everybody else—then it is madness; those earnings are not helpful to you. When you earn money, that money is coming from the society; so it is your duty to share with the society. If you have that sort of volition, then earning is not bad. A householder has to earn. You are not a monk.

4) But somebody may begetting hurt.

Goenkaji: Well, you can’t help that. You are just trying to earn money. If you make use of this money in a properway,there is nothing wrong. Your intention is not to harm anyone. If you do something intentionally to hurt somebody, then it is wrong.