Management is crucial – not just for individuals in leadership positions, but for anyone with responsibilities. Managing is about utilizing limited available resources to create value, generate wealth and achieve viable prosperity. While there is no shortage of appealing and entertaining definitions on the subject matter; the knowledge and approach to achieve these objectives are limited.
The oldest works on management and leadership – Arthashastra and Artha Sutras – were written by the Vedic Rishis (sages) over thousands of years. These Rishis even offered Pro Bono services to the Kings; as their Rajaguru (Royal Mentors). Some of these Rajaguru even helped to build some of the most powerful and prosperous empires of their times. Their teachings on management, leadership, and wealth creation are not driven by ephemeral processes; but by helping individuals to achieve and retain a calm mind to identify challenges, create credible strategies to achieve daunting objectives.
In this book U. Mahesh Prabhu, a seasoned international media, management, and political consultant, presents as to how by knowing, understanding, and realizing, these timeless yet time-tested Vedic teachings modern individuals and leaders can achieve greater clarity, create fine opportunities, even amid great uncertainties, and attain sustainable prosperity.
It was in January of 2016, I, along with Dr David Frawley, a.k.a. Acharya Vamadeva Shastri was talking about taking Vedic teachings to the next level. We agreed upon the fact that Yogasans (as Yoga is known), Dhyana or Meditation, and Ayurveda were by far the most relevant and accessible aspects of Vedic knowledge. However, they were not all. As you shall see in Chapter 1, Vedic knowledge systems were not limited to mind and body; but have a more significant application in the areas of management, leadership, politics, and diplomacy. Acharya Vamadeva was quick to point out the relevance of Kautilya’s Arthashastra – by far the oldest available book in the areas of not just politics, but also management, diplomacy, and leadership.
“Be advised, there have been no in-depth studies in this domain,” Acharya Vamadeva advised, adding, “we have a great challenge on our hand when it comes to translation and interpretation of these texts.” His observations, as I later found out, were accurate.
Sanskrit is the oldest surviving language to this day. However, it is also a complex one. It is a language of wisdom. Most Sanskrit scholars today follow a book entitled Ashtadhyayi, which was written by a Sanskrit Grammarian by the name Panini. Although Panini lived over 2,000 years ago, Vedic texts, which are more than, at least, 5000 years old, do not follow him.
Arthashastra was originally written over 4,000 years ago by a Rishinamed Bharadwaja; later, it is enlarged by the likes of Parashara, Pishuna, Shukracharya, including many others. But the only version of Arthashastra that is available today is the one edited and compiled, with commentary, by Kautilya, a.k.a. Chanakya a.k.a. Vishnu Sharma, a.k.a. Vishnu Gupta. It is the last book we can confirmedly suggest bearing authentic Vedic ethos, philosophy, and principles. Kautilya’s version of Arthashastra, henceforth addressed in this book as Kautilya’s Arthashastra, was written around the same time as Panini’s Ashtadhyayi.
Interestingly, since Panini fails to mention the existence or non-existence of Kautilya, some historians have tried to use this as a premise to negate the existence of Kautilya, thoroughly.
I do not approve of this theory. Also, I firmly believe that Panini’s Ashtadhyayi is the wrong book to be used to decode Arthashastra or any other Vedic texts; including Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda, Upanishads, Aranyaka’s, Valmiki’s Ramayana, Vyasa’s Mahabharata and, also, Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
Now, if Panini’s Ashtadhyayi is not a worthy work to decode any of the Vedic texts, what could be the right way to understand the countless books of commensurate wisdom authored by the Rishis and Rishikas?
We have spent a lot of time reading the original books and comparing them with various books claiming to be “authentic translations.” We spent years translating, retranslating, and reinterpreting until we found a suitable modus operandi to run future translations.
Through this trial and error method, we found what we believe to be a credible approach. We found that unlike Panini’s Sanskrit, Vedic Sanskrit was more lucid. Although they had a poetic rhyme if we could get past each word and differentiate the combined words (Sandhi), we could find simple words understanding whose meaning becomes easy. There is more, while most people like to think Sanskrit is a “dead language,” we beg to disagree.
If you consult any thorough linguist, (s)he could prove you the striking similarities between not just most Indian languages, but also European languages, including English.
When we started to observe and analyse each word, then reinterpret set words differently; we arrived at a unique understanding of Vedic knowledge like never. Hundreds of articles made available on the official website of the Vedic Management Centre, www.vedic-management.com, follows this approach.
Although we have published over six books based on the perennial wisdom of the Vedic texts, there is a reason we took a while to publish this book. We wanted to create a thorough groundwork to define, beyond confusion and misinterpretations, the very idea of the word Vedic.
We look at Vedic knowledge, not as a mere spiritual or religious material; but in the context of a text that can help individuals at a personal, familial as well as institutional level.
This book is not supposed to be stand-alone. We at Vedic Management Centre intend to establish Vedic Management as a credible management discipline and practice to address trivial to complex aspects of management and leadership for all times.
I earnestly hope this book will provide you practical and pragmatic insights to manage your life and organization better.
 Rishi implies Vedic Sage
 Vishnu Sharma is identified as the author of famed Panchatantra.
 Rishika implies female Vedic sage.