In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important explanation by Vidura wherein he had emphasized on the point that all our actions that we’re performing everyday irrespective of whether it is good or bad are all because of our “Vaasanas” that are a resultant of our actions in our past innumerable births. If we’ve accumulated bad actions during our previous births, the “Vaasana” is bad and even in this birth, these “Vaasanas” would push us to perform the same bad activity in some form or the other. Similarly if our actions of the previous births were good and towards “Dharma”, our “Vaasanas” would also be accordingly good and thus in this birth too, our good activities would continue. However, can that be an excuse that I’m doing bad activities just because my “Vaasanas” are bad? Can I take this as granted to continue doing bad actions? How do we overcome it? The best way is to practise detachment. If we try distancing ourselves from the results of whatever we do and if we just focus our mind on our duties, we can get rid of our “Vaasanas”. Of course, this is not easy to practice in real life, but in order to get rid of our “Vaasanas”, this is the best way to approach. So let us try consciously everyday!
Now moving on further, Vidura is going to emphasize a very beautiful aspect but an important one. He asks King Dhirdiraashtra thus, “Oh King! By all this, you’re only thinking of the pleasures that are coming to you during your present birth. These pleasures are carrying you away and you’re unable to think further. If you’re getting addicted to these worldly pleasures in this birth, what about your future births? Did you ever think of it?” Saying thus, Vidura explains a beautiful analogy to drive home this important point. Vidura says thus:
“Divasenaiva tath kuryaath yena raathraou sukham vaseth!
Ashta maasena tath kuryaath yena varshaaha sukham vaseth!!
Poorve vayasi tath kuryaath yena vriddhaha sukham vaseth!
Yaavat jeevena tath kuryaath yenah prethi sukham vaseth!!”
This is one of the most beautiful slokas in the entire Vidura Neeti that conveys an important aspect of life in a lucid and an attractive manner. Here Vidura explains, “Divasenaiva tath kuryaath – Yena raathraou sukham vaseth”! This means that, we human beings work hard during the day and because of the tiredness and satisfaction of a full and a long day’s work, we tend to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Thus we can infer that, to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep we slog hard during the day.
Next, Vidura says “Ashta maasena tath kuryaath – Yena varshaaha sukham vaseth!!” Similarly if we look at what ants do, these ants would go here and there during the summer months and collect all its food requirements for the winter and the rainy months. This is because, during the rainy and winter months the ants would find it difficult to come out of their dwelling place owing to the water everywhere around. Moreover, during the rainy season, it would be difficult to find grains for their food requirement, as the water would wash most of the grains away. Hence as a precautionary step, ants make sure that they collect and store enough food during the summer months itself, so that they needn’t come out for food during the winter and rainy months.
Now Vidura raises the important question – “Poorve vayasi tath kuryaath – Yena vriddhaha sukham vaseth!” Just like human beings work in the day to have a peaceful and a contented night, just like the ants work during the summer months to have a contented rainy season, what are we doing in this present birth so as to have a contented future birth? From these two analogies, we can understand that if we’ve to be happy and comfortable at one stage of our life, we need to put in the hard work during the previous stage, so as to enjoy the benefits now. Similarly for our future birth to be good and comfortable, we should do the groundwork during this birth isn’t it? This is where we struggle to understand as to what do we do such that we would get freed up from this vicious birth and death cycle that we are into currently. All we need to do is to follow the principles of “Dharma” and by that we should try and accumulate our “Punya Karma” by eliminating the unwanted “Paapa Karma” in this birth. If we’re able to do this successfully, Bhagawan is going to feel happy and contended with us and ultimately it is He who’s going to grant us “Moksha” at the end.
Hence the message from today’s episode is that, just like we take the precautionary step beforehand for a bright future in this birth, we should also take that same kind of a precautionary step during this birth with all our “Punya Karma” so as to attain a bright future with Bhagawan! This is what we convey by the popular English proverb – “Prevention is better than cure!” That is, if we’re able to take precautionary steps now, we can be happy and contended later! So for today, let us realize the significance of this important message and commence our activities accordingly. We shall wait for the next episode to explore Vidura’s next important message to King Dhirdiraashtra! Stay tuned! 🙂