Episode # 308 – Duryodhana’s anger & frustration – Sahuni’s golden opportunity!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sahuni instigating an already frustrated Duryodhana even more. Indirectly, Sahuni is trying to push Duryodhana into a huge trap, which Duryodhana is not realizing due to his extreme anger. This is where we’ve to learn an important lesson – If we get angry, we would not know and understand what we’re doing. We would completely lose ourselves and our thinking ability while we’re fuming. Our mind would completely stop functioning and we would end up making extremely wrong decisions, which would take us towards our downfall. This is exactly what Duryodhana is doing here. Moreover, if we’re angry and project ourselves to be completely helpless, others would use this opportunity to drive their personal agenda and bring us down. We’ve to be very careful here. This is exactly what Sahuni is trying to do – He’s trying to use Duryodhana’s frustration and incapability to drive his vicious agenda and gain prominence. Ultimately, this is going to end up in a huge disaster, not only for Duryodhana, but also for Sahuni himself. 

We might be wondering as to why Sahuni is driving such an agenda over Duryodhana, even though we might outwardly understand that these two are very close to each other. The actual truth is slightly different here. As we know, Sahuni is the brother of Gaandhaari, who is Duryodhana’s mother. Both are from the Gaandhaara Desha (Present day Afghanistan). As Gaandhaari got married to King Dhridiraashtra, initially before the marriage ceremony and everything, she did not know that her future husband was a blind person. However, when she knew it, she also tied her eyes with a cloth and thus she equalled herself to her husband without eyesight. Now since both the husband and wife were without eyesight, the king of Gaandhaara Desha sent his son, Sahuni to be of help to Gaandhaari. Initially, Sahuni was not in favor of this marriage to happen, however, it did happen because of various pressures from various quarters. Bhishmachaarya also played a role in this marriage, and we’ve witnessed this in our earlier episodes as well. Sahuni was against marrying off his sister to a blind person. With this marriage happening, Sahuni felt that his family was completely cheated by Bhishmachaarya and Co. Hence, Sahuni was looking for various opportunities to seek revenge against Bhishmachaarya and the Hastinapura kingdom. Of course, he wasn’t very good at warfare, but he was extremely good at the gambling game. Hence, Sahuni was waiting for an opportunity to use his expertise and gain prominence in the Hastinapura kingdom. 

It was at this time, Duryodhana came to him with all his frustration! This was the golden opportunity that Sahuni was waiting for, and he grabbed it with both hands! He thus, used Duryodhana’s ignorance and anger to drive his agenda and thus gained undue popularity and power! Thus, we can understand here that Sahuni was not really a good companion to Duryodhana, although Duryodhana thought otherwise. Duryodhana did not know anything of this background story till the last moment. He only thought that Sahuni uncle was helping him all along, but little did he know that this same Sahuni uncle was only pushing him towards disaster. This is where, we’ve to be careful – If we expose ourselves to a third person and if this person has a vicious personal agenda within, we’ve to understand that we’re finished completely! This is why we always keep mentioning that we should control our mind and try to keep ourselves calm and composed at all times. The moment we become angry, we would not know what we’re doing, and finally we might end up in the hands of opportunistic people who are preying on us! Of course, it might be difficult to control anger 100%,. If we’re getting angry too, we should try to maintain our composure in such a way that we do not start exposing our ignorance to someone else. This is something that we’ve to consciously practise for our own safety and security. 

Thus moving forward, Sahuni instigates Duryodhana more and more and leads him to a situation where he is helpless to bring down Yudishtra in the legitimate way by winning over him. The only way to bring down Yudishtra is by adopting the illegal and the perverted way. What can Duryodhana do? He fell on the feet of Sahuni to help him out! Thus, Sahuni thinks for a while and is now going to propose an important strategy here. Duryodhana was eagerly waiting for Sahuni’s reply as Sahuni was trying to tally some important statistics in his mind. So for today, as Duryodhana is waiting for Sahuni’s proposal, we shall also wait along with him to understand what Sahuni is going to propose! An important accord awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 307 – Sahuni pushes Duryodhana into a trap with his “ADVICE”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Duryodhana lashing out at Sahuni and the others upon learning Yudishtra’s meteoric rise in such a short span of time. Duryodhana somehow wants to regain the “lost” portion of the Hastinapura kingdom and sits down to discuss with his uncle, Sahuni, the ways and means of achieving that. However, initially to Duryodhana’s dismay, Sahuni tries to demotivate Duryodhana even more by discouraging him to go for this pursuit. This infuriates Duryodhana even more and thus, Duryodhana bursts out in anger. He’s now ready to try any means to bring Yudishtra down – Both legal and illegal. This is what Sahuni was waiting for. By initially discouraging Duryodhana and infuriating him, Sahuni wanted Duryodhana to go to that extent of doing illegal things which are against the “Raaja-Dharma”. This is what Bhagawan Krishna is going to explain in detail, under the title called “Asura-Svabhaavam”. In the sixteenth chapter of the Bhagawad Gita, Bhagawan Krishna clearly explains how people would go about abducting others’ wealth, bringing about others’ downfall through illegal ways and means, etc. which are grossly against what the Vedas and Upanishads explain in our Sanaatana Dharma. Bhagawan Krishna explains that if a person doesn’t agree to the fact that whatever the Vedas teach is “Dharma”, and if the person comes to the conclusion that whatever he / she does is “Dharma”, accounts to the “Asura-Svabhaavam”. 

