“I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.”
– Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita (known as Gita) means “Song of God” in Sanskrit. It is s perhaps the most famous, and definitely the most widely-read, ethical text of ancient India (written approximately 500-200 BC). As an episode in India’s great epic, the Mahabharata, The Bhagavad Gita now ranks as one of the three principal texts that define and capture the essence of Hinduism; the other two being the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras. This 700-verse Hindu scripture is a very comprehensive compendium of the whole Vedic tradition and it is considered to be one of the most important texts in the history of literature and philosophy.
The teacher of the Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna, who is revered by Hindus as a manifestation of God (Parabrahman) Himself, and is referred to within as Bhagavan, the Divine One.
The context of the Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and the Pandava prince Arjuna taking place on the battlefield before the start of the Kurukshetra War. Responding to Arjuna’s confusion and moral dilemma about fighting his own cousins who command a tyranny imposed on a captured State, Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince, and elaborates on different Yogic and Vedantic philosophies, with examples and analogies. This has led to the Gita often being described as a concise guide to Hindu theology and also as a practical, self-contained guide to life. During the discourse, Lord Krishna reveals His identity as the Supreme Being Himself (Svayam Bhagavan), blessing Arjuna with an awe-inspiring vision of His divine universal form.
The direct audience to Lord Krishna’s discourse of the Bhagavad Gita included Arjuna (addressee), Sanjaya (using Divya Drishti (or divine vision) gifted by the sage Veda Vyasa to watch the war and narrate the events to Dhritarashtra), Lord Hanuman (perched atop Arjuna’s chariot) and Barbarika, son of Ghatotkacha, who also witnessed the complete 18 days of action at Kurukshetra.
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- Part 1: Bhagavad Gita and Management - an article by M.P. Bhattathiri (Pages 1 -6)
- Part 2: BHAGAWAD GITA – a Summary as viewed by Swami Vivekananda (Page 7)
Part 1: Bhagavad Gita and Management
The following article was written by M.P. Bhattathiri,
Retired Chief Technical Examiner, to The Govt. of Kerala, Radhanivas, Thaliyal, Karamana
P.O, Trivandrum 695002, Kerala.
Swami Vivekananda said that system of education should aim at character building, achieving strength of mind, expansion of intellect and then only one can stand one’s own feet. Those people can bring a lasting and transformative effect and will be assets of their family, society and nation.
Table of Contents
- Management guidelines from the Bhagavad Gita
- Old truths in a new context
- The source of the problem
- Utilization of available resources
- Work commitment
- Motivation – self and self-transcendence
- Work culture
- Work results
- Manager’s mental health
- Management needs those who practice what they preach
- In conclusion
- A note on the word “yoga”.
One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is Holy Gita which is considered to be one of the first revelations from God. The spiritual philosophy and management lessons in this holy book were brought in to light of the world by many great Indian saint’s effort and they call the Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to practical life. It provides “all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level” and Self improvement means self guided improvement in physical, mental, social spiritual and emotion.
Maharishi reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs and aspirations of everyone. The followers in your establishment are continuing the mission by keeping this lantern burning always knowing the wishes of the modern generations. Arjuna got mentally depressed when he saw his relatives with whom he has to fight.( Mental health has become a major international public health concern now). To motivate him the Bhagavad-Gita is preached in the battle field Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as counseling to do his duty while multitudes of men stood by waiting. Arjuna face the problem of conflict between emotions and intellect. In almost all of
the cases, emotions win. Gita teaches Honesty, Sincerity, Truthfulness etc. so that one gets peace of mind to face all situation.
Integrity in public life requires perfect coordination, synchronization in thoughts, action and deeds. The values one believes, should be the same as one’s practices. The Bhagavad-Gita was delivered by Sri Krishna to boost Arjuna’s declining morale, motivation, confidence and to increase his (Arjuna’s) effectiveness.
Today there are innumerable professionals and industrialists who are great achievers, have great social prestige yet do not enjoy life. On the other hand, there are many who are contended and happy but are not achievers. What is needed today is a combination of these two qualities. One should be a great achiever and at the same time should live a peaceful life.
Quoting Bhagvat Gita to emphasize management principles is very much relevant today. Long before Peter Ducker, Philip Kotler, C.K. Prahalad, Arindam Chaudhuri, Nadiminty Sriram (his book Personality development and Affair management) and other management gurus introduced modern management concepts, saints of India had applied identical strategies in their respective books/treatises, signifying their farsightedness.
Sri Krishna gave not only spiritual enlightenment but also the art of self management, conflict management, stress, anger management, transformational leadership, motivation, goal setting and many others aspects of management which can be used as a guide to increase HRM (Human Resource Management) effectiveness. Unlike the western approach to HRM, which focuses in exploring the external world of matter and energy, the Bhagavad-Gita recommends an HRM approach, which focuses on exploring the inner world of the self.
