“The Indian Dharma” blog crosses 15,500 views from across 80 countries worldwide!!!

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Dear esteemed readers,

With the divine grace of Bhagawan Lord Krishna, we’ve crossed an important milestone of 50 episodes of our second big project – “Vidura Neeti”. As part of this project, we are witnessing a glimpse of various important value systems as explained by Sage Veda Vyasa in the form of Vidura to King Dhirdiraashtra. To go along with that, we are also discussing the relevance and applicability of all these important values in our modern day life. This shows that our great ancestors and forefathers have had an extremely long-term vision and their desire to teach us the important values of “Dharma” through their writings. Hence this becomes our bound duty to express our gratitude to all of them including Valmiki Maharishi, Sage Veda Vyaasa, etc. who have shown us the path to “Moksha” (Ultimate Salvation).

Thus, as ardent followers of our “Sanaathana Dharma” (Hinduism) it becomes our bound duty to read and realize the enormous amount of “Dharma” explained in our scriptures and introspect within us to correct and refine ourselves. Of course this is not an easy exercise to perform. It is thus we’ve taken up this huge project of writing about it and explaining it in simple english, so that our rich “Dharma” can reach many many people around the globe! Of course not to mention, you readers have been of enormous support with your valuable comments and feedbacks! I’ve been mentioning this right from the commencement of this blog. I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to all of you in making this mega-mission grow leaps and bounds. 

Of course, this is just a small milestone. There are miles and miles for us to travel forward in the journey of “Sanaathana Dharma”. We shall chew one pill at a time and take it slowly, because we need to soak into the experience of each sloka, each phrase, each message and each way to refine our lives.

With this, I’m also happy to announce that the viewership of our blog had recently crossed 15,500, from across 80 countries worldwide. I wish to thank all our esteemed readers for your valuable time to go through the contents of the blog.

There have been many queries from readers if they can still get access to our first project – “Life lessons from Shrimad Ramayana”. Yes, you can always get to read all the 324 episodes of our first project by following the link below:

https://theindiandharma.wordpress.com/

If you’re an active “Facebook” user, you can always log in and search for the page “The Indian Dharma”. You need to just press the “Like” or the “Follow” button to get everyday’s episodes to your doorstep! Link to my Facebook page is as below:

https://www.facebook.com/LeadershiplessonsfromMahabharata/

Furthermore, our daily episodes get published on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-jeayaram-subramanian-60258818/), Twitter (Follow the twitter handle @jeayaram) and Google handles as well. Thus, you can keep a track of this blog through all social media platforms.

Finally, I would once again thank all of you, esteemed readers for your valuable time, suggestions, comments and feedbacks. Let us all pray together to make atleast a minuscule change in this world towards the path of “Dharma”. Let us make the change happen!

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Episode # 51 – “Education for living & Education for life!” – An important explanation!!!

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In the last couple of episodes we’ve seen an extremely important discussion on an attribute called “Patience”. We witnessed how significant is patience for our present day in various walks of life as well! This is exactly what Vidura too has explained thousands of years back! From these kinds of detailed discussions we can see how our ancestors have had a real long-term vision that the future generations would require such important pieces of advice. It is with this reason in mind that they’ve authored our important scriptures of our “Sanaathana Dharma”. The Ramayana and Mahaabhaarata are just tips of a huge iceberg amidst the huge ocean of our “Sanaatana Dharma”. Thus we can clearly infer here that our “Sanaathana Dharma” cannot be equated to any other scripture in the world in terms of its richness in culture, value systems, ways of living a righteous life, etc.

Having said thus, we are currently in the process of witnessing a few of the important value systems explained in the great Mahaabhaarata text wherein Vidura is explaining some important attributes of a righteous king to King Dhirdiraashtra. We’ve so far witnessed the important attributes of a “Panditha” as well as a “Mooda”. These indirectly means that we should imbibe the attributes of a “Panditha” and fine-tune them and should eliminate those attributes of a “Mooda” from us.

Now moving on further, Vidura now explains the returns that we would get by following each attribute that he has explained so far. In the modern day we expect a return for whatever action we do, isn’t it? For instance, we go to a bank and invest a certain sum of money. The first question that we ask the banker is “What would be the return that I would get for this money that I invest today?” Similarly, so far, Vidura has been explaining that we need to uphold and follow innumerable attributes. But immediately we might ask a question here, “Oh! But what would be the return that we would get if we follow these attributes?” Vidura explains thus:

“Eko dharmaha param shreyaha kshamaa ekaa shaanthirutthamaa!

Vidyaa ekaa paramaa tripthihi ahimsaa ekaa sukhaavaha!!”

Here Vidura says that if we follow the “Dharma” in our day-to-day life meticulously, all kinds of “Mangala” (Auspicious happenings) would reign into our life. If we follow the attribute called “Patience” (Kshamaa), we would be able to obtain the ultimate “Peace of mind” in our life. If we’ve to get satisfaction and joy in our life, we need to obtain good education and knowledge (“Vidyaa”) and finally if we’ve to be comfortable in our life, we need to follow non-violence (“Ahimsa”).

Now let us look into the sloka in a deeper depth – The first attribute“Dharma”. Only if we follow and uphold the principles of our “Dharma”, will we be able to experience auspicious happenings in our lives. These auspicious happenings might be anything that is good for us – For instance, getting good parents, teachers, wife/husband, sons/daughters, etc. with an impeccable character and who also follow the path of “Dharma” meticulously. For obtaining all these, we require the divine grace of Bhagawan. And how do we obtain it? We do so by meticulously following the principles of “Dharma” what Bhagawan has formulated for us.

Now looking into the second attributePatience. We’ve discussed this with innumerable instances and have brought out the significance of this important attribute. Hence I’m not going into detail on this again.

