7 Effective Leadership Skills In Valmiki Ramayan -Ep. 1

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Lord Shri Ram’s Leadership Qualities

Shri Ram lived a maryada purushothaman, possessed and practiced all the right leadership qualities. The qualities have been portrayed all through Valmiki Ramayan. But this one sloka in Sundara Kandam of Valmiki Ramayan, 5.37.13, captures very nicely the essence of leadership qualities of Shri Ram. The list of essential leadership qualities included in this sloka comes to 7. Thus, I called them ‘7 habits of highly effective leaders’.

My treatise on ‘7 traits of leadership qualities’ is neither a sequel nor an imitation of Stephen Covey’s ‘7 habits of highly effective people’.  My commentaries are not inspiration from his book but interpretation of what has already been said two yugas before our yuga. We have enough inspiration from our own literature and hence no need to take inspiration from outside. It is only incidental that the number in both the works came to the same 7.  Moreover, Stephen Covey’s work is ‘7 habits’ whereas my series is on ‘7 leadership traits’. Of course, Lord Ram made these traits his habits and each one of us can do as well.

Let us analyze the sloka first.

This sloka appears in Sundara Kandam of Valmiki Ramayan. Valmiki Ramayan is compiled as 6 kandams (sections) which in the chronological order are Bala Kandam, Ayodhya Kandam, Aranya Kandam, Kishkinda Kandam, Sundara Kandam & Yudha Kandam.

Sundaraha in Sanskrit means ‘beautiful’. Sundara Kandam covers the heroics of Hanuman and hence named as such. Sundara Kandam starts with motivation and ends with motivation. Inspired by the ‘confidence boosting’ speech given by Jambavan, Hanuman flies through the ocean reaching Lanka in search of Sita Mata armed with the information received from the bird Sampati that Sita must be in Lanka.

Hanuman meets Sita mata at Ashoka Vanam and introduces himself as the servant and emissary of Lord Ram. Hanuman quotes few previous incidents about Rama for Sita to authenticate his true identity (something akin to the secret questions and answers used for authenticating online identity used in modern world).

Sita fondly reminisces various incidents and signature characteristics of Ram. This particular sloka in the 37th sargam (sub section) of Sundara Kandam is a masterpiece to understand Leadership in its true sense.  This sloka thus forms the launching ground for the leadership lessons covered in this series.

Original Sanskrit Slokam

उत्साहः पौरुषं सत्त्वमानृशंस्यं कृतज्ञता।

विक्रमश्च प्रभावश्च सन्ति वानर राघवे।।
— Valmiki Ramayan 5.37.13।।


Utsahaha pourusham satvam anrushamsyam krutangata

Vikramascha prabhaavascha santi vanara raghave


वानर – vanara, राघवे – in Rama, उत्साहः – enthusiasm, पौरुषम् – manliness referring to fearlessness, सत्त्वम् prowess, अनृशंस्यम् – kindness, कृतज्ञता – gratitude, विक्रमश्च referring to Commitment to Work (and), प्रभावश्च energy (and), सन्ति endowed.

“O vanara, Rama is endowed with Enthusiasm, fearlessness, prowess, kindness, gratitude, commitment to work and energy.

Thus the seven habits essential for leaders are Overflowing enthusiasm, Fearlessness, Acquiring and developing prowess, Showing kindness to all living beings, Remaining grateful for the good things bestowed in life, Showing more than 100% commitment to work and Showing abundant energy.

We will see all these 7 leadership habits one by one in the upcoming episodes. Remember to check Bhogya.online every week to learn the leadership qualities from Lord Shri Ram.



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