APJ Abdul Kalam

APJ Abdul Kalam

Former President of India

शैशवे अभ्यस्तविद्यानां यौवने विषयैषिणाम। वार्द्धके मुनिवृत्तीनां योगेनान्ते तनुत्यज्याम्।। (Raghuvamsham I.8)

Who got themselves (suitably) educated in childhood; who utilized their youth in the manner specified; who became ascetics when they became older; and renounced their own bodies at the end (seeking spiritual communion)!

Raghuvamsham, by Pandit Kalidas, besides being an epic poem, is also a Leadership Guide.  He observes how true Leaders are always in charge of their journey of life – Education is used to gain initial competence; youth is an enjoyable transition to a position of responsibility; the role of a veteran is perfectly utilized to hand over the baton, and as is prescribed in Indian wisdom, even the final exit, is an act of submission to the divine!

Think about the iconic life of Bharat Ratna Shri APJ Abdul Kalam. Born to poor parents in the temple town of Rameswaram, he gained a triple education – the spiritual education of our two major faiths, a practical one as a newspaper boy and also academic education, all of which he excelled in. His youth was spent in serving the nation through the venerated DRDO and ISRO. Once done with this, he adapted to a life of public service in the supreme office – of a President. That accomplished, he continued teaching and passed into the heavenly realm – in that very garb! Exceptional Leadership indeed!

Are your actions in perfect sync with your purpose, and the accompanying stages of life?