Freelancers: 5 Lessons From Mahabharata

Do you know how many words there are in Mahabharata? About a whopping 1.4 Million! It is said that it is 10 times the length of Iliad and Odyssey combined and about 4 times that of Ramayana.

For sure, the epic is not just about sibling rivalry translated to greed over land which led to a war between the two sets of cousins which is estimated to have deployed about 4 million soldiers at that point. 

The epic has lessons and takeaways for everyone. Not only from the Bhagavad Gita which is an integral part of this epic, but from the whole Mahabharatha, from the lives and times of different characters, from different events.

We are sharing top 5 lessons from this great epic for the world of business, specially for small businesses and freelancers.

Narayani Sena Vs Lord Krishna: Look At The Bigger Picture

When it became clear that war was inevitable, both Duryodhana and Arjuna went to Lord Krishna to ask for his support. Krishna had two things to offer, himself and his army considered to be the strongest in India, Narayani Sena. Duryodhana, falling for the power of the army, chose Narayani Sena while Arjuna chose Lord Krishna himself. And as everyone knows, it was the wisdom of Krishna coupled with Pandava Army’s valour that made Pandavas win the war. 

At times, we tend to be short sighted and look at immediate gains which are in front. We tend to ignore the long term gains which result after short term sacrifices.

Learning Never Stops, It Compounds: Arjuna 

In between the war, Jaydratha asks Drona, “You taught both of us, but why is he a superior warrior than me?”.

Drona replies, “Because you stopped after my teachings. Arjuna took my teachings as base and learned further”

Everything has a compounding effect, including Knowledge. Learning built over existing knowledge is acquired faster and has better application. As entrepreneurs or freelancers, one should keep learning to get better in your field of work. It might be through readings, through classroom sessions, video based learning, mentorship or as simple as an experience.

You Can Build Anything From Nothing – Building Inderprastha From Khandavprastha.

Dhritshatra gave Pandavas Khandavprastha considering it is just a barren piece of land and he will be able to keep his son, Duruyodhana, happy.

With a great team within themselves, a stronger will and good intention, Pandavas turned Khandavprastha into a flourishing province named Inderprastha. Such became the prominence of Yudhishtra after this, that Kingdoms from all over India joined his Coronation and declared him the ultimate king (Chakravarti Samrat).

Just remember, to climb a staircase to your goal, you have to start. Do not be scared from taking the first step. Start with a strong will and a positive intent. Be consistent and you will get what you want. 

Know Your Interests – Krishna As Shanti Doot

When Krishna went to Hastinapur for the final round of peace negotiation, after facing rejection of multiple proposals from the arrogant Duryodhana, he asked for just 5 Villages in the end.

From asking the whole kingdom of Inderprastha to 5 Villages. That was a serious drop in the ask.

But Krishna knew his interests well. He did not hold onto positions. He wanted to avoid the war at any cost because that would have been catastrophic for everyone which eventually it turned out to be. 

He knew from experience of Khandavprastha that Pandavas will turn those villages into flourishing kingdoms. 

And Duryodhana’s interest was to become the King of Hastinapur, but he held a position to not give an inch of land. He held his position so strongly that he lost sight of his main interest and lost everyone including himself in the war. He could never achieve his interest which was doable. 

Hustlers Never Fail – Story Of Karna

No learning lesson from Mahabhartha can be over without discussing Karna. From being abandoned as soon as he was born (He was to be the eldest of the Pandavas) to being devoid of Guru Drona’s teachings as he was not a Kshatriya, Karna faced everything in his life.

However, the hustler in him never let anything come in between. He went on to learn warfare from Lord Parshurama who was the teacher of Guru Drona himself and also of Bhishma.

Even at the rival camp of Pandavas, he was considered to be a great warrior who had the power to cause great damage to the Pandava army. So much so that just before the war, Lord Krishna went to him to tell the truth about his birth and take the right call.

Adversity causes some to break and others to break records. As a freelancer, keep the hustler in you alive and keep going. For those who persist, never fail. 

Lessons from Mahabharata are not limited to these five. There is so much more to say in those 1.4 Million words. We chose to share some of them with you and hopefully, you shall be implementing this in your work.