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The Fundamental Leadership Wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita

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Abstract

The Bhagavad Gita, the sacred song of God composed about 200 BC, is really ancient truths for our modern world, and these will be related to the art and wisdom of essential leadership. Here, in this short essay, the practitioner-academician author examines the various tenets of the Bhagavad Gita and applies them and their relevance to leadership. Some of these teachings will indeed inspire the readers.

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... I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies -and my life has been full of external tragedies -and if they have left no visible or indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teaching of Bhagavad-Gita". Numerous scholars also detailed a b o u t t h e l e a d e r s h i p , m a n a g e m e n t a n d entrepreneurial lessons based on the holy scripture which is supposed to be 5000 years old and nd composed by Veda-Vyasa during the 2 century BCE (Sharma, 1986;Low, 2011;Mahadevan, 2012;Jayamani, 2013;Muniapan,2015;Dabas & Singh, 2016;Nayak, 2018;Sinha & Singh, 2013). According to Pattanaik (2015). ...
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Bhagavad Gita is also known as "Gitopnisad" incorporates the extract of supreme wisdom in the form of verses in a poetic manner. The spiritual knowledge and the sagacity that has been disseminated to the world through this single scripture are unique and exceptional. It is one of the most popular scriptures that embodies Indian spiritual values and philosophical excellence. Further, it has been a steward of gigantic knowledge not only about the purpose of life, relationships, ethics, and values but also about leadership, management and entrepreneurship. This paper is intended to draw insights into the extracted lessons that are indispensable for the entrepreneurs in the modern business world. An attempt has also been made to bridge the contemporary entrepreneurial skills with the ancient day canonical philosophy. As it is very difficult to understand the Sanskrit language of the scripture, an earnest attempt has also been made to make the subject interesting, easy, and plausible to all.
... This is, in fact, in contradictory to the purpose of being a leader that is to serve or assist others. In this regard, a leader has to behave egoless and selfless (Low, 2011). ...
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In this paper, the authors present and discuss the views of Mahatma Gandhi with respect to the value of humility. For Gandhi, a leader, who is to serve others, must be humble. (S)he is not to be served; if (s)he is not humble, (s)he cannot serve; (s)he will be more concerned with him(her)self.
... The Fundamental Leadership Wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita Low (2011) has identified some fundamental principles of leadership, from the Bhagavat Gita, such as: The leader should be Loving And Being Compassionate. True leaders should have vision to provide vision, values, strategize and they ‗visualize' the roadmap to achieve the goals. ...
Article
Christopher Columbus set out on sail to find the sea route to India attracted by her popular wealth and resources. History speaks that he landed in a place and thought that that was India. It came to be known as the United States of America later. Thus America was just an accidental discovery in the quest to reach India. History also speaks that many countries were attracted by the riches of India and later resulted in colonization of India and used her wealth and resources. Thus it is very obvious that it is the wealth, prosperity and resources of India that attracted people from faraway lands. It is also clear that wealth and prosperity are not automatic but are a function of ‘management’ knowledge and skill. India was wealthy and prosperous which attracted many foreign raiders. Therefore India must have had its own knowledge and skill in ‘management’ given the fact that management as a field of specialization came into being in the West only in 19th century. However the great epic Mahabharata stands tall as a management teacher through a composite and complicated case with case-lets galore in it. Also the Panchatantra stand out as an excellent piece of work on management using case-method even 5000 years ago, before the case-method of teaching management was discovered in the West! Moreover it is generally acknowledged that economic ideas originated from two sources namely Hebrew and Hindus. Management is a sub-set of the Economics study-set. Thus it can be said that management ideas originated from India also. The Indian wisdom on management, including human resource management, has long remained ignored. In all areas of human activities, all resources like buildings, machines, policies, rules, regulation, etc. of any organization are only passive factors by their very nature in not only in day-to-day activities but also in the development of the organization. The only factor that is active by their nature is the human resource. It is only this active resource that turns all other passive resources into active resources to carry out the basic functions of an organization. The role of human factor has gained importance only very recently and hence is aptly renamed as human capital. Indian scholars also had recognized the crucial human element ages ago. For instance, in Mahabharata, from the two options of either Lord Krishna’a army or Lord Krishna, Duriyodhan choose the services of Lord Krishna’s army whereas the Yudhistar opted for the human element by choosing the services of Lord Krishna, the army’s leader, and the final victory sided the Pandavas with significant contributions by Lord Krishna. Indian scholars view a human being as a three-in-one entity namely body, mind and soul whereas the Western thought views a human being as ‘body’ only. Thus the western theories and methods are focused on managing the ‘body’ whereas the Indian scholars treat the body as an instrument of the mind and is energized by the soul. They go to the extent of viewing the behavior of body as the behavior of mind. There exist Indian literature rich in principles and methods related to human resource management. These contributions to human resource management practices from India are rich and very effective but long remained ignored by the scholars. For instance, Lord Buddha and recently Mahatma Gandhiji have all proved the effectiveness of Indian human resource practices to the utter disbelief of the rest of the world. This paper presents some of these human resource management ideas from only a few Indian works that date back thousands of years, yet not only consistent with the most modern views but also realistic and relevant for practicing managers.
Chapter
The Bhagavad Gita, a part of the Mahabharata composed more than 5,000 years ago by Vyasa, is a timeless leadership classic and its wisdom is highly relevant to leaders of today. Here, in this paper, the authors examine the various tenets of the Bhagavad Gita and provides its wisdom to contemporary leadership. Some of these teachings will certainly inspire the leaders to change from within and transform their leadership from transactional to transformational and towards transcendental. In presenting this wisdom, the authors have employed hermeneutics, which is a method to interpret ancient texts combined with some qualitative inputs received from leadership seminar participants. This paper is significant for both leadership theory and practice.
Chapter
In this chapter, the objectives here are to examine leadership as they can be interpreted in the Indian cultural context.
Chapter
In this chapter, the objectives here are to examine leadership as they can be interpreted in the Indian cultural context.
Article
In this paper, the author is highlighting the advantages and benefits of being old, and that old is gold. It is also hoped that the paper would make those who are young to better understand the challenges of age while it brings together several helpful pointers to make our lives happy at whichever life-stage we are in. And these include being positive, keeping an open mind and having a warm heart as well as learning, mentoring and advising.
Article
The Bhagavad Gita, a part of the Mahabharata composed more than 5,000 years ago by Vyasa, is a timeless leadership classic and its wisdom is highly relevant to leaders of today. Here, in this paper, the authors examine the various tenets of the Bhagavad Gita and provides its wisdom to contemporary leadership. Some of these teachings will certainly inspire the leaders to change from within and transform their leadership from transactional to transformational and towards transcendental. In presenting this wisdom, the authors have employed hermeneutics, which is a method to interpret ancient texts combined with some qualitative inputs received from leadership seminar participants. This paper is significant for both leadership theory and practice.
Book
Thought-provoking topics included in this book are: Why do we need leaders? What makes you a leader? As a leader, what are your vision and purpose? What is your leadership style? What and how do you see leadership in action? How do leaders communicate, motivate and inspire their followers? What and how do you perceive leadership in the Asian context? Are you taking the challenge as a leader? Or a call for action?
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