In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important lesson from Yudishtra’s conversation with Sage Vyaasa. As Sage Vyaasa cautions Yudishtra about the thirteen-year disaster that is about to come shortly, he also advises Yudishtra not to deviate from the path of “Dharma”. Sage Vyaasa moreover cautions Yudishtra that there would be situations which might tempt him to deviate and take “shortcuts”, but he should be steadfast and follow the “Dharma” textbook word after word without a single deviation here and there. Also, Sage Vyaasa finally cheers up Yudishtra, he explains how the divine hand will always protect him at all times, even though many things might be going on around him. He explains that one night Yudishtra would have an immense dream of Bhagawan Shiva performing the “Rudra-Thaandava” (Cosmic Dance) and this is the indication that things are going to start. As the disaster happens, Yudishtra would be protected by a divine hand in the form of Bhagawan Krishna (Bhagawan Vishnu) at all times, if he follows the path of “Dharma” meticulously. After the disaster comes to an end, Yudishtra would finally emerge successful and unscathed.
With this small piece of advice, Sage Vyaasa hurries out of Indraprastha, and it is at this time, Yudishtra takes a series of “Shabadhams” in front of his brothers. We’ve already witnessed earlier that Yudishtra explains all whatever Sage Vyaasa told him. Now as Yudishtra finishes his accord, Arjuna expresses his viewpoints. Readers should read this very carefully, and this is going to be very interesting for all of us. As Yudishtra explains his stance and his “Shabadhams”, Arjuna wasn’t very convinced. Arjuna replies to Yudishtra thus: “Oh Yudishtra! Whatever Sage Vyaasa has said till now is going to happen anyway. He is a person who knows all the three things – Present, Past and Future. If he says that we’ve to undergo a disaster, there is no second thought about it. However, why should we take such a tough stance and force ourselves out of our normal? What is the use of being true to those people who are trying to ditch us? Why should we unnecessarily undergo suffering just on the pretext of “Dharma”, if the disaster and destruction is anyway going to happen? If the disaster would be avoided by our “Dharma”, then it’s fine! But if whatever we’re going to do is not going to make any difference, what is the purpose of forcing sufferings upon us?”
This is a valid question isn’t it? Arjuna’s point was very simple and clear – Anyways, whatever is going to happen is something that nobody can change. Hence for this, why should we change ourselves and why should we be true to those who aren’t? This is something that all of us would have in our mind as well – Anyways, there might be some problems coming irrespective of whether we’re doing our regular prayers or not. Hence, we might come to the conclusion as to why at all should we do prayers then? For this, Yudishtra is going to give an important reply here as part of this conversation. Yudishtra replies thus, “Oh Arjuna! I never said that Sage Vyaasa’s words were wrong. Whatever Sage Vyaasa said, would definitely happen and come true. I do not have any objection with that!” Arjuna replies back thus, “Fine! I too accept that Sage Vyaasa is right. But what is the use of being truthful here? Why should we be true to people who are going to create the disaster? Won’t people take us for a ride?”
For this, Yudishtra gives an important reply thus, “Oh Arjuna! This is where we’ve to be careful – No matter whatever happens and whoever does anything, I would not deviate from my “Dharma”! I would be steadfast in following my “Dharma” as per Bhagawan’s wish!” This is where, we’ve to focus ourselves upon. For instance, in our previous “Shri Vishnu Puraana” project, we’ve seen Sage Paraashara listing out various features of the current “Kali Yuga”. I shall try and recollect a few points which we’ve discussed earlier – Sage Paraashara explains how in the Kali Yuga, devotion towards Bhagawan would drastically reduce, how people would be becoming atheists, how people would not follow any norms in marrying each other, people who are learned and scholarly would never have any respect in this world, people who have the strength of argument and physical strength would be those would dominate, money, name and fame would be the three things behind which people will run – The list goes on and on! Given that Sage Paraashara’s words are always going to be true, we would immediately think, why at all should we develop Bhakti and Sharanagathi? What is the use of doing all this? If “Kali Yuga” is going to be in a certain fashion, shouldn’t we adjust ourselves and live according to the norms of the “Kali Yuga”? If I’ve to do this, what should I do? I’ve got to go and bang two people and come! Can I do this?
The answer should be “No”! Whatever is our “Dharma”, we should try and stand by it. Irrespective of many people around us being atheists and making fun of us, we should continue developing our Bhakti and Sharanaagathi towards Bhagawan. Let a thousand people tell a thousand things – The real test here for all of us that, whether we’re getting carried away by the words of these thousand people, or, are we steadfast and focused on what “Dharma” we should follow! This is exactly what Yudishtra is doing here as well – His stance is very simple – Let a thousand people create havoc. Let Sage Vyaasa’s words come true, which anyway is going to happen. But for all these, he is never going to change his stance and deviate from the path of “Dharma”! So for today, let us ask this question to ourselves and ponder – Are we following our “Dharma” every day irrespective of a thousand people trying to influence us in various ways? We shall continue this important discussion in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