O'Reilly logo

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

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

SUTRA 16

LEADERS NEGOTIATE THE CROSSROADS

The Divine and the Devilish

Arjuna is given an understanding of the crossroads of leadership: the divine and the devilish as two sides of human consciousness. Krishna provides Arjuna with a graphic description of the journey of a devilish leader through the path of despair and darkness. Krishna is not a speculative doomsday expert. He reminds Arjuna in no uncertain terms how the devilish path leads to bondage to the consequences of our thoughts and actions. He also proceeds to chart out the divine path that leads to freedom and light. Finally, Krishna assures Arjuna that he is born with divine attributes that lurk in all of us like light behind dark clouds.

THE CROSSROADS OF LEADERSHIP: THE DIVINE AND THE DEVILISH

Krishna talks to Arjuna about the two paths that a leader can pursue. He also states that each of these paths leads to its own consequences:

The divine qualities in a human being lead to freedom; the devilish to bondage.

(16.5)

Here are two examples where leaders negotiated the crossroads in their lives:

After independence, South Africa was at the crossroads of the divine and the devilish. Leaders like Nelson Mandela and his people, who suffered brutal atrocities at the hands of a racist South African regime, had the option either to seek revenge or to pursue the path of forgiveness. One leader demanded the devilish capacity for evil and the other a divine capacity for good. Mandela chose the latter. Under his stewardship, South ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required