When I was a kid, my dad introduced me to reading. He said “the books should be your best friend. They will help you grow within and would come to your aid when making some hard decisions in life.” I will always remain grateful to my dad who introduced me to the joy of reading. The first books that I got my hands on other than my textbooks were the volumes of Amar Chitra Katha.
A story that stayed with me is the one below which kept playing in my head whenever the egoic mind flared up.
The Story of Lord Indra
Lord of Devas, Indra had to defeat an asura called Vritra in a deceptive way. The way he owned the success did not stop the Devas from applauding and worshiping Indra and all this attention made him proud and arrogant.
He thought to himself that he alone could have killed the asura and his selfish desires grew by each passing day. He demanded more comfort and looked down upon everything and everyone in the court.
He also felt his huge palace was too small for his stature. So he called the celestial architect Vishwakarma to build him a big grand palace. Indra suggested few specific design to be incorporated in his new palace.
Vishwakarma nodded and set about designing a big palace. He showed the plans to Indra. Indra after looking at them nodded appreciatively. Vishwakarma started building. However Indra was now ruled by greed. Each time Indra was asked to look into the construction, he found the palace small and was still not satisfied. Vishwakarma ended up building three huge palaces and Indra found fault in all.
Vishwakarma realized that he could never satisfy Indra. No matter how grand the palace was, Indra would want it bigger. Dejected he approached the Trimurtis(Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara) for help. They heard him and felt Indra’s pride needs to be humbled.
The next day, outside Indra’s palace was a beautiful dark boy admiring Indra’s palace. Indra who was passing by called the boy. He looked at the boy and told him proudly that he owned the palace.
The dark boy listened to Indra and told him that the palace is by far the biggest and grandest palace built by any Indra so far.
Indra in utter disbelief asked the boy if there existed other Indras. The boy surprised at the look of Indra asked him if he was unaware of other Indras who ruled parallel in the other universes. The boy also tells him that he has seen all the Indras and their palaces.
Indra realizes that his arrogance made him think that he was the king of the universe. He then salutes the dark boy.
Indra pride was thus suitably humbled and he left his throne to meditate on the Lord, the master of all the cosmoses to repent for his pride.
This is the story of the most dominant leader, Indra. Leadership roles in any Industry have a lot in common with that of Indras. As long as the leaders are modest and realise that they were many before them who have adorned this position and there will be many hereafter too, shall keep them grounded.
These stories were written to teach us the art and the importance of humility even when riding high on success. Today’s Indras basking in admiration and attributing all success to themselves alone are culpable. Behind every Organization success or failure is a team. Denying credit is equivalent to denying the necessity of other employees in the corporation.
Let’s face the truth, power tends to corrupt the mind. It makes man greedy and selfish. The other side of the truth is also that greed breeds ignorance and ignorance fosters fear. The Wise Leader see the whole truth before they commit to either.
Indra’s behaviour towards Vishwakarma lead him to a state of dejection and blowing the whistle. Unlike Indra, leaders who use their power to empower their team are capable of building the best organizations. Don’t we have a saying, ‘Human capital is the most valuable asset of an organization’? So, wise leaders should make the investment right on this valuable asset and lead them to their fullest potential by being their role model.
Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3, Shl 41
Tasmāt tvam indriyāṇyādau niyamya bharatarṣhabha
Pāpmānaṁ prajahi hyenaṁ jñāna-vijñāna-nāśhanam
Selfish desire is found in the Senses, Mind, and Intellect, misleading them and burying wisdom in delusion. Fight with all your strength, Arjuna! Controlling your senses, conquer your enemy, the destroyer of knowledge and realisation.