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Invincible Arjuna (Nine Milestones on the Hero Path)
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Invincible Arjuna (Nine Milestones on the Hero Path)
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About the Book

That day, a legend was born. Arjuna was declared a shreshtha, a supreme human talent. Arjuna’s most powerful weapon was not his Gandiva. His power came from ekagrata—his one-pointed concentration. Arjuna re-defined the limits of human achievement. He conquered his enemies with the sword of clarity and shield of discrimination.

In this creative re-imagining of the story of Arjuna, Debashis Chatterjee mines the Mahabharata and discovers nine precious lessons that will enable any one of us to become heroes in our own lives. Whether it is gaining mastery over life, harnessing our will power, or prioritising action choices—these life-lessons from that most charismatic of Pandavas can truly put each one of us on the hero-path.

A magical blend of mythology and management, this book is worth reading, and re-reading, many times over.

About the Author

Debashis Chatterjee has taught leadership classes at Harvard University and at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) in Kolkata, Lucknow and Kozhikode for over two decades. A globally acclaimed author and scholar, Professor Chatterjee is former director of IIM, Kozhikode (2009-2014) and currently serves and dean (International Relations) and professor at IIM, Lucknow. He has published seventeen books, including timeless Leadership: 18 Sutras from the Bhagavad Gita. A leadership coach for CEOs of major India organizations and prominent political leaders, Chatterjee has served as dean of an international business school in Singapore.

Introduction

Arjuna is as old as the hills and as fresh as morning dew. Like grass on the earth, like hair on skin, Arjuna arose from Indra’s own self. Arjuna is timeless and yet he belongs to all times. Even our times! Arjuna is the star student and the master archer; he is the lover and the warrior; he is Dhananjaya -----the conqueror of fortune; he is Vijaya ------the last word in success. The secret behind Arjuna’s success is coded by the divine that resides within the human form. Arjuna’s story is our own unwritten story. Invincible Arjuna is the untold story of the making of a hero against all odds.

Our world is desperately in need of heroes. Heroes define the limits of human is in itself the end result of a heroic journey of evolution. The human being is a supreme achievement of Nature. It takes Nature a million years to perfect the wings of a butterfly or the claws of a tiger. IT has taken Mother Nature billions of years to evolve a human being. In India mythology, Arjuna is a Shreshtha, a supreme human talent. Yet, he must go on many adventures to test his mettle.

A human being belongs to the only species on earth that can re-invent itself over and over again. It is almost as if a human is capable of being born many times in one lifetime. A human is first born when he emerges from the womb of his mother. Then, he is born again and again as he discovers new sources of inspiration within himself. But a hero’s journey beings when he discover something that challenges him. In order to rise to ther challenge, the fire within must be greater then the force of the challenge. The challenge draws out those unborn energies and undiscovered talents within the hero. When the hero recognizes those powers as his own, he is able to craft a new identity for himself. Whichever powers thr hero identifies with, becomes his identity. The many name of Arjuna -----Vijaya, Dhananjaya, and Sabyasachi -----are those powers that are waiting to be discovered. Thus, Arjuna discovers the law of identity.

The hero’s path has never been smooth. Arjuna faces challenges from rivals like Karna and Duryodhana. In a world where jealousy wears the mask of competiition and camaraderie, the hero need the power of clarity. He needs crystal-clear vision go to deep into the mystery of human nature. Both the divine and devil can sit together within a human being. Arjuna is very unlike his headstrong brother Bhima, who is wild as the wind. Arjuna achieves with his mind that which Bhima tries to achieve with his muscles. Arjuna masters the low of clarity as he learns from his mistakes and missteps.

Arjuna’s most powerfull weapon is not Gandiva, his indestructible bow, but his power of concentration. With this weapon, he learns to shoot arrows in the dark and pierces a bird’s eye with unerring precision. Arjuna wins Draupadi’s hand and heart through a concentrated effort. To win in the battle of life, a hero needs to constantly focus on the goal rather than on the obstacles in his path. The human faculty that keeps the hero’s focus persistently on the goal is the intellect. Arjuna’s sharp intellect keeps his muscles and his mind together in pursuit of the ultimate. His intellect enable Arjuna to ask question of Krishna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. His intellect helps him cut through the world of surface appearances to get to the deeper secrets of life that Krishna teaches him. The ability to concentrate is also the secret to self-discovery. The hero reaches inside himself to discover that his internal resources are much greater then the challenges he faces.

