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Book Review: Anu-Gita In The Mahabharata - Re-affirming Bhagavad-Gita's Message of Good-of-all
Anu-Gita In The Mahabharata - Re-affirming Bhagavad-Gita's Message of Good-of-all by Satya P.Agarwal & Urmila Agarwal, published by the authors and printed by New Age Books, Delhi. ISBN-978-0-9914400-0-9. Pages 161. Price Rs. 250 in India $14.95.

To understand, analyse, interpret and adopt business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) by  the professionals in corporate world and to internationalize Indianization, Anu Gita is necessary and sufficient .

Anu-Gita is a little known part of the Mahabharata – it occurs towards the end of the great epic. After the Mahabharata war, when peace was established, Lord Krishna told Arjuna that he would like to go to Dwarka. Arjuna said, before you go, please teach me the Gita once more, because I have forgotten a large part of what you taught me on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.  Krishna's reply to Arjuna at that time is called Anu-Gita– the prefix 'anu' meaning 'after'.

Anu-Gita elaborates selected ideas of the Gita which were very important but were referred to in just oneshloka. The most important of such ideas was the brief reference to King Janaka. Lord Krishna, while telling about Karmayoga, said that Janaka was the ideal Karmayogin who practiced the most important message of Lokasamgraha i.e. the message of "good-of-all". Anu-Gita devotes a full chapter to Janaka, telling a story that Dharma-raj himself tested the greatness of Janaka and then declared that Janaka has passed the test.

Anu-Gita continues to talk about Janaka, to say that the credit for Janaka's greatness should be given to his wife. This chapter on Janaka's wife is a new feature, which makes Anu-Gita a unique scripture. This chapter on the role of Janaka's wife will be of special interest to those people in modern times, who are engaged in doing social service. Janaka's wife says that all human beings owe a debt to society, because it is with the help of the society (which includes parents, teachers, doctors, and other service-providing members of the society like farmers, merchants, etc.) that all of us acquire the capability to play our role in life. Therefore, says Janaka's wife, social service must be viewed as essentially a repayment of debt to society.

Another great idea of the Gita which is elaborated in Anu-Gita, is called 'paraspara-bhava' which literally means 'mutual cooperation and support'.  The Gita has only one shloka which says that paraspara-bhavaleads to the good of the individual as well as the good of the society. Anu-Gita devotes one full chapter toparaspara-bhava. In this chapter, a story is told where five entities (which are five aspects of the same thingviz. life-breath – they are personified for purposes of telling a story), adopt a competitive attitude, each one claiming that it is the greatest. After failing to  settle the dispute among themselves, they leave the decision to be taken by Brahma. Words spoken by Brahma contain the advice which is relevant to modern society also. Brahma says "All of you are equally great, but none of you is greater than the others. Each of you is great in one's own sphere, and the greatness of each depends also upon the support received from others. Therefore, I strongly advise you – be friends of one another and help one another. In this way, you will achieve good-of-all (Lokasamgraha)."

 Anu-Gita provides valuable insights to decision makers in organizations who face formidable problems in today's dynamic environment. It is useful to mangers and business leaders who need human values in daily discharge of their duties and responsibilities. It is a must read for practitioners and academicians interested in broad field of human values, harmonious living and social development.

 An enlightened life helps in developing skills, values, wisdom and vision to align and harmonize new connectivity among various economic sectors in society. Anu Gita is useful to all those who are interested in exploring such a journey to life, living and providing leadership driven by ambitious goals and nobler objectives in life. The authors acquired expertise in social science research in US universities and lives in Columbia, Maryland.

*The reviewer is Vice Chancellor, Jagan Nath University, Jaipur (Rajasthan)

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