The third attributeVidya – Here, “Vidya” means education, knowledge, acumen, etc. In the modern day, we need to realize that there are two different types of education, as explained by Satguru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi“Education for living & Education for life!” It has become an irony in the modern day wherein we tend to focus only on the “living” part and not the “life”. We only tend to focus education on earning money. But is only money enough for a happy life? Many a time, we fail to realize that the answer for this question is a “No”! Of course I’m not saying here that we shouldn’t earn money. Money is important for maintaining a decent standard of living. However, how much money do we require? Anything in excess is always going to create politics and fights. How many families are we seeing today getting disintegrated because of issues pertaining to property, lands, gold, etc.? The situation has gone even worse wherein the children spar with each other and neglect their parents completely because of the property dispute! Is this the respect we give for our parents? Just because of not distributing property equally, do we go to the extent of insulting our parents and chase them away from our home at an older age? Let’s think about this!

Thus, if we need to get the mental satisfaction and joy, we need to obtain the education for life, more than the education for living. This is where we need to understand morality, value systems, etc. If we channelize our minds into these aspects, automatically our mind would become cultured and thus would be able to obtain the highest satisfaction and joy.

Finally we shall look into the fourth attribute – “Ahimsa” or “Non-Violence”. Here, “Ahimsa” does not only mean that we shouldn’t engage in physical assaults and fights with others. We should also ensure that we do not mentally and verbally assault others. We should realize that words are more powerful than weapons. As the famous Thirukkural (in Tamil) says,

 “Theeyinaal sutta pun ullaarum – Aaraadhe naavinaal sutta vadu!”

This means, even those wounds that are caused due to physical assaults would disappear some day, whereas those wounds that are caused by our atrocious words and language would never vanish throughout our lives! Hence, we need to be extremely careful with the choice of our words. We should structure our talk in such a way that we should never ever insult anybody or anything in any context or situation. If we follow this meticulously, Vidura explains that this would give us a very comfortable and a peaceful life.

Hence for today, let us introspect these four important points and check if we follow them meticulously. We shall wait till the next episode to look into Vidura’s next explanation. Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 50 – Difference between “Patience” & “Incapability” – Vidura’s beautiful explanation!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important attribute that Vidura is explaining to King Dhirdiraashtra, which is nothing but “Patience” or “Kshamaa”. We also had a brief discussion on the differences between being “patient” and being “incapable”. In due course we also witnessed that patience is one of the primary attributes for a leader to be successful in his/her mission. It is only with the patience, our respect in the society would dramatically increase. We also witnessed few examples to drive this point home – From politics to Mother Earth. We witnessed that Mother Earth is an epitome of patience – Wherein we perform innumerable activities on the ground every passing day and yet She is extremely patient and bears all what we do! However, can we conclude that, just because she is baring all our tortures, is she incapable? How many times we’ve witnessed huge earthquakes wherein an entire city is reduced to just ruins within seconds, a giant catastrophe called the tsunami that wiped away thousands of lives within just few minutes! Thus we need to realize every day that Mother Nature’s fury can be disastrous for the entire human race and we need to respect Mother Nature as much as we respect our parents. Thus the message from this explanation of Vidura is that, we shouldn’t mistake patience to be incapability and we should not make fun of those who exhibit the highest quality called patience.

“Kshamaa vasheekrithir loke kshamayaa kim na saadhyate??”

 This is a beautiful phrase that explains the significance of patience. For instance if someone comes in front of me with a knife or a gun to kill me, what do I do? If I’ve to take another knife or a gun to attack that person back, there would arise a huge fight between him and me. Whereas, if I take the knife called “Patience” or “Shanthi” (Peace), what will happen to the fight? Won’t it dissipate completely? Thus if a person comes in front with a knife made of steel and if we counter him with the knife called “peace” or “Shanti”, there is no question of a fight thereafter!

Similarly, why do we think that a forest fire spreads so rapidly? That is because a forest is a place, which is rich in natural vegetation like grass, green trees, plants, creepers, etc. Thus, if there is a small fire that catches up in some corner, because of this rich vegetation, it starts spreading extremely quickly and eventually it ends up destroying the whole forest! Whereas, if we’ve to light up a fire at a place where there is a barren land with no vegetation at all, will the fire spread? The answer is “Not at all!!” Hence from these two examples we can understand that if we have the “patience” in us, peace would automatically reign in our lives. It is only when we do not have the patience to handle any situation, it results in violence, fights, verbal arguments, etc.

In fact, we can create a small flow chart on this because this is a sequential activity. If we do not exhibit patience to handle a situation, we start getting mentally agitated. This mental agitation results in the growth of anger within us. The more the anger that builds up within us, higher the possibility of we bursting out! This bursting initially starts with an argument. With time, this argument builds into a war of words! Again, with time and unable to bare the intensity of the war of words, it turns into verbal abuse! More the abusing continues, it results in physical assault! It should be noted that all these steps that I had explained just now, can happen in a jiffyJust like the forest fire that spreads quickly when there is rich vegetation around!

Hence we need to be extremely cautious in our approach and should not fall into this vicious trap! But how do we avoid getting into this trap? The one and only solution is to develop the attribute of “patience” within us. The moment we develop this important attribute, we would be able to distance ourselves from unwanted arguments, war of words, etc. and we would be able to “let go” of all these things. This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna also explains in his Gita – Significance of detachment and control of anger. When will these two happen? It is only when we develop “Patience” and “Tolerance” towards things.

Thus from today, we’ve to realize that if someone tries to provoke us with arguments, war of words, etc. it is like feeding grass and vegetation to the fire, for it to grow further! If we fall into this “trap” and start arguing with that person with equal force, it means that we are adding more fuel to that fire! Rather, if we try and refrain from the argument at some stage, we are escaping the wrath of the fire! Thus if we exhibit patience, the opponent would automatically understand that there is no use of fighting with this person! Even in the Ramayana, we had witnessed Lord Rama’s extent of patience – We had witnessed that during the war with Ravana, even when Ravana was about to be defeated, what did Lord Rama say? He said “Oh Ravana! Today you are powerless and weaponless in front of me! So go back to your palace and come tomorrow, fully equipped again!” Lord Rama actually could have killed Ravana then and there and his mission would have been complete in a jiffy! Yet, he did not do that. He was so patient that he wanted to give Ravana one more chance to mend his ways! Yet, Ravana failed to do so! It was only after countless number of chances that Lord Rama killed Ravana. Thus we can see from here also that Lord Rama was an epitome of patience.