Many of us have this problem today as well. It is not only Duryodhana who did this. Duryodhana was just an example of someone who had the “Asura-Svabhaavam”, however, many of us have this tendency deep within us in some form or the other. For instance, how many of us would like to be ill-treated by others and not open our mouths to oppose such things? If we’re abused by someone, immediately our ego would rise up and we would only tend to give it back with interest to the person who is abusing us, isn’t it? If we’re doing this, it simply means that the “I” / “Me” attitude within us is overpowering us. This is exactly what Duryodhana is doing here too – He has a clear-cut plan in his mind as he talks this to Sahuni. He knows that no wars can now stop Yudishtra from rising further up. This is exactly where Sahuni tries to capitalise! Now what Sahuni is going to say is very interesting and is going to teach us an important lesson here. Sahuni says thus, “Oh Duryodhana! Why are you having the grudge that everybody is against you? I’m there with you, isn’t it? Why do you worry that Bhagawan Krishna is siding towards the Paandavas? Just like how Bhagawan Krishna is helping Yudishtra, I’m by your side to help you out! I know how to protect you, just like how Bhagawan Krishna is trying to protect the Paandavas. Moreover, you have your best friend, Karna by your side. We can pull Bhishmachaarya and Guru Dhronachaarya towards our side easily and make them fight for you. All of us know the strength of Bhishmachaarya and Guru Dhronachaarya, don’t we? If both of them stand against the Paandavas, even Arjuna cannot take them down!” 

As Sahuni explains to Duryodhana thus, he continues further: “Oh Duryodhana! Even though we might have all these people by our side, I really doubt whether we can still win a war against the likes of Arjuna, Bhagawan Krishna, Bheemasena, etc. If we go into a war, there is no guarantee of a victory. Anything might happen at any point in time! Even if we manage to win the war, this might only trigger more wars with them and they might emerge stronger than us at some point. Hence, going for a war and claiming Indraprastha is not a permanent solution to this problem. Hence, we’ve to think of another way to capture them!” Now this is where, Sahuni lays the trap for Duryodhana. If we analyze this reply of Sahuni carefully, we might slowly understand that Sahuni is not trying to help Duryodhana come out of the problem. He is only trying to push Duryodhana deeper into the route to destruction. For instance, if we have a fever and when we go to a doctor for treatment, what should the doctor do? He / she should ideally give some medicines to cure the fever. Instead, if the doctor says that we should go back and eat ten cups of ice-cream, have a cold water shower, switch on the air conditioner and sleep, what is the doctor trying to do here? Is the doctor trying to cure the fever, or is he trying to amplify the problem? This is exactly what Sahuni is doing to Duryodhana. Rather than suggesting a medication for the cure, Sahuni is trying to amplify the problem further and thus, trying to push Duryodhana into a vicious trap! 

We might wonder why Sahuni is doing such things to Duryodhana? Is he doing this intentionally or unintentionally? There is an important thing that we’ve to understand behind Sahuni’s such actions. Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 306 – Anger & frustration prevent us from making right decisions – Duryodhana demonstrates!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Duryodhana getting jealous and furious upon witnessing Yudishtra’s skyscraper growth within such a short span of time. As he looked around the Indraprastha palace, Duryodhana was awestruck on one hand as Mayan had done an excellent job in terms of the construction. Whereas, on the other hand, Duryodhana was completely taken aback with Yudishtra’s name and fame, as he had just obtained the title of “Chakravarthy” (A great king) post the “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga”. Also, with the magnificent palace, Duryodhana’s ego took a great hit! He fumed amidst his brothers and rushed back to Hastinapura, only to come across Sahuni first, who added fuel to Duryodhana’s fire of ego. Sahuni instigated him further by saying that things have completely gone out of hand after the Raaja-Suya Yaaga, and that, even if Duryodhana thinks of doing such a grand event, he might not be able to match the level to which Yudishtra achieved. All these words infuriated Duryodhana even further as he burst out loudly on Sahuni. He went to the extent of abusing Sahuni of taking the side of the Paandavas, after Bhishmachaarya and Guru Dhronachaarya. 

Moving ahead, Duryodhana continues further thus: “Oh Sahuni uncle! I also know that it is now too late to capture the Paandavas through the means of war or any sorts of direct confrontation. I also know the fact that Bhagawan Vaasudeva Krishna is by their side and until He is there by the side of Yudishtra, there is no chance of taking them head-on. My question is very simple and straightforward to you – Taking them down through legal means is now next to impossible. Can we try some illegal ways and means of taking them down? Can we create a ploy in such a way that Yudishtra might fall into our trap and we can capture him? Can we do something that Yudishtra might not expect us to do, so that he would fall down? Oh uncle! I know that you’re too good at constructing such traps and ploys and that’s why I’m asking you!”

Saying thus, Duryodhana was point-blank and straightaway hit the bull’s eye for the first time ever. Till now, he was secretly and indirectly creating plots to kill the Paandava brothers, isn’t it? Now, things have nosedived southwards for him and he decided to take them on without any blemish. Hearing Duryodhana’s question, Sahuni replies thus, “Oh Duryodhana! Do you even know what you’re talking about? Your father had already allocated that “Kaandava-Prastha” officially to Yudishtra, isn’t it? Now that it has been officially given to him and that he has proved himself to be a great king, how on earth are you going to get it back?” For this, Duryodhana again burst out in anger thus, “Oh Sahuni uncle! This is exactly what I’m saying – I somehow want that portion of the kingdom back. I do not want Yudishtra to enjoy even a single inch of land from the Hastinapura kingdom. The entire kingdom should be owned only by me. I know that my father had foolishly given that portion of the kingdom to Yudishtra. Now I want it back. Suggest some ways and means of how to get it back!” 

