In the previous episode we had witnessed Vidura fuming in anger against adamant and an arrogant King Dhirdiraashtra. He bluntly exudes the fact that his close “confides” of his son Duryodhana himself, Sahuni, Karna, etc. are the biggest crooks the world has ever seen so far! They had taken every ounce of opportunity to insult, abuse and torture the Paandavas in whatever way possible. Vidura continues to slam and drive home the point that this Hasthinaapura Kingdom is never going to prosper if it goes into the hands of these crooks. Moreover, Yudishtra and the Paandavas have been steadfast in their love and respect towards King Dhirdiraashtra, but he never reciprocated their respect in any way!
This is where Vidura is trying to invoke yet another story to illustrate and highlight this point. This time he is going to talk about a person called Dattaathreya. With this, now we enter into the 36’th “Adhyaaya” of Vidura Neeti wherein Vidura is going to explain some extremely important points in an “indirect” manner and is going to poke King Dhirdiraashtra once again with illustrations and examples. But now it’s going to be about Dattathreya and his important message to the world.
Now before we go into this story, we shall first set up the context quickly – Dattaathreya was living along with “Saadhya-Devatas” (A kind of Celestial Beings). Dattaatreya is flying over the world in his “Hamsa-Vaahana”. (“Hamsa” – A particular kind of bird) This context what Vidura is going to talk about, stems from the conversation between these “Saadhya-Devatas” and Dattaatreya. Vidura feels that this explanation would be apt for King Dhirdiraashtra to understand and introspect within himself.
It should be noted here that Vidura himself talks only of Dharma, yet he would at times invoke some messages that others had conveyed in the past, to illustrate his points. Why should be do that? Can’t he go on listing the points of Dharma to King Dhirdiraashtra and to all of us? Why does he need to invoke the points from Dattaathreya and others to drive home his explanation? The reason is very simple – If he would have went on to illustrate Dharma only with his perspective, neither King Dhirdiraashtra nor any of us would have realized the credibility of Vidura’s words. It is only when he invokes the words and messages of great people, will King Dhirdiraashtra and all of us develop that trust towards Vidura’s important advice! Thus the message from this point is that, it is not enough if one preaches the Dharma by just listing down point after point and if done so, people like us would never be able to comprehend and understand anything out of it. The principles of Dharma would reach people like us only if each point is explained with some illustrations, interesting stories, etc. Only then the credibility of a person’s words is established and people would be in a mindset to listen to that person’s advice towards Dharma.
“Charantham hamsa roopena maharishi samshrutham vratham!
Saadhyaa devaaha mahaapraagnyam parya pruchhanthavai puraa!!”
Thus the context is set for Dattathreya’s message. The “Saadhya-Devatas” are asking Dattathreya few questions and Dattathreya is going to reply to all of them.
“Aakrushyamaanaha na krochen manyureva tithikshataha!
Aakroshtaaram nirdahathi sukrutham chaasya vindathi!!”
Here Dattaathreya explains the important message – If someone looks at us and starts slamming us with scoldings left, right and center, how do we react to it? If that person scolds or abuses us, it is not correct to scold him back with equal force! But why should we keep quiet? If we follow the path of Dharma and on top of it if someone comes up to us and scolds us, all our sins get transferred to him! In turn, all his “Punya” (Good deeds) get transferred to us! Now how do we react to that person? We should only laugh at him and tell “Thank you so much!” But the real question here is that, will we get that intuition to give such a bold reply to him, without shouting back? This is where we need to work on! We need to develop that will power to control our natural instinct of scolding back at those people who scold us. If we understand this truth correctly and deeply, we would definitely cultivate the will power. The more and more a person scolds us unduly for no fault of ours, the more and more of my sins would get transferred into him. In addition, all his good deeds would get transferred to us! This is an extremely important message for all of us.
But why aren’t we able to control our instincts at that moment? It is because, our emotions run high and our ego takes over! Because of this, we tend to derive pleasure from scolding the other person with equal force! At this stage if we’re able to maintain our calm and cool, we can earn more of “Punya karma” in our life.
So for today, let us introspect on this important point. If we feel that someone is irritating and provoking us on purpose, let us not get carried away by our instincts and ego to irritate him back! Let us try to maintain our balance and realize that he is giving away all his “Punya” to me and is taking away all my “Paapa” in return! We shall wait till the next episode to explore more into this point and see how is it applicable to King Dhirdiraashtra and Co.! Stay tuned! 🙂