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Devdutt Pattanaik - Business Sutra

Business Sutra | Concluding the series

Business Sutra |10| Finale : The Indian Way of Doing Business

We have covered all 10 episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

Business Sutra | Concluding the series

We had referred to Devdutt Pattnaik’s TED talk – The Indian approach to business: Devdutt Pattanaik at TEDxGateway 2013 –  in our curtain raiser article to this series. The talk discusses the background of the way an Indian does business in terms of a set of beliefs that would lead to set of corresponding behaviors that would get reflects in his or her way of doing business. Devdutt Pattanaik calls this as his 3B model.

The Indian scriptures have not one promised land but three promised lands –

The first promised land is called Swarga- the paradise = where lives a cow called Kamadehnu which is an-wish fulfilling cow,  ask for anything and the cow will give it to you. There is a tree called Kalpvruksha. You may stand under the tree ask for anything and you will get it. There is a jewel called Chintaman. Hold it in your hand, ask for anything and you will get it without any effort. In management language this is called availability of infinite return with no investment. This is how a paradise ought to be. The king of this land is  called Indra. He is a prosperous king, he sits on elephants and he is happy and powerful. But savages always keep his kingdom under siege. There are always wars happening. If a king performs a Yagya, or goes to a war,  Indra gets insecure and immediately steals the horses of that king. If an asura is born he runs to his father with a request to kill that asura.   If a Rishi starts doing Tapasya, he goes to the apsara department and sends a  Ramba or an Urvashi to entice the Rishi and break his tapasya. He has everything , and yet he is insecure.

The second promised land s Kailash, a Mount Kailash. It is a mountain of stone, covered with snow. Here hunger is outgrown, it is destroyed. Look carefully at  this popular street image of Mount Kailasha. In the front, you can see a bull, Nandi, and opposite to that is Parvati’s lion. The bull is not quivering in fear of a predator. On top of Karthikeya there is a peacock and we see a peacock’s food, a snake untwirled around the neck of Shiva. The snake’s food, a rat, is under the feet of Ganesha, We have here a several sets of a predator and a prey, but nobody is afraid, because hunger has been destroyed. As there is no hunger there is no need, there is no desire, there is no want and therefore Shiva is always at peace. But of course, the goddess won’t let him live in peace. As a woman, she keeps saying that you are not hungry, but what about other  people hunger, what about my children’s hunger.

That brings us to the third promised land which is Vaikunth, the land of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu is reclining on a serpent and is surrounded by affluence and abundance. But their prosperity is accompanied with peace. What is different over here is that it is a happy playground it is not a battleground. Here other people’s hunger is taken care of. Vishnu participates with the world, he engages with the world. If needed, he descends on to the earth and does various roles – the incarnations.

So we have three promised lands which are based on three different beliefs, the subjective truths – your truth and my truth. To understand the belief that underlies these promised lands we have to understand the difference between animal hunger and human hunger.  The human hunger is different from animal hunger in three ways. First quantitative- hungry for today’s food, but also hungry for tomorrow’s food and food the day after tomorrow and the food after ten years, the food after when I retire, the food for my children and ten generations from now. So I will keep saving, and hoarding to insure myself The second type of human hunger is qualitatively different. We are not just hungry for food we are also hungry for status, for power, for property. Animals have territory but they can’t bequeath territories to the next generations. The third, and the most critical difference is human imagination. We also have empathy. I can feel, both, your quantitative and qualitative hunger. That’s what makes humans unique That is what underlies these three promised lands.

Indra believes that my hunger matters first, Shiva believes I can outgrow my hunger and Vishnu says your hunger matters first. The question is which hunger matters first –  your hunger or my hunger. That of the shareholder or of the employees or those of the customers or of the vendors or of the politicians or of the regulators, or of the society or of the environment. Whose hunger matters first.

In reality, there is no THE clear answer. We say your hunger only matters if you satisfy my hunger or if after I have satisfied my hunger only then your hunger matters. This is how most people are designed. But what is celebrated in the mythology is the idea of satisfying your hunger so that I can outgrow my hunger. Therefore, you have temples for Vishnu and Shiva, but not for Indra. In fact. they are two sides of the same coin. By satisfying your hunger. The cynic will say outgrowing hunger is theoretical, it cannot happen in practice. It meant for people who wear orange robes not for business suits. The second cynic feels that if I am going to focus on your hunger then it is a recipe for exploitation because the moment they focus on other people’s hunger, the other is prone to be exploited. So it also may not work. That brings us to the third cynic, who believes that there is only one reality and that is my hunger matters first. We are taught repeatedly this is the only reality in the animal kingdom, but not necessarily in the human Kingdom. We do have the capability of outgrowing our hunger and focusing on other people’s hunger,

That brings me to my 3B model. If you believe that my hunger matters first, you will create a battleground and there will be prosperity but no peace. If you believe your hunger matters first then there is a possibility of creating a playground, where there  is prosperity with peace. When you choose your belief you create your promised land – it can be swarg, where your hunger matters first or  it can be Kailash where there is no hunger or it can be Vaikunth where everyone’s hunger is satisfied and my hunger is outgrown.

To sum up:

The Indian way of doing business—as apparent in Indian mythology, but no longer seen in practice— accommodates subjectivity and diversity, and offers an inclusive, more empathetic way of achieving success. Great value is placed on darshan, that is, on how we see the world and our relationship with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

If we believe that wealth needs to be chased, the workplace becomes a rana-bhoomi—a battleground of investors, regulators, employers, employees, vendors, competitors and customers; if we believe that wealth needs to be attracted, the workplace becomes a rang-bhoomi—a playground where everyone is happy.

Our belief, therefore in tun, our behavior, decides which is our Promised land.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

P.S. :

All episodes of the present series are also collated in one file asDevdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial: Business Sutrafor ease of reading and download.

This series was published in Gujarati too under the title દેવદત્ત પટ્ટનાઈકનું ‘બિઝનેસ સૂત્ર’. All episodes have been collated in one file for ease of reading / downloading the series.

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Devdutt Pattanaik - Business Sutra

Business Sutra |10. 3| Raas Leela: The Perfect Organization

Business Sutra |10| Finale : The Indian Way of Doing Business

We have covered nine episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The final episode explores Indianness. Devdutt Pattanaik believes that Indian ideas need to be seen through a fresh post-post-modern lens. The post-post-modern lens looks at things in context appreciating the subjective realities of Indians and recognizing it as being different from those of other people. It is of value in some situations but not in all. Segment 1 took up the subject of destiny v/s desire and segment 2 dealt with the question of Juagaad being good or bad.

Business Sutra |10. 3| Raas Leela: The Perfect Organization

First, we will explore a few sources of western management literature wherein an attempt is made to define / describe ‘an ideal organization’.

HBR, in article, Creating the best workplace on earth’, by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones calla ‘the organization of your dreams’ as one where individual differences are nurtured; information is not suppressed or spun; the company adds value to employees, rather than merely extracting it from them; the organization stands for something meaningful; the work itself is intrinsically rewarding; and there are no stupid rules. The ideal organization makes explicit efforts to transcend the dominant currents in its culture.

Most of the other literature talks on similar lines. Obviously, there would be many views, with as many shades of gray, on this subject.

Ravindranath Thakur has also spoken of a similar feeling in his poem:

With this, we are now ready to  move on to what Devdutt Patanaik has to say with regards to The Perfect Organization, which he has prefixed with a metaphor of Raas- Leela, from the perspective of Indian mythology in Segment 3 of the episode 10, Finale, The Indian Way of Doing Business

As we’re talking about this difference between Indian creativity, the jugaad and the Western Systems’ predictability, Kishore Biyani quite beautifully articulates the difference in belief and behavior in the west and the East. Let us listen to him –

What is the model one should adopt? I think we need to create a blend wherein processes and systems can be driven out of the Western Way but the software side of dealing with human beings, with consumers, with organizational behavior, I think we need an Indian model of learning development, and probably leadership.

This brings us back to the very first question that we started this series with -i.e. is there an Indian way of doing business, a way that blends the Western and the Eastern way of doing things, the way that blends the process and the people focus.

To understand this, we have to go back into a little bit of history of management science. 300 years ago a great revolution took place in Europe. Until then Europe was controlled by the king, the monarchy and the church, the theocracy. Their will was the law. Then a whole bunch of people came and said that it can’t work like this, that an institution of church and Kings cannot just decide what is right and what is wrong. The right and wrong has to be defined by logic. This is where Voltaire came into the picture and the Renaissance took place.  Then Hegel and Newton and the other scientists and thinkers came onto the center stage. New inventions took place, the Industrial Revolution took place. All these was based on reason. It was called the Age of Reason and the age of Industrial Revolution. Everything had to be logical, rational and real. The management science is a product of this churning, of that way of thinking. But somewhere along the line, we assumed that what came from this thought was universal, because it is logical

The problem comes now, when these ideas came to the East, be it China or India, they were imported and imposed. However, in the 1970s something very interesting happened. A whole set of thinkers emerged again who were called post-modern thinkers, who said that what we assumed to be logical is a function of culture. This is where I feel mythology has a lot to add to management. The management emerged from the desire for creating an objective reality which is absolute, perfect and independent of human beings. I am saying that that is one half of the brain – the left brain. One has to pay attention to the other half of the brain, the right brain, which has been ignored and rejected three hundred years ago. The right half of the brain which says that people are individuals and every individual has a subjective reality. Respect and appreciate that subjective reality, otherwise conflict will happen.

