Sikh principles helped US millionaire build empire

July 14th, 2010 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, July 14 (IANS) The message of ‘Ek Omkar’, the theory of oneness propounded by first Sikh guru Nanak Dev, has inspired a Sikh to not only set up a multi-million business empire in the US but also turned him into a motivational speaker, now popularly called “Mr Stress-free”.

Ratanjit Singh, 70, who is now settled in Aurora town near Cleveland, Ohio, in the US, says he used Sikh principles, especially the message of Guru Nanak Dev, to become a successful entrepreneur in the West.

“Fundamentally, success evolves from finding and nurturing goodness in everything and everyone. But if it is done with a selfish agenda of only achieving personal success, it will backfire,” Ratanjit told IANS on

e-mail.

“When it is done through an intrinsic understanding and living of the oneness paradigm, it positions us for unprecedented successes in everything we do.

“Then, all the resources of the universe are at our disposal to enhance and augment our journey of stress-free success. This understanding is based in the essence of Ek Onkar, meaning there is only One and that one is God.”

His philosophy is revealed in his biography, “Mending Souls” (Rupa & Co-Rs.195), written by Chandigarh-based author Khushwant Singh. The author spent several months with Ratanjit in the US, exploring his life and how he used Sikh principles to expand his business empire.

Dwelling on Ratanjit’s use of the theory of oneness, the book dedicates one full chapter to his ‘25 principles’ to develop social and personal integration habits.

“I chose to write the biography of a relatively unknown personality - someone who had managed to retain a fine balance between materialism and spirituality,” Khushwant Singh told IANS.

Ratanjit, who originally hails from a Sikh family in Bikaner town of Rajasthan and went to the US in 1968 for studies, set up Poly-Carb, a paradigm shifting company in road construction material, in 1973. Poly-Carb, which went on to become a multi-million US-dollar company, has now been bought over by Dow Chemicals.

Ratanjit has turned motivational speaker. He helps others realise how the message of oneness could be put to use for a successful and stress-free business model.

“The word ‘I’ totally cuts us from the One and causes needless suffering. The truth is that we are an inseparable part of this bigger universe. Until all our thought processes flow from this truth, we are going to think erroneously, leading to stress,” he told IANS.

“The oneness mode is the ultimate truth from which all other things follow. If we fail to comprehend this, our lives will be under constant stress,” he added.

Ratanjit pointed out: “Ethics are the foundation of any successful business, but we can never be ethical until we practise oneness in every thought, word, and action.

“Ethics cannot be regulated, legislated, forced upon or taught. The absence of ethics is merely the absence of a fundamental omnipresent truth, and that truth is that we are all an integral part of the bigger One - and that One is God.”

Khushwant Singh has also authored “Sikhs Unlimited”, a travelogue from Britain to the US featuring unique Sikh men and women, including celebrities like filmmaker Gurinder Chadha and 99-year-old marathon runner, Fauja Singh.

“Today, after decades of hardships and struggles, the Sikh community is making a mark in the West and someone has to take the initiative to capture their stories for progeny,” he said.

Guru Nanak Dev, who was born in 1469 at Nankana Sahib (now in Pakistan), had founded the Sikh religion, one of the youngest religions in the world. The Sikh community is regarded as a progressive one, both in India and in other countries.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at jaideep.s@ians.in)

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