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Role of communication at mahabharatha war

Presented by: Apporva Shamatmika Charles Akshath

Communication is the name we give to different ways by which human beings, birds, animals and other creature convey & receive information & clues. The talks among different individuals, every music and sound that we hear, every written words or signals we notice, etc are part of communication process. During prehistoric times, man used to convey feelings, emotions & thoughts sounds, symbols & gestures.

According to Keith Davis The process of passing information & understanding from one person to another. It is essentially a bridge of meaning between the people. By using the bridge a person can safely cross the river of misunderstanding.


Verbal communication is communication through spoken or written words. The verbal communication can be oral as well as written.
Oral communication may be face to face, or by telephone or by video conferencing system. Written communication can take the form of letters, memos, reports etc.

Non verbal communication means transmission of meaning other than oral or written words. This transmission can be through facial expression, body postures, eye contacts, clothing, silence etc. studies reveal that more than 65% of human communication is through non verbal clues than through written or spoken words.

Communication is complete and perfect when the receiver understands the message in the same sense & spirit as the communication intends to convey. Semantic barriers. Physical barriers. Psychological barriers.

Mahabharatha is one of the two most important ancient epics of India, the other being the Ramayana. The Mahabharata was compiled in Ancient India. One of the Indian sages named Vyasa is believed to have composed the work. The Bhagavad-Gita, a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, is a part of the Mahabharata. Mahabharata offers a wealth of Communication and Management insights which are still applicable in the contemporary world.

To understand the Communication Insights from The Mahabharata, we have chosen three important episodes from the epic, in chronological order, and analyze the communication paradigm in those events. Subsequently, we discuss the insights from those communications, and what they teach us for effective business communication.

Episode #1: Arjunas Archery Test

Guru Dronacharya decided to test his students in their skill of archery. He hung a wooden bird from the branch of a tree and then summoned his students. He asked the first one to aim for the bird's eye but not shoot just yet. He then asked the student what the student could see. The student replied that he could see the garden, the tree, flowers, etc. Dronacharya asked him to step aside and not shoot. He repeated the same process with a few other students. When it was Arjuna's turn, Arjuna told his Guru that the only thing he could see was the bird's eye. Communication Insights:

1. Listen attentively and completely. 2. Correlate the statements preceding the question. Understand the holistic perspective. 3. Decipher what the customer really wants; understand the stated and latent needs. 4. Analyze what your competitors are doing/saying. 5. Provide unique value proposition to your customers; say what you do, and do what you say!

Episode #2: Draupadi And Duryodhana

Duryodhana, on entering the palace of the Pandavas, mistook water for floor and fell into it. On seeing this Draupadi burst out laughing and insulted him by saying that a blind man`s son is also blind. This enraged Duryodhana who returned to Hastinapura angrily. This incident is regarded as one of main causes for the war of Mahabharata. Communications insights:

1. Avoid words that stereotype Race, Nationality etc. 2. Avoid words that typecast those with disabilities. 3. Verbal + Non-verbal communication: body language, tone and gestures.

Episode #3: Bhagavat Gita

In the battle field of Mahabharata, Arjuna sees his relatives, teachers, and friends on the opposing side and reflects on the death of these people. He is hesitant to engage in battle, even thought he knows he will win the battle since Lord Krishna is on his side. At this, Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna why he must fight and how his actions must be considered in the larger context of his role. Communication Insights:

1. The communication between Lord Krishna and Arjuna reflects the assertive interpersonal communication style. This style shows how people naturally express themselves when their self esteem is intact, giving them the confidence to communicate without games and manipulation. 2. Lord Krishna displayed invitational rhetoric the goal of speech as enabling rational decision making by Arjuna. 3. Lord Krishna displayed communication competence with Arjuna, which is the ability to relate too there with accuracy, clarity, comprehensibility, coherence, expertise, effectiveness and appropriateness.

4. Bhagavat Gita shows us the power of ethical speaking and listening attentively. It shows us the importance of feedback in communication. Lord Krishna understands the confusion of Arjuna and explains to him the importance of Karma. 5. Bhagavat Gita provides us with the importance of Self Control focusing on discipline in perseverance, detachment from fruits of labour, and\ devotion to duty.