Devdutt Pattanaik writes, illustrates and lectures on the relevance of mythology in modern times. He has, since , written over 30 books and columns on. Daughters of Shiva _ Devdutt ronaldweinland.info - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Daughters of Shiva _ Devdutt ronaldweinland.info Business ronaldweinland.info - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read Devdutt Pattanaik has written over twentyfive books and articles on.
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PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 78,, eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy . My Gita - Devdutt Pattanaik DOWNLOAD PDF - MB. Share Embed Donate . Report this link. Short Description. My Gita - Devdutt. Download Devdutt Pattanaik - ronaldweinland.info DOWNLOAD PDF - MB Description. DEVDUTT PATTANAIK Jaya An Illustrated Retelling of the.
Excerpt: Reviews:Bibek Debroy wrote: Devdutt Pattanaik is a master story-teller, as his several books on Indian mythology testify. However, why the Mahabharata? There are several translations and retellings floating around. What value addition can a new one offer? Where is the USP?
Vakils, Feffer and Simons Ltd. Vishnu: an introduction. Vakils, Feffer and Simons, ISBN Devi, the Mother-Goddess: an introduction. Vakils, Feffer, and Simons Ltd. The Goddess in India: the five faces of the eternal feminine . Hanuman: an introduction. ISBN X. Routledge, Vinyaka: the first god. Shakti Art and Culture Foundation. Indian mythology: tales, symbols, and rituals from the heart of the Subcontinent . Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and fortune: an introduction.
Penguin Books India, Penguin, India. Shiva to Shankara: decoding the phallic symbol . By contrast, the Indian way of doing businessas 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.
Business Sutra uses stories, symbols and rituals drawn from Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology to understand a wide. At the heart of the book is a compelling premise: Brilliantly argued, original and thoroughly accessible, Business Sutra presents a radical and nuanced approach to management, business and leadership in a diverse, fast-changing, and increasingly polarized world.
About the Author Devdutt Pattanaik has written over twentyfive books and articles on Indian mythology for everyone from adults to children. Since , he has been explaining the relationship between mythology and management through his column in the Economic Times; the talk he gave at the TED India conference in ; and the show Business Sutra which ran successfully on CNBC-TV18 in , besides numerous other lectures at Indian universities and management institutes.
Any unauthorized distribution of this e-book may be considered a direct infringement of copyright and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly. All rights reserved. This e-book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated, without the publishers prior consent, in any form or cover other than that in which it is published.
Long conversations on his vast experience with corporations and human resource practices helped reaffirm many of the frameworks that constitute this book. Every day a new dot would appear, redefining old patterns, filling us both with wonder and awe, confirming that the world described by the rishis is indeed ananta and sukshma, full of infinite forms, layered with infinite meanings. Few joined in these deliberations.
Some found it tedious and repetitive, others disturbing. Many resented this timepass on official time, reminding us once again what the rishis kept pointing out: I can safely say that this yagna. We finally understood what the rishis meant when they said: The idea behind this unusual designation was deliberate and simple: There was the risk of being mistaken for a pastor, a guru or a priest, for many equate belief with religion and spirituality.
Some were even convinced that my role was that of an evangelist or a propagandist: My job, however, was to neither judge nor change beliefs; it was simply to articulate them. The intention was to expand the mind of those involved in business so that they could see the misalignment between business practices that they blindly followed and the beliefs of people that they remained oblivious to. When the mind is expanded, we are able to see more frameworks, understand the world better, take better decisions, ones that ensure a viable, sustainable and happy business.
The 3B Framework Belief is subjective truth, my truth and your truth, the lens through which we make sense of the world. Animals do not have beliefs.
Animals want to know if the other is food, a mate or a threat. Humans, however, are consumed with notions of what is true satyam, in Sanskrit , good shivam and beautiful sundaram. Belief establishes these. Belief enables us to qualify people as heroes, villains and victims. Everyone believes their subjective truth to be the objective truth, and clings to it firmly, as it determines their selfimage and their self-worth.
Belief plays a key role in business: It determines how we do business, and what ultimately gets done. As is belief, so is behaviour, so is business. This is Business Sutra. We can call it the 3B framework. Sutra is a string that connects the dots; here the string connects belief with business.
Management science, however, steers clear of belief. A child of the scientific revolution and the industrial era, it shuns the intangible, subjective and non-measurable. It pays greater value to objectivity. Hence, greater attention is paid to institutional values, arrived at by a team through consensus following a logical process. These belong to no one but every constituent member of the institution is contractually obliged to adhere to them, even at the cost of personal beliefs, at least during office hours.
Organizational values are mapped to particular behaviours: This assumption allows. Belief may express itself in behaviour, but the reverse may not be true. Respect intangible belief may manifest in politeness tangible behaviour , but politeness may not always reflect respect. When corporations speak of growth, they speak of institutional growth not individual growth. And growth is always seen in terms of accumulation of wealth or equity or skills, never in terms of emotion or intellect.
