Episode 14 – Leadership lessons from Lord Rama’s “Kalyaana Gunas” (Contd.)


In the past three episodes we’ve so far seen eight of the sixteen “Kalyaana Gunas” (Noble Qualities) of Lord Rama, as described by Valmiki Maharishi, as part of the “Narada-Valmiki Samvaadham”. All these qualities that we’re seeing as part of this, are extremely important in terms of modern day leadership. In today’s episode we shall see some more noble qualities and their applicability to the modern day.

  1. Vidwaan – A person who has a mastery over all subjects. It is believed and also a well-known fact that Lord Rama was an expert in the usage of the bow and arrow, as a “Kshatriya Veera”. Along with the bow and arrow, he was also an expert in the usage of “Asthras” (Can be equated somewhat to the modern day missiles) and other weapons and hence was considered invincible during a war. Apart from this, Lord Rama is also considered an expert in all the “Dharma Shaastras”, the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana Vedas. He was also considered to be the best student of Sage Vasishta and Sage Vishwamithra. Such is the mastery of various subjects that Lord Rama has attained, and hence He’s rightly described as the “Vidwaan”.

How is this relevant to modern day leadership? In today’s studies on this subject, there’s a type of Leadership called “Expert Leadership” wherein the leader gains an “Expert Power” amongst his/her people because of the expertise he/she possesses in his/her domain. This is very crucial in today’s world. If the leader is an expert in whatever domain of work he/she is into, people would automatically come to them for gaining knowledge and for obtaining expert guidance. This is one way through which leaders emerge, rather than proclaiming themselves to be leaders. We can see through numerous examples wherein the leader sustains in his/her position more when he/she emerges as a leader, rather than someone appointing them as a leader. Hence, this quality “Vidwaan” finds lot of significance in the process wherein a leader emerges!

  1. Samartaha – A person who is capable of doing and accomplishing anything in this world. This is a unique quality possessed by Lord Rama. This can be considered as a continuation of the previous quality of “Vidwaan”, wherein, once a leader gains a mastery over his/her domain knowledge, with due experience he/she also gains the capability and confidence of accomplishing anything that comes their way, be it whatever challenge. Lord Rama is considered an epitome of this quality wherein, we can see the way in which he exhibits his mastery over fighting a war. Even as a child, He defeats the raakshasi (Demoness) Thaataka, her sons Maaricha and Subaahu who are also raakshasaas (Demons) single-handedly. He further proceeds to Mithila (Present day country of Nepal), lifts the “Shiva Dhanush” (The bow that is of Lord Shiva) with a single hand, as part of the “Syamvara”  (Marriage) of Goddess Sita Devi and in numerous other instances in his life and thus shows his expertise to accomplish any complicated task in the world with ease!

This quality can be viewed in the modern day context as a combination of “Expertise” and “Experience”. A leader with this combination is considered to be invincible and gains the capability to foresee and handle any complex and challenging situations in his/her career. We can see numerous examples of leaders who have struggled their way up and have been successful at the end. It’s because of this combination of expertise and experience, that they know exactly how to handle tough situations. Hence, this quality of “Samartha” gains extreme importance for a leader to be successful.

  1. Priyadarshanaha – A person who has a captivating, handsome and pleasant look. This might be quite familiar to all of us. So far we’ve been talking about the qualities that are to be exhibited by a leader, but is that enough? Physical appearance also matters in lot of things in life! Only if a person has that captivating physical appearance, people would be able to admire him/her along with what they do! Hence we can see here that the quality pertaining to the physical appearance is very predominant in terms of leadership. It’s a well-known fact that Lord Rama is a handsome, well-built person (96 “Ankulam” – A type of measurement, as per the Valmiki Ramayana that can be equated to almost nine to ten feet in height. Perhaps people in the “Tretha Yuga” were that tall!) Lord Rama is also described as “Aajaanu Baahum” and “Aravinda Lochana”, which means tall, well built and handsome in look. The moment we look at his face; it’s very difficult for us to take our eyes off Him!! Such is his handsomeness!!

This is why, in modern day corporate, we give so much of stress to physical appearance of a person. We have a formal clothing (blazer, tie, etc.) to enhance our physical appeal. The moment we have a good physical outlook, lot of other things automatically fall in place. This can be seen especially among those people who are into Sales and marketing, because, sales people have the direct interface with the clients of their organization. With a neat and a clean physical appearance, the sales person enhances not only his/her personal reputation, but also enhances the brand of his/her company, in front of the customer! It is only because of this significance, the quality “Priyadarshana” finds ample relevance in today’s corporate world.

What are the other important qualities mentioned by Valmiki Maharishi? Let’s find out in the next episode!


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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