Hence, the message from today’s episode is that, we need to develop this highest attribute of “patience” in ourselves. I’ve dedicated two episodes to explain the importance of “patience” because this is one of the primary attributes that we need to imbibe within ourselves, irrespective of being in any walk of life! We shall introspect within ourselves for today and try to raise our level of patience starting from this minute! We shall wait for the next episode to explore further into what Vidura has to say next! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 49 – Why is “Patience” (“Kshamaa”) key for successful leaders? Vidura’s brilliant explanation!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important advice of Vidura to King Dhirdiraashtra with regards to upholding of the “Dharma” and “Truth”. Eventually we’ve also seen some important modern day aspects to this important discussion. Thus, it becomes our bound duty to stand up for truth and our values, uphold them at any behest and make it a point to stick to it.

Now moving on to the next point, Vidura explains thus:

“Ekaha kshamavathaam doshaha dvitheeyo nopa padyathe!”

Here Vidura explains yet another important aspect – In the world, people may accuse that being patient is the worst thing ever, however, the attribute of patience is one that is unmatched in this world! This is what Vidura explains by saying “Ekaha kshamavathaam doshaha”, which means that the world would abuse those people who exhibit the quality of patience (“Kshamaa”).

We might be wondering why does Vidura say thus! There is a special reason here, and readers should focus on this point with full concentration. There is a thin hairline difference between two qualities – “Patience” and “Incapability”. If any person remains silent and inactive to any given situation in life, there might be two reasons as to why this person remains silent – One reason is that, the person knows to react, but still he is silent. The other reason is that, this person does not have the capability to react to the situation at all.

This might be a bit confusing and hence I shall explain with a simple example. For instance, one of my colleagues at office is humiliating me and he is verbally abusing me in front of my boss. For this, I can exhibit two types of reactions – I can yell at him back with equal or more force and try to bash him down! Otherwise, I can withdraw from the entire situation, keep silent and let him do whatever he wants! In this, we are not going into the debate as to which of the above two strategies are better. That would be for a different day. For now, the focus is only on the second reaction – Assuming that I’m keeping quiet and refraining myself to bash him. Now the question comes, “Why am I refraining? Is it because I want to exhibit my patience by refraining myself from bashing him or is it because I’m not capable to come up with a counter argument, so as to bash him?”

I hope the point is much clearer now. Hence, the important point that needs to be understood here is that, there is a thin line of difference between “patience” and “incapability”. This is exactly what Vidura explains here – Through the first phrase of the sloka he says that the world would tend to mistake those people exhibiting patience as incapable people (“Ekaha kshamavathaam doshaha”), but however, Vidura continues further by explaining that, no matter what the world thinks and says, one should never compromise his/her patience in any situation, given its enormous significance! Irrespective of who says what, a leader should always be an epitome of patience in whatever situation he/she is in and whatever activities he/she is doing. This is the biggest sign of a successful leader.

How is this applicable in the modern day? For instance if we consider politics, in any country there might be innumerable accusations from the opposition parties, so as to bring down the ruling government and to fulfil their opportunistic political dreams – We can of course see this happening blatantly in India too. However, when does the leader (in this case, Prime Minister) be termed as a successful person? He becomes successful only if he turns deaf ears to whatever allegations are being thrown at him and continues steadfast in his duties towards the country’s welfare. If the Prime Minister has to start paying heed and react to each and every accusation levelled by the hopeless opposition parties, he is indirectly falling into their trap! Ultimately it should be remembered that the opposition parties are trying to provoke the Prime Minister by putting words into his mouth and laying the trap for him to react! Here is where, “Patience” comes into the picture. So when do we say that the Prime Minister is exhibiting “patience”? It is only when he remains silent and focuses on his work rather than engaging in useless arguments with these hopeless people. There will arise a time when the Prime Minister can give it back right royally to all those opposition ranks that keep screaming at the top of their voice!

Thus from this example we can infer here that for a leader to be successful and to gain respect amongst the people, “patience” is of prime importance. This is applicable for everybody in their own respective domains of work and situations. We should always keep in mind that only if we are patient enough, will we be able to attain our goal perfectly.

“Yadenam kshamayaa yuktam akshaktam anyathe janaha!!”

Thus Vidura again reiterates in his next line of the sloka that people would mistake patience to be incapable people! (“Akshaktam anyathe janaha!”) However, all these allegations should not perturb one! For instance if we take our Mother Earth, how patient is she to bare all our day-to-day activities! Every passing day we stamp her, we hit her, we dig her, we drill her, etc. Yet, she doesn’t react to any of our activities! However, can we come to the conclusion that Mother Earth is totally incapable of reacting to all what we do? If she has to react even for one second, the entire clan of human beings would be wiped off! What happens when there is an earthquake? What happens if there is a sea-quake? We’ve witnessed the deadly tsunami that attacked many coastal areas in 2004. Thousands and thousands of people had to lose their lives within a jiffy! How many earthquakes are we witnessing, that is taking away lives in thousands? Thus we should also realize at this point that Mother Nature is thousands of times more powerful than what we are, yet She is an epitome of the highest level of patience! If Mother Nature exhibits this enormous amount of patience and tolerance towards us, what bigger example is required to drive the point further?