I have a final question to you in this season of this series of Business Sutra. Is there the embodiment of an organization anywhere in mythology? Does mythology talk about the perfect Organization, the perfect business, the perfect enterprise?

Yes, it does.  Why does an organization exist? An organization exists because we can’t cope with the forest, the wild nature. The wild nature frightens us, we want to feel safe and secure. Therefore, the human beings created an organization. However, the problem with organizations is that an organizations is made up of domesticated people. We domesticate the wildest in an organization’s ways and means. However, we don’t like the domestication because we want to be ourselves, as we are born free and we want to live free lives. So we are trying to negotiate a path between the forest and the organization, between being wild and being domestic.

This is best represented by Krishna’s Raas Leela. What is the Raas-Leela? Raas-Leela is a dance which takes place in the forest – a place of fear. It takes place at night. It takes place outside the village, which means outside the organization. So, there is no organization there and yet everybody is participating in the Raas- Leela is completely unafraid. They are dancing and having a grand time.

In this perfect organization, they form a circle, which means there is an organization there and they are all in a circle – equidistant from the leader who treats them equally, each one feels special. Krishna in the center and these are the Gopis dancing around him in this wild forest, not afraid at all. There is no reason for them to be there They were bound by custom, law, systems, processes or obligations. They are there of their own free will and yet complying in creating this perfect circle. Nobody is coming in and disturbing the circle. In fact if one does so, then Krishna disappears. This is the fear.

So what are we saying if the forest is the marketplace can my leader be like Krishna, who gives me complete freedom to do what I want and yet I voluntarily aligning to the system. It means that where I do 100 percent, come on time and go on time, not because I am obliged by a contract but with passion from within, with devotion (Bhakti). That is the core of an influence to do it with integrity and with devotion not because Allah tells me to do so.

Can we achieve that?  Well, that is the Promised Land of India.

So even if a ‘perfect’ organization provides every individual to seek his /her own way to align with the organization’s purpose and strategic direction. In real practice, there is bound to be variations of the approach of an individual, in the course of changing context of the organization. If we believe that wealth needs to be chased, the workplace becomes a rana-bhoomi—a battleground of investors, regulators, employers, employees, vendors, competitors and customers; if we believe that wealth needs to be attracted, the workplace becomes a ranga-bhoomi—a playground where everyone is happy. It is function of as is your belief, so is your behavior and so is your (way of doing) business – your own blend of objective reality with your oen subjective reality.

With this we end our segment-by-segment discussions on different aspects of Business Sutra, as told by Devdutt Pattanaik. We will formally conclude our present series in the next episode, wherein we will take peep at a few of the talks that Devdutt Pattnaik has had delivered after the publication of the book Business Sutra.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

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Devdutt Pattanaik - Business Sutra

Business Sutra |10. 2| Jugaad – Good or Bad?

Business Sutra |10| Finale : The Indian Way of Doing Business

We have covered nine episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The final episode explores Indianness. Devdutt Pattanaik believes that Indian ideas need to be seen through a fresh post-post-modern lens. The post-post-modern lens looks at things in context appreciating the subjective realities of Indians and recognizing it as being different from those of other people. It is of value in some situations but not in all. Segment 1 took up the subject of destiny v/s desire.

Business Sutra |10. 2| Jugaad – Good or Bad?

Financial Times defines Jugaad as:

Jugaad (a word taken from Hindi which captures the meaning of finding a low-cost solution to any problem in an intelligent way) is a new way to think constructively and differently about innovation and strategy. Jugaad innovation has a long-lasting tradition in India but is also widespread in the rest of the so-called Bric countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and numerous other emerging economies. Jugaad is about extending our developed world understanding of entrepreneurial spirit in the traditional Schumpeterian style (Joseph Schumpeter was the Austrian economist known as the prophet of innovation).

Jugaad means thinking in a frugal way and being flexible, which, in turn, requires the innovator or entrepreneur to adapt quickly to often unforeseen situations and uncertain circumstances in an intelligent way.

Intelligence in this context “isn’t about seeking sophistication or perfection by over-engineering products, but rather about developing a ‘good-enough’ solution that gets the job done”. (Radjou et al., 2012, p. 109 ff.)

And to reposition the question ‘Whether it is Good or Bad?’, I will pick up a paragraph from Manu Joseph’s article, “’Jugaad’, India’s most-overrated idea” that would set the stage to listen to what Devdutt Patanaik has to say on the subject.

‘The existence of jugaad is merely the evidence that the circumstances of a society are so bad that its smart people are doing what smart people in other civilizations do not have to do…There is an argument that such humble innovations can solve problems no one else but the poor want to solve. But then India holds enduring proof that giant capitalistic market forces that throw up accidental solutions are more beneficial to the poor than jugaad, or humble altruistic research. For instance, Media Lab Asia, the pious short-lived collaboration between MIT Media Lab and the Indian government, worked on a range of technology to improve the lives of the poor….In the end, the problems were solved by BlackBerry, Apple and Google, giant corporations that thought big and believed in having extravagant budgets for innovation.’

Oh, we have two divergent views! And, possibly, we have well-meaning, smart and sincere people lined up in both camps.

Now, let us see what Devdutt Patanaik has to say with regards to Jugaad – The Indian Way of Doing Business in Segment 2 of the episode 10, Finale, The Indian Way of Doing Business

A recent feature on management practices in The Economist said Indians often say frugal innovation as their distinctive contribution to management’s thinking. They point to the National tradition of jugaad, meaning roughly making do with what you have and never giving up and cite many examples of ordinary Indians solving seemingly insoluble problems.

You mentioned an interesting thing when you said it is our strength and our weakness. Is it good or is it bad?

Again, the answer is maybe, but you see the word Juguaad is a North Indian word. When you use the word, there is a sense implicit in the word, a mischief, a prank. There’s something not right about that word. It has negative connotation, and yet when the word Juguaad is used in the eastern parts of the country, it carries a little different meaning. For example, when my mother would use the word Jugaadu, she didn’t really mean it in the same way as you say it in Hindi. She would mean it in the form of a resourceful person. A juguaadu is both a responsible person and a person who is able to go through the cracks, between the lines and find his way. He can improvise. He is able to innovate. So it depends on the situation and depends on the outcome. If the outcome is favorable, then it is good. If the outcome doesn’t favor, we say it is bad.

The problem with the mindset of a Juguaad is that nothing can be taken for granted. It doesn’t allow for planning, it doesn’t allow for systems to be constructed. So, you suddenly feel lost in a system that everybody is improvising. You are not sure what is happening out there. This is a negative part of the Juguaad mindset. The good part is that it’s more about relationships it’s more about people. It is about people feeling powerful, of saying that no matter what the situation is, no matter what the odds are, no matter what the scarcity is, we will figure a way out.

You have listed an equal number of pros and cons. So, will Jugaad take us forward or will it hold us back?

It is who we are. Whether we harness it and take us forward. If you do not harness it, if you wish it away, it won’t go away. It will always be there. The question is do we consider it as a factor when we are designing our cities, when we’re making our plans, when we’re making our business plans. We, sometimes, forget that as Indians, by nature of who we are. Rather than looking down upon and wishing it away and hoping to sort of condition and decondition Indians to make them something different. Let us see this as an attribute and turn it into a strength, which sometimes we don’t.

Can you really design something for people who are more creatively driven, and therefore, more unpredictable? It is considered difficult to do that. A system requires predictability. So, it becomes very tough to harness unpredictable creativity to create systems.

This is a very good point. It is about predictability. When you need predictability, you talk about processes and systems. But, in a country like India, where everything is unpredictable, or they make it so, people have always relied on how to create the innovative solution. That is the journey that we will have to undertake in the next 10 – 20 years, as India becomes a more important country.

Let us look at examples. We can focus on results rather than on methods. This is one way of looking at it. The other method could be you know what 80 percent will be as it is defined by process, but 20 percent will be allowed for human freedom, for Jugaad. Multinational organizations define everything to the last detail, because we almost don’t trust the human intelligence.

You always need a defined manual. If it does not exist, then people can’t function.

Somewhere along the line, we believe the processes will force people to have integrity. But the fact is, integrity has nothing to do with the processes.

The segment seems not to be normative when choosing between the Jugaadu-way of doing things or systemically doing the things. However, it does unequivocally state that integrity, or voluntary commitment to the organization’s vision, will not come in simply by the defined processes or system. The segment also makes a firm statement that Indian way of  doing business does need to be better aligned with standard, global, way of doing things.

