Radhakrishnan Pillai's view on intelligence management

A book for ‘intelligence management’

In Radhakrishnan Pillai's view, "Everyone may seem to be spiritual, but rarely do leaders of position take spiritual-based decisions coupled with a logical insight."

Our ancient Indian and traditional management books—being based on sound principles—have always had a lot of depth. This is the reason they have survived the test of time. Still, readers keep writing in with queries on the relation these age-old books have with today’s world.

Well, they are in august company.

Being in the field of corporate training and strategic management consulting, I have also been asked by various directors, CEOs and chairmen: “What’s so special about Chanakya (or Kautilya) and his book Arthashastra that makes it so relevant even in the modern business world?”

Now this is a very interesting question for all those who want to study and practise Arthashastra.

Therefore, in today’s article, I will talk about two very strong reasons that make the book Kautilya’s Arthashastra an eternal masterpiece, and Chanakya himself an unforgettable legend.

A subject called ‘Anuveshiki’

One of the most striking features of the Arthashastra is that it is a logical book. Before studying this book, kings had to go through a foundation course to prepare them for the higher knowledge of politics. In Arthashastra itself, Chanakya suggests that a student who wants to master this book should first study a subject called Anuveshiki. This Sanskrit terminology is very hard to translate, but the nearest word in English could be ‘Logic’. So Chanakya calls for a student’s ability in logical thinking to be developed first and foremost.

Only a selfless leader can serve others properly.

Anuveshiki is a very interesting subject but hardly known to our generation. It is a mixture of logical, lateral, alternative, analytical and out-of-the-box thinking.

It helps a person to develop his IQ and converts him into a strategist.

Therefore, Arthashastra can be said to be a book on ‘Intelligence Management’. Once this ability tunes up your intelligence, you are able to handle higher responsibilities.

A foundation in spirituality

The second strong factor in favour of the Arthashastra is that it tells leaders to have an in-depth spirituality.

Why? Because, in the end, leaders have to deal with power and powerful persons. Power can corrupt, and absolute power can corrupt absolutely.

Therefore, to prevent power being misused, Chanakya suggests a study of the Vedas and other philosophical books. Thus, he attempts at creating persons who will become value-based leaders. After all, a man is what he does in the dark when no one is watching him. Only a selfless leader can serve others properly.

Always remember that everyone is gifted with some intelligence. But hardly anyone is taught to ‘manage’ their intellect. And everyone may seem to be spiritual, but rarely do leaders of position take spiritual-based decisions coupled with a logical insight.

Now the Arthashastra guarantees both and is, therefore, an eternal book of management.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.


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