CA Vrajesh Parekh

The Bhagavad-Gita is an ancient Indian spiritual and philosophical text and is more than 5000 years old. It is one of the most popular and accessible of all Indian scriptures, which is to be studied by anyone interested in Indian philosophy. Arjuna got mentally depressed in the battle field when he saw his relatives with whom he has to fight.To motivate him the Bhagavad-Gita is preached in the battle field Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as counselling to do his duty while multitudes of men stood by waiting. Arjuna faces the problem of conflict between emotions and intellect. Gita teaches Honesty, Sincerity, and Truthfulness etc. Bhagavad Gita also shows how challenge as an opportunity to find the way to success, it only depends on you and you are your own alchemist. The Bhagavad Gita teaches how one’s aim in life can be achieved; howsoever it may be difficult. The greatest significance of the Bhagavad Gita lies in the fact that it proposes a solution to a central typical problem of human life that presents itself at a certain critical stage of development. We may say that Arjuna to whom the teaching is addressed is a representative man, and the problem that he faced arose at a certain height of ethical concern in the midst of an actual and symbolic battlefield Kurukshetra, which is also Dharmakshetra. Modern management is more concerned with productivity and prosperity. These are achieved through planning, direction, motivation coordination etc. These actions are generally called management functions. Bhagavad Gita contains beautiful ideas about the principles of management. All verses are interpreted inducing immense interest to our modern managers. To share few of them, would be a delightful experience to me for all my caste members.

The Gita’s Basic Principle of Management:

Know Thyself For overcoming these human frailties and inferior impulses the Gita emphasizes the need for realization of Self through direct vision of Truth. The Gita wants us to transcend the ego-centric little individual self and expand it to the higher consciousness of the Eternal Self; and ultimately identify ourselves with the Supreme Self, that is, Purushottama. This is what is meant by being atmavan, possessing the Real Self, or ‘Know Thyself.’ No action is a genuine act of the self unless it is performed in the wakefulness of the Supreme consciousness. Such action is called in the Gita as akarm, the Selfless action. It is also termed assvakarm (one’s own action), svadharm (one’s own duty), svabhavajakarm (action according to one’s own nature or birth) or varnakarm (caste duty). The art and science of merging the ego-centric little individual self (jivabhava) into the Universal Self is named as atmayoga, budhiyoga, svakarmayoga, rajavidya, adhyatmavidya or purushottama yoga in the Gita.

The Challenging Task Modern Manager is expected to be more creative and innovative. But his creativity depends on the stimulus of reward in cash or kind. It is more or less a ‘conditioned response’ promoted by Stimulus Response (SR) bond. Several corporates are now willing to create an atmosphere where creativity and innovation is encouraged. The official term for it is entrepreneurship. Conceptually, it means a situation where in a company uses the talents and dynamic abilities of its manager to develop innovative in-house project services. Such conditioned response has its limitations too. Though it helps creating ‘surplus’ for himself and for his company, it hardly makes any substantial contribution in the larger context of social equity and justice. Practically, all progress artistic, scientific, moral or spiritual is the contribution of individuals who did not work for “rewards”. So, Human Response (HR) management for the well-being of “ALL” i.e. for the individual and the universe has been the most important and challenging task before the art and science of management past and present. The Bhagvad Gita invites us to prepare ourselves for this challenging task. Secondly, the crisis of our time is a crisis of character. Today we come across instances where highly qualified managers, executives, bureaucrats working on the most important positions are involved in corruption, misuse of their power and authority. Some are reluctant to perform their legitimate duty as a public servant on account of tremendous political pressures or threats from the underworld. This is the real challenge that threatens the art and science of management today. It is at this critical juncture that the Bhagavad Gita comes to our rescue by presenting the holistic vision of life and action for the enlightenment of an individual who is at the centre of all human endeavours.

One of the central ideas of the Bhagavad Gita is the performance of activities without attachment or any expectation of results.

(Excerpts taken from different articles and books of different authors)