Episode # 489 – Patience, Perseverance & Tolerance – Key requirements to walk the path of “Dharma”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the greatness and significance of King Shibi who hailed from the Ikshvaaku Dynasty long ago. King Shibi is even today seen as an epitome of “Dharma” and “Compassion”. We’ve witnessed how King Shibi even chose to cut his own flesh from his thighs to feed the eagle, instead of the pigeon being exposed to it. The eagle and the pigeon were none other than Indra and Agni Bhagawan respectively, and impressed by King Shibi’s enormous amount of “Dharma” in his actions, they granted him enormous amounts of their divine “Anugraha”. With this, King Shibi lived happily forever. As we witness this, we’ve to learn a few important lessons that are primary to our lives today. In today’s episode, we shall talk about these lessons as we move on further into the Mahabharata story. 

Firstly, we should have that consistency in following the path of “Dharma”. Yes, of course, there would be several bottlenecks and hiccups all along the process, but a person who remains steadfast in his “Dharma”, is the one who would ultimately be successful. Even if severe problems come our way, or, even if we’ve to go through some tricky or critical situations, we should compose ourselves, think well and walk the path of “Dharma”, even if the path is extremely tough. This is the hallmark of King Shibi as well as Yudishtra to a great extent. In King Shibi’s case, the only way to protect the interests of both the pigeon and the eagle was to cut his own flesh and serve the eagle. In this way, the hunger of the eagle could be satisfied, and at the same time, the pigeon’s life could also be saved! This might seem very easy or sometimes unbelievable to normal people like us, but, these are critical times wherein “Dharma” is under test. If we should evolve successful from this test, we’ve to make some tough decisions, and this is exactly what King Shibi did here. Even though he ended up physically hurting himself, he actually did not hurt himself here – Because, King Shibi clearly knew that his “Deham” was the one which was bearing the brunt. However, what is important here is the “Atman”. By hurting the “Deham”, or by cutting his flesh, is the “Atman” getting injured? The answer is “No”! This is the clarity that is required for all of us to understand. King Shibi was very clear in his approach – No matter whatever injury the “Deham” is facing, it doesn’t really matter. If the “Atman” is pure and unpolluted, it means that we’re steadfast on the path of “Dharma”. 

Just like King Shibi in this context, there are innumerable instances where Yudishtra has walked this tough path as well. Even now as we discuss this context, Yudishtra is walking the path of “Dharma”, even Bhagawan Krishna Himself is acknowledging openly. We’ve seen this happening over the last couple of episodes, haven’t we? When Balarama was openly criticizing “Dharma” and urging all of them to go for an immediate war with Duryodhana and Co., Yudishtra wasn’t really ready. Of course, Yudishtra was ably supported by Bhagawan Krishna, who asserted confidence that He knows the callibre of Yudishtra’s path of “Dharma”. Bhagawan Krishna exuded confidence that Yudishtra would not take a hasty decision to go for a war at this juncture, when his thirteen-year exile is still going on. It is Yudishtra’s “Dharma” to endure this tough thirteen years of exile! Moreover, Bhagawan Krishna also expresses that for Yudishtra, winning the war against Duryodhana is merely not important. Walking the path of “Dharma” is of paramount importance for Yudishtra. If the “Dharma” warrants Yudishtra to fight a war against Duryodhana after the thirteen-year exile period, he would definitely do it. However, Yudishtra wouldn’t take such a decision without analyzing whether going for a war is according to the path of “Dharma” or not. 

Thus, such was the confidence of Bhagawan Krishna on Yudishtra, that he would at any point in time, not deviate from the path of “Dharma”. Of course, if we’re sincere in our path, Bhagawan will never leave us unattended. At every point in time, Bhagawan will always be behind us, if we’re true to ourselves and to others. We should understand this point very clearly today, from both the examples of King Shibi and Yudishtra. King Shibi was extremely sincere to himself, as well as to the eagle and the pigeon. At the end, he was rewarded for his sincerity, wasn’t he? Similarly, here also, Yudishtra is extremely sincere in his path of “Dharma”, and Bhagawan Krishna is automatically rallying behind him at all times, protecting the Paandavas at all critical junctures. Just like Yudishtra, the others like Bheemasena and Arjuna also walked the path of “Dharma” meticulously, and this is why Bhagawan Krishna Himself decided that He would be the charioteer for Arjuna! In fact, we’re going to witness in the future episodes that Bhagawan Krishna Himself openly proclaiming that if Arjuna isn’t there by His side, Bhagawan Krishna’s life has no meaning at all! If Bhagawan has to make such a strong statement, we can understand what kind of perseverance and patience Arjuna and Co. exhibited! 

Thus, the message is loud and clear here – If we’ve to follow the path of “Dharma”, patience and perseverance are extremely important. Things will take time to settle down, but till that, we’ve to be patient. If we start working on our patience levels, definitely we shall be able to endure a lot of things in this world. For walking the path of “Dharma”, tolerance is also extremely important! So for today, let us work on all these characteristics – Patience, Perseverance and Tolerance, without which, it might be difficult to walk this tough path! We shall wait till the next episode to move on further with Yudishtra’s “Teertha-Yatra” details! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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