As Duryodhana explains thus, Sahuni again instigates him further – “Oh Duryodhana! Isn’t it “Adharma” that you’re trying to abduct someone else’s property? Your father has officially given it to Yudishtra and from that moment, the Indraprastha kingdom is rightfully Yudishtra’s, isn’t it? How can you take it back? Is it right on your part?” Hearing this, Duryodhana fumes further – “Oh Sahuni uncle! I don’t care about what is “Dharma” and “Adharma”. Please do not try to teach me all these lessons! I’ve heard about all this enough and more in my life till now! If I keep following “Dharma”, I’m never going to be successful in my life. The only way to succeed is via the “Adharma” route! Hence, whatever I do is “Dharma” according to me! I don’t really care what others might think!” 

Basically, this is the problem with many of us today too – whenever we’re fuming with anger, we might not be able to differentiate between what is good and what is bad. This is exactly the pit where Duryodhana is also falling into! This is why we always keep explaining that we should try and maintain our demeanour at all times. We should keep ourselves calm and composed, no matter whatever problems come through. The moment we get angry, our brain stops functioning, and we end up making wrong decisions, which might prove to be disastrous at a later stage. This is exactly what Duryodhana is doing here – Because of his anger and frustration, Duryodhana is making a blunder for himself here, which is going to backfire at him very badly at a later stage, and we’re going to see how. 

So for today, let us understand this point very clearly – Anger and frustration would let us down and prevent us from making the right decision at the right time. We should at all times try to control our anger and look at the problem holistically. We shall wait till the next episode to continue with what Duryodhana did next! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 305 – Duryodhana fumes in anger upon Yudishtra’s might – Sahuni fans it further!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on giving priority towards our “Atman” rather than our “Deham”. In that way, we witnessed an important point yesterday as to why people today enter into a state of mental depression quite easily. Often we see many people taking anti-depressant tablets and special medications to come out of mental depression. However, what we fail to understand here is that, if we give equal or more importance to our “Atman”, automatically the chances of getting into such unwanted states of mind would drastically be cut down. When we say that we’ve to give importance to “Atman”, it simply means that we’ve to follow the path of “Dharma” as much as possible, along with some routine spiritual practices that would take care of our mental health. This is exactly what Yudishtra did here. We’re going to witness from now, how many intense problems tried thwarting Yudishtra into pieces, but yet, he remained strong and steadfast in his “Dharma”, which ultimately pulled him out of all the hardships that he had to undergo. So let us learn the right lessons from Yudishtra’s life and let us slowly try and implement them in whatever capacity we can in our daily lives. 

With this, we shall move on with the Mahabharata storyline as to what happened next. We shall now get back to the scene where Duryodhana along with his brothers and Sahuni are still at Indraprastha after the “Raaja-Suya Yaaga”. Now these people are going around the mighty Indraprastha palace and are awestruck! This is where we’ve left the story in our previous episodes, and in the meanwhile, Yudishtra is taking all these “Shabadhams” as Sage Vyaasa visits him. We’ve already seen how Duryodhana was insulted by the people in the Indraprastha palace, including Draupati for keeping a wrong foot inside a pond of water, wherein it seemed as if there’s no water at all! Moreover, during the “Raaja-Suya Yaaga”, Duryodhana saw in front of his two eyes that Yudishtra had received so many gift items in the form of wealth, gold, cows, etc. Also, we should remember that Duryodhana had earlier reluctantly handed over this piece of land (“Kaandava-Prastham”) to Yudishtra and the Paandavas. All these thoughts triggered Duryodhana and ignited a tsunami of anger and frustration within him. 

Looking at his brothers, Duryodhana fumed angrily thus, “Oh Duchhaasana and Co.! Look at the name and fame this Yudishtra has obtained out of the “Raaja-Suya-Yaaga” that he had done! Look at all the gifts that he has obtained! Moreover, look at the way in which this palace has been built! This is not even comparable to what we have at Hastinapura, isn’t it? I never expected Yudishtra to rise to such high levels of name and fame, and if this continues, he would outsmart all of us in no time! If such a thing happens in future, all of us would have to become his slaves at one point. I would never allow this to happen! Afterall who is Yudishtra? What is his background? He is an orphan left alone by his deceased father! How on earth can he gain so much power within such a short time? This is why I repeatedly confronted my father not to listen to Bhishmachaarya’s words and partition the kingdom. Now who will answer my fate in future if this Yudishtra is going level after level upwards? We’ve to somehow make a plan and stop Yudishtra’s multitudinal growth story immediately!” 

Fuming angrily thus, Duryodhana storms into his Hastinapura palace and sits down with Sahuni. All of us know that Sahuni is Gaandhaari’s brother, which means that he is Duryodhana’s uncle. Upon seeing Duryodhana fuming with anger, Sahuni asked him what had happened. Duryodhana replies to Sahuni thus, “Oh uncle! I had been to the Raaja-Suya-Yaaga of Yudishtra! It was performed on such a grand scale, which nobody on this earth could even think of! Yudishtra’s fame and name is rising by the moment!” Saying thus, Duryodhana stopped. Shrewd and smart as he was, Sahuni now used this opportunity to ignite Duryodhana more! He replied to Duryodhana in an irritating manner thus, “Oh Duryodhana! Looks like Yudishtra is slowly becoming unstoppable, isn’t it? Looks like you wouldn’t be able to even stand in front of Yudishtra even for a single moment, isn’t it? Looks like you’re never going to do a similar Raaja-Suya Yaaga in your entire life as Yudishtra performed, isn’t it? Moreover, Bhagawan Krishna is on his side, along with all the powerful people like King Drupada and the others. Also, all the sages are in favor of Yudishtra these days! Even our own Bhishmachaarya and Guru Dhronaachaarya are slowly getting into Yudishtra’s fold as per my observation. Hence, Duryodhana! I suppose things have become too late now! Things have gone out of our hands and we can never reverse the situation in our favor! Thus, I feel that it’s better if we close our mouths and sit in a corner and just clap our hands in appreciation for Yudishtra’s success! Isn’t it?”