By doing so the corporation invalidates the. This is what dehumanizes corporations, and is the root cause of many of the problems facing organizations today: Failure to recognize this is the greatest shortcoming of modern management studies. Despite the veneer of objectivity and logic, management science is itself firmly rooted in a cultural truth, the subjective truth of the West, indicated by its obsession with goals.
Targets come first, then tasks, then people. The value placed on vision, mission, objectives, milestones, targets and tasks in modern business practice resonates with the Greek quest for Elysium, the heaven of heroes, and the biblical quest for the Promised Land, paradise of the faithful. This is not surprising as the purveyors of management science are mostly engineers,. And like all believers, they are convinced that goal-orientation is logical, hence the universal solution to all business problems.
But it is not so. In fact, there are cultures, like India, where this goal-orientation is seen as a problem, not a solution. This is obvious to any student of mythology. But who studies mythology in a world where most managers are engineers? Belief, Myth and Mythology Belief is the seed from which sprouts every human enterprise, every culture, every act of human kindness and cruelty.
Every belief is irrational and hence a myth. Therefore, the study of stories, symbols and rituals to decode the beliefs they communicate is called. There are secular mythologies in the world, such as the stories, symbols and rituals of a nation state, or a corporation, as well as religious mythologies. For the believer, his belief is objective truth; he therefore rejects the notion of myth, and shuns the subject of mythology, a key reason why belief remains an invisible unacknowledged lever in modern business practices.
We convince ourselves that our beliefs are rational hence right, while those of others are irrational, hence wrong. To have beliefs, we need imagination. Imagination springs from the neo-frontal cortex, or the enlarged part of the brain that is located behind the forehead. This exists only in human beings.
Some animals, like the dolphin and the chimpanzee, may imagine, but nothing on the scale that humans can. It comes as a surprise to most people that the imagination is a neurobiological function specific to the human species, not a. It means accepting that every human being inhabits his own customized personalized subjective version of reality that no one else has access to.
Every animal looks at the world differently but the human gaze is especially different because the reality of nature is being constantly compared and contrasted with imaginary reality inside the head. We can control the subjective world in our head but not the objective one outside. This leads to conflict as the imagination seeks a world that is much more controllable, hence delightful.
Conflict is further amplified because every other human we encounter has their own version of imagined reality and each person is convinced that their imagined reality is the correct version of reality. What is true then? This brings about awareness of the self my view versus the view of others , and the need for language, creativity and. Humans have the ability to control fire, water, plants as well as animals, something that no other living organism can do.
But we struggle to control the human mind: Control makes us feel powerful; lack of control makes us feel powerless. And so we are left to wonder: Nature offers no answers.
We only have our beliefs to guide us, structure our lives, give it meaning, and direction. Most people follow beliefs prescribed by others; a few design their own.
As we agree upon what life can be or should be, we are driven to work, establish businesses, create civilizations and leave behind legacies. Decoding Culture There was once a priest who was very poor, there were constant quarrels in his house between his unhappy wife, his hungry children and his helpless parents. He begged the deity of his temple to help.
So the deity gave him a pot of gold. The happy priest sold the gold and used the money to repay his debts, bought all the things money could download, and even made investments to secure his future. But soon after the quarrels started again: Each one wanted a greater share of the treasure. Annoyed, the priest went to the deity and demanded a solution.
Once again the deity gave him a pot of gold. No, I dont want another pot of gold. Give me something that solves the problem truly, cried the priest. Pot of gold!
I gave you the nectar of wisdom. Did you not drink it? Or were you too distracted by the container? Stories, symbols and rituals that define a culture, even business practices that shape an organization, make up the pot of gold that we all engage with; contained within it is belief in the culture that makes us see the world in a particular way.
It is often overlooked. Every belief expresses itself in the stories we tell, the symbols we create, and the rituals we follow. Stories, symbols and rituals create culture. Culture in turn shapes the beliefs of those who inhabit it. Thus, from nature comes imagination, from imagination comes subjectivity and from subjectivity comes belief, from belief comes culture and from culture springs forth humanity.
American stories, symbols and rituals reveal American beliefs. Indian stories, symbols and rituals reveal Indian beliefs.
Modern stories, symbols and rituals reveal modern beliefs. Tribal stories, symbols and. Organizational stories, symbols and rituals reveal organizational beliefs. Religious stories, symbols and rituals reveal religious beliefs. Secular stories, symbols and rituals reveal secular beliefs. The uniqueness of a cultures music, art, architecture, food and fashion is an expression of that cultures unique beliefs.
The diversity of cultures around the world indicates. Mythology involves studying these stories, symbols and rituals the codes and decoding the underlying patterns of thought. It reveals that different communities think differently and so approach life very differently. It reveals that management science is rooted in Western beliefs and indifferent to Indian or Chinese beliefs.
Myth got a bad name, and rationality got a good name, because of the scientific revolution of the sixteenth century, according to which only that which is rational is real and relevant.
