Episode # 63 – “Excessive greed leads to downfall!” – Vidura’s beautiful & thought-provoking explanation!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important menace that India faces – Undeserving people getting into jobs and academic institutions at the cost of deserving candidates! We looked at this in a bit of detail while linking this with what Vidura had explained. If this situation continues, it would lead to a big disaster! Now moving on to the next context, Vidura explains the following:

“Dvaavam basi niveshtavyau gale bhadvaa dhridaam shilaam!

Dhanavantham adhaathaaram dharidrancha atapasvinam!!” 

Here, Vidura explains two important attitudes that are responsible for the deterioration of a person in his/her life! In other words, these following two attitudes are extremely dangerous and eventually they would be responsible for his/her downfall. What are they? Vidura says “Dhanavantham adhaathaaram”, which means that a wealthy person meets his downfall if he is a miser and is not ready to spend even a single penny for constructive purposes in life. He continues further, “Dharidrancha atapasvinam”, which means that a poor and a downtrodden person meets his downfall if he is unable to tolerate his current situation and desires for more!

How relevant are these in today’s context! We shall see case by case. The first case is pretty straightforward and we’ve spoken about it couple of times previously as well – A wealthy person should be ready to spend his wealth on a constructive purpose that would benefit people around him and the society, rather than being a miser! Here we should understand that there are two ways in which wealth can be spent – One is for satisfying our own personal desires and the other is for satisfying the needs of others! Unfortunately in today’s world, we are more interested in spending our money for the first purpose – To satisfy our own personal desires! Of course I’m not saying we shouldn’t do that! Satisfying our desires and needs are primary. But what is the limit for it? Our desires would always be boundary-less! If we’re going to satisfy only our own desires, what is in store for others? When are we going to turn our heads and look at others who are suffering? Many a times, for this purpose, we turn into extreme misers and we are so reluctant to spend our wealth for those who are in dire need! Thus the important message that Vidura is trying to convey through this sloka is that, we should be ready to extend our help to the society by coming forward to donate money for some social service-related activities! These activities can be of any kind – For instance, donating money for educating poor children, nourishing poor children with food, maintaining our ancient temples that are in dire need of money, etc. Hence as ardent followers of “Sanaathana Dharma” we need to make it a point that we allocate a certain portion of our earnings for these kinds of societal activities that would benefit many people in many ways!

Now moving on to the next attitude – if a person is poor, he/she needs to accept this fact and move on, rather than constantly desiring and dreaming to earn money out of the box through some short-cut means! I’ve already spoken about this in one of our previous episodes that there can never be a short cut for sustainable growth! If we’re poor and devoid of big wealth in our lives, we should have the tolerance to accept the suffering. Rather, if people aren’t able to accept the fact that they are none other than dumb heads and unfit to earn big money, they resort to earning big money through ways that are not warranted by the society – Like stealing others’ money, pickpocketing, getting money through bribes, cheating others, etc. The list goes on! Of course this is well-known to all of us, but the point to be emphasized here is that, at that particular moment of getting into unethical means of earning money it would be exciting and happy! This excitement would lure us into more of stealing and bribing! However, if somebody catches us in the act red-handed, that would be the end of our life! We need to be answerable to the police, courts, etc. and our respect in the society goes for a complete toss! This is not only applicable for the poor people, but also for others as well – How many rich people who adorn huge corporate roles getting into trouble because of their greed towards money? There can be innumerable examples and we would need atleast 10 episodes if I need to explain each one of them! Hence, the point here is that, we should develop the attitude of “satisfaction” with what we have, rather than going behind money with greed!

So for today, let us ponder upon this important point and reflect upon ourselves to make sure that we are on the right track! This is a big realty check here for all of us! Greed can take over us at any instance of time! We need to be extremely careful not to get carried away by the greed! This is exactly what Vidura is trying to stress repeatedly sloka after sloka and we should understand the significance of it. We shall wait for the next episode to look into Vidura’s next important explanation! 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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