In the previous episode we had witnessed Vidura’s strong assertion to King Dhirdiraashtra that he and his son Duryodhana are neither following the Kshatrya Dharma properly nor allowing the Paandavas headed by Yudishtra to follow their Kshatrya Dharma in the correct way. Both the father and son are selfish in their motives and are denying the rightful share of the Hastinapura kingdom that should go to the Paandavas, as per the agreement that was made before Paandu’s death. In this way, they are denying the Paandavas of their Kshatrya Dharma. And on the Kauravas’ front, did Duryodhana and Co. execute their Kshatrya Dharma properly? The answer is again a big “No”! What did they do? Duryodhana on his part, being desperate for the kingdom, resorted to innumerable ways to kill the Paandavas – Not through proper war, but through illegal and cowardly ways, that are completely unacceptable according to the Raaja Dharma.
It should be remembered that Duryodhana tried different tricks to kill the Paandavas, right from childhood days. Remarkably, Duryodhana planned the plot to burn the Paandavas alive inside a palace made of wax. This was the idea given by the wicked Sahuni, but somehow with the grace of Bhagawan Krishna, the Paandavas escaped from the trap. Similar traps were laid over and over again and the Paandavas somehow kept escaping out from all of them – Thanks to Bhagawan Krishna’s astute smartness and divine grace. Eventually, all of us know the infamous episode of gambling, wherein King Dhirdiraashtra himself went along with Sahuni and Co. to elucidate the vicious episode of making the Paandavas victims of the gamble. In fact, the entire game of gamble is a gross violation of the Kshatrya Dharma and even when Vidura was there advising King Dhirdiraashtra against this, he never cared to listen! More than all this, Duryodhana and Co. stooped to a bizzare low when they resorted to insult the Paandavas by dragging Draupati to the center of the courtroom. More than that, Ducchaasana (Duryodhana’s brother) did the ultimate bizzare thing of pulling and stripping off her saree in the public. By doing so, the entire Kaurava camp started to walk the path of defeat, not only because of insulting a woman in public, but also for going dead against the Kshatrya Dharma. In fact, even Bhagawan Krishna was shocked by the incident, and although he wasn’t there physically, he made sure that he stepped up to the occasion to save Draupathi. Such was the extent to which King Dhirdiraashtra and Co. went low on their Raaja Dharma.
This is what Vidura is trying to remind King Dhirdiraashtra in this context. He is recalling all these incidents one by one and proving to King Dhirdiraashtra that these are gross violations and that, he and his sons are going to pay a heavy price for it very soon!
As Vidura says thus, he concludes his long discussion and pauses for a while. Now, having heard all of what Vidura had to say, King Dhirdiraashtra doesn’t know how to react. His eyes are filled with tears. He realizes that Vidura has told so many things pertaining to the “Dharma” and that is perfectly implementable by a king of his stature. However, circumstances rule the situation and King Dhirdiraashtra is clearly trapped into those vicious circumstances. Now what does King Dhirdiraashtra reply?
“Eva me thath yathaartham maamanushaashasi nithaydaa!
Mamaapicham apih sowmya bhavathyevam yathaathamaam!!”
Saying thus, Vidura concludes his talk by telling King Dhirdiraashtra that the ball is in his court now. He has to analyze which is Dharma and which is Adharma, which is practicality and which is illusion and which is going to be constructive and which is going to be destructive. Vidura has said everything whatever he had to say! It is upto King Dhirdiraashtra now to get up from his slumber and act. But however, is King Dhirdiraashtra ready to act? He replies to Vidura thus, “Oh Vidura! You’ve done a great thing here by narrating all the Dharma to me in a lucid way so that I can understand! I’m realizing that whatever you’re saying is as per the Dharma text book and is completely relevant and practical. I also understand that all the elderly people would approve whatever you’ve said so far and even my intellect and heart say that your statements are worth of gold!”
“Saadhu buddhihi kritaathyevam paandavaan prathi me sadhaa!
Duryodhanam samaasaadhya punar vipari varthathe!!”
King Dhirdiraashtra continues thus, “Oh Vidura! All these good thoughts and intent are with me when you’re near me. But when Duryodhana comes close to me, all these good thoughts vanish in the air. It seems that the fate has already been written clearly and cannot be changed henceforth! Oh Vidura! You’ve said innumerable aspects of the Dharma and my mind also approves all that you’ve said is only as per the Dharma. I’m also trying to implement them in practice. However, due to whatsoever reasons, I feel that Yama-Dharma-Raaja has come and sat in my ears and is preventing me to take one step forward. Henceforth, let fate takeover the future and let things happen as it has to happen! Let the events unfold as they have to! I don’t think I have anything left in my hands anymore!”
Saying thus, we come to the end of the Vidura Neeti. We’ve witnessed in the past 389 episodes, the various aspects of Dharma as explained by Vidura to King Dhirdiraashtra. We shall have the concluding remarks in tomorrow’s episode and this would mark the end of our second mega-project! Stay tuned! 😊