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'Mahabharata' also offers a wealth of Communication and Management insights which are still applicable in the contemporary world. Guru Dronacharya decided to test his students in their skill of archery. He hung a wooden bird from the branch of a tree and then summoned his students. He asked the first one to aim for the bird's eye but not shoot just yet. He then asked the student what the student could see. The student replied that he could see the garden, the tree, flowers, etc. Dronacharya asked him to step aside and not shoot. He repeated the same process with a few other students. When it was Arjuna's turn, Arjuna told his Guru that the only thing he could see was the bird's eye. The learning thus found in the above example are that one must listen attentively and completely. Correlate the statements preceding the question. Understand the holistic perspective. Decipher what the customer really wants; understand the stated and latent needs. Analyze what your competitors are doing/saying. Provide unique value proposition to your customers; say what you do, and do what you say!
Also, the game of Dice is considered by many as the single most important reason for the occurrence of war between Pandavas and Kauravas. Shakuni was Duryodhana's uncle, younger brother of Dhritarashtra's wife, the virtuous Gandhari. He was shrewd and unscrupulous, well known in the courts of Hastinapura and Indraprastha as an expert dice player. He proposed to invite the Pandavas to a game of dice and exploit Yudhishtira's inability to resist a challenge.
If we look at it from today's management point of view, this was purely a strategic plan by Shakuni to ensure Duryodhana gets so much in a game what he could not take on the field of war. There was lot of planning which went into the strategy, and through this what comes in handy for us is the following: Shakuni sent Vidura, one of the ministers in Kauravas kingdom sympathetic to Pandavas, to invite Pandavas to play the game of dice. Yudhishtira could not refuse Vidura. Timing of the game was planned in such a way that Lord Krishna, another Pandavas' supporter, was away fighting wars with other small kingdoms.
Also one must be skilled enough to understand the body language of his supporters as well as the opponents. In this case, Yudhishtira was unable to read the body language of Kauravas who were hell bent in defecting Pandavas. He fell into their trap of playing again and again despite losing. Same can said about his apathy towards his brothers and other elders during the game. They all were disappointed and wanted Yudhishtira to stop somewhere which he did not do. Personal Egos took over the normal sensibilities. Though Yudhishtira understood that putting family in line for dice game was incorrect and he said the same thing to Duryodhana as well but Duryodhana smartly flattered him by saying that Yudhishtira is Lord Dharma and does everything right.
One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is 'Holy Gita' which is considered to be one of the first revelations from God. It provides all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level. The Bhagavad-Gita is preached in the battle field Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as counselling to do his duty while multitudes of men stood by waiting. Arjuna faces the problem of conflict between emotions and intellect. In almost all of the cases, emotions turn out victorious.
Hardly a few people have a conflict-free emotion and intellect. Emotions are required, for, without them, one is a mere robot. They make life pleasant as long as they are sensible and within limits. It has got all the management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium and to overcome any crisis situation. The Bhagavad-Gita can be experienced as a powerful catalyst for transformation. This divine book will contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen one's inner process.
In the storm of life we struggle through myriads of stimuli of pressure, stress, and multiple problems that seek for a solution and answer. We are so suppressed by the routine of this every life style that most of us seem helpless. However, if we look closely to ancient techniques we shall discover the magnificent way to understand and realize the ones around us and mostly ourselves. If only we could stop for a moment and allow this to happen.
Though Pandavas are only five members and Kauravas are 100 members, the final victory is achieved by Pandavas. This is because of the help of Lord Krishna. This tells us that divine help is necessary for human being and good wins over evil. Dhritrashtra was adviced well by Lord Krishna, Vidura etc, but he didn't care about them because of his mad love towards his sons. This teaches us that ignoring good advices can cause harm and destruction. This also shows how the mad love of parents can spoil their children.
The life of Karna teaches us many lessons. Being a bosom friend of Duryodhana, Karna could advice him good or bad. But instead of doing that, he agreed with everything Duryodhana said, and at last he lost everything including his friend. True friendship resides where the friens can advice each other if one is going wrong rather than following all ill deeds that the other is a party to. Karna also had the habit of donating anything he is asked. Due to this he lost all of his precious things, so while giving one must see the necessity of the receiver. Karna is one among the evil four (Duryodhana, Dussasana, Karna and Sakuni). Though Karna had all good qualities, he is considered evil because he agreed to everything whatever Duryodhana said. Thus one must choose his or her company carefully. For if good company can benefit one, the bad company can destroy him too as happens in Karna's case.
