In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Sage Shaunaka’s important pieces of advice to Yudishtra for his upcoming thirteen-year period of exile. As Yudishtra had asked a pertinent question about how he could feed all the sages who had accompanied him, despite knowing the fact that he is a popper, Sgae Shaunaka replies him with a soothing consolation, but aptly pertaining to “Dharma”. In that way, in yesterday’s episode, we had witnessed Sage Shaunaka explaining to Yudishtra how one can get easily fooled by an opportunist. If we have a problem and keep brooding over it, someone might approach us in terms of “being a good friend at a needy time”. However, the intentions behind that person might be different. At this time, rather than getting carried away, we should stop for a moment, think, analyze and then move forward with that person. Else, whatever we think should not happen, might happen right in front of our eyes! Thus, new friendships during a tough time might be a dangerous affair and can lead us to disastrous consequences. This is exactly what might potentially happen to Yudishtra here – Since he is going to be on exile amidst the forest and might have to undergo enormous ordeals moving forward, there might be some people from the enemy camp who might approach him as “friends”. If Yudishtra is going to trust any of them by sharing his problems, these “friends” are going to use Yudishtra’s weaknesses and capitalize on him! This is where Sage Shaunaka is warning him to somehow try to keep such people at bay.
As a continuation of this conversation, Sage Shaunaka reiterates his point thus, “Oh Yudishtra! For the next thirteen years, do not get in touch unnecessarily with people outside your purview. Trust only upon very few people. One of the most important people in your trusted group should be Bhagawan Krishna. Hold on to His feet strongly. He would ensure that all of you are safe and secure. Moreover, you may listen to the important advice from various sages amidst the forest. Use this as a learning opportunity and try to understand various aspects of “Dharma” during this thirteen-year-period. If you keep talking to people who are outside this focus group, you would be grossly misled!” Moving on thus, Sage Shaunaka talks more about friendship. He says thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Unwanted friendship only would give you more suffering! Please do not enter into such friendships ever. It would derail your focus from the path of “Dharma”!”
We might be wondering here as to why Sage Shaunaka is repeatedly talking bad about friendships. We might have read in many other modern-day books, watched in movies, etc. that friendships and relationships are of paramount importance to mankind, isn’t it? But why is Sage Shaunaka differing from all these schools of thoughts? He gives a very interesting and an important explanation thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Now the state in which you are is quite dangerous. If you forge friendships with people at this stage, as I mentioned before, you might be used! You might get into a stage wherein you are extremely attached to that friend of yours, and you would get prepared to do “anything” and “everything” for that friend, out of extreme affection! That “anything” and “everything” would mostly be against the path of “Dharma” and finally, you would only end up accumulating your sins (Paapa Karma). Hence, why should you get into all this? Thus, it is better for you to stay away from all of these atleast for now, if not forever!”
This is something that all of us need to understand – Excessive affection towards someone or something would always lead us to disaster. We might ask a counter question here – “Oh! Sage Shaunaka is telling all this because he is not married! Only if he gets married and has children, he would know the pain of a father or a mother towards the children and family! How can we not have affection over our children? If we do not have affection over them, how will we grow and nurture them into good citizens?” These are extremely valid questions pertaining to our present-day situation. So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall wait till the next episode to find out answers for these above-mentioned questions, as to what exactly Sage Shaunaka means! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