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I had the chance to hear Swami Parthansarathy speak at a recent Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) event about how to reduce stress in one’s life.

The Swami is considered by many to be the greatest living exponent of Vedanta, the ancient philosophy of life and living.  His resume is impressive, having taught at Wharton, Kellogg and Harvard business schools, as well as Fortune 100 companies.

His basic message is that stress is an internal function and fully controllable.  The Swami says stress is “mental agitation caused by unfulfilled desires.”

Here’s a bit more: 

Our intellect, which enables us to think, reason, judge and decide, has to monitor our mind to control stress.  We can build our intellect by not taking anything for granted and always questioning “why?”

Our mind is made up of emotions, feelings, impulses, likes and dislikes.  And it’s our mind that plays havoc due to worries of the past and anxieties of the future.

He said the lack of – or wrong – assessment of an individual or situation, followed by unreasonable expectations leads to disappointment/stress.

Not sure I can get my arms, or my intellect, around all of that. 

Oh – and according to the Swami, yoga is a physical activity only.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio


  1. Stephanie Lough says:

    Ooohh I know a lot of people that won’t be too happy about that last comment! I do think stress is controllable BUT you have to learn how to control it, and that is a lot harder done than said.

    What did he say about outside influences, like others putting their stress on you, or being upset that you do not seem as concerned because you are not as stressed?

  2. He said simply: “Stress is created internally, not by an external source.” He also said it is “mental agitation caused by unfulfilled desires.” The Swami also quoted Arthur Schopenhauer, who said, “It is difficult to find hapiness within one’s self – but is impossible to find anywhere else.”


  3. Love this post. My yoga instructor says that yoga is partly physical distraction to keep the mind focused. And it’s also physical. Regardless, I’m a lot more flexible, which might be a good thing physically, mentally and emotionally. Boy, are we getting heady here! Cheers, David

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