Doing the Right Thing: Leaders’ Moral and Spiritual Anchorage
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The Bhagavad Gı̄tā is a book of self-mastery for leaders and managers. This chapter presents the ethical and spiritual philosophy of the Bhagavad Gı̄tā as a pathway to a leader’s self-mastery and freedom. The first part of the chapter presents an axiomatic fact that the fundamental seeking of all human beings is security, peace/happiness, and liberation. By gently pointing out that our whole problem is a misdirected search due to self-ignorance, the Gı̄tā tells us that the only place where permanent and complete happiness and fulfillment can be found is within ourselves—in the fullness of our own being.
To create a context, this chapter will also provide an essential overview of various yogas presented in the Gı̄tā. It mainly focuses on its teachings regarding the discipline of selfless action (karma yoga) and the discipline of Self-knowledge (jñāna yoga) as two basic archetypes of ethics and spirituality presented in the Gı̄tā. In addition, it presents the essence of bhakti yoga, the path of loving devotion, since devotion is a necessary concomitant to success in both karma yoga and jñāna yoga.
Embedded within these three paths to liberation, it will provide a brief overview of the psychological make-up of individuals comprising three basic modes of nature—sattva (purity/goodness) that brings truth/harmony; rajas (movement/passion) that kindles action/activity, and tamas (ignorance/ inertia) that leads to delusion/confusion. The teaching of selfless service and three psychological types have direct application to the field of management and leadership. The chapter will conclude with the five culminating practices for fostering inner security, peace, and harmony in life and leadership.