Advertisement

The Text, Context, and Message of the Bhagavad Gītā

  • Satinder DhimanEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Management, Change, Strategy and Positive Leadership book series (MACHSTPOLE)

Abstract

The Bhagavad Gītā contains timeless management lessons for contemporary organizations. It is a non-sectarian spiritual text with a universal message. It teaches truth regarding our essential nature which can be verified by everyone right here and now, in this very lifetime. Presenting its setting and the occasion, this introductory chapter explores the meaning and the key message of the Gītā to facilitate proper understanding of the text and its application. After recounting the universality of its message and its perennial appeal, it suggests primary application of some key concepts of the Gītā to management and leadership domain. It also explores the key themes and the essence of the Gītā’s eighteen chapters.

Several modern leadership and management topics such as vision; motivation and empowerment; self-awareness, self-mastery, emotional maturity; anger management and stress management; meditation and psychological wellbeing; excellence in work; workplace spirituality; importance of ethical means in achieving righteous ends; attaining meaning and fulfillment at work; and serving a cause higher than oneself for the greater good are lucidly discussed in the Bhagavad Gītā. Likewise, we find that many contemporary leadership constructs such as authentic leadership, servant leadership, and values-based leadership, were already discussed in the Bhagavad Gītā thousands of years ago.

Keywords

Bhagavad Gītā and management Bhagavad Gītā and leadership Mahabharata epic Business ethics Values based leadership Self-mastery and self-management Authentic leadership Self-leadership 