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the concluding, 3rd, segment, ‘Raas Leea – The Perfect Organization’ of 10th Episode, the Finale, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

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Business Sutra |10.1| Destiny vs. Desire

Business Sutra |10| Finale : The Indian Way of Doing Business

We have covered nine episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The final episode explores Indianness. Somewhere along the line, Indians have lost faith in themselves that there is wisdom in India and there is much to learn from Indian beliefs and customs. Somewhere along the line, we have allowed ourselves to become either defensive or apologetic. Devdutt Pattanaik believes that Indian ideas need to be seen through a fresh post-post-modern lens. The modern lens is very judgmental and looks at traditional thought in terms of right and wrong. The post-modern lens looks at all thoughts are being perspectives and does not respect any thought, be it traditional or otherwise. The post-post-modern lens looks at things in context appreciating the subjective realities of Indians and recognizing it as being different from those of other people. It is of value in some situations but not in all.

Business Sutra |10.1| Destiny vs. Desire

Colin’s dictionary definesIndianness’ as ‘perception or feeling of ‘being an Indian’ socially, culturally and spiritually.’

As we try to scan through the available literature on the net, we find that ‘Indianness’ is discussed in social, cultural or spiritual terms. These aspects do play a key role in building up the individual and collective beliefs, which, in turn, shape the behavior that leads to business-related decisions and actions. However, studying those material will not help us much in terms what the mythology has to say about ‘Indianness’ that would help us to understand the way Indians do business

So, we will straightway Segment 1 – Destiny v/s Desire – of the episode 10, Finale, The Indian Way of Doing Business to see what Devdutt Pattanaik brings up to the discussion table. .

The famous Indian head shake – not Yes, not No but May Be….

Always looking for a way out…

Scant regard for rules or structures…..fatalistic, maybe even laid-back – a sheltered attitude and a jugaadu approach.

So who are we?

Who are we? If we are people who believe in multiple life theories, if we are people who believe in destiny because of our multiple lives and our actions of previous lives lays out for us what is to come in the next life, then are we also people who are fatalistic and therefore accepting on the good side but very laid back on the bad side?  Why are we not as driven as the West?

For this I have to tell you two stories.

Let us begin first with the story of a lady called Gautami. Gautami is a widow and she has only one son. One day the son goes into the forest and he is bitten by a snake. He dies and the snake is caught by hunter Arjunaka. The hunter comes to Gautami and says I have caught the snake, would you kill it yourself or do I punish the snake? Gautami says, no, let it go. Punishing it will not bring my son back.  It is not the snake that killed my son, it is the destiny, the karma, which killed my son.  My son had a karmic baggage which determined the time of his death and the circumstances of his death. The snake was but an instrument, so there is no point being angry with the snake. This is classical fatalism, surrendering to the truth of the moment. This is belief in destiny or karma.

On the other side we have another story. This is the story of Savitri, who is a princess who chooses to marry a woodcutter destined to die a year. She says I want to marry this man even though the astrologers say that he is going to die in a year’s time. I love him and still would marry him. She marries him. On the day one year later, when he dies she follows the god of death as the god of death, Yam, is taking her husband’s soul to the land of the dead. She follows Yam. So, Yam is irritated and says that why are you following me? Better take care of the body of your husband. To which she replies that body is but a vessel, the real thing which matters is in your hand I want it back. Yam then says that according to the rule books your husband’s time was over, so surrender to the reality and go back. She refuses to surrender and keeps following him to the point when he gets exasperated and says, fine, I will give you three wishes, you may ask anything but the life of your husband. Savitri says her first wish is to let my father-in-law’s fortunes be restored. The second wish is that my father’s get an heir to his throne, since I am the only child, but being a daughter, I have married, so there is nobody in his life to take his care. The third wish she requests is  let her bear Satyvan’s son. Yama says so be it to all three wishes and moves on to the land of the dead. After some time he finds Savitri still following him. So he says, I promised you three things and I have given you those three things, so you must go back now. Savitri says, I agree and thank you very much for that, but the last wish was I should be the mother of my husband’s son. How can I bear his sons when he’s dead? Yama bursts out laughing and says oh you clever lady. You are not only determined but you are also clever and you are also generous because first you gave a wish to your father-in-law, then to your father and only then to yourself. So you deserve you the life of your husband back.

In mythology, you have the character of a woman who overturns the most ultimate fatalistic thing, which is death, and brings her husband back from the dead. The impossible happens. Where does it come from? It comes from what is called her desire. So, desire is another force or will or Kama. So karma on one side and karma on the other side. Savitri’s story on one side and Gautami’a story on the other. These two are the two extremes of Indian thought.

So, are we more like Guatami or are we more like Savithri?

This, again has to be explained in the form of a story. In the Upanishads, there is a very famous sage, Yagnavalkya. When he is asked the same question – what is life? Who are we? Is it about destiny or is it about desire? He says visualize yourself traveling on a chariot, which has two wheels. One is destiny, the karma and the other is desire, or the Kama. If you depend too much on one wheel, you will go around in circles. Depending on the situation, we depend, or surrender to the destiny, or, succumb to your desire as you make your journey through life.

That means we need to believe in one or the other based on the context, on the situation.

Like the times, like the incarnation – जैसा युग वैसा अवतार. As is situation so should be action.

How does this reflect in our business practices?

Just talk to people who do business with Indians. You will notice how exasperated they are! Typically the people from Europe and America who are binary thinkers, want a yes or no as an answer. Indians love saying May Be, Mostly, Probably..

शायद (perhaps)

Indians tend to say that because they are always thinking that there is perhaps a better way out. This is the power of the Indians and the weakness of the Indian at the same time. We are constantly thinking contextually. We do not believe in standardized answers, we want everything customized.

There is a beautiful word that describes this exact philosophy in business.

What is that?

Jugaad.

This segment essentially states that, in order to keep moving ahead, depending on the circumstances, life needs to be balanced between desire and the destiny. However, for the Indians, this opens up a way to keep pondering over -which one is better than the other, in the given context?  More often than not, he would keep improvising, in his Jugaadu ways.

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the 2nd segment, ‘Jugaad, Good or Bad?’ of 10th Episode, the Finale, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

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Business Sutra |9.3| Caste: The Death of Brahmin

Business Sutra |9| Discrimination

We have covered eight episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The subject of Episode 9 is Discrimination. In order to decode this complex problem, Devdutt Pattanaik takes up gender discrimination in the 1st segment and creation of hierarchy in 2nd segment.

Business Sutra |9.3| Caste: The Death of Brahmin

Let us first quickly look at what the current (western) literature has to say on the subject of today’s subject. Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle which often includes an occupation, status in a hierarchy, customary social interaction, and exclusion. It is an extreme evolution of a system of legally-entrenched social classes, also endogamous and hereditary, such as that of feudal Europe. Although caste systems exist in various regions, its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of Indian society into rigid social groups, with roots in India’s ancient history and persisting until today; it is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside India. In biology, the term is applied to role stratification in eusocial animals like ants and termites, though the analogy is imperfect as these also involve extremely stratified reproduction. Racial discrimination refers to discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race. Policies of racial segregation may formalize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalised and also it means facing injustice. The Myth of Race – The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea – Robert Wald Sussman : Biological races do not exist—and never have. This view is shared by all scientists who study variation in human populations. Yet racial prejudice and intolerance based on the myth of race remain deeply ingrained in Western society. In his powerful examination of a persistent, false, and poisonous idea, Robert Sussman explores how race emerged as a social construct from early biblical justifications to the pseudo-scientific studies of today….The Myth of Race traces the origins of modern racist ideology to the Spanish Inquisition, revealing how sixteenth-century theories of racial degeneration became a crucial justification for Western imperialism and slavery. In the nineteenth century, these theories fused with Darwinism to produce the highly influential and pernicious eugenics movement. Believing that traits from cranial shape to raw intelligence were immutable, eugenicists developed hierarchies that classified certain races, especially fair-skinned “Aryans,” as superior to others. These ideologues proposed programs of intelligence testing, selective breeding, and human sterilization—policies that fed straight into Nazi genocide. Sussman examines how opponents of eugenics, guided by the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas’s new, scientifically supported concept of culture, exposed fallacies in racist thinking….Although eugenics is now widely discredited, some groups and individuals today claim a new scientific basis for old racist assumptions. Pondering the continuing influence of racist research and thought, despite all evidence to the contrary, Sussman explains why—when it comes to race—too many people still mistake bigotry for science. We have a few good videos on the subject that has Myth of Race as the key phrase: The Myth of Race and Public Policy – FDU trustee Dr. Franklyn Jenifer discusses race, genetics and public policy at a lecture at the College at Florham. “When you say the word race, you should know what you’re talking about,” says Dr. Franklyn Jenifer. People can “walk across campus or any city and pick out race, no problem,” he says. But he contends there’s a difference between race and genetics. Jenifer discusses both “folk” and “scientific” theories of race. Scientifically, Jenifer says, when looking at genomes no one can tell blacks and whites apart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06MhgoJb-5k The Myth of Race | Sharad Paul | TEDxAuckland – Sharad Paul argues that the modern perception of race is wrong and that science and the story of Vitamin D and Folic acid tell their own story about race and skin colour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v0ykTrTQEc The Myth of Race | Melissa Weise | TEDxHolyokeCC – We talk about race as if we are certain what it is. What if race was simply a myth society creates? This talk addresses the meaning of both myth and race. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew62Xq0GMBI In one of his articles, Beyond Hinduism: Is caste a religious or a regional problem?, written about 5 years after the telecast of our present episode, Devdutt Pattanaik has enlisted the documentary back-ups to establish the strong presence of racism (a.k.a. caste-based discrimination) that is neither solely on account of religion nor on account of cultural DNA of different regions. He concludes that to search for an answer  to this issue in mythology is like looking for the ring lost in this dark corner of the street under that distant lamppost where there is light. So, it is time now to look at what Indian mythology has to on the subject, as interpreted by Devudtt Pattanaik, in Segment 3 – Caste – The Death of Brahmin – of the episode 9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67PJ4s2jadM

If I was to use this as an analogy for India’s caste system and if I was to use the politically incorrect word, the Brahmin, right now. Brahmin means the thinker. Mycology has over thousands of years given the Brrahmin an exalted position in society. While laying down that everybody else is equally important somehow the Brahmin has emerged more important than everybody else. How did this get embedded and ingrained in our thinking, to the extent that it has became a rigid caste system and not a system which believed that each one has its own importance and his own place, that each one is important at a particular point in time?

