Can Kautilya's Rajarishi be Successful in Today's Corporate?

Editor - CoolAvenues | January 21,2014 02:15 pm IST

"In the happiness of his subjects lies the king's happiness, in their welfare his welfare. He shall not consider as good only that which pleases him but treat as beneficial to him whatever pleases his subjects".

Kautilya's Rajarishi

Rajarishi - A Wise King

A Rajarishi is one who: -


Has self-control, having conquered the inimical temptations of the senses;
Cultivates the intellect by association with elders;
Keeps his eyes open through spies;
Is ever active in promoting the security & welfare of the people;
Ensures the observance (by the people) of their drama by authority & example;
Improves his own discipline by (continuing his) learning in all branches of knowledge; and
Endears himself to his people by enriching them & doing good to them.

Such a disciplined king should: - Keep away from another's wife;

Not covet another's property;
Practice ahimsa (non-violence towards all living things);
Avoid day dreaming, capriciousness, falsehood & extravagance; and
Avoid association with harmful persons and indulging in (harmful) activities.

Kautilya says that artha (Sound Economies) is the most important; dharma & karma are both dependent on it. A Rajarishi shall always respect those councillors and purohitas who warn him of the dangers of transgressing the limits of good conduct, reminding him sharply (as with a goad) of the times prescribed for various duties and caution him even when he errs in private.

If the king is energetic, his subjects will be equally energetic. If he is slack (and lazy in performing his duties), the subjects will also be lax and thereby eat into his wealth. Besides, lazy king will easily fall into the hands of enemies. Hence the king should himself always be energetic. He shall divide the day and the night, each into eight periods of one and half hours and perform his duties as follows: -




Hence the king shall be ever active in the management of the economy. The root of wealth is (economic) activity and lack of it (brings) material distress. In the absence of (fruitful economic) activity, both current prosperity & future growth will be destroyed. A king can achieve the desired objectives & abundance of riches by undertaking (productive) economic activity.

Creative Assumptions
The Rajarishi - The CEO
The Senapatis - Head of SBU's / Directors
The Yoddhas or warriors - Ranked in order of their position in the organisation
The Praja - The shareholders / lower level employees
Enemies - Competitors

An ideal king is one who has the highest qualities of leadership, intellect, energy & personal attributes.

The qualities of leadership (which attracts followers) are: birth in a noble family, good fortune, intellect & prowess, association with elders, being righteous, truthful, resolute, enthusiastic & disciplined, not breaking his promises, showing gratitude (to those who help him), having lofty aims, not being dilatory, being stronger than neighbouring kings & having ministers of high quality.

The qualities of intellect are: desire to learn, listening (to others), grasping, retaining, understanding thoroughly and reflecting on knowledge, rejecting false views and adhering to the true ones.

An energetic king is one who is valorous, determined, quick, and dexterous.

As regards personal attributes, an ideal king should be eloquent, bold and endowed with sharp intellect, a strong memory and a keen mind. He should be amenable to guidance. He should be well trained in all the arts and be able to lead the army. He should be just in regarding and punishing. He should have the foresight to avail himself of the opportunities (by choosing) the right time, place and type of action. He should know how to govern in normal times and in times of crisis. He should know when to fight and when to make peace, when to lie in wait, when to observe treaties and when to strike at an enemy's weakness. He should preserve his dignity at all times and not laugh in an undignified manner. He should be sweet in speech, look straight at people and avoid frowning. He should eschew passion, anger, greed, obstinacy, fickleness and backbiting. He should conduct himself in accordance with advice of elders.

Internal Strife
Kautilya says - Quarrels among people can be resolved by winning over the leaders or by removing the cause of the quarrel - people fighting among people themselves help the king by their mutual rivalry. Conflicts (for power) within the royal family, on the other hand, bring about harassment and destruction to the people and double the exertion that is required to end such conflicts.

Hence internal strife in royal family for power is worse than quarrels among people.
(Royal family - top management, people - lower level employees)

Kautilya comments on Vices

Vices are due to ignorance and indiscipline; an unlearned man does not perceive the injurious consequences of his vices. He summarizes: subject to qualification that gambling is most dangerous in cases where there is more than one entity sharing power, the vice with the most serious consequence is addiction to drink, followed by, lusting after women, gambling, and lastly hunting.

Training of a future King


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