Episode # 298 – “Taking care of our aged parents is our fundamental duty” – Vidura Neeti’s important message!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important point stressed by Vidura to King Dhirdiraashtra wherein he says that , we should ensure the happiness of our near and dear ones in such a way that they would be of help for us at a later stage. Just like an ideal case wherein Duryodhana and Yudishtra would be amicable people, both the Paandavas and Kauravas can complement each other in ruling the kingdom efficiently. It is not that Vidura is trying to snatch away the kingdom from Duryodhana’s hands and give it to the Paandavas. All what he’s trying to say is that both the Paandavas and Kauravas should become united and share the responsibility equally amongst each other to make it a successful kingdom. This is what is being misunderstood by Duryodhana and Co. in the entire Mahabharata and this is what led to his destruction! All of us have seen how much of torture Duryodhana has tried to inflict upon Yudishtra and his Paandava brothers and Vidura is extremely pained with the pathetic series of happenings. Inspite of providing timely warnings and advises at all the critical times, King Dhirdiraashtra has right royally ignored them for his own convenience. Now when the going gets tough for King Dhirdiraashtra, he’s approaching Vidura for advice!

Such is the state of us too in today’s world. At critical times when our elders provide us with valuable advice, we tend to ignore it and move ahead just for satisfying our own personal agenda. However when the going gets tough we realize that we’ve made a big blunder of ignoring the advice of our elders and we regret our failure at that point of time when it is too late! Hence we should make it a point that when there is an opportunity to read/listen to some valuable advice from our elders and ancestors, we should make use of it and try to mend our ways in the positive direction towards “Dharma”. If we’re losing this opportunity that comes by our way, there is no point in regretting in the future when it becomes too late for any sort of corrective action.

Now moving on further, Vidura continues to give more explanations to this above-discussed point that if we’ve to be happy and peaceful in our life, we need to take others too along with us in the same path of ours. We cannot ditch others and be happy! This is never possible in one’s life. Highlighting this point thus, Vidura explains,

“Nyaatayaha vardhaneeyaaha taitya icchan aathmanasshubham!”

Here when Vidura says that we should take others along our path of happiness and peace, he covers two important segments of people in our life – Family members and our close friends. In today’s world if we think how are we taking care of our family members, it becomes a “billion dollar” question in itself! 🙂 This is because of the fact that our lifestyles have started changing. We’ve started stressing on a “nuclear family” wherein we tend to keep all our other family members (including our parents) at a certain distance! In olden days we had the concept of a “joint family” wherein all of us were living under one roof. Thus the love and affection towards all our family members were high and if our relatives were in some distress, we were able to help them out of it. Now that all of us are at a certain distance from each other, even if our own brother or sister is in trouble, we’re unable to lend a helping hand for them.

Moreover in the present day we’ve also started a new culture – Wherein, if we have a problem we don’t even want to share it with anybody else apart from our wife or husband! The logic behind this being, if we have to share our problems with someone else, we would end up “disturbing them” or we would end up losing our “privacy”! If such is the mindset of the modern day generation of people, we should literally forget helping our family members at the time of need!

If we look at the marriage system today, many people are demanding that the newly married couple would live alone on their own, and the time has come in such a way that their own parents and in-laws are treated as a “burden” for their newly married life! If at all there is someone who is voluntarily willing to take care of their parents or in-laws in today’s world, I would really be surprised and I would salute them with respect! This is because, how many people are really wanting to protect their aged parents after marriage? Even if the husband wants to undertake the responsibility what would happen if the wife stands against it? Or, the vice-versa can happen too!

Hence these are all some challenges that we’ve started to face in the modern day lifestyle and this is becoming a dangerous trend for the future! This is exactly where Vidura explains that we should at any cost, protect our near and dear ones if we’ve to be happy and contented life. Nowadays there is also a new trend – Since many of us are working and we do not have time to take care of our parents, we decide to put them in an “old-age home” and pay some money to them! Let me ask a simple question here – Can money equalize real love and affection from a child for a parent? What if our parents would have put us in a common “crèche” when we were children and what if they would have paid lump-some of money and kept quiet with it? Would we be what we are today if that would have happened to us? If our parents have invested their time by engaging us in the right way, what reciprocal are we going to do for them when they get aged? We should always remember one thing very clearly – One day we would also become aged and if we’re not doing the needful for our parents to keep them happy, our children are going to inflict the same kind of treatment to us tomorrow! By being selfish, we are trying to send a wrong message to our younger generation that we can take our parents for granted! Hence we should be extremely careful about what we’re doing!

So for today let us ponder over this important message from Vidura that whatever may be the situation in life, we should always try to take care of our near and dear people, especially parents and make them happy. Ultimately we need their blessings for a happy life, isn’t it? Hence let us strive this way to receive their blessings and thus lead a peaceful life! We shall wait till the next episode to take this point even further for discussion and thus move on to the next! 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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