10 Management Lessons from Ramayana – Lesson 2

10 Management Lessons from Ramayana – Lesson 2


How to be steadfast in pursuing your goal?

Hanuman finally landed on the shores of Lanka and what a beautiful city it was! He thought even Amarvati – the capital of gods or Alakapuri – The city of Kubera, the god of wealth cannot be compared to Lanka. Neither in splendour nor in fortification did Lanka have any comparison. The city was surrounded by huge walls and guarded by fierce rakshasas.

Hanuman assumed a small form and started going around, when he was confronted by Lankini the guardian deity of Lanka. She shouted at Hanuman and asked “what are you doing here, monkey?” “I came here to tour this wonderfully city’’ said Hanuman. Lankini was not convinced and sprang forward to attack Hanuman. But with his left hand Hanuman overpowered Lankini. A defeated Lankini bowed to Hanuman and let him proceed. As Hanuman walked away, she recalled an ancient prophecy that Lanka will fall when a monkey enters it by defeating the hitherto undefeatable Lankini!

As soon as Hanuman entered the city, it overpowered Hanuman’s senses. The sights he saw there were unparalleled. He saw rakshashas in various moods, some were fighting, and some were making love. Some of them were chanting vedas and some of them were pining for their lovers. Some of them were very attractive and some very ugly. He did not fail to appreciate the hard-work and valour of the rakshashas which had made the Lanka what it was.

The city had some marvels enclosed in it such were those wonders that only Maya the divine architect could have made it. Some were indeed against the laws of nature like a tree that had leaves of gold and was laden with gem crusted fruits or a mountain which had a river moving upwards on its slopes! He saw fin palaces with entrances of gold and silver. He saw streets laden with fragrant flowers and people draped in finest of silks. Hanuman did not fail to notice the technical prowess of the Rakshashas. They had the latest weapons in their armoury. They had powerful chariots and even airplanes including, Pushpaka the gigantic and most powerful airplane, which was Ravana’s personal possession. A sense of pity overcame Hanuman when he thought all of this will be destroyed if Lanka had to be attacked.

He then entered the palace compound of Ravana which was the crown jewel of entire Lanka. Inside the palaces were women of stunning beauty belonging to all races. They were all waiting to be with Ravana. Soulful music was emanating from various rooms; skilful artists were playing soothing notes to make sure that their lord slept peacefully. The kitchen and dining hall was full of delicacies; their smell was wafting through the air.  In short Lanka had everything in it to appeal to all the five senses of a person and even beyond. A mere walk through it streets might change the heart of the most steadfast yogi.

His wanderings finally brought Hanuman to the bedroom of Ravana. He was asleep and his hands were mighty like the trunks of elephants. The ten crowns on his head were shining like ten small suns. In arms was asleep the resplendent and virtuous Mandodari. The sheer brilliance of her face made Hanuman mistake her for Sita. He rejoiced for moment for having found Sita. But that joy disappeared like a flash of lightning when he realised his folly. How will the devoted Sita forget Rama and embrace Ravana? He chided himself for his hurried judgement and continued in his quest.

Like Hanuman we too face millions of distractions when we are on our mission. A well-established goal might have million alternatives. As organization or as a team or as an individual we have to remain unwavering in our path if we want to achieve our goals. Only if we become like Hanuman, devoid of distractions, we can find Sita. But how did Hanuman achieve this tranquillity. Scholars may attribute it to various reasons but the most important one Hanuman’s bhakti towards Rama, which made him immune towards all these. For us in the corporate world this is passion. Passion towards our goal/mission/vision should be strong enough for us to succeed. We should know why we are doing what we are doing – unless you and your team know the meaning and impact of your tasks, you will not discover passion.

There is one more important lesson in this episode. Never celebrate false success! If we celebrate finding of Mandodari and abandon our search, we will fail for sure – no matter how virtuous Mandodari is. Once we rest on our laurels our team become slack and hence the progress is impaired.

So to sum it up this episode has two key ‘take-away’s:

  1. Unless you are passionate – you cannot avoid distractions
  2. Never celebrate false success

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