Wise Lessons from Vidur 

Vidur is an important character of Mahabharata. He was the half-brother of albino Pandu and blind Dhritarashtra. He was and is still known for his pragmatic wisdom. He served as the counsellor of his half-brother Dhritarashtra. In Mahabharata, he was often the rare voice of sanity amidst madness and blind greed. He tried his best to stop Yudhishthira from playing the perilous game of dice with the cunning Shakuni; he also voiced his protest against the humiliation of Draupadi at the court of Dhritarashtra when all other valiant warriors kept their silence. 

So, from Vidur, corporate leaders can learn to exercise caution as well as courage in appropriate circumstances. From the two above-mentioned stances of Vidur in critical junctures, corporate leaders of today and tomorrow can be inspired to be circumspect to avoid unnecessary danger and also to be courageous enough to go against the stream if there is a need to take a stand, depending upon the situation.

Vidur’s strict code of conduct is known as Vidur Niti. His teachings were directed at kings, ordinary citizens, as well as ascetics, but in today’s times, they could be equally relevant to managers, corporate leaders, and entrepreneurs. According to Mahabharata, Vidur Niti emerged when once Dhritarashtra, who was having a sleepless night, sought Vidur’s wisdom for solace. Vidur’s teachings to his half-brother during that meeting are known as Vidur Niti.

Responsibility and Restrain

Vidur Niti states that unless a king acts responsibly, the wealth of the kingdom will be exhausted soon. This saying is very much relevant for organisational heads or entrepreneurs of today; they must learn to act responsibly to prevent squandering their company’s hard-earned wealth in wasteful expenditure, wrong investments or unnecessary litigations.

Vidur Niti prescribes control of ‘horses of senses’ like an expert charioteer to prevent destruction. This universal teaching is very much applicable to our day-to-day life and also to the business world, where the temptation of the senses (through anger, lust, etc.) can ruin many fruitful or potentially fruitful business relations. 

Vidur Niti prescribes that a virtuous king is never indifferent to even the minutest suffering of his subjects. When applied to the business world, this can be construed as a very progressive HR policy of a company.

The Right Attributes 

According to Vidur, a ruler can be a perfect leader if he has the attributes of simplicity, purity, contentment, truthfulness, self-restraint, patience, honesty, charity, steadiness, humility, faith, exertion, forbearance, sweetness in speech and good company. 

All these are ideal attributes for a business leader or an entrepreneur in our post-modern times too, and these universal human values can guide her/him to success.

Signs of Wise and Otherwise 

According to Vidur Niti, a wise man is not diverted from the high ends of life by anger, joy, pride, false modesty, stupefaction, and vanity. This teaching should inspire today’s and tomorrow’s business leaders never to let their wise decisions be affected by anger, joy, pride, false modesty, stupefaction, and vanity. By such restraints, they can help their company grow quickly and in a better way.

Vidur Niti also says, “Those that exert to the best of their might, and act also to the best of their might, and disregard nothing as insignificant, are called wise.” This definition of wisdom can also be valid for corporate leaders or entrepreneurs of the business world. Business leaders or entrepreneurs should also not only act to the best of their abilities. Still, they should disregard no aspect of their business operations as insignificant, however small they may be if they intend to script enduring success stories in today’s fiercely competitive corporate world.

In Vidur Niti, the ancient counselor said that a wise person should not get exalted by honors nor grieve at slights and should remain cool and unagitated. This definition of wisdom could also be applicable to business leaders of today and tomorrow, as a wise business leader or entrepreneur, or even a wise manager should never let emotions from honors and humiliation overpower her/his senses. If she/he lets herself/himself get swayed by honors and slights, she/he may lose sight of the long-term goal or vision for her/his company.

Vidur Niti also views that a wise man does not strive for unattainable objects, does not grieve for what is lost and gone, and remains firm in the face of adversities or calamities. A corporate leader in today’s times needs to possess similar qualities for success as turbulent times are only to be expected in the topsy-turvy world of business.

Vidur discouraged the traits of divulging one’s projects, trusting none and doubting all things, and taking a long time to do a thing that should require a short time, labeling a person who indulges in such acts as a fool. This is very much relevant for business leaders or entrepreneurs as divulging one’s projects before one’s maturation may lead to jeopardy, and astute time management and trusting trustworthy people can lead to success in business.

At the same time, Vidur viewed trusting the untrustworthy, being gullible, and talking much without being asked as foolish acts. Business leaders should never let these foolish acts govern their day-to-day lives, for if they do their business may suffer.

These are only some of the many wise sayings or observations of Vidur, which are still relevant today and are expected to be relevant for many more centuries. 

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