BHAGAVAD GITA AND MANAGEMENT
Srimad Bhagavad Gita is a divine poem containing an inspired doctrine and is popularly known as the Gita. It is a sacred Hindu scripture and is one of the most important texts in the history of literature and philosophy. Authored by Sri Veda Vyasa and compiled through the hands of the Lord of Wisdom, Ganesha, it finds a place in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. It comprises of 18 chapters spread out in 700 verses. It presents the counsel of Krishna, the Super Management Guru to his disciple Arjuna – two prominent leaders of Mahabharata, the epic of the feud between two warring clans – the Pandavas and the Kauravas.
It is a complete guide to practical life and provides ‘all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level’.Lord Krishna (embodiment of wisdom) preached The Gita as counselling to Arjuna (embodiment of skill) to motivate him to perform his duty when he faced an ethical dilemma whether to kill or not to kill his own kith and kin in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The Bhagavad-Gita was delivered by Sri Krishna to boost Arjuna’s declining morale, motivation, confidence and to increase his (Arjuna’s) effectiveness.
The transformation of Arjuna from a self-centered, restless person to a conscious, peaceful person is a case of Leadership Transformation.The Bhagavad-Gita can be experienced as a powerful catalyst for such a transformation. It is a universal scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times.
Quoting Bhagvad Gita to emphasize management principles is very much relevant today. Modern management gurus introduced modern management concepts; saints of India had applied identical strategies in their works. Gita has got all the management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium and to overcome any crisis situation.
Sri Krishna, the Master Strategist, gave not only spiritual enlightenment but also the art of :-
Many others aspects of management which can be used as a guide to increase HRM (Human Resource Management) effectiveness as it focuses on exploring the inner world of the self.
The entire Bhagavad Gita can be divided into five topics
1. Identifying the problem (1st and the starting portions of the 2nd chapters of the Gita).
2.Finding a solution (major portion of the 2nd, and reiterated in the 7th, 9th and 13th chapters).
3.Implementing the solution (3rd, 5th, 12thand 18th chapters).
4.Understanding the values of life (stated in many places, particularly in the 16th chapter)
5. Achieving perfection (elaborated in the 2nd, 5th, and 14th chapters).
Gita has explained
- Time Management
- Transactional Analysis
- Conflict Resolution
- Circle of Influence
centuries before the West discovered. The modern concepts of management are the older truths in a new context, yet, Gita has an upper hand because it tackles the issue from the grass-roots level of human thinking. Once the basic thinking of man is improved, it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.
GITA SLOKAS FOR CORPORATE WORLD
|| वासामिसे जीरानी यथा विहाया नवानी ग्रुहनाति नरोपारानी
ताथे शेयररेनाई विहाया जिरन्या नयनि सम्यति नवानि देहि ||
Just as a man giving up old worn out garments, accepts other new apparel; in the same way the embodied soul giving up old and worn out bodies, verily accepts new bodies.
Management Perspective :
In order to be successful and sustainable, organisations need to continuously engage themselves in discarding old ideas (mindset!) and embrace new ones. This is the fundamental building block of innovation and creativity. The biggest challenge in organizations is mind set.
You can discard many things but mindset is very difficult to discard. This puts realistic limits to creating better organizations over time.
|| कर्मण्ये वाधिकाकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन
माँ कर्मफलहेतुर्भुरे मां ते संगोस्तवकर्माणि ||
You have the right to work but never to the fruits of the action. Further you do not have the right to the root cause of the fruits of action. You also do not have the right to remain in the society without performing any work.
Management Perspective :
The current day thinking of results is in loggerhead, an antithesis of the above. The disadvantages of Performance Appraisal System which is based on the Result approach can be traced here.
Results approach makes one reticent of failures, hence people afraid from taking risks.
What are results at the end of the day? They are issues of the future about which we spend our time in the present. Therefore, we may tend to escape the dynamics of “present” and go after “future”.
It suggests that take off your pre-occupation with results and have a process orientation. Results must follow automatically. Is it not what the Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy is also arguing about?
The Principles under study in the Gita :
1. aatma gnaana (inner peace)
||प्रजाहती यादा काम सर्वार्थ पार्थ मनोयोगटन
आत्मान्येवात्माना तुषताः स्तितप्रज्ञोस्टोदोच्यते ||
The Lord said : O Arjuna, give up all desires for sense gratification produced within the mind and becoming satisfied by the realisation of the self in the pure state of the soul; then, it is said, one is properly situated in perfect knowledge.
2. sthita pragna (stable mind)
|| दुखेश्वनुद्विज्ञानमहा सुखेशु विगता स्पृहाहा
वीतागर्भयाक्रोधः स्तितीधरमुनिरुच्यते. ||
One whose mind is undisturbed by distress, without desires for happiness, free from attachment, fear and anger; that sage is known as steadfast in consciousness.
3. karma yoga (Focus on Means and not end results)
|| कर्मने वाद्यकर्ते मा फालेषु कडाचना
मां कर्मफलाहेतुर्भुर् मां ते सांगोस्त्वकर्मनी ||
You certainly have the right for prescribed activities but never at any time in their results. You should never be motivated by the results of the actions, nor thereany attachment in not doing your prescribed activities.
4.Satva guna (Mode of Goodness)
|| सत्त्वंजायते ज्ञानम राजसो लोभा इवा च
प्रमदमोहौ तमासो भावतोग्नामेवा च ||
From goodness develops wisdom, from passion greed and certainly from ignorance, delusion and illusion arise along with nescience.
5. sharaNaagati (Surrender)
|| अनन्याश्चिंतायं मम ये जानः परिरूप्यते
तेषं नित्यभियुक्तनं योगक्षेशं वाहम्यह्याम् ||
Those who desire my eternal association precluding all else, medidate on me with exclusive devotion; those persons I insure the uniting of their personal consciousness with the Ultimate consciousness perpetually.
|| सर्वधर्मन परित्यज्ञ मामेकामं शरणं व्रज
अहं त्वं सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयश्यामी मां शुचाहा ||
Relinquishing all ideas of righteousness, surrender unto Me exclusively; I will deliver you from all sinful reactions, do not despair.
According to a research, belief in the above principles has an effect on various managerial qualities as stated below :
Belief in Principle of Effects managerial quality of
1. aatma gnaana : Being a good corporate citizen
2. sthita pragna : Independent thinking, being assertive and decision making based on group consensus.
3. karma yoga :Joy in work, duty mindedness
4. satva guNa : Positive attitude towards life, work-life balance, unleashing hidden potential
BHAGAVAD GITA is meant to open up the horizons in the minds of the people. We can draw alternative ideas and thoughts from it. Hence, in order to benefit from Gita immensely, in the domain of management, we need to step out of the world of rationality and tread into unknown areas.
Gita offers a unique value proposition due to which progress both materially and spiritually can be achieved in a balanced way.
Live your life under LORD KRISHNA's guidance.