If dharma declines totally and there is drought, What should the brahmins do and the king do?
This question is very topical . Our state had no rains in the beginning of the monsoon season, immediately many rituals and poojas were arranged at many temples all across the state. Several crores of rupees were spent. Still no rain! Then there was a debate whether cloud seeding should have been resorted to. To be honest I do not know the outcome of the debate.
I sought Raghu's opinion about the whole exercise. His reply: 'Drought is still there but not severe. The money spent on pooja could have been better used to carry more water to these affected areas. Cloud seeding is not always successful. And the present day kings, the legislators, solve the problem by going on a jaunt abroad!'
The reactions of the legislators were typical; one said there was no drought in his constituency! Another said it was planned and the expenses were just a few lakhs, so the trip was justified. The reports say that they went on a sight-seeing spree. Do they make a report on their return. They should, as they also are given ipads. All at our cost!
Let us see what Bheeshma says:
'It is the responsibility of the king to ensure good rains and crops and the welfare of people! Anyhow, in difficult times each one of us must use our intelligence and stay alive. Even sage Vishwamitra stayed alive by stealing dog meat from the house of a low caste person. His main purpose was to live at any cost.
Bheeshma uses many stories, anecdotes to teach. In these stories, the animal world and the humans talk to each other. I guess they are just fables. If indeed animals and birds spoke, when did they stop and why?
'In difficult times, when there is no food, you should help even your enemies. He narrates a story, wherein a pigeon sacrifices itself, so that the hunter can eat!'
'You should not loose your confidence in such times, god willing your problems will be solved.'
There is long story about a couple who have lost their only son and are wailing in the cremation ground. A vulture and a fox approach them and speak. The vulture tells them to leave the child and go home before it gets dark. The fox tells them to wait till it is dark, gives them hope that sometimes a child just wakes from its deep sleep. While both appear to give well intentioned advice, the real intent is selfish. If the couple leave immediately the vulture gets to eat, but if they leave after dark it is the fox. The couple are totally confused with the clever arguments and begin to cry. Luckily for them lord Shankara appears before them and resurrects the child as a boon!
Bheeshma concludes: 'Whatever the difficulty, you should be grateful for the help received and should not betray your friends. The real reason is your greed. Excessive greed is the root cause for all the sins! Greed begets anger, desire, infatuation, cruelty, deceit and so on. Those who do not succumb to greed are the only right minded people.'