CEO of Whole Foods receives Bhagavad-gita As It Is
By Raya Nitai Dasa
Recently, I had the opportunity to present a copy of Bhagavad-gita As It Is to John Mackey, the founder and current Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, the largest retail health food chain in the world. The first WhoIe Foods Market store opened in Austin, Texas in the late 1980’s. Now, Whole Foods Market has hundreds of stores across the United States and Europe. I also received an autographed copy of his new book “Conscious Capitalism,” which aims to bring higher consciousness to the world of business and entrepreneurship. “Conscious Capitalism” is co-authored by Raj Sisodia, who dedicates the book to his children Alok, Priya, and Maya, and his nephews Shiva and Krishna: “don’t fear the future, but welcome it with love, joy, courage, and optimism,” says Raj.
Mr. Mackey appeared pleasantly surprised to receive Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and was inspired to write a heartfelt note to me on the inside cover of his book, “Conscious Capitalism.” I asked him to write “Hare Krishna,” which he repeated out loud, before enthusiastically writing the sacred names of God. Further spontaneous inspiration impelled him to add the words: “Keep your heart open and your consciousness high.”
After writing his personalized note on the inside cover of his book, we embraced for a photograph. He proudly held up his new copy of Bhagavad-gita As It Is for the camera, and I smiled at seeing his enthusiasm and satisfaction.
After the photograph was taken, I explained to him that I distribute Bhagavad-gita As It Is, almost every day, on the streets, all over the United States. Then, jokingly, I offered that, If he liked, I could also distribute his book, “Conscious Capitalism,” to which he looked amused and seemed to ponder the idea.
Judging by this excerpt from “Conscious Capitalism,” I am sure that John Mackey will appreciate Bhagavad-gita As It Is:
“There is wisdom everywhere if we are open to it. In the modern world, we have a tendency to largely ignore the wisdom of the past, thinking that it’s no longer relevant in our advanced technological society. But in fact, much of the philosophical wisdom of ancient traditions is timeless. People also have a tendency to reject wisdom that comes from traditions outside their own, while they may readily embrace products and food from other cultures. We should be willing to embrace wisdom of all kinds, and can find great value studying any of the great philosophical and spiritual traditions…Unfortunately, many of us mostly read, watch, and listen to junk. Just as we should eat only the healthiest food and avoid junk food, we should also be feeding our minds with the most healthy thoughts and ideas from all time and all history—not junk ideas that have little real substance.” (Conscious Capitalism, page 213)