Monday, September 28, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg about India being "personally very important" to the history of Facebook; Spirituality of Steve Jobs

Given below is a transcript of a short segment of the Facebook Townhall meeting involving Mark Zuckerberg and Indian PM Naendra Modi. The event was on 27th Sept. 2015 and its video is available here:

Around 1:00: Zuckerberg: India is personally very important to the history of our company here [Ravi: Facebook company]. This is a story that I haven't told publicly and very few people know. But early on in our history when, before things were really going well, and we hit a top patch and lot of people wanted to buy Facebook, and thought we should sell the company, I went and I saw one of my mentors, Steve Jobs. And he told me that in order to reconnect to what I believed as the mission of the company, I should visit this temple that he had gone to, in India, early on, in his evolution of thinking about what he wanted Apple and his vision of the future to be. And so I went, I travelled for almost a month and seeing the people, seeing how people connected and having the opportunity to feel how much better the world could be if everyone had a stronger ability to connect, reinforced for me the importance of what we were doing and that is something that I have always remembered, over the last ten years as we built Facebook. [PM Modi claps.]
--- end segment transcript ---

Ravi: I find it very fascinating that two of the icons of the computer products world, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, have had such positive influences for their company and products vision, from India and temples/spiritual ashrams in India.

I felt it appropriate to share extracts from an old blog post of mine written at the time of Steve Jobs passing away,, dated October 2011:

[Ravi: This is related to Stanford University, 2005, Commencement Address by Steve Jobs:]

And Steve does join college. But one that is almost as expensive as Stanford! All his working-class parents' money was being spent on his tuition. Six months into college, he does not see the value and drops out - and calls it one of the best decisions he ever made. But his college, Reed college, is a nice one as he is allowed to drop-in on courses that interest him.

But he is strapped for cash - sleeps on the dorm floor - returns empty coke bottles to buy food and walks 7 miles every Sunday night to be fed Hare Krishna temple Prasadam!

His drop-in courses include calligraphy which eventually helps him bring beautiful typography into the Mac [and then it goes into Windows :-)].
And he talks about trusting in your gut, destiny, Karma! Maybe it was the Hare Krishna temple influence. Great Spiritual Masters say Self-confidence is THE VITAL thing.
About death!!! Wow, this guy was a real spiritual guy. The great spiritual people learn some of the greatest lessons of life from death!! All this will pass, they say. Antah Maya (All is an Illusion). And as Steve says, in the face of death all unimportant things like external expectations, pride, fear of failure fall away and leave only what is truly important. And he says, echoing Great Spiritual Masters, "You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Then his cancer diagnosis. He says, "I didn't even know what a pancreas was."
He says that death is life's change agent. And he tells the Stanford Univ. youngsters that they are new now but they will become old and get cleared away!! He doesn't pull any punches, does he?

And so he advised them that in the limited time that they have life they should have the courage to follow their heart and intuition. "They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." Wow!!! I mean, this guy was spiritual guru-level material. Some of his teachings, shall I say, match with those of the Great Spiritual Masters.

--- end extracts from blog post ---

Ravi: Here's a quote attributed to Steve Jobs by his biographer Walter Issacson about what he learned from his seven months spiritual quest in India in the 1970s (on leave from his technician job at Atari and before founding Apple with Steve Wozniak), "The main thing I've learned is intuition, that the people in India are not just pure rational thinkers, that the great spiritual ones also have an intuition." Ref:

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