The Study: Ramcharitmanas and Leadership


Rajneesh Khare
Sr.Manager / Astt.Professor
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management Studies
B-1/F-2, MCIE, Mathura Road, New Delhi

Prof. Thyagarajan
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management Studies
B-1/F-2, MCIE, Mathura Road, New Delhi

Dr. Sudhir Agrawal
Associate Professor
School of Management Studies
Ansal Institute of Technology
Sector 55, Gurgaon

"Mukhia Mukkh So Chaiye, Khan Pan Kahun So Ek
Palai Posai Sakal Ang, Tulsi Sahit Bibek"

A true leader is one who leads by example and sacrifices more than anyone else, in his or her pursuit of excellence.
                                                                                                                        - N.R. Narayana Murthy, Infosys

Ramcharitmanas is the story of leaders and their sacrifices. It is the story of different kind of characters and their different style of behavior, attitude, communication and leadership style.

Now day's leadership is the most happening topic. We have various definitions and philosophies on leadership. We are human beings and God has granted us some specific quality and virtue to perform our work, which may relate from our personal life or professional life. Being a human we have to perform various duties but it is always very difficult to divide ourselves for performing different roles. In the organization we play various roles: As a leader, an implementer while in the personal life we play the roles of a son, father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, friend etc. For playing these various roles perfectly we have to manage ourselves for in the modern world there are lot of stresses and pressures so it is very essential for us to manage ourselves and release stresses so that we can perform our work efficiently. For resolving these issues various philosophers, thinkers and management Gurus from different countries are working very hard to achieve the same, which have led to the emergence of various definitions and philosophies. Management gurus are talking about the various motivational theories, different leadership styles and various communication modes and models. But there is no unique solution for resolving that. Everybody has his own theory. Individuals are situated in different place in the world. Every part of the world has some unique feature. Environment is different, mind status is also different. Each and every country has certain values, customs and culture. Human Behavior is very much depending upon the surroundings for example in Europe and America, people are very individualistic but in India and Asia, people generally feel easy in participative management. The basic difference is in culture, values and customs. In India we have a binding force that comes from our religion and customs, which provide us not just the ethical values but also the management philosophies. We are living in the modern world and when we are talking about the globalization and cross-cultural environment. People are going one country to another country frequently Indians people working for American and European companies and vice-versa. So we need some unique traits in a leader so that every one can accept his leadership. We need boundary less leaders. So in this paper I am trying to find out some unique solution and universal accepted traits for a leader in this paper from the Rama's personality. India is thousand years of old and it has lot of literatures on the different matters. In the Gupta period various foreigners have visited India and they write remarkable things about India and the Indian life style, where Indian manages every thing with a proper way - The Golden Era. There are so many epics and literature available in India and Ramcharitmanas is from amongst these great epics. This epic tells the story of leadership style, communication, motivation, grievances etc. and provides answers on solving these problems. So various scholars in India are trying to discover and understand management philosophy from these epics, which contain each & every thing, which a human being requires. So now the time has come and is forcing us into reviewing these epics in a new way. Ramcharitmanas is the story of all human beings. We assume that Ram is the incarnation of god as a human. So he may be the perfect role model of a man, he is the perfect communicator; he is the perfect model for every human being in the world. He has a certain kind of leadership, which can be useful for us. He developed certain kind of motivational theory. He builds up his kingdoms and manages them beautifully. In India we always give the example of Ramrajya it means all the system and functions are working properly. In the Ramacharitmanas, Ram performs his duties perfectly. He plays different roles in the life. He is in the role of a son, a brother, and a husband. He is an implementer when he performs his duties under the sage Vihsvamitra. He is a leader when he leads his army and his Kingdom; he is a friend of Vibhishana, Sugreev, Hanumana, and Jamvanta. He acts as a thinker as well as a performer; he motivates others to perform their duties perfectly. He excuses people for their mistakes while at the same time punish those with wrong intensions.

When I am talking about the Ramcharitmanas my focus will be on the qualities of Rama that is quite visible and in the highlight through out the epic. He achieves all four steps in his life- Dharma (Duties) Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desire) and Moksha (Self-actualization). He is a humble and polite but other side of a coin he is very firm in taking the decisions. He respects to all who deserve it and he punishes who are against his mission. He is a true leader as well as team maker; he has a great skill to select the individual and able to form a team of second line managers. Lakshman, Sugreev, Vibihisan, Jamvant, Hanumana and Angad etc. are the other leaders.

This philosophy of preparing second line managers would suit more in today's world. Let us revisit the qualities of Rama, which is mentioned by the Goswami Tulsidasji in Ramcharitmanas, which convert an individual to a leader. There are many stanzas in Ramcharitmanas, where we find the leadership concepts and its traits, and whole story explain these traits beautifully.

Who can be a leader?

Tulsidasji starts discussion with one basic question, he asks who would be a leader. Tulsidasji is not ready to accept a person as a leader because he is a king or son of a king or even he conquer some war. He defines the leader and his virtues. According to him

Tulsidasji asks

"Ram Kavan Prabhu Puchahi Tohi
 Kahiye Bujhai Kripanidhi Mohi"

"Ek Ram Avdesh Kumara
 Tehi Charit Bidit Sansara"

 "Nari Virah Dukh Lahaun Apara
  Bhayu Rosh Ran Ravan Mara"

 "Ram Avadh Nrappati Sut Soi
  Ki Aj Agun Alakh Gati Soi"

Ram is supreme leader in Ramcharitmanas but Tulsidasji ask if he is only the son of king Ayodhya or he kills Ravan, because Ravan abduct his wife Sita then there is no point of discussion about the leadership of Ram. There are many people who come from rich and affluent family and we know about them, because of their family status and even they are running some big business house or even they are ruling on countries, but according Ramcharitmanas they can't be a true leader.