The word was used to dismiss ideas of every culture other than European. European ideas were assumed to be rational, hence not mythic. This has naturally put other cultures on the defensive. Nobody wants to be associated with myth, hence falsehood. Myth has since been positioned as being the opposite of the truth. Unfortunately, in the West, truth is claimed on one hand by. There is much debate even today between the theists and atheists.
Academicians and scientists have legitimized this fight by joining in. This fight has been appropriated by most societies in the world that seek to be modern. But the divide between myth and truth, between religious truth and scientific truth, this rabid quest for the absolute and perfect truth is a purely Western phenomenon. It would not have bothered the intellectuals of ancient China who saw such activities as speculative indulgence. Ancient Indian sages would have been wary of it for they looked upon the quest for the objective and absolute as the root cause of intolerance and violence.
The modern era that flourished after the scientific revolution of Europe mocked the pre-modern era that did not challenge irrational ideas propagated by religious and royal authorities. In the second half of the twentieth century, people started observing that rational ideas propagated by modern scientists, especially social scientists, in the realm of economics, politics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, arts, religious and cultural studies, were also steeped in prejudice.
The language used to express ideas harboured cultural ideas: Capitalism and Communism were deconstructed to reveal roots in the Greek epics or the Bible as they spoke of individualistic heroes and martyrdom for the greater social good.
This discovery gave birth to the postmodern era. Modern ideas may not be religious, but that did not make them universal truths; they were as rooted in cultural beliefs as the superstitions of yore. But there was a problem with the postmodern revolution.
It implicitly suggested that everything was up for interpretation, there was no correct decoding, and no view could be criticized, as everything was subjective.
Judgment of any kind was bad; any. The era of remixes was born. Ravan could be worshipped and Ram reviled, invalidating the traditional adoration of Ram in hundreds of temples over hundreds of years.
Images of Santa on a crucifix could be used to evoke the Christmas spirit. Another problem with the postmodern lens is that the authors are typically critical of the authoritarian and manipulative gaze but are indifferent to their own gaze, which is often equally authoritarian and manipulative. Deconstruction of the Other is rarely accompanied by deconstruction of the self. Today people speak of post-postmodernism. It means looking at beliefs from the point of view of the believer.
It demands empathy and less judgment, something that is in short supply in academia today, as it is designed to argue and dismiss ideas in its quest for the objective truth. I discovered my love for mythology while studying in Grand Medical College, Mumbai. After my graduation, I chose to work in the medical industry, rather than take up clinical practice, to give myself the time and funds for my passion.
So I lived in two worlds: In my professional capacity, I was first a content vendor, then a manager at Goodhealthnyou. In a personal capacity, I conducted workshops as part of Sabrang, an organization dedicated to demystifying the arts, started by the late Parag Trivedi. Conversations with him, and other members of the Sabrang gang, revealed a gap between. Hindustani melody and Western harmony, the value of facial expressions in Indian classical dance and the relative absence of the same in Japanese theatre, ballet and modern American dance, the intense arguments of European philosophers on the nature of the truth and the reason why Indian, or Chinese, philosophers were excluded from these arguments.
Shifts in patterns I had seen in stories, symbols and rituals, were now apparent in music, dance, architecture, and philosophy. I never studied management formally though I grew up listening to stories of sales and marketing from my father who did his MBA from New York University in , long before it became fashionable in India IIM itself was founded in One of his teachers was the famous Peter Drucker.
My father returned to work in the private sector in India at the height of the licence raj. I did do a formal postgraduate diploma course in comparative mythology from Mumbai University, but it was too rudimentary for my liking.
I delved into the literature written around the subject Myth by Lawrence Coupe, for example and realized that mythology demanded forging links with literature, language, semiotics, the occult, mysticism, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, religion, history, geography, business, economics, politics, psychology, physics, biology, natural history, archaeology, botany, zoology, critical thinking, and the arts.
Courses offered by universities abroad, on the other hand, were not inter-disciplinary enough. Self-study was the only recourse. The more I explored mythology, the more I felt like Aladdin in a cave of undiscovered treasures. Every day I learned something that took me by surprise. As my mind exploded with new ideas, I wondered if they were true.
And this lead to the unearthing of various theories on truth that helped me understand myth even better. It exposed the gap between neuroscience and psychoanalysis and the discomfort of scientists with the idea of imagination. It also revealed how the truth of the East is always studied in Western terms, rarely has the truth of the West been studied in Eastern terms.
If it has, it has been dismissed as exotic, even quaint. For a long time, management and mythology were parallel rivers in my life, unconnected with each other. Things began to change when I became increasingly sensitive to the problems plaguing corporations: I was fortunate that early in my career I interacted with Dr. Giri Shankar and his wife, Shailaja, who came from a strong behavioural science background, which is the cornerstone of many human resource practices in the business world.
