We were in the midst of an important discussion during the previous episode wherein Vidura has started explaining six aspects packed into one sloka. In the first such sloka he had explained six categories of people that one should avoid in life. We’ve discussed the first three categories of such people yesterday and we shall continue this discussion in today’s episode to witness the remaining three categories. For the benefit of our readers, let us recollect the sloka once again:
“Apravaktaaram aachaaryam anadheeyaana rigdijam rakshithaanam raajaanam!
Bhaaryaancha apriyavaadineem graamakaamamcha gopaalam vanakaamamcha naapitham!!”
We’ve seen a detailed description of the first three categories – “Apravaktaaram aachaaryam”, which means one should avoid a teacher who is unwilling to share his knowledge and expertise with his students in a proper manner. “Aachaaryam anadheeyaana”, which means that a person who calls himself a “Rithivik” or a “Pandit” should master the nooks and corners of the Vedas before performing any “Yagna” or other important spiritual practices. If a person is not an expert in the Vedas, he is unfit to be a “Rithvik” and also an “Astrologer”. In due course of yesterday’s episode I had also added a note on who can be fit to be a true astrologer and who is not – Only those people with a mastery over Vedas can be an astrologer in the right way and those who do not meet this qualification are totally unfit and end up cheating the people by making money! “Rakshithaanam raajaanam” means, a King shunning his responsibilities in taking care of the welfare of his people. In other words, anybody for that matter, who runs away from taking responsibility or an accountability for any problem or situation cannot be trusted and such people should also be avoided.
Now moving on to the next three important categories, we shall witness each one in detail:
“Bhaaryaancha apriyavaadineem” – Here, “Bhaarya” means “Wife”. Now Vidura explains that a wife who does not talk in a soft, loving, affectionate and a sweet manner (“Apriyavaadineem”) is of no use to the family. All of us would realize that there is a way to talk, so that the matter would be well received by others. Even if it might be a harsh fact or reality, it would reach the listener only if it is conveyed in the manner that would be listenable. Generally women are those whose talking is soft and pleasing to hear. This is why we see that all announcements done at all public places like bus stations, railway stations, airports, elevators, etc. are all done by women. Moreover, we can see many organizations wherein women manage their front offices. These are preferred practices all over the world and this is because a woman has the capability of giving a pleasant appearance and to talk pleasingly with a soft tone. Thus given this fact, if a woman raises her voice everytime and talks, it would not go well with the world. Hence it is very important for women to not shout over or raise her voice for anything and everything – both at home as well as in the workplace. Of course I’m not saying that women should keep quiet when there is a necessity to talk out. All I’m saying is that, women should make it a point to talk in such a way that it is pleasing to listen. Women should not employ unparliamentary words or language while talking and this doesn’t go well with the society around us. Thus the important role of a wife is to talk in a pleasing manner and try to solve problems that might occur within the family, rather than blowing up the problem out of proportions and wreaking havoc!
“Graamakaamamcha gopaalam” – A person who is in charge of taking care of the cattle (cows, goats, etc.) is not performing his job of taking the cattle to the forest for grazing, and rather sitting at home doing nothing, should be avoided! In other words, a person who is not interested in working and who likes to sit idle at home should be avoided. This is equivalent of the characteristic called “laziness” or “letharginess”. Hence in short, Vidura explains here that we should avoid the companionship of people who are lazy and fails to perform his duties. In the Mahaabhaarata, Arjuna at one point in time becomes frustrated with what’s going on around him and tells Lord Krishna, “Oh Vaasudeva! I’m getting fed up with all this vengeance, fighting, etc. with the Kauravas. Rather than adding fuel to this fire, I prefer to go to the forest and do penance for the rest of my life! I don’t want this kingdom and all these fights!” Lord Krishna upon hearing this from Arjuna, laughs at him and replies, “Oh Arjuna! If you were going to go the forest to do penance, it would be better to kill yourself and there would be no use for your life on this earth!” Arjuna asks him the reason. Lord Krishna continues, “Oh Arjuna! If you go to the forest and perform penance, do you know how much the society would laugh at you? People would think that you are a coward, running away from taking responsibility. You are a “Kshathriya” and your duty is to fight and rule the kingdom efficiently. Without performing this duty, why do you want to go to the forest as a “Tapasvi”? That is not the reason for which you’re born!”
From this we can understand that whatever is our duty, we need to strive to perform it with utmost sincerity and not run away from it. For instance if we’ve to be at office by 9 AM in the morning, we should make sure that we’re there on time! There’s no excuse for arriving late at office and we need to give our 100% effort for it. If we’re not arriving at office on time, what right do we have to question others who come late? Thus, “Graamakaamamcha gopaalam” is not only applicable for those who breed and take care of cattle. It is also applicable to people like us in the modern day. The important message here is that, whatever maybe our duty, we should take up the responsibility to perform it by giving our 100% effort into it.
“Vanakaamamcha naapitham” – Here, “Naavitha” means a person who does “Hair dressing”. Today we go for doing haircuts, isn’t? Those people who perform the hair cutting are called “Naavitha”. If this “Naavitha” is shunning his responsibility and says that “Oh! I’m going to the forest for performing penance!” he should be avoided! This again equates to the similar argument that we need to perform whatever duty assigned to us. Only those people who are “Tapasvis’” or “Saints” should go to the forest and perform penance. However, those saints should not get into any sorts of worldly affairs like doing business, making money, etc. Thus a saint who gets into worldly business activities to make money and a worldly person who wants to go to the forest to do penance – Both of them should be avoided from our companionship!
So for today, let us ponder over these six categories of people to be avoided. The first step is that we we do not fall into any of these six categories of people. 🙂 The next step is to avoid those people who tend to fall within these six categories. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next six aspects! Stay tuned! 🙂