Episode # 10 – Vidura – An incarnation of “Yama-Dharma-Raaja”!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed the birth of Vidura. We witnessed that Satyavati had requested her son Sage Veda-Vyaasa for a second chance, after her daughter-in-laws Ambika and Ambaalika had delivered two handicapped children. After repeated convincing, Sage Veda-Vyaasa accepted his mother’s request and this time, Ambika was smart enough to send one of her servants to meet him, rather than she going for the second time! Eventually as the servant woman was very happy to meet him, Sage Veda-Vyaasa’s grace transcended upon her fully that she delivered a normal and a perfectly fit child, who is none other than Vidura. However, as Satyavati comes to know of the plot planned by Ambika, she again gets depressed that her plan has backfired miserably than ever! How can a servant’s son succeed the kingdom? Such is the complexity of the situation and from this point onwards the entire text revolves around the various kinds of disputes that are going to erupt between the family of Dhirdriraashtra and Paandu. However, one such exception was Vidura, as he himself distanced away from all these confusions and succession fight to the throne. Rather, Vidura was a highly educated and a brilliant person, owing to the divine grace of Sage Veda-Vyaasa!

Moreover, in the last episode I had mentioned that Vidura was an incarnation of Yama-Dharma-Raaja. How can that be possible? Let’s discuss it today. Once there was a great sage by name “Aani-Maandavya”. It is only because of the curse from this sage, Yama-Dharma-Raaja had to be born in the world as a normal human being, as Vidura. I shall narrate in brief as to how this curse transcended on Yama-Dharma-Raaja.

When Sage Aani-Maandavya was a little child, he used to capture small ants, torture them and play with them! However as he grew up with age, he was tremendously focused on his penance and yoga. But somehow, there arose some allegation on his name. Accordingly the king of that particular kingdom had launched an investigation into the matter and unfortunately, Sage Aani-Maandavya was held guilty in the issue just because he did not open his mouth and talk so as to defend himself! Since the sage was found guilty, he was sentenced to death by the king! However it should be noted that Sage Aani-Maandavya was deep into penance that he did not even know what was happening around him! He did not know that he was being framed in a false allegation; he did not know that the king was investigating him and finally he did not even realize that he was being sentenced to death as well!

Thus according to the king’s sentence, the soldiers and other assistants carry Sage Aani-Maandavya upon their shoulders and take him to the place where he was supposed to be hanged to death! As the sharp guillotine started to poke his body, it was only at this point that Sage Aani-Maandavya realized what was happening to him! Upon seeing that he was being given a death penalty, Sage Aani-Maandavya demanded the reason for the same! As the sage asks the guards who were putting him to the guillotine, they point fingers at the king who ordered them to do so! Surprised by the answer that the king had inflicted this punishment on him, the sage was puzzled as to what wrong had he done! Upon an explanation given to him, Sage Aani-Maandavya wasn’t convinced. He was sure that he hasn’t committed that mistake and hence he calls Yama-Dharma-Raaja through his power of penance to answer this! As we know that Yama-Dharma-Raaja is that person who decides at the time of our death, as to which place do we transcend to – Heaven or Hell? This depends upon the amount of right and wrong doings in our lives!

This  Yama-Dharma-Raaja is none other than the Lord of Dharma. Yama-Dharma-Raaja is the person who is responsible for taking stock of whatever Dharma/Adharma we perform in our daily lives. He is a son of Surya (The Sun God). He has a sister by name “Yamuna-Devi”. We are worshipping River Yamuna even today in North India and this Yamuna is none other than the sister of Yama-Dharma-Raaja, born to Surya.

Thus Sage Aani-Maandavya calls this Yama-Dharma-Raaja to settle scores – He asks Yama-Dharma-Raja as to what mistake has he done! Hearing this question from the sage, Yama-Dharma-Raaja gives a surprising reply. He says, “Oh Sage Aani-Maandavya! Don’t you remember? In your childhood days, you were catching hold of small ants and torturing them and this has been your play! It is only for this reason you’re being put to this sort of a punishment!”

Upon hearing this, the people who were around the sage were taken aback! They didn’t expect such a silly answer from Yama-Dharma-Raaja. They were wondering that the king had sentenced this sage for death owing to some other reason and not this one! What is he talking about now?

This is where we need to realize that whatever sins we do at an early stage of our lives, can backfire at us much later as we progress! Most of the time, we would not get instant punishments for our wrongdoings. However, punishment is for sure and there’s no change in that! But in most of the cases there might be a huge time lag between our actions and the punishment. Hence we need to be very careful with our deeds!

Now moving on further, Upon hearing the reply from Yama-Dharma-Raaja, Sage Aani-Maandavya becomes furious! He asks Yama-Dharma-Raaja with his fury, “Oh wow!! So you would give this kind of an extreme punishment for just a small play with ants and that too when I was a child! Today you’ve given a wrong verdict and it is against Dharma! Dharma says that whatever wrongdoings are done when you are a child, it is not to be counted as Adharma! Today you’ve thus insulted Dharma! Hence I curse you to go and take birth in the world as a human being and live for 100 years!”

Thus, Sage Aani-Maandavya curses Yama-Dharma-Raja and it is only because of this curse, Yama-Dharma-Raaja comes and takes birth in the world as Vidura. It is only because of Yama-Dharma-Raaja’s incarnation as Vidura, the “Vidura-Neeti” is extremely significant. Vidura has explained each and every principle of Dharma, which is directly applicable to our modern-day life. Hence with this background in mind, from the next episode, we shall commence our discussion on the important aspects that are spoken about in the “Vidura-Neeti”. Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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