Episode 15 – Leadership lessons from Lord Rama’s “Kalyaana Gunas” – Significance of the “Aatman” (Inner Soul)


In the last episode, we saw three very important noble qualities that are to be inherited within an ideal leader, and how significant are they in modern-day life. Today we shall continue this discussion forward by talking about a couple of very important noble qualities and how significant are they in the context of modern-day leadership.

  1. Aatmavaankaha – A person who knows the significance of the “Aatman” (Inner soul) and is a master of all living beings. This is one of the most important qualities that differentiates normal leaders from a well-established “Spiritual Leader” or a “Spiritual Master’. Knowing the inner significance of the “Aatman” is of paramount importance for all of us. Let’s view the philosophy of the “Aatman” (The Inner soul) in this way – If someone comes and asks us, what is the “Aatman” and who is it, what would be our reply?

Let me explain this question in a simpler way for better understanding: We see numerous things around us in this world everyday, like plants, animals, human beings and other various objects. For instance, if someone points out to a chair and asks us, “What’s this object?” Our reply would be that, “It’s a chair”. If someone points out to a cloth and asks us, “What’s this item?” We would give an emphatic reply that “It’s a piece of cloth!” Similarly if someone asks us “What’s Aatman?” What answer would we give? It’s important for all of us to find out a proper and a definitive answer for this! Let’s now try to see an answer for this question. In Sanskrit, Aatman is something, which is beautifully described as “Nyaathruthvam” which means “The embodiment of the knowledge of the supreme “(Parabrahma). The explanation doesn’t stop there. The Aatman is also described as “Aanandamayathvam” which means “The embodiment of permanent happiness”. There’s a third explanation to it – The Aatman is also described as “Seshabhootha” which means that every Aatman living in this world is a “Servant” of Bhagawan and is expected to perform “Seva” or “Kainkariya” to it’s Lord. That’s why all the Spiritual Masters (Gurus) emphasise the fact that all of us should do service to mankind. “Service to mankind is service to Bhagawan” is a well-known proverb for many!

Now let’s think deeper for a moment – Do we have this feeling within us today? In the modern day of hi-fi technology and work pressure day on day, do we really have this thinking in us? In the present day, all of us face loads of problems, difficulties and challenges in our day-to-day lives. Some people complain that someone has cheated them; they’ve lost all their money and wealth due to whatsoever reasons, and loads of many other complaints. We also constantly hear people saying every day that they’re suffering from mental depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. and they’re under medication. Why do we hear all this?

Firstly, it’s because of the way of life today and in fact that we’re all running towards something that we ourselves do not know! Secondly, in our life, we should give importance to two things equally – Our Aatman and our body (Deham). Normally, as we progress in our age we should give more importance towards the Aatman and lesser importance to our physical body. If I start talking all this now, then none of you would be interested in reading my blog further  🙂 – This comment is just on a lighter note, but however we need to start from somewhere. For this, we should atleast start treating the Aatman and our body equally. But if we completely focus our attention only on our physical body, if we never think even a bit about our Aatman, then even if there’s a small jolt with respect to our external physical body, we feel that the entire world is jolting around us and we’re unprepared to face the challenges that present before us. Whereas, if we develop an equal thinking about the “Aatman” and our body together, it would make us mentally stronger to face and overcome any kind of challenge in life. If we have the feeling that the “Paramaathma” (Bhagawan) is with us as a guiding light, we would never feel left alone in this world and we shall accomplish any task with ease!

Hence we can understand from the above philosophy that the main reason why people go into mental depression, blood pressure, etc. is because, they are completely unaware of the significance of the “Aatman” and the “Paramaatman”. It’s thus important for all of us to dedicate a portion of our time everyday to introspect within ourselves and think about Bhagawan (Aatma-chintanam) and if we start doing this, we can lead a life without any tension, mental pressure, etc. Let’s try doing this meticulously from today!

  1. Jithakrodaha – A person who is always calm and never gets angry for anything, that is, a person who has conquered his/her anger completely. This is an extremely important character of a successful leader. From the life of Lord Rama, we would be able to see in numerous instances how He had a complete control over his emotions – particularly anger. In modern day too, this is of paramount importance.

It can be observed that the calmer a person is, he/she becomes more and more invincible. This holds well in any domain – be it politics, sports, corporate, etc. Especially in sports nowadays we see many people/teams trying to play “mind games” with their opponents before the commencement of the game. Mind games are nothing but ways to provoke and kindle the emotions of the opponent. Why does this happen? It’s only because of the fact that if the calmness of the opponent is disturbed, it becomes easier for this person/team to win over. Hence, it’s thus important for all of us, in whichever domain we are, not to get carried away by the “mind games” of others and in turn, disturb our emotional stability. It’s thus important to stay calm and composed in whatever situation we are in and this is a very important pre-requisite to be successful!

What are the last three noble qualities of an ideal leader and how important are they in today’s life? Let’s wait and 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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