This book reflects on the models of leadership espoused by ancient Indic traditions, in particular the Advaita Vedanta tradition. Focusing primarily on the Rajarshi – ‘the philosopher king’ – the essays in this volume showcase how using these models in contemporary society could lead to the creation of self-aware and empathic leaders and an inclusive society.
The book explores examples of the Brahmarshi, or the wise scholar; Rajarshi, or the wise ruler; and Devarshi, or the visionary, to bring together all the ideal virtues of inclusive leadership in the current cultural and political space. The essays in the volume adopt a critical sociological, philosophical and management lens to analyse Indic traditions and dharmic concepts. The volume uses concepts such as dharma, karma and, yoga along with organisational psychology, technology, and management, to arrive at the concept of transcendental leadership. It theorises new definitions of the Rajarshi ideal, which can be used towards public service, social transformation and self-discovery.
The volume will be useful for scholars and academics interested in Indic philosophies of leadership and governance, sociology, and social and political inclusivity. It will also be useful for readers in public administration, business and management.
‘The book presents an altogether new idea on the subject of leadership. Swami Bodhananda has proposed that the “Rajarishi” model of leadership will be a leadership of virtues in action. A leader in this model will be democratic, committed and without greed for personal gratification. The personality of such a leader is characterized by sense control, humility and self–knowledge. He works for common good. He does ordinary things in extraordinary ways. He functions in an optimal manner, drawing from his resources of intelligence (IQ), emotions (EQ) and consciousness (CQ). He acts happily rather than doing actions for happiness. In an increasingly complex world, flooded with an overload of information and data, a Rajarshi wins without defeating. His strategy consists of conciliation, mediation, negotiation, persuasion and consensus. He is an exemplary leader as Krishna says in the Bhagavat Gita (3.21). A reader of this book will feel inspired to reflect deeply on how to participate in the development process for the benefit of all.’
Surendra S Yadav, Professor, Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Advances in Management Research, UK
‘In a fast and ever-changing world, “numbers” are getting to matter more than “members”. Leaders are getting more painfully myopic and startlingly untrustworthy. This shortsightedness is leading to rapid deterioration of human values of “Love and Recognition”. The book through all its chapters, addresses the inclusive model of leadership that focuses on interplay between Humans, Machines and Environment as a global family. There can be no better foundation than the philosophical foundation of Advaita Vedanta as meta-theory enunciated by Swami Bodhananda. The transcendental leadership model, which is the need for sustainable tomorrow, is clearly enunciated as self-less action leadership, with consensual decision-making process for the economic, social, and environmental factors. This emphasizes on moving beyond a singular focus on Profit, to a multiple focus on Profits People, and Planet. This is a must-read book for those wanting to transform themselves to tomorrow’s leaders’. — M Krishna is a business leader with over 20 years’ experience on the Executive Boards of diverse global multinationals like Eaton India, Dresser Valves, Concentric Pumps, Invensys, and Master Fluids. He is credited with over 3 successful green field projects in India and China.
‘As quoted in Chapter 2 of this book, Rajarshi is happily active not active for happiness. This is the definition of a quintessential great leader that the world thirsts for. Throughout this book each element of the Rajarshi model of leadership is explained in theory and practice by an accomplished group of scholars, managers and leaders. The world we live in is constantly changing with ever increasing and compounding challenges. The book recognizes this and expounds on how the Rajarshi model of leadership can deal with these challenges. This is a must reading for all aspiring and committed managers and leaders in private and public organizations, not only in India but throughout the world’. —Dr Gopal Singh, Executive, Eaton Corporation (Retired) and Board Member, Singh Family Foundation and JSM Trust
Contributors. Glossary. 1 Inclusive leadership: an introduction. Swami Bodhananda, Tilak Agerwala and Sangeetha Menon 2 Vedanta and the Rajarshi model of leadership. Swami Bodhananda 3 Management and Rajarshi leadership. R. Narayanan 4 Leadership principles from yoga. Shriram Sarvotham 5 Kautilya’s Rajarshi: an ideal leader. Radhakrishnan Pillai 6 Management of economy and leadership. B.P. Mathur 7 Administration and Rajarshi leadership. Anuradha Balaram 8 Cultural entrepreneurship as inclusive leadership: successes, perspectives and future directions. Deepti Navaratna 9 Feminism and inclusive leadership: bridging tradition and modernity from an Indic perspective. Srividya Ramasubramanian 10 Inclusive leadership: a technology perspective. Tilak Agerwala 11 The framework for transcendental leadership through active and transformative engagement. Sangeetha Menon Index.