Episode # 368 – How do we react to “Change”? Do we get defensive? Vidura’s important message!!!

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In the previous episode, we had witnessed the extension of Vidura’s one of the most fundamental points of discussion – Managing Change! In this context of course, he is advising King Dhirdiraashtra that “Change” is an inevitable and an integral part of life and what is in his possession today (Hastinapura Kingdom) is surely going to be someone else’s tomorrow! The main problem here with King Dhirdiraashtra and Duryodhana is that, these people are not accepting the fact that change is bound to happen and that, they’ve to live with it by moving on further. Just because the kingdom was solely under King Dhirdiraashtra for all these years, he thinks that only his son should be the next person to rule it. He is unable to accept that this trend is subject to change, as the agreement has already been made with Paandu (King Dhirdiraashtra’s brother) that his sons (Paandavas) would also be given a proportionate share of the kingdom. The main reason thus, for the brewing uneasiness between the Kauravas and the Paandavas is only that, this Hastinapura Kingdom should or should not be split to be given to the Paandavas partly! This is where Vidura is trying to educate King Dhirdiraashtra and making him accept the fact that this change has to be effected and the Hastinapura kingdom be split amongst the two camps. If he is not going to move on with this change, it is going to be very difficult times later on.

Thus we can see here, that Vidura is trying his best to prevent a war-situation between the two rival groups, although he knows that this war is going to be an inevitable occurrence that is going to entirely change the fate of the Hastinapura kingdom. Neverthless, Vidura is trying his best to make King Dhirdiraaahtra accept the practicality of the situation and act according to it. There is no point in experimenting something foolish at this stage, which could spiral the situation from bad to worse! This is what King Dhirdiraashtra is still trying to do – He’s still trying to justify what he and his son Duryodhana are doing! For whatever Vidura says, King Dhirdiraashtra is only trying to build a counter-narrative and is trying to defend himself, rather than taking it in a constructive manner and to change accordingly. This is the problem if we’re unable to accept change in life.

This psychological understanding is very important to have here for all our readers – If we’re unable to accept the change that is coming by our way, we would start turning defensive and we would never budge to any advice given by whomsoever it may be! This is one classic example here that the Mahabharata has given us. If we trace back to our Ramayana project, we witnessed exactly the same behavior from Ravana too. Irrespective of whoever came to advice Ravana – right from his own sister Soorpanaka, to Hanuman, to Angadha, to Vibhishana (Ravana’s brother), to Kumbakarna (Ravana’s brother) and finally Bhagawan Rama himself that he has done a terrible mistake of capturing and abducting Mother Sita and that he should correct himself by giving her back to Bhagawan Rama, Ravana never paid heed and turned defensive everytime! When Kumbakarna warned Ravana of terrible and irrepairable consequences of having Mother Sita in Lanka and when Ravana himself saw that his army was slowly dwindling in the hands of Bhagawan Rama and Co., he never wanted to change! He still never wanted to give Mother Sita back! His ego prevented him completely from doing so!

This is exactly what happens when we’re unable to accept Our ego comes in the middle of everything and this is what makes us defensive in our approach. We might still want to change ourselves, with all the advice that we get from various elderly people or whomever! But our ego will come in the middle and make us think, “Oh! Who’s he to come and tell us to change? Why is he poking his nose into our personal affairs? What bothers him so much? Is he trying to influence me for his personal gains?” We start asking questions like this to ourselves, and all this is the work of our ego! This is where, we should be very careful! Of course, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t think and analyze before taking a decision. We’ve to definitely do that, without a doubt. But the point here is that, we should be able to make a clear differentiation between our thinking / analyzing and our ego! If one person says that we’re doing something wrong, it’s okay! If two or three people are echoing the same point, then we need to start thinking about it. If many people around us are starting to criticize our actions in a wrong way, we should understand definitely that the problem is only in our side! Else, why should so many people point fingers at us and criticize? What is the use of giving space for our ego at this point? Thus, we should be able to make the clear differentiation here.

So for today, let us ponder a little more over this important point of accepting change. At some point, if many people point fingers at us and advice us to go by a particular direction, we need to give it a serious thought and act accordingly, rather than turning completely deaf ears and being defensive towards them! We shall wait till the next episode to witness Vidura’s continuation of his final comments as we conclude the Vidura Neeti soon! 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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