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On Ashtavinayak And Present Day Managers

The other day, I got a chance to read a book by Gita Press Publications
titled Ashtavinayak. This book tells us about the eight different incarnations or
avatars of Lord Ganesha vis-à-vis Vakratunda, Ekadanta, Mahodar, Gajaanan,
Lambodar, Vikat, Vighnaraaj and Dhumravarna. After having read it once, I took
the book to be meant for children as a moral/culture oriented book. There were
eight stories from the Mudgal Purana which highlighted the charitra of Lord
Ganesha in these eight incarnations and his valor and grandeur. But then a thought
struck me and I went through the booklet once again. I was quite confounded as
regards the suitability of the title of the booklet. Why Ashtavinayak when it could
easily have been AshtaAvatara or Ashtarupa or something like that? And then I
understood the true Ganesha Tattva as mentioned in this book.

Vinayak literally means one who shows compassion towards all and one
who heeds to the prayers to the prayers of everybody. Ashtavinayak means those
eight incarnations of Lord Ganesha where the Lord Almighty showed compassion
and pity towards his demoniac foes/ Asuras. I found this booklet to be nothing less
than a treatise on Human Resource Development. How our present day managers
and CEO’s use the carrot and stick policy of initially motivating the staff through
the various appeasement and incentive policies and take them head on when the
staff errs is aptly shown in this book through those eight parables. The Lords
Ganesha, Mahesha, Brahma, Vishnu and Surya grant the demons the boons of
omnipotence and immortality, even though they know that the havocs that this
could cause in the three worlds (Bhoo Lok, Dev Lok and Paataal Lok). But the
Lords had no choice but to do so because the Asuras had done a lot of penance, the
Gods had to grant them their wishes. So it is in today’s world. Even though, some
members of the company might belong to the grey shades of character, yet if they
are persevering and passionate for the company, the top management is to oblige
their efforts, very well knowing that in future, these people might need to be
dispensed with.

When the powerful demons spread Adharma and violence in the three
worlds and even displace the mighty Lords from their worthy positions and reach
the nadir of their crimes, then comes Lord Ganesha to relieve the Devas of their

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worries and thus he is called Sukhkarta-Dukhharta. The Lord makes use of
Sama-Dama-Dand-Bheda tactics, as mentioned in the Vedas and Shastras, to
dispense with these demons. Initially He sends his messengers to them to make
them realize of his true potentials and even then if the demons do not comply, He
calls them to war and bears with their taunts and attacks. And then all of a sudden,
He shows them His Virata Rupa i.e. his form in true splendor and grandeur. The
demons realize their follies and are asked by Lord Ganesha to leave for the
Paataala Loka, which the appropriate place for all demons.

It is very easy to draw analogies between the character of Lord Ganesha, as

revealed in the book and the policies of the management of companies. Once the
new staff is inducted and meritorious members emerge out, they are appeased by
the company through incentives and such other policies which add to the power
and influence of such people. People who work and live by a good will continue to
do their good work. But people who get doused by their growing powers tend to
deviate from their ideal path. For such deviants, the company management initially
tends to test their psychology and motives through interrogative sessions and when
all such gentle policies fail, the management shows its fierce side and the deviants
are forced to bow before the awe and majesty of their makers.

In the entire Ashtavinayak, one will never find Lord Ganesha hurting any
demon and that is why He is Vinayak. Without hurting any demon, he mitigates all
Adharma from the three worlds. It is a message to us all, that the complex of all
problems can be solved through applying the different strategies as has been shown
by Ganesha. One of my uncles once told me that to establish the best relation with
the staff working under you is to know about them, to become someone with
whom those people can share their problems in entire confidence. The first step
should be to know the names of all the people working under us. Our Virata Rupa
shall then be manifested to our subordinates when they realize us as their boss,
friend, guide, an ideal friend and the most wrathful foe. These many “avatars” of
the boss shall always help prevent deviant behavior from the staff.

It is never necessary that religion be taken in a conventional and orthodox

manner and therefore, we run away from it to take shelter in modernism. What is
Dharma if not an ideal code of conduct and true way of living life? At all times, we
are playing some part, be it as somebody’s child, someone’s friend, someone’s

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spouse or as for that matter, someone’s foe. If we can justify all these parts and be
honest to the requirements of all these avatars, Dharma is said to be fulfilled. This
is what has been told by our religious texts and philosophers since time
immemorial. Modernism is good but even that is a product of evolution. Even
modernism has evolved from tradition and people who follow the modernist
culture to the core are nothing different from traditionalists; only the ends differ,
the means to achieve that end is the same. And we can find ample proof of this
phenomenon in our religious and spiritual texts. It’s only a matter of thinking and
contemplating. As Kabir has said:

“Guru Pashu Nar Pashu Naari Pashu Ved Pashu Sansaar

Maanush Taako Jaanie, Jaahi Vivek Vichaar.”

-Arpit Pangasa

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