Importance of the Right Advisor

गुरु गोविंद दोऊ खड़े, काके लागू पाय । बलिहारी गुरु आपनो, जिन गोविंद दियो बताय ।।

(The word ‘Guru’, in today’s context has many connotations like advisor, coach, mentor but for the sake of ease of understanding in the context of this article we will use ‘Advisor’)

This couplet by Sant Kabir speaks profoundly on the importance of an Advisor in the life of a seeker. As a seeker, if I have a goal; I will be able to achieve it with the help of a RIGHT advisor. The keyword here is the RIGHT advisor. Today we will be trying to find out why the right advisor is important and who is the right advisor?

Let’s delve into the lessons we can interpret from our scriptures and figure out if we can pick some of the answers we seek!

As per the scriptures, Lord Vishnu’s decision to appoint sage Brihaspati as Dev Guru left sage Sukracharya completely devastated. He felt his knowledge and capability were ignored by Lord Vishnu and Devtas alike and this filled him with bitterness against them. Feeling dejected, Shukracharya went to the Asuras and became their Guru. To get their approval, he enticed them by committing to work for their upliftment and transform them into a superior clan with better resources in comparison to Devtas. The bitterness in his mind ensured that the Asuras embrace the same feeling of enmity. Over time, Shukracharya ingrained in the Asuras that Devtas were their prime enemy and as a result, the Asuras kept on waging war, one after the other. In the garb of uplifting the Asuras, Guru Shukracharya ensured that he was taking out his personal vendetta. Asuras, as a result, never attained superiority since their Advisor used them for his personal objective and never aligned himself with the interest of his client (Asuras in this case)

Similarly, in Mahabharata, Duryodhan and his brothers accepted their maternal uncle, Shakuni (King of Gandhaar) as their advisor/well wisher; since Shakuni succeeded in making Duryodhan believe that the Kingdom of Hastinapur belongs to him. Duryodhan trusted that Shakuni, through his wicked tricks, will ensure that he becomes the King of Hastinapur after Dhritrashtra. However, Shakuni had an ulterior motive of bringing down the mighty Kingdom of Hastinapur since he believed that by making his sister, Gandhari, marry the Blind Dhritrashtra, they have insulted his family and the kingdom of Gandhaar. Finally, in the battle of Mahabharata, Duryodhan lost the Kingdom of Hastinapur and his life.

In both the above cases, we observe that both the Advisors (Shukracharya and Shakuni) were knowledgeable and capable. Shukracharya was immensely qualified and one of the highly revered sage. Shakuni, in my opinion, was an able administrator who remotely administered his kingdom of Gandhaar while he shifted base to Hastinapur. While Shukracharya had a faithful following of Asuras and Shakuni got bolstered with the support from Duryodhan and his ninety-nine brothers. Both had the ability to change the lives of Asuras and Kauravas provided their interest were aligned with them. However, their inherent self-interest and the determination to take revenge led to the complete annihilation of Asuras and Kauravas.

On the other hand, we had Krishna who was the advisor of Pandavas, particularly Arjuna. His interest was in the upliftment of Pandavas and Arjuna. Since there was no personal motive, he kept on advising the Pandavas with the sole objective of their upliftment and no conflict of interest. This resulted in the Pandavas acting righteously both in war and peace times and reached the epitome of their life based on Krishna’s advice.

These lessons from our scriptures point to the importance of the right advisor in our personal and/or financial lives. While the knowledge and capabilities of the advisor are generally deliberated; we fail to identify the intent of the advisor. Whether we reach out to our relationship manager appointed by our bank, or to a single /multiple product seller, or to a holistic advisor, or a life-coach we need to ensure that every advice emanating from them is conflict-free. Conflict is not only in the way the advisor earns but also in what are his intentions and why is he in this profession. The only way to gauge this is by asking a series of questions until you are convinced of the intention of the person you are willing to engage as your Advisor. Remember, a Krishna can take an Arjuna to a much higher level; whereas a Shukracharya or a Shakuni can annihilate you.

So, choose wisely and live cheerfully!

Published by Vivek Damani

Vivek is a personal finance expert with 27 years plus experience in the field of personal finance. He is also a passionate long-distance runner and loves to have a balanced approach thereby leading a joyful life.

2 thoughts on “Importance of the Right Advisor

  1. Absolutely Correct! To understand the intention of a right advisor,firstly you shoud be on the side of right. In a way, every other person is an advisor but the skill lies in your right thinking/decision to his judge intensions…


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