Leadership Lessons from Bhagavad Gita #38 – Attachment

Chapter 2 Verse 62

ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंस: सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते |
सङ्गात्सञ्जायते काम: कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते || 62||

dhyāyato viṣhayān puṁsaḥ saṅgas teṣhūpajāyate
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ kāmāt krodho ’bhijāyate

dhyāyataḥcontemplating; viṣhayānsense objects; puṁsaḥof a person; saṅgaḥattachment; teṣhuto them (sense objects); upajāyatearises; saṅgātfrom attachment; sañjāyatedevelops; kāmaḥdesire; kāmātfrom desire; krodhaḥanger; abhijāyatearises

Translation – While contemplating on the objects of the senses, one develops attachment to them. Attachment leads to desire, and from desire arises anger.

Link to the page – https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/2/verse/62

My interpretation –

As a child most of us have our favourite toy/pillow/cup or some object. We wouldn’t part with it and we hold onto it even in our sleep. Its cute and everyone oohs and aahs as little children do these things. What we don’t realise is that we continue this behaviour well into our adulthood and almost till our grave !! We form strong attachments to things – clothes, position, money, comfort etc are all the adult toys that we get attracted to and with one or two of them we form strong attachment. When we are denied that particular “thing” we get upset and throw a tantrum by yelling or slamming doors or even moping.

Mothers are the biggest example of being “attached” to their children beyond reason. I have no issues with love beyond reason, but when its attachment beyond reason, its trouble. Daughter-in-laws married to Sons whose mothers are overly attached, aren’t allowed to live their life on their terms. The sons get used to all the pampering and expect their wives to replace their mothers … the cycle of trouble just continues to roll.

At work, attachment leads to wrong decisions as we tend to ignore data. When we like a team member, we tend to support his/her work even when they are clearly not cut out for it. When we get attached to the position and the perks that come with it, we end up politicking to stay in that position. With increasing costs and shrinking margins, as business need to get more efficient, layoffs are common. A mega-sized attachment to the job creates emotional trauma when one loses their job. Depression and sometimes suicide follow.

In this verse, Krishna says attachment leads to desire and unfulfilled desires lead to anger and anger has negative repercussions. So nip the bud at the attachment level. Cut your losses, right ?


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