These words from Sahuni infuriated Duryodhana even more! Already he was fuming with anger, and with these irritating words from Sahuni, Duryodhana burst out in huge frustration! In fact, Duryodhana became angry on Sahuni and scolded him for his words thus, “Oh uncle! You were the only person whom I had enormous trust upon! Today you’ve also broken my trust! Why are you talking in favor of Yudishtra? If Bhishmachaarya and Guru Dhronachaarya talk in favor of him, I can understand. But what bothers you? I’ve tried all the ways and means to overthrow Yudishtra and Co. I’ve tried pushing them into the “Laaksha Griha”, but they somehow escaped out of it. I’ve waged open wars with them, but in vain! Going and confronting them directly is of no use! I’ve to think of some other ways of destroying them! Please give me some ideas!” 

These were the words that Sahuni was waiting to come out of Duryodhana’s mouth! With this outburst, Duryodhana right royally fell into Sahuni’s trap! Now what was that trap into which Duryodhana fell into? Let us wait till the next episode to understand! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 304 – Why do many people enter into mental depression today? An important discussion!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on the “Atman” and the “Deham” and how we’ve to give more importance for the “Atma-Soukhyam” and comparatively lesser importance for the “Deha-Soukhyam”. Of course, we should ensure that our “Deham” is fit and fine. We should consume nutritious food, perform regular exercises, etc. and keep ourselves fit, both physically and mentally. But at the same time, if we start giving too much importance to the “Deham”, then it would start controlling us! As discussed yesterday, if we’re able to give atleast equal importance to both the “Atman” and “Deham”, even if we encounter several problematic situations in life, we would be able to handle them with the required calmness and balance. If this understanding is not there, and if we start giving too much importance to the “Deham”, we would funk and sit in a corner even if a small problem comes by. In fact, this is the main reason why many people today fall into mental depression. If we closely analyze the gross reasons as to why people fall into depression, it would clearly show that such people do not understand the significance of the “Atman”, and how to enrich our “Atman” as we move on with life. The moment we’re strong with the “Atman”, many problems can be avoided in life. Readers have to understand and realize this point very clearly. 

In this, there is a small problem – Many of us might not be of the intention that we should give more importance to the “Deham”. Of course, many of us are ardent followers of our “Sanaatana Dharma”, and all of us would respect and revere what Bhagawan Krishna says in His Bhagawad Gita. He uses this term – “Maashuchaha”, which means, “Please do not worry about anything that happens in your life! I shall take care of you and ensure that you reach “Moksha”!” However, are we really following what Bhagawan Krishna says? We might not have the intention to disobey Bhagawan’s divine words of wisdom, but in many situations, we might lack that intent and effort to implement Bhagawan’s words into action. This is where the problem comes. Now we should analyze why such a problem arises. The root cause of this problem is that we do not spend time and effort to understand about our “Atman”. On the other hand, we spend a lot of time trying to understand our “Deham”, and this translates into “Deha-Soukhyam”. For instance, if there is a disease, we immediately go and consult a doctor, get medication and try to cure it. In other case, we tend to read a lot about various viruses, bacteria, etc. and how we should safeguard ourselves against those. Also, we read a lot about various aspects of physical fitness, exercising, dieting, maintaining our body weight, etc. and we also consistently do many things for that. 

Now given this fact, we should ask ourselves a question – Are we doing the same kind of reading, remedy, etc. for our “Atman”? The more we read about something, the more knowledge we would gain on the subject, wouldn’t we? We’re reading a lot about various aspects of the “Deham” and with this knowledge, we’re trying to ensure “Deha-Soukhyam”. Now, if we do not give the same amount of reading and understanding time for our “Atman”, how on earth would we be able to understand the significance of it? If we’re not devoting time and effort to our “Atman”, how would we be able to achieve “Atma-Soukhyam”? We should think about this deeply as this is the crux of the problem. So for achieving this, what should we do? We should read through many discussions, listen to various discourses, debates, etc. that pertain to various aspects of our “Sanaatana Dharma”. We would all accept the fact that there is no shortage of explanations pertaining to the righteous way of living in our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature. Hence, what is stopping us from enriching our knowledge in this subject? So, it is we who’ve to make the effort, and this is the sole purpose of starting and maintaining this blog page as well. Also, the main idea behind spending so many episodes discussing such topics is for all of us to understand this subject. Of course, all of us know the overall storyline of the Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc. because these stories are imbibed into us ever since childhood. But what is important for all of us at this stage, is the deeper understanding of the various aspects of “Dharma” that are both directly as well as indirectly conveyed by Valmiki Maharishi and Sage Vyaasa respectively. 

