Episode # 295 – The real meaning of “Vaishnava Janato…” – An emotional message & an appeal!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important point that Vidura highlights – He says that it is always better to live and let others live too, rather than being too selfish and monopolistic in life. One can never gain long-lasting happiness when others around him/her are in distress. This is an extremely wrong attitude that many of us have today unfortunately. At critical situations we tend to think only about our personal welfare and in the process we try to junk the welfare of others so as to achieve ours. This is an extremely wrong attitude and such an attitude should be under check.

Of course there might be a counter question here – If we start looking at others’ welfare for everything and anything in life, how are we going to progress? Given the competitive nature of today’s world, does this point still hold true? If we start worrying about others, won’t they stamp over us and progress forward, leaving us behind in the race?

I totally agree on the validity of all such questions. There is no doubt that we should never take people for granted like that. However I’m not saying that we should shun our responsibilities and duties completely to focus on others’. That’s not the point here. All I’m saying is that, we “collaborate” with others rather than “fighting”, so that we live and also let others live. The main point to focus here is that we should shun our selfish attitude. Of course in certain things we’ve to be selfish – If the context pertains to our spiritual growth and performing our spiritual practices, we need to be extremely selfish about it. There are no excuses to compromise on them. However on other aspects in life, it would be better if we’re selfless in nature and ensure that our surrounding people are not in any form of distress, atleast until the basic comforts of life. Of course I’m not saying that we should sacrifice our job, our income, etc. and give everything to others. All I’m saying is that, if we’re having sufficient sources of income to support our living, and if we get an income beyond what is required for us, we can of course donate some of it for the welfare of the society and for a good cause. This is how we live and we let others live as well! Hence readers shouldn’t get confused at this point. I’m not saying that we should totally sacrifice everything. Of course, given our family lifestyle in a city, it is never going to be possible. But what is more important is that, we make a contribution (as much as we can, depending upon our capacity) for the welfare of our society too. All of us as ardent followers of our “Sanaathana Dharma” should realize this important point.

Now moving on further, Vidura continues to highlight this important point in the form of the following sloka wherein he says that as followers of our Sanaathana Dharma, we should not even harm a small insect in our life. Vidura says thus:

“Atheeva guna sampannaha na jaathu vinayaanvitaha!

Susookshmamapi bhootaanaam upamartham upekshate!!”

It can be inferred from the above sloka that the life of a person who is an ardent follower of our “Sanaathana Dharma” should be in such a way that the moment we see other living beings suffer, we should run towards them and help them out! Even if it is a venomous snake that is suffering – One should have the mercy to save that poor snake from being killed or bringing it out of whatever trouble it is facing. Just because the snake can bite us with poison, it is wrong to leave it suffer in pain. We should think for a moment – Is it the snake’s fault that it has poison in its teeth? Isn’t it God’s creation? Such is the nature of people who ardently follow our Sanaathana Dharma. Thus the message here is that, whoever or whatever living being is in pain, our heart should melt with mercy and try to bring them out of their pain and suffering. This is why we have this famous song in our Bhaarata Desha (India):

“Vaishnava janato tene kaheeye! He peetaparaathi jaane re!!”

This is a very famous song that is sung to depict the real significance of India and its people. It clearly says that if others are in suffering (“Peeta paraathi”), we should run and help them out, and such people are real “Vaishnavaites” (Indians in general). Here we should not mistake that “Vaishnavaites” are not just that one sect in Hindu Sanaathana Dharma. It denotes all of us collectively together under one umbrella. Thus the message here is that, if we see someone in deep suffering, we should have the heart to reach out to them and offer some help.This is the characteristic of a true Indian who follows Sanaathana Dharma ardently.

So for today, let us ponder over this important point and let us try to implement this in our life. If we happen to see people around us who are suffering or in some sort of pain, rather than just ignoring them and making fun of them, why don’t we have the heart to offer them some solace in the form of atleast a few soothing words? If we manage to do that, we would be able to experience profound happiness in our lives, by seeing others smiling because of us! Let us implement this and witness the change thus! We shall wait till tomorrow’s episode to witness Vidura’s next point of discussion. Stay tuned! J

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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