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Corporate Governance needs help from Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita

Sudden downfall of successful companies and their jailed bosses reading Holy Scriptures in prison is now a common phenomenon. Had these top leaders in industry taken to scriptures early they would have avoided the downfall and saved their employees. Dr S. Kannan, a Chennai-based chartered accountant, and author of ‘Vedic Management’ in an interview to D. Murali of The Hindu talks about the Corporate Governance and Indian Wisdom. He quotes from the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Samhitas which extol the need to be truthful, transparent and righteous in society.

Some excerpts from the highly thought provoking interview

What accounts for the sudden downfall of otherwise successful organisations? Are there any insights from the scriptures in this regard?

‘Vinasa kale viparita buddhih,’ which in Sanskrit means that when one is on the path of destruction, his mind gets perverted. ‘This happens due to the negative vasanas (inherent impressions) of a person which suddenly manifest and show the true colours,’ explains Dr S. Kannan.

Kings like Ravana and Duryodhana, though highly learned, powerful and wealthy, faced destruction finally when they went against dharma (righteousness). The great king Harischandra suffered a lot but emerged finally victorious as he remained steadfast and upheld truth at all costs.

In the organisational context, it is the top leader who either makes or breaks the organization. Hence a leader should master the art of proper self-management and abide by the moral and ethical values.

Can you list a few values that can be imbibed from our traditional literature as guidance for corporates?

The Vedas, which represent the storehouse of our ancient value systems, talk about the following key values as very important: (a) Satyam – Truth; (b) Tapah – Austerity; (c) Damah - Sense control; (d) Samah - Tranquility of mind; (e) Dharmah – Righteousness; (f) Danam – Charity; (g) Daya – Mercy; and (h) Nyasah – Renunciation.

You can read the rest of the article in the business section of the Hindu.

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