Till the previous episode we had set up the background for discussion about the important “Vidura-Neeti” from the great Mahaabhaarata text. As part of setting the background, in the previous episode we had seen who is this Vidura and what was his family roots and how did he emerge significantly. We witnessed that Vidura was none other than the incarnation of Yama-Dharma-Raaja who in turn is the embodiment of all the “Dharma” (Righteous paths) put together! If Vidura has to say something, it would surely be about Dharma and hence it is very important for all of us to learn it and implement it in our daily lives. Hence in this way, the “Vidura-Neeti” is extremely important and is highly applicable for our day-to-day lives. In the subsequent episodes we are going to experience the important aspects of Dharma as explained by Vidura to King Dhirdriraashtra.
But before going into the Vidura-Neeti, we need to understand another significance of Vidura. I’ve mentioned in one of my previous episodes that if Vidura opened his mouth to talk something, it would be only about Dharma and nothing else. He doesn’t know to appease somebody or praise somebody for unwanted reasons. He is always blunt and straight to the point and this is one thing that all of us should also follow while we talk! Apart from this important quality, Vidura was a person who exhibited one of the highest forms of “Bhakhi” or “Devotion” towards Bhagawan Krishna. We shall see one interesting instance of this quality of Vidura and then take it from there.
One fine day Lord Krishna pays a visit to Vidura’s house. This was amidst all the tension that was gripping the Kaurava and the Paandava camp regarding the Hasthinaapura kingdom split and subsequently the war. Vidura did not anticipate Lord Krishna’s sudden visit to his house at that particular time and hence he and his wife were not prepared to receive and host him. However, when Lord Krishna arrives and calls upon Vidura, he immediately rushes out to welcome the Lord inside his small home! He gives a seat for Lord Krishna to sit and they start talking with each other! Vidura is overwhelmed that the mighty Lord Krishna has come to this poor man’s home too!
Eventually as their conversation was going on, Vidura wants to offer something for Bhagawan to eat. Hence he picks up a bunch of bananas and starts offering one by one to Bhagawan Krishna. In the process of doing so, he peels of each banana’s skin and gives the actual skinless fruit to Bhagawan. However as both of them get engrossed in their conversation, Vidura started to do something weird – He starts to put down the actual fruit on the floor and starts giving the peeled skin of the banana to Krishna! After a while, Vidura’s wife comes into the room and she is shell-shocked on seeing what her husband was doing! She immediately pats her husband on his back and warns him saying, “Please understand that you’re doing a huge mistake! Instead of giving the fruit, you are giving it’s skin!” As Vidura notices this, he is shocked as well! He was totally unaware that such a blunder is happening and hence he immediately seeks forgiveness to Lord Krishna and now gives the peeled banana.
Upon looking at Vidura’s innocent face, Lord Krishna smiles and he is moved to tears! He is touched with Vidura’s devotion. Bhagwan replies back, “Oh Vidura! I’m really touched by your devotion! It is not the banana or the skin that is important for me! It is your level of Bhakti that moved me to tears! Oh Vidura! Let me tell you today – My blessings are always with you and from this episode, the world would appreciate Vidura as an epitome of selfless Bhakti!”
Such is the level of devotion or Bhakti, Vidura exhibited towards Bhagawan Krishna! Thus we can see from this episode that Vidura is not only an embodiment of Dharma, but also is an embodiment of selfless Bhakti towards the Lord! Hence with all this significance of Vidura, it is extremely important for us to know and understand what Vidura has advised King Dhirdriraashtra.
We might immediately ask a question that this advice given by Vidura is only for King Dhirdriraashtra. It is not for us! Then why should we listen to it? The answer is very simple! All of us have two types of eyes – External and Internal. The external eyes are those that we use to see the outside world every minute! The internal eyes are those that are needed to look within us and introspect our own actions and behaviors. As far as King Dhirdriraashtra is concerned, he did not have both these types of eyes in him – External eyes were already blind, and internal eyes were also blind for him because he was entangled with his sons (Duryodhana and Co.) in following Adharma! If we consider our case, of course by Bhagawan’s grace, our external eyes are perfect and we are able to see the external world. But what about our internal eyes? Are we looking inwards into us and introspecting our behavior and actions? Many a times, the answer might be “NO”!
Hence this “Vidura-Neeti” is an opportunity for all of us to awaken and open our “Internal eyes”, which would in-turn enable us to look within us and introspect! Let’s stay tuned for the next episode to commence the Vidura-Neeti in full swing! 🙂