In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important concept and a message that is prominent in our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature with regards to the role of an “Aachaarya” or a Guru (Spiritual Master). The primary role of the Guru is to enlighten the disciple with a holistic picture of the entire happenings around with certain important guidelines as to how to handle them. It is up to the disciple to grasp the apt meaning of what the Guru says and implement the guidelines as per the words of the Guru. We’re not someone to go and ask unwanted questions as to why is the Guru asking us to do some specific things. Our job is only to obey and do whatever the Guru says. This is exactly what Sage Vyaasa is also explaining here. As he enters into Indraprastha, he warns Yudishtra of a potential thirteen-year disaster in the near future, gives an indication that Yudishtra would be the sole person who would be responsible for all the mess that’s going to unfold and walks away immediately without standing there even for a moment!
At this point, we might wonder one more thing – If we would have been in Yudishtra’s position, what would we have done? We would have immediately asked Sage Vyaasa back thus: “Oh Sage! What is that problem which is going to create a mess? Why should I be a reason for all of it? If given an opportunity, how can I ensure that such a problem doesn’t happen? How can I avoid it?” It should be noted here that Yudishtra did not ask even a single question like these to Sage Vyaasa. He did not open his mouth at all, and as Sage Vyaasa left Indraprastha, he quietly did all the respects to him and sent him off peacefully without creating any sort of a tussle. Yesterday, we’ve witnessed why Mahatmas or great Gurus do not disclose things completely to us, and today we’re witnessing how a disciple should behave to the Guru. If a Guru is telling something, a disciple should never back-answer or ask counter-questions to him / her. The role of the disciple is only to listen to the Guru, absorb and understand what the Guru says and act accordingly without speaking a word back! This is exactly what Yudishtra does here – He doesn’t speak a word to Sage Vyaasa and sends him off with all due respects! After Sage Vyaasa leaves Indraprastha, Yudishtra sits calmly for sometime and ponders over what he just said. He was thinking within himself as to how to avoid such problems arising in future with all the principles of “Dharma” that he is aware of. He was thinking of ways to avoid a huge war of disaster as per “Dharma”. Thus, Yudishtra’s thought process was very simple here – Follow “Dharma” at every instance and situation, and this “Dharma” will protect him at all times and would avoid all the problems from arising!
With this thought process running in his mind, Yudishtra quickly calls upon all his four brothers to his side for a meeting. As all of them assemble thus, Yudishtra briefs them about Sage Vyaasa’s visit and his stern words. With this, Yudishtra also explains his stance to the Paandava brothers thus, “Oh brothers! Given Sage Vyaasa’s grave warning for the future to come, it is extremely necessary that all of us have to stick to the path of “Dharma” at all times, even when the situation compels us to deviate from this path. This is going to be an “acid test” for all of us whether we’re on the side of “Dharma” or not. If we follow the path of “Dharma”, many problems can be avoided. If at all any problem arises, we would be able to handle and mitigate it with a clear direction. In this regard, I’m hereby going to take a few important pledges in front of all of you – From today onwards for the next thirteen years, I would not say anything that hurts others. My words will be in such a way that others would feel pleased to listen. I shall not hurt anyone with my words. Secondly, for the next thirteen years, I shall not lie to anyone even for a small thing. Of course throughout my life I’ve been that way only, but for the next thirteen years, I’m going to meticulously follow this principle of truth at all times and with all people. Thirdly, I’m going to get along well with friends and family members without any hiccups. I shall not scold anyone for anything! Oh brothers! I request all of you to follow this path for the next thirteen years as we’re going to pass through a rough patch in our lives. If we follow the path of “Dharma” properly in this way, I’m sure we would be able to emerge successful! Moreover, if we’re sincere, Bhagawan Himself would assist us in our pursuit and He would ensure that we wouldn’t fall into any trap!”
We shall witness how Yudishtra is straightforward and sincere to himself and to others as well. This is an important lesson for all of us for our daily lives too. We shall have a detailed discussion on Yudishtra’s pledges and how these are applicable to us as well in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