In the previous episode, we had witnessed the entire Hastinapura kingdom believing that the Paandavas along with Kunthi Devi had been burnt down in the “mishap” that happened at the Vaaranavatha Desha. As everybody was crying and mourning, only two people weren’t – One was Duryodhana, obviously for all the wrong reasons and the other was Vidura, who made sure that Duryodhana’s “wrong intentions” never frutified. The “Jala-Tharpana” for the “departed souls” were being performed and as Bhishmaachaarya was also crying, Vidura called him by his side and explained that the Paandavas were very much alive and safe! Upon hearing this, Bhishmaachaarya was surprised and shocked! How could this be the case? Vidura explained to him the entire “Modus Operandi” that he had performed through two workmen and how the Paandavas are now safe and secure on the other side of the River Ganga.
Upon hearing this from Vidura, Bhishmaachaarya heaved a huge sigh of relief. He came to know of Duryodhana’s ploy and that this was not an “accident” as everyone was thinking. There was a huge plan and a revengeful attitude behind Duryodhana’s action, and as Bhishmaachaarya knew of it, he did not know what to say! He was internally fuming with anger against Duryodhana, but did not express it in front of Vidura. However, Vidura knew that Bhishmaachaarya is holding himself back from taking any action on Duryodhana, and this is not the first time that he’s silent. He was silent even when Duryodhana attempted to kill Bheemasena multiple times during the childhood days.
Looking at Bhishmaachaarya’s silence, Vidura replies thus, “Oh Pita-Maha! This is not right on your part at all! You’re such a great warrior and anybody and everybody in this world would start shaking with fear with your mere presence in the battlefield. You’re a person with immense strength and power. You’re blessed not only with physical power, but also with enormous mental intellect to take right and informed decisions at critical times. You’re blessed to be Mother Ganga’s own son. Given all these attributes, you’re not doing justice to any of what you have! When “Adharma” is happening right in front of your eyes, you’re keeping quiet and doing nothing about it! Why is that so? What is stopping you from taking action against Duryodhana? Afterall who is this Duryodhana and what is his power as compared to yours? If you take the bow and arrow against him even for a second, Duryodhana would be nowhere to be seen, isn’t it? Yet, why are you keeping quiet and supporting a person who is growing up as an epitome of “Adharma”? If you’re doing such a thing, what is the use of being powerful physically and mentally? What kind of stance are you taking? Isn’t it detrimental to the kingdom’s growth and prosperity? If seniors like you are keeping mum when “Adharma” is openly happening, how will the kingdom and its people be happy? Aren’t you setting a bad example for people to do anything and everything and get away unscathed?”
Saying thus, Vidura scolds Bhishmaachaarya left right and center! As Vidura asks multiple questions back to back like this, Bhishmaachaarya is very patient to hear all of them out! He is in tears. As Vidura completes his accord, Bhishmaachaarya replies thus, “Oh Vidura! Whatever you’re asking me are all valid! There’s no iota of doubt that you’re a learned scholar. There’s no doubt that you stand by “Dharma”. If there’s one person in this kingdom who stands by “Dharma” at crucial times, it is you – And only you! Today you’ve proved it to the entire world as well! However, you had asked me why I keep mum despite so many things happening around, isn’t it? It is because of my gratitude to all these people because of whom I’m in this state today. Just because they were helpful to me some day earlier, I’m tolerating all what these crooks are doing. I don’t have any other option. I can easily take the bow and arrow, gun them down and walk away easily! But just because they are my own family members and because of my relationship with King Dhirdiraashtra and his family, I’m keeping my mouth shut! I do not have any other option to choose!”
As Bhishmaachaarya says thus, Vidura did not utter a single word back. He walks away angrily. In fact, this is the main reason why Bhishmaachaarya is never talked about with any regard by our “Aachaaryas”. In spite of Bhishmaachaarya having enormous physical and mental capabilities as Vidura just explained, the “Aachaaryas” and “Aalwars” do not give any sort of respect to him. We’ve to also remember that the famous “Vishnu Sahasranama” is also going to be given by this same Bhishmaachaarya. Even then, he doesn’t get the due respect that he’s supposed to! This is the same with Karna also – Just because Duryodhana helped him at some point in time, he wanted to be a loyal servant to Duryodhana all the time! Even when Bhagawan Krishna wanted Karna to switch sides and ditch Duryodhana, he was only standing by Duryodhana’s “Adharma”, wasn’t he? This is where Karna, although being a good and a genuine person at heart, ended up getting a bad reputation. Whatever maybe the cause, if one ditches everybody and everyone and comes towards Bhagawan, when He Himself gives a call, this person is Bhagawan’s true devotee! Vibhishana did this during the Ramayana and he is revered and respected by the “Aachaaryas” and “Aalwars”. When Vibhishana knew that there wasn’t any option to mend Ravana’s ways, he immediately switched over to Bhagawan Rama isn’t it? Thus, even though being a Raakshasa, he obtained Bhagawan Rama’s divine companionship. This is what is expected from a devotee and this is where both Bhishmaachaarya and Karna failed miserably, even though both of them got enormous opportunities from none other than Bhagawan Krishna Himself to walk the path of “Dharma”!
So for today, let us understand until this point, and let us wait till the next episode to continue to witness what happened to the Paandavas on the other side of the river Ganges! Stay tuned! 🙂