'Spare the rod, spoil the child'. This is true. Bhishma, the eldest of Kaurava clan could set right his grand children. But instead of doing that he remained a mute observer. This led to the great destruction. Ekalavya was a tribal boy. He was very much interested in learning archery from Acharya Drona, but Drona refused to teach him because of his caste. Then he learned archery on his own by making the mud idol of Drona. This character preaches that concentration and sincerity can win anything.
Today all are vigil and worried about the environmental issues, like global warming, hole in the Ozone layer, the altered rain patterns, the disappearance of rich evergreen forests and its wildlife. The human life also closely depends on the global environment. The relationships of the flora and fauna with the humans are very delicate and interdependent; any shift in this relationship invites serious problems to the environment. Vidura in this context says that the tiger protects the forest and in turn the forest protects the tiger. This is an ideal example of coexistence in terms of modern environmental concepts.
The story of Cirakarin is one of the fables in the 'Mahabharata' which deals with morality and ethical instructions. It is not only the morality of asceticism which finds expression in the moral narratives of the Mahabharata. Many of them are particularly appealing for the reason that they teach more of every - day morality which is rooted in the relations between husband and wife, parents and the children.
One of the most beautiful of these narratives is that of Cirakarin or the Youth Ponder- well. He is advised by his father to kill his mother as she has sinned grievously. As he is by nature slow and considers everything at length, he delays the execution of the command, and considers from this and that point of view, whether he should carry out his father`s command and burden himself with matricide or neglect his duty to his father. While he is pondering so long, his father returns and, as his anger has in the meantime vanished, he rejoices deeply that his son Ponder-well has, true to his name, pondered the matter so long. In the centre of this narrative, which is presented in simple popular tone with a certain humour, stands the soliloquy of the youth. In beautiful words he speaks of paternal love and filial duties, and in still more beautiful words, of maternal love.
He says that for as long as one has a mother one is well-cared for and when she is lost then a person is left without protection. A mother`s love will ensure that one is not oppressed by sorrow and is undisturbed by age even if he is robbed of all wealth. Even if a man has sons and grandsons he still behaves like a child when he is near his mother. It is only when one has lost his mother that one becomes old and unhappy and the whole world to him starts appearing empty. Thus the love, care and value of a mother in a person`s life is beautifully expounded in this fable of Cirakarin in the Mahabharata.
The idea that four orders and castes were based on birth was different from another school of thought that they were mere descriptions of different people in the society based on their character and occupation. In the second case caste was flexible, more a matter of choice and not based on birth. In later periods, caste system based on birth became rigid and numerous other castes started getting created. Yudhishthira in this context says:
"In human society, O mighty and highly intelligent Naga, it is difficult to ascertain one's caste, because of promiscuous intercourse among the four orders. This is my opinion. Men belonging to all orders beget offspring upon women of all the orders. And of men, speech, sexual intercourse, birth and death are common. And to this the Rishis have borne testimony by using as the beginning of a sacrifice such expressions as-of what caste so ever we may be, we celebrate the sacrifice. Therefore, those that are wise have asserted that character is the chief essential requisite. The natal ceremony of a person is performed before division of the umbilical cord. His mother then acts as its Savitri and his father officiates as priest. He is considered as a Sudra as long as he is not initiated in the Vedas." 
This is what we in the modern world have probably forgotten. Till date we have this caste discrimination play havoc on our minds. How so ever we may have advanced we still continue to cling to these parasites that hinder our personal growth. We even today do not allow the sweeper to transgress into the boundaries of our house. A sweeper is still considered to be impure. When it comes to getting our household chores they too appear to us as a burden and we keep maids and servants only to treat them worse than animals. But when it comes to speaking about humanity we have tonnes to talk about whether or not we follow it in our own lives.
The foundations of Indian civilization had long been perceived wrongly, then be it Western Christianity, Liberalism, Modern science or Marxism. The dharma and its concept in the 'Mahabharata', opens an entirely new universe of the knowledge of the self and of the other in relationship, individually and collectively. It is a text that changes the perception of its reader from studying a history that was limited, mostly negative in being a history of wrong understandings and misunderstandings, to studying the 'Mahabharata's' inquiry into those universal questions of human existence that every human being asks practically at every turn of his or her life.