References

  1. Bennis, W. (1994). Invented life: Reflections on leadership and change. New York, NY: Perseus Books.Google Scholar
  2. Betai, R. S. (2002). Gītā and Gandhi. New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House/National Gandhi Museum.Google Scholar
  3. Bolle, K. (1979). The Bhagavadgītā: A new translation. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  4. Chatterjee, D. (2012). Timeless leadership: 18 Leadership sutras from the Bhagavad Gītā. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Ciulla, J. B. (2004). Ethics, the heart of leadership. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  6. Collins, J. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap…and others don’t. New York, NY: Harper Business.Google Scholar
  7. Dayananda, S. (2009). Introduction to Vedanta: Understanding the fundamental problem. New Delhi: Vision Books Pvt. Ltd.Google Scholar
  8. Deutsch, E. (1968). The Bhagavad Gītā, translated with introduction and critical essays. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.Google Scholar
  9. Dhiman, S. (Trans.) (2013). Sahaja-Gītā: The Essential Gītā. [Selection & Compilation, Rajendra Kumar Dhawan]. Based on Params̒raddheya Swāmījī Shrī Rāmsukhdāsjī Mahārāj’s commentary on Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā, entitled, ‘Sādhaka-Sañjivanī. Gorakhpur: Gita Prakashan.Google Scholar
  10. Dhiman, S. (Trans.) (2014). Kripāmayi Bhagavad Gītā: The Benedictory Gītā. [Selection & Compilation, Rajendra Kumar Dhawan]. Based on Params̒raddheya Swāmījī Shrī Rāmsukhdāsjī Mahārāj’s Discourses. Gorakhpur: Gītā Prakāshan.Google Scholar
  11. Dhiman, S. (2015). Gandhi and leadership: New horizons in exemplary leadership. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dhiman, S. (2017). Holistic leadership: A new paradigm for today’s leaders. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Durant, W. (1930). The case for India. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  14. Durant, W. (1954). The story of civilization: Our oriental heritage. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  15. Edgerton, F. (1944). The Bhagavad Gītā. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Fischer, L. (Ed.). (2002). The essential Gandhi: An anthology of his writings on his life, work, and ideas. New York, NY: Vintage.Google Scholar
  17. Frankl, V. E. (1984). Man’s search for meaning: An introduction to logotherapy (3rd ed.). New York, NY: A Touchstone Book.Google Scholar
  18. Gambhirananda, S. (1984). Bhagavad Gita with the commentary of Sri Shankaracharya. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama.Google Scholar
  19. Gandhi, M. K. (1983). Autobiography: The story of my experiments with truth. New York, NY: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  20. Giovannitti, L., & Freed, F. (1965). The decision to drop the bomb. New York, NY: Coward-McCann.Google Scholar
  21. Harding, E. U. (March 27, 2011). “Reminiscences of Swami Gambhirananda.” At the Feet of the Mother. Elizabeth Usha Harding’s Blog. Retrieved September 3, 2018: https://ushaharding.blogspot.com/2011/03/reminiscences-of-swami-gambhirananda.htmlGoogle Scholar
  22. Hill, W. (1928/1953). The Bhagavad Gītā: A translation and commentary. Madras: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Iyer, R. (2012). The essential writings of Mahatma Gandhi. New Delhi: Oxford University Press/Oxford India Paperbacks.Google Scholar
  24. Krishna Warrier, A. G. (Trans.) (1983). Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā Bhāṣya of Ādi Śaṅkarācārya. Madras: Śrī Ramakrishna Math.Google Scholar
  25. Leonard, E. M., Miles, L. E., & Van der Kar, C. S. (1944). The child: At home and school. New York, NY: American Book Co.Google Scholar
  26. Minor, R. N. (1982). Bhagavad-Gītā: An exegetical commentary. Columbia, MO: South Asia Books.Google Scholar
  27. Minor, R. N. (Ed.). (1986). Modern Indian interpreters of the Bhagavad Gītā. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  28. Paramārthānanda, S. (2008). General talks: Understanding anger (#71). Chennai: Sound Recording.Google Scholar
  29. Prabhananda, S., & Isherwood, C. (1975). (Trans.). Shankara’s crest-jewel of discrimination. Vedanta. Hollwood, CA: Vedanta Press.Google Scholar
  30. Prabhavananda, S., & Isherwood, C. (1953/1981). How to know god: The yoga aphorisms of patanjali. Hollywood, CA: Vedanta Society.Google Scholar
  31. Prasad, R. (1999). The Bhagavad Gita: The song of god. Freemond, CA: American Gita Society.Google Scholar
  32. Radhakrishnan, S. (1958). The Bhagavad Gītā: With an introductory essay, Sanskrit text, english translation, and notes. London: George Allen and Unwin, Ltd.Google Scholar
  33. Rāmsukhdāsjī, S. (2007). Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā: Sādhaka-Sañjivanī. Gorakhpur: Gītā Press.Google Scholar
  34. Rānāde, R. D. (1982). The Bhagavad Gītā as a philosophy of god realization. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.Google Scholar
  35. Sastry, A. M. (1897/1995). (Trans.). The Bhagavad Gītā with the commentary of Sri Shankaracharya. Madras, India: Samta Books.Google Scholar
  36. Satprakashananda, S. (1977). The goal and the way: The vedantic approach to life’s problems. St. Louis, MO: The Vedanta Society of St. Louis.Google Scholar
  37. Smith, H. (2009). (Trans.). Bhagavad Gītā, the 25th anniversary edition. New York, NY: New York State University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Swarupananda, S. (1909/1976). (Trans.). Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama.Google Scholar
  39. Tapasyānanda, S. (2010). Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā. Madras: Śrī Ramakrishna Math.Google Scholar
  40. Teitsworth, S. (2014). The path to the guru: The science of self-realization according to the Bhagavad Gita. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.Google Scholar
  41. Toole, J. O. (2008). Notes toward a definition of values-based leadership. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 1(1), 10 Retrieved from https://scholar.valpo.edu/jvbl/vol1/iss1/10 Google Scholar
  42. van Buitenen, J.A.B. (1981). (Ed. and Trans.). The Bhagavad Gītā in the Mahābhārata: A Bilingual Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  43. Wadhwa, H. (2013, December). Nelson Mandela and the evolution of great leaders. Fortune Magazine.Google Scholar
  44. Waite, D. (2007). Back to the truth: 5000 years of Advaita. Winchester: John Hunt Publishing.Google Scholar
  45. Zaehner, R. C. (1973). The Bhagavad-Gītā with a commentary based on original sources. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Woodbury UniversityBurbankUSA

Personalised recommendations