Let us separate the reality of society from the thoughts that mythology is trying to communicate, what the society is being informed by a set of stories and how much is actually heard. There is clearly a delta between what is being communicated and what is being heard and imbibed.

Let us keep that as a hypothesis. Let us accept that we know that our society has almost dehumanizing practices – denying people water, the touch. There is no way on earth whereby such practices cane be justified.

The word Brahmin means someone who facilitates the discovery of Brahman. This word comes from the Upanishads. It basically means the infinite potential of a human being to outgrow his animal instincts and discover the divinity. This infinite potential all of us possess. Every human being possesses this.

Brahman is the quality.

He who facilitates this journey was called a Brahmin. It is also essential that this is separated from another word Brahma. Brahma is the word for creator. Please remember in India we don’t worship the Creator. What did he create that he is unworthy of worship.

You have told us this in a previous episode – the rat race.

The rat race is a competitive spirit which is suitable for animals fighting over resources but not for human being if they aim to outgrow their animal instinct. This is the model.

Now let’s look at Ramayan and Mahabharat.

In the Ramayan, the villain is Ravan. It is repeatedly stressed that Ravan is a Brahmin, the thinker. We have to be careful here with the use of the word, Brahmin, because in India today it is a political issue. So let us make it clear to our viewers that we’re using Brahman as a substitute for the word thinker. Brahmin is a thinker. He is supposed to come from the family of thinkers. He has got 10 heads, which means that he is capable of thinking much more than most other people. He is supposed to direct people in this direction of outgrowing the animal instinct. But, his behavior is competitive and he celebrates his animal instincts. So, Rama takes up his destruction, which otherwise is considered to be a greater sin. However, that is what the scripture is actually showing-that this is unacceptable behavior. But Ram still celebrates the idea of the thinker. So, after killing Ravan, Ram performs an act of penance, saying that I respect the idea of Brahman, but not the person of Brahmin, definitely not what the person has become.

In Mahabharat, you have a teacher called Drona. He is a Brahmin. He creates students who fight with each other over property. What kind of a thinker is this? What kind of a teacher is this? Drona is attached to his son, Ashwatthama. He is so attached to his son there that he justifies the entire life being devoted to his son, taking care of his son, earn money for his son. He gives tuitions for his son, he builds empire for his son, He sees a family breaking itself apart in fighting a great war. But he still does not feel there’s anything wrong. He is the teacher of the Kauravas and Pandavas and what has he taught them has led to potentially a great massacre. Yet, he is not ashamed of it. He feels almost sounding like a professional, saying I did what I did and they are responsible for it. So, in the battle-field, Krishna says that Drona is so attached to his son, he is so obsessed with the stuff that if we use the son against him and tell him that Ashwathama is dead, Drona will not wait to find out whether that Ashwathama that is dead is his son or an elephant. Drona lays down his weapons and says that I will not fight with my son dead. He just assumes his son is dead Thereupon he is beheaded.

This is a recurring theme in mythology. Brahma’s head is cut off by Shiva in mythology because he creates the competitive world. Ravan is killed by Rama. Drona’s death is sanctioned by Krishna. These thinkers, the Brahmins, have strayed on the wrong path. The thinker is taking the society in the wrong direction, for which he shall not be forgiven. Any leader, any designer or any strategist of an organization is to take human beings to their higher potential, not to the base values.

So, scientifically, neither gender nor the race would justify stratification based on such factors into strong discriminatory grounds. But, the immutable care animal instinct – survival at any cost- of the human nature has hardened it as over the years as the discriminatory practice. So much so, that, now, when efforts are made to undo such discriminations, the remedial measures also are seen to breed the ground for future discrimination. That is THE learning to take home – discrimination is inevitable, we can only try to make its impact as positive as is possible.

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the three segments of 10th Episode, the Finale, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

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Business Sutra |9.2| Creation of Hierarchy

Business Sutra |9| Discrimination

We have covered five episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The subject of Episode 9 is Discrimination. In order to decode this complex problem, Devdutt Pattanaik takes up gender discrimination in the 1st segment.

Business Sutra |9.2| Creation of Hierarchy

With the help of Wikipedia, we first take a quick look at the basics relating to the term: Hierarchy:

The definition of hierarchical is something that is organized in terms of rank, or where rigid distinctions of power are identified and complied with.

A hierarchy (from the Greek hierarkhia, “rule of a high priest”, from hierarkhes, “president of sacred rites”) is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being “above”, “below”, or “at the same level as” one another. Hierarchy is an important concept in a wide variety of fields, such as philosophy, mathematics, computer science, organizational theory, systems theory, and the social sciences (especially political philosophy).

And we will now look at what we can see what the terms Social Hierarchy or Organization Hierarchy should tell us:

Social hierarchy: A fundamental aspect of social organization that is established by fighting or display behavior and results in a ranking of the animals in a group. Social, or dominance, hierarchies are observed in many different animals, including insects, crustaceans, mammals, and birds. In many species, size, age, or sex determines dominance rank. Dominance hierarchies often determine first or best access to food, social interactions, or mating within animal groups… Social hierarchies provide a means by which animals can live in groups and exploit resources in an orderly manner. In particular, food can be distributed among group members with little ongoing conflict. Another motivation for group living is mutual defense. Even though subordinates receive less food or have fewer opportunities to mate, they may have greatly increased chances of escaping predation.

A hierarchical organization is an organizational structure where every entity in the organization, except one, is subordinate to a single other entity. This arrangement is a form of a hierarchy. In an organization, the hierarchy usually consists of a singular/group of power at the top with subsequent levels of power beneath them.

We have one article which sounds nearer to the title of the topic of discussion today:

Why Hierarchies ThriveHarold J. Leavitt – Back in 1989, Peter Drucker predicted that the businesses of the future would be modeled on a symphony like Mahler’s Eighth∗, where a single conductor leads more than 1,000 musicians and singers without any intermediaries or assistants. A decade later, Gifford Pinchot asserted that hierarchical organizations “based on dominance and submission” would soon be replaced by communities that are more appropriate to our high-tech times and postmodern selves… But the truth is that in almost any large organization, the boss’s whim, no matter how absurd, becomes law. Hierarchy remains the basic structure of most, if not all, large, ongoing human organizations. Many of the large organizational “dinosaurs” have demonstrated impressive adaptability. More important, though, hierarchies deliver real practical and psychological value. On a fundamental level, they don’t just enslave us, they also fulfill our deep needs for order and security. And they get big jobs done. It seems more sensible to accept the reality that hierarchies are here to stay and work hard to reduce their highly noxious byproducts, while making them more habitable for humans and more productive as well.

So, it is time now to look at what Indian mythology has to on the subject, as interpreted by Devudtt Pattanaik, in Segment 2 – Creation of Hierarchy – of the episode 9.

If, as per mythology, male and female both are equal where the gender discrimination comes from? If genders were used only to represent ideas, if the male form was used to represent mind and leadership and the female to represent matter and organizations then who vitiated this atmosphere of equality and decided that one was lesser than the other.

Inequality is a human construct. In nature everybody is equal. Nature treats everybody equally. If you are fit, you will survive, if you’re not fit you will not survive.  So nature is the great equalizer. The bowl of rice treats man the same way as it will treat a woman.  It will satisfy the hunger of the hungry man as it will satisfy the hunger of hungry woman.  So nature is the great equalizer, but human beings have constructed culture. Now, while we created culture why did we create culture: to be better than animals, to be more involved. In the process, something went wrong. The animals need to dominate, and so do humans, too.

So we have not fully given up or shared our animal skin?

Yes, so to speak. But why do animals want to dominate? They want to dominate to survive. Because if they dominate they have access to more food, etc. Why do humans want to dominate? Because they want for the survival of their imagination, their imaginary self that they have where they want to feel more important than others. Therefore, what we do in culture is that we create structures which give one group of people a more dominant position than others.

What are the methods to create this?  It is what we call a pyramid. We create a pyramid, say on the basis of color, or gender or birth…

Does mythology give sanction to discrimination of whether it is gender discrimination or cast based or birth based ,discrimination based on where you were born or how you were born or who you were born to?

