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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Management Lessons from the Great Epic Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Indian spiritual text delivered by Lord Sri Krishna to Arjuna 50 centuries back. It is the Hindu epic which is part of Bhagavad Gita. It is believed to be written in 3000BC. Scholars like Albert Einstein, Henry David Thoreau have quoted Bhagavad Gita in their writings. Peter Senge, an eminent management guru of present times depicted Gita as 'Fifth Discipline' and 'Presence'.


Management Lessons from the Great Epic Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita is studied in the contexts of Philosophy, Theology and Literature. It contains many leadership lessons which are very much closer to present day leadership theories. Hence, Bhagavad Gita can be considered as the ancient Leadership  and Management guide ever and can be considered as the ultimate one. The philosophy of Bhagavad Gita should be viewed in the angle of management guide rather than a mere spiritual guide.

What is Management:

  • Management is the art of getting things done through people effectively and efficiently. 
  • It involves decision making and control over the action for getting the things done.
  • Involves planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling
  • Involves efficient and effective use of finite resources

Story Behind Bhagavad Gita:

Arjuna was severely depressed when he found all his relatives have qued up to fight him.To motivate Arjuna, Lord Krishan preached Bhagavad Gita as a counseling to do his duties and told that nothing is higher than a war against evil. A warrior like you should be pleased enough as you are fighting against an evil which leads to heaven. Krishna's preachings are described in 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita. At the end of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna could succeed in convincing Arjuna for doing war in Kurukshetra.

What lessons of Management do Bhagavad Gita have:


A typical question every manager have in their mind is "How can they perform their job effectively"?

The answer to this question is found in Bhagavad Gita. Gita says that "You have to try to manage yourself. Unless a manager reaches the level of effectiveness and efficiency, he will merely stand in the crowd of people where many managers try to manage things and people.

Efficient use of available resources:

A manager to succeed should know to use available or scarce resources efficiently. Bhagavad Gita depicted this theory like this.

Before the war of Mahabharata, Duryodhana chose Krishna's large army for help while Arjuna chose Krishna's wisdom for support and had won the war. The inference that could be drawn here is a manager should know how to choose the available resources effectively and get the job done efficiently.


Attitude towards their Job:

To explain this effectively, bear to read this small story.

Three sculptures are engaged in building a temple. An HRD person asked three of them what they are doing.


  • The first person answered that he have to make a living as he is a poor man and so he is doing this work.
  • The second person answered that he wants to be the finest and best sculptures in the country and so doing the job.
  • The third person answered that he wants to build the most beautiful temple in the country.
The answer by the three people describes their perspective towards their job but in a different manner. Gita tells to develop a visionary perspective and big vision towards their job.

Commitment towards Work:

Gita preaches 'detachment' of the fruits and results of the course of one's duty or work. One should perform 'work for the sake of work' and should forget the about the results of that work.

But some argue that without seeking the results, one cannot do business where many businesses are result oriented. When you do not foresee the result, you cannot do it. Bhagavad Gita tells the theory of cause and effect in which doer is responsible for the consequences of the deeds.


I will cover the rest of Management principles depicted by Bhagavad  Gita in a series of articles... Keep visiting chaprama

3 comments:

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    1. Dear Sridhar, Thanks for showing interest in my blog. Your review will definitely boost me in writing many articles like these

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