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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

The Battle Of Choice

The 'Big-Conflict' -  a battle of choice between opting for early gratification by supporting a 'Short Term Solution' or delayed gratification by supporting a 'Long Term Investments' for success in the future ... is a challenge that most leaders have to face.

Never is there a clear theory to overwhelmingly back one of the two choices ... but opting to waste away critical resources for attractive immediate short term gains or relief has never proved to be a wise decision. Wisdom and sharpness of leadership is often tested in the 'Kurukshetra' of this choice. 

The Story of Ghatotkacha in Mahabharata brings out the dilemma of this peculiar conflict.  

Ghatotkacha was a 'Rakshasha' . He was brutally strong, bald, highly skilled in war-fare and with a heart of  gold. He was the son of Bhimsen with the monster-lady, Hadimba. He fought along-side the Pandavas in the war.

On the Eight day of the War, seeing his cousin Iravan (Arjuna's second son) being killed, Ghatotkacha lets out a loud war cry and kills hundreds of Kaurav soldiers & damages their Army. Neither the strong Kaurava Army nor their valiant Generals including Duryodhana could control the fury of this monster. They were scared for their life & safety. Thus they rush to Karna seeking his help.

Karna agrees to support them but even he could not combat Ghatotkacha. Duryodhana in fear instructs Karna to immediately use his 'Divine Weapon' against Ghatotkacha and kill him. This Divine Weapon was in the nature of a powerful bow handcrafted by Vishwakarma which was bestowed upon Karna with blessings by Lord Indra. It would kill whoever it was aimed at without fail. The only Caveat to it was its single use. It would be useless after one shot. 

Mindlessly, in a fury and under preassure mounted  by Duryodhana's instructions, Karna uses that most powerful weapon to solve his immediate problem. He aims the bow and Ghatotkacha was sadly killed.

Whilst all Pandavas mourned, Krishna celebrated this move though sad for Ghatotkacha's death. He thus explains later to Arjuna that he was to fight Karna the next day. With this use of his Divine bow against Ghatotkacha, it had  become useless. Karna could never hope to kill Arjuna, now. Had Karna saved this Divine bow, he could have used it against Arjuna and killed him. The battle outcome would have been so different.

Mindless short term use of powerful resources can thus lead to their wasting away. Conserving it with a deep thought to its appropriate and right use in the long run, would lead to success. 

But that is wisdom and not all leaders are necessarily, wise.


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