Hence, for today, let us understand this important point, and let us realize the fact that if we’re able to allocate time and make a conscious effort towards understanding our “Atman”, we would never go into any sorts of mental depression. The more we give importance to the “Atman”, we would become calmer and composed, which would enable us to take on any challenges in life! We shall continue this discussion further in the next episode and move on with what happened next at Indraprastha! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 303 – Focus on the “ATMAN” ensures permanent happiness – Yudishtra demonstrates!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important discussion on two aspects namely “Deha-Soukhyam” and “Atma-Soukhyam”, and how Yudishtra focused on the latter more than the former. By walking the path of “Dharma”, Yudishtra sent out a clear message that no matter whatever difficulty comes his way, he would bear it and not frown over it. This is because these difficulties are of worldly nature, which directly pertain to the “Deham”, and not the “Atman”. For instance, Yudishtra had to lose the Indraprastha kingdom, he had to descend to the forest for the next thirteen years, he had to face the dilemma whether he should get back the kingdom or not, after the thirteen-year period, he had to endure enormous amounts of physical discomfort while living in the forest – All these pertain to the “Deha-Soukhyam”. However, Yudishtra’s firm stance on the “Dharma-Maarga” invited Bhagawan Krishna to visit the Paandavas amidst the forest many times. Moreover, a good number of great Maharishis made a beeline to visit Yudishtra and from them, he had various opportunities to learn a lot of lessons pertaining to the “Dharma” that he was following directly from them. All these pertain to the “Atma-Soukhyam” and Yudishtra’s focus was primarily on that. Thus, if we understand Yudishtra through these lenses, we would be able to appreciate how he firmly stood by the “Dharma-Maarga”, which nobody else was able to! 

Moreover, as we move on, we should understand one more thing pertaining to this subject of “Atman” and “Deham”. Why is it stressed in various contexts of our “Sanaatana Dharma” that we should give more importance to the “Atman” and lesser for the “Deham”? We’ve seen a glimpse of this yesterday itself, but let us elaborate a bit on this today. Normally, as we know by now, “Atma-Sukham” pertains to permanent happiness and “Deha-Sukham” pertains to temporary happiness. We should recollect here that the “Deham” (Physical Body) is destroyable in nature at the end of our human birth, whereas the “Atman” is permanent. After our demise at the end of this birth, our “Atman” gets transferred into another new “Deham” and the cycle continues, which is what we refer to as the “Birth-death cycle”. In this, we perform various types of “Karma” (Actions) – Both good as well as bad. Again within this, each one of us should take a small statistic here – What are all the “Karma” (Actions) we keep on doing every passing day to satisfy our “Deham” and what are all the “Karma” (Actions) we keep on doing every passing day to satisfy our “Atman”? If we take a statistic truly to our heart, we would realize that most of our “Karma” every day is primarily for satisfying the “Deham” and not the “Atman”. If we’re honest in our introspection, we would be stunned with ourselves and because of this, we seem to encounter enormous problems in our day-to-day life. Readers might ask how! I shall explain with an example: 

For instance, assume that we’re contracting a small disease – Maybe an ordinary fever / viral infection or a common cold. The moment we catch a cold, what would be our immediate action? We would start feeling tired and giddy! Many of us would start running around frantically here and there for medicines! Many of us would feel as if the entire world has come to an end for us! All these are because we’ve caught a simple cold! Now we should ask ourselves – Why are we running here and there frantically and making a big issue out of this? It is primarily because we’re more concerned about our “Deham” and if anything small affects our “Deham”, we’re unable to take it! Whereas, if we’re trying to give equal importance towards our “Atman” along with the “Deham”, gradually we would stop running around like this! This is where we’ve to strike a balance – Of course, I’m not saying that we should refrain from taking care of our “Deham”. That’s not the point here. But, we shall always try not to lose hope of our entire life just because of this simple cold, isn’t it? This is where we’ve to balance – If the “Deha-Soukhyam” reduces a bit, it can be compensated by the “Atma-Soukhyam”. The moment we’re strong with our “Atma-Soukhyam”, we would automatically develop the confidence that we shall be able to face any type of problems with ease! This is because, if we’re strong in our “Atma-Soukhyam”, Bhagawan will always be with us and He will take care of our well-being at all stages of our life. This is the basic understanding that we should develop. 

Thus, the point here is that focusing on the “Atma-Soukhyam” gives us permanent happiness and our “Deha-Soukhyam” is transient in nature. This is exactly what Yudishtra is demonstrating here to all of us, and for today, let us understand this point very clearly as we move on further! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 302 – Our focus should be more on the “ATMAN” than the “DEHAM” – Yudishtra demonstrates!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Yudishtra gives more importance to the “Atman” rather than the “Deham”. This is an important point that we have to understand as we move on further. Again – I’m spending more and more time explaining Yudishtra’s path of “Dharma” because this understanding is the basis for all whatever is going to unfold for the next thirteen-year period. We’ve discussed for the past four to five episodes on how Yudishtra was extremely meticulous with his three important “Shabadhams” that he had undertaken in front of the Paandava brothers and Draupati. This entire discussion stems out from these “Shabadhams” and how Arjuna countered it. The way in which Arjuna countered Yudishtra, might exactly be the thought process that all of us might have – What is the use of following the difficult path of “Dharma”, if nothing is going to be impacted in this “Kali Yuga” because of whatever we do? This is where we’ve to understand the difference between the “Deham” and the “Atman”. 

