Vidura Neethi # 17 – “Patience”, “Compassion” & “Respect” – Key for a successful leader!!!

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In the previous episode we had a detailed discussion about a very important quality called “sharing”. As Vidura commences his reply to King Dhirdhiraashtra, he is smart enough to point out that the biggest mistake that King Dhirdhiraashtra was making is his inability to “share” the kingdom with the Paandava camp as per the agreement made earlier. Vidura thus “pokes” King Dhirdhiraashtra by indirectly saying that he has failed as a righteous king by not executing this important quality. Another reason why King Dhirdhiraashtra has failed in his “Dharma” is that, he is doing something that Bhagawan Krishna feels it’s wrong! Hence he is slowly getting into the bad books of Lord Krishna, which is extremely dangerous for the near future to come!

Even as Vidura exhorts the “Dharma” in a well-structured manner, King Dhirdhiraashtra is unable to take it in the right sense. He asks Vidura back, “Oh Vidura! Whatever you’re saying doesn’t really convince me! Here, Yuddhishtra and his (Paandava) brothers are also Kshathriya princes! They never opened up and resisted my move of not splitting the kingdom. According to the “Kshathriya” Dharma, if something allegedly goes wrong, it’s their duty to raise their voice and fight for it! Why didn’t they do that? Hence, how can you squarely blame me for what is happening right now? It is only the Paandavas headed by Uddishtra to blame!! Isn’t it??”

Upon hearing this question from King Dhirdhiraashtra, Vidura again tries to make him understand the reality of the situation. He replies thus, “Oh King Dhirdhiraashtra! You’ve raised a very valid question! However, please realize that Uddishtra and the Paandavas haven’t raised their voice till today because of their high respect and regards for you as a righteous king! It is also because of the extremely good qualities that are imbibed within themselves right from their birth, that has prevented them to go hammer and tongs on the issue!”

“Aanrushamsya anukroshaath dharmaath sathyaath paraakramaath!

Guruthvaavahi samprekshya bahun kleshaanstrithikshyathe!!”

This is an extremely important sloka. Vidura explains through the above sloka that Uddishtra is a person who is extremely merciful and compassionate to all the living beings in this world (“Aanrushamsya”)! He is an epitome of patience(“Trithikshu”) In other words, irrespective of whatever hurdles that would arise, he knows how to handle them successfully with his patience! Moreover, Uddishtra would not be able to tolerate even a bit when he sees someone suffering in front of him (“Anukroshaath”)! Such is the amount of Uddishtra’s compassion for other living beings. The moment he sees a suffering in front of him, he would be moved to tears within seconds! Also to add on, Uddishtra is a person who would never compromise on “Dharma” and “Sathya” (Truth). Uddishtra is a person who stands by the truth at any instance of situation.

Vidura continues.. “Oh King Dhirdhiraashtra! By asking such a question, you are only  undermining the significance of the great Uddishtra! You are underestimating him! Please try to realize that only because of his good thought that the kingdom should not suffer because of this particular dispute, only because he respects you and rates you extremely high in regards and only because he is extremely compassionate towards your well-being as a righteous king, he is quiet for all these days! But what are you and your sons doing to him? Your sons have done all sorts of evil things to him, pushed him to situations wherein he had to bare uncontrollable misery! Even after undergoing all these trials and tribulations, he is still maintaining his serenity! This shows his impeccable character! Hence, Dhirdhiraashtra, please do not underestimate Uddishtra!for all the above-mentioned reasons!!!”

From this sloka, we can understand and infer the significance of three important aspects in lifePatience, compassion and respect! The life of Uddishtra (Dharma-Puthra) teaches us the essence of all of the three important characteristics. These characteristics directly can be applied to modern day leadership and management theories too – A successful leader across any domain would have these three things imbibed in him or her. First of all, patience is extremely important for a leader. Why? It is because, only if the leader has the patience, he/she would be able to analyze the given situation and understand the crux of the problem in hand! If the leader gets emotionally carried away by the situation, he/she would end up only taking decisions that would be causing revenge to others! Eventually this would lead to backlashing and the leader’s brand reputation would take a huge hit! We can see innumerable cases of leaders who have failed in their journey because of this issue!

Once a leader has the patience in him/her, compassion and respect would follow! Once the leader is capable of controlling his/her emotions, the situation can be better understood and thus, he/she can get to the real problem that the organization or his employees are facing! Thus, the true compassion in the leader grows! Once the leader exhibits compassion, respect automatically follows! Because of the compassionate attitude, the leader would be able to respect his/her employees’ situations, and in turn the employees would also appreciate and respect their leader! They would stand by their leader at any compelling situation! This is how successful leaders emerge!

Thus from today’s episode, through Vidura’s answers to King Dhirdhiraashtra we’ve laid the foundation of successful leadership by explaining three important characteristics – Patience, Compassion and Respect! We shall wait till the next episode to build further upon this strong foundation! Stay tuned! 🙂

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 Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, 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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