Leadership Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita 11 – Assumptions

Verse 21 from Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita talks of the how human beings assume that they can kill another human being when in reality, the soul is imperishable… well, this isn’t the only thing we human beings assume. :):).

वेदाविनाशिनं नित्यं य एनमजमव्ययम् |
कथं स पुरुष: पार्थ कं घातयति हन्ति कम् || 21||

vedāvināśhinaṁ nityaṁ ya enam ajam avyayam
kathaṁ sa puruṣhaḥ pārtha kaṁ ghātayati hanti kam

vedaknows; avināśhinamimperishable; nityameternal; yaḥwho; enamthis; ajamunborn; avyayamimmutable; kathamhow; saḥthat; puruṣhaḥperson; pārthaParth; kamwhom; ghātayaticauses to be killed; hantikills; kamwhom
The translation is as follows –  O Parth, how can one who knows the soul to be imperishable, eternal, unborn, and immutable kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?

The link to the page is – https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/2/verse/21

My interpretation is as follows –

In all walks of life, human beings work on assumptions and steadfastly refuse to look at facts, even if they are glaring !! Our prejudices color our judgement. We constantly stereotype and try and slot everyone we meet into that stereotype. If a person is from Delhi, he/she must be evading tax definitely :). If a person is from TamilNadu, he/she must be intelligent (with the way some Tamilians are behaving in public life, this stereotype will soon be gone) !! You get the drift, we always assume.

At work if your boss happens to share his/her city of birth with another colleague, everyone expects him/her to be partial to that particular colleague. Some people “look” tough and we immediately assume they must be control freaks. Show the picture of our late ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam to almost anyone in India and you will find that he is loved and respected. He didn’t meet all of us, but we assume him to be a great guy basis his actions and the words he spoke. There was no dissonance between his words and his actions. But remember, except for those who knew him, it is an assumption that he was a nice human being. Guess what, for a certain Mrs. Gandhi, whom he helped find her inner voice, he was certainly not a nice guy.

Just like Lord Krishna is asking Arjuna to let go of his assumption that he is “killing” his cousins and teachers, we all need to examine our assumptions and constantly test them against facts. The politician who has paid the biggest price of this assumption game is our current PM. The elite assume many things about him and the well entrenched “English” media helped the rest of the nation to assume certain things about him, but 2014 changed it all. Even now, there are many who are assuming many things …. things that are very far from reality. Ghosts haven’t opened the Jan Dhan accounts for one, vampires didn’t resurrect and conduct the surgical strikes, the Babri Masjid was not there since time immemorial and it is built on a temple .. and neither is intolerance on the rise nor anything is happening to secularism and best of all, some Tamilian jokers who think of themselves as politicians are preaching about the debunked Aryan invasion theory and have gone so far as to tell people that Tamilians are not Hindus, hahahahaha, sweet !

Look for facts and test your assumptions. Easy enough??

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