Everybody wants success. However, success does not come to all and sun-dry. Success follows anyone who has the discipline, hard work, passion and perseverance to achieve his or her goal. A story from the Ramayana highlights the four pillars of the success mantra. King Sagara lost his ceremonial horse while conducting his Ashwamedha Yajna. He sent his sixty thousand sons after the horse, which was eventually found in sage Kapila’s hermitage.
The princes misconstrued the sage to be the thief. The enraged sage reduced them to ashes. Sagara’s grandson Anshuman who went in search of his uncles discovered the truth. Garuda the celestial bird advised Anshuman to liberate the souls of his kin by washing their ashes over with the waters of the celestial Ganga. Anshuman did as he was bid, but was unsuccessful, so was his son Dileepa. His grandson Bhageeratha, decided that he should redeem the soul of his ancestors. He studied the reasons for the previous failures and realised that his forefathers were trying to row two boats simultaneously. Therefore he renounced his throne and set out to conduct a severe penance to Lord Brahma.
The pleased Lord said that he had no reservations about directing the river of gods to descend on earth. Nevertheless he was doubtful whether the earth had the power to bear her formidable force. He told Ikshavaku king to request Lord Shiva to control the waters. Bhageeratha meditated on Shiva and arranged for the descent of Ganga. Little did Bhageeratha expect Lord Shiva to lock the audacious waters in his matted locks. He humbly performed another penance and impressed upon Shiva to release Ganga to salvage the souls of his forefathers. Just when he thought that all his troubles were over Ganga managed to annoy sage Jahnu who drank her up in a fit of anger. The poor king pleaded with the sage to let go of Ganga and eventually led her to the netherworld and carried out his mission. Any other person in his place would have given up, but not Bhageeratha. The sense of purpose of the fourth generation scion has been epitomised in the phrase Bhageeratha Prayathna which we will do well to emulate, if we hope to realise our most cherished dreams.
Analysing a given situation and arriving at a suitable decision can be a challenging task to a competent leader.
The meetings and discussions with team-mates may not always be fruitful. Many a time, team members may standby what appears to be logical, overlooking the nuances and subtleties of the case. At such times a leader is generally thrown into a quandary. If the person in charge takes the appropriate decision independently he is likely to be termed as a totalitarian and will receive half-hearted support of his group. On the other hand if he is coerced to take a stand against his better judgment guided by the terror of antagonizing his team he is likely to lose out on the project.
Leaders can do well to take a leaf out of the Ramayana and follow the footsteps of lord Rama when he was faced with a similar situation. The prince of Ayodhya had camped at the outskirts of Lanka along with his brother Lakshmana and his army ready to fight Ravana. At that time, Vibheeshana the brother of the demon king approached Rama and requested the former to accept him into his camp. Even before he could articulate his thoughts on the matter, just about everyone in his camp vetoed the idea quite garrulously.
They warned their commander Rama not to be deceived or mislead by the Rakshasa. Though Rama found Vibheeshana guileless and rather sincere, he did not want to take a unilateral decision in accepting the new entrant to his army who happened to be from the enemy camp. He allowed everyone to air his views and then turned to Hanuman who was sitting quietly and asked the wise one to pitch in his thoughts. At his behest, Bajrang Bali expressed his thoughts aloud and endorsed the application of Vibheeshana in a syllogistic manner. The scion of the Raghu race welcomed the well explained suggestion which seemed to go down well with his army and implemented it.
Rama could have been his own counsel, yet he chose to allow everyone to have his say and then evinced Hanuman’s elucidation on the subject to convince the army of his will. Thereby, he ensured that there would be no bad blood or dissent in his army in accepting Vibheeshana.
Leaders in similar situations with better insight should work out a plausible ploy to convince their fellow members of their ideas by reaching out to them in the best possible manner for the smooth and successful execution of the venture.