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Nambur Varadhar aka Nampillai possessed extraordinary memory, but he was not aware of his skill until he was egged by Lord Ranganathar. Lord Ranganathar came in his dream, because he showed that exceptional commitment to the cause of his guru’s wish. We also can excel in many such skills without our knowledge.  Whoever is our favorite GOD will show us the path if we demonstrate similar faith and commitment.

Western philosophers call such exceptional skills as Hysterical Strength. Fight Or Flight Response is an associated term coined by Harvard University physiologist Walter Cannon. When humans are faced with danger or stress, a biological trigger helps us decide whether to stay and fight or get the heck out of there — flight. Choice between fight or flight depends on one’s mental preparation. But a fight response can develop into a phenomenon known as Hysterical Strength. Hysterical strength is the formal name given to the extreme, almost superhuman strength people demonstrate under duress. Fear and/or the pressure of the situation imbues the person with abilities beyond what is possible normally. This is what gives the courage, strength and intellect to an ordinary housewife to run into a burning building to save her children stuck inside.

Theists call the same as ‘Strength of Faith and Prayer’, but the same.  Faith and commitment can do better wonders than the fear and stress.

Nampillai figures in the lineage of the great acharya Srimad Ramanujar who established vishishtadvaitam (Ramanujar / Embar / Bhattar / Nanjeeyar and then Nampillai). Ramanujar was not only a great teacher but also a great leader. He demonstrated exceptional leadership capabilities in many situations, exhibited through different stories in his life. Let us see one such story and valuable leadership thought from that story.

There was an exceptional singer by the name Talpakkam Channayya in Tirumala during Ramanujar’s time. He was a favorite of Lord Srinivasa so much so that the Lord used to dance in front of him when he used to sing songs in praise of the Lord. Ramanuja came to know of this when he was staying at Tirumala.

Ramanuja’s disciples wanted to know from Lord Srinivasa if Ramanuja would get moksham (salvation from the cycle of life and death) and thought of asking the Lord through Channayya. Few disciples went to Channayya and requested him to get the answer for their question from the Lord when the Lord would dance to his tune the next time. Channayya accepted the request and placed Ramanujar’s request to Lord Srinivasa after the sequel of ‘song and dance’.  Lord readily said “For Sure. Not only Ramanujar, all his disciples and anyone who revers him as their acharya would be given salvation”.  Channayya faithfully conveyed the message to Ramanujar’s disciples.

Disciples felt very happy and advised Channayya to verify his status as well from the Lord when they took leave of Channayya. Channayya pooh poohed  their suggestion with the thought ‘Lord dances to my song and why would he not give me salvation. I had to verify the status of Ramanujar from the Lord and Lord must definitely have better plans for me’. Just to be sure, he asked the question next time when the Lord appeared before him. To his dismay, the Lord replied “Not sure” .

Channayya asked “My Lord, I daily sing your praise as melodious songs. Would you not give me moksham?”

Lord replied “I dance in front of you in appreciation of your songs. Account tallied. Moksham is much beyond that”

“Then, what would I need to do to attain moksham?”

“I already told you yesterday. Not only Ramanujar, but all his disciples will also be given moksham. Fall at his feet and win it and he will give you salvation” Lord advised and vanished. Channayya became a disciple of Ramanujar.

This story illustrates the truth that salvation is won not by bargain but by bhakthi and saranagati (absolute surrender) which are embodiment of commitment and absolute faith.

Good leaders understand this secret very well. They don’t get carried away by position, proximity & sycophancy. They are like singing mellifluous songs. Higher perks, privileges could be the compensation for such services. They know how to identify and nurture people who show  bhakthi and saranagati which are essentially faith and commitment to the shared vision.

What leaders should look for from the employees would be  ‘Faith and Commitment to the shared vision’?. They are like Bhakthi and surrender which our gurus like Ramanujar taught us.

Management and Leadership Topics covered in the previous posts

  1. The right attitude — Ch 1Ch 2  Ch6 Ch10  Ch11  Ch14  Ch15  Ch18  Ch23
  2. Governance — Ch 3  Ch4  Ch7  Ch13
  3. Leadership — Ch 5  Ch 8  Ch10 Ch14  Ch15  Ch24
  4. Management — Ch 7  Ch13  Ch16
  5. Intelligence & Wisdom — Ch 9  Ch10  Ch11  Ch14  Ch15  Ch16  Ch24
  6. Happiness & Success — Ch10  Ch14 Ch15  Ch18  Ch23

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