Thus for today, let us ponder over this important characteristic called “Patience” and its immense significance in our daily lives! Let us realize that patience is the first and foremost for any leader to achieve any mission successfully! We shall continue the discussion on “Patience” in the next episode also and drive the point even more clearly! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 48 – Upholding our “Dharma” – How significant is it? Vidura’s important explanation!!!

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 In the previous episode we had witnessed four important activities that need to be avoided – Consuming an eatable without sharing with others, unanimous and singlehanded decision making, venturing out into a forest or a lonely place during the wee hours of night and keeping oneself awake during odd hours of the night! We saw the importance of these four activities in the modern day scenario as well. Eventually during yesterday’s discussion, we witnessed the role of advisors in aiding the effective decision making of successful leaders thus emphaisising and reiterating the fact that decision-making is a collective process and not an individualistic process.

Thus with all the above attributes, actions and characteristics, Vidura has driven home a clear point of differentiation between a “Panditha” and “Mooda”. He has explained to King Dhirdiraastra that he is not able to get proper sleep because he is following all the attributes of a “Mooda” rather than those of a “Panditha”. It is to be remembered that we had commenced the entire “Vidura Neeti” series with the context that King Dhirdiraastra was completely sleep-deprived and Vidura is trying to explain the reasons for the same. Hence, for the modern day, we too need to introspect the various attributes as explained till now and make sure that we eliminate those attributes of a “Mooda” and imbibe those of a “Panditha” for leading a successful life ahead!

Thus moving on further, Vidura is explaining the next four attributes that we need to keep in mind, so as to avoid them in our lives. What are they? Vidura says thus:

“Ekameva adhvitheyam tath yad raajan naava buddhyase!”

Here, Vidura explains the next important attribute wherein he says that we cannot reach “Vaikunta” or “Heaven”, if we do not follow the truth (“Sathya”)! Here we come to the next important discussion about “Standing by the truth!” Of course in the modern day we would easily ask the question as to how is it possible to stand by the truth every time, given the fact that we face innumerable challenges from different directions. Here we need to realize that challenges would always be present, irrespective of which “Yuga” we are in. The only point here is that, in different “Yugas” there are different types of challenges faced by people. However, a challenge is a challenge and we shouldn’t lose our individuality just because we come across a hurdle or a challenge. This is the real test here – Inspite of these innumerable challenges, are we sticking to the “Dharma” of talking only the truth?

Even in the modern day, why do we talk especially about “Harischandra”? In fact, the name “Harischandra” goes synonymous with “Truth”. That is because he was a person who stood by the “Dharma” at all tough times that he had to endure in his lifetime. This is what gives a person name and fame in his life.

However, it might outwardly seem that those people who talk the truth always and stand by it, would have to undergo innumerable ordeals in their lives and those people who stand against the truth would seem to lead a happy and a luxurious life. Even in our scriptures we would see innumerable examples like this – For instance, Ravana was completely unethical, yet he lead a luxurious and a care-free life until few days before his death, whereas Lord Rama was an epitome of “Dharma” and stood by it every moment and yet he had suffer all his lifetime. Similarly we would see Duryodhana lead a luxurious life till the end of his life, whereas the Paandavas had to undergo innumerable insults, ordeals, pains, etc. all through their lives, in the process of upholding “Dharma”. Even in today’s life we see innumerable incidences like this – Many people who commit heinous crimes walk away free from any punishment from the court, however, those innocent people who haven’t done as heinous a crime, would end up suffering more! Upon hearing all this, we might get fed up with ourselves and might start asking questions within us – Why at all should we follow “Dharma” if this is the case? Is “Dharma” so powerless that it makes us suffer so much? What is the use of following it if we’ve to unwantedly suffer? It’s a normal feeling amongst all of us, when we look at blatant “Adharma” in front of our eyes!

But what is the answer for this then? The only answer is that, if we follow “Dharma” correctly, Bhagawan becomes happy for us and he would grant us the ultimate “Moksha” very easily. We should realize that this is the ultimate goal of all of us and if this goal is achieved, we are completely free from the cycle of birth and death in this world! Whereas, those people who are committing sins right now, may seem to be happy at this moment. However, they would never be able to please Bhagawan’s heart and eventually they would have to take innumerable births in this world and see innumerable sufferings later.

One more way to look at this is as per the Newton’s third law – “Every action has an equivalent reaction!” For instance if we throw a ball towards the wall, the ball would hit the wall and return back to us! Similarly, whatever wrongdoing we commit now, will rebound on us some day or the other! The only “trick in the trade” in this case is that, we would never know when would we get the return for what we do today! There is a proverb in Tamil that explains this beautifully.

“Arasan andre kolvaan! Deivam nindru kollum!”

 This means that Bhagawan clearly knows when to give what for us! For instance, when we accumulate our good deeds today, we would reap the benefits of them at the right time when we are in dire need of help! Similarly, if we’ve to accumulate our wrongdoings and sins today, we would face the consequences of those when the apt time comes! At that point in time we would really feel helpless and we would never find any help from anywhere! However all said and done, this process doesn’t have a definitive time frame and this is why we never realize that our wrongdoings are those that make us undergo a suffering at any point in our life!

Thus, this is exactly what Vidura explains here – Whatever may be the situation, we should make a conscious effort to stand by and uphold the “Dharma” or the “Truth”. This is extremely important for all of us today.

Lastly, we should importantly note here that there is no use of blaming the “Yuga” in which we are living right now. Often we console ourselves that “Oh! This is ‘Kali Yuga’ and unrighteousness would always be the order of the day!” It is not the case – Kali Yuga has its own “Dharma” and we should make a conscious effort to stick to it.

