MONDAY MUSINGS Ep.1 – Don’t Act in Haste

pink notebook on the table

In my honest opinion, best management book is written by Valmiki and not Peter Drucker or Shiv Khera or Stephen Covey. Valmiki Ramayan nicely covers many management principles which could not be seen in complex management treatises.  Let us see few ‘life skill lessons’ from Valmiki Ramayan.

I am taking you direct to Ayodhya Kandam skipping Bala Kandam altogether.  Lord Rama was sent to languish in forests for 14 years. Rama accepts the unjust demand with a smile and walks out of the palace in a jiffy. Sita Mata and Lakshmana joins him. Let me start my first management story from ‘chitrakuta’. I shall take the readers to the pristine beauty of ‘chitrakuta’ forest.

Is Bharatha coming with an army to fight and kill Rama?

Kaikeyi’s son Bharatha for whose benefit Kaikeyi sent Rama to vanavas was holidaying at his grandfather’s house when Rama left Ayodhya for forest along with Sita and Lakshmana, Bharatha was called back to be coronated and was given the happy news of his coronation. Defying her expectations, Bharatha got angry on hearing the news of the injustice meted to Rama in order to facilitate his coronation.Bharatha had no interest to become a king usurping the rights from Rama. Bharatha rushed to the forest along with a big entourage of his stepmothers, ministers and the army to bring back Rama to Ayodhya.

Rama was enjoying the serenity of chitrakuta forest with Sita and heard loud noise. Rama asked his dear and reliable brother Lakshmana to find out the source of the noise and assess the situation. Lakshmana climbed atop a Sala tree and noticed that Bharatha was coming towards them with a huge army behind him. He rushed to the conclusion that Bharatha as the new king of Ayhodhya was coming to permanently eliminate Rama and Lakshmana as per the advice of his wicked mother Kaikeyi. He got agitated.  He conveyed the news to Rama and advised Rama to safeguard Sita and get ready to fight Bharatha and his army. Lakshmana spoke harsh words and vowed to kill Bharatha and his army.

But Rama was mature enough not to presume based on a single piece of information that an army is coming behind Bharatha. Rama was confident of Bharatha’s virtues. Rama convinced Lakshmana that they should not take any hasty decision until they hear from Bharatha and it turned out to be a prudent counsel.   (Valmiki Ramayanam, Ayodhya Kandam Sarga 96 & 97)

मन्येऽहमागतोऽयेध्यां भरतो भ्रातृवत्सलः |
मम प्राणात्र्पियतरः कुलधर्ममनुस्मरन् || 2-97-9
श्रुत्वा प्रव्राजितं मां हि जटावल्कलधारिणम् |
जानक्यासहितं वीर त्वया च पुरुषर्षभ || 2-97-10
स्नेहेनाक्रान्तहृदयः शिकेनाकुलितेन्द्रियः |
द्रष्टुमभ्यागतो ह्येष भरतो नान्यथऽऽगतः || 2-97-11

Rama reassured Lakshmana by saying “I think Bharata was back to Ayodhya, with full of affection for his brothers. He is dearer to me than my life- he who is mindful of the duties of his race. Hearing of my exile and that I was wearing matted locks and the antelope skin, accompanied by Seetha and you, O most valiant of warriors, in his devotion towards me and due to the distress that troubles his mind, Bharata has come to see me. He has not come with any other motive.”

Apart from giving this rational advice to Lakshmana, Rama reasoned out the logic behind his conclusion. “Has Bharata at any time done any harm to you previously? What so the reason for you to be so apprehensive of Bharata now?”

विप्रियम् कृत पूर्वम् ते भरतेन कदा न किम् |
ईदृशम् वा भयम् ते अद्य भरतम् यो अत्र शन्कसे || 2-97-14

Thiruvalluvar also gave this sensible advice of not reacting in haste based on unvalidated information in this thirukkural

எப்பொருள் யார்யார்வாய்க் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள்
மெய்ப்பொருள் காண்ப தறிவு.   

— Thirukkural 423

Explanation – Whatever is heard from whomsoever, wisdom is to discern the truth from whatever heard.


At times, it would be better to sleep over a problem and think fresh than acting in haste.

Rama’s reading of the situation turned out to be sane and sanguine. Bharatha on seeing Rama, protracted before him and begged him to come back to Ayodhya to take over the reins. But Rama refused to abort his vanavas. Instead, Rama convinced Bharatha to rule the kingdom until his arrival back in Ayodhya and advised him the principles of good governance, predominantly guidelines for a king, but many of those principles apply for modern corporate governance as well. What transpired between Rama and Bharatha in that small hut in the middle of the forest can be made a paper in management degrees.  So much there in that one sargam. We will see the corporate governance principles from Rama’s words in our next episode.

Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.

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