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The Indian epic, Mahabharata, relating incidents beginning around 800 B.C.E., is a gripping saga filled with a multitude of chills and spills, vivid images of life and living, and of death and dying. With all of that, it is both a management guide and a code of operations too! It is a how-to guide to life; an ethical “do” and “don’t do,” as if the Mahabharata were originally written to be read as a leadership manual.
There are characters throughout the Mahabharata who combine amazing leadership skills with just a few flaws and there are other characters who are irredeemably flawed, but who show us flashes of leadership brilliance. It is the flow of these characters shown at war—their decisions and actions—that create their genius. It is that genius that this book explores and seeks to appropriate in conveying leadership technique.
No source for executive inspiration can be as definitive as what appears in the Mahabharata and no inspiration can boast the longevity from which this knowledge arises. The Mahabharata is a depiction of great heroics showing strength in adversity while describing high noble virtue.
Here is but a sampling of its wisdoms:
Cleverness doesn’t always lead to riches, nor does stupidity always lead to poverty.
The use of cruelty comes quickly to the powerful.
He who is oppressed by insurmountable stress, yet retains ethical virtue, maintains great dignity.
An appreciation from Amitabh Bhattacharya:
Growing up in a traditional Hindu household, I have always been surrounded by stories from the great Indian classics, and I truly believe that the Mahabharata has always been my favourite. Upon reading The Dharma of a Leader, I must say that I was totally blown away by the eloquence of the prose and the refreshingly alternative approach taken to interpreting this timeless classic. I couldn’t help but compose a couplet that probably best describes my state of mind.
Sadiyon se humaari viraasat hai
Jo sabak aur gyaan dariya
Usi Mahabharat ko dekhne ka
Ek naya dilchasp nazariya
(transliterated from Devanagari [Sanskrit])
Loosely translated to English, it reads: Mahabharata is our heritage! It has been a river of
lessons and learnings for ages and eons. This book, (The Dharma of a Leader) perceives and utilizes those lessons from a new and interesting perspective.
National and multiple award-winning
Bollywood lyricist and poet
noted for his lyrics in the films, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Jagga Jasoos