As I have said repeatedly, in every show of mine, mythology is not prescriptive, it is reflective.  What does it reflect upon? It reflects that any society anywhere in the world, not just Indian society or African society, society of the Anglo-Indians, that of the Native Americans, or of the Europeans or for that matter, that of Australians, any society in the world that has a culture will have a hierarchy. There is a purusha sukta, which comes in the Rigveda one of the earliest hymns written in India which describes the organization, any organization whether it is an organization like company a corporate organization or a social organization, every organization is actually an organism and the organism has many parts. Each part is unique, in its identity and is different from the other part. It recognizes inequality because the inequality depends on the measure that you have. If I measure people on the basis of intellect, some people have more intellect some people have less intellect. If I measure society on the basis of emotions, some people are more emotional, some people less emotional. If I measure people on the basis of physical strength then some people have more physical strength and some people have less physical strength. Now which is better? Which of these three parameters is considered a superior?

More.. always..

But more of which one?

It depends on what the need of the hour.

That’s right – on the need of the hour. So, the mythology, and in Hindu mythology, the Rig Veda’s the purusha sukta acknowledges this fact. It acknowledges that there exists a hierarchy in every organization. We may use of the term it as not hierarchy, let us call that as difference. There are two different words.

An organism, as an organism, has a head, a torso, hands and feet.  The intellectual portion was considered the head, the thinker or the thinking part. The part that gets things done or the planner or the executive part was the hand. There was the part which focused on the value, the financial value of an organization which measured things constantly, where things are checked; you could call that the control systems. There are that actually got you moving from point A to point B, without which there would be no movement – that is the labor or it could be the people who execute. So you can look at this as a corporate organization – you have the design cell which designs and strategizes, you have the planning cell, you have the control cell and you have the execute cell. If one part functions better than the other the organization will not succeed. You need every part to work together.

Now, what happens is somewhere along the line one part takes greater importance than the other. So imagine a company where the finance was more powerful and the HR is ignored. It will be very strange organization, where everything is about control control control and nothing about human beings. Imagine the company where the strategic department takes all the credit, then the implementation will be terrible. That’s the biggest problem of the 21st century. If you read all the books in the market, they talk about implementation. If only implementation is focused on and strategy is not looked at, then long term will suffer. If there is strategy and implementation but no planning, there will be complete chaos in the organization.

So every part is important. But the fact is differences are there. This is where the problem starts, when one part gets more importance than the other. Then the differences gives rise to hierarchy.  We must always remember that acknowledgement of difference does not mean that it is a sanction for discrimination.

For various reasons, hierarchy has existed in the human ecosystem, as narrated so succinctly in The George Orwell’s Animal Farm’s quote – “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”  As with many other things, the human beings have abused it. It may be very slight, benign or need-based to begin with, as narrated in Aldous Huxley’s The Brave New World. But over the years that abuse has taken the fully negative form and the hierarchy has become the discrimination. So much so, that today, more one tries to remove that discrimination, a discrimination of other type crops up on the other side.

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the third segment Caste: The Death of Brahmin of 9th Episode, the Discrimination, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

Mahler: Symphony No. 8 / Bernstein · Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

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Business Sutra |9.1| Gender: Is Man superior to Woman?

Business Sutra |9| Discrimination

We have covered five episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

Episode 9 takes up the subject of Discrimination. What came first? Gender discrimination or mythology? Does mythology sanction gender discrimination or is mythology a reflection of gender discrimination? The problem with symbols is that people look at them literally and so miss the whole point. Mythology are symbols communicating an idea. Male form is therefore ‘signifier’ of an idea and not what is ‘signified’. Same holds true for female forms. When Durga kills a male demon, it is not about women killing men. The image communicates a deeper idea that is often missed as we are in a hurry for a simplistic convenient ‘sign post’. Devdutt Pattanaik has tackled this great problem of discrimination w.r.t. mythological studies in this episode.

Business Sutra |9.1| Gender: Is Man superior to Woman?

Discrimination is defined as a different treatment i.e. treating a person or particular group of people differently, especially in a worse way from the way in which you treat other people, because of their skin colour, sex, sexuality, etc..

Discrimination has one more meaning, too, which is recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another. For the  present of this series, we will exclude this aspect from the discussion.

To be specific, Gender Discrimination is a situation in which someone is treated less well because of their sex, usually when a woman is treated less well than a man.

This can be looked at from two angles: Gender equity means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. … UNICEF says gender equality “means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections.

The Gender Bias can be conscious or unconscious, and may manifest in many ways, both subtle and obvious. In many countries, eliminating gender bias is the basis of many laws, including those that govern workplaces, family courts, and even the voting booth. Despite these efforts, many legal and political scholars argue that total gender parity remains a far off goal, one which many regions are not remotely close to reaching.

Professor Mary Beard’s latest book[1] Women & Power: A Manifesto is a short, sharp analysis of women in the West and their ongoing struggles for a voice in the public domain. Based on two lectures delivered in 2014 and 2017, Beard chronicles some of the major obstacles women continue to face, framing her analysis through the lens of the legacies of ancient Greece and Rome.

We may be able to find many scholarly articles that deal with the status of women in the Western Mythology. I have selected Mark Cartwright’s three articles as representative ones.

  • The article, Women in Ancient Greece, states that in the ancient Greek society the women had few rights in comparison to male citizens. Unable to vote, own land, or inherit, a woman’s place was in the home and her purpose in life was the rearing of children. However, in contrast to the lot of most women, some professional women, exceptionally and exceptional, rose above the limitations of Greek society and gained lasting acclaim as poets (Sappho of Lesbos), philosophers (Arete of Cyrene), leaders (Gorgo of Sparta and Aspasia of Athens), and physicians (Agnodice of Athens).  Considering their limited role in actual society there is a surprisingly strong cast of female characters in Greek religion and mythology. Whether these fictional characters had any bearing on the role of women in real life is an open question, as is the more intriguing one of what did Greek women themselves think of such male-created role-models? Perhaps we will never know.
  • In an another article – The Role of Women in the Roman World – Mark Cartwright concludes that Roman males did not think women their equal but neither did they hate them. Perhaps the ambivalent attitude of Roman men to their women is best summarized by the words of Metellus Numidicus who was quoted in a speech by Augustus when the emperor addressed the assembly, ‘nature has made it so that we cannot live with them particularly comfortably, but we can’t live without them at all..
  • Moving towards the East, The Women In Ancient Egypt, in consonance with ma’at, one of the central values of ancient Egyptian civilization, were the equals of men in every area except occupations.

As we see two opposing stands – one in the practice and second in the idealism – in the present times, the western mythology seems to have two almost opposing stance in so far as discrimination to female gender is concerned. As we move towards east, Egyptian culture takes a balanced view. So, it is time now to look at what Indian mythology has to on the subject, as interpreted by Devudtt Pattanaik, in Segment 1 – Is Man Superior to Woman? – of the episode 9.

A symbol of good fortune is a goddess and among the most revered gods is a cowherd and a charioteer. We love and worship them no matter what their gender or caste and yet India is infamous for the persecution of its women and an entrenched caste system.

How does mythology see gender?

The mythology is subjective truth which is communicated through stories, symbols and rituals. Have you ever ate an éclair chocolate?

Yes, often.

What is the best part of an éclair chocolate?

The middle.

The middle, right. So just think of that burst of chocolate that you get that is the idea. Now if I want to communicate an idea I need a form. The chocolate is the idea and the caramel outside is the form. A form is of two types – there is a male form and there is a female form. Male form communicates one idea and the female form communicates another idea. That is how male forms and female forms are seen in mythology. It is trying to explain an idea. Now what is that idea? The idea talks of the relationship of the mind and the world around us so mind and world. The mind is represented using a male form and the world is represented using a female form. Let me explain this in form of a story.

Shiva is the ascetic whose eyes are shut and when his eyes are shut the world is a desolate place. The Sun does not shine, it is cold the wind doesn’t blow, the water is still, it is snow everywhere. Nothing grows, nothing moves. In this world in front of him is the goddess Kali, she is wild, naked and bloodthirsty; her hair is flowing in all directions and she’s dancing on top of him. If you see the images of Kali, Shiva is lying still and she’s dancing on top of him. This is what happens to the world when one is indifferent to it, when one shuts oneself from the world. The world becomes wild when you are indifferent. The moment the God pays attention, his eyes open. Shiva becomes Shankara. Then the wild goddess who is Kali, becomes the gentle domestic goddess called Gouri. So the change in mind brings about the change in the world and this is expressed in the form of gender – male God, female God. So it is not about God and Goddess, but it is about mind and world.

So what you’re saying is the mind is represented through the male form and the world or matter is represented through the female form? These are only forms to represent ideas. I don’t mean to be a feminist because I really am NOT, but I would still like to ask the question – if mind is male and female as matter, is female subservient to male because matter is subservient to mind ?

First we must be very careful when we say mind is male. In fact, mind is represented by male. Representation and reality are two different things and this is the biggest mistake that people do when they read mythology. They mistake representation for reality. We are talking about representation of an idea. The idea is more important than the form in which it is represented. It is neither Shiva nor Shankara who are important as the idea of the mind. Similarly, Kali or Gauri are not as important as the idea of a relationship to the world. You cannot separate the mind and the world.