I’ve already explained this subject in our earlier episodes and projects as well, but this context warrants a revision of the same. Basically, we’ve to understand that all of us are made up of two elements – the “Deham” (Physical Body) and the “Atman” (Soul). If we’ve to pursue the path of “Dharma” (The difficult path that Yudishtra took up), we’ve to give more importance to the “Atman” and lesser importance to the “Deham”. Now we’ve to understand what are those things that satisfy the “Deha-Soukhyam” and those things that satisfy the “Atma-Soukhyam”. All the worldly pleasures and luxuries that we go behind – For instance, a plush house, an expensive car, and all those items that make our physical body comfortable will all come under the things that enable “Deha-Soukhyam”. Also, name, fame, position, power, controlling others, creating politics, ego clashes, etc. are also those that ultimately satisfy the “Deha-Soukhyam”. We should understand it in this way – The elements of name, fame, position, power, etc. that I had just mentioned, are all ways and means of achieving the worldly pleasures of a plush house, expensive car, luxurious lifestyle, etc. which directly pertains to the “Deha-Soukhyam”. 

Amidst this, we should also understand clearly here that none of these above-mentioned elements that satisfy the “Deha-Soukhyam” directly or indirectly pertain to the “Atma-Soukhyam”. This is where all of us get confused. What we wrongly understand here is that, if we have a luxurious lifestyle, that’s the end of life and we’ve achieved something great. This is actually not the case. The real achievement of a human being is attaining the “Atma-Soukhyam” and this is the unique philosophy that our Bhaarata Desha has been propagating since ages! All the western cultures promote only the “Deha-Soukhyam” with all the luxuries and everything that they propose and this is the primary reason as to why a huge number of western people are flocking towards our Bhaarata Desha for obtaining “peace of mind”. We should understand clearly here that one can attain the ultimate happiness and peace of mind only if we focus more on the “Atma-Soukhyam”, because this is the one that is permanent in nature. All the physical luxuries, money, fame, etc. might be with us today, and might disappear tomorrow! Hence, “Deha-Soukhyam” is transient and temporary in nature, and the “Atma-Soukhyam” is the permanent one. 

Now let’s understand what “Atma-Soukhyam” is all about. Basically, the “Atman” that is present inside each and every living being in this world including plants and animals is nothing but the manifestation of Bhagawan inside all of us in some form or the other. The “Atman is the one that drives us forward in all our actions. If we’re trying to equate the “Atman” to a manifestation of Bhagawan, now what are those elements / factors that satisfy the “Atma-Soukhyam”? The elements are our “Nitya-Karma Anushtaana”, routine prayers towards Bhagawan, performing “Naamasankeerthanam” regularly, chanting the “Mantra” or a regular basis, making sure that we are of help to others in some way or the other, making sure that we do not hurt anyone either through words, thoughts or actions, etc. All these factors would directly contribute to the betterment of our “Atma-Soukhyam”. 

Now we should correlate all these factors that contribute to the “Atma-Soukhyam” to the “Shabadhams” that Yudishtra has taken here – Are we able to see a direct mapping? This is exactly what “Dharma-Atmas” do. All their actions would be directed towards the “Atma-Sukham”, rather than the “Deha-Sukham”. In the case of Yudishtra itself, we are going to witness that for the next thirteen years, he had to endure so much insults, cheating, forest life which is extremely difficult, wars, etc. Yet, Yudishtra was strong and steadfast in his approach towards “Dharma”. Never for a single moment did he change his approach, isn’t it? Thus, all the above-mentioned items – Insults, cheating, forest life, etc. are all those factors pertaining to the “Deha-Sukham”. Yudishtra never gave any importance to all these elements. However, what was important for Yudishtra was to ensure the “Atma-Sukham”. The moment we start ensuring the “Atma-Soukhyam”, we would automatically start avoiding many grave mistakes and errors. Once we are mistake-free, we can be confident of our approach. Once we’re confident in our approach, it is very easy to be successful in whatever endeavours we do in life. This is the most important lesson that we’ve to learn from Yudishtra’s life. 

Having said this, we might have a question in our mind – If we’ve to mature spiritually, should we only give importance to our “Atman” and not to our “Deham”? What if our “Deham” gets into some disease or something, because of lack of proper maintenance? The answer is very simple here – Of course, we’ve to give importance to our “Deham”, because the “Deham” is the vehicle gifted to us by Bhagawan to execute all the actions that we’ve to perform. We should of course ensure that we’re up and running at all times, as much as possible. However, the problem comes only when we start giving too much importance to the “Deham” and when we completely forget the “Atman” component in us. This is where all differences of opinions, anger, fights, ego clashes, etc. come in. Thus, to begin with, we should start giving equal importance to the “Atman” and the “Deham” and as we slowly mature spiritually, our priority towards the “Atman” should increase more than that of the “Deham”. In fact, Bhagawan Krishna is going to give a detailed accord on this as part of His Bhagawad Gita, which we would be discussing in detail in the future episodes. But this is an extremely good prelude for that detailed accord. 

Hence, for today, let us clearly understand the difference between the “Deha-Soukhyam” and the “Atma-Soukhyam” and let us also understand that as we mature spiritually, we should give more priority to the “Atma-Soukhyam” as compared to the “Deha-Soukhyam”. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 301 – People opposing the “Dharma-Maarga” are bound to perish – Yudishtra demonstrates!!!

