In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another extension of an important discussion of Vidura’s point wherein he emphasizes repeatedly that if we’re going to touch money or any form of wealth that is coming to us in some or the other illegal method, this is going to contribute to a great extent to our account of sins that we keep doing! Most importantly, for those people who think that they can easily escape the law of the land, even after swindling hefty amounts of money illegally, can never escape the law of Bhagawan that accounts to even the smallest of the small sins that commit in this world. We should always remember this important point in our daily lives and should be extremely careful while dealing with money and other forms of wealth and luxuries. We should be as legitimate as possible when it comes to monetary matters, especially in today’s world.
There might be arguments to counter this point by saying that, who is going to know if we’re going to swindle money? Given the competitive world wherein everything and anything is measured in terms of money, isn’t it a necessity in today’s world that we stack up more and more money for our “future needs”? These are of course valid points and valid questions. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t earn money at all. We should do it, but legitimately. If we’ve to earn more money, we need to qualify ourselves better and better and thus earn money legitimately. Our qualifications should be the factor to decide our merit of earning more money, not muscle power or the power of harassing people or cheating people to achieve it. So let us understand this point very clearly in the modern day context. Duryodhana and all his brothers met a disastrous end only because they tried to harass the Paandavas and pull out their due share of wealth and kingdom. Had Durydohana gone the legitimate way to earn his bread and butter, he could have earned much more than what he actually did by abducting the wealth of the Paandavas. Unfortunately he did not realize this fact and this is the lesson that we’ve to learn.
Thus from our scriptural texts, there are many instances wherein we should learn how to lead a peaceful life according to the principles of “Dharma”, and there are many other instances from which we should learn how not to lead a life in the path of “Adharma”. Hence, it is upto us to choose our path and go accordingly with the proper understanding.
Now moving on further, Vidura explains yet another important point as he continues his narrative further. He now talks about two important things – “Luxury” and “Education” and he says that both never go together in a person’s life. In other words, people who are only interested in enjoying worldly luxuries would never be able to excel in education and those people who never care for luxuries would be the ones who would become meritorious in education! Vidura explains thus:
“Anritheja samuddarshaha raajagaameesha baishunam!
Sukhaadhinah kutho vidyaa naasthi vidyaadinah sukham!!”
This is a very important and an interesting sloka. As mentioned above, Vidura indirectly pokes King Dhirdiraashtra about the educational acumen of his son Duryodhana. Many of us, readers might be aware of a small incident that took place during Duryodhana’s childhood days. Vidura is trying to recall this incident, not directly though, but he bases this point entirely on that one incident. I shall quickly narrate this incident in brief for the benefit of our readers here:
Once when Duryodhana and the Paandava brothers were in their childhood days, they were learning their lessons of artillery, archery, etc. from Guru Dhronaachaarya. As their education progressed forward, Guru Dhronaachaarya wanted to conduct a “test” to all his students just to check their proficiency in whatever they’ve learnt till date. He took all the kids to a nearby tree and showed them a small bird that was sitting in one of its branches. The criteria to “pass” the test was that, they should hit the eye of that bird with the bow and arrow and whoever does that correctly would be the winner!
Accordingly, Duryodhana was the first kid to come forward with his bow and arrow. Before he releases the arrow from his bow, Guru Dhronachaarya asks Duryodhana as to what does he see. Upon which, Duryodhana replies back, “Oh Teacher! I’m able to see everything around me – Trees, birds, beautiful forests, etc.!” Hearing this, Guru Dhronaachaarya asks Duryodhana to step aside. Similarly he calls up one kid after the other, and asks the same question. All of the kids come up with relatively the same kind of answer as Duryodhana did. Upon hearing the answers, Guru Dhronaachaarya was not feeling very happy and finally he called up Arjuna (One of the important Paandava brothers) to come up to the stage. Guru Dhronaachaarya asks the same question to little Arjuna as to what is he able to see at the moment! Arjuna replies back, “Oh teacher! At this moment, I’m only able to see the eye of that bird! Nothing else is coming in front of my eyes for now! I’m so focused and my whole concentration is only on that bird!” Upon which, Guru Dhronaachaarya asks Arjuna to go for the hit! As Arjuna releases the arrow from his bow, it straightaway goes and hits the eye of the bird and the bird falls down on the ground, dead! Bingo! 😊 Guru Dhronaachaarya calls up Arjuna and appreciates his level of concentration and his interest for learning.
It might be interesting, why wasn’t Duryodhana able to have the same level of acumen as what Arjuna had! The main reason is because, Duryodhana was bought up in a luxurious palace and he never knew anything other than that! The more, the mind goes towards luxuries and their enjoyment, the lesser is the concentration towards studies and education! As the interest towards luxuries increases, the acumen to learning starts decreasing! Thus Vidura is trying to point out this instance and indirectly telling King Dhirdiraashtra that his son’s excessive obsession towards a luxurious living, is never going to take him anywhere in this world!
So for today, let us ponder over this important point and we shall wait till tomorrow’s episode to continue this important discussion further! Stay tuned! 😊