Now coming to the question you asked, is the world subservient to the mind? This is a chicken and egg situation.  Whether culture came first or the nature came first. It has to be obviously the nature. Nature is always first and culture comes after that. So the world / matter is from which comes the mind and from mind comes the matter. If this is to be represented by a male /female form, then it is from the female where the male came and from the male then came the female. So in Rigveda you have this famous line which says Daksha came from Aditi and Aditi came from Daksha, which means you cannot know what comes first. When you see the Ardhanarishwar image you have Shiva on one side and the Goddess on the other. One cannot be separated from the other, just as you cannot separate the mind from the world.

So my mind and my world are interdependent on each other. My mind is inside my world is outside. As is my mind so is my world. So if my mind is like Shiva and shut to the external world the world outside will become frightening like Kali. However, if my mind pays attention to the world as Shankara then the wild frightening goddess becomes the gently demure Gauri. That is what is being conveyed to the community, by using forms.

There is one thing that still troubles me about this – why is the mind represented through a male form? Why is the mind not represented through a female form? Why most of the leaders are male? Or, why are the leadership stories in our mythology told through the male form and not as much through the female form?

Two points here – first let’s see as the leader, then on the other side we have organization, represented as a female form. Now this question can be answered why mind is represented using a male form. The data shows that leaders are always represented using male forms and organization is always represented using female form. This is this divide based on patriarchy or it is based on physiology? I belong to the school which says it this is based on physiology not on patriarchy, because the storytellers of the mythology who created the narratives were interested in the idea. They were not interested in gender politics.

Let us look at this thing physiologically. The man creates life outside his body. Physiologically man doesn’t create life inside his body, whereas a woman creates life inside her body. So the male form lends itself to represent the leader because the leader cannot create wealth alone and within himself. He depends on the organization for creating the wealth. Within the organization he creates wealth. The female form lends itself to represent the organization because within the organization is created wealth as just as a woman creates a child within. So the female form was most useful in representing the organization. The trigger for wealth creation came from the leader but the actual embodiment of that wealth took place in the organization. Once the idea comes from the leader, the leader doesn’t matter. Then the organization that takes it over becomes more important than the leader. But can the organization exist independent of the leader? No. Can the leader exist independent of the organization? No. They are codependent on each other like the Ardhanarishwar image. As a result, there is no attempt to make one superior to the other.

There is no attempt to make superior than the other.

And that is the tragedy. The tragedy is people assume that mythology prescribes gender hierarchy. Mythology does not. There is gender hierarchy in society and then people look at mythology and say that here is from where it came. It is the other way round. Mythology speaks about codependency, it is society that unfortunately thinks of one being better than the other.

How and when the biological factors like physical strength or the time a female needs to nurture the offspring in the initial period have seeped into the gender hierarchy bias in the human society is a subject of detailed separate study. At this stage, we will only take note of the fact in the animal kingdom too, a male and female have different roles, physiologically. It is incumbent of the male to please the female for mating. However, even that has not been institutionalized in to a gender bias. And then, even in the human societies, there enough examples of matriarchy. Interestingly, these were (or is it, are?)   in the primitive cultures, rarely in a developed societal set-up? Are we supposed to get any message?

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the second segment Creation of Hierarchy of 9th Episode, the Discrimination, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

[1]  Mary Beard: Women in Power

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Business Sutra |8.3| Loyalty and Dharma

Business Sutra |8| Family Feuds

We have covered five episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The 1st episode presented to us the most visible form of the business – the corporation: its meaning, its purpose and its action perspective. In the 2nd episode Devdutt Pattanaik discusses Leadership: Role of the leader, Context of the leader and Leadership in different business cycles. The 3rd episode relates to the Business Ethics and Morals:  business ethics and dilemmas, relationship between owner and the organization  and The Right (Dharma) – the Ramayana way and the Mahabharata way. The 4th episode deals with Conflicts, of the Board and the CEO and that of the means vs. ends. The 5th episode takes unto the realm of Education, wherein Part 1 covered the basics of education to the (potential) leaders in Ram’s Education, Part 2 addressed the Knowledge Transfer to Next Gen and Part 3 dealt with the issue of student motivation.  The 6th episode has taken up the oft-discussed topic of ‘measurement’, wherein in the Part 1, What Can Be Measured, dealt with the definitive need for not ‘only measurement’, but for ‘also measurement’ too and Part 2 dealt with mutual importance and dependence of Objectives versus Subjective Reality, whereas Part 3 evaluates ‘What is Your Worth?’ from these measurements perspectives. The 1st segment – Nature is destroyed when culture is created – of 7th episode establishes the inverse relationship between Environment and the human development. 2nd segment – The Environment Strikes Back – describes what happens when human growth goes beyond the natural resources.

In the episode 8, Devdutt Pattnaik has picked up a very interesting subject of Family Feuds, beginning with Three pairs of brothers in segment 1, and then linking up it with Self and Self-Image in segment 2.

Business Sutra |8.3| Loyalty and Dharma

First let us look at two definitions of Loyalty:

Loyal. … Someone who is loyal is reliable and always true, like your trusty dog.Loyal comes from the Old French word loial which means something like “legal,” but if someone is only loyal to you because the law requires him to be, that’s not true loyalty, which should come from the heart, not a contract.

In the article, Loyalty Is Very Important To A Relationship !!! , Wally Horton states that, “Being loyal is defined as “Being faithful to one’s oath, engagements or obligations. Being faithful to one’s allegiance to a government or state or to a person conceived as imposing obligation”. This definition seems formal and obligatory. I suggest that loyalty is not an obligation imposed by outside influences, but internal moral characteristics and decisions that are given freely.”

Even as we do understand that loyalty is more of one’s volition, our mind conjures of phrases like Customer Loyalty, Supplier Loyalty or Employee Loyalty in the field of management practice. One would find a wide ranging literature on the psychological and managerial aspects of these loyalties as well benefits of having the loyal interested parties. We would have come across enough experiences in our own professional life where these loyalties have created, from ripples to storms, both positively and negatively.

So one can possibly connection of Loyalty with Family Feuds. But what has that do with previous episode presented Self and Self-Image – what we are and why we are – appears to be hazy. Our crucial senses become eager enough to turn to Segment 3 of the episode 8  to see what Devdutt Pattanaik has to present on the subject of Loyalty and Dharma and how does Loyalty links up with s subject of the present segment from the point of view of Indian mythology.

I’m curious. All the three instances, the stories that you’ve told us are of brothers warring over property. We agree that may not completely strictly be applicable in case of Ram and Bharat, Well, they didn’t quite war, but the rift between them which caused Ram to leave was property. What is the idea of brotherhood then? These are issues that are always going to plague us. Is Ram and Lakshman the ideal Brotherhood?

I think the scriptures are not interested in how ideal brothers should behave. It is about who you are. If you are okay then your relationship with your brother will be okay, then your relationship with the organization will be okay. You will then know how to behave in different situations because you have figured yourself out. The whole narration therefore focuses on the person who has figured himself out. In fact,  that is why there is a very interesting relationship between Rama and Lakshmana.

Why do you call it interesting? Lakshamana followed Rama every step of the way. Therefore, to some extent he was an ideal brother on comparison to Bharat. Bharat was willing to give up the kingdom or not rule and give up kingship and we wait for Ram to return.  Lakshman went a step ahead and said I will follow you always and live the same hardships that you do.

The question is we celebrate Lakshmana, He is such a good brother, a loyal brother, a loving brother. But does Ramayana celebrate him as such?

Doesn’t it?

Well, I have my doubts. How does Ram relate to Lakshmana? It is a very interesting narrative.

I thought that was as some as an older brother, who is very fond of his younger brother.

Fond, yes, but as an elder brother his job is to tell Lakshmana what is really important and loyalty is not really important. Where does loyalty come from? Does it come from an animal nature where brothers become territories? Or, is it coming from a human, or the potential divine, nature where we look beyond territoriality, where all human beings are my brothers; not just the one who is biologically connected to me.

So, was loyalty was a negative attribute of Lakshman?

Let us listen to a story and figure this out. It is never stated very explicitly. Mythology never states things explicitly but it implies things.

Let’s look at what happens to Lakshmana and Rams relationship after they return to Ayodhya. That reveals something very different. After Ram has become King and he IS the great king of Ayodhya. The story changes dramatically. The loyalty of Laxmana has been tested repeatedly based on conditions put by Ram. Why is Ram testing his loyalty? For instance, Rama takes one of the toughest decisions of his kingship when he decides to abandon Sita as his queen. It is a very complex narrative. But who does he tell to convey this message? Ram tells Lakshmana to convey this message to Sita, to take her to the forest and leave her there and then tell her not to come back, not to identify herself as my wife.

Why is he giving Laxmana this responsibility? Lakshmana always represented the average human being. He is a passionate man, he talks from his heart. Laxmana was obviously horrified with this decision. The elder brother still looks calm and composed. He tells Lakshamana just do this. Lakshman honors him, but nonetheless is angry with his brother. His loyalty is being tested. Is this the brother he respects?

