Today is Maha Shivaratri – a very auspicious day. I am no expert on the spiritual aspects of this day, but Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has written about The Significance of Mahashivaratri. I thought of evaluating Shiva as a boss in our limited corporate world. All the Hindu mythology and the many Gods and Goddesses that we have are in some ways lessons in life and management. They all teach us something valuable. I have never looked at the Hindu scriptures as merely “shlokas” to be repeated over and over again, but have wanted to know the meaning of the verses. I love the cadence of the Vedic chants and the Shabad kirtans at the Gurudwaras. Something about these appeals to me tremendously.
The family I am born into prays to Vishnu and his avatars, but my grand mothers and my parents never bothered about these things. They liked visiting temples and would go to all temples whether they were Shiva or Vishnu temples. I anyway grew up not knowing what my caste was and even when I understood, it didn’t matter to me. I don’t like going to temples, I believe that if God is omnipresent, then he is at home, at the workplace, on the train and behind the wheel in a car ! Either that or he doesnt qualify to be God :):). I don’t like definitions of atheist and theist because they are limiting – I don’t believe there is “someone” out there who is labelled God and that someone holds the strings of my life. I don’t believe that because that too is very limiting. I am responsible for my life and what I do and my thoughts impact the way my life is. I do believe I am born again and again and each life helps me get savvier and grow into the greater all pervading consciousness – I call it God for convenience, but I attribute nothing to it and don’t expect it to solve my problems. I do believe in re-incarnation because with some people the connection is so deep, that it transcends friendship and all other known forms of relationship. There is something much deeper and re-incarnation is a convenient hook to hang it on till either its proved or disproved. Re-incarnation also offers a semblance of meaning to life – otherwise whatever you do, goes… that seems worthless.
Now when I think of Shiva as a boss I find him to be both an enlightened leader and a childish leader at the same time. With his dreadlocks and ash smeared body, he breaks all your misconceptions about how a boss should be. He also hammers in the point that appearances are deceptive ! – I wrote that in a different blog. How liberating it will be to have a boss like Shiva – you can come wearing anything to work and still be judged only by your contribution and not by your dress.
Shiva is truly fair – he offers boons to demons, some rakshasas too as long as they pray without distraction for what they want. He doesn’t discriminate on any parameter – he only looks for purity of purpose. Shiva as Nataraj is the God of dance and that shows his fun side, he can teach you a few moves and he doesn’t care if you are dancing at work ! Imagine some of the stuffed shirts that we work with and how much fun it would be have a dancing boss – Richard Branson type :). Shiva is wandering constantly and that ensures he can be where the action is… get out of that cabin, bosses ! Move around, get to know what’s happening in your team, in your market. The biggest proof of Shiva as an enlightened leader is that he removes obstacles that come up during a project – the ocean churning that Gods got involved in, puts out poison before the nectar of immortality. When no one wanted to drink that poison, Shiva came forward to drink it and hold it in his throat. That’s your role as a leader – remove obstacles in the way. Shiva never offered to do the churning, but he just removed the obstacle. Shiva is the original innovator, and the one who understands that something has to be destroyed before something better can take its place. His “tandav” brought apocalypse but a new resurgent world got re-established after the decaying old world was destroyed.
Shiva’s childlike behaviour is seen in his family life – he decapitates Ganesha, his own son, since Parvati gave birth to Ganesha when Shiva was away. He doesn’t wait to find out who this boy is, but just cuts his head off in a fit of rage as Ganesha stops him from going into his own house. Shiva is able to connect an elephant’s head and resurrect Ganesha but that was a childish behaviour. It also shows that all leaders that are human will not behave in an enlightened manner all the time – the great Madiba, Nelson Mandela was an enlightened leader but had trouble managing his wives. So putting any one on a pedestal doesn’t help. No one is infallible, not even Shiva !
Enjoy Mahashivaratri and be a Shiva like boss – enlightened, fun and childish all at the same time. Most importantly, be genuinely fair with the people you manage and all your dealings.
Om Namah Shivay.