In the previous episode, we had continued with the discussion on Yudishtra’s firm stance on the path of “Dharma”, no matter whatever happens around him. In that way, we had witnessed how Yudishtra “walked the path” and implemented his stance for the next thirteen years. In due course of yesterday’s episode, we had also answered a few of the questions that might arise in our mind in this regard. As discussed yesterday, Yudishtra’s game plan is simple and straightforward here – Just like how the swimmer would go along with the flow of water, but slowly deviate himself towards the nearest river bank by not getting stuck into the water current and escape from drowning, Yudishtra also goes along with the flow of whatever Duryodhana and Co. were doing. However, he was very careful not to get carried away along with the current, and by catching hold of Bhagawan Krishna’s divine feet, he ensured that he reached the bank safely without getting drowned or hurt! This is what we’ve to understand here. We’ve to go with the flow, but we’ve to ensure that we do not get stuck in the current called “Adharma”. At this point where we feel that we might get stuck, we should tightly hold on to Bhagawan and He would ensure that we reach the bank safely unhurt!

Readers might wonder why I’m spending so much time explaining who Yudishtra really is. I’m doing so because when we move forward with the subsequent “Adhyaayaas” and “Parvas”, and as we witness the events that unfolded, chances are extremely high that we might misunderstand Yudishtra’s stance towards “Dharma”. Nowadays, this has become a fashion – To take a few characters from our “Sanaatana Dharma” and bash them in public. In the current day, there are many debates that are happening, aren’t they? All these debates will have some controversial topic pertaining to our “Sanaatana Dharma”, with the sole aim of defaming us. For instance, they might take some incident from the Ramayana and try to portray Vaali as a hero, and Bhagawan Rama as a villain. The topic of the debate might be – Whether Bhagawan Rama did the right thing by killing Vaali from behind? Why didn’t Bhagawan Rama take on Vaali from the front? Has Bhagawan Rama performed a “cowardly act” of hitting Vaali from behind? All these are useless debates and it is quite evident that people who are debating such topics are half-baked crooks! I say this firmly because, in the Ramayana there is a separate set of eight slokas wherein Bhagawan Rama gives an apt justification for his act, and after listening to Bhagawan Rama’s reply, Vaali himself was satisfied and certifies Bhagawan Rama that whatever He has done was absolutely correct. Modern day debaters won’t look at this set of slokas and Vaali’s certification. They will only look into that one instance of Bhagawan Rama killing Vaali from behind and do some useless debating. This is why I’m saying that such people are half-baked crooks. 

Another example of such useless debates is this question – Whether Yudishtra deviated from “Dharma” when he played the gambling game and when he staked Draupati and played the game? This is perhaps the most stupid question that one can ask, because, it is evident from Sage Vyaasa’s detailed description (which we’re going to see in detail later on) that Yudishtra went forward with the game only to maintain his “Shabadham” pertaining to the “Dharma-Maarga” and not because of an addiction towards the gambling game. If Sage Vyaasa himself is clarifying this, who are we to even debate on this? If there should be a meaningful debate, people should have a holistic viewpoint about the subject before starting. There should be a 360 degree analysis of the context in hand before opening our mouth to talk. 

Similarly in this context also, there are many people who portray Yudishtra as a crook and Karna as a hero. This is totally wrong. In subsequent Adhyaayas we are going to witness how wicked Karna was. Of course, it is understood that Karna had a tough life and he was a deserted child by his own mother. Even then, portraying Karna as a hero is totally wrong. Similarly, many people try and portray Duryodhana as an epitome of “Dharma”! How foolish can this be? The problem with all of us today is very simple – We think that we know anything and everything! Now who has authored the Ramayana? It’s Vaalmiki Maharishi. Mahabharata was authored by Sage Vyaasa. If these two stalwarts weren’t there, or, had they not composed whatever they’ve composed, would we even know that there was someone called Bhagawan Rama or Bhagawan Krishna or Yudishtra? The answer is “No” isn’t it? Hence, what is our duty here? If we’ve to understand these texts, we’ve to accept whatever Vaalmiki Maharishi and Sage Vyaasa have said, isn’t it? When Vaalmiki Maharishi himself explains clearly that whatever Bhagawan Rama had done is right, who are we to debate on it? Similarly, if Sage Vyaasa himself has certified that Yudishtra walked the path of “Dharma”, who are we to even think otherwise? This is where we go wrong, and this is where all our atheist friends try to capture us. Thus, as ardent followers of our “Sanaatana Dharma” we should firmly believe in whatever Sage Vyaasa and Vaalmiki Maharishi have said in the Mahabharata and the Ramayana respectively. 

Thus, the point here is that Yudishtra, at whatever instance, walked the path of “Dharma” without an iota of blemish. Of course, he had to give in to the gambling game that Duryodhana had arranged. Playing the gamble might be against “Raaja-Dharma”, but according to Yudishtra, he was following his “Dharma” of not hurting Duryodhana’s sentiments. As per Yudishtra’s “Shabadham”, he wouldn’t talk ill of others, nor will hurt others’ feelings and sentiments, isn’t it? Hence, he walked that path meticulously, even though he knew that he was going to fall into Duryodhana’s trap. We should always remember one thing clearly here – As we follow the path of “Dharma”, there might be many people around us who would try to take advantage of our silence and our resolve. They would try all their tricks in the trade to bring us down. However, if they do so, it is at their own peril. Bhagawan would always be by the side of people who follow “Dharma”. Initially it might seem as if people who are taking us for a ride are winning, but in the long-term, all of them would be eventually destroyed completely. This is where we’ve to make up our mind, not to give in to such crooks who try and derail us. This is exactly the lesson that Yudishtra is teaching us through his life – We should never deviate from our path, no matter how others try and influence us. We should have that firm resolve that “Aatma-Soukhyam” is more important than the “Deha-Soukhyam”. 