The frameworks they provided explained and helped resolve many of the issues I saw and faced. But our intense and illuminating conversations kept telling me that something was missing. I found the subject too rational, too linear and too neat. Then it dawned on me that both management science and behavioural science have originated in American and European universities and are based on a Western template.
Practitioners of behavioural science use questionnaires to map the mind in objective mathematical terms but the subject itself springs from Jungian psychoanalysis and the notion of archetypes,. The problems of the corporate world made more sense when I abandoned the objective, and saw things using a subjective or mythic lens.
It revealed the gap in worldviews as the root of conflict, frustration and demotivation. Modern management systems were more focused on an objective institutional truth, or the owners truth, rather than individual truths. People were seen as resources, to be managed through compensation and motivation.
They were like switches in a circuit board.
But humans cannot be treated as mere instruments. They have a neo-frontal cortex. They imagine. They have beliefs that demand acknowledgment. They imagine themselves as heroes, villains and martyrs. They yearn for power and identity. Their needs will not go away simply by being dismissed as irrational, unscientific or. Knowledge of mythology, I realized, could help managers and leaders appreciate better the behaviour of their investors and regulators, employers and employees and competitors and customers.
Mythology is, after all, the map of the human mind. The management framework is rooted in Greek and biblical mythologies. The Indian economic, political and education systems are also rooted in Western beliefs, but Indians themselves are not.
What would be a. Since the most popular mode of expression, in India, was the mythic, I chose to glean business wisdom from the grand jigsaw puzzle of stories, symbols and rituals that originated and thrived in the Indian subcontinent, especially in the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh faiths. The patterns I found revealed something very subtle and startling very early on.
Belief itself, as conventionally approached in modern times, is very different from the traditional Indian approach: The desire to evangelize and sell one idea and dismiss others reveals the belief that one belief is better, or right. Missionaries evangelize, social activists evangelize, and politicians evangelize; management gurus also evangelize. Everyone wants to debate and win. There is celebration of competition and revolution.
In other. This explains the yearning for a globally applicable morality and ethics, ignoring local contexts. At best, allowances are made for the professional and personal space. This value placed on a single belief, religious or secular, naturally makes a society highly efficient. Since changing beliefs is difficult, perhaps even impossible, the attention shifts to behavioural modification through rationality, righteousness, rules, reward and reproach.
In fact, great value is given to habits, which is essentially conditioning and a lack of mindfulness. Thus value is given to changing the world, as people cannot be changed. This is typical of beliefs rooted in one life, religions that value only one God. The notion of conversion is alien to Indian faiths. Greater value is given to changing oneself, than the world.
Belief in India is not something you have; it is what makes you who you are. It shapes your personality. Different people have different personalities because they believe in different things. Every belief, every personality, is valid. Energy has to be invested in accommodating people rather than judging their beliefs. That is why there is so much diversity. We may not want to change our beliefs, but we can always expand our mind to accommodate other peoples beliefs.
Doing so, not only benefits the other, it benefits us too, for it makes us wiser, reveals the patterns of the universe. But we struggle to expand our mind as growth is change, and change is frightening. Our belief, our. Such ideas thrive in beliefs rooted in many lives, and religions that value many gods.
The idea I came up with finally, which I later called Business Sutra, was unique in the value it paid to belief, imagination and subjectivity. Mythologies of Indian origin value the nirguna intangible and immeasurable over the saguna tangible and measurable , in other words the subjective over the objective.
Subjectivity tends to be more appreciative of the irrational. Subjectivity draws attention to. Respect for other peoples worldviews allows diversity. What emerged was a management model that valued gaze over goal, accommodation over alignment. This is what, I believe, the global village needs. Its absence is why there is so much strife and conflict. My initial observations were met with wry amusement. Modern society had bought into the myth of mythlessness created by the scientific discourse that locates humans outside subjectivity.
Most people seem to be convinced myth and mythology belonged then and there and not here and now. Moreover, for most people, mythology is religion and religion is a bad word, hence mythology is a bad word. To be secular is to dismiss both religion and mythology, and treat those who speak of it as heretics, which did not bode well for me. Susheel Umesh of Sanofi Aventis was the first to value my ideas on management principles derived from Indian mythology; the illustration of the yagna I drew for him several years ago still hangs in his office.
I got an opportunity to present my views through Corporate Dossier, the weekly management supplement of the Economic Times, thanks to the encouragement of Vinod Mahanta, Dibyendu Ganguly and Vikram Doctor. This was a personal enterprise; professionally, no one took notice. The column, however, was widely appreciated, perhaps because of cultural chauvinism, some may argue.
They felt it articulated what many had intuitively sensed. Santosh Desai, author of Mother Pious Lady, who came from the world of advertising and branding, reaffirmed my understanding of humans as mythmakers and meaning-seekers, constantly giving and receiving codes through the most innocuous of cultural practices.
