Episode # 169 – “Nobody in your courtroom has the guts to stand by “Dharma” at critical times!” Vidura lashes out at King Dhirdiraashtra!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important aspect in the Vidura Neeti wherein Vidura is slamming King Dhirdiraashtra left, right and center for his relentless lacklusture attitude with regards to wealth and how to protect and sustain it. Vidura slams King Dhirdiraashtra for his lack of smartness in settling the issue with the Paandavas when they had just asked for five small villages! Had he given that, these issues would have not come up to this extent! He had missed a great opportunity to solve the issue once and for all by just giving up five villages! This means that King Dhirdiraashtra did not have the smartness to act at the right time and in the right way.

Moreover, from the previous episode we learnt how to accumulate wealth, sustain it and develop it further. The lessons for all of us are very clear from this sloka – If we’ve to earn sufficient amount of wealth, we should do so in the legitimate way with our actions benefitting the world. IF we’ve to grow this wealth further, we need to be steadfast in our approach and give our 100% effort to it. Finally if we need to sustain it, we need to have the capability to make the right decisions at the right time so that people around us do not get affected! If we get these three things right, wealth would sustain and dwell with us forever!

Now Vidura continues to lash out at King Dhirdiraashtra further. He is now going to talk about the constitution of King Dhirdiraashtra’s courtroom. Vidura now explains that a king should have in his courtroom only those people who really deserve to be there! In other words, a king should have only those people who can give wise ideas and solutions to critical problems around him. In this aspect he again lashes out thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! Your coutroom contains of several ‘stalwarts’ like Bhishma, Dhrona, Kripa, Ashwathhaama, etc. isn’t it? Of course they are of an extremely high stature and I’m nobody to talk about them! However, I don’t have a choice now. I’ll narrate their main characteristics to you!”

“Na saa sabhaa yatra nasanthi vriddhaaha na te vriddhaaha yena vadanthi dharmam!

Naasau dharmaha yathra na satyamasthi na tath sathyam yatchalena abhyupetham!!”

Through the above sloka Vidura boldly and courageously slams the whole of the courtroom of King Dhirdiraashtra. So far till now he was lashing out at King Dhirdiraashtra only. But now he is going to lash out on the entire lot of people who make up his courtroom. He says thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! The so-called courtroom that you have, is totally unfit for anything! (“Na saa sabhaa”) A typical courtroom should consist of a blend of both youngsters and aged people!”

Listening to this, King Dhirdiraashtr quickly quips back with a heavy sigh – “Oh Vidura! I have one experienced person in my courtroom – He’s perhaps the most aged of all of them put together – Bhishma! If Bhishma is here, why do you say that I don’t have aged people in my courtroom?”

Even before King Dhirdiraashtra could complete his sentence, Vidura changes the course of his argument. He now replies back saying “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! I never completed my sentence still and why do you want to jump in and shut me up? I did not say that you do not have an aged person in your courtroom! I’m totally aware that Bhishma is there. I’m talking about “Dharma” here. Those people who do not talk and highlight the “Dharma” in the courtroom, is not considered to be an aged person! (“Yena vadanthi dharmam!) Thus, only a person who talks and preaches “Dharma” can be considered to be advanced in age!”

Upon listening to this from Vidura, King Dhirdiraashtra is still confused! Why? Bhishma is a person who always stands by the “Dharma” isn’t it? Yet why is Vidura taking Bhishma’s name now into the list of those people who preach “Adharma”? As King Dhirdiraashtra thinks thus for a moment, Vidura is quick enough to read his mind and immediately quips back, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! I’m not talking about customizing the “Dharma” according to your likes and dislikes! I’m talking about a person who follows the “Dharma” as per the rule book! Where there is “Sathyam” (Truth), there would be “Dharma” in that place! But when the infamous gambling game was taking place and when Draupati was badly insulted, why did your ministers like Bhishma and Dhrona keep quiet? Even if we assume that the Paandavas deserved that insult because they had lost the game, this is a capital insult of a woman and an aged person with experience in knowing about “Dharma”, should have stopped this from happening! Did he do that? No! Then where is the question of “Dharma” and “Sathya” in your courtroom? This is why I’m saying that your courtroom is totally unfit! Nobody has the guts to stand by the “Dharma” and “Truth” when it really matters. Then what is the use of having such people in your courtroom even though they’re advanced in age? (“Naasau dharmaha yathra na satyamasthi”)”

Vidura continues further, “Oh King! You’re also having a wrong misconception that you can interpret the truth in whatever way you want it to be. Your companions Sahuni, Karna, etc. are experts in doing that! But please remember one thing – Truth (“Sathya”) can never be morphed! Truth can never be flexible for your own personal gains! (“Sathyam yatchalena abhyupetham!”) You can never change the original form of truth at any given point in time!”

Thus the message from this sloka is that, “Sathya” and “Dharma” are extremely important for people in a king’s courtroom and those people who try to flex the truth for their personal gains cannot be considered the right people to advise a king on various subjects! And moreover, the truth should come from a person’s heart by default! It should not be used as a weapon to win over someone at some point in time! So for today, let us introspect this point within us and let us try to stand by our “Dharma” at all times! It is of course a complex subject to comprehend at one go, and I request all our readers to read this episode multiple times, so as to understand the discussion clearly before we move on further in the next episode! 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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