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Debashis Chatterjee new book, Karma Sutras is replete with scientific and ancient wisdom for modern managers

Karma Sutras by Debashis Chatterjee.jpg

23 February 2021, New Delhi: Published under the SAGE IIM-Kozhikode Series for New Managers, the book encapsulates scientific and spiritual truths about organization, work, self-mastery, and the purpose of leadership for first-time managers. The book is divided into two distinct segments: ‘Karma’ which emphasizes on thoughtful, conscious action rather than fatalistic action and ‘Sutras’ which provides insight into the art and practice of leadership through the lens of spiritual wisdom.

Intensely motivating, the ideas in the book stem from real-life narratives of various thought-leaders and the author’s 25 years of experience as a scholar and institution builder.

Announcing its release, author Prof. Debashis Chatterjee says, “Karma Sutras is about Decoding Habits and Exploring Potential in Uncertain Times. 'The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they're too heavy to be broken' is how ancient Rishis of India would have described the law of karma. In my book, 'Karma Sutras', I describe karma, not as fate but as mindsets that we unconsciously acquire through repeated impressions of thought and patterns of action. A coffee addict is imprisoned by her habitual entrenchment in coffee-karma. In order to break free, she has to learn to break her karmic habituation.

Commenting on the universal appeal of Asian wisdom and how new managers can adopt them to enhance leadership skills especially through a crisis like the COVID19 pandemic, he remarks, “A tongue has one customer, the ear. The book has two distinct segments: Karma and Sutras. Whereas karma talks about the context of work, sutras are insights or action choices that a manager or a leader has. Karma Sutras dwells on the two most significant tools for a leader: silent observation and deep listening. Mahatma Gandhi had resolved many problems in crisis situations through silence. He said, ‘In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clear light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.”

In his foreword to the book, Peter M. Senge (MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts) writes: “In this book, he presents and explains diverse threads of ancient-wisdom teachings, relating these insights to the challenges of leading contemporary organizations. He does so with remarkable clarity, simplicity and persuasiveness. Ideas that might otherwise be regarded as hopelessly esoteric or impractical emerge as bedrock notions of what it means to lead and to work together effectively. Time-honoured philosophic perspectives illuminate why work in one setting evokes passion, imagination and genuine commitment, while all three are absent in another. In doing so, I find that this book speaks more directly to the crucial problems which afflict contemporary organizations than most ‘how to’ management nostrum. Debashis Chatterjee’s vision of offering ancient insights in a way that makes them understandable to contemporary managers could not be timely. This is a precious book. I hope it finds its way into the hands of readers who are as committed  to the future as is the author.”