Bhagavata and Corporate life

By Venu Payyanur

Most of us visit places of worship (temples, churches, mosques, etc) to pray to God to solve our problems or grand us a boon to fulfil our wishes. But does that work always? What do our scriptures teach us?

The Bhagavata (also known as Śrīmad Bhāgavatam) is one of the “Maha” Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti (devotion) to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna. It is also known as the fifth Veda and the authorship is credited to Sage Veda Vyasa. This story was told to Maharaja Parikshit by Sri Suka Brahmarishi, in seven days while Parikshit was waiting for his death due to the curse of Sage Sringin, son of Sage Samika.

Maharaja Parikshit was the grandson of Arjuna and grand nephew of Lord Krishna. He had the great fortune of seeing the God while in the womb of his mother Uttara, as Krishna saved him from sure death by the unstoppable Brahmastra shot by Ashwathama at the end of Kurukshetra war. Later on he ruled the kingdom for many years and was considered to be one of the best kings, comparable to King Rama or Ikshaku of the previous yugas. Though Parikshit was so great, due to the effect of Kali (a demon), unfortunately did a mistake — for which the punishment was death! Once after a hunting expedition, tired and very thirsty, Parikshit reaches the ashram of the great Sage Samika. The sage at that time was in deep meditation and completely detached from the environment.  Hence, he did not notice the exhausted King Parikshit and his request for water. Thinking that the sage is intentionally ignoring and insulting him, the king became angry and puts a dead snake around the neck of Samika and leaves the place. Shringin, the son of Samika, realizing that Parikshit did such an insult to his father, curses Parikshit that in seven days he will die of snake bite. Having known about the curse, what Raja Parikshit did was to prepare him for the death and did not try to escape from it. Even though Parikshit has seen God even before birth and has been guided through out by His presence, he only asked for guidance to face the problem, and not help him live longer by neutralizing the effect of the curse. When great sages like Vyasa and Suka visited him, his request to them was to teach him how to overcome fear and focus his mind on to God and prepare him for Moksha.

Most of us are not as blessed as Raja Parikshit, seeing God in dreams also is very rare. Yet we ask God to solve our problem! Please understand that we have to accept our “Karmaphala” (results of our deeds) based on our Karma (deeds). We should only ask God to help us face the problem; give us the strength, courage and ability to face the problem.

Similar things happen in many organizations too! Employees expect the management to do everything to ensure, guarantee their success. If one is in Sales or Marketing, the expectation is that the company must have the best products in its category, price should be the lowest and to be sold with a promise of lifelong free support! We all expect to be paid better than the best company, excellent offices and other infrastructure, working hours limited to 9 to 5 for five days a week and no pressure to perform as it will impact work life balance! Great! What one should expect from the organization is training and education and support to produce excellent results with whatever products are available with the company. The company can prepare us to face the challenges of the market place, but it is the employee who should go out and meet the challenges to be successful. Of course comparable salaries and good work environments are essential but expecting beyond that is like expecting the God to solve all our problems!

8 replies
  1. Neela
    Neela says:

    Very true! I fully agree that we cannot escape what is stored for us! all we can do is pray God for strength, patience and ability to face the reality and ask for directions!
    Thank you for this fantastic write-up.

  2. Gowri Krishnakumar
    Gowri Krishnakumar says:

    Yes Sir, having known that we cannot escape from our Karmaphala, our elders have told us to accept things with Prasada Buddhi- an attitude of acceptance that, this is best that has happened to us. Raja Parikshit took his curse with Prasada Buddhi and started working towards how best to overcome that and not avoid that.

    Very often in the Corporate World, when we face failures or get results below expectations, we tend to get demotivated and stop putting in our best efforts. Here I feel we need to apply the Bhagavadgita saying of Karmanye Vadikaraste – which says that it is our duty to put in our best efforts and should not expect the fruits. But again, when we have put in our best efforts, I think the best results should follow through automatically.


  3. Sajina Venugopal Chhabra
    Sajina Venugopal Chhabra says:

    Sir, Raja Parikshit was aware of the problem he was going to face and hence he prepared himself for it by seeking the help of the sages. A lot many times, we are not aware of what problems we would encounter, and at many a times we have to face these problems on our own, so in this case how do we prepare ourselves to face such an ordeal?

    • Venu Payyanur
      Venu Payyanur says:

      Dear Sajina
      That is a very good question. Raja Parikshit did not seek the help of God or sages to solve his problem, even though his problem – an impending death, is considered by most to be the most serious of all problems a person can face in life. What the Raja asked is to give him the strength, courage and wisdom to face the problem. This is exactly what we should do. Do not seek Gods blessings to solve our problems, seek the courage and wisdom to solve the problem , in that case you have the ability to face any kind of challenges in life.

  4. katalogi stron
    katalogi stron says:

    I am leading my own blog about the similar things. I found a lot of interesting information at your blog and I would like to use them. Is it posibble? I am inviting to my blog, perhaps you will find also something interesting on my site.

  5. Viji
    Viji says:

    Dear Sir

    Really enjoying your articles. Great source. I am a faculty at IIT Madras. Would be really grateful if you email me at [email protected] some good articles relating Hindu mythology to management. My students would benefit from them. Thanks so much! Please keep writing!


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