In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important explanation from Vidura wherein he stresses upon the point that we should respect four different categories of beings at any point in time – They are, snakes, fire (Agni Bhagawan), lion and “Kula-Putraha” (Means, brothers or sisters within the same family). Meanwhile, Vidura sends a strong message to King Dhirdiraashtra by warning him that his son Duryodhana is playing with fire, not knowing the repercussions of his evil actions. If the fire called “Paandavas” explodes big time, Vidura cautions that Duryodhana is going to burnt down to ashes within no time! Instead, Duryodhana should make a conscious effort to broker peace with the Paandavas atleast now at this moment, before things really fall out of hand!
King Dhirdiraashtra listens to all this from Vidura but none of Vidura’s cautions or messages are making any sense to him! However notwithstanding King Dhirdiraashtra’s deep “Agnyaana” (Mental slumber) and ego, Vidura continues his advice to him. Moving on to the next point, Vidura now compares the two sets of brothers – Paandavas and Kauravas to a big tree and its huge branches. Vidura says thus:
“Sa eva kaludhaarubhyaha yadhaa nirmadhya deepyate!
Tath dhaaru cha vanam chaanyanirdahathyaatu tejasaa!
Lataa dharmaartham samudraha shaalah paandusuthaa mathaaha!!”
Here we can imagine a huge banyan tree with innumerable number of branches spreading from its main trunk in all directions. Vidura explains to King Dhirdiraashtra that the Paandavas are like that huge trunk of the banyan tree, which serves as the nucleus for the whole tree to function properly. The Kauravas are like the strong branches that stem out from the tree in all directions. Just like how a banyan tree becomes complete only when the trunk and branches are knitted together in unison, the banyan tree called Hastinaapura kingdom would be complete only if its trunk called “Paandavas” and its branches called “Kauravas” stay united and well-knit with each other! Vidura compares the trunk of the banyan tree to the Paandavas because of their extremely sharp intellect and mental balance. Each of the five Paandava brothers starting from Yudishtra (Also referred to as “Dharma-Putra” or the embodiment of “Dharma”) till Sahaadeva are embodiments of “Dharma” in different aspects. Thus Vidura exhorts the fact that these five brothers who are the embodiments of five different aspects of “Dharma” would be a huge asset to the Hastinapura kingdom and hence would form the nucleus or the nerve-center of the kingdom with ease! However he does not underestimate the Kauravas as well – Just like the branches are important for a banyan tree to spread its wings in all four directions, the Kauravas can co-ordinate well with the Paandavas to increase the popularity of the Hastinapura kingdom in a mammoth way and in the path of “Dharma”. If this happens, Hastinaapura kingdom would certainly become a role model for the entire world and in future, lessons can be learnt with respect to unity in diversity, “Raaja-Dharma”, etc. in the future.
Hence with all these words of advice, Vidura explains all the aspects of “Raaja Dharma” to King Dhirdiraashtra and with this we come to the end of this particular “Adhyaaya” (Chapter) of the Vidura Neeti. While finishing this Adhyaaya, Vidura also adds a small note on how do we respect elderly people and those who are experienced in various aspects of life. This is an extremely important point for all of us to think about, and we shall reserve this discussion for tomorrow’s episode! Stay tuned! 🙂