Another quality that sets arjuna apart from the rest is the courage of commitment. Commitment brings with it the urgency to take on a challenge. Arjuna is quick to commit himself to saving Drona’s life when it is threatenced by a crocodile. He commits to avenging his son,s death before the sun sets. Arjuna shows how heroes are unafraid of unwavering commitment.

Commitment is nothing but a call to action. Arjuana unlike Yudhisthira does not waste time standing on the horns of dilemma. He is a man of action, he’s like quicksilver. His swadharma is that of a Kshatriya. He has to uphold the dharma of the land and if need be give his life for it. Many times, his need for action brings Arjuna to the brink of death. He fights fierce life–and-death battles with none other than Shiva, the Lord of Universe. Arjuna demonstrates that a hero’s wisdom is forged in the fire of action.

Every hero meets a mentor who guides him through the trials of life. Arjuna forms an endearing and enduring bond with Krishna. Without the mentorship of Krishna, Arjuna would have remained an ordinary fighter. Krishna’s friendship gives Arjuna hope in despair and wisdom in the middle of the war. Friends complement us. Krishna is not an ordinary friend. Krishna not just complements but completes Arjuna.

Arjuna also learns the law of desire and detachment. He desires Draupadi, fall in love with Subhadra and resists the advance of Urvashi. He learns that love is a play of two polar opposite emotions, desirw and detachment, raga and vairagya. Desire acts like an accelerator. Detachment works as a break. With desire and detachment Arjuna drives this streetcar called life.

In a hero’s journey, desire deepens into devotion. This secret of devotion is revealed to Arjuna by Krishna. ‘Remember me and fight,’ Krishna urges Arjuna. The ability to offer every thought and every action to the higher principle within us is the law of devotion. Devotion taps into the deepest potential of the human heart in whatever the human being wants to achieve. True greatness, as Arjuna discovers, cannot be achieved without complete devotion.

The law of devotion reveals to Arjuna the secret to all enduring success. Ultimate success comes when the head and the heart come together. For the hero, the distance between the head and the heart is greater than the distance between earth and sky. Yet, once this distance is bridged, Arjuna becomes a whole person. A whole person is an undivided person. His head does not go against his heart. For a fighter, the head and the heart are constantly divided.

The fighter divides the world into ‘you’ and ‘I’. For the warrior there is just ‘we’. The warrior uses the enemy’s resistance to grow himself. Arjuna is devoted to his brothers. He is devoted to Subhadra, his wife. He dotes on his son Abhimanyu. Finally, he is timelessly and deeply devoted to his friend and mentor Krishna. This is the secret of his invincibility.

Arjuna wakes up from his delusion to discover the deepest secret of the hero’s journey. Where id thought that he was only this human body, he discovered that he was the divine spirit; where he thought he was just a fighter who fought his enemies, he discovered that he was a warrior who dead only himself to conquer; where he thought that he had travelled the length and breadth of his world, he discovered that he was only travelling to the depths of his own consciousness; where he thought that he was alone in his heroic journey, he discovered that he was one with all that there was in existence. Thus, Arjuna lived and died as a hero------in his own time and for all time.

Contents

FOREWORD V
Introducation xi
Chapter 1  
The Birth of Hero: The Shaping of Identity 1
Chapter 2  
Mastery: The Light of Clarity 17
Chapter 3  
The Arrow of Concentration 30
Chapter 4  
Love: Desire and Detachment 43
Chapter 5  
The power of Commitment 56
Chapter 6.  
Yoga in Action 68
Chapter 7  
Discovering Devotion 80
Chapter 8  
Mother of all wars 90
Chapter 9  
Arjuna's Awakening: A Vision of the Whole 105
Acknowledgement:  
Why and How I Wrote This Book 119


Sample Pages







Invincible Arjuna (Nine Milestones on the Hero Path)

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About the Book

That day, a legend was born. Arjuna was declared a shreshtha, a supreme human talent. Arjuna’s most powerful weapon was not his Gandiva. His power came from ekagrata—his one-pointed concentration. Arjuna re-defined the limits of human achievement. He conquered his enemies with the sword of clarity and shield of discrimination.