Hence for today, let us spend some time to understand this important point of standing by our “Dharma” at all times. Let us wait till the next episode to continue further on what Vidura is going to explain next! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 47 – Successful leaders prefer “Collective” rather than “Individual” decision-making – Vidura explains!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important modern day phenomenon with respect to administration and leadership, as explained by Vidura in the Mahaabhaarata – “Playing politics”. We witnessed how relevant is Vidura’s words in today’s context – In fact, each and every word uttered by Vidura so far in the past 46 episodes were completely relevant and directly applicable for the modern day! What a long-term vision did our ancestors have! Indeed we would never be able to find such exact references to modern day contexts in any other scripture across the world! There is nothing that is absent in our “Sanaathana Dharma”. The only requirement from our side is that we should spend some time to explore it and get to understand the real “Dharma” that is explained beautifully in our “Sanaathana Dharma” scripture. In that way, we have witnessed various aspects of “Dharma” as explained by Vaalmiki Maharishi in the Ramayana text and now it’s time to witness innumerable aspects of “Dharma” as explained by Sage Veda-Vyaasa through Vidura.

Thus yesterday we had witnessed some important ill effects when a king/administrator resorts to play “dirty politics” because of geed for power. We witnessed that if such a thing happens, one fine day the people of the country would unite under one umbrella and resort to a huge and an unprecedented revolt or a scoop wherein the entire country would crumble! We’ve seen this happening quite often around the world in many countries, and if we brush through our Indian independence struggle, how many such incidences have taken place! This is exactly what Vidura is trying to explain here too!

Now moving on to the next sloka, Vidura explains yet another important point with heavy emphasis. Vidura says thus,

 “Ekassvaadhuna bhunjeetha ekashcha arthaan na chintayeth!

Ekona gachhe na dadhvaanam na ekaha supteshu jaagriyaath!!”

Here, Vidura is continuing the list of actions that are not be executed as a king or an administrator. Here in this sloka Vidura explains four important such activities. Let us witness one by one.

The first avoidable action – “Ekassvaadhuna bhunjeetha” means, a person should not consume any eatable item alone by himself or herself. Rather, he/she should develop the habit of sharing the eatable with others while consuming it.

The second avoidable action – Ekashcha arthaan na chintayeth!” This means that a king should not take any decision on his own without consultation with anybody around him! How relevant is this point in the modern-day management and leadership context! Today we lay enormous importance on the art of “Decision Making”. Successful leaders in any domain – Be it an organization or politics, or sports, etc. differentiate themselves with their ability to make the right decisions at the right time. We shall be able to quote innumerable examples of such cases. But the important question in this context is that, how do successful leaders make the correct decisions? There are different methodologies that leaders adopt – Either through extensive consultation and brainstorming with their close associates and advisors, or through extensive research on that particular area wherein they hold expertise. In both these cases we see that decisions are never taken alone by anybody! If the decision has to be a “masterstroke”, it doesn’t come that way without proper consultation with experts in that particular domain. This is exactly the reason why top CEO’s or political leaders like the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, etc. would have advisors to advise and appraise them on various issues that need to be handled. The advisors are of different categories viz. political advisors, legal advisors, technical consultants, management consultants, etc.

For instance if there is an issue in hand for the government and there is a crucial decision to be taken, it is not the Prime Minister who would be completely at the helm of all the affairs, but there would be political, legal advisors who would swing into action. If the matter is to be taken to the court for a settlement, legal advisors would immediately chip on. If the matter is of great political importance and would impact the country politically, immediately the political advisors and experts would chip in! Similarly if there is an economic decision to be taken at the behest of the country, economic advisors and financial experts would chip in. Thus from all these instances we can clearly see that decision making would never be done singlehandedly, but only with proper consultation with experts and advisors in the respective areas. This is exactly what Vidura is explaining to King Dhirdiraashtra here – “If a decision needs to be taken for splitting the kingdom for the Paandavas, you need to do it with proper consultation with the concerned people. Whereas you are trying to take a decision that is unanimous to you, (just because of your affinity towards your son Duryodhana) and that is going to be detrimental to the kingdom!”

Now moving on to the next point, Vidura says, Ekona gachhe na dadhvaanam!” Here, Vidura explains that a king should never venture into a forest or a jungle area alone at night! In fact, we should combine the next phrase also with this and witness the inference together. Vidura finally explains, Na ekaha supteshu jaagriyaath!” This means that, a king should not keep himself awake in the middle of the night when everybody is asleep.

Now why does Vidura say all this? What is the relevance? It directly means that if a person is awake at a time when he or she should not be, there are many bad consequences that would follow – When we look at it from a physical perspective, if we are keeping awake at odd times of the night, our body metabolism gets affected because of a disturbance in the sleep pattern. Eventually the subsequent day becomes extremely dull and our thinking capability and our efficiency would come down. This directly results in the fall in the output or productivity! The second perspective is that, if a person has to venture out to a forest area or a lonely place in the wee hours of the night, possibility of being attacked by animals or by thieves, burglars, etc. are extremely high. This results in a huge security breach and it can have multiple repercussions to the country. Hence it is always better not to keep ourselves awake at wee hours of the night and this is the main message that Vidura conveys through the last two phrases of the sloka.

Thus today we’ve witnessed four important activities that need to be avoided – Consuming an eatable without sharing with others, unanimous and singlehanded decision making, venturing out into a forest or a lonely place during the wee hours of night and keeping oneself awake during odd hours of the night! Hence let us introspect into it as managers or leaders in the modern day and make a conscious effort to avoid such things if we have such practices in us. We shall wait for the next episode to witness the next sloka and explanation from Vidura! Stay tuned! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode # 46 – “Dirty politics” detrimental to the country’s development – Vidura explains!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed a very interesting “mathematical formula” for leading a righteous life. We went through a beautiful sloka wherein Vidura had employed numbers one to seven in a nice and a sequential manner. Using our brain (1) we need to be able to differentiate between (2) aspects – Attachment & Detachment. We need to understand (3) different types of people – Friend, Enemy and a Stranger and thus be able to handle each of them with (4) different methodologies – Saama, Dhaana, Bheda and (or) Dhanda. By doing so, we need to have complete control of our (5) different senses – Eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch. We need to also be aware of (6) different aspects – Sandhi”, Vigraham”, “Yaanam”, “Aasanam”, “Dvaidheebhaavam” and “Samaashrayam” wherein we need to be experts at these. Eventually and finally with the above expertise we should be able to avoid and eliminate (7) different “Adharmic” or unrighteous activities namely disrespecting women, gambling, alcohol addiction, hunting and killing, verbal abuse, giving excessive punishment & thereby treating others as slaves and finally trying to abduct others’ wealth and property illegally! This is how Vidura says, one can lead a happy and a contended life as per the “Dharma”.

