Epilogue: Timeless Teachings of the Bhagavad Gītā
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This chapter distills the essential teachings of the Gītā on life and leadership. It draws together all the myriad strands presented in the foregoing chapters and offers pointers on the path of action (karmayoga), knowledge (jñānayoga), meditation (dhyānayoga), and devotion (bhaktiyoga). The path of Self-knowledge as taught in the Gītā garners self-awareness, an essential quality of effective leadership. This self-awareness makes us aware of the fact that, at its very core, all life is essentially one. The diversity and multiplicity that we see is an expression of that one Reality in which everything is irrevocably connected to everything else. According to the Gītā, this understanding helps us live a life of selfless service and contribution, the key to personal happiness and social harmony. The Gītā teaches us that true peace can only come by serving the common good and surrendering to the Divine within us.
The path to leading others starts with self-awareness through self-discipline and ends with self-transcendence through selfless service. The Gītā calls it enlightened leadership. Enlightened leadership is essentially servant leadership. It represents a shift from followers serving leaders to leaders serving followers. Enlightened leaders are not motivated by personal desires or interests. They become instruments of the whole and selflessly serve for the well-being of all beings (sarvabhūta hitae, BG 5.25; 12.4). Only those who have relinquished personal ambition can truly serve. According to the Gītā, the path to enlightened leadership is paved with authenticity, humility, service, and compassion. The Gītā teaches us that our choice lifework, svadharma, is a supreme means to discover who we are. The goal is Self-knowledge; service is the means.
The chapter presents 101 maxims of life and leadership according to the teachings of the Gītā.