In this creative re-imagining of the story of Arjuna, Debashis Chatterjee mines the Mahabharata and discovers nine precious lessons that will enable any one of us to become heroes in our own lives. Whether it is gaining mastery over life, harnessing our will power, or prioritising action choices—these life-lessons from that most charismatic of Pandavas can truly put each one of us on the hero-path.

A magical blend of mythology and management, this book is worth reading, and re-reading, many times over.

About the Author

Debashis Chatterjee has taught leadership classes at Harvard University and at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) in Kolkata, Lucknow and Kozhikode for over two decades. A globally acclaimed author and scholar, Professor Chatterjee is former director of IIM, Kozhikode (2009-2014) and currently serves and dean (International Relations) and professor at IIM, Lucknow. He has published seventeen books, including timeless Leadership: 18 Sutras from the Bhagavad Gita. A leadership coach for CEOs of major India organizations and prominent political leaders, Chatterjee has served as dean of an international business school in Singapore.

Introduction

Arjuna is as old as the hills and as fresh as morning dew. Like grass on the earth, like hair on skin, Arjuna arose from Indra’s own self. Arjuna is timeless and yet he belongs to all times. Even our times! Arjuna is the star student and the master archer; he is the lover and the warrior; he is Dhananjaya -----the conqueror of fortune; he is Vijaya ------the last word in success. The secret behind Arjuna’s success is coded by the divine that resides within the human form. Arjuna’s story is our own unwritten story. Invincible Arjuna is the untold story of the making of a hero against all odds.

Our world is desperately in need of heroes. Heroes define the limits of human is in itself the end result of a heroic journey of evolution. The human being is a supreme achievement of Nature. It takes Nature a million years to perfect the wings of a butterfly or the claws of a tiger. IT has taken Mother Nature billions of years to evolve a human being. In India mythology, Arjuna is a Shreshtha, a supreme human talent. Yet, he must go on many adventures to test his mettle.

A human being belongs to the only species on earth that can re-invent itself over and over again. It is almost as if a human is capable of being born many times in one lifetime. A human is first born when he emerges from the womb of his mother. Then, he is born again and again as he discovers new sources of inspiration within himself. But a hero’s journey beings when he discover something that challenges him. In order to rise to ther challenge, the fire within must be greater then the force of the challenge. The challenge draws out those unborn energies and undiscovered talents within the hero. When the hero recognizes those powers as his own, he is able to craft a new identity for himself. Whichever powers thr hero identifies with, becomes his identity. The many name of Arjuna -----Vijaya, Dhananjaya, and Sabyasachi -----are those powers that are waiting to be discovered. Thus, Arjuna discovers the law of identity.

The hero’s path has never been smooth. Arjuna faces challenges from rivals like Karna and Duryodhana. In a world where jealousy wears the mask of competiition and camaraderie, the hero need the power of clarity. He needs crystal-clear vision go to deep into the mystery of human nature. Both the divine and devil can sit together within a human being. Arjuna is very unlike his headstrong brother Bhima, who is wild as the wind. Arjuna achieves with his mind that which Bhima tries to achieve with his muscles. Arjuna masters the low of clarity as he learns from his mistakes and missteps.

Arjuna’s most powerfull weapon is not Gandiva, his indestructible bow, but his power of concentration. With this weapon, he learns to shoot arrows in the dark and pierces a bird’s eye with unerring precision. Arjuna wins Draupadi’s hand and heart through a concentrated effort. To win in the battle of life, a hero needs to constantly focus on the goal rather than on the obstacles in his path. The human faculty that keeps the hero’s focus persistently on the goal is the intellect. Arjuna’s sharp intellect keeps his muscles and his mind together in pursuit of the ultimate. His intellect enable Arjuna to ask question of Krishna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. His intellect helps him cut through the world of surface appearances to get to the deeper secrets of life that Krishna teaches him. The ability to concentrate is also the secret to self-discovery. The hero reaches inside himself to discover that his internal resources are much greater then the challenges he faces.

