In the previous episode we had commenced an important discussion on the three important activities that would cause irreparable damage to one’s reputation and also pave the way for a steep downfall in life. The three activities are nothing but, going behind another person’s wealth, getting attracted to another person’s wife and deserting those people who are our well-wishers. Vidura had beautifully explained it in a nutshell, however we are trying to describe it in detail for the better understanding of all of us. Yesterday we had discussed two out of the three activities, wherein we concluded that going behind another person’s wealth and deserting our parents are two most heinous crimes as per our “Sanaathana Dharma”. We should strive in our lives not to fall into these two traps at any point of time.
Today we can take the discussion forward to describe the third important activity that we should never be part of. Before the discussion, we can have a look at the sloka once again for better clarity in explanation:
“Haranam cha parasvaanaam para dhaaraabhi marshanam!
Suhrudascha parithyaagaha thrio doshaaha kshyaavahaaha!!”
Now we shall straightaway go into the third evil activity that Vidura explains in this sloka – Going behind another person’s wife is one of the most heinous crimes in the society! How detrimental is this activity? We’ve seen during our Ramayana project – What was the reason of the mighty Ravana’s downfall? The main reason was his attraction towards another person’s wife. It was only because of Ravana’s attraction towards Lord Rama’s wife Mother Sita, he had to meet a ghastly end to his luxurious life! Even in the “Mahaabhaarata” story we can see the main reason for Duryodhana’s downfall is because he was instrumental in the public insulting of Draupathi, the wife of Pandavas. Thus from these instances that we come across in our great epics, we can understand that going behind another person’s wife and getting attracted to her is like committing a suicide!
How applicable is this narrative in today’s world? Every day we come across something called “Extra-marital relationships” that happen. What is this “Extra-Marital relationship” and how does it occur? An “Extra-Marital” relationship occurs between a man and a woman with a third person outside their marriage. In the modern day, life has become extremely stressful with innumerable challenges that we face day after day – Both at home as well as at work. Also in today’s scenario, women are on equal par with men in terms of professional responsibilities at the work place. Thus, the stress levels run extremely high many a times. Also today, we talk about “Work-life balance” in Management studies wherein it has become common in today’s life that a husband and a wife never even see each other during the workdays due to their busy work schedules! Hence over a period of time, because of the lack of communication and the time that is mutually spent with each other, the relationship tends to disintegrate slowly. The understanding between couples starts to diminish. Ultimately both of them start feeling lonely and wanting for love and support, both physically and emotionally. It is at this time when they come across a third person who seems to be “supportive” and “understanding” of their problems and situation, a relationship starts blossoming slowly with that third person outside marriage. Over a period of time, this relationship blossoms and blooms up and thus enters into physical and emotional relationships as well. This is of course an illicit relationship and since this relationship is outside of the marriage between the couple, we call it as “Extra-Marital” relationship.
Now the question comes, how is this “Extra-marital” relationship detrimental to one’s life? All of us know that extra-marital relationships are unwarranted and secretive in nature and if this relationship is busted, the trust between the married couple declines sharply! For instance, if the husband involves himself with an extra-marital relationship with another woman at office and if his wife comes to know about it, what would be her mindset? How pained would she feel? Will the amount of trust and understanding between the husband and the wife be the same as before? This is exactly what happens today and these extra-marital relationships lead to misunderstandings, quarrels, physical and verbal abuses, etc. and ultimately leads to a separation or divorce. Thus because of all these consequences, life becomes extremely miserable and coupled with that, one’s reputation in the society goes for a toss as well! This is what Vidura explains here as well – If one starts getting attracted towards a woman outside of his marriage, it is the beginning of his downfall!
Now how do we overcome this societal problem? How do we ensure that we do not go into such things? The best way is to allocate specific time frames to spend with our wife and children, apart from our work schedules. This time can be devoted for talking with each other openly, share problems, issues with each other and try to mutually find solutions. We had spoken at length about “transparency” between the husband and wife in one of our previous episodes. How will the transparency develop? It would develop only when the communication between the two people are intact and clear without any bluffing. Moreover, to get over all such unwanted attractions, engaging ourselves with constructive activities like “Satsangs”, going to a temple, listening to a pleasing music concert, rendering service to temples, Mutts, etc. developing associations with great people are all some possible solutions. Once our mind is occupied with good thoughts, automatically our activities would be streamlined and eventually we would be able to eliminate all the negative thoughts from us! Moreover, all these good activities are to be undertaken by the husband and the wife together and it is only then the relationship would blossom. Here, we should also realize that relationship between a husband and a wife should not only be towards satisfying physical pleasures and needs. If this is the only motive, then the relationship would not sustain. However, only if the relationship opens up into new dimensions like the above mentioned, will it have an ever-lasting positive impact in our lives!
So for today let us ponder about this important point and reflect within ourselves. Let us realize the bad consequences that would potentially arise because of this unwanted activity and let us make a conscious effort to prevent such detrimental activities in our lives! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next explanation of Vidura. Stay tuned! 🙂