Bhagavad gita & leadership


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Bhagavad gita & leadership

  2. 2. OBJECTIVEThis presentation will attempt to explorethe Bhagavad-Gita (BG) in the contextleadership development.
  3. 3. LEADERSHIP1. Leadership is a universal topic & every one of us is affected by it in one way or the other.2. Leadership is an art of ____________ people to achieve organizational, societal and national goals.3. Several research reveals that there exist a “leadership gap” in organizations, societies & countries.4. Leadership theories (Western) have evolved over the last 100 years.
  4. 4. THE BHAGAVAD-GITA The Bhagavad-Gita (BG) is a dialogue between Sri Krishna & Arjuna, before the commencement of Kurukshetra war (more than 5,000 years ago). The background for the BG is the epic Mahabharata. The Mahabharata with 100, 000 verses was composed by Sri Vyasa Muni & was written by Sri Ganesa (the longest epic in the world). The BG appears in 700 verses (of which 575 are uttered by Sri Krishna) in Bhisma Parva of the Mahabharata and consists of 18 chapters.
  5. 5. What the BG can offer toLEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT? The 18 chapters of the BG presents 18lessons, descriptions, qualities, and also perspectives about leadership
  6. 6. C1 – Yoga of Arjuna’s Crisis1. Presents strategic leadership – observing the armies and analyzing the strengths & weaknesses.2. A call for leadership as Arjuna was reluctant to fight (intra-personal conflict).3. C1 present a challenge for leaders to eliminate negative culture and enhance positive culture for their organization (also societies and countries).
  7. 7. C2 – Yoga of Understanding1. Leaders must give up such petty weakness of heart and arise (2.3)2. Leaders need to be SELF-AWARE (SA) – e.g. who they are - EQ & SQ.3. Leaders with high levels of SA assess their own strength & weaknesses and are always confident in their actions.4. Leaders (dhira) must manage change & not to be deluded by change (2.13)
  8. 8. C2 – Yoga of Understanding
  9. 9. C2 – Yoga of Understanding Leaders should not delve too much into the past but to be focus on present to create a future & leadership action & responsibilities need to be focused; not on potential rewards associated with the position (2.47). Sthitaprajna leaders must conquer their enemies within - lust, anger, greed, arrogance, envy and pride. Sri Krishna described that from anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence will be lost and when intelligence is lost one falls down (2.63).
  10. 10. C3 – Yoga of ActionLeaders have to be proactiveand work for common goodwithout selfish interest; thereward of their selfless workwill take them to a supremestate (3.19).Leaders hold the ignition keyto their organizations growth &prosperity as people in generalwill follow the standards setsby the leaders (3.21).
  11. 11. C4 – Yoga of Knowledge Leaders must know when to act and when not to act and their actions done must be with complete self-awareness (4.18) For effective leadership to flourish, a leader has to learn from a mentor who can teach values that surpass the leadership position itself (4.34)
  12. 12. C5 – Yoga of Renunciation of ActionCompassionate leaders promoteequality and fairness amongfollowers. They see everybodyequally and do not discriminatetheir followers (5.18)This leader (5.18) neither rejoicesupon achieving somethingpleasant nor laments uponobtaining something unpleasant,who is self-intelligent, who is un-bewildered (5.20)
  13. 13. C6 – Yoga of MeditationLeaders must themselves bytheir own mind and they must notlet themselves to be weakenedunder any circumstances orwhen facing a crisis (6.5).For leaders who has conqueredthe mind, the mind is the best offriends, but for one who hasfailed to control their mind, themind will be the greatest enemy(6.6).
  14. 14. C6 – Yoga of MeditationArjuna said: For the mind isrestless, turbulent, obstinateand very strong, O Krishna,and to subdue it is, it seems tome, more difficult thancontrolling the wind (6.34).Sri Krishna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti (Arjuna), itis undoubtedly very difficult tocurb the restless mind, but it ispossible by constant practiceand by detachment (6.35).
  15. 15. C6 – Yoga of MeditationIn the chariot of the body, the fivehorses represent the five senses. Thereins, the driving instrument,symbolize the mind, the driver is theintelligence, and the passenger is theself.Intelligence gives the power todiscriminate & decide what it is goodfor and what is not. A leader of lesserintelligence is constantly driven by thesenses and the desire for senseobjects .
  16. 16. C6 – Yoga of MeditationAn untrained mind is veryweak & unstable, as aresult even a smallobstacle coming in its waymay make it lose initiative.Therefore, leaders need touse their intelligence tocontrol their mindeffectively, they should notlet the mind to becontrolled by the senses.
  17. 17. C6 – Yoga of MeditationLeader’s ultimate friend istheir willpower thatresides within the innerself.Strong determination &perseverance, without anymental reservation ordoubts are the key forleadership success (6.23).
  18. 18. THE LEADERSHIP OUTCOMEAfter LISTENING to SriKrishna (575 verses),Arjuna was motivated,energized and actedaccording to SriKrishna’s instruction.This is an outcomeof LEADERSHIP
  19. 19. CONCLUSIONFinally, wherever thereis Sri Krishna, themaster of all mystics, &wherever there isArjuna, the supremearcher, there will alsobe opulence, victory,extraordinary powerpower, and morality(18.78).
  20. 20. THANK YOU DR. BALAKRISHNAN MUNIAPANSwinburne University of Technology, Malaysia Email: