In the previous episode we had witnessed an important discussion as to why is Vidura continuing to advise King Dhirdiraashtra repeatedly, even though he knows that it is a waste of time. We can compare this to a real-time analogy here – If a son is going into a wrong path in life, it is the duty of the parents to advise him and try to correct and mend his ways. However, even though the parents are advising him, what if the son doesn’t pay heed? Will any parent stop advising their son just because he is not willing to listen to them? Why do parents keep on advising then? It is with the belief that if not today, this advice might be able to reform their son some other day in future! Moreover, if the parents refrain from advising their son, it becomes a crime! It is equivalent to encouraging their son to walk the wrong path in life. Hence to avoid this mistake from happening, elders should keep advising, irrespective of the outcome.
This is exactly what Vidura is trying to do here as well. He’s trying his best to convince King Dhirdiraashtra with his words again and again, with the hope that atleast one or two of his sentences would reach King Dhirdiraashtra’s mind and conscience so that he takes a step forward to correct his attitude and actions. Most importantly, Vidura’s important duty is to provide expert advice as a minister in King Dhirdiraashtra’s cabinet. If he refrains from advising, he would commit a mistake of not giving proper advice at the time when it is needed the most. Thus we should understand here that we should provide advice to people in the right direction irrespective of whether they are interested or not.
We can witness few examples of this in the Ramayana and the Mahaabhaarata as well. Let me explain this important point with two such examples from the Ramayana – There was a “Raakshasa” by name “Akampana”. We’ve discussed about this during our previous project as well, but it’s worth recollecting in this context. Lord Rama wages war with 14,000 Raakshasas during his tenure at Chitrakoota, however he kills 13,999 of them! One of them escaped and fled the war area and this fellow was none other than “Akampana”. He was the person who straightaway made his way to Lanka and to Ravana’s courtroom to apprise Ravana as to what has happened. When Akampana reaches Ravana’s courtroom he explains the significance, valor and the power of Lord Rama. Till now everybody have been praising only Ravana in his courtroom, but today we have Akampana who is praising someone else other than Ravana. This irritated Ravana as he became furious. Upon seeing Ravana getting angry, Akampana did not fear for himself. He replies back to Ravana by saying, “Oh King Ravana! I know that my words are not pleasing for your ears, but however it is my duty to apprise you of the truth! One Kshathrya prince by name Rama has managed to kill all the 13,999 Raakshasas within fraction of minutes and his valor and confidence is extremely good! Please be careful of him!” From this instance we can understand that although Akampana knows that Ravana is going to get angry by his words, he still carries on with his appraisal of the situation.
The second best instance from the Ramayana to emphasize this point is the advice given by Hanuman to Ravana in the courtroom. When Indrajith captures Hanuman and brings him to Ravana’s courtroom, Hanuman starts to advise Ravana to mend his ways and give Sita back to Lord Rama. He advises Ravana that he is walking the dangerous path of Adharma and is going to get punished for his unrighteous actions very soon! Here too, Hanuman knows that Ravana is not going to pay heed to his advice, yet he’s continuing to advise Ravana. Just like King Dhirdiraashtra in our present context, all of us know that Ravana too failed to pay heed to Hanuman’s advice and ordered his tail to be set on fire!
Hence, from these two instances we can clearly see that if we see an unrighteous action happening in front of our eyes, it is our duty to advise people not to go on with such activities, irrespective of whether they would listen to us or not. We should not misunderstand here that we should use harsh words or actions to correct others. Of course there are ways to explain things in a soothing manner to people so that they would pay heed to our words of advice. Thus if we feel that we are trying to advice the “Dharma” to someone, we should go ahead in doing it in a soft and a smooth way so that the other person would try and consider our words.
Thus moving on, Vidura commences his next part of valuable advice to King Dhirdiraashtra on various principles of “Dharma”. So what if King Dhirdiraashtra rejects or accepts Vidura’s advice? We shall accept it and try to implement it in our life, isn’t it? So let us begin to witness them one by one.
“Mitthyo pethaani karmaani siddheyur yaani bhaaratha!
Anupaaya prayukthaani maasmaneshu manah krithaaha!!”
Here Vidura is driving home a very important point that the property or money that is earned in an unrighteous way might give happiness and pleasure for a short-term, but would backfire at a later time. Only that property or money that we earn in the righteous way would be sustainable for us in the long-term. He’s advising King Dhirdiraashtra thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! Please note this point – You’re trying to grab the property (kingdom) that is due for your brother’s sons, which is an unrighteous action. Moreover, you’re trying to give that grabbed property to your son, which indicated your selfishness and greed! With this, you’re trying to gain happiness and victory! Please try to refrain from this heinous act! Please let your mind go according to the path of Dharma. The unrighteous path would be very attractive to follow in the short-term. But if you get carried away with it, you would fall into a pit and you would never be able to get up from it! Whereas if you follow the righteous path, it might be difficult to follow initially, but if you persist with it, it would yield you permanent happiness with name and fame! Thus oh King Dhirdiraashtra! Please try not to let your mind and soul travel the wrong path of “Adharma”! Please listen to my words atleast now!”
Such is the initial advice of Vidura. From this we should learn an important lesson that whatever wealth or property we earn in our daily life, it should be in the method of righteousness (Dharma) and not by cheating or dumping anybody! For today let us begin our introspection on this important point and we shall continue this discussion in tomorrow’s episode as well, to get a strong hold on it! Stay tuned! 🙂