Ancient Management

Vedas Management Practices for Today’s Management

Bhagwad Gita says that it is doing work with cleverness and as a science; by knowing how to work,

one can obtain the greatest results.

Vedic Literature

The age of the Vedas can at best be 4000 B.C. .The primary thought in the Vedas is a mystical conception of the universe. The whole effort of the Veda is directed towards one goal – to achieve union of the individual Self (Atman) with the world Self (Brahma).

‘Upanishada’ means ‘to sit by the side’.What was taught by making the disciple sit by the side of the teacher is the Upanishads. The main theme in the Upanishads is a philosophical inquiry and dealing with that state of mind with all shackles destroyed.

The direct method of realizing the path of knowledge (Jnaanamaarga) the nonduality (Abhedha) of the Supreme Being and the soul are explained in the Upanishads.

The Vedic literature provides the spiritual knowledge and instructions for assisting all living beings in their material and spiritual development and understanding.

The Vedic literature, including, among other texts, the Rig,Sama, Yajur and Atharva Vedas, the up Vedas,Vedangas, Shadarshanas, Upanishads, the Vedanta-Sutra, Yoga Sutras, Agmas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and Bhagwad-Gita.

Vedas and Modern Management

It suggests that every action of an individual, leads to set consequences. – Law of Karma

Organization and management system have been there since the beginning of human society. As globalization takes place and the problems of management whether in government system or commercial undertaking have, not to be multinational but also multicultural, the need to study other cultural arises.

Besides the roots of human motivation lay in cultural values so a study of management principles that Flow there from being a necessary prerequisite for the globalized management system.

Management is about making these exchanges efficient and effective. When there are decent exchange, relationships thrive and society prospers. That is the direction in which the first hymn of the Veda takes us.

Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1856-1925) and Henri Fayol (1841-1925) are two personalities who’ve shaped management as a subject taught in most business schools.Taylor focused on task while Fayol was more concerned about managing people.

But the Vedic view of life is based on the idea that man is an integral part of the global family – Vasudhaevakutumbakam.  Also, the law of Karma (causation) is heralded as a law of nature. It suggests that every action of an individual, leads to set consequences.

Therefore, it also offers a path for peaceful coexistence. This path is called Karma Yoga. Vedic wisdom fosters the idea of integrating ethics, awareness, responsible behaviour  and good governance in management education through experiential learning, mentoring,dialogues, spiritual discipline, cognitive learning,observation and reflection.

Yamas and Niyamas

The Vedic path consists of ten general rules of moral conduct.

There are five for inner purity, called the yamas

  1. satyas or truthfulness:
  2. ahimsa or non-injury to others and treating all beings with respect,
  3. asteya or no cheating or stealing,
  4.  brahmcharya or celibacy and,
  5. aparighara or no selfish accumulation of resources for one’s own purpose.

The five rules of conduct for external purification are the niyamas

  1. shaucha or cleanliness and purity of mind and body,
  2. tapas or austerity and preservance, 
  3. swadhyay or study of the Vedas,
  4. santosh or contentenment,
  5. as well as ishvara- pranidhana, acceptance of the Supreme.

There are also ten qualities that are the basis of dharmic (righteous) life.

  1. dhriti (firmness or fortitude, kshma (forgiveness),
  2. dama (self – contol),
  3. asteya (refraining from stealing or dishonesty),
  4. shauch (purity),
  5. indriyanigraha (control over the senses),
  6. dhih(intellect),
  7. vidya(knowledge),
  8. satyam (truth)
  9. akrodhah (absence of anger).

Dharma

Dharma is in fact is a comprehension of those eternal principles which govern nature and humanity, those immutable laws which in one sphere are called science and in other true philosophy.

The beginning of which is a basic understanding of the difference between life and

matter:that matter comes from life, not life from matter.

It concerns itself,not with things true under certain condition or at certain times; its precepts are ever true, true in the past, true in present, true in the future.

The word Dharma indicates the importance of developing the natural propensities of each child in line with the principles of spirituality, the beginning of which is a basic understanding of the difference between life and matter:that matter comes from life, not life from matter.

Adapted from : Nidhi Kaushal & Dr. Sanjit Mishra, Global Journal of Management and Business Research ,Volume XVII, Issue II  2017

Artha

Artha is meant riches, might skill, family, health, fame and enjoyable objects. Artha is subservient to Dharma. It is the principle value because it is the aid to the karma, to the pursuits of life like farming, trade dairy and industry, etc.

With Artha one can achieve enjoyable objects in life and can perform the prescriptions of Dharma in a better way.

Vedic hymns emphasize earning more and more money and distributing it with much morevigor; for example:

Atharva Veda (3-24-5) says: ‘‘O man! Earn money with hundred handsand distribute it with thousand hands’’.It further lays down governing principles for the purity of earning money.

According to the Gita, a wise person works in order to discharge his/her responsibilities to the society, and not for the sake of itsmaterial rewards.

Different types of work are described in terms of caste- appropriate roles; however, these

descriptions need to be viewed within the sociohistorical context of the period. The Gita stresses that no work done in order to keep a person appropriately productive should be considered “bad.”

Kama

It means to fulfil the noble desires. Kama is enjoying itself; it is the desire for pleasure .

Moksha

The ultimate purpose of human life is to shed all the attachments to matter and to attain Moksha (liberation from material existence) and return to the transcendental realm,this is not only our true nature but also our true home.

Moksha is the highest value for man. It has always been held,unanimously and unambiguously, to the highest ideal to which the human being can aspire.

Conclusion

The Vedic texts contain a wealth of meaning. Besides its poetic grandeur they contain detailed

injunctions for a well ordered society and social life, great philosophical truth and even scientific laws.

The Vedic Management concepts cultured in ancient time are relevant in the present world and organizations can have the best business model based on the regulation of Ethos. The knowledge and wisdom in the ancient Vedas definitely show the righteous path to the  entrepreneurs of the modern world.

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