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The management mantra

The Bhagavad Gita has entered business management classrooms here too

PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

FUTURE MANAGERS Modern applications of an ancient treatise come in handy in the 21st century too

Kudos to syllabus makers for being able to apply ancient practices and teachings contained in our scriptures to present day living and working conditions. A subject like Business Management takes recourse to a topics such as spiritualism for its practical philosophy.

If the Bhagavad Gita made news recently for being studied in Ivy League colleges abroad, it is also a handbook for the Indian industry and the aspiring manager. As an economic analyst put it: "Indian spirituality is sashaying down corporate corridors..."

Yes sir, the Gita has entered the classrooms of Business Management students here. And Gen Y has been quick to grasp its essence. From the Pushpak Vimana to herbal medicines (Charaka Samhita), from management tactics (the Gita) to stress busters (yoga) and meditation (dhyana), our ancient texts had said it all much before the WTO-governed universe was ever thought of.

Eastern thinking

IIM-Calcutta, Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, Pune, and others have designed their curriculum in line with eastern thinking. Buzzwords such as TQM (total quality management) have been replaced with Aham Brahmasmi (I am God) and Tat Tvam Asi (That thou art) to inspire confidence in oneself and in one's organisation. Chapter 2 of the Gita with special reference to Verse 47 is often quoted these days as a palliative to the burnout suffered by stressed-out managers. The ancient book also deals with the theory of cause and effect and on the dilemma of temporarily lost sense of accountability. The concept of globalisation has been traced to the Vedantic term of universal oneness where the universe is seen as an indivisible whole.

"There's nothing wrong if we could adopt the teachings of the Gita or any other ancient treatise. We could then adopt a more holistic approach to our work and be better equipped to deal with the stress of work and life," says Timothy Joseph Bellard, an MBA student of the Hyderabad Central University.

Well, there was a single Arjuna who could be motivated by Krishna with great effort then.

Now we have multitudes imbibing the tome in no time. If only the author of the Bhagavad Gita could see this.

RANEE KUMAR

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