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Vidur Jee

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Mahaatmaa Vidur

Vidur Jee is a Mahaabhaarat character. Who was Vidur? How he was born? To know this read Satyavatee and Shaantanu and Satyavatee and Vyaas before reading further about Vidur here. He was married to the daughter of King Devak. She was born from his Shoodra wife. Vidur begot many children from her like himself.

Somewhere her name is given as Vedvatee and at another place it is given Sulabhaa.

Who Was Vidur?
According to Bhaagvat Puraan Vidur Jee was the Avataar (incarnation) of Dharm Raaj. Once there was a great Rishi Maandavya. Some servants of a Raajaa caught some thieves at Maandavya Rishi's Aashram. So they caught him also along with them thinking that he was also one of them. By the order of Raajaa all were ordered to be killed. But when Raajaa came to know about Rishi Maandavya that he was a Rishi, he called him back and asked for his forgiveness.

When Maandavya Rishi was taken to Narak (Hell), he asked Yam Raaj, "Why did I get this punishment? What sin did I commit?" Yam Raaj said - "You pierced a Tiddee (locust) with a Kush grass blade in your childhood, that is why it happened like that." Rishi said - "But that must have happened in ignorance. You gave me such a serious punishment for that small mistake? I give you Shaap that you should be born on Prithvi in Shoodra Yoni for 100 years for three lives." So Dharm Raaj was born as the Dome in Harishchandra times, and then as Vidur Jee and he lived for 100 years. Thus Vidur Jee was also living the life of a curse along with Bheeshm, Gangaa, and Shaantanu by being born to a maidservant.

He always helped Paandav, taught justice to Dhritraashtra and was faithful to Hastinaapur, so faithful that when Dhritraashtra didn't listen to him at all, he resigned from his position and went away. His ethics is known to everybody as Vidur-Neeti. As he was Dharm Raaj himself, how could he commit any mistake? It is said that when most men were killed in Mahaabhaarat war, and their widows remained alone, they took them to near Gangaa River and rehabilitated them there. That place has been developed as Vidur Kutee, in the vicinity of Bijnor, in UP.

According to Padm Puraan, 2/2, Dharm Raaj was born in three places - (1) that Dome who employed Raajaa Harishchandra as the caretaker of the Shamashaan Bhoomi (cremation ground) born in Shoodra family; (2) As Vidur as a maid's son; and