The timeless advice of the venerated sage and counsellor Shukracharya is reflected in his quote from the ancient Indian text Shukra Neeti: “Choosing to be like an ant, relishing in the sweetness of sugar/jaggery, is wiser than emulating an elephant and consuming mere grass. Remember that true greatness is not always determined by size or power.” This quote highlights the principle of Kootaneeti, which emphasizes the art of achieving objectives through strategic thought and understated actions, reminding us that true greatness is not always determined by size or strength.
One of the fundamental premises of Kootaneeti is that one can accomplish more with covert and indirect tactics than with brute force alone.
Being unassuming can be an effective tactic for attaining one’s objectives. One can accomplish success without attracting attention by working quietly and diligently behind the scenes. By concentrating on the task at hand and avoiding unnecessary distractions, one can frequently achieve greater success than those who desire attention and recognition.
The analogy between the ant and the elephant in the quotation by Shukracharya emphasizes this idea. Although the elephant is larger and stronger, it mostly consumes dull vegetation, which is abundant and readily available. The ant, on the other hand, pursues sugar/jaggery, which is more difficult to locate but ultimately more rewarding. By concentrating on the delicious reward, the ant is able to achieve its objective without attracting unwanted attention.
This principle can be applied to a variety of spheres, including interpersonal relationships, commerce, and politics. In the business world, low-key strategies such as networking and relationship development are frequently more effective than aggressive sales strategies. By focusing on establishing long-term relationships with clients and customers, one can cultivate a devoted following that will sustain the business for decades.
In politics, low-key strategies such as coalition building and compromise are frequently more effective than grandstanding and divisive language. By working behind the scenes to create consensus and find common ground, politicians can effect significant change without attracting undue attention.
In conclusion, the principle of Kootaneeti, as illustrated by Shukracharya’s remark about the ant and the elephant, emphasizes the significance of low-key actions and strategic thinking in attaining one’s objectives. By concentrating on the task at hand and avoiding unnecessary distractions, one can frequently achieve greater success than those who desire attention and recognition. True grandeur is ultimately measured not by size or strength, but by the ability to achieve objectives through strategic and understated actions.