In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important message from Vidura in regards to some important characeristics of a righteous leader (king in this context). He had explained that a righteous leader is an extremely pious person by nature, has complete control over his mind and his five senses, performs only actions that are good and beneficial for his kingdom and for himself (Punya Karma) and also serves ample amount of food for those who are in dire need of it (hungry). Here in due course we also had a small discussion on why is “Anna Dhaanam” (Serving food) extremely significant in today’s scenario too – We have the customary practice of serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on important occasions of marriages, “Upanayanam”, “Shraadham”, etc. for all those people who come to attend these functions. This is because, if we serve any other thing other than food to anyone, satisfaction is never going to arise. Whereas, if we serve well cooked, tasty food for everybody, automatically their stomach gets the fullest satisfaction and in turn they bless the occasion with their happiness. This is the reason why we give a prime importance to “Anna Dhaanam” in the tradition of our Hindu Sanaathana Dharma.
Now moving on further, given these above-mentioned charactersitcs of a righteous person, Vidura goes on further to build on this point – He now talks about the importance of friendship. What are the important characteristics of a true friend? Vidura explains thus:
“Na tham mithram yasyakopaath bhibheti! Yaddva mitram chankithena upacharyam!!
Yasmin mithre pithareshvaaseetha! Yahaa kaschith api asamvaddhaha!!”
Through the above sloka, Vidura explains the important characteristics that a true friend should not have! He explains this idea in an indirect way so as to poke King Dhirdiraashtra with the point that all of his friends around him are embodiments of these characterstics. Now let us witness the sloka in detail:
Vidura commences by saying “Na tham mithram yasyakopaath bhibheti” – This means that a person who gives room to intense anger and frustration should never be encouraged to be our friend! In other words, those people who become angry very quickly are extremely dangerous to move around with. Because we never know when they would become angry on us! 🙂 Moreover, an angry person’s mind is highly unstable and if we require help or a guidance at a critical time, these people would end up messing up the whole situation, rather than helping us to come out of it successfully. Hence Vidura advises us that we should be careful enough not to choose an angry person as our best friend.
Also, a person who always has a fear or nervousness in whatever he/she does, should never be encouraged to be amidst our close circles. This again pertains to the stability of that person in terms of decision-making at critical situations. If a person is in some sorts of a constant fear about everything and is in a confused state of mind, how can we approach such people for help? Hence Vidura advises us to avoid such kinds of people too!
Vidura continues further thus, “Yaddva mitram chankithena upacharyam!” – Here he says that those people, who are constantly doubtful and nosy about everything in life, are another unfit category of people to have friendship with! In our daily life too we might come across such people wherein they tend to ask thousands of questions even for a small aspect. This shows that there is always some iota of doubt and distrust in them. Such people who are always doubtful should also be avoided as good friends!
Next he explains, “Yasmin mithre pithareshvaaseetha!!” – Here Vidura explains an important point. Those people who would voluntarily come up to us and offer their help like a father or a mother during critical times are indeed the greatest friends for our life. This directly coincides with our famous modern day English proverb – “A friend in need is a friend indeed!” Those people whose heart pains while seeing us suffer and those people who run towards us to offer a helping hand and a shoulder to cry at times of our distress are real friends.
Finally Vidura explains “Yahaa kaschith api asamvaddhaha!!” – In continuation to the above point, Vidura now explains that those people who do not have any expectations in return to their favor for us and those people who offer their selfless service to us at critical times are true friends! Here is where Vidura indirectly pokes King Dhirdiraashtra thus, “Oh King! Now tell me, how many true friends have you got in your life!”
Thus the salient message from today’s episode is that we should be very careful while we choose our friends in life at every stage – There might be innumerable people whom we come across every passing day. However, many of them might be opportunistic in nature in some way or the other, or they would mingle with us for fulfilling some personal agenda of theirs by using us in some way. We need to be extremely careful not to fall into this trap. This is where we again need to use our sixth sense called “Discrimination”. Before we could establish friendship with someone, we should analyze the person for his/her behavior, actions and words and then make a decision to open ourselves up to that person. So for today let us ponder over this important point and let us wait till tomorrow’s episode for the next message from Vidura! Stay tuned! 🙂