Episode # 282 – “Think before you act!” – Vidura’s important definition of a “Panditha” (Learned Scholar)!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important point from Vidura wherein he says that there’s no point in scolding, abusing or feeling jealous of those people who meticulously follow the principle of “Yoga-Kshema”. Of course we’ve seen what is the meaning of “Yoga-Kshema” in Episode 280 and readers can refer back to check for it if in case you’ve missed it. If certain people are able to achieve what they intend to do, it simply means that they’ve been able to grab the right opportunity at the right time so as to succeed in their mission. Hence there is no point in feeling jealous of their success. Rather, we can learn from them as to how to hold on to the opportunities that we get by not squandering away with them due to our negligence and carelessness. The fact of the matter is that, many a times we lose out on holding to golden opportunities just because we are ignorant about it, or we lack the adequate knowledge about it, or due to sheer carelessness. Such things should be avoided at any cost and we should always be alert and aware of what’s happening around us. This is extremely important for our success in whatever domain we might be in.

Now moving on further, Vidura explains the next point – Upon King Dhirdiraashtra’s quick cross question as to who really is a “Panditha, given all these do’s and don’t’s for a person in life, Vidura now gives a befitting answer to this. He says thus:

“Yeshu dushtetu doshaha prayojaneshu yesakthaaha na vishesheshu bhaarata!

Taaraham pandithaanmanye visheshaahi prasanginaha!!”

As mentioned above, King Dhirdiraashtra, after listening to all what Vidura has said so far, asks a question thus, “Oh Vidura! So far you’ve explained innumerable points as to who can be a Panditha or a learned scholar! However looking at whatever you’ve said till now, nobody in this world can be a learned scholar! Given this, according to you, who would be that person who would fit into this framework of yours, for being a “Panditha”?

As King Dhirdiraashtra poses the question, Vidura is quick enough to give a befitting reply. He says thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! Oh Bhaarata! Please do not mistake my definition of the word “Panditha”! A person can never become a “Panditha” only by reading through scholarly works and by enriching his/her knowledge alone! A person can become a real “Panditha” only by analyzing what is right and what is wrong, according to the situation and by acting accordingly. A “Panditha” is a person who knows exactly which actions would give the ultimate fruit and which are those actions that would waste his/her time! Moreover, a “Panditha” should be a person who is smart enough to withdraw himself from those activities that might not add any value or benefit to his life!”

This is an extremely important piece of information that Vidura is giving out here – We should first be able to identify which are those activities that would add value to our life and which are those that are to be junked away! Subsequently we should focus our attention only on those activities that would yield us benefits. But sadly if we take a statistics of what we do every passing day, it would be strange for many of us today to find out that we spend a vast majority of our time in performing activities that never add any value neither to our professional or personal or spiritual growth! Many a times we would keep spending our time watching what others are doing in their lives, gossiping about others, etc. and by the time we realize that our work is pending, we feel completely drained out and most often we find ourselves in a tight situation for the want of time! Thus the message from this point is very clear – We should think twice before performing any action and we should definitely ascertain the positives and negatives of each action we do.

Of course many of us might ask a counter question here – How on earth can we be thinking for each and every action that we need to perform? Doesn’t it consume lot of time? Is it humanly possible to do this? The answer to this is that, there is no other alternative – If we’ve to streamline ourselves, we need to spend considerable time in thinking before acting. There is no point in thinking after the action has been performed! If the action is a disastrous one and if we had missed thinking and analyzing about it beforehand, the entire purpose gets defeated, isn’t it? We’ve to bear the complete repercussions for what we’ve done and there’s no point regretting later! Hence it is always better and safer to spare a thought before whatever action we are about to perform. In fact, this is perhaps the marked difference human beings have from other animals – Other animals do not have the ability to think and analyze, whereas human beings do! Hence it is upto us to use this power of “discrimination” to the fullest, so that we perform only the right actions at all times!

So for today let us focus on this important point that Vidura is emphasizing here – If we’ve to become a “Panditha”, this is the fundamental requirement! We’ve to have an excellent sense of discrimination between the right and the wrong! We shall take this point forward for more discussion with a few examples in the next episode as we move on to the next 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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