Episode # 276 – “Never take the words of fickle-minded people (Moodaatma) seriously” – Vidura’s key advice!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed three important points when it comes to showing our anger our frustration. Vidura warns King Dhirdiraashtra that he shouldn’t be exhibiting his anger towards a list of categories of people. Three among them were parents, aged people who are diseased and discomforted and finally towards children. We’ve had detailed discussions on all these three categories in the previous episode. Adding on to these, we further discussed and pondered over two more important add-ins wherein we said that if we go to a temple to worship Bhagawan (Any deity) and/or if we go to an ashram to pay or respects to a spiritual master (Mahatma) we should never go empty-handed. We should atleast take a few bananas or a small garland of flowers or any other small acceptable offering with us while we go to a temple or an ashram. This is an extremely important point that all of us should follow in life. It is not that either Bhagawan or the Spiritual master is going to demand anything from us – It’s only from our side that we take something along with us as a token of our respect towards them. Just like how we’ve discussed previously that we should stand up whenever a Spiritual Master comes in front of us to pay our respects to him/her, offering something is also a way how respect is paid for such people of high spiritual stature, according to our Sanaatana Dharma. This also indirectly inculcates the habit of “giving” to others. Hence we should make it a regular practice in future whenever we go to a temple or to an ashram.

Similarly we also witnessed that whenever we obtain the “Prasad” (Divine food item that is offered to Bhagawan), it should be done only in our palms. The underlying truth in this is that, when we receive the “Prasad” in our palms, our sins are being washed away by it. Unfortunately today, we have introduced the habit of giving the “Prasad” in plastic covers, papers, etc. which should be strictly avoided.

Now moving on further, Vidura explains the subsequent point. Here he recollects some qualities of a “Moodaathma”, which we’ve witnessed right at the start of this whole Vidura Neeti. Readers might remember it – If not, please refer to our earlier episodes to read them once again! 🙂 In this context, Vidura explains that we should not take any decisions or perform counter actions by getting carried away with what “Moodaathmas” (Fools) do! Vidura explains thus:

“Nirartham kalaham praagnyaha varjayen mooda sevitham!

Keerthi cha labhate lokhe na cha anarthena yuchhyate!!”

Here he says that if fools are laughing, even they wouldn’t know why they do so! If they’re getting angry, mostly it would be for no reason! Hence we should be extremely careful if we come across such people in life. We should never base out our decisions or counter actions if we see fools getting too much happy or too much angry! Rather, we should learn to just ignore such people and move on.

For instance, Kamsa was a “Moodaathma”. Here is an interesting story of the birth of Bhagawan Krishna. I shall explain it in brief as many of us might know it already. I’m invoking this story just to fit the context. Kamsa was a demon (Raakshasa) and he was informed by a thundering voice from the Heaven that he is going to be killed by Vasudeva’s eighth son! Upon hearing thus, Kamsa got scared and he immediately imprisoned both Vasudeva and his wife Devaki. While imprisoning them, Kamsa had instructed Vasudeva that after the birth of every child, he has to come and hand it over to Kamsa immediately, so that he can kill it. After a year or so, the first child was born and as per Kamsa’s instruction, Vasudeva takes the baby in his hands to hand it over to Kamsa. When Kamsa was about to kill that baby, Vasudeva stops him for a moment and says thus, “Oh Kamsa! It was told by that divine voice that your life is in danger only with the eighth baby and not this first baby! So why do you want to kill this one and commit a sin of killing a child? Isn’t it a huge wrongdoing that you’re committing by killing seven innocent children before the eighth one? Upon listening to this, Kamsa became thoughtful! He thinks thus, “Oh yes! What Vasudeva says is right! The problem is only with the eighth child and not the seven others! Hence let us return this one back to him and let us wait for the eighth one to be born! Thinking thus, he hands over the first baby back to Vasudeva’s hands! Upon receiving the baby, Vasudeva takes it back to the prison complex.

In the Bhaagavatha Puraana while Sage Sukhaachaarya is writing about this episode, he says that Vasudeva neither felt happy nor sad upon successfully preventing Kamsa from killing his baby! It is because Vasudeva knows that Kamsa is a “Moodaathma” and his mind is unstable! He can change his stance any moment according to his whims and fancies. In fact the same thing happened – When Sage Naarada came to meet Kamsa, he played his mind-game! He told Kamsa thus, “Oh Kamsa! You know what? All the Devas (Celestial beings) have made you a fool by trapping you into their plot! Now that you’ve decided not to kill the first seven babies, how will you know the difference between the eighth baby and the rest of the seven, if all are born one after the other in subsequent years? What if Vasudeva cheats you by bringing the seventh baby to you, instead of the eighth? So you’ll end up killing the wrong baby, isn’t it?” Saying thus, Sage Naarada adds to his confusion! Kamsa now starts to think thus, “Oh yes! Whatever Sage Naarada says might be true! What if I kill the wrong baby and get myself into trouble? So the best way to escape from this is to kill each and every baby then and there as they are born one after the other, so that there’s no confusion at the end!” Thinking thus, he once again calls for Vasudeva and his baby, snatches it and kills it!

Now if Vasudeva would have felt happy that he managed to convince Kamsa not to kill his baby, he would have had to feel devastated as a father! Since he neither felt happy nor sad for it, he was able to take it in a balanced way! Hence the message from today’s episode is that, we should not take the words of fickle minded people seriously into account! Rather, we should just ignore them and move on! We shall witness the continuation of this discussion in the next episode too, but for today let us ponder over this important point! Stay tuned for the extended discussion to follow! 🙂

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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