Rama Bijapurkar, author of We Are Like That Only, who came from the world of market research and consumer insights, encouraged me to find original ideas in Indian mythology that had escaped academicians and scholars who were entrenched in Western thought.
He had. He was looking for someone to articulate these thoughts to his investors, to the world at large, and also to the many sceptics within his team, who were all hitherto spellbound by Western discourse.
My initial conversations with him, his daughter, Ashni, as well as Damodar Mall and Tejaswini Adhikari of Future Ideas on the possibilities of mythology changed the course of my life forever.
Within the group, tea started being served in the peculiar cutting chai glass that is found in railway stations across India to symbolically communicate the groups determination to be grounded in simplicity and community reality.
The karta ritual was initiated wherein the store manager is blindfolded in the presence of his team and his family before being given keys to the store.
An abbreviated version of the gaze-based leadership model was displayed visually, using symbols, and used in leadership workshops and appraisals for senior team members so that all aspects were approached simultaneously rather than sequentially.
Suddenly, the corporation seemed more rooted in culture, and not burdened by an alien imposition. Outside the group, the designation did the trick. It opened many doors and led to many fine conversations with senior leaders and consultants of the industry that helped flesh out my idea into a full-blown theory. My interactions revealed how divorced modern business practices are from all things cultural.
Very few managers saw culture as a. It explained why industry is increasingly at odds with society.
It became clear that professionalism and processes are aimed at domesticating people, and so could never inspire entrepreneurship, ethics, inclusiveness or social responsibility. I also realized how ideas that I found in Indian mythology helped many to join the dots in businesses very differently. The most difficult thing about this designation has been to see how people receive new ideas.
After over a century of gazing upon Indian ideas through orientalist, colonial, socialist and capitalist lenses, we are today far removed from most Indian ideas presented in this book.
While many are thrilled by the rediscovery, many are eager to dismiss it: It convinced me to write this book.
Design of the Book The word sutra in the title of the book has two very particular meanings. A sutra is a string meant to join dots that create a pattern. The book strings together myriad ideas from Jain, Hindu and Buddhist traditions to create a synthesized whole, for the sake of understanding the India way.
Likewise, it strings Greek and biblical ideas separately to understand the Western way and Confucian and Taoist ideas to understand the Chinese way.
Each of these garlands is man-made and reveals my truth, not the Truth. Sutra also means an aphorism, a terse statement. The book is full of these. They are like seeds which, when planted in the mind, germinate into a plant. The nature of the plant depends on the quality of the mind. Indian sages avoided the written word as they realized that ideas were never definitive; they transformed depending on the intellectual and emotional abilities of the giver as well as the receiver.
Thus, an idea is organic. Many sages chose symbols rather than sutras to communicate the idea. What appears like a naked. Both are right from the point of view of each individual. There is no standard answer. There is no correct answer. The point is to keep expanding the mind to accommodate more views and string them into a single whole. This approach can be disconcerting to the modern mind seeking the truth. I call this book a very Indian approach to business for a very specific reason.
An Indian approach traces Western ideas to Indian vocabulary. Here, dharma becomes ethics and yajaman becomes the leader. It assumes the existence of an objective truth in human affairs. A very Indian approach to business reveals the gap in the fundamental assumptions that defines management science taught in B-schools today.
It celebrates my truth and your truth, and the human capability to expand the mind, thanks to imagination. Not all will agree with the decoding of some of the popular mythological characters in this book. It may even be contrary to religious and scholarly views. This is not simply because of differences in perspective; it is. More often than not each character in mythology is seen in isolation.
But a mythologist has to look at each one relative to the rest, which helps us create the entire mythic ecosystem, where every element is unique and there are few overlaps, just like a jigsaw puzzle. The point is not so much to explain mythology as it is to derive frameworks from it. Business is ultimately about decisions. When we take decisions, we use frameworks, either consciously or unconsciously. This book is full of frameworks, woven into each other. While frameworks of management science seek to be objective, the frameworks of Business Sutra are primarily subjective.
The book does not seek to sell these frameworks, or justify them as the truth. They are meant to be reflective, not prescriptive.
They are not substitutes; they are supplements, ghee to help digest a savoury meal. The aim is to expose the reader to more frameworks to facilitate better decision-making. Apply it only if it makes sense to your logic, not because someone else won when he applied it.
You will find no references, no testimonies or evidence, not even a bibliography. Even the case studies are imagined tales. The aim is not to derive knowledge from the past, or to seek the consensus of other thinkers, but discover invisible levers that play a key role in business success or failure.
The number of non-English words may be mind-boggling but English words are insufficient to convey all Indian ideas. New ideas need new vehicles, hence new words. There are layers of meanings in each word, crisscrossing between sections and chapters.
A book by its very nature creates the delusion of linearity, but the subject being presented is itself not linear. Think of Business Sutra as a rangoli or kolam, patterns created by joining a grid of dots, drawn for centuries every morning by Hindu women using rice flour outside the threshold of their house.
