In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra taking three important pledges (“Shabadham”) in front of his brothers for the next thirteen years. He takes a firm resolve that he wouldn’t hurt anyone through words, harsh language and abuse. Also, he wouldn’t fight with anyone unnecessarily and would completely avoid it. Also, he would see everyone equally and wouldn’t create any rift between himself and anybody, both in terms of thoughts and actions. These are extremely firm pledges that Yudishtra is taking here, for the purpose of avoiding any possible mishaps for the next thirteen years. We’ve already witnessed Sage Vyaasa signalling a warning to Yudishtra that tough times are looming large in the near future, which is ultimately going to lead to a huge disaster and a mass destruction. Therefore, rather than trying and escaping out of the grave danger that is ahead, Yudishtra is trying to adopt the “Dharma-Maarga” (Path of “Dharma”) to face the problem that is ahead of him. This, as mentioned before, is the gross difference between Yudishtra and ourselves today. The moment we anticipate a problem in front of us, we would only try different ways to escape out of the problem, rather than facing it head-on. This is what we’ve to learn from Yudishtra’s firm resolve here.
Moving on thus, as Yudishtra spells out his resolutions, as briefed earlier, Arjuna spells out his unhappiness! He says thus, “Oh Yudishtra! How can it be possible to make everyone in this world happy at all times? Moreover, if at all you mean what you say, you should have mentioned that you would try and make the “Saadhus” and “Dharma-Atmas” happy. You should have mentioned that you would try and make Bhagawan happy! Instead of saying this, you’re saying that you would make everyone and anyone in this world happy. Is this really feasible? Can you make Duryodhana happy with your words and actions?”
This is an important point here and this is where we might feel that Yudishtra was slightly on the wrong side. For instance, even in today’s world, can a policeman take a resolve that from today onwards he wouldn’t be harsh to anyone and he wouldn’t hurt anyone in anyway? What would happen to all the criminals who commit crimes? Can a policeman say that he would try and make criminals happy by not punishing them in the appropriate way? This cannot happen, isn’t it? This is where Arjuna is trying to correct Yudishtra here, and this assumes a lot of significance. Of course, we can all be good towards people who are “Dharma-Atmas”, “Maharishis”, “Aachaaryas”, “Bhaktas”, etc. But can we be too good towards people who are aethists, thieves, murderers, etc.? Can we be too good towards people who are trying to attack our “Sanaatana Dharma” every passing day? We’ve to raise our objections time and again, don’t we?
Hence, this is the small balance that Yudishtra failed to achieve. Of course, we should understand here that for the next thirteen years, Yudishtra stuck to his stance. He never deviated from the path of “Dharma” at any point in time. He never went behind anyone to hurt, abuse or to fight. He remained steadfast in whatever resolutions that he took up. However, still, the Kurukshetra war did happen, and the mass destruction happened, isn’t it? Before this, it is for this same reason of not raising voice against Duryodhana, did Yudishtra come for the gambling game. It is only because of this resolution that he wouldn’t speak anything that is hurtful to others, did Duryodhana take Yudishtra for a ride, and Yudishtra ended up losing everything to Duryodhana! It is only because of Yudishtra’s silence, did Draupati face whatever she had to face! Even if Duryodhana played the foul game, Yudishtra was silent! Even when Duryodhana asked Yudishtra and Co. to go to the forest for the next twelve years, Yudishtra did not object. He could have easily called Duryodhana to the battlefield then and there, but he chose not to do it, because, he had taken a resolution that he wouldn’t fight against anyone! Moreover, after the thirteenth year of “Vana-Vaasa”, even when Duryodhana did not return back the Indraprastha kingdom, Yudishtra chose to be silent. So many messengers went back and forth from both the camps to doze down the issue, isn’t it? But nothing worked and ultimately the matter was taken up at Kurukshetra as a huge war!
Thus, for today, let us think for a moment – Where did Yudishtra go wrong? Did these resolutions that he took really backfire on him? Let us continue this interesting discussion in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