Leadership Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita #43 – Progress

Chapter 2 Verse 71 –

विहाय कामान्य: सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति नि:स्पृह: |
निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: स शान्तिमधिगच्छति || 71||

vihāya kāmān yaḥ sarvān pumānśh charati niḥspṛihaḥ
nirmamo nirahankāraḥ sa śhāntim adhigachchhati

vihāya—giving up; kāmān—material desires; yaḥ—who; sarvān—all; pumān—a person; charati—lives; niḥspṛihaḥ—free from hankering; nirmamaḥ—without a sense of proprietorship; nirahankāraḥ—without egoism; saḥ—that person; śhāntim—perfect peace; adhigachchhati—attains

Translation : That person, who gives up all material desires and lives free from a sense of greed, proprietorship, and egoism, attains perfect peace.

Link to the above verse – https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/2/verse/71

Chapter 2 Verse 72 –

एषा ब्राह्मी स्थिति: पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति |
स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति || 72||

eṣhā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha naināṁ prāpya vimuhyati
sthitvāsyām anta-kāle ’pi brahma-nirvāṇam ṛichchhati

eṣhā—such; brāhmī sthitiḥ—state of God-realization; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; na—never; enām—this; prāpya—having attained; vimuhyati—is deluded; sthitvā—being established; asyām—in this; anta-kāle—at the hour of death; api—even; brahma-nirvāṇam—liberation from Maya; ṛichchhati—attains

Translation : O Parth, such is the state of an enlightened soul that having attained it, one is never again deluded. Being established in this consciousness even at the hour of death, one is liberated from the cycle of life and death and reaches the Supreme Abode of God.

Link to the above verse – https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/2/verse/72

Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita has 72 verses. These two verses are the concluding verses.

My interpretation : In these two verses Krishna gives us a beautiful message, that every learning is progress towards Nirvana. Every time we are born as a human being, we are meant to move closer to enlightenment and get released from the cycle of life and death. I think of human life as being in a giant school. Every experience is a lesson and each one of us has the choice to either learn the lesson and move to the next one, or keep repeating a class (keep on taking births) till we get it.

Its like the following insightful quote from Thomas Carlyle –

So the idea is to live life fully, make as many mistakes, try every new experience but do it mindfully and keep progressing towards graduation !

For the corporate world, it means that the organization that keeps innovating and adapting itself to new experiences, remains on the path of progress. It also means leaders must allow for mistakes/goof ups and provide support and encouragement for new ideas. Large egos and closed minds don’t help organisations to progress. Leaders must leave their egos parked inside their cars and keep an open mind as they open the doors and enter the office.

One doesn’t need a title to be a leader or be powerful … Krishna was merely Arjuna’s charioteer in the Mahabharata war, but his ability to influence makes him the supreme leader !

Do read the some of the previous blogposts – Leadership Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita #42 – De-clutter and Leadership Lessons from The Bhagavad Gita #40 – Transforming.

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