Thursday, 8 March 2012

Dhritharashtra is unable to sleep. Mahabharata 109

Sanjaya returns late in the night and briefly meets Dhritarashtra before going home. He is very candid, 'Your actions, neither respectable nor honourable, have brought you a bad name in the world. I have to blame you for the enmity between pandavas and kauravs which will result in a calamity for our people. By showing a fondness for those who are not trustworthy and neglecting those who wish us well, you have become weak and are incapable of governing. I will convey Yudhisthira's message tomorrow at the Sabha. I am too tired now and will go and sleep.'

Dristhrashtra unable to sleep, sends for Vidhura, 'Sanjaya just left after blaming me for everything! Says that he will deliver Yudhisthira's message at the Sabha. Not knowing what it is, I am unable to sleep.'  Vidhura first turns sarcastic, 'If one cannot sleep, it must be the fear of a stronger person's attack, weakness without any means or wealth, because of desires or being a thief  or coveting others' wealth out of jealousy. But you do not have any such blemish!'

Dhirtharashtra does not react to this taunt and seeks his brother's advice on what is dharma and what is preferred! Vidhura speaks at length about the difference between those who act with विवेक wisdom and those who are imprudent and thoughtless अविवेक. (The list is long! Could be a good mental exercise to list it out!)

Vidhura concludes with 'Even if it is only one who sins, it will affect many more. An arrow from a bow can kill one. But a clever man applying his mind can ruin a king and  his kingdom.'  and adds a few more pearls of wisdom to help man to navigate through his life.

A king who does not go to war and a brahmin who does not travel, will both be like the snake inside the ant-hill and will go unnoticed!
Those totally drunk, negligent, frantic, tired, angered, hungry, hasty, cowardly, miserly, lovesick will not know dharma.
A king should give up women, gambling, hunting, drinking, bad language and dispensing harsh punishment. And many more.

Vidhura and Dhirtharashtra continue talking the whole night. Vidhura again counsels his brother to grant pandavas, who are still obedient to him and treat him like their father, a share of the kingdom. This generous action would then, not give any room for either a man or a devata for finding fault with his actions. He narrates a story to emphasise the importance of being upright, a situation wherein a king decides against his own son!

Dritharashtra while agreeing with Vidhura also declares his helplessness! How the moment he is with Suyodhana he is unable to go against his son's wishes. He then becomes fatalistic and is willing to accept his destiny as he has no control over it.

1 comment:

Raghunath said...

Interesting and instructive piece! What do you think of the U.P. politics?