Episode # 79 – Significance of “Mentoring” as explained by “Vidura Neethi” – An eye-opener for today’s managers!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed five important people that one should worship everyday, as explained by Vidura. They are “Devaas” (Celestial Beings), “Pithru” (Departed souls), “Manushyaan” (People living in this world), “Bikshu” (Saints or Sanyaasins) and “Athithi” (Guest). In due course, we also discussed that the “Devas” and “Pithrus” are to be remembered in our prayers every single day. This is where we saw the importance given by our “Sanaathana Dharma” to performing “Shraadha”, “Tharpana”, etc. that are done for our “Pithrus” (Departed souls). We should thus understand the significance of these important rituals and make it a point that we never miss out on them.

Now moving on further, Vidura explains the next five important people. Who are they?

“Panchathvaan gamishyanti yathra yathra gamishyasi!”

Here Vidura explains that these five people will keep following us like a shadow wherever we go in this world! We might be wondering who on earth would keep following us this closely every day! Let us see who are those five people:

“Mithraani amithraa madhyasthaa upajeevya upajeevinaha!!”

 Here Vidura explains those five people: “Mithraa” (A Friend), “Amithraa” (An Enemy), “Madhyastha” (A neutral person), “Upajeevya” (A person who is going to be of immense help to our lives) and “Upajeevinaha(Those people who are going to be benefitted from our help). Thus Vidura explains to King Dhirdiraashtra that these five categories of people would always follow us like a shadow, wherever we are and wherever we go in our lives.

If we look into the deeper meaning of this sloka, we can understand that Vidura is indirectly advising King Dhirdiraashtra that the Paandavas are those people who are to be benefitted from him, however due to the evil natures of Duryodhana and Co., King Dhirdiraashtra is trying to block those Paandavas from following him. Vidura continues further, “Oh Dhirdiraashtra! You are thinking that only “Mithras” (Friends) are following you! But please note that because of your actions, you are creating more enemies than friends. Please realize this fact! Thus even now it is not too late. These five categories of people would keep following you wherever you are! You are trying to stop the unstoppable! By your foolish actions, you are trying to stop the Paandavas from living a good life and because of this act of yours, your entire clan is facing extreme danger in the near future!”

How applicable is this sloka to our modern day life? Of course all of us know that we have innumerable friends and enemies in our lives every passing day. We work with various organizations today and in our workplace, there would be some people who would really be good friends with us, and some other people who would try to pull us down for their personal gain. These people form one kind of enemies who act as a stumbling block to our professional growth. Apart from these people, there might be some people who are business competitors, who might even go to the extent of “backstabbing” us for their growth over us. Hence we need to be extremely careful in identifying such people and develop our smartness to handle them efficiently. Thus as per Vidura’s statement, it is not possible to lead a life without any enemies. However, we can only develop our smartness to handle them and keep them at bay.

Of course we would have many people in our company who would require our help to prosper in their career. This process of nurturing such people and helping them to grow is called as “Mentoring” in the modern day! This is exactly what Vidura has said thousands of years ago! How relevant is this today! If we look at any organization today, the process of “Mentoring” has come into prime focus since this is one robust process that enables the holistic development of an organization. In other words, the experience of the senior members of the organization gets passed on to the new joinees and the junior employees. This “experience sharing” is extremely important for the growth of the company and this process is called “Mentoring”. Finally, there would also be a set of people who would have mentored us to reach the level that we are in today! We should never forget such great people! In simpler terms, our mentors and mentees are of prime importance for all of us. We should never forget the contributions made by our “mentors” in the past, to bring us up to the level where we are. Similarly we should never shy away from helping out our “mentees” who require our help in terms of knowledge and experience sharing, for the overall growth of our organization.

Thus for today, let us think and reflect upon these five important categories of people who follow us like a shadow every passing day and let us realize that it is our prime duty to help these five people in corresponding ways. Most importantly, the message from today’s episode is that we should never shy away from helping others – Whomever they might be, at the time of their need. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next five aspects that Vidura is going to explain! 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 International School of Business & Media, Pune, 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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