Is this the brother he followed into the forest?

Is he really a great man he followed with in the forest? Why is he doing this?

Later we are told when Ram loses the only battle in his life to his children and Sita then after  goes back under the earth and the children come back to live with Ram. At this stage, the gods come to Ram and tell him that it is time for you to die. Ram says I have one more task, just one task to complete. I will tell you about it shortly. He then looks at Lakshmana and says I want solitude, I want the room to be shut and I want to stay alone. Lakshmana like a loyal brother says, don’t worry if anybody dares enter your chambers I will guard your chambers. If anybody dares to enter I will kill them. The moment the doors are shut, Rishi Durvasa comes in and tells that I want to meet Ram, now. Lakshman very respectfully submits that you can meet him now, because Ram has chosen to be in the solitude. Rishi Durvasa is known to be an angry sage. He looks at Lakshmana and says if you don’t let me meet Ram I will destroy the city of Ayodhya. now Lakshman is in a Dharma Sankat – at a make or break decision stage. He has to decide whether he has to obey his brother or allow for the destruction in our city. He takes a decision, opens the door of his brother’s chamber and inform Ram that Rishi Durvasa has come to see you.  Ram is visibly upset and tells Lakshamana that I did tell you that I want solitude. Lakshamana replies that Iknow that but it was the city of Ayodhya which was at the stake, so I had to disturb you. Then Ram smiles and they turn around. But, there is no Rishi Durvasa there. Lakshman realized it was just an apparition. He looks at his brother. Ram smilingly tells him that you finally realize what matters more. It is Ayodhya, the kingdom, our basic duty to it which matters more than me. Now that you have decided and broken your own now, keep your word that you will kill whoever disturbs my solitude. It is time for you to die. Lakshmana then goes into the forest to give up his life.

Why this punishment of death?

It is not the punishment. Who took that vow that I will kill whoever breaks Ram’s solitude?

Lakshman himself did so.

So he has to keep that word. It is the family tradition – Raghu Kul Rit – that the word has to be humored, even at the cost of one’s  life. It was the word which made Ram leave the city of Ayodhya and go into exile, the same word which forced Ram to give up his wife. Lakshmana is now made aware of  the value of the word which creates civilization, a commitment, a contract when  you give your word.

Is this not a bit too harsh, considering the fact that it was created by Ram to teach his brother, about the need to prioritize your duty towards the kingdom more than your brother?

The story is not for Lakshman  or Ram. The story is for us.  It is a mythical narrative  which is trying to tell people what matters more. This is the story where Lakshmi is told loyalty doesn’t matter, your word matters, Ayodhya matters more, your wife doesn’t matter, your kingdom doesn’t matter, but what matters more is the people whom you serve as king. They matter the most. In other words in the modern management, it’s not the leader that matters, it is the institution that he builds matters more.

Now that is very interesting. Till now Lakshman was always held up as the ideal brother and now you are telling me that Ram in fact teaches him a lesson that loyalty to your brother cannot be a priority.

What is important is Dhama, the principles. Why do we value loyalty? Because when I say I have loyal followers I am still thinking of what I have, not what I am.

So it is still territorial.

It is still the property, It is not the physical property, this is property of relationships. I have brothers, I have followers, I have vote banks. These are properties that tell more about what we have it does not tell us anything about who we are.

The episode thus affirmatively puts forth that loyalty is a desirable intangible asset if it is not person oriented, after a stage, not even institution-oriented for ‘what they are’ but for the basic principles for ‘why they are’. Only when the loyalty is for the principles, then the loyalty becomes sustainable and only the organization who continue to get such principle-based loyalties of its stakeholders sustain themselves in the long run.

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the first segment Gender of 9th Episode, the Discrimination, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

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Devdutt Pattanaik - Business Sutra

Business Sutra |8.2| Self and Self Image

Business Sutra |8| Family Feuds

We have covered five episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The 1st episode presented to us the most visible form of the business – the corporation: its meaning, its purpose and its action perspective. In the 2nd episode Devdutt Pattanaik discusses Leadership: Role of the leader, Context of the leader and Leadership in different business cycles. The 3rd episode relates to the Business Ethics and Morals:  business ethics and dilemmas, relationship between owner and the organization  and The Right (Dharma) – the Ramayana way and the Mahabharata way. The 4th episode deals with Conflicts, of the Board and the CEO and that of the means vs. ends. The 5th episode takes unto the realm of Education, wherein Part 1 covered the basics of education to the (potential) leaders in Ram’s Education, Part 2 addressed the Knowledge Transfer to Next Gen and Part 3 dealt with the issue of student motivation.  The 6th episode has taken up the oft-discussed topic of ‘measurement’, wherein in the Part 1, What Can Be Measured, dealt with the definitive need for not ‘only measurement’, but for ‘also measurement’ too and Part 2 dealt with mutual importance and dependence of Objectives versus Subjective Reality, whereas Part 3 evaluates ‘What is Your Worth?’ from these measurements perspectives. The 1st segment – Nature is destroyed when culture is created – of 7th episode establishes the inverse relationship between Environment and the human development. 2nd segment – The Environment Strikes Back – describes what happens when human growth goes beyond the natural resources.

In the episode 8, Devdutt Pattnaik has picked up a very interesting subject of Family Feuds, beginning with Three pairs of brothers in segment 1.

Business Sutra |8.2| Self and Self Image

What Exactly is a Self-Image? Here’s What You Need to Know… begins with the quote:

It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power! – Robert Kiyosaki

And then goes on describe Self-image as ‘The self-image is the impression you have of yourself that forms a collective representation of your assets and liabilities’. In other words, your self-image is how you see yourself based on your strengths and weaknesses.

This article is part of an 8 part series to help you develop more confidence in the pursuit of your goals. Here is a list of all articles within this series:

  1. Improving Self-Esteem
  2. Transform Your Self-Concept
  3. Boosting Self-Confidence
  4. Developing Self-Worth
  5. Building a Healthy Self-Image
  6. Pursuing the Ideal Self
  7. Fake it ‘Til You Make it!
  8. Developing Superhero Courage

The previous episode had ended at the point wherein the ground for the ‘right to the property’ was laid – at the level of morally and ethically what is right. In order to understand the relevance of self-image, its linkage with property, and with the subject of Family Feuds, we will need to turn to Segment 2 of the episode 8 wherein Devdutt Pattanaik takes up the subject of Self and Self Image and links up the subject, in continuation of the previous segment of Three pairs of brothers

What is the purpose or the reason for why property is at the heart of all these three disputes? May it be that Ram and Bharat did not really fight but property was at the heart of Bharat’s mother’s desire to make her son the king? For each one of these disputes properties was at the heart. What was the message in that?

We have to understand the notion of property, and to understand the notion of property we will just look back at evolution of it. Now what do we have to look back?

There is man on one side and there are animals on the other. The animals display very highly territorial. They are territorial because if they are not territorial their survival is at stake. The human beings are 99 percent animals, almost the animal, and a small part of us is not animal, because of a larger brain. Since we are mostly animals, our territorial instinct exists even within us. So we also seek survival.

Where does the property come in this matter?

When the territory becomes the property?  The difference between man and animal is that human beings have imagination. We imagine who we are. We have a notion of who we are. This has two components – what we are and what we have. I am Devdutt Pattanaik and I am also what I possess. I may die. This is mortal me. What I have is immortal – so in a way through property I will outlive me. My name will outlive me, my achievements will outlive me, my memory will outlive me, and my property will outlive me.

Property will outlive us?

That is a great delusion of a man. In a way I have something called a self-image which is comprised of not only who I am but what I have too .If I have more I have a bigger image than you. If I want to expand my self-image I have to have more and more property.

But it is also the source of the maximum amount of friction.

The wise man knows that this is delusion. The wise man knows that what you are has nothing to do with what you have. So when you look at the Ramayana you see three different characters. You have Ram on one side and you have Ravan on the other.  Ram knows who he is, his character, his personality is not defined by the property.

Which is why he is so easily able to give it up.

Bharat on the other hand also knows who he is, so his self-image is not dependent on his position as king of Ayodhya.  He does not need the kingdom. The kingdom is something else. The difference between what I am and what I have is very clear with the two brothers. They are the wise brothers; they know who they are. But Ravan is not the wise one. He believes that who he is is measured by what he has. So he wants what his brother has, he wants what Ram has; he wants what other men have. He wants everything that others have because he measures himself by what he has. This is 90% or 99% of humanity today. What the scriptures are trying to tell you that so long as you value yourself on the basis of what you have you are on a troublesome path.

Would you apply that in materialistic terms?

We have to ask ourselves why we want what we want. There is a survival need – you need food, clothing, and shelter. You need a comfortable life. These survival needs are well recognized. In fact, in Ramayana there is a scene in which a sea monster looks at Hanuman and says I am hungry, so if I eat you I have not done any sin because I have eaten you in hunger but if I eat you in sport then I’ve done something wrong…

or in gluttony……

Ramayana is asking what is man’s relationship with property, that with his self-image. I am fighting not for the survival of the self. The animals are very innocent. The animals are looking at the survival of the self, their physical body. They fight for it. Human beings are fighting for the self-image, their imagined body, not the physical body.

