Episode # 283 – “Slow and steady wins the race” – Vidura explains!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed a significant point pertaining to a “Panditha” as explained by Vidura. He had said that a “Panditha” or a learned scholar is a person who has excellent sense of discrimination and he/she knows when to do what! This is perhaps the marked difference between mankind and other animals in this world – Other animals never think before doing something, whereas we human beings are capable of doing it! However the main question remains that are we doing it! 🙂

We can witness innumerable examples and explanations of many people, right from our scriptural references till today’s scenario for both cases – Those with a sense of discrimination and those who were foolish, yet highly educated! In the Ramayana, Ravana can be a classic example of the second variant of people. As many of us might know, Ravana was a highly educated and a knowledgeable scholar in the Vedas and other important “Shaastras”, although he was a Raakshasa and a crooked person. He was a fierce warrior and had that grit and guts to take over any sorts of adverse situation and convert it into his favor. In fact, he was an excellent leader with many unique leadership qualities which many other people could never even think of. It is also believed that Ravana was a better warrior as compared to even Rama himself! This is revealed by Ravana’s wife, Mandodhari after he was killed by Bhagawan Rama at the end of the war.

The moment Mandodhari learns that her husband has been killed, she immediately rushes to the battlefield, stoops over Ravana’s dead body and cries aloud saying thus, “Oh Ravana! The whole world knows what is your valor and your intensity of fighting! Yet today, you’ve been defeated by an ordinary man called Rama! Your powers are immeasurable by anyone in this world, yet Rama has managed to win over you! DO you know why? It is only because of your ego and unwanted desire towards others’ women! These two bad attributes in you have pulled you down to the deathbed! Apart from these two issues, I never see anything in you that can lead you to such a ghastly end! Had you used your sense of discrimination to analyze your actions, you could have easily averted this disaster!

Thus we can see clearly from this example that Ravana, although he had a mastery over various subjects including the scriptural texts, art forms like singing, playing musical instruments, warfare, etc. he was ultimately doomed because of his lack of discrimination in what he was doing! Just because he wasn’t able to control his senses and since he went behind women for illicit relationships, he was trapped into Bhagawan Rama’s fold! Bhagawan Vishnu spotted this weak point of Ravana and cashed in fully to bring him down! All of us know how Ravana stood by his ground for his decision not to hand over Mother Sita back to Bhagawan Rama. So many people including the likes of Vibhishana, Hanuman, Angadha, Mandodhari herself and finally Kumbakarna advised Ravana not have Mother Sita at his helm any longer, however, because of his ego and lack of discrimination, Ravana never paid heed to any of the above people’s words!

Similarly in this context, we find the best example in King Dhirdiraashtra himself and his son Duryodhana. Although Vidura advised King Dhirdiraashtra on an earlier context while the infamous game of gambling was happening, he discarded Vidura’s words and went ahead with the game, which spelt disaster looming large for himself and his Kaurava sons including Duryodhana. Even now, Vidura is explaining all the possible “Dharma” in the world to King Dhirdiraashtra! Of course King Dhirdiraashtra himself is a highly educated and a scholarly person and there can never be even a single principle of “Dharma” that he might not have known! Yet what happened here? King Dhirdiraashtra with his “Putra-Vaatsalya” (Excessive affection towards his son) was unable to digest the fact that he and his sons were walking the dangerous path of “Adharma”. Finally at the end, the entire Kaurava clan was destroyed and this left King Dhirdiraashtra in total shambles! Had he listened to Vidura’s words carefully right from day one, would this have ever happened?

In similar lines, we can witness innumerable modern day contexts of leaders who were once successful in their respective professions, failing miserably owing to the lack of discrimination. This is why we say that if we’re performing an action, we should think twice, analyze the situation, cause and the time before we execute it. Of course there might be a counter question here – If we keep thinking and analyzing all the time, then who would do the work? What if there are quick decisions to be made? Where is the time for us to think and prepare? Yes – I understand and agree that certain situations might be tricky. However irrespective of whether we like it or not, it becomes mandatory for us to spend atleast a little of our time in thinking before acting. My take on this is that, it is always better to be a bit slow in our actions, rather than being fast and feeling sorry later on! It should not become like the “Hare and the tortoise story”, wherein the hare loses its plot because of its unstable implementation of its strategy for the running race. Being slow and steady is always a preferred choice than being fast and ending up with disaster!

So for today let us read through and understand the above explained examples and ponder over this crucial point. If we’re not using our thinking ability properly, we would never be able to become a “Panditha” or a learned scholar, or a successful leader in whatever we do in life! Thus we should understand the clear message here – Just having relevant knowledge about the subject would never make a person a “Panditha”. Only the ability of discrimination, smart thinking and smart assessment of the situation in hand would make a person a “Panditha” or a successful leader! We shall 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 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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