Episode # 54 – Maintaining our “Individuality” – Important for modern day life!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed an extremely important explanation by Vidura with regards to “Character”. Vidura had explained that as a righteous person, one should not hail and appreciate those people who walk the path of “Adharma”. Through this sloka, Vidura has exhibited his smartness here – He has indirectly warned King Dhirdiraashtra without taking the name of his son Duryodhana, that if he is going to keep hailing him and his “Adharmic” activities, the righteousness of the kingdom would decline sharply. This serves as a warning message to King Dhirdiraashtra that he better mend his and hiss son’s ways before it becomes too late! However, King Dhirdiraashtra did not pay heed to Vidura’s golden words of advice.

However that doesn’t mean that we too should not pay heed to Vidura! This is an extremely important point and we had a detailed description of how this is applicable in today’s world as well – We witnessed a popular and a mostly talked about example of “Unrighteous political opportunism” that exists in the world today! We witnessed how detrimental that could be to a country’s growth and development.

Similarly, if we look at this point on an individual’s perspective, “Character” of a person is of prime importance. If this “Character” in a person is lost, there is no use of him/her living in this world any further. Hence we need to be extremely careful with respect to this important point and it is this reason why Vidura is also laying so much of emphasis on character.

Now moving on further, Vidura explains the next “pair” – He says that these two types of people do not have their own individuality in them. Who are they and in what ways?

Dve dvaavimou purusha vyaagra parah pratyaya kaarini!”

 Here Vidura says that these two types of people who do not have their own thought processes and blindly follow the path that others take. Who are they? Vidura bluntly explains,

“Striaya kaamita kaaminyaha lokaha poojitha poojakaha!!”

Here our readers shouldn’t get angry! 🙂 Vidura is explaining here that, if a woman feels jealous of another woman’s possessions and property, she is the biggest fool on this earth!  I’m not saying this – Vidura is saying! 🙂

That was just on a lighter vein. However the bigger picture here is that, if we really want something, we need to analyze why we need it and if we really need it, we should go ahead and buy it. However, we shouldn’t buy something just because others are buying it. Here is where Vidura lays emphasis on what is called one’s own “Individuality”. Here Vidura is criticizing King Dhirdiraashtra that he is getting carried away with those who are following the unrighteous path and has lost his own thought process in the way. This is because, when Draupati (Wife of the Paandavas) was insulted by his son Duryodhana publicly in the courtroom, King Dhirdiraashtra failed to criticize his son for the heinous crime that he had committed. In fact, he should have been jailed and punished heavily. Rather, King Dhirdiraashtra let him go scot-free just because Duryodhana was his son. Here we can see that King Dhirdiraastra had to punish his son for his wrongdoing, but ends up approving whatever he does, due to the “Putra-Vaatsalya” (Excessive affection towards his son).

This is where all of us get entangled in our daily lives too – We sometimes tend to lose our individually and get carried away by what others do around us! Many a times we fail to differentiate between the right and the wrong in others’ actions, and tend to blindly follow them. This is exactly what Vidura explains here. Hence it is extremely important for us to have that “Individuality” in us and we should ever give up our individuality for others.

However, there might be an immediate counter question here – If that is the case, should we not listen to anybody around us? Should we completely disregard others’ views, advice, opinions, etc.? Here we should realize that this is not the point exactly – We should definitely listen to constructive advice and criticisms. However, what I’m trying to emphasize that we should think, assimilate the thoughts within us, critically analyze the situation and then take the decision accordingly. This is what is called “Individuality”. There is a difference between “individuality” and “arrogance”. It doesn’t mean that we should not listen to anybody around us!

Thus the message here is that, we should maintain our own individuality in whatever we do in life. For today, let us ponder on this important point and introspect within us. We shall wait till the next episode to explore this point further and move on to the 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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