The practice is now more prevalent in the south than the north of the country. Every idea in this book is a dot that the reader can join to create a pattern. Every pattern is beautiful so long as it includes all the dots. And no pattern is perfect.
Every pattern is usually an incomplete section of a larger pattern known to someone else. No pattern, no framework, no dot has an independent existence outside you. Unless you internalize them, they will not work. Currently, they are shaped by my prejudices and limited by my experiences; to work they have to become yours, shaped by your prejudices, limited by your experiences. So chew on them as a cow chews cud; eventually milk will flow.
If it does not, it is still perfectly fine. As the sages remind us: Ideas presented can always change, or be further elaborated, or explained differently, by different people in different times and different places faced with different challenges.
For now, every time you disagree, and wish to argue, and are driven by the belief that there must be one truth and only one truth, find peace by reminding yourself: Within infinite myths lies an eternal truth Who sees it all? Varuna has but a thousand eyes Indra, a hundred You and I, only two. Kartikeya being athletic jumps on his peacock and flies around the mountains, oceans and continents. Ganesha simply goes around his parents.
In some versions, Ganesha simply. When asked for an explanation for this audacious declaration, Ganesha tells Kartikeya, "You went around your world: I went around my world: What matters more? The Western lens clubs India and China as the exotic, where the symbolic is preferred over the literal.
It seeks the truth and believes there is only one life with one goal. It is most concerned with the what of business. The Chinese lens clubs India and the West as Indo-European, for being overly speculative rather than. It seeks order and believes in keeping out chaos. It is most concerned with the how of business. The Indian lens clubs China and the West as materialistic for valuing things rather than thoughts.
It seeks peace as the mind is very aware of different goals of different people in different contexts or different lifetimes. It is most concerned with the why of business. In this chapter, we shall gaze upon these beliefs and learn to appreciate the diversity of human thought. Only when the horizon is broadened can we begin our journey into the gaze-based approach to management.
The ideas presented here are neither politically correct nor academically certified, as sweeping generalizations need to be made to ascertain a pattern, which is buried under layers of forms. This book will also not. Any attempt to answer these questions will burn the ship at the port before any exploration can begin. The approach may not please those who seek validation of their religious, scientific or secular beliefs.
For the rest, this book will open a new world of seeing. It will reveal that people today, stripped of modern technology and language, continue to see the world exactly as their ancestors did a thousand years ago. We are still seeking the heaven of heroes, the paradise of the faithful, the nectar of immortality and the order of celestials. Western Beliefs Two mythic streams feed the river of what we call Western thought today: The latter is also sometimes referred to as Abrahamic or Semitic.
Greek beliefs thrived in the Greek city-states and the Roman Empire. Abrahamic belief, expressed formally in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, has many tributaries from across many ancient civilizations of the Levant the Near East , Mesopotamia, Persia, Arabia and even Egypt.
What separates the two belief systems is the value they place on the individual over the collective, on defiance over compliance.
What unites these two belief systems is belief in one life, and hence the sense of urgency to do the great thing, or the right thing, in thisour one and onlylife.
Hence, the goal! The goal for the Greeks was Elysium, meant for individuals who lived extraordinary lives. It was the final destination of mythic heroes such as Achilles, Odysseus,. Theseus, Jason and Perseus. Those who lived ordinary unremarkable lives were sent to the Asphodel Fields after death.
Those who angered the gods were thrown into Tartarus, condemned to do monotonous tasks, like Sisyphus who was condemned to roll a rock up a mountain all day, only to find it rolling back down at night. This was hell: The gods lived on Mount Olympus, controlling everything. These Olympians achieved their exalted position after overthrowing older gods, the Titans, and so constantly feared overthrow at the hands of humans, who they kept in check through the Fates.
To be extraordinary, and win a place in Elysium, humans had to defy the gods. They also inspired the very efficient and rather ruthless Roman Empire that saw itself as the harbinger of civilization. Both the Greeks and Romans were wary of all authority, be it at home dictators or outside the Persian Emperor and the Egyptian Pharaoh. Authority was equated with the capricious Olympian gods, who had to be resisted.
When the Roman Empire collapsed around the fifth century, Christianity became the dominant force across Europe. Christians believed in one all-powerful God, who created humanity, and rules, for the betterment of humanity. The goal now was compliance, not defiance, which led to a place in the Promised Land on earth and Heaven in the afterlife.
Unfortunately, humans kept breaking these rules. The Bible is full of stories of prophets and kings struggling to follow the Commandments laid down by God. There is constant reference to the martyrdom of the faithful who stand up for the faith. Their holy books, the Tanakh, are full of laws and negotiations of the prophets with God seeking to ensure humans lived the right way.
This came to be known as Judaism. This became the belief of Roman slaves, later Roman nobility, and finally the Roman royalty, but with one crucial difference: This was Christianity. This belief also rose in Arabia in the seventh century where Jesus came to be seen as just one of many prophets, the last being Muhammad who transmitted the word of God through the. This was Islam. It is important at this juncture to clarify that from the Indian point of view Western thought stretches beyond Europe and America to include the Islamic world, for the quest for objectivity shapes Islam too.
