The Bhagavad Geeta And Management


For millions of years, the Bhagavad Geeta and management continues to be an insurmountable guide to the path of salvation, karma, and achievement of utter bliss. The inexplicable abstruse yet meaningful content of the book that leaves even the slyest of the beings fathoming for years is indeed the most extensive, pellucid yet ‘opaque’ scripture ever penned down. Take up any single shloka of the Bhagavad Geeta and you will be stultified like never before. Albeit many paradoxical and bewildering premises and statements abound in the book, yet every single syllable carried a pious essence that takes a beating to be unraveled.

Though human beings have always been enthralled and enamored by the paragon scripture yet our ignorance has always impelled us to deem it as a text on spirituality and unfortunately due to our paucity of knowledge, we have constricted it to only one dimension. In this article, we are going ahead for a paradigm shift by learning why and how Bhagavad Geeta is the best management guide in the world. Indeed the Bhagavad Geeta and management are indispensable to each other. The former portrays an incredible essence of the latter. Though Geeta is chronologically extremely old yet the essence of the Bhagavad Geeta and management analysis still holds true in every aspect.

Crises Management: The Bhagavad Geeta

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः।

आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत।।2.14।।

O son of Kunti! But the touches with the mantras cause the [feelings of] cold and heat, pleasure, and pain; they are of the nature of coming and going and are transient. Forbear them, O Descendent of Bharata!

{Translation by Dr. S. Sankarnayan}

One of the cardinal Bhagavad Geeta and management lessons one can extract is that of crises management. Sri Krishna asks us to inure ourselves to the ups and downs of life and to remain unfazed by them. While you are managing things, it is highly improbable that each of your assignments will be conclusive and attain fruition. Some of your assignments will turn abortive and many will just rise up to be balderdash. A proficient manager must surely know how to deal with bad days. If you just continue to be lugubrious over the formidability of your life, you would do nothing but create even more impediments in your way.

Just like cold and heat, pleasure and pain, and ups and downs, everything has a contrasting supplement and keep in mind pain exists to make us feel grateful for the pleasure, cold exits to make us feel the harshness of heat and similarly, nadirs exist to make us feel the beauty of the apogee. Hence, don’t worry, learn from the downs to scale the ups and remember

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”

Lord Krishna's teachings

Coping With Failures: The Bhagavad Geeta

श्री भगवानुवाच

अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे।

गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः।।2.11।।

The Blessed Lord said you grieve for those who are not to be grieved for, and you speak words of wisdom! The learned do not grieve for the departed and those who have not departed.

{Translation by Swami Gambirananada}

A pivotal lesson that you must learn from Bhagavad Geeta and management is that failures come to teach and not to blight your future. You must reckon over why you failed, analyze the lacunae that sabotaged your plans but never be saturnine on your defeats. Sri Krishna gives important advice here. No one should lament about things which have happened in the past or bother about things which can’t be rectified. Celebrate the moment called ‘life’ and live in the present. He asks us to be learned and expounds that learned people don’t feel gloomy for the departed assignments because they know that such gloominess is nothing less than an inconclusive lamentation. If you really want to do something, learn from your departed experiments that didn’t fare well, learn from your faux pas and blunders that left you in a precipitous situation. If you can assimilate the takeaways from them, then with certitude you are a learned soul.

“Forget the past with the exception of what you have learned from it.”

The Greatest Teacher-The Bhagavad Geeta

उद्धरेदात्मनाऽऽत्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत्।

आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः।।6.5।।

Let him seek liberation with the help of his Highest Self, and let him never disgrace his own Self. For that Self is his only friend, yet it may also be his enemy.

{Translation by Shri Purohit Swami}

The biggest folly of mankind is to look for solutions outside himself. We keep our questions locked inside the manacles in our heart and still look for answers from others. Everybody has a desire to serendipitously acquire a panacea that will physic all of their problems. Sri Krishna asks us to digress from this fallacious belief that something like this will ever happen. Krishna asks us to look deep into our realms and find the answers in ourselves.

The biggest enemy that you have to fight is the enemy within, if you can trump it, you can conquer the world. Let me give you an example. When it is 04:00 am in the morning and your alarm clock initiates the most grueling process of the whole day, it is you who shut it down. When you face the choice of taking a nap or to study, you yourself become a bandwagon and follow the flock; if you can beat this nemesis, there is no enemy that can restrain you from unleashing your inner potential. You have to fight with yourself and at the same time, you have to learn from yourself.

If you can manage yourself, there is nothing else that you can’t manage. If you can use those 86,400 seconds of your day effectively, there is no single art that you can’t champion. So, start being a tough master for your body and the rest will follow itself.

Lord Krishna

EAGLE EYE: The Bhagavad Geeta

तस्मादसक्तः सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर।

असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुषः।।3.19।।

Therefore without attachment do your work which ought to be done. For, a man who works without attachment attains to the Supreme.

{Translation by Swami Adidevananda}

Bhagavad Geeta and management has another important lesson to teach. This is the most crucial thing you need to learn- You have to be extremely sedulous at your work. There are many interesting ways to increase motivation at work. If you want to manage things effectively, if you want to do things efficaciously and immaculately, forget about everything else and contemplate over nothing but your task. Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced on kick 10,000 times.” For you want to achieve the maximum out of your potential, you need to do your single work 10,000 times.

Forsake all attachments with other works and focus on nothing else except your assignments. Take up your assignment, work on it, dig deep down, discard extraneous things and ingeniously map out the action plan. Though it is easy said than done, but if you want to be counted among those charismatic and esoteric people who confound the world with their shrewd skills, you need to be as dedicated as them and Sri Krishna asks for nothing less.


कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।

मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि।।2.47।।

Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction.

{Translation by Swami Sivananda}

This is one of the most famous yet the most misunderstood shloka of Bhagavad Geeta. Let us now tackle this one and extract from the Bhagavad Geeta and management as much as we can once and for all.

The translation is clear enough – we have just got the right to work and not the fruits. Almost all people believe that Sri Krishna asks us not to envision any dream. This is where their understanding lacks the quintessence of this wonderfully crafted verse. Sri Krishna never asks us to leave our goals, our vision or our dreams rather we should not be bounded by them.

An example from the life of Steve Jobs

You should take examples from the lifestyle of successful people. In Steve Job’s Stanford commencement speech, he spoke about a great incident of his life. He told everybody how he wasted all his parent’s life savings on the course from which he dropped out. After a few months of inactivity, he started taking calligraphy classes. At that time this made sense, neither to him nor to anybody else. Around a decade later, during the launch of Macintosh, this skill came in handy. Jobs used his knowledge of calligraphy to design fonts for the computer.

Steve Jobs

The dots connected after such a long time but they did. Even Jobs himself said, you can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backward. Sri Krishna, in the same manner, asks us not to think about connecting the dots looking forward. If Jobs would have thought about the uses of calligraphy etc. at that time, he would have never learned the skill. Lord asks us to have a very open mind to ideas, to learn skills that we love and to not make a superficial boundary around us in the name of our goals. You never know which skill that you learned in your teenage, college years can one day save your life.

So go for your goals but never eliminate yourself in this process. Learn for knowledge, learn things that you love, take up assignments that you want and also keep in mind that you have a dream to be fulfilled. If you can strike the perfect balance, victory is all yours. Avoid the common mistakes that stop you from becoming successful.

“Again you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future.”

Bhagavad Geeta and Management

Bhagavad Geeta is more of a management training module than a spiritual text guide. In my perspective, the Bhagavad Geeta and management are nothing but two sides of the same coin which ask you to manage your emotions, profession, assignments etc. correctly to achieve your ultimate goals.

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