Advertisement

Distinguishing Revelation Politics from Salvation Theology in The Bhagavad Gita’s Message for Leaders and Managers

  • Ajeet N. MathurEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Management, Change, Strategy and Positive Leadership book series (MACHSTPOLE)

Abstract

Numerous people including scholars, professional practitioners, and policymakers turn to the Bhagavad Gita, a timeless reservoir of abundant plurality and diversity of prescriptions. Shlokas (verses) from the Bhagavad Gita cited in support of prescriptive insights, judgement calls and tough decisions in the course of encountering seven eternal dualties of human living are discussed in this Chapter. The Bhagavad Gita’s pull is strongest when existential ambiguity is rooted in phenomenal complexity, surrounded by normative uncertainty and hermeneutic vulnerability. This is precisely the canvas of wicked problems in strategy where boundary confusions arising from incompleteness of knowing and undecideability of actions lie at the heart of the problem. The latent dynamic in the Bhagavad Gita concerns tensions between overt forces of salvation theology and covert forces of revelation politics when beliefs, values, norms, and attitudes are reinforcable by either of these. The same dynamic is present in management of organizations when setting limits, partitions, demarcations for porosity of boundaries that enable and regulate flows. The meta-learning from the Bhagavad Gita is that normative, existential, phenomenal and hermeneutic endeavours are simultaneously required and cannot be rank-ordered. This simultaneity requires attention to processes that enable or disable, and reflect or distort actionable revelations. As the celestial song of non-attachment, the Bhagavad Gita invites us to go beyond religion to touch spirituality and continue that journey beyond spirituality to traverse thresholds into unbounded realities. Functions of boundaries for management of organizations are thereby clarifiable so that structures provide reliability, systems produce certainty, and processes ensure aesthetics and harmony.

Keywords

Business strategy Management planning Authority and motivation Transformative leadership Process consultations Systemic interventions Structural innovations 

References

  1. Bion, W. R. (1961). Experiences in groups. London: Karnac.Google Scholar
  2. Bion, W. R. (1970). Attention and interpretation. London: Karnac.Google Scholar
  3. Chattopadhyay, G. P., & Malhotra, A. (1991). Hierarchy and modern organisation: A paradox leading to human wastage. The Indian Journal of Social Work, 22(4), 561–584.Google Scholar
  4. Chattopadhyay, G. P. (1997). Bhagavat Geeta: A treatise on managing critical decisions in work organisation, in society, in family. Calcutta: Eureka Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Chattopadhyay, G., & Mathur, A. N. (2012). Experiential learning: The Indian experience from the proto-historic period to the present times. Chap. 2. In E. Aram, R. Baxter, & A. Nutkevich (Eds.), Tradition, creativity and succession in the global group relations network (pp. 23–40). London: Karnac Books.Google Scholar
  6. Dhiman, Satinder. (2018). The text, context and message of the Gita. Chap. 1. Introduction. In S. Dhiman & A. D. Amar (Eds.). Bhagavad Gita and management: Timeless wisdom for organizational excellence. Springer (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  7. Easwaran, E. (2015). The Bhagavad Gita. Jaico Publishing House: Mumbai.Google Scholar
  8. Edgerton, F., & Schrader, F. O. (1932). The Kashmir recension of the Bhagavad Gita. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 52, 68(1).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Freud, S. (1917). Mourning and melancholia. In Standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud, Volume 14. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  10. Fromm, E. (1970). Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism. In E. Fromm, D. T. Suzuki, & R. D. Martino (Eds.), Zen Buddhism and psychoanalysis. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  11. Goyandaka, J. (1943). The Bhagavad Gita or The Song Divine. In English translation of the Gita Tattva number first published in the Hindi Monthly, ‘Kalyan’. Gorakhpur: Gita Press.Google Scholar
  12. Kakar, S. (1978). Inner world: A the psychoanalytic study of childhood and Society in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Klein, M. (1940). Mourning-its relation to manic depressive state contributions to psycho-analysis. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  14. Lawrence, W. G. (1979). Management of oneself in role: Today’s concept for managers. In Exploring individual and group boundaries. Chap. 13. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Mathur, A. N. (2003a). What knowledge is of most worth? Chap. 7. In W. Pinar, D. Trueit, W. Doll, & H. Wang (Eds.), Internationalization of curriculum studies (pp. 137–177). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  16. Mathur, A. N. (2003b). Who owns traditional knowledge? Economic and Political Weekly, 38, 4471–4481.Google Scholar
  17. Mathur, A. N. (2004). Inquiring minds and inquiry frames. In P. N. Mukherjee & C. Sengupta (Eds.), Indigeneity and universality (pp. 171–186). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Mathur, Ajeet N. (2006). Dare to think the unthought known? (pp. 1–32), Chap. 1. Tampere: Aivoairut.Google Scholar
  19. Mathur, A. N. (2016). Mysteries in management. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.Google Scholar
  20. Mathur, A. (2018a). Spirituality in management and management of spirituality: Connecting inner and outer worlds. In R. Narayanswamy, S. S. Sengupta, & Y. Altman (Eds.), Unbundling the sixth sense: Blending spirituality and management. Bangalore: Sampada Publications.Google Scholar
  21. Mathur, A. N. (2018b). Two cultures? Frontiers of faith in yoga and psychoanalysis. In M. Kumar, A. Dhar, & A. Mishra (Eds.), Psychoanalysis in the Indian Terroir. London: Little & Rowman.Google Scholar
  22. Panchwagh, Ramesh. (2011). A scientific study for the astronomical proof of Mahabharata. Woodstock: Asha R. Panchwagh. Retrieved from https://archive.org/stream/AstronomicalProofOfMahabharataRameshPanchwaghV./Astronomical%20Proof%20of%20Mahabharata%20Ramesh%20Panchwagh%20V._djvu.txt
  23. Radhakrishnan, S. (1948). The Bhagavad Gita. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  24. Spielrein, S. 1912. “Die Destruktion als Ursache des Werdens”. Jahrbuch für psychoanalytische und psychopathologische Forschungen 4: 464–503. English Translation Destruction as the cause of coming into being. Journal of Analytical Psychology (1994) 39, 155–186.Google Scholar
  25. Tharoor, S. (2018). Why I am hindu. New Delhi: Aleph Book Company.Google Scholar
  26. Turquet, P. M. (1974). Leadership: The individual and the group. In G. S. Gibbard et al. (Eds.), The large group: Therapy and dynamics. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Management AhmedabadAhmedabadIndia

Personalised recommendations