Today everybody wants to accumulate Wealth; Human wants are galloping in geometric progression. Greed is the order of the day. Public Life is filled with Private wants, desire. People in power want more power. They are power crazy. Power corrupts – absolute Power Corrupts absolutely. Very few people in public life are honest.
Men & Women in public life should follow the principles of Integrity, Ethics, Fairness in all their dealings. Only a very few people have a conflict-free emotion and intellect. Emotions are required, for, without them, one is a mere robot. They make life pleasant as long as they are sensible and within limits. It has got all the management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium and to overcome any crisis situation.
The Bhagavad-Gita can be experienced as a powerful catalyst for transformation. Bhagavad-Gita means song of the Spirit, song of the Lord. The Holy Gita has become a secret driving force behind the wisdom of one’s life. In the days of doubt this divine book will support all spiritual searches. This divine book will contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen one’s inner process. Then life in the world can become a real education—dynamic, full and joyful—no matter what the circumstance. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever guide us on our journey!
What makes the Holy Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence and we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge. It shows us the path to handle the situation with equipoise mind irrespective of what comes our way and reminds us time and again, that what the right action is. Developing mindfulness of the connections between mind and body is a form of intelligence just as important as IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence), or social intelligence. As awareness deepens, bodily sensations provide feedback and guidance about every aspect of your life—from nurturing relationships to enhancing effectiveness at work. By acting on this information you can reduce stress, balance your life, and maximize your innate potential for health, creativity, and spiritual growth.
The Bhagavad Gita contains the essential ideas and governing principles of our cultural life and deal with man’s search for eternal which is the source of truth and joy. Body, life and mind are not to be despised they are the instruments of the life of spirit in man. There is a responsibility laid on man as an individual to integrate his life to relate the present to the past and the future, to live in time as well as among the eternal energies. The man of
spirit, those filled with serenity, wisdom and joy are lovers of humanity. Arise awake and approach the worthy ones and learn to realize the truth. Narrow is the path and difficult to tread, sharp the edge of a razor. But success is sure for those who dare and do.
Indian Vedic contribution is a reservoir of Vibrant Information and Harmonious Creativity. May the womb of nature embrace all with tranquil blessings from this day forward. Let this attract one’s attention affecting them positively. It is a Sanctuary of the Self a Creative Venue which serves as an Enduring Expression of Lightness, where a peaceful Atmosphere with Sunlight Flows and serene atmosphere prevail.
In the storm of life we struggle through myriads of stimuli of pressure, stress, and multi problems that seek for a solution and answer. We are so suppressed by the routine of this every life style that most of us seem helpless. However, if we look closely to ancient techniques we shall discover the magnificent way to understand and realize the ones around us and mostly ourselves. If only we could stop for a moment and allow this to happen. May all beings be happy (Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu).
The ancient Hindu philosophy of keeping mind and body for the well being has entered the managerial, medical and judicial domain of the world. Today it has found its place as an alternative to the theory of modern management and also as a means to bring back the right path of peace and prosperity for the human beings. Let me bow to Indian Maharishi Veda Vysa with folded hands, who helped in removing the impurities of the mind through his writings on Vedas, impurities of speech through his writings on puranas, and impurities of body through his writings on other sacred texts.
The Holy Gita is the essence of the Vedas, Upanishads. It is a universal scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times. It is a book with sublime thoughts and practical instructions on Yoga, Devotion, Vedanta and Action. It is profound in thought and sublime in heights of vision. It brings peace and solace to souls that are afflicted by the three fires of mortal existence, namely, afflictions caused by one’s own body (disease etc), those caused by beings around one ( e.g. wild animals, snakes etc.), and those caused by the gods (natural disasters, earth-quakes, floods etc).
Mind can be one’s friend or enemy. Mind is the cause for both bondage and liberation. The word mind is derived from man to think and the word man derived from manu (Sanskrit word for man). “The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.”
There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology. Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through intellectual knowledge of the playing field ( jnana yoga), emotional devotion to the ideal (bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling and knowledge (karma yoga). With ongoing purification we approach wisdom. The Bhagavad-Gita is a message addressed to each and every human individual to help him or her to solve the vexing problem of overcoming the present and progressing towards a bright future.
Within its eighteen chapters is revealed a human drama. This is the experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man from a state of utter dejection, sorrow and total breakdown and hopelessness to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed strength and triumph. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever guide us on our journey? What makes the Holy Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence, and we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge.
“Freed from attachment, fear and anger, absorbed in me and taking refuge in me, purified by the penance of knowledge, many have attained union with My Being.” (Gita 4:10)
Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind ~ Arjuna to Sri Krishna
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