Thursday, 16 August 2012

Shanti parva continued: Bheema and Arjuna speak their minds. Mahabharata 178

Arjuna responds, 'Aha! What sadness! What anguish! After having fought a righteous war, winning  the kingdom by killing our enemies, should we just relinquish all this? How will the world react to this act? It is madness to give up our dharma and our wealth and go to a forest. You need money to practise dharma. One who steals our money, in fact, also takes away our dharma. Poverty is a sin! Who appreciates poverty? Our journey through life has a meaning! There is a here and a here-after. This kingdom has come to you from Dilipa and Nruga because of your heredity. It is your dharma to rule this kingdom. If you give up, there is a lapse of duty on your part.  It is the king's authority which protects the wealth of the state and its dharma. It is the fear of this authority that  keeps the citizens in control. Were not devas and asuras related? Did not the devas kill the asuras? There is violence in the nature of things. No one can survive without violence. One species subsists because of another! The weaker is food for the stronger! You cannot even milk a cow without hurting it. Hence follow the dharma which has been in force since long and rule the kingdom and protect its citizens. Perform yagna and yaga! Give charity! Punish the guilty and foster the upright'. 

Bheema adds,  'What is this Anna! (elder brother). You are speaking like an old vedic scholar, whose brain has been dulled by too much of veda! By yielding to lassitude, if you neglect your rajadharma, what is the point of defeating kauravas? It is like digging a well and when the water fills up, you do not bathe in it, but come up with all the dirt on your body. Sanyasa is for old age or for bad times! If you take sanyasa now, learned people will tell you that it is against your dharma. It is possible to live alone in the forest without taking care of  children and grandchildren and not satisfying the devatas, rishis, pithru (parents) and athithi (guests),  but you are mistaken if  you think you will go to heaven. If that was possible, deer and pigs, birds could go to heaven! Trees and hills would attain bliss! Because they are always ascetic, they practice chastity and they do not trouble anyone! Hence we have to perform duties we are meant and destined to do. we achieve peace and bliss by action and not by inaction.

Pearls of wisdom by both the khsatriya brothers! There is no denying that violence is inherent in us. While individually we can and some of us try and do eschew violence its prevalence is universal.

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