The Yogic Manager by Avinash B. Sharma
I am losing count of the books that try to bring the Vedic knowledge or ancient Indian wisdom to modern management. Most of these are based on half-baked, second-hand knowledge with no first-hand practice or even thought. The Yogic Manager is another in the series, where a highly placed executive, with MBA to his credit, tries to put the Vedic knowledge in the frameworks prevalent in the modern management principles. Now I believe management principles have their own grounding and purpose which is limited to managing work. Vedic knowledge encompasses all aspects of our life – internal and external.
The book The Yogic Manager begins in a very interesting fashion, presenting the dilemmas of the corporate executive who has to cater to the greed of his boss and his clients. But has an inner voice telling him not to do so. But then it goes into fantasy. And for next 99% of the book, you are given every possible Gyan from the popular gurus. The chakras, the elements, the sutras and of course the Geeta. Without any context, the author goes on to push all that he has gathered from various sources down your throat. It was extremely boring to read. If you know a bit of Vedanta and have read Mahabharata – you would find it too shallow. If you have not – you will be lost in the jargon totally.
Personally, I think it is taking the deep knowledge of Vedas too lightly. When you think you can put them in few frameworks. And you think frameworks can carry the message or make it more usable. There was a reason Ved Vyas chose to weave the complex story of Jaya – the first name of Mahabharata.
The author also perceives Mahabharata as a fight between good and bad – good being Pandavas and bad being Kauravas. A clear black and white distinction. Anyone who has read the text even twice would know that the story is all about dilemmas that we face every day in the life. It is about choosing between two grey shades. And choices in life never come as black and white that would make our lives too simple. Human emotions/actions and hence their repercussions are too complex and tear you apart between the choices. It would have been great if he had built it through his characters and solved those dilemmas with a sprinkling of knowledge gained by them.
Let me give an example of contradictions in the author’s thought process. He does not want to print his book but publish it as an e-book. Because it is eco-friendly. Now has he taken a moment to think that electronic gadgets being eco-friendly are a mantra propagated by the gadget companies. And did he think about the energy spent in building so-called e-readers? My point is – you have not spent any time thinking about the real problems but you are just propagating what is the trend. Mostly driven by the media. If you have not developed the ability to see things for yourself without the veils presented to you – have you really taken your first step towards Vedic life?
Author’s pictures on the book The Yogic Manager and his website seek conformation – his pose and his face hardly carry a relaxation that the regular practice of Yoga is bound to bring. Too much contradiction for me…