Now moving on further, Vidura explains the next important aspect of “Raaja-Dharma”. This is a very important aspect of modern-day leadership as well. Vidura says,

“Ekam visharaso hanti shastrena ekasya vadyathe!

Sa raashtram sahprajam vanthi raajaanaam manthraviplavaha!!”

Here Vidura explains to King Dhirdriraashtra thus, “Oh King! Please try to understand this: You can kill only one person at a time by giving him poison. (“Ekam visharaso hanti”), you can kill only one person by stabbing him with an arrow or a sword (“Shastrena ekasya vadyathe!”). However if you try to play “dirty politics” with your subjects, the entire lot of people would stand up together and throw you out! (“Sa raashtram sahprajam vanthi raajaanaam manthraviplavaha!!”)”

How relevant this is in the modern day! How many instances have we seen this kind of a situation in the present day! If we’ve to look at India’s history, right from pre-independence era we have had innumerable instances wherein people have come under a single umbrella and revolted against the British rule. Of course, after decades of struggle we had successfully obtained independence in 1947, which is indeed a remarkable moment in our history. However post independence, has things changed? Has “dirty politics” changed? The answer is “No”! We’ve seen innumerable instances post independence wherein political parties play games and try grabbing power!

In the current day, how many times are we seeing elections being held in a “free” and a “fair” manner? If we’ve to consider the current setup of our Indian Constitution, it says clearly that elections should be held in a transparent way without the involvement of cash or any kind of bribery. But what is happening today? How many instances do we see wherein there are issues of “fake votes”, “Cash for votes”, etc.? Aren’t these suitable illustrations of “dirty politics” being played just for the sake of “power”?

The situation becomes complicated if there is a “Hung House” wherein no party gets the majority to form a government. Of course the people’s mandate is a fractured one but what about the “horse-trading” that happens post the election results? If this situation keeps continuing, there would be one fine day wherein people would have to come together to the streets to revolt against these sorts of unethical practices being followed by political parties for their gain.

Moreover, how many instances are we seeing wherein corruption is at its peak? For instance, if there is an infrastructure project underway, how many “middlemen” mint money by taking bribes and commissions? Ultimately there are two things that happen: Firstly, the quality of the work done goes for a toss! Second, legitimate money of the taxpayers are looted like hell! Shouldn’t we as common people stand up and oppose it in a unified voice? This is exactly what Vidura explains to King Dhirdriraashtra – He says that if the king plays “dirty politics”, it is against the “Raaja-Dharma” and thereby people would revolt against the king and throw him out! Eventually, it is detrimental for the progress of the country!

Thus for today, let us introspect on this important aspect of effective administration. Those people who are in the field of politics and administration should be extremely careful while handling public money. Adequate care should be taken so as to refrain from unethical practices like bribery and unlawful usage of money. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 45 – An interesting “Mathematical Formula” for a righteous life!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed the last important attribute of a “Mooda”, wherein Vidura explains the ill effects of “Anger”. He says that “Anger” that is shown at the wrong time and the wrong place leads to disaster. Eventually we analysed this important attribute by explaining that it is always better to have our anger under check, given any situation in life. We saw a few instances wherein this attribute is extremely applicable to our modern day life and with that we came to an end of the various attributes of a “Mooda” as explained by Vidura.

In today’s episode we are going to commence the next important discussion wherein Vidura is going to explain some “Mathematics” for leading a righteous life. What is that mathematics? What are the numbers involved? Let us commence!

“Ekayaa dve vinishchithya threemschathur bhir vashe kuru!

Panchajithva vidithvaashat saptha hithvaa sukhee bhava!!”

Here Vidura explains an interesting “Mathematical Formula” for life – By employing one attribute, by being able to differentiate between two attributes, by identifying and understanding three different types of people, with the ability to control these people by four different methodologies, by establishing complete control over five different things, by understanding  six important characteristics, and by cutting down on seven different wrongdoings, one can lead a peaceful life according to the “Dharma”!

What a sequence is this! Isn’t this looking like a mathematical table? We can see numbers from 1 to 7. If we look at the sloka with just an external meaning, we wouldn’t be able to understand it’s significance. We wouldn’t be able to understand the “mathematical formula”. We need to introspect more into it in a deeper sense. Today’s episode would be a bit lengthy because we would be able to understand the whole point only if we look at this at a stretch.

Let us understand the sloka phrase by phrase  – “Ekayaa dve vinishchithya” – Means, with the help of one, we need to understand two. Here, “Ekayaa” means “Brain” or “Buddhi”. We have only one “Buddhi” isn’t it? Hence, with this one “Buddhi” or “Brain”, we need to understand two important things – Which are those things that we need to focus on and which are those things that we need to eliminate. Until now, it’s easier for us to comprehend – We need to utilize our brain and knowledge in a proper way to follow the good attributes and eliminate the bad ones from our lives. This is what we call as “Viveka Buddhi”. This is nothing but our “Discriminating power”. Only human beings have got this unique ability. Thus we should use our discriminating power to differentiate between the good and the evil. Also when we’ve to look into Lord Krishna’s Bhagawath Gita, we should develop the capability to differentiate between “attachment” and “detachment” in our lives. This is what is called “Viveka” in Sanskrit.