Just as Europe was torn between the Greek way and the biblical way and later the Protestant way and the Catholic way, the Islamic world was torn between the Sunni way, with its roots in Arabic tribal egalitarianism and the Shia way, with its roots in Persian dynastic culture. Every denomination is convinced the other is wrong and that they are right. Everyone harbours a worldview that accommodates only one truth.
Divinity in the Abrahamic faiths is always articulated as the Word of God and divine laws are always presented in written form such as the Ten Commandments that. The covenant is valued greatly. The bond with God is not assumed; it has to be ritually enacted through circumcision or baptism. This reveals the deep-rooted need for documentation and written memorandums of understanding.
Every time Josephine concludes a conversation with Mukul, her counterpart in India, she sends an email summarizing the contents of her call. When Mukul does not do the same, Josephine finds it annoying.
She reminds him of company policy, compelling him to comply. Despite many shared beliefs, Christians persecuted the Jewish people across Europe and fought Muslims over four centuries, from the tenth century onwards, in what. Within Christianity itself there were many schisms, with the Churches of Rome in the West and Byzantium in the East vying for supremacy. Every side believed in one God, one life, one way of living life, but they differed violently over who had the patent over the right way.
The end of the Crusades saw the start of the scientific revolution in Europe, inspired by the rediscovery of Greek beliefs. Truth imposed by authority was rejected; truth churned by reason was sought.
The scientist was the Greek hero on a lone quest, those who opposed him were the Olympian gods. The scientific spirit inspired discoveries, inventions, and industrialization. It laid the foundation for colonization and imperialism. Scientists did not find any rational explanation for the existence of inequality and social unfairness.
They blamed it on irrational ideas like God whose existence could not be measured or proved. With the scientific revolution, society no longer needed anchors of faith.
Knowledge mattered, not belief. Everything had to be explained in tangible material terms. The goal had to be here and now, not in the hereafter. The goal had to be measurable, even in matters related to society. Thus rose economic theories that saw all the problems of society as a consequence of faulty wealth generation Capitalism and faulty wealth distribution Communism. Both promised a heaven, one through development and the other through revolution.
But not everyone was willing to give up religion altogether. Those who were firm in. The Church became the new Olympus to be defied. Scientific evidence was demanded for their dogmas and their claim of divine rights. Failure to present it led to the Protestant Revolution, spearheaded by the newly emerging class of merchants, industrialists, and bankers. They valued autonomy over all else, and sought equal if not higher status than landed gentry, who for centuries had been inheriting both fortune and status, without any personal effort.
The Protestant Revolution was marked by great violence, especially the Thirty Years' War that devastated Europe in the seventeenth century. It marked the end of feudal orders and the rise of nation states. Many Protestants made the newly discovered continent of America their home: Here there. Everyone was equal; everyone had a right to personal faith in the privacy of their homes; work was worship, and wealth born of effort was seen as God's reward for the righteous.
This was the Protestant work ethic, a unique combination of biblical value for compliance and Greek disdain for authority. Much of the political system of the United States came to be modelled along the lines of the pre-Christian Roman republic, complete with a senate in times of peace and a dictator in times of war. The American system ensured the victory of democracy, secularism, and most importantly Capitalism. It is from this context that management science arose.
Not surprisingly, the recommendations of management science resonate with not just a scientific obsession with evidence and quantification but also biblical and Greek beliefs. The vision statement is the Promised Land; the contract is the Covenant; systems and processes are the Commandments; the 'fifth' level leader who is professionally ambitious and personally humble is the prophet; the invisible shareholder is the de-facto God.
The innovator is the Greek hero, standing proud atop Maslow's hierarchy of needs, self-actualized, and secure in Elysium. All this makes management science a secular expression of beliefs that have always existed in the West.
Kshitij always smiles when his partner from a very reputed global strategic firm meets him in the club. Kshitij reveals, "He is always selling something or the other. Two years ago he told me about the importance of a matrix structure where no one is too powerful. Now he is selling the idea of creating a special talent pool of potential gamechangers. Then he kept talking about getting people aligned to a single goal.
Now he talks about flexibility. They can never make up their mind. Each time they are. They claim to be global, but are so evangelical. But we have to indulge them; their way of thinking dominates the world. It comforts investors. Chinese Beliefs The West, with its preference for the historical, would like to view current-day China as an outcome of its recent Communist past. But the mythological lens reveals that China functions today just as it did in the times of the Xia and Shang dynasties, over five thousand years ago, with great faith in central authority to take away disorder and bring in order.
A pragmatic culture, the Chinese have never invested too much energy in the religious or the mythic. What distinguishes Chinese thought from Western thought is the value placed on nature. In the West, nature is chaos that needs to be controlled. In China, nature is always in harmony; chaos is social disorganization where barbarians thrive. The mythologies of China are highly functional and often take the form of parables, travelogues, war stories and ballads.
