Episode # 277 – “Never judge the scholarliness of a person with the wealth that he/she possesses” – Vidura’s important message!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important point discussed by Vidura towards the end of the 38’th Adhyaaya, wherein he recalls some important qualities of a “Moodaathma” (Fool). Here he emphasizes that “Moodaathmas” are fickle-minded people, that is, they do not have that habit of sticking to a decision as their mind is unstable. In the yesterday’s episode we had witnessed a beautiful and an apt example for this from the story of Kamsa – Bhagwan Krishna’s uncle. When Bhagwan Krishna was about to take birth, Kamsa heard a divine voice from the Heaven that his sister Devaki’s eight son (Bhagawan Krishna) would be the person who would kill him! Fearing this, Kamsa did not know what to do as he was fickle-minded. He wasn’t ready to accept the truth, but tried to play ploys with it. When Vasudeva (Bhagawan Krishna’s father) brought in the first baby to Kamsa, he wanted to kill it at first, but then changed his stance owing to Vasudeva’s sensible advice! Post then, Sage Narada visited Kamsa and thereafter he changed his stance again! Here we can see how fickle-minded Kamsa was, as he was a “Raakshasa” (Demon).

Thus it is evident here that almost all Raakshasas were fickle-minded in their own ways. We would have read through the episode of Hiranya-Kashibu and how did he torture his young son Prahlada. We’ve been seeing how Duryodhana was fickle-minded all throughout his life in the Mahaabharata! Hence the message here is two-fold – Firstly we should maintain ourselves in such a way that we do not fall into the category of “fickle-minded” people! We need to watch ourselves very closely every time, whenever we make some important decisions in life. Our decisions should be firm and we should stick to our decisions, come what may! Of course, before narrowing down on our decisions, we need to make a complete and a thorough analysis of the problem or the situation in which we are in. Decision-making without proper analysis would obviously lead to disaster! Secondly, we should make it a point that we do not give room for those people who are highly fickle-minded. In fact, Vidura yesterday said that it is better that we ignore them completely and not take their words seriously. Hence these two points are extremely important for all of us to ponder over.

Now moving on further, Vidura is explaining an extremely important point here. All of us should pay very careful attention to this. Vidura explains thus:

“Nirartham kalaham praagyaha varjayen mooda sevitam!

Na virgirdhana laabhaaya la jaatyamasa mruddhaye!!”

Here Vidura explains that we cannot brand someone as a “Mooda” (Fool) just because he has no formal education nor wealth in this world. Similarly, a person cannot be branded as a “Panditha” (Scholar) just because he has a high educational qualification in his life. Then how do we decide if a person is a “Mooda” or a “Panditha”? The decision is primarily made only with a person’s ability to understand what is happening around him or her and trying to adjust according to the situation in which he/she is in! This of course requires shrewdness and smartness. Thus in a nutshell, Vidura explains that a person is judged to be scholarly mainly with the level of shrewdness and smartness that he/she possesses, more than even the educational qualifications he/she has!

This is exactly what we see in today’s world too – In general there is a belief that Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati are always on loggerheads with each other! Our readers might be knowing that Goddess Lakshmi is the one in-charge of wealth and money. Goddess Saraswati primarily refers to knowledge and education. In many cases we might be able to see that if people are extremely rich, most of them would be dumbheads! On the contrary, those people who are not very rich, would be extremely scholarly in their approach! We would be able to witness this quite easily in the political scenario today – There is a national level political party in India which is run by a “family” for the past 70 odd years and only people from that “first family” become leaders of that party. Many of us might know how good the present-day leader of that political party is – He has aspirations to become the next Prime Minister of India, but little does he realize that he is too far away in terms of shrewdness and smartness to become one! Of course this family has enormous money power and all the riches in the world and the whole of India knows how this family earned their luxuries in life! Yet, just because the family possesses enormous amount of money, does it mean that it produces skilful leaders? The answer is “No”! Thus the message here is that, just because one is rich with lot of luxuries, it doesn’t mean that he/she is intelligent. If Goddess Lakshmi reigns in too much, she would chase away Goddess Saraswati from her vicinity and this is exactly we witness today in Indian politics! 🙂

Hence the message here is that, we should not be judgemental about people who possess luxuries, to be intelligent and vice versa. There are innumerable people in this world who were devoid of any sorts of luxuries in their lives, but were excellent scholars in their own respective domains! All of would have known the life story of our great ex President of India – Dr. Abdul Kalam. Why do we think we have a special respect for Dr. Kalam, although he had a very humble life all through till his demise? It is only because of his knowledge and his passion to drive the younger generation towards the path of excellence! All of us know how scholarly Dr. Kalam was! He was a leading scientist in the nuclear sector and was solely instrumental in the “Pokhran” nuclear test that India conducted, which shook the whole world with awe and surprise! This is why we always see that scholarly people, although they might not be too wealthy, would be respected with awe and dignity! Whereas, all of us know what kind of a respect we give for third-rated politicians, especially the likes of the “first family” of the main opposition party in Indian politics!

Thus today’s message is very clear! Hence let us ponder over this important point for today and let us wait till the next episode to witness Vidura’s next important point! 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 Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, 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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