The Bhagavad Gita is a source of spiritual Life Coaching while providing essential lessons for leaders and those who want to follow the Path of Dharma or Duty, whether in their personal or professional lives.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has described the Bhagavad Gita as the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to practical life.
Most people who have heard of this sacred text know that the Bhagavad Gita or The Celestial Song, was preached on the battlefield by Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu to Arjuna, the Leader, motivating him to do his duty as he faltered on seeing his friends and relatives who were now his enemy at the battle of Kurukshetra even as multitudes of his warriors stood behind him, waiting for him to lead them to victory in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
The views that follow are my own based on my reading of the epic Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita. Each time I read both, I discover something new or have a realization that there is much depth and knowledge hidden in the pages of the Bhagavad Gita that are being revealed to me as I progress on my own spiritual path.
Divine Coaching from Lord Krishna
It’s my belief that Arjuna received divine coaching from none other than Lord Krishna himself. When one reads the scriptures carefully, one realizes that it has all the tools for self-coaching, maintaining one’s mental equilibrium and focus when faced with a goal that may appear insurmountable.
It is a gospel of Karma-Yoga. Lord Krishna explains how performance of prescribed duties, but without attachment to results, is the appropriate course of action for Arjuna. By the time the discourse is completed, the coached Arjuna becomes a Karma Yogi and unstoppable Leader of his army.
Swami Krishnananda explains it beautifully is his discourse The Principles of the Bhagavad Gita. He describes the main gospel of the Bhagavad Gita as Karma-Yoga, because it converts every activity into a meditation on the Absolute.
The Bhagavad Gita teaches that worldly activity is itself a spiritual activity in the end, because any activity is finally inseparable from the movement of the Absolute, and, therefore, it is, in truth, spiritual activity.
Reading and understanding the Bhagavad Gita is truly a powerful and intense catalyst for personal transformation.
Spirituality as a hallmark of a true Leader
Core values bind a team, not a collection of core competencies
While many may believe the Gita to be a purely spiritual text, there are in fact tips and guidance for Leadership, whether over oneself or over a team and the need for integrity and focus on our goal.
Interestingly, at the beginning of the Holy Scripture, we learn that Duryodhana, the Crown Prince of Hastinapur undertakes an analysis of his strengths and weaknesses as well as those of the Pandavas, his enemies before the battle begins.
Arjuna does the same but shares his trepidation and fears with Lord Krishna and is open to receiving guidance from the Higher Source which leads to ultimate victory in the greatest battle of its time on earth.
The might of Duryodhana’s army comprises the greatest warriors, kings whose very names can strike terror in the heart of any enemy and is headed by the venerated Bhishma, who is in every way a Leader projecting Gravitas. Yet he feels insecure and not confident of defeating the Pandava army. He asks his warriors to protect Bhishma.
Perhaps Duryodhana realizes that his huge army lacks the motivation and inner fire that is present in the army of the Pandavas who are fighting for justice. The allegiance of his army is more out of a mistaken sense of loyalty to him rather than for the good of Hastinapur. The core values that bind a team together are either not strong enough for the warriors to identify with or are missing.
Each great warrior knows that the enemy is right but still they are willing to side with Duryodhana because of past benefits which blind them from being their true selves. This happens a lot in today’s world where battles of corporate politics are fought at different levels.
Duryodhana knows this all too well which is why he asks his men to rally around and protect their Commander in Chief Bhishma, who is a symbol of virtue and respected by both sides. He is the one good value that can bind Duryodhana’s de-motivated men together and aid in achieving his goal of retaining Hastinapur for him.
During the battle, when Bhishma is wounded and lying on a bed of arrows he continues to hold onto life until his vow that Hastinapur will be secure is completed. This happens with the victory of the Pandavas and justice.
In all humility, the only analysis that I can offer is that when there is courage of conviction and a strong belief that one is on the right path, then no matter what the impediments and obstacles come in our way, our Inner Fire will keep us going towards the highway of Success.
Turning inwards to our Higher Source can strengthen our resolve and provide the spiritual support required to move forward.
At the same time, often even with the bad, there is some good and if the fight is for a just cause, then flame of virtue continues to flicker waiting for truth and justice to emerge, even if it is surrounded by other factors. In this case Virtue in the form of Bhishma waited for Righteousness to secure Hastinapur, the ultimate Goal.
How do you ensure alignment of your activities with your core values as a Leader to your team?
Author Note: This post is referenced to the Hindu epic Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita. I invite the reader to explore the epic and the lessons for modern day Leadership as well as the spiritual way of life with 2 recommended books.
Timeless Leadership: 18 Leadership Sutras from The Bhagavad Gita by Debashis Chaterjee
Bhagavad-Gita English ( 2013) by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Image of Lotus Flower courtesy Mark YangFollow Me
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