Episode # 123 – We’ve to take care of our parents & Guru at all times – King Yayaati’s lessons on “Dharma”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Indra’s commencement of a conversation with King Yayaati, before he had pushed King Yayaati down to the earth. As the conversation commences, Indra asks King Yayaati some “attractive” questions so as to make him open up more. Initially, King Yayaati was hesitant to answer Indra, but however, Indra had the last laugh in making King Yayaati talk. He appreciated King Yayaati for being one of the world’s most righteous kings ever, and with these sweet words of appreciation, King Yayaati’s ego started growing. As the conversation progressed further, Indra asks King Yayaati as to what were the important lessons that he had taught Puru when he took over as a king. King Yayaati starts explaining things in a bit more detail now, as he’s completely opened up! King Yayaati explains how he had taught his children the various aspects of “Dharma” – How to talk only the truth and stand by it, how to control anger, how to be calm and composed in all whatever we do, etc. Indra is slowly listening to King Yayaati’s reply and is gradually making him fall into his trap. 

As King Yayaati continues with his reply, he talks about two important things – Performing selfless service to parents and to the Guru. This is a very important point that King Yayaati stresses as part of the “Raaja-Dharma”. At all times, we should make sure that we take care of our parents. This becomes important when our parents become aged, wherein they might not be able to help themselves in their regular chores. It is at this time they need our help. We should always remember one thing – At a time when we were babies, and when we weren’t able to take care of ourselves, it was our parents who took care of us. Now when the situation turns and when our parents aren’t able to take care of themselves because of old age, isn’t it the duty of the son or daughter to take care of them? It is very sad today to see that many of us leave our parents in some “Old age homes”, because of a silly reason that we couldn’t take care of them anymore! Isn’t this something that would hurt our parents the most? Especially during the time of old age, every parent would have the feeling of security only when their son / daughters are around them. Isn’t it our duty to give our parents that moral security and support at a time when they need it the most? Let us think and ponder over it! 

Similarly, as King Yayaati talks about the “Guru”, it is very important that we be of selfless service to our Guru. In fact, at many places in our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature, it is pointed out that the “Sishya’s” (Disciple) learning gets completed fully only if he performs whatever the Guru wants him to perform as a token of service. This is what we often refer to as the “Guru Dakshina”. If the Sishya deviates from this path, the learning does not fructify at all. We’ve witnessed in this Mahabharata text itself at one point, a few episodes ago, as to how various Sishyas were of service to their Guru, isn’t it? We should recollect that and do the needful to our Guru. 

Moreover, King Yayaati also talks about yet another important “Dharma” here – As a king (leader), it is his duty to take care of those people who are weak in terms of strength and intellect. This simply means that a king should take everybody along with him equally without any differentiation. Normally what happens is that, those people who are relatively weaker in strength or reputation would feel threatened and jealous of those who have a greater strength and a greater reputation in the society. We can see this even in today’s scenario too, isn’t it? More often than not, the so-called “minorities” in India keep raising their voices every now and then to show their presences and to convey a message that they too can be “strong enough” in the society, isn’t it? We’ve been witnessing this of late quite frequently. Especially when certain laws were revoked by the Indian parliament in recent years, a community of people made sure that they would burn India come what may, to showcase their strength and power to the world! These are the petty activities that the so-called weaker sections of the people would do, to gain attention. Thus, a leader’s responsibility is to take all people of the society in consensus while taking crucial decisions, or while implementing certain laws and enforcements. If people are raising objections, it is the duty of the leader to answer them and bring everyone on to the same plane. However, if the same people try to act smart by not paying heed to the leader’s request, strict and stern action needs to be taken on them, so that they would learn their lesson! This is exactly what King Yayaati is describing here. 

Thus, King Yayaati explains to Indra that these were the important pieces of advice that he had given to his son Puru, as he took over the kingdom. Indra listens to all these answers patiently and now the interview is going to get tougher! So far, it was all very easy and juicy for King Yayaati to explain all what he had done as a king! Now as we move into the next “Adhyaayaa”, things are going to take a drastic turn towards the worst, which King Yayaati did not expect! How did this happen? What did Indra ask next? Let us wait for the next episode to find out! 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 Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, 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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