November 1, 2019

Sarathi – The Financial Advisor

Amit Trivedi
Owner, Karmayog Knowledge Academy

Sarathi – The Financial Advisor

In the Kurukshetra, the battlefield of the epic war of Mahabharat, Lord Krishna was the charioteer of Arjun. Krishna, a great warrior himself, and a king of a very large state had decided not to pick up any weapon, and hence he chose to control the chariot of Arjun. This role of a sarathi, a charioteer, is a very important one. He reins in the horses – a potent force (aren’t machines known by their horsepower, after all?), and in our scriptures, our senses have been compared to wild horses. A sarathi is needed to rein in our senses, the wild horses.

Just before the battle, when Arjun develops cold feet, he is overwhelmed by the emotions, the sarathi plays his role. Lord Krishna delivers the most powerful message in the form of the Bhagwad Geeta, to explain Arjun what his duty is and the rest, as they say, is history.

This is arguably the most profound explanation about the role of a guide. Even Arjun, the best warrior of his times, needed a sarathi. Without one, there was no way he could focus on his main job – fighting the enemy.

Arjun’s arch-enemy, Karna also needed a sarathi for his chariot, and he found another great king to do the honours. King Shalya, king of Madra kingdom was the brother of Madri, who was the mother of Nakul and Sahadeva; and the second wife of Pandu.

The recital of the Bhagwad Geeta is well known and discussed a lot about. In fact, we also discussed the same at the beginning of this article. The role played by Shalya, the charioteer of Karna was very different from what role Lord Krishna played.

When Arjun and Karna came face to face, on the thirteenth day of the epic war, both fierce warriors were fighting the battle of their life. However, Karna was having an upper hand, and he was able to keep pushing Arjun to the defensive. It was during the intense battle that the wheel of Karna’s chariot got stuck in the mud on the battlefield. Any sarathi could have got down the chariot and pulled out the wheel, while the fighter (Karna, in this case) continued to fight. Shalya was in a different mood. He refused to get down the chariot and asked Karna to pull the wheel out of the mud. He started discouraging Karna that he had already lost the battle. He continued to demotivate Karna, even as Karna got down to pull the wheel out of the mud.

These words and the task of pulling the wheels out were enough to divert Karna’s attention from the battle. Krishna took this opportunity and asked Arjun to kill Karna. It is said that without such a situation, it was impossible for Arjun to defeat Karna.

The role played by Shalya cannot be undermined. Had it not been for him, Karna would not have to stop the volley of arrows, and Arjun would never have got the chance to kill Karna. History could have taken a totally different course.

Compare the roles played by the two sarathis, when the need was the highest. Krishna delivered the most powerful lesson, a lesson that is relevant even now after 5,000 years; and Shalya refused to help, which ended a great warrior’s life.

While a sarathi is important, what one does at the time of need can change the course of history, or the course of one’s life. Now, replace a sarathi with an advisor. The role of an advisor is critical, especially in the weaker moments – when the mind plays tricks (like Arjun at the beginning of the war), or when life gets stuck (like Karna’s chariot’s wheel). What should an advisor do at that moment? Krishna did not wait for Arjun to ask for help, and Shalya refused to help even when Karna asked for it.

An advisor has to keep this in mind, always.

Twisting the words of a famous proverb: “An advisor in need, is a friend indeed.”

3 Thoughts to “Sarathi – The Financial Advisor”

  1. Ajay Singh says:

    Nice saying. Mostly redemption made in bear market by the investors who invested directly. Because they invested in the fund seeing only the past history of funds.

  2. Deepak K Khurana says:

    Great Superb Sir
    “No Direct Please-Advisor is must”

  3. Girish Pitlamkar says:

    Great explanation. To be honest, I was not aware of the sarathi of Karna.

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