So for today, let us understand this point very clearly once again, and we shall wait till the next episode to move forward with the subsequent events that unfolded. Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 300 – Yudishtra’s Game Plan – Go along with the flow & reach the destination safely with Bhagawan’s “Anugraha”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important discussion on why Yudishtra was right in his approach towards the thirteen-year fiasco that is going to unfold very soon. As we’ve witnessed, Yudishtra took a firm stance of following the path of “Dharma”, no matter whatever might happen around him. However, Arjuna and Co. had a different argument to this! Arjuna raised a question that how can we follow the path of “Dharma” of not hurting anyone or not fighting with anyone, if the situation warrants us to do it. However, Yudishtra was steadfast in his approach and wasn’t really bothered about what Arjuna said. This is where we’ve to learn the important lesson as to how we should stick firm to the path of “Dharma” at all times – We might undergo catastrophic situations at various times through various people. But this doesn’t mean that we would take this as an excuse to deviate from the path of “Dharma” and take short-cuts to “escape” out of the problem, or doing something that would be unethical in nature. We see this in normal life as well. For instance, if we encounter a big failure in life, what do many people immediately resort to? Many would go into drugs, cigarette smoking and drinking, wouldn’t they? We see this in everyday news too. Or, some people even go to the extreme step of committing suicide, unable to face the situation. Why do we think people do all this? All these methodologies are nothing but ways and means to escape from the problematic situation. These people do not know the ways and means of handling the problem as per the “Dharma” textbook, and this is where the entire problem begins. Thus, we should understand the important point here that we should rather face the problematic situation in the “Dharma-Maarga” and not get buckled down under pressure from various sources to deviate from the path of “Dharma”. 

If such is the case with Yudishtra, we might immediately ask another question here – “Oh! If Yudishtra wanted to walk the path of “Dharma”, why at all did he participate in the gambling game with Duryodhana? Why did he stake all his brothers and Draupati and play? Isn’t this “Adharma”? In fact, as per the “Raaja-Dharma”, playing a gambling game is itself an act of “Adharma” and in this, Yudishtra went ahead to lose even his brothers and his wife! How does this justify the “Dharma” that Yudishtra is talking about here?” This is a valid claim and an important question. We shall try and answer this question today. We should basically understand this fact – Yudishtra accepted to play the gambling game called for by Duryodhana only to make sure that Duryodhana isn’t hurt. If Yudishtra would have said a “No” to the game, Duryodhana would have felt bad. This is exactly the thought process that Yudishtra had, which stems directly from the “Shabadham” he had taken earlier. What was the “Shabadham” that he had taken? He would not hurt anybody’s feelings, no matter whether he / she is a friend or an enemy. It was only to stand by his “Shabadham” that Yudishtra never opened his mouth to criticize Duryodhana for his heinous act. Even when Draupati was dragged and insulted in front of the courtroom, Yudishtra kept silent, because if he would have opened up, he would be deviating from his “Shabadham”. He just left things to take shape as it is! 

Of course, we shall again ask a question here – Why didn’t Yudishtra stop playing the game even after he started knowing that the game is taking a disastrous turn? Yudishtra could have taken a decent call without insulting anyone to quit the game isn’t it? Why didn’t he do that? Again – If Yudishtra would have taken that call, it would have hurt Duryodhana and King Dhridiraashtra at large. It is because King Dhridiraashtra had made up his mind by then that Duryodhana should emerge victorious, no matter what happens. Of course, King Dhridiraashtra did not anticipate that Duryodhana would stoop to such low levels to claim victory over the Paandavas, but still, deep within his heart, King Dhridiraashtra wanted his son to win. Thus, Yudishtra did not want to hurt King Dhridiraashtra’s feelings by quitting the game in the middle. He thus continued to play and go with the flow, so that Duryodhana and King Dhridiraashtra weren’t hurt. As an analogy, if there is a fast-flowing river and if we’re someone who knows swimming, this is a logical question to ask – Does the swimmer swim against the flow of water, or does he / she swims along with the flow of water? If the water is fast-flowing, it is always better to “go with the flow” of the water, rather than swimming against the flow. This is exactly what Yudishtra is also doing here. He makes sure that he goes along with the flow, but at the same time, ensures that he follows the “Dharma” as well. If the resolutions are taken, Yudishtra’s policy is not to deviate even an inch from the resolutions. Yudishtra had taken the resolve that he wouldn’t hurt anyone by words or by actions. Hence, if he had to stand by his resolve, he had to go as per the flow of what Duryodhana did at that moment.

Now Yudishtra’s game plan is simple and straightforward here – Just like how the swimmer would go along with the flow of water, but slowly deviate himself towards the nearest river bank by not getting stuck into the water current and escape from drowning, Yudishtra also goes along with the flow of whatever Duryodhana and Co. were doing. However, he was very careful not to get carried away along with the current, and by catching hold of Bhagawan Krishna’s divine feet, he ensured that he reached the bank safely without getting drowned or hurt! This is what we’ve to understand here. We’ve to go with the flow, but we’ve to ensure that we do not get stuck in the current. We should surrender to Bhagawan and He would ensure that we reach the bank safely unhurt! So for today, let us understand this important point and let us try and implement this in our daily lives as well, in whatever situation we are in. If we completely surrender to Bhagawan, He would start driving the show, rather than us doing it! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion forward! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 299 – Our focus should always be on the “long-term goal” of attaining “Moksha” – Yudishtra demonstrates!!!

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! 🙂