Book Review : ‘Gita’ Lessons for Modern Management
|Lord Krishna in the Boardroom; BS Tirtha Maharaja; Konark Publishers Pvt Ltd; Pp 178; Rs 795|
For a holistic approach to management, Tirtha Maharaja finds a parallel with the world of business in the initial stage of the Gita where Arjun is overcome with self-doubt.
Drawing lessons, from ancient wisdom as presented in the Bhagavad Gita, for management of modern-day life, both at the personal and business levels, the author Tirtha Maharaja teaches the management principles that apply to running a business corporation with thousands of employees and millions of rupees in turnover and which are mostly similar to those required in running a small enterprise, a consultancy or even a home. Here the author believes that problems in the corporate sector as also in our personal lives are caused by loss of faith in the basic values of life; our materialistic outlook to satisfy our ego, ease and leisure; lack of self-discipline and self-control; and above all, the excessive greed that shows in our unlimited desires, ugly display of wealth, cravings and ambitions.
Manish Bhatnagar; Gyan Publishing House; Pp156; Rs469
Developing Awareness for the Teaching of Peace Education among Prospective Teachers
Pinki Gautam; Gyan Publishing House; Pp197;
NHRC an Assessment
KP Rath; Kalpaz Publications; Pp301; Rs190
Surya Sinha; Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd;
Self Victory is True Victory
According to Tirtha Maharaja Lord Krishna is the “centre of all activities or there will be chaos”. What he means with this is that all activities should be performed to ensure that Lord Krishna is satisfied with the actions taken. Becoming Krishna conscious will prevent a person from resorting to immoral activities. A Krishna-conscious CEO will neither produce nor sell shoddy goods, nor destroy natural resources for short-term gains, nor prepare false accounts or participate in similar unethical practices like paying bribes to get approvals or contracts. He will follow all the legal requirements in manufacturing, marketing, distribution, staff and public relations – in every action taken in managing his company and charging a fair price that provides value for money.
Tirtha Maharaja expounds on the four pitfalls that one faces on achieving power and these are related to eating and flesh, addiction to intoxicants, illicit relationships outside marriage and gambling. Lord Krishna says in the Gita that kamya karma, which means that you tend to enjoy the results of our achievement which becomes an addiction, should be avoided. This has to be broken through kartritva and bhogtritva where kartritva is action and bhogtritva is enjoyment. But when one is conscious of Lord Krishna, one would give up bhogtritva and concentrate on kartritva and leave the results to Lord Krishna to take care. This would be like doing what Arjuna did when he fought in the Kurukshetra battle for the exclusive satisfaction of Lord Krishna without any consideration of victory or defeat. This is the principle of karma arpanam or offering of one’s result to the Lord.
An ideal CEO has to use every quality that is the hallmark of a great leader. Foremost among them is integrity or “the integration of outward actions and inner values”. Such a CEO never veers from inner values. In the battle of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna reasoned with Arjun, when the latter feared that his own cousins might die in the battle, by saying that Arjun might kill the bodies of his relatives but not their “spirit souls residing in them”. This is because the “conscious living entity, the spirit soul, neither takes birth nor dies”.
For a holistic approach to management, Tirtha Maharaja finds a parallel with the world of business in the initial stage of the Gita where Arjun is overcome with self-doubt. This crisis can be interpreted, according to the author, in relation to a corporate executive who is paralysed when faced with decisive action. The selfless action advised by Lord Krishna to Arjun can be viewed at the corporate level as a social responsibility to share fruits of labour with society at large. The Gita present three courses of action – jnana yoga or being aware of one’s resources and influences and working within one’s limitations or it translates into the need for an analysis of SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; the second is bhakti yoga which means the need to remain in grace through unconditional devotion and this every manager must possess; the third includes the five Cs – capital, capability, connection, communication and commitment.
This book written by one who has seen both the corporate world and the spiritual world from close quarters combines the author’s corporate experience with spiritual quest to advise modern executives on how to manage their companies or their personal lives successfully and ethically.
Manju Gupta (The reviewer is former
editor of NBT)