In the previous episode, we had witnessed Arjuna’s counter-narrative to Yudishtra’s three important “Shabadhams’ ‘ that he undertook in front of everyone. Arjuna’s point was very simple – How do you be good to those people who do not intend to be good to you? Can you project yourself to be good to all people in this world? Is this even possible? Many of us also have this question within us, for which we try and ponder over answers. Yudishtra’s take is very simple here – Just because someone is going behind something bad, do we also follow suit? Do we also go along with the flow with those people who walk the path of “Adharma”? We should always follow our “Dharma”, no matter what people think or talk about us. However, one thing is important here – We cannot stop Bhagawan’s “Sankalpa”. If something has to happen according to Bhagawan’s divine will, it is bound to happen, no matter whether you’re following the path of “Dharma” or “Adharma”. However, that doesn’t mean that we stop following “Dharma” even though we see destruction and disaster right in front of our eyes. We should keep following “Dharma” at all times, irrespective of whether we’re facing good or bad times in our lives.
This was Yudishtra’s firm stance, and we can see this quite clearly as well – Even though Yudishtra tried to follow the path of “Dharma” by not hurting anyone or by not fighting with anyone, still whatever had to happen, happened, didn’t it? The gambling game did happen, and Yudishtra ended up losing everything. Finally, as Sage Vyaasa envisioned, the disastrous Kurukshetra war did happen, which resulted in mass destruction on both sides. Thus, whatever had to happen, did happen according to Bhagawan Krishna’s divine will, however, the important point to note here is that Yudishtra still followed whatever he followed best – The path of “Dharma”. Not even on a single occasion did Yudishtra deviate from the path of “Dharma”, which made Bhagawan Krishna come behind the Paandavas and help them wherever necessary. We should imagine one thing here – If Yudishtra hadn’t followed “Dharma”, would Bhagawan Krishna be behind the Paandavas? Not at all, isn’t it? It was only because the Paandavas walked the tightrope of “Dharma”, did Bhagawan Krishna come to their rescue at all times! We should always remember that wherever “Dharma” is being practised and followed, Bhagawan will always mark His presence, and this is the reason Bhagawan Krishna was even ready to drive the chariot of Arjuna (Bhagawan “Paartha-Saarathy”). We can witness here that Bhagawan will go down to any level to help those who follow the path of “Dharma”. Else, we can imagine – Who was Arjuna and who was Bhagawan Krishna here? Arjuna was a normal “Samsaari” (Jeevatma) in this world, whereas Bhagawan Krishna was a “Paramatma”. Ideally, it should be Arjuna driving Bhagawan’s chariot, but here it was the reverse! Bhagawan Krishna would go down to any level to support the cause of “Dharma”. Later on, we’re going to witness how Bhagawan Krishna helped Arjuna and Co. during the Kurukshetra battle in such a way that Arjuna always had the upper hand against the Duryodhana’s camp.
Thus, Yudishtra takes a firm stance that no matter whatever happens / not happens for the next thirteen years, he is not going to deviate from the path of “Dharma”. This is where we’ve focus and understand Yudishtra’s stance more clearly. During the last days of the Paandavas in this world, all the five brothers along with Draupati march their way towards this place called “Satopanth” amidst the Himalayas. We’re going to witness all these events during the “Svarga-Aarohini Parva” towards the end of the Mahabharata story. As the Paandavas were going through, it was only Yudishtra who sustained and withstood every testing moment that came through, and finally Indra and the others were extremely impressed with Yudishtra’s steadfast focus on “Dharma” even during the last moments of his life. Finally, he was the only one who was able to get inside Indra’s divine chariot, which took him to the “Svarga Lokha” and from there, Yudishtra attained the highest Moksha. As Yudishtra entered the chariot, he had a laugh within himself which signified the fact thus: “Oh! All of you laughed at me for following the tough path of “Dharma” for thirteen years, didn’t you? Now who is getting the divine opportunity to get into Indra’s chariot? I’m the only one who is getting that, isn’t it?”
This is what we say even in today’s corporate terminology – Focus on the long-term goals, rather than focusing on short-term goals. Of course, short-term goals are important, but these goals should be in line with achieving the long-term goal, isn’t it? This is the same analogy that we employ in our “Sanaatana Dharma” too – Here, the long-term goal is attaining “Moksha”, and all the short-term goals should be in line with taking us to that ultimate goal. This is exactly what Yudishtra is doing here – All his short-term goals are focused on following the path of “Dharma” at any moment, no matter whatever happens around him. This is the focus that all of us have to develop within ourselves. So for today, let us understand this point very clearly once again. I’m focusing on this point for several episodes now, because this is the crux of the entire Mahabharata story. Yudishtra’s firm stance towards “Dharma” was the root cause of the Paandavas’ success story and was the basis for their association with Bhagawan Krishna at all times. Hence, let us understand Yudishtra’s clear stance and let us try and implement atleast a bit of what Yudishtra did in our lives as well! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