We’re at the midst of an important juncture wherein Yudishtra and Arjuna were conversing about upholding “Dharma” during tough times. As Yudishtra outlines to Arjuna about what Sage Vyaasa had mentioned, Arjuna immediately raises his objection that if Sage Vyaasa’s words are always going to come true some day or the other, why at all should we be true to someone who is trying to destroy us? This is something that all of us have in our minds as well – If someone does something that is detrimental to us in some way or the other, why at all should we be good to that person? Or, what is the use of following “Dharma” at a time and place wherein “Adharma” is the order of the day? For instance, even in today’s world, when people are going behind atheists and those who ridicule our “Sanaatana Dharma” practices, the dilemma is simple – Should we go along with them in ridiculing our own culture and “Dharma” or should we resist it and continue following our age-old practices as mentioned by our great Maharishis? Of course, the choice is ours! But Yudishtra’s stance here is very simple – Irrespective of whatever people do around us – Irrespective of a thousand people throwing stones at us – We should be steadfast in our “Dharma” of not hurting them back. We should be focused in our “Dharma” to be true to them at all times. It is very easy to pick up a stone and throw it back at them, or to insult them back with our words. But, the real question here is whether are we sticking to our “Dharma” even during testing times! This is the real test that Bhagawan is giving all of us here.
We might know this story – Once a king wanted his people to pour one pot of milk per family in a huge container for the next day’s “Puja” for the local deity. As the king ordered thus, some people started thinking what if they pour a pot of water instead of milk? How will the king know whether we’ve poured water or milk? This thought was seemingly smart enough, only to be adopted by all the people in the kingdom! Finally when the king saw the container the next day, it was full with water, rather than milk! This is exactly what all of us are doing here – Just because one or two people are “Adharmic” in nature, we also take things for granted that “Oh! This is Kali Yuga! We can survive in this world only if we walk the path of “Adharma”! There is no place for “Dharma” in this Kali Yuga!” We come to such shallow conclusions just because few people are deviating from the path of “Dharma”. This is exactly what Yudishtra is advising Arjuna – Just because Duryodhana and Co. are “Adharmic” in nature, will it sustain in the long run? Some day or the other, Duryodhana will have to answer for all what he’s doing today. Let that day come. Bhagawan would be by our side to support the “Dharma” that we’re doing today. Asserting thus, Yudishtra explains: “Oh Arjuna! No matter what people do elsewhere, I do not care! I would stick to my “Dharma” and my “Shabadhams” that I’ve made just now, at all times, irrespective of how much suffering I’ve to endure!”
With this, Yudishtra declares the following in front of everyone. Now let us discuss one by one in detail. Yudishtra says thus: – “From today onwards, I would not say any word that would hurt others. I would never employ harsh language to scold anyone!” This is an important pledge that Yudishtra is taking here. Most probably, in any situation, if we control our tongue, we might be able to avoid many problems! If we talk a lot, we’re only exposing our ignorance more and more. The more we keep quiet, the more we would be respected in society! Moreover, even if we’re talking, we should make sure that we employ kind words and sweet language. We should never use offensive language against anyone at any point in time. This is of course, something very ideal – But we can always try minimising our harsh language during crunch situations. It is normal human psychology that if anybody acts against our will and wish, we would immediately tend to burst with anger! But this is where, we’ve to think for a moment – “If we’re going to scold this person, what is that we’re going to gain? Are we really going to make a change to their actions by scolding someone harshly?” Many a time, the answer to this question is “No”! If that’s the case, one question might arise here – “If someone does something bad to us, should we remain silent? What if they take our silence for a ride and do more and more bad things to us? What if they end up destroying us completely because of our silence?”
The answer is very simple here – By saying that we should talk pleasing language as much as we can, I never meant that we should keep silent when someone is doing something bad. We can always raise our objection towards it. But the point here is that, there are ways to raise objections – We should be clear and specific in our counter-narratives, with facts and figures to support our argument. In most cases if we’re able to do this correctly, people will accept. However, in cases wherein the opponent is trying to overrule and dominate us in some way, we can always be assertive enough to establish our point. We should not confuse between being assertive and using harsh language. We can always be assertive by using the right words at the right context, by not deviating from the content and subject. However, there might be one more question here – What if someone starts abusing us even if we’re trying to highlight our stance clearly? The best way to deal with it is to walk away from that place! If we’re going to rather get into arguments, only the arguments that we make would stand, and not the subject in hand! Thus, it is always better to walk off from a place where people are unnecessarily creating issues. We can handle them offline through various ways, either legally or through some other means, rather than putting a head-on fight with them with harsh words!
So for today, let us understand this “Shabadham” that Yudishtra has taken and let us try and implement this in our daily lives starting today! We shall wait till the next episode to discuss Yudishtra’s next resolve! Stay tuned! 🙂