Now let us go into the next phrase. We’ve spoken about the first two numbers – 1 & 2. Now number 3 – “Threemschathur bhir vashe kuru!!” It means, we need to look at three kinds of people and win their confidence by adopting four different ways or methodologies. Now who are these three kinds of people? The three are “Friend”, “Enemy” and the “Unknown”. As we all know, a “friend” is a person who is close to us and stands by us at all times. An “enemy” is a person who is against us and tries to bring us down at any time, given an opportunity. An “unknown” is a person who is neither a friend nor an enemy to us. For the moment, let us keep this “unknown” as an outsider, who is not involved in any of our affairs. Now Vidura says that these three categories of people should be captured with the help of four different methodologies. What are those four methodologies? “Saama”, “Dhaana”, “Bhedha” and “Dhanda”. As we might know these four methodologies, let me remind our viewers the brief meaning of the four. “Saama” means the ability to negotiate decently, friendly and peacefully with the other person. “Dhaana” means the ability to win over the other person with the help of wealth (Can be money or kind). “Bheda” means, the ability of a person to win over the other with the help of creating a havoc situation. In other words, we can equate “Bheda” to “blackmailing”. Finally “Dhanda” means the ability to win over another person with violent and punishing means. Thus Vidura explains here that the three categories of people can be captured or won over by adopting four different methodologies.

Thus so far we’ve seen 1, 2, 3 and 4 and let us summarize it for our readers’ understanding: Using our brain (Viveka) we need to differentiate between two things – “attachment” and “detachment”. When this is done, we need to understand three categories of people – friend, enemy and unknown. With the help of this understanding, we need to adopt four methodologies – Saama, Dhaana, Bheda and Dhanda to win the confidence of them.

Now moving on to the next number, 5, Vidura says, “Panchajithva” – What does this five signify here? This five is nothing but our five sensesEye, ear, nose, tongue and touch. Thus these five important senses of ours are the five things that we need to keep in control every time. Thus Vidura explains that the above-mentioned four methodologies should be employed with complete control of our five senses.

Now moving on to number 6 – “Vidithvaashat” is what Vidura has explained. Now what is this six signify here? “Sandhi”, Vigraham”, “Yaanam”, “Aasanam”, “Dvaidheebhaavam” and “Samaashrayam”. Thus Vidura explains that these are the six attributes that a person should be an expert at. “Sandhi” means “to join”. “Vigraham” means “to separate”. “Yaanam” means “to transfer from one place to the other”. “Aasanam” means “to sit and settle at one place”. “Dvaidheebhaavam” means “the ability to discriminate within our mind” and “Samaasrayam” means “to unite together”. Thus these are six different attributes a person should be an expert with. The significance of these six attributes is that, with these abilities a person can clearly understand different types of people in this world  – Who is that person who tries to support him for his welfare, who is that person trying to pull him down, opportunists, politicians, etc.

Thus moving on further, we’re going to see the last number – 7. Vidura says “Saptha hithvaa sukhee bhava!!” What are those seven attributes that we need to delete off from ourselves to lead a happy life? The first one is “Sthree”, which means woman. A person should ensure that he should not insult a woman by any means. In other words, he should know to respect a woman. The next one is “Dyuutham”. This means, “Gambling”. Here is exactly where Duryodhana and his brothers have got caught isn’t it? We should realize that gambling is an evil and has the capability to pull a person down. Here is where Vidura again pokes King Dhirdriraashtra. It is to be remembered that the infamous gambling game in the Mahaabhaarata took place under the nose of King Dhirdriraashtra only. This is where all the problems started to escalate beyond repair. The third one is “Mrigaya”. This means, having excessive interest and addiction towards hunting and killing. The fourth one is “Madhya” which means that a person is obsessive with alcoholic drinks. The fifth one is where a person tries to abuse others with words. The sixth one is where a person is only interested in punishing others even for small mistakes and faults. Finally the seventh one is where a person has an unwanted desire of abducting the wealth of others! Thus Vidura explains that in order to lead a peaceful and a righteous life, we need to make sure that we do not get into any of the seven above-explained attributes.

Thus we’ve seen a very interesting mathematical formula today with numbers starting from 1 to 7. Hence for today let us try and introspect these numbers and formula, which to follow and which to avoid! We shall wait till the next episode to find out more! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode #44 – Why should we “control” our anger??? Vidura’s “eye-opener” message!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed two important attributes of a “Mooda” as explained by Vidura. The first one was fairly straightforward and needed no much explanation, wherein Vidura explans that a “Mooda” is a person who unwantedly “pokes” his/her nose into other people’s lives and gossips about it. This is one phenomenon that we regularly see every passing day and we should take care to avoid such things in our day-to-day lives. The second attribute was another major one wherein Vidura explains that a “Mooda” is a person who only keeps seeing the faults done by others and not those done by him or her. In other words, instead of correcting our own mistakes, a “Mooda” keeps pinpointing only at the mistakes of others. This is also one phenomenon and a menace in today’s society. How much of time do we waste in all these kinds of activities? Thus the message from these two attributes is that we should develop a “don’t care” attitude towards whatever others do and say. We should remember that thousand people would do and say thousand things and it is not necessary that we give into each and every person around us. We have our own individuality and we should stick to that, analyze ourselves, rectify our faults and move on.

Thus moving on further, in today’s episode let us look into the next attribute of a “Mooda” as explained by Vidura.

“Yasya krubhyath thaneeshaanaha sa cha moodamatho naraha!”

 Here Vidura explains that a person is considered to be a “Mooda” if he gets angry despite knowing the fact that he is incapable.

