Thursday, 5 August 2010

Introduction -2 : English


WHO IS VIDHURA ?


Vidhura was half-brother to Dhritarashtra and Pandu. He was a son of a maid-servant who served the queens of Hastinapura, Ambika and Ambalika. In some accounts, he was an incarnation of Yama or Dharma Raja, who was cursed by the sage, Mandavya, for imposing punishment on him that exceed the sin.


Both queens were married to King Vichitravirya of Hastinapur, who died childless. Vichitravirya's mother Satyavati was anxious to ensure that the royal line was carried on. She called upon her other son Vyasa, to go to the beds of the two queens to father children. Vyasa was a hermit, and came to the palace, unkempt as he was. He went to Ambika who closed her eyes when she saw him, and to Ambalika who became pale. Hence the children they bore were blind and weak.


When Satyavati asked Vyasa to go to Ambika's bed again, to ensure that there would be children, she placed her maid-servant instead in her bed. The maid-servant was not frightened. Hence her son was not born flawed like his half-brothers. Thus, Vidura was born who was raised as brother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu.


With his half-brothers he was raised and educated by Bhishma, whom they called father.
As he had no royal blood, he was never considered for, or had any chance of obtaining the throne of the kingdom. He served his brothers as a minister.


After Krishna, he was the most trusted advisor to the Pandavas and had warned them repeatedly about Duryodhana's plots. In particular, he warned the Pandavas from Duryodhana's plan to burn them alive in a house of wax he had made for them. He was known for speaking the truth and for his intelligence.


Vidhura is famous also for being a true devotee of Lord Krishna. When the latter visited Hastinapura as a peace missary of the Pandavas, he shunned Duryodhana's offer to stay in his stately guesthouse, instead choosing the humble dwellings of Vidhura.
In protest against the Mahabharata war, Vidhura resigned from the post of minister.


After the great battle, he helped Yudhishtira when he became ruler. Later, he accompanied Dhritarashtra, and his sisters-in-law Gandhari, and Kunti, when they left on their last journey to the forest. He died before his companions, on the banks of the Ganga.





WHAT IS THE GREATNESS OF VIDHURA ?

Vidura is known for his bhakthi for Krishna. Both he and his wife loved Krishna very deeply. He is one among the seven people in Mahabharat who knew Krishna as the lord of the universe. (When king Duryodhana offered Krishna a stay in his stately guest house, Krishna chose to be with Vidhura in his house. When he entered Vidhura’s house , Vidura was not there. Vidura’s wife seeing the lord standing at their door step, lost herself. She didn’t know what to do. She offered him a seat and treated him with bananas. In total ecstacy, she peeled the banana, gave the skin to Krishna and was throwing the fruit down. Anything offered by a devotee with love is always accepted by lord (9th chapter Gita, patram pushpam phalam thoyam) and our Krishna was happily eating the skin. When this was going on Vidura came in and saw the show. He looked at his wife and then only she realized what was happening. But Krishna didn’t even consider this as a mistake but blessed them)


Vidura always stood on the side of dharma. When the brother Drithrashtra was ready for a war in an adharmic way, and when Duryodhana insulted Vidura in the court, he took a strong decision of resigning the post of the minister and walked away.

WHAT IS NEETI ?

Neeti is civil code or teachings that are applicable to any place and to any period. The neethis are eternally valid, because they are in line with our scriptures, based on the three purusharthas of dharma, artha and kama (duty, wealth and virtue). There are many neetis given by the wise people…like manu neeti , vidura neeti.

WHY DO WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS ?
TO WHOM AND WHEN WAS THIS VIDURA NEETI GIVEN ?



Neethis are nothing but our dharma. If we know the rules, then all our doubts about our actions get cleared. Neethi is very much needed when we are confused as to what to do/how to act/where I have gone wrong/why – it is a measuring stick to measure our purity in the actions as well as our motives behind the actions.

It is not only for the king or the rulers. It is for every one of us who would like to follow the path of dharma. The conversation between the king dhrithrashtra and his minister vidura is the Vidura Neethi. The Vidura Neethi is from the “udyoga parva”(Chapter 32-40) of the Mahabharatha. This Vidura neethi was given by the minister Vidura to his brother Dhrithrashtra at the palace in Hastinapura. Vidura was far younger in years to Dhrithrashtra though riper in wisdom and it must have been easy for him to give the direct advise to the elder. (if our present day politicians and other rulers start following this rules, ours will be again rama rajyam).

Sanjaya was sent as a messenger to the Pandavas to know the stand of Yudhishtra. Sanjaya took the reply and came to Dhrithrashtra. He spoke to the king …”I was so happy to be in the atmosphere of peace and righteousness there. I do not like your behavior or your words. I had a most unpleasant job to do because of you. You are unrighteous. Your sons are sinners. You like to enjoy this earth in spite of all this. I gave your message to Yudhishtra and the reply will be given to you in the court tomorrow. As I am physically and mentally tired, please grant me leave to go”.

Sanjaya left the place. The mind of Dhrithrashtra was totally upset by the words of Sanjaya. He didn’t know what was the reply of Yudhishtra.

The whole body of the king Dhrithrashtra burned as if with fever. He tried to sleep but he could not. In despair he sent for his minister Vidura. Vidura was there within seconds to serve the king. The king told him the details of what Sanjaya spoke. The king was in a pitiable condition. He told vidura,” You are my friend. You have loved me with all my faults. You must console me and put me to sleep. I cannot sleep”. Vidura spoke in the consoling way and at the same time making the dharma very clear.

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