Tulsidasji defines a leader and his trait.

"Jasu Krapa Aas Bhram Mit Jai"
 Girija Soi Krapal Raghurai"

"Dalan Moh Tam So Saprkashu
 Bade Bhagya Ur Aavye Jasu"

"Aadi Anta Koi Jasu Na Pava"
"Mati Anumani Nigam Aas Gava"

"Ram Sachinanand Dinesha
 Nahi Taha Moh Nisha Lavlesha"

"Sahaj Prakash Roop Bhagbana
 Nahi Taha Puni Bigyan Nidhana"

"Sab Kar Param Prakshu Joi
 Ram Anadi Avadhpati Soi"

"Jagat Prakasya Prakashak Ramu
 Mayadheesh Gyangun Dhamu"

Tulsdiasji explain who can diminish our illusions, who is the source of light, who never be in dilemma, who is ready to enlighten others, people can trust his skill-sets, who is easy and simple every body can reach him and discuss his problem. He is the leader. A person who has knowledge but not able to enlighten others, according to Tulsidasji, he cannot be a leader. So there are two essential qualities one he should be source of knowledge and other able to communicate his message to his colleague.

Leadership is a Concept:

"Ek Anih Aroop Anama
 Aj Sacchidanand Par Dhama"

"Bypak Bishv Roop Bhagvana"
 Tehi Dhari Deh Charit Krat Nana'

"Byapak Ek Brahm Avinashi
 Sat Chetan Ghan Ananad Rashi"

"Jo Ananad Sindhu Sukh Rashi
 Sikar Te Trilok Supasi"

"Jo Sukh Dham Ram Aas Nama
 Akhil Lok Dayak Bishrama"

"Bishva Bharan Poshan Kar Joi
 Ta Kar Nam Bharat Aas Hoi"

"Jake Simuran Te Ripu Nasa
 Nam Shatrughan Ved Prakasha

"Lakshan Dham Ram Priya, Sakal Jagat Adhar
 Guru Bashisth Tehi Rakha Lakshman Nam Udar"

Here Tulsidasji mention that leadership is a concept, and in the conceptual form, it is indefinable. No body can define Brahm (As a supreme concept of leadership) but when this indefinable Brahm takes incarnation in the physical form of Ram, it is definable. Same thing in the modern management, when we tries to define the leadership, we always talk about the personality or his way or his process of influencing others and motivate. As a concept leadership is formless and limitless but when it emerge and take place in the form of incarnation of Ram then only, we can define and explain the path, reason, situation of that.

Who Cannot be a Leader?

"Sochiye Nrappati Jo Niti Na Jana
 Jehi Na Praja Priya Pran Samana"

"Sunu Sarbagya Pranat Sukhkari
 Mukut Na Hoi Bhoop Gun Chari"

"Sam Dan Aru Dand Bibheda
 Nrap Ur Bashin Nath Kah Veda"

A person who are not aware from organization policy, mission and vision, he can't be a true leader. For a true leader one can be very adroit in understanding the organization goal, because as a CEO, he is liable for making different policy regarding employee welfare, finance control, marketing etc. For running an organization, there are four essential factor-Tactics, Charity, Power to punish or rule and ability to distinguish people, who doesn't know these factors for running organization, he can't be a successful leader. And other important factors in leading the organization is respect and love his employees, if he is not ready to love and respect his employee, he will not be able to make a healthy and beautiful working environment, which is necessary for successes.


Here we find in great epic Ramcharitmanas, Tulsidasji describe and talk with various concept of leadership and he is ready to discuss on various points. We should review this great epic in the true light so we can find the real trait of leadership. Now a Days Ricky Ponting-Australian Cricket Captain made a statement after lots of criticism in Sydeny Test match " We are the number one, we are so powerful due to this reason we donot know who can be our role model" Ramcharitmanas is the answer for all those who are powerful and leading a great team. Every leader should behave like a Ram not Ravana. You may be powerful, may be number one and even you can conquer the world, but if you are not polite, you are not benign, you are not ready to forgive other not ready to respect other, no control on communication, behave like arrogant the later and sooner time will come then world will against you and defeat is certain. So behave like a Ram for a true leadership and for a stable and successful win.

Rajneesh Khare
Sr.Manager / Astt.Professor
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management Studies
B-1/F-2, MCIE, Mathura Road, New Delhi

Prof. Thyagarajan
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management Studies
B-1/F-2, MCIE, Mathura Road, New Delhi

Dr. Sudhir Agrawal
Associate Professor
School of Management Studies
Ansal Institute of Technology
Sector 55, Gurgaon

Source: E-mail May 3, 2008


Articles No. 1-99 / Articles No. 100-199 / Articles No. 200-299 / Articles No. 300-399
Articles No. 400-499 / Articles No. 500-599 / Articles No. 600-699 / Articles No. 700-799
Back to Articles 800 Onward / Faculty Column Main Page