Last week I had some free time on the weekend just before my MBA classes. Movies, outing with friends were on the cards. But I somehow decided to spend time alone and listened to the Gita As it Is in an audio book format (You may listen to it here.) I was yearning for some fresh insights into life without leaving current life. I listened to all 20 chapters and this is what I could learn from the timeless text and which is applicable to common life as such:
- Moderation is key in life: As per Chapter 6:16, Krishna advocates a balanced lifestyle with good diet, sleep and Yoga practice. This is key as we increasingly are in a stress era. We have erratic sleep,eating and exercise habits, resulting into illness and lifestyle diseases. Hence it is key to keep things in moderation in life in order to keep ourselves fit.
- Doing is a part of life: An interesting verse from the Gita (verse 3:5), says we act helplessly according to our bodily nature. Have you observed that people around us are so different in their habits? Some are early risers, some late, some eat a lot, some don’t, some manage with 3-4 hours of sleep, others need more. One can surmise that people indeed behave according to habits they espouse in their formative years of life and it is these habits that control our nature. If we understand the habits, we can have a idea as why people behave the way they do. Thus a person doing his task in faulty manner is better than that person who shirks his responsibility.
- Detachment: This is perhaps the most quoted, yet the most mis-understood of the verses of the holy book. On a literal meaning, we need to remain detached to outcome of our efforts. The hidden meaning is actually a sort of psychological chicken soup for the soul. The lesson is that stress happens when were want things to be deterministic in life. When things don’t happen as per plan (usually they don’t) , we’re mentally unsettled. We need to understand that our own efforts may form only part of any outcome and many other factors remain outside our control or comprehension. Once we understand the probabilistic and uncertain nature of life, we are less hard on ourselves when things go awry.
- Change is the only permanent thing in life: Change is everything in life. Our life, our relations, our jobs all have a seed for change in the future. Acknowledging this fact in life, goes a long way in living a worry free life. Once we accept truths of life like ageing, supersession by younger generation, we have truly grasped the juice of life.
- Concept of Mentoring: The Gita is in essence a manual for mentoring of people as such. We see energetic youth bogged down by small troubles and cares of life and thus they miss the big picture of life itself. Krishna , live on the battlefield, guides the shaken but talented Arjuna to perform his tasks and achieve glory. It is this aspect which managers should focus on whilst dealing with sub-ordinates in the current workplace. When we are managers we need to mentor and nurture future leaders by guiding them through various aspects of life . It may include personal life, professional and social life. Never has been a more important time than now to nurture talent and pass on the knowledge for the future generations’ well being.
- An honorable exit: We see in corporate life that promoters remain attached to their company even though it may be in hands of a talented professional. Many a times promoters interference hobbles a company’s progresses, distracts management focus and in the end ruins the reputation. We observe in the Gita, that Krishna plays the role of king-maker but plays no further part in the administration of the kingdom of Arjuna. This is truly the meaning of detachment in practice. Once the seed of the idea is planted , the management of the tree which germinates, is passed on to the future generation.
In the end Gita is more than just a spiritual text for religious purposes. It can very well be taken as guide to a more fulfilled life as such. A treasure truly to to be cherished by one and all.