Raj Dharma vs. Adhikari Dharma – Part 1

Duties and Responsibilities of a King and how it compares that with a modern day Senior Manager (reference from Mahabharata – advices from Bhisma to Yudhishthira).

In the “Mahabharata” Santiparva, Bhishma Pitamaha gave advice to the newly crowned King Yudhishthira about the responsibilities of a good king. Given below are some of the extracts of that talk and how it is relevant even today and can be applied in Managers day to day affairs. 

1. The happiness of their subjects, observance of truth, and sincerity of behavior are the eternal duty of kings. If the king becomes possessed of prowess, truthful in speech, and forgiving in temper, he would never fall away from prosperity. With soul cleansed of vices, the king should be able to govern his anger, and all his conclusions should be conformable to the scriptures. He should also always pursue morality and profit and pleasure and salvation (judiciously).

Manager – Employees are the most important resources for any organization. Motivated, committed, loyal and hardworking employees keep the organization always successful and ahead of competitors. It is indeed the Managers responsibility to take good care of the employees and keep them motivated by leading from front.

2. Readiness for exertion in kings is the root of kingly duties. The hero of exertion is superior to the heroes of speech. The heroes of speech gratify and worship the heroes of exertion. The king that is destitute of exertion, even if possessed of intelligence, is always overcome by foes like a snake that is bereft of poison. That king is not worth of praise who, is destitute of exertion.

Manager – Action orientation is an essential trait of any Manager.  Those who are members of the NATO club (No Action Talk Only) never achieve anything irrespective of their qualification and experience. 

3. It is the eternal duty of kings to prevent a confusion of duties in respect of the different orders. The king should not repose confidence (on others than his own servants), nor should he repose full confidence (on even his servants). These six persons should be avoided like a leaky boat on the sea, viz., a preceptor that does not speak, a priest that has not studied the scriptures, a king that does not grant protection, a wife that utters what is disagreeable, a cow-herd that likes to rove within the village, and a barber that is desirous of going to the woods.

Manager – It is essential that a Manager appoints the right person for the job and ensure they are performing their assigned duties and responsibilities to its fullest potential. He must identify those who are non-performers or whaling away their time in their desks and eliminate them without delay to ensure that motivation levels of those who are high performers are not affected.

4. The king should administer justice like Yama and amass wealth like Kubera. He should firmly follow the behavior of the righteous and, therefore, observe that behavior carefully. If the king is not wrathful, if he is not addicted to evil practices and not severe in his punishments, if he succeeds in keeping his passions under control, he then becomes an object of confidence unto all like the Himalaya mountains (unto all creatures).

Manager – Nepotism and favoritism must be avoided at all costs in an organization by the Manager. Such behavior only creates divide and increased politicking that severely impacts performance. Performance review must be conducted professionally and rewards, awards and compensation decided purely on merits and achievements. Anger is the biggest enemy and therefore a Manager must remain cool and composed displaying highest levels of maturity and compassion.

5. The king desirous of obtaining prosperity should always bind to his service men that are brave, devoted, incapable of being deceived by foes, well-born, healthy, well-behaved, and connected with families that are well-behaved, respectable, never inclined to insult others, conversant with all the sciences, possessing a knowledge of the world and its affairs, unmindful of the future state of existence, always observant of their duties, honest, and steadfast like mountains.  That king, however, who is of righteous behavior and who is ever engaged in attracting the hearts of his people, never sinks when attacked by foes.

Manager – The greatest potentials for the growth of any company are generated by a commitment to high corporate values.  Values raise the quality of corporate energies and elevate work to a higher level. Whatever be your job, when you add values to it, you will see Prosperity in abundance. Honesty, integrity, truthfulness, fairness, and justice are higher values. Punctuality, politeness, pleasantness, proper record keeping, orderliness, soft speech, cleanliness, accuracy, precision, workmanship, and thoroughness are physical values. Irrespective of your job, position and place, add values to your work. Go on adding them in quantity and quality. You will reach the heaven of Prosperity.

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