The Anagogic Banker – Give yourself permission to try and get Rejected

September 20, 2017 OTHER

Cooper Smith photo



Siddhartha Rastogi


Rejection is the most brilliant tool to reassess your current situation and determine the next steps constructively.


Let me start this note by picking up stories of two great warriors of the Mahabharata, the Indian Epic which teaches one not only principles of life but also about one’s Dharma.


We all know that in the Mahabharata Arjuna was the greatest archer but there were two men who were equal or better.


Eklavya and Karna!!


Eklavya was a young prince of the Nishada, a confederation of jungle tribes (Bhils) in Ancient India. He possessed great powers which were given by Mother Earth. Eklavya aspired to study archery under Guru Dronacharya. The guru rejected him as he was not a prince or from the royalty and didn’t belong to any dynasty either. He didn’t get disheartened by his rejection. Instead, he created a statue of Guru Dronacharya, anointed him his guru in spirit and practiced in front of the statue. Later, Guru Drona realized the boy’s skills and was fearful for his favourite disciple Arjun. So he asked Eklavya for his Right Thumb, which is most essential for archery, as Guru Dakshina (donation or payment for the services provided by Guru). Eklavya readily agreed and gave it away.


Thus, Eklavya chose to rise above his rejection, worked on his skills and talent and emerged so powerful that the one who rejected him got fearful of him.


Then, there was Karna. The eldest son of Kunti, mother of the Pandavas. He was disowned by his mother at the time of birth and was raised by a chariot driver. He also possessed great powers gifted to him by his father Surya, or the Sun God. He, too, like Eklavya approached Guru Dronacharya for getting lessons in archery and other weapons. Guru Dronacharya rejected him stating that he was the son of a chariot driver and not of a king. He later learnt archery and weapon techniques from Bhagwan Parshuram (Warrior Sage) by lying to him that he was a Brahmin. Furthermore, to gain acceptance and to defeat Arjuna, he went to the wrong side and supported Duryodhana in his wrong deeds.


From Karna’s story we learn that rejection makes you revengeful and your purpose of life becomes vengeance instead of gaining knowledge and enlightenment.


There are 3 outcomes of rejection


  1. The person who gets rejected gets into a mode of self-doubt, self-pity, frustration, fright of the next attempt or new opportunity. Most such people give up and get into a downward spiral of depression.


  1. Some rise above the rejection but driven by anger and vengeance and keep working on their talents, skills or expertise until they make sure they put the person or the society or the group or the world at large is put down. The emotions which drive this are retribution and anger.


  1. Finally, there are those who take rejection as a means to learn better and receive better. These who are the seekers of ultimate power and knowledge learn so that they can improve and can help several others who are not so privileged mentally, emotionally, physically or monetarily. They introspect and find reasons for what happened and move on the path of course correction. They figure out where they went wrong and how in the next possible stroke the same mistakes are not repeated.



It’s interesting to understand why Rejection is so powerful before I conclude this note.


I have repeatedly mentioned in my notes that there are only 2 primary emotions in this Universe – Love and Fear. Everything else is an outcome of these two.


When we generally pursue something for a long time or with complete focus and attention, it’s out of love of it or love with that being. As soon as we get rejected, we shift from love to fear.


Fear of what people will say.

Fear of what society will think.

Fear of rejection,

Fear of being a loser,

Fear of not finding success,

Fear of taking wrong decision, etc.


We tend to forget the very fact that it’s we who have created this society, cluster of people, groups or clans. It’s not that these societies created human beings. We get fearful of what we created, which doesn’t gel well with the principle of creation and destruction.


Thus the Anagogic Banker says, “It’s futile to procrastinate your response to rejection, instead use it as a tool for improvement and you will rule the world.”






Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.

From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.

Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.

Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.

He writes on various social and current issues via his blog and can also be found on twitter.

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