Epilogue: Timeless Teachings of the Gītā—Maxims for Life and Leadership
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This chapter distills the essential teachings of the Gı̄tā on life and leadership. It draws together all the myriad strands presented in the foregoing chapters and offers pointers on the path of action (karma yoga), knowledge (jñāna yoga), meditation (dhyāna yoga), and devotion (bhakti yoga). The path of Self-knowledge as taught in the Gı̄tā garners self-awareness, an essential quality of effective leadership. This self-awareness makes us aware of the fact that, at its very core, all life is essentially one. The diversity and multiplicity that we see is an expression of that one Reality in which everything is irrevocably connected to everything else. According to the Gı̄tā, this understanding helps us live a life of selfless service and contribution, the key to personal happiness and social harmony. The Gı̄tā teaches us that true peace can only come by serving the common good and surrendering to the Divine within us.
The path to leading others starts with self-awareness through self-discipline and ends with self-transcendence through selfless service. The Gı̄tā calls it enlightened leadership. Enlightened leadership is essentially servant leadership. It represents a shift from followers serving leaders to leaders serving followers. Enlightened leaders are not motivated by personal desires or interests. They become instruments of the whole and selflessly serve for the wellbeing of all beings (sarvabhūta hitae, BG 5.25; 12.4). Only those who have relinquished personal ambition can truly serve. According to the Gı̄tā, the path to enlightened leadership is paved with authenticity, humility, service, and compassion. The Gı̄tā teaches us that our choice lifework, svadharma, is a supreme means to discover who we are. The goal is Self-knowledge; service is the means.
The chapter presents 101 maxims of life and leadership according to the teachings of the Gı̄tā.