Sri Krishna constantly uses praise and morale-boosting statements for Arjuna. In many Slokas, before telling Arjuna what is right or what he should do, Sri Krishna first mentions some of his positive qualities, either using one of his many names (Partha, Kaunteya, Dhananjaya and so on.) or directly (‘the destroyer of foes’, ‘the prominent among men’, ‘the descendant of kurus’). In a way, Sri Krishna always made an attempt to keep the ‘self esteem’ of Arjuna high.

In western culture, we see this approach a lot. There is lot of focus on praise and in bringing out good qualities of a person in order to motivate him to do his best. Right from childhood, the schools focus on encouraging students and helping them feel good about themselves. It is believed that the students will achieve their best in such positive and encouraging environment.

Ironically, this approach seems to have been forgotten in India, the very land where Bhagavad Gita originated. In India, in any teacher / student relationship there is more focus on pressure, threat and to some extent bringing out the weakness of the student rather than his strengths, all with good intention though. The thought, being that once the student knows his weakness, he will know where to improve and with praise the student may become over confident or complacent.

Although this approach has worked for India in the past, as India has always produced great talents, today there is a definite shift in India also towards the approach centered around praise, as propagated in Bhagavad Gita.

Click here for other articles of this series.


Pin It on Pinterest