Episode # 50 – Difference between “Patience” & “Incapability” – Vidura’s beautiful explanation!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important attribute that Vidura is explaining to King Dhirdiraashtra, which is nothing but “Patience” or “Kshamaa”. We also had a brief discussion on the differences between being “patient” and being “incapable”. In due course we also witnessed that patience is one of the primary attributes for a leader to be successful in his/her mission. It is only with the patience, our respect in the society would dramatically increase. We also witnessed few examples to drive this point home – From politics to Mother Earth. We witnessed that Mother Earth is an epitome of patience – Wherein we perform innumerable activities on the ground every passing day and yet She is extremely patient and bears all what we do! However, can we conclude that, just because she is baring all our tortures, is she incapable? How many times we’ve witnessed huge earthquakes wherein an entire city is reduced to just ruins within seconds, a giant catastrophe called the tsunami that wiped away thousands of lives within just few minutes! Thus we need to realize every day that Mother Nature’s fury can be disastrous for the entire human race and we need to respect Mother Nature as much as we respect our parents. Thus the message from this explanation of Vidura is that, we shouldn’t mistake patience to be incapability and we should not make fun of those who exhibit the highest quality called patience.

“Kshamaa vasheekrithir loke kshamayaa kim na saadhyate??”

 This is a beautiful phrase that explains the significance of patience. For instance if someone comes in front of me with a knife or a gun to kill me, what do I do? If I’ve to take another knife or a gun to attack that person back, there would arise a huge fight between him and me. Whereas, if I take the knife called “Patience” or “Shanthi” (Peace), what will happen to the fight? Won’t it dissipate completely? Thus if a person comes in front with a knife made of steel and if we counter him with the knife called “peace” or “Shanti”, there is no question of a fight thereafter!

Similarly, why do we think that a forest fire spreads so rapidly? That is because a forest is a place, which is rich in natural vegetation like grass, green trees, plants, creepers, etc. Thus, if there is a small fire that catches up in some corner, because of this rich vegetation, it starts spreading extremely quickly and eventually it ends up destroying the whole forest! Whereas, if we’ve to light up a fire at a place where there is a barren land with no vegetation at all, will the fire spread? The answer is “Not at all!!” Hence from these two examples we can understand that if we have the “patience” in us, peace would automatically reign in our lives. It is only when we do not have the patience to handle any situation, it results in violence, fights, verbal arguments, etc.

In fact, we can create a small flow chart on this because this is a sequential activity. If we do not exhibit patience to handle a situation, we start getting mentally agitated. This mental agitation results in the growth of anger within us. The more the anger that builds up within us, higher the possibility of we bursting out! This bursting initially starts with an argument. With time, this argument builds into a war of words! Again, with time and unable to bare the intensity of the war of words, it turns into verbal abuse! More the abusing continues, it results in physical assault! It should be noted that all these steps that I had explained just now, can happen in a jiffyJust like the forest fire that spreads quickly when there is rich vegetation around!

Hence we need to be extremely cautious in our approach and should not fall into this vicious trap! But how do we avoid getting into this trap? The one and only solution is to develop the attribute of “patience” within us. The moment we develop this important attribute, we would be able to distance ourselves from unwanted arguments, war of words, etc. and we would be able to “let go” of all these things. This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna also explains in his Gita – Significance of detachment and control of anger. When will these two happen? It is only when we develop “Patience” and “Tolerance” towards things.

Thus from today, we’ve to realize that if someone tries to provoke us with arguments, war of words, etc. it is like feeding grass and vegetation to the fire, for it to grow further! If we fall into this “trap” and start arguing with that person with equal force, it means that we are adding more fuel to that fire! Rather, if we try and refrain from the argument at some stage, we are escaping the wrath of the fire! Thus if we exhibit patience, the opponent would automatically understand that there is no use of fighting with this person! Even in the Ramayana, we had witnessed Lord Rama’s extent of patience – We had witnessed that during the war with Ravana, even when Ravana was about to be defeated, what did Lord Rama say? He said “Oh Ravana! Today you are powerless and weaponless in front of me! So go back to your palace and come tomorrow, fully equipped again!” Lord Rama actually could have killed Ravana then and there and his mission would have been complete in a jiffy! Yet, he did not do that. He was so patient that he wanted to give Ravana one more chance to mend his ways! Yet, Ravana failed to do so! It was only after countless number of chances that Lord Rama killed Ravana. Thus we can see from here also that Lord Rama was an epitome of patience.

Hence, the message from today’s episode is that, we need to develop this highest attribute of “patience” in ourselves. I’ve dedicated two episodes to explain the importance of “patience” because this is one of the primary attributes that we need to imbibe within ourselves, irrespective of being in any walk of life! We shall introspect within ourselves for today and try to raise our level of patience starting from this minute! We shall wait for the next episode to explore further into what Vidura has to say 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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