Episode # 220 – Never disrespect those few people who inculcate “Dharma” in us – Vidura’s golden advice!!!

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In the previous couple of episodes we had witnessed an important discussion on those categories of people who go directly to Heaven or Vaikunta or Svarga! There are eight categories, which Vidura talks about as against seventeen categories of people who go to Hell or Naraka! As mentioned yesterday, this shows that there are more people going into the Naraka (Hell) than to the “Svarga” (Heaven).

Saying thus, Vidura also extends an impotant word of caution to King Dhirdiraashtra here. Vidura says categorically thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! Please understand that there might be innumerable people around you who might talk very nice and sweet with you, but most of the time they would only pass on the venom of hatred and arrogance into you! There might not be many people who would waste their time in teaching and preaching you the “Dharma” in this world!” Vidura conveys this through the following sloka:

“Sulabaah purushaa raajan satatam priya vaadinaha!

Apriyastatu vaktasya vakthaah shrothaa cha durlabhaha!!”

 As mentioned above, Vidura explains to King Dhirdiraashtra that there might be a very few people who would sacrifice their lives to teach us the “Dharma” at any cost. We’ve to make use of the opportunity to learn it as much as possible. However, there would be loads and loads of people everywhere who would just talk sweet and lucrative words, but all these words would only lead us to the path of “Adharma”. If we get carried away by these words, we would definitely fall into one of those seventeen categories of people who would reach Hell!

Vidura specially employs this phrase – Sulabaah purushaa raajan satatam priya vaadinaha!”This means, those who try and motivate you with a beautiful and an attractive language that is so pleasing for us to hear (“satatam priya vaadinaha”), would eventually pull us into Hell and not into Heaven! Hence we need to be careful here – If someone is trying to play around with us with his/her sweet language, we need to think twice before trusting that person! In today’s word, the perfect example for this point would be sales people! Normally in any company, sales people are trained to talk in a pleasing and a sweet manner, yet convincingly so that the process of sale of the product becomes a cakewalk! As customers, we might easily get fooled by the “beautiful” and “flowery” language of the sales person and would purchase the product. Only after we start using the product would we realize that it is a low quality one and is developing so many problems! Now if we’ve to call up the so-called “Customer-care” of the company, there would be a very cold response with respect to the after-sales service! This is why many experts often advise us, not to go with just the words of a sales person to purchase a product! Now that we have the technology in our fingertips, we can always search for “reviews” online for a product, go through them and then make a purchase decision.

Thus the message here is that, we should not get carried away by those people who use beautiful language to please us in any way! However we should not ignore those people who might name and shame us for our wrongdoings. This is because these are the people who are genuinely interested in uplifting us from the mess that we’re creating for ourlself! This is exactly what Vidura is doing here too – He’s talking those things as part of the “Vidura Neeti” that prick the conscience of King Dhirdiraashtra and at times, making him irritated. However does that mean Vidura is an enemy to King Dhirdiraashtra? The answer is a “No”! Only those people like Sahuni, Bhishma, Dhronaachaarya, etc. who were only interested in pleasing King Dhirdiraashtra for running their own personal agendas were real enemies! Not one of them condemned any wrongdoing that Duryodhana did in the public courtroom! Not one of them approached King Dhirdiraashtra to advice him on mending Duryodhana’s ways! Not one of them (although they were supposed to be highly educated), came forward to highlight the Dharma at a time when it had to be done! Instead of doing this, they were only talking those things that would please King Dhirdiraashtra, which completely misled him in his duties that he discharged towards the Hastinaapura kingdom! Thus from this episode, just as we said that there would be loads of people who would just try to please us for their personal agenda, we should also realize the hard fact that there would be very less people who would educate us and impart the principles of our “Sanaathana Dhamra” efficiently and convincingly.

Thus we’re seeing here that Vidura is trying different ways an means to educate King Dhirdiraashtra with the requisite “Dharma”, however none of these important words of Vidura entered King Dhirdiraashtra’s ears and heart! He was bound by his “Putra-Vaatsalya” (Excessive attachment and blind affection towards his son)! He was not in a position to accept the fact that his son is an epitome of all “Adharma” put together and he is earning the wrath of Bhagawan Krishna minute after minute!

We witnessed this same situation in the Ramayana too – Vibhishana tried his level best to convince his brother Ravana and to dissuade Ravana from going ahead and behaving wrongly with Mother Sita! In fact, Vibhishana was the only person in Ravana’s courtroom to object Ravana’s evil attitude, while all other ministers were only interested in fuelling his wrong behavior and propelling it even further! Since Vibhishana was an “odd man out” in the courtroom, his words of advice did not reach Ravana’s ears and thus finally Ravana ended up kicking Vibhishana away from his palace altogether! Thus this one person who was genuinely interested in Ravana’s welfare also turned hostile towards him and we witnessed that Vibhishana later joined the Vaanara (Monkey) camp to lend a helping hand to Bhagawan Rama to defeat Ravana!

Thus the message is loud and clear here – We should never discard a person who tries to inculcate the “Dharma” to us, just because he or the “Dharma” is harsh for us to digest! For today let us try and introspect on this important point and we shall wait till the next episode to witness more of Vidura’s important words of advice! 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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