Now who is an “incapable” person? A person is considered to be incapable if he/she lacks strength (“Shakthi”) – The strength might be either or both physical and mental strength. For instance if people like us (who are relatively weak in physical strength) have to get angry on a person who is a kick boxer, what would happen? That kick boxer would kick us out of this world forever! 🙂 Thus we should understand that we should exhibit our anger only at places where it is extremely necessary and can create an impact. Rather, if we’ve to exhibit our anger at the wrong place and towards the wrong person, we need to be ready to get beaten up and kicked right royally! 🙂

How relevant is this phenomenon to the modern day scenario too! We describe “Anger” as “Krodha”, which is one of the important characteristics of a human being. Why do we get angry? We get angry when our expectations doesn’t get fulfilled and when somebody acts as a “stumbling block” and prevent us from achieving what we desire. This definition can hold good for any situation in life – Be it at home, office, career growth, etc.

Why do many of us get frustrated and stressed a lot with our professional lives? When we enter into an organization, we enter inside with extremely high expectations of an excellent career prospect. However as days, months, years pass by, gradually we would begin to realize that this organization and this particular job is not leading us anywhere! Eventually, we start to crib that this job and this organization doesn’t have any future for us! Thus, over a period of time we pick up a fight with our immediate boss and it ends up in a fierce war of words. Naturally as a consequence, our boss would escalate our concerns in the wrong way to the top management and finally our reputation gets spoilt and our image gets tarnished! 

 This is exactly where Vidura explains to us that a person is a “Mooda” when he shows his anger at the wrong place and when he is incapable. In this context, incapability is a situation wherein we do not have the designated power or authority to make an impact in the organization, and knowing this very well we still get frustrated and get into unwanted quarrels and war of words. Thus, care should be taken in a way that such things should be avoided in the organization. We should realize that at the end of the day, our reputation is at stake. There is hectic competition outside – We should first try to make our position strong and sustainable before we take on others. Else if we are thrown out of the organization, it is extremely difficult to get another job, given the challenges faced in the current day job market.

Thus we see here that Vidura’s important explanation on “Anger” is extremely applicable in our day-to-day life and we should take this as an eye-opener to introspect within ourselves.

With this, we come to the end of the various characteristics of a “Mooda” as explained by Vidura. In the next episode we are going to commence another interesting discussion wherein Vidura is going to explain some simple but extremely important “Mathematics” for life. What is that? Let’s stay tuned eagerly till tomorrow to find out! 🙂

Episode # 43 – “Unwanted gossiping” – A menace in the modern day society!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important discussion as to why is the “Pithru-Shraadha” being performed. We witnessed that this special offering is done when our parents depart from this earth to Vaikunta (Heaven). As a son, this is our bound duty to perform all the rituals included in the “Pithru-Shraadha” and is mandatory. Thus Vidura explains here that a person who fails to perform this important “Pithru-Shraadha” for his departed parents is a “Mooda”.

In the western world too, we can see the prominence of this kind – We have something called “Mother’s day”, “Father’s day”, etc. isn’t it? Why is it so? It is on this day that we remember the innumerable sacrifices made by our parents to bring us up in life. This is exactly what is prescribed in our “Sanaathana Dharma” as well – The only difference here is the format in which the day is remembered. Our “Sanaathana Dharma” lays emphasis on the day and the time at which our parents (both mother and father) depart to Vaikunta (Heaven) and it is on this day every year we need to specially remember them with our “Pithru-Shraadha”. Hence the message here is that, we should never miss out on these important duties of a human being born in this earth. Through this message, we can also witness the importance that our “Sanaathana Dharma” gives to our parents. In our Bhaarata Desha (India), many of us have the practice of prostrating and worshipping our parents every day before going out to work. This is an extremely noble practice that we have and this signifies the amount of respect one should have for his/her parents. Thus, a “Mooda” is a person who does not realize all this significance and fails in his duties towards parents.

Now moving on to the next important attribute of a “Mooda”, Vidura explains the following:

“Anaahoothaha pravishathi apprishtaha bahubhaashathe!!”

Here, Vidura explains that a person, who enters another person’s house when he/she is not invited, is a “Mooda”. This is a classic case of the modern day terminology of “intruding into others’ privacy”. This has become a big nuisance in our society nowadays. It is an irony today that our neighbours know more of our personal matters that we discuss with our parents or spouse or children. This means that we’ve started to intrude so much into other people’s private space and are disturbing them in many ways. Such things are to be avoided. Thus Vidura explains here that the person who pokes his/her nose unwantedly into others’ matters, waste others’ time in unwanted gossips, going to others’ homes at a time when it is not desired, is a “Mooda”.

Now moving on to the next attribute, Vidura explains the following:

“Param kshipethi doshena varthamaanaha svayam tathaa!!”

 Here comes an extremely important attribute of a “Mooda”. Here Vidura explains that a person, who always looks into the fault of others, rather than looking into his or her own faults, is a “Mooda”!! How important is this attribute in today’s world! In fact, Yama-Dharma-Raaja claims that only three people in this world has the right to look into other’s mistakes and wrongdoings – One is Bhagawan Vishnu, second is Goddess Mahalakshmi (The Consortium of Bhagawan Vishnu) and finally, Yama-Dharma-Raaja himself, since he is appointed for this very purpose of looking into the sins of others. However in today’s world, except for these three people, all the others have developed the habit of looking into others’ wrongdoings and faults. 🙂

Some people have the habit of gossiping about someone or the other every passing day. If they do not do that, they wouldn’t get a peaceful sleep at night! Vidura says, such people fall under the “Mooda” category! 🙂 Thus the message from the above two attributes put together is that, we should take a conscious step forward so as to avoid unnecessary gossiping about others. In fact if we have to sit and plan our day-to-day work, we would be surprised that 24 hours in a day is not sufficient for us to complete all of them. In this situation, where is the time for us to talk about others? Hence, we should realize that by unwanted gossips, we are only wasting our precious time, which could be put to constructive usage otherwise.

Thus let us introspect on ourselves today based on this important message. Let us make a conscious effort to cut down on unwanted gossips and use that time for doing something productive. We shall wait till the next episode to discuss the next attribute of a Mooda. Stay tuned! 🙂