Episode # 48 – Upholding our “Dharma” – How significant is it? Vidura’s important explanation!!!

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 In the previous episode we had witnessed four important activities that need to be avoided – Consuming an eatable without sharing with others, unanimous and singlehanded decision making, venturing out into a forest or a lonely place during the wee hours of night and keeping oneself awake during odd hours of the night! We saw the importance of these four activities in the modern day scenario as well. Eventually during yesterday’s discussion, we witnessed the role of advisors in aiding the effective decision making of successful leaders thus emphaisising and reiterating the fact that decision-making is a collective process and not an individualistic process.

Thus with all the above attributes, actions and characteristics, Vidura has driven home a clear point of differentiation between a “Panditha” and “Mooda”. He has explained to King Dhirdiraastra that he is not able to get proper sleep because he is following all the attributes of a “Mooda” rather than those of a “Panditha”. It is to be remembered that we had commenced the entire “Vidura Neeti” series with the context that King Dhirdiraastra was completely sleep-deprived and Vidura is trying to explain the reasons for the same. Hence, for the modern day, we too need to introspect the various attributes as explained till now and make sure that we eliminate those attributes of a “Mooda” and imbibe those of a “Panditha” for leading a successful life ahead!

Thus moving on further, Vidura is explaining the next four attributes that we need to keep in mind, so as to avoid them in our lives. What are they? Vidura says thus:

“Ekameva adhvitheyam tath yad raajan naava buddhyase!”

Here, Vidura explains the next important attribute wherein he says that we cannot reach “Vaikunta” or “Heaven”, if we do not follow the truth (“Sathya”)! Here we come to the next important discussion about “Standing by the truth!” Of course in the modern day we would easily ask the question as to how is it possible to stand by the truth every time, given the fact that we face innumerable challenges from different directions. Here we need to realize that challenges would always be present, irrespective of which “Yuga” we are in. The only point here is that, in different “Yugas” there are different types of challenges faced by people. However, a challenge is a challenge and we shouldn’t lose our individuality just because we come across a hurdle or a challenge. This is the real test here – Inspite of these innumerable challenges, are we sticking to the “Dharma” of talking only the truth?

Even in the modern day, why do we talk especially about “Harischandra”? In fact, the name “Harischandra” goes synonymous with “Truth”. That is because he was a person who stood by the “Dharma” at all tough times that he had to endure in his lifetime. This is what gives a person name and fame in his life.

However, it might outwardly seem that those people who talk the truth always and stand by it, would have to undergo innumerable ordeals in their lives and those people who stand against the truth would seem to lead a happy and a luxurious life. Even in our scriptures we would see innumerable examples like this – For instance, Ravana was completely unethical, yet he lead a luxurious and a care-free life until few days before his death, whereas Lord Rama was an epitome of “Dharma” and stood by it every moment and yet he had suffer all his lifetime. Similarly we would see Duryodhana lead a luxurious life till the end of his life, whereas the Paandavas had to undergo innumerable insults, ordeals, pains, etc. all through their lives, in the process of upholding “Dharma”. Even in today’s life we see innumerable incidences like this – Many people who commit heinous crimes walk away free from any punishment from the court, however, those innocent people who haven’t done as heinous a crime, would end up suffering more! Upon hearing all this, we might get fed up with ourselves and might start asking questions within us – Why at all should we follow “Dharma” if this is the case? Is “Dharma” so powerless that it makes us suffer so much? What is the use of following it if we’ve to unwantedly suffer? It’s a normal feeling amongst all of us, when we look at blatant “Adharma” in front of our eyes!

But what is the answer for this then? The only answer is that, if we follow “Dharma” correctly, Bhagawan becomes happy for us and he would grant us the ultimate “Moksha” very easily. We should realize that this is the ultimate goal of all of us and if this goal is achieved, we are completely free from the cycle of birth and death in this world! Whereas, those people who are committing sins right now, may seem to be happy at this moment. However, they would never be able to please Bhagawan’s heart and eventually they would have to take innumerable births in this world and see innumerable sufferings later.

One more way to look at this is as per the Newton’s third law – “Every action has an equivalent reaction!” For instance if we throw a ball towards the wall, the ball would hit the wall and return back to us! Similarly, whatever wrongdoing we commit now, will rebound on us some day or the other! The only “trick in the trade” in this case is that, we would never know when would we get the return for what we do today! There is a proverb in Tamil that explains this beautifully.

“Arasan andre kolvaan! Deivam nindru kollum!”

 This means that Bhagawan clearly knows when to give what for us! For instance, when we accumulate our good deeds today, we would reap the benefits of them at the right time when we are in dire need of help! Similarly, if we’ve to accumulate our wrongdoings and sins today, we would face the consequences of those when the apt time comes! At that point in time we would really feel helpless and we would never find any help from anywhere! However all said and done, this process doesn’t have a definitive time frame and this is why we never realize that our wrongdoings are those that make us undergo a suffering at any point in our life!

Thus, this is exactly what Vidura explains here – Whatever may be the situation, we should make a conscious effort to stand by and uphold the “Dharma” or the “Truth”. This is extremely important for all of us today.

Lastly, we should importantly note here that there is no use of blaming the “Yuga” in which we are living right now. Often we console ourselves that “Oh! This is ‘Kali Yuga’ and unrighteousness would always be the order of the day!” It is not the case – Kali Yuga has its own “Dharma” and we should make a conscious effort to stick to it.

Hence for today, let us spend some time to understand this important point of standing by our “Dharma” at all times. Let us wait till the next episode to continue further on what Vidura is going to explain next! 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 Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, 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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