The Shiva Principle & the Finance Function
Have you ever been intrigued by the multiple aspects of Shiva? Right from shades of imparting wisdom to living life, there is much to learn from the principle of Shiva. Being a finance professional, who is a believer in Shiva, I decided to explore further and discovered that there are umpteen links between Shiva and finance. The Shiva tattva or the Shiva principle has many underlying connotations, which resonate with the role of finance function
Consider how the word Shiva is spelt. It can be split into three syllables: “Sha” “Ee” and “Va” where:
- Sha stands for “Shareeram” or body
- Ee stands for “Eeshwara” or life giving energy
- Va stands for “Vayu” or motion
Thus Shiva represents a body that has life and motion. Finance can also be similarly split into Fin, An and Ce where:
Fin can stand for Fins which propel the business
An can stand for Analysis which empowers decision making
Ce can stand for certification or validation which ensures further activity
Thus, Finance represents the propelling factor which enables decision making for further activity.
Shiva is energy and is formless
Finance is the vital force for any business, irrespective of which industry it operates in. It is the base on which business is created and promoted, assets are built and products are developed.
ShaShiva is an eternal principle and is a guide
Finance is the core function and serves as a critical yardstick for business performance.
Shiva is known as “Eshwara” which means he is the giver of “Aishwarya”
Aishwarya refers to wealth and Finance creates wealth in organisations.
Shiva is also known as “Parameshwara” which signifies that he is the controller of everything in the universe
In the world of business, it is the Finance function that is vested with the responsibility of controllership. The Finance function seeks to achieve three goals: support business, optimise costs and ensure effective control. Cash is the life blood of a business and finance is the nerve centre.
Shiva is known to be a yogi i.e practioner of yoga. And yoga is a discipline, which means “to join”
Finance is often called as the backbone of any business, linking different units and functions within an organisation. It is an integral part of running a business, undertaking a wide gamut of activities ranging from basic budgeting to complex accounting, thus binding all the activities of the business.
Shiva is absolute and illuminates the universe
The Finance function plays a key role in the management of stakeholder expectations. The financial performance of a company matters critically and it reflects on the complete value creation to the stakeholders.
Shiva is also known as “Mahadev”, representing the three thoughts – purity, knowledge and spiritual practice
Finance is engaged in the management of money, in a way that it adheres to the three core values of integrity, accuracy and adoption of best practices.
Shiva is depicted in blue colour which denotes the limitless sky
There is no boundary for Finance either, as it is an integral aspect of every form of transaction (subject to the regulatory aspects).
Shiva’s vehicle is the bull, which denotes righteousness
Finance ensures that an organisation is compliant with rules and regulations and is the custodian of compliances.
Shiva charges with the trident which represents the three states of past present and future
Finance charges can be classified as prior period charges, current charges and prepaid charges.
Shiva is known to wear three stripes on forehead called Tripund.
Each stripe represents one of the three gunas of sattva, (harmony) rajas (confusion) and tamas (laziness). Therefore the Tripund symbolises that Shiva is the possessor of all the three gunas and yet is “Nirguna”, unaffected by any guna.
Finance is characterised by a focus on long term (investments), medium term (expansion) and short term (working capital) financial growth. However the requirement for financial resources is eternal, as it can always be linked to a purpose.
Shiva holds the instrument Damru, which represents the cosmic sound “OM”
Finance holds the boundless portfolios which represents the perpetual responsibility of:-
- O – Onus of compliance
- M- Mitigating risk
Shiva is depicted with the third eye which denotes to develop the sight of knowledge
Finance professionals must be a visionary and develop the ability to foresee. A CFO must be able to identify potential risk areas and frame appropriate mitigation strategies.
Shiva is smeared with Bhasma denoting that this world will eventually turn into ash and that nothing is permanent
Finance is governed by various laws and regulations which keep changing and evolving with time. This calls for the ability to be adaptable and nimble and to make changes as and when required.
Shiva adorns the snake which is a symbol of wakefulness
Finance professionals should always be vigilant and alert.
Shiva bears the crescent moon on the forehead depicting control over time
Finance bears the responsibility of controls and governance within the entity
From Shiva flows the river Ganga which implies knowledge
From Finance emanates (financial) awareness. The Finance function also needs to have the skills to be able to make a successful interpretation and provide sound business advice that can influence decisions on where the business is headed.
Shiva adorns the chain of rudraksha beads around the knotted bun of hair, heck, arms and waist
Finance manages the flow of funds between the customers, suppliers, lessors, regulators and shareholders
Shiva is also known as Rudra, the destroyer
One role of the Finance function is to “demolish” evil practices such as bribery, corruption etc.
Shiva is also the warrior, Veerabhadra
Finance acts as a “challenger” to other departments and functions especially when their budgets are not met.
Shiva is a principle (tattva) from where everything has come, everything is sustained n it and everything dissolves in it
Finance is a function from where everything arises (capital), everything is continued (business activity) and where everything subsumed (profits).
All forms are the manifestation of the formless Shiva that is the consciousness that is present all over
Success in all types of business ventures is measured by indicators of financial performance, irrespective of the type of industry.
Thus the Principle of Shiva and the function of Finance go hand in hand. Finance professionals can observe and learn from this principle of Shiva. When energy represented by “Ee” is removed from Shiva, it gets reduced to “Sha” and “Va” which means a lifeless body. Finance function bereft of energy for the rest of the orgainsation and its business goals is also lifeless. Shiva is auspicious. Shiva is prosperous. Shiva is potential. Best wishes to maximise your potential.
About the author:
Sangeeta Shankaran Sumesh, Executive Director & CFO at Dun & Bradstreet Technologies feels that shiva is a principle (tattva) from where everything has come, everything is sustained in it, and everything dissolves into it. Shiva is consciousness. Shiva exists in each and every living being.
The views expressed are solely of the author and ETCFO.com does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETCFO.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.