x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Spiritual guru Dadi Gulzar outlines her key to true leadership

The renowned Indian spiritual teacher with a following all over the world, speaks to hundreds in the UAE.

Dadi Gulzar waves to the audience at the Excelsior Creek Hotel in Dubai.
Dadi Gulzar waves to the audience at the Excelsior Creek Hotel in Dubai.

ABU DHABI // As one of India's renowned spiritual teachers, Dadi Gulzar is much in demand. At 82, she still travels the world, passing on her wisdom. In Abu Dhabi, where Ms Gulzar was speaking for the first time, 200 people attended her lecture at the Abu Dhabi Men's College on Sunday. Entitled Leading From the Heart, it addressed spirituality in the workplace.

On Friday, about 1,000 people at the Excelsior Creek Hotel in Dubai heard Ms Gulzar speak on experiencing inner joy. In the capital, Ms Gulzar, from the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, which has schools in 120 countries, said people needed to realise their own value and the true qualities of a leader, whatever their profession - whether they were sports coaches, office managers, teachers or mothers.

"To lead from within means understanding the self first," said Ms Gulzar, who has given seminars in the UAE since 1982. "You must prepare yourself as an individual to be able to lead others. Only when you understand the self can you to give direction to others," she said. Ghaniya al Yafei, an Emirati team leader at the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, attended the lecture. As a manager herself, she said leadership should be compassionate. "Women make good leaders," said Ms al Yafei. "They are naturally compassionate and can utilise what they already possess."

Dr Mark Drummond, the provost of the Higher Colleges of Technology, called Ms Gulzar a "superstar in her own right". Alis Woodard, a housewife from Costa Rica, said the lecture was insightful to people from all walks of life. "We all have to make choices and for that, you have a clear mind, only then can we be the leaders of our lives," said Mrs Woodard. Joyce Karkalik, a mother of three, said lessons in leadership such as those given by Ms Gulzar, had changed her outlook.

Since beginning meditation a year ago, she was less stressed. "If I'm calm, everyone else will be," said Ms Karkalik. Dadi Gulzar, whose real name is Hirdaya Mohini, was joined by the British author Mike George, who has written several books on stress management. mswan@thenational.ae