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I have been always guided by the three principles of Indian Philosophy in my journey to achieve success in the Civil Services Examination, as well as in every walk of life. These principles have played a pivotal role in my success.

The first guiding principle is the ‘Nishkaam Karmayoga’ from Gita, which prescribes that:

“Karmany evadhikaras te, ma phaleshu kadachana, ma karma-phala-heturbhur, ma te sango ‘stv akarmani’’.

(You have a right to perform your prescribed duty but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your
activities and never be attached to not doing your duty.)

In a simple language, the principle of ‘Nishkaam Karmayoga’ (Disinterested or detached Action) means: ‘Just do your action, do not wish for its outcome’. Here arises one question in our mind that if we do not have to wish for
the outcome of our actions, how we will be motivated to do actions.

According to my understanding of  ‘Nikshkaam Karmayoga’, it does not prohibit you to wish for the outcome, instead it inspires you to do action without getting indulged in it, so that you can achieve the outcome The ‘Nishkaam Karmayoga’ has been explained by Dharmaveer Bharati in his lyrical play, ‘Andha Yug’, in the following manner:

“When any person Challenges history without being attached to it,
Then that very day the position of stars changes.

Destiny is not predetermined It changes every moment with the decision that a person makes”.

The positive impact of ‘Nishkaam Karmyoga’ is visible at every level of the examination. When you prepare for the examination with complete attentiveness, while being unattached to its outcome, where as, getting highly attached in the outcome of the preliminary or the mains examination in which you have just appeared, and wasting the time in guessing its outcome, instead of starting the preparations for the mains examination or for the interview, is a negative approach. By doing so, you stop enjoying the things which you have learnt daily while preparing for The Civil Services Examination. Therefore, in order to remain steady and strong in the preparations of Civil Services Examination, you must incorporate the principle of ‘Nishkaam Karmayoga’ into your personality with a positive approach.

The second guiding principle is the ‘Anekantavad and Syadwad’ (non-absolutism) in the Jain philosophy, which I believe in. The gist of this unique principle is that ‘each and every person looks at the truth from a different point of view, but none of the view is either completely right or completely wrong’. Do you remember the example of ‘The Elephant and The Seven Blind men’? The seven blind men encounter an elephant on a road-side, and each of them tries to explain the elephant by touching various parts of its body, i.e., one explains it as a broom,
while the other explains it as a fan and others so on.

The Anekantavad teaches us that it is wrong to consider one’s own view as the right one and term the views of others as the wrong ones. This principle teaches us to respect others’ views and show acceptance to them also, as the acceptance is the key to solve all the problems. A writer has very well said that:—

When we don’t accept an undesired event, it becomes Anger;

when we accept it, it becomes Tolerance.

Wehen we don’t accept uncertainty, it becomes Fear; when we accept it, it becomes Adventure.

When we don’t accept other’s bad behaviour towards us, it becomes Hatred; when we accept it, it becomes Forgiveness.

When we don’t accept other’s Success, it becomes Jealousy;

when we accept it, it becomes Inspiration.

Acceptance is the key to handle the life well.

The principle of Anekantavad helps you at each and every step of your preparation for the Civil Services Examination. It acts like a panacea in the mains examination and interview, e.g., while writing or answering a question, if we respect the views of others in a balanced way, and refrain from taking an extreme view, it is bound to leave a positive impact. Respecting others’ ideas and views, prior to and post the examination, makes the path to success easier in every walk of life.

The third principle is the ‘Middle Path’ in Buddha’s philosophy, also known as the ‘Golden Mean’. In it, Buddha advises to discard both the extremes and adopt the middle path. There is one proverb ‘Ati saravatra varjayet’ which means ‘excess of everything is bad’. Middle path shows us a simple and friendly solution to every kind of disputes or debate.

This path helps in building an integrated approach and balanced viewpoint during the preparations of Civil Services Examination. If the element of tolerance is incorporated in our personality, success comes easily to us in every walk of life, i.e., using easy and simple language, adhering to the word limit, writing neither very long answer nor very short answer; avoiding perfection and select almost correct answer while answering the objective questions and avoiding radical or extreme view in interview etc. If you want to increase your possibility of success in the Civil Services Examination, you must incorporate these three principles of ‘Nishkaam Karmayoga’, ‘Anekantavad’ and ‘Madhyam Marg’ into your personality.

According to my experience, there are other ways also, apart from these three guiding principles of Indian Philosophy, which can reduce the stress during the preparations of Civil Services Examination, and can make the three phases of this prestigious examination (prelims, mains and interview) a bit easier.