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Timeless Leadership: 18 Leadership Sutras from the Bhagavad Gita by Debashis Chatterjee

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SUTRA 4

TIMELESS LEADERS PURSUE PURPOSE AS THE SOURCE OF SUPREME POWER

Arjuna is still in doubt about whether the words of Krishna, inspiring though they are, have any precedence. Arjuna is looking for more evidence in support of what Krishna has shared with him thus far. Krishna brings a compelling endorsement from the ancient practices of the sage-kings. He convinces Arjuna that all he has said so far is a reiteration of timeless yoga—the ancient science of supreme power practiced by many leaders in the past. This is the grand portal through which all leaders must pass if they wish to achieve the supreme power of enlightened Self.

RAJARSHI: THE LEADER AS SAGE

The ideal of the sage-king as the leader of a community is as ancient as the mountains. Krishna assures Arjuna that his teachings are nothing new. The mystical tradition of yoga that he is talking about has sustained leadership culture for thousands of years. Sometimes this tradition is forgotten with the lapse of time and is buried in the dust of human history. From time to time, a leader like Buddha or Krishna resurrects it from hoary history to embody this glorious tradition. Krishna said:

Thus handed down in a line of succession, the royal sages knew this yoga; this yoga, by long lapse of time, declined in this world, O Arjuna.

(4.2)

Krishna traces the long line of succession through which this teaching has gone: “I taught this yoga to the Sun-god Vivisan. Vivisan taught this to his son, Manu, the originator of mankind. ...

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