Isn’t it so easy to give up when you have it to begin with? Let’s assume for a moment that we wanted to be empathetic towards Ravan, who wanted what he did not have. Only thing is he used the wrong means to acquire it. But desiring in itself was not incorrect or bad or wrong because he didn’t have it. When you have it it’s so easy to take the higher moral ground.

It is not a question of wanting it or not wanting it. The point is to discover who you are, find out who you are. In that process I will acquire wealth or I will lose wealth. Am I the person I am because I have wealth or I am the person who I am irrespective of what I possess? Because fortunes will come and go. It is not that if I have a lot I will be generous. There is no correlation between wealth and generosity. Generosity is who you are and wealth is what you have.

Let’s not make that mistake that if I have a lot I’ll be generous. That is corporate social responsibility.

The episode thus build a case for linking the property with one self-image and ends with a tongue in cheek statement that CSR is more a matter of self-image than what the corporation is.

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the 3rd segment, Loyalty and Dharma, of the 8th episode of The Family Feuds, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.

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Devdutt Pattanaik - Business Sutra

Business Sutra |8.1| Three pairs of brothers

Business Sutra |8| Family Feuds

We have covered five episodes of Devdutt Pattanaik’ TV serial on CNBC 18:  Business Sutra.

The 1st episode presented to us the most visible form of the business – the corporation: its meaning, its purpose and its action perspective. In the 2nd episode Devdutt Pattanaik discusses Leadership: Role of the leader, Context of the leader and Leadership in different business cycles. The 3rd episode relates to the Business Ethics and Morals:  business ethics and dilemmas, relationship between owner and the organization  and The Right (Dharma) – the Ramayana way and the Mahabharata way. The 4th episode deals with Conflicts, of the Board and the CEO and that of the means vs. ends. The 5th episode takes unto the realm of Education, wherein Part 1 covered the basics of education to the (potential) leaders in Ram’s Education, Part 2 addressed the Knowledge Transfer to Next Gen and Part 3 dealt with the issue of student motivation.  The 6th episode has taken up the oft-discussed topic of ‘measurement’, wherein in the Part 1, What Can Be Measured, dealt with the definitive need for not ‘only measurement’, but for ‘also measurement’ too and Part 2 dealt with mutual importance and dependence of Objectives versus Subjective Reality, whereas Part 3 evaluates ‘What is Your Worth?’ from these measurements perspectives. The 1st segment – Nature is destroyed when culture is created – of 7th episode establishes the inverse relationship between Environment and the human development. 2nd segment – The Environment Strikes Back describes what happens when human growth goes beyond the natural resources.

In the episode 8, Devdutt Pattnaik has picked up a very interesting subject of Family Feuds, so as to connect it up with the (perceived / actual / in-other’s-eyes) self-image.  He picks up the threads of family feuds from the days of Ramayana. Ramayana is a very complex epic, but apparently, it is very simplistically presented by many storytellers. It deals with fundamental issues of humanity such as property. The property is not a natural concept. It is a human construct, and it has shaped human history in dramatic ways. The Ramayana wonders if Ayodhya belongs to Ram or Ram belongs to Ayodhya. What defines Ram? Is it his royalty? He is fettered to the laws of the Raghu clan, but does he derive his self-image from it? Where does our self-image come from? The gap between who we really are and what we derive our identity from is quite stark when we read the Ramayana. Also stark is the relationship between Ram and Laxman. Is the point of existence loyalty or dharma? Are they not one and the same? Loyalty, one realizes, is materialistic virtue, not spiritual virtue. But why? It is the answer to this question which can add value to the sustainability of the organization.

Business Sutra |8.1| Three pairs of brothers

A good part of history, whether western or occidental, can be observed to relate the time line w.r.t. feuds. Most of these feuds would fall into the category of Family Feuds.

The 15 Bloodiest, Most Violent Family Feuds In History – From ancient times until today, the bloodiest family feuds in history are filled with stories of honor, vengeance, politics, and kinship. Though that may sound romantic, it wasn’t: family feuds often resulted in horrifying acts of barbarism and cruelty, like the Black Dinner Massacre. Some violent historical family feuds – like the one between the notorious Hatfields and McCoys – involved different families warring against one another. Others – like the extended family drama that was the War of the Roses – involved civil wars within a single family unit. But no matter how they began or who they involved, the result was always the same: factionalism, violence, and death.

For more detailed analysis of the Family Feuds, from Indian Mythology perspective, we will move on to Segment 1 of the episode 8 wherein Devdutt Pattanaik takes up the subject of Three pairs of brothers

Property is at the center of every epic battle in India and one would invariably find brothers on either side.

The oldest Greek stories are the epics Iliad and Odyssey. The Iliad is the story of last years of total war and Odyssey is the story of the Trojan War. “The Iliad” (Gr: “Iliás”) is an epic poem by the ancient Greek poet Homer, which recounts some of the significant events of the final weeks of the Trojan War and the Greek siege of the city of Troy. It is the story of participation of a Greek hero Achilles in battle, who leads the Greeks to victory and whose withdrawal leads to their defeat  The poem The Odyssey mainly focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman myths), king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the fall of Troy.. The Odyssey is the story of another soldier also for the Trojan War, a Greek warrior called Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman myths), king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. Both these epics are the narratives of two individuals on journey and what happens to them.

At the same time, India has two stories in the form epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Both are not the stories of individuals, but of two families, stories of politics. The difference in both sets of narratives is very strong. The Greek epics are about individuals, whereas the Indian epics are about families.  The Greek narratives strongly manifests the roots of the Western psyche.

Ramayana is the story of three brothers taking place across the three different zones of the Indian subcontinent.  The first set of brothers are in the city of Ayodhya the father is a king called Dashrath, one brother is Ram and another brother is Bharat. The second set of brother is in a Jungle city, called Kishkindha (the kingdom of the monkeys). The father is Riksha, one brother is Bali (or Vali) and the other brother is Sugriv. Then there is the third set of Brothers In the Land of Lanka, the father is a sage Vaishnav (sometimes known as Puatsya); one brother is called Ravana and his brother is Kuber.

One day King Dashrath comes to the Crown Prince, Ram and says that Ram should renounce his right to the throne of kingdom of Ayodhya in favour of his co-brother Bharat. Ram agrees instantly, without any demur or remorse. . Bharat also declines to ascend the throne and vows to take care of the kingdom in the absence of Ram by placing Ram’s wooden sandals on the throne. This is a very ideal situation. This type of situation can occur only in North, not the geographical one, but the celestial one, where north is symbolized by the Pole Star. Meaning thereby that like the Pole Star, everything in north is constant, without subject to change w.r.t. circumstances. As may be observed Kailash is in north, under the Pole Star, symbolizing pure objectivity, an ideal. So Ram’s Ayodhya too is in north, a perfect place.

On the opposite end is South, where everything is always in the state of flux, changing constantly. This the land of Kuber and Ravana. Kuber is the guard of gold. He builds the city of Lanaka. It was not Ravan who build it. Ravan even did not inherit Lanka, he simply usurped it from Kuber. Lanka was built by Kuber on his own, so Ravan didi not have an iota of an ancestral inheritance right over it. The Lord of Lanka has forcefully acquired what did not at all belong to him.

In Kishkindha, father tells the two sons to share the property. However, there is some misunderstanding and Sugriv is deprived of his share. He approaches Ram , who is on his journey to release of his wife from an alpha male Ravan, who has become king of Lanka by usurping the throne from his bother. At that stage Vali also behaves like an alpha male, unwilling to any reasoning and sticking to his own point of view. There follows a battle between the two brothers. The entire battle is done without the code of conduct. Ram supports Sugriv in this battle. Vali acts like an animal during the entire battle and is killed by Ram. Sugriv has become the king of the monkeys so he behaves like a monkey, like an Alpha male. This is when Ram intervenes and tells Sugriv  not to go back to being an animal, now you have to behave with code of ethics, Dharama, which is what distinguished human being from the animal. You have to first show compassion for the defeated, which means you shall adopt Angad, the son of a brother Bali who was defeated. This is not what happens in the animal kingdom, the Alpha male will not adopt the progeny of the defeated.

This is the transformation taking place. Vali is much like Ravan, but Sugriv is being made to behave like Bharat. There is a balancing act; this the middle path. Even when Ravan is so well educated, so intelligent, so informed –equivalent of ten heads- but at a fundamental level he is behaving like a beast, wanting what others have and therefore the worst not the ideal. The land of the pole star is the land of wisdom, whereas this land of ignorance. Lanka is known as Maya Nagari, a phrase that says that this is the space of delusions. This is the place where you have wrong notions of the property, of the ownership that is rightfully not yours…..

The present episode ends at the point wherein the ground for the ‘right to the property’ is laid – at the level of morally and ethically what is right.

In our continuing journey of Devdutt Pattanaik’s TV serial Business Sutra, we will move on to the 2nd segment, Self and Self Image, of 8th episode, in our next episode.

Note: The images used in this post are the irrevocable property of their respective creator. They have been taken up courtesy the internet, so as to illustrate the point under discussion.