Episode # 131 – Vidura’s beautiful analogy from “Industrial Chemistry” to explain “Organisational Psychology”!!!



In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important explanation from Vidura – This time on a very interesting area of modern day management – Organizational Psychology. There was a very interesting explanation with regards to two important concepts in Organizational Psychology – “Mutual Expectations” and “Psychological Contract”, wherein the message was that, we should at any time be focused on our duty towards our workplace and should not deviate unnecessarily from the track. If we do that, we should also be prepared to face flak from the organization in some way or the other. Similarly the organization should also maintain its’ due diligence at all times towards its employees. These two should go hand in hand, which is essential for an organization’s survival and growth.

Vidura continues to back his explanation with a couple of more analogies here. It is going to be extremely interesting in this context. Vidura says thus:

“Yad adadttham pranamati na tath santaabhayantyapi!!”

Here Vidura explains an analogy from Chemistry. We’ve witnessed a glimpse of it in the previous episode itself however, Vidura explains it here in much more detail. We might have heard the process of “Smelting” of iron ore to extract pure iron from it. This smelting is done so as to liquefy the iron ore by bending it with extremely high temperature. As part of the iron extraction process, we put the raw iron ore into a “smelter” wherein the ore is heated for a long time and to an extremely high temperature. Only if we do such a thing we would be able to get the desired output of iron with a certain level of purity, which in turn can be used to manufacture many other items that we use everyday. Now if the iron ore starts to bend and melt inside the smelter immediately within a shorter span of time, the smelter is stopped. However if the iron ore is extremely hard and is refusing to bend and melt down, the smelter needs to be operated with higher and higher temperatures till the iron ore is melting down. Similarly here, if we do our duty correctly without any hiccups anywhere, things go normal. However if we are trying to resist for each and every task that we are assigned to, we would definitely have to face the flak from the top management.

Hence Vidura explains this example to King Dhirdiraashtra to drive his point home. He says thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! Please remember this!” He signals a warning to him by indirectly driving the point that if he splits the kingdom according to the earlier made agreement without any hiccups, he and his clan can escape the wrath of the war that is going to follow. However if he is still unrelenting and keeps protesting against this move, he should be ready to face the war threat from the Pandavas and Lord Krishna.

“Yacchassvayam na tham dhaaru na tath sammananyapi!!”

Vidura continues further by highlighting this important point with yet another analogy – If I need to pluck flowers from the branch of a tree, I of course need to bend the branch a little bit so as to make it easy for me to pluck the flowers. If the branch is flexible enough for me to catch hold of it and bend it towards me, I do it with ease, without affecting the branch and the tree. However if the branch is way too hard and is highly rigid in nature, I would automatically employ my full force on it to bend the branch as per my convenience, to pluck the flowers. In this way what might happen? Either the branch would break down, or there would be a permanent damage to the branch in some way. Hence in a nutshell, if the branch is flexible enough on its own, it becomes easy for us to pluck the flowers without much effort. However if the branch is rigid, we need to employ force to make it flexible. Similarly, if we keep on showing too much of rigidity at our workplace just like the rigid branch of the tree, our employer would have no other option but to employ some harsh actions so as to extract the work from me.

Thus the underlying message from these two analogies is that we should always remember that we should exhibit a pleasing demeanour at work and execute our duties correctly with due diligence, failing which, we need to be prepared to face the flak from our employer. So for today, let us continue to think about this important point and introspect within us. We shall wait till the next episode to discuss Vidura’s next important point. 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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