The word commonly used for God is Shangdi, meaning one who is above the ruler of earth. The word for heaven is Tian. But God in Chinese thought is not the God of biblical thought. Rather than being theistic faith in. The words Shangdi and Tian are often used synonymously, representing morality, virtue, order and harmony. There are gods in heaven and earth, overseen by the Jade Emperor, who has his own celestial bureaucracy.
They are invoked during divination and during fortune telling to improve life on earth. More importantly, they represent perfection. So, perfection does not need to be discovered; it simply needs to be emulated on earth. The responsibility to make this happen rests with the Emperor of the Middle Kingdom.
This is called the Mandate of Heaven. It explains the preference for a top-down authoritarian approach to order that has always shaped Chinese civilization. The Chinese respect ancestors greatly. They are believed to be. In the Axis Age roughly BCE when classical Greek philosophers were drawing attention to the rational way in the West, and the way of the Buddha was challenging ritualism in Vedic India, China saw the consolidation of two mythic roots: Taoism became more popular in rural areas amongst peasants while Confucianism appealed more to the elite in urban centres.
These two schools shaped China for over a thousand years, before a third school of thought emerged. This was Buddhism, which came from India via the trade routes of Central Asia in the early centuries of the Common Era.
Taoism is about harmonizing the body and mind by balancing nature's two forces, the phoenix and the. It speaks of diet, exercise, invocations and chants, which bring about longevity, health and harmony.
It is highly personal and speaks of the way Tao through riddles and verses, valuing experience over instruction, flow of energy over rigid structure, and control without domination. It speaks of various gods who wander between heaven and earth, who can be appeased to attract health and fortune. The division of the pure soul and impure flesh seen in Western traditions does not exist.
There is talk of immortality, but not rebirth as in Indian traditions. Confucianism values relationships over all else: Great value is placed on virtue, ethics, benevolence and nobility. This is established more by ritual and protocol, rather than by rules, as in the West, or by emotions, as in India. Thus, the Chinese and Japanese obsession with hierarchy, how the visiting card should be given and where it should be placed, and what colours should be worn at office, and what items can or cannot be given as gifts.
The gwanji system of business relationships that this gives rise to is very unlike the caste system, as it is not based on birth, or bloodline, or even geography, but can be cultivated over time based on capability and connections. Buddhism met fierce resistance as it is highly speculative and monastic.
It denied society, which followers of Confucianism celebrated. It denied. It spoke of rebirth, which made no pragmatic sense. It was seen as foreign until it adapted to the Chinese context.
The Buddhism that thrived in China leaned more towards the altruistic Mahayana school than the older, more introspective Theravada line that spread to Myanmar and Sri Lanka. In keeping with Confucian ideals, greater value was given to petitioning the compassionate Bodhisattva, visualized as the gentle and gracious lady Kwan-yin, who is more interested in alleviating rather than understanding human suffering.
In line with the Taoist way, the minimalist Zen Buddhism also emerged, but it was less about health and longevity and more about outgrowing self-centredness to genuinely help others.
The famous Chinese novel, Journey to the West, describes the tale of a Chinese monk travelling to India assisted by a pig the Chinese symbol of fertility and a monkey inspired by Hanuman? Tangibility plays a key role in Chinese thought. Central to it is the idea of China, the geographical entity.
It is the Middle Kingdom, the navel of civilization, connecting heaven and earth, bringing the order of the celestials to humanity. Over two thousand years ago, the first emperor to unite the land burned books and killed scholars for the sake of stability; this has happened repeatedly in history ever since. Nothing discomforts the Chinese more than chaos, confusion, and disorderliness, what is generally termed 'luan'.
To maintain a calm exterior even in the face of the most severe crisis is indicative of moral courage and inner strength. Any breakdown, social or emotional, is indicative of luan; to break down is to lose face. To lose face is to dishonour the ancestors, most revered in a Chinese household. Disharmony is disease in the Taoist scheme of things. Even when there is health and order, Confucius advises people.
Order for the Chinese waxes towards the centre of power where the emperor resides. In the social hierarchy, the 'white' aristocrat was envied as he lived in orderly cities, closer.
In the periphery, there is chaos, hence the need to build the Great Wall and consolidate military forces to keep the barbarians in check by force and domination. Order in China has always been enforced with ruthlessness, albeit with grace and subtlety, focusing on 'pressure points' for maximum result.
The following tale from Sun Tzu's seminal military treatise The Art of War, popular in management circles today, reveals this. Sun Tzu believed in winning wars without fighting, and this demanded not overt acts of heroism but outwitting the opponent with patience, sensitivity and discipline.
He claimed he could turn anyone into a soldier. To humour him, the king took him to his harem and asked him to make soldiers of his concubines. Sun Tzu took up the challenge and asked the women to stand in a.