In the previous episode we had witnessed the last point of this penultimate “Adhyaaya” of the Vidura Neeti wherein Vidura concludes by emphasizing that we should never laugh at anyone who is suffering the same way as we must have suffered in the past. If we’ve had a harrowing experience in any situation in life, we should be ready to educate and create an awareness amongst others, not to fall into the same trap. As a “Panditha” and also as an ardent follower of our “Sanaathana Dharma” this should always be our motto in life. This is why we always have this practice in our culture that we listen to the words of our elders. The term “elders” is inclusive of everyone who is more than us in terms of age and experience, in the likes of our parents, teachers, professors, elder brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc. If elders advise us on something, it would be out of their own experience in their past and we should never reject their advice.
In fact, this was the very purpose of Bhagawan’s incarnation as Lord Rama. As we’ve witnessed in the earlier part of our Ramayana project, Valmiki Maharishi himself explains very clearly in the “Baala Kaanda” that the very purpose of Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation in this world is to illustrate to mankind that it is our bound duty to listen to the words of our elders and act as per their words of advice. Bhagawan had to illustrate this to the world because he had then feared in the “Tretha Yuga” that this “Dharma” of listening to the words of elders was starting to diminish! If Bhagawan was getting scared this this “Dharma” was getting diminished then, in today’s “Kali Yuga”, what should we say? 😊 Nobody is going to listen to anybody’s words! This is where unfortunately we are today! Of course, readers should understand that there’s no point in blaming the “Yuga” in which we are. In fact, every “Yuga” is created by Bhagawan himself and we should understand that Bhagawan never creates anything by mistake! There is a significance that is underlying in each and every “Yuga” and it is upto us to understand it and reach Bhagawan. If we talk about our “Kali Yuga”, in fact, we should know that this “Yuga” gives us the easiest way to attain Bhagawan’s feet – It is nothing but “Naama-Sankeerthana”, which means, “repeated chanting and singing the name of Bhagawan”. This is perhaps the most easiest thing that we can do and in fact, we should feel lucky to have taken birth at this time, where this is perfectly possible.
Thus the point here is that, if elders provide us with words of advice, it is all out of their past experiences, which should serve as a great learning for all of us. Never in their dreams will our elders like parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, etc. would think something bad for us. Hence it is upto us to make up our mind to listen to their golden words of advice, assimilate them carefully and implement them in our daily lives carefully. This is exactly what Bhagawan Rama did too – He perfectly obeyed his father King Dasharata’s words right from day one till the day when King Dasharata passed away. When his father asked him to go along with Sage Vishwamitra, Bhagawan obeyed. When his father asked him to go to the forest for fourteen long years on exile, Bhagawan was more than ready to do that as well! Thus from every instance in the Ramayana, we can witness this “Dharma” being explained very clearly. If Bhagawan illustrated such exemplary behavior, were his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna exceptions too? No ways! These three brothers were in fact, a step higher than what Bhagawan Rama was! Lakshmana followed Bhagawan Rama to the forest for the entire tenure of fourteen years and offered himself selflessly to the service of Bhagawan! If such was the selflessness of Lakshmana, Bharata was ready to do whatever Bhagawan wanted him to do! And Shathrugna too, the same way! This is the reason why in our Hindu scriptures, Bharata and Shatrughna are referred to as “Bharataazhwaan” and “Shri Shatrhughnaazhwaan”! The title of “Azhwaan” signifies the highest level of devotion towards Bhagawan and it is like having a PhD degree, which is considered the highest level of education that one can receive!
Thus the point is very clear here – At any cost, we should listen to the words of advice of our elders and at the same time, we should also be ready to advice others if we see them facing some problems. This should always be a “two-way traffic” 😊 That is, we should be ready to listen as well as to advice! So for today, let us once more ponder over this important last point that Vidura is trying to emphasize here. We shall wait till tomorrow’s episode to begin the discussion of the last “Adhyaaya” of the Vidura Neeti. As mentioned yesterday, this “Adhyaaya” has the concluding remarks of Vidura to King Dhirdiraashtra, after all what he had said for all this while! Stay tuned! 😊