Another quality that sets arjuna apart from the rest is the courage of commitment. Commitment brings with it the urgency to take on a challenge. Arjuna is quick to commit himself to saving Drona’s life when it is threatenced by a crocodile. He commits to avenging his son,s death before the sun sets. Arjuna shows how heroes are unafraid of unwavering commitment.

Commitment is nothing but a call to action. Arjuana unlike Yudhisthira does not waste time standing on the horns of dilemma. He is a man of action, he’s like quicksilver. His swadharma is that of a Kshatriya. He has to uphold the dharma of the land and if need be give his life for it. Many times, his need for action brings Arjuna to the brink of death. He fights fierce life–and-death battles with none other than Shiva, the Lord of Universe. Arjuna demonstrates that a hero’s wisdom is forged in the fire of action.

Every hero meets a mentor who guides him through the trials of life. Arjuna forms an endearing and enduring bond with Krishna. Without the mentorship of Krishna, Arjuna would have remained an ordinary fighter. Krishna’s friendship gives Arjuna hope in despair and wisdom in the middle of the war. Friends complement us. Krishna is not an ordinary friend. Krishna not just complements but completes Arjuna.

Arjuna also learns the law of desire and detachment. He desires Draupadi, fall in love with Subhadra and resists the advance of Urvashi. He learns that love is a play of two polar opposite emotions, desirw and detachment, raga and vairagya. Desire acts like an accelerator. Detachment works as a break. With desire and detachment Arjuna drives this streetcar called life.

In a hero’s journey, desire deepens into devotion. This secret of devotion is revealed to Arjuna by Krishna. ‘Remember me and fight,’ Krishna urges Arjuna. The ability to offer every thought and every action to the higher principle within us is the law of devotion. Devotion taps into the deepest potential of the human heart in whatever the human being wants to achieve. True greatness, as Arjuna discovers, cannot be achieved without complete devotion.

The law of devotion reveals to Arjuna the secret to all enduring success. Ultimate success comes when the head and the heart come together. For the hero, the distance between the head and the heart is greater than the distance between earth and sky. Yet, once this distance is bridged, Arjuna becomes a whole person. A whole person is an undivided person. His head does not go against his heart. For a fighter, the head and the heart are constantly divided.

The fighter divides the world into ‘you’ and ‘I’. For the warrior there is just ‘we’. The warrior uses the enemy’s resistance to grow himself. Arjuna is devoted to his brothers. He is devoted to Subhadra, his wife. He dotes on his son Abhimanyu. Finally, he is timelessly and deeply devoted to his friend and mentor Krishna. This is the secret of his invincibility.

Arjuna wakes up from his delusion to discover the deepest secret of the hero’s journey. Where id thought that he was only this human body, he discovered that he was the divine spirit; where he thought he was just a fighter who fought his enemies, he discovered that he was a warrior who dead only himself to conquer; where he thought that he had travelled the length and breadth of his world, he discovered that he was only travelling to the depths of his own consciousness; where he thought that he was alone in his heroic journey, he discovered that he was one with all that there was in existence. Thus, Arjuna lived and died as a hero------in his own time and for all time.

Contents

FOREWORD V
Introducation xi
Chapter 1  
The Birth of Hero: The Shaping of Identity 1
Chapter 2  
Mastery: The Light of Clarity 17
Chapter 3  
The Arrow of Concentration 30
Chapter 4  
Love: Desire and Detachment 43
Chapter 5  
The power of Commitment 56
Chapter 6.  
Yoga in Action 68
Chapter 7  
Discovering Devotion 80
Chapter 8  
Mother of all wars 90
Chapter 9  
Arjuna's Awakening: A Vision of the Whole 105
Acknowledgement:  
Why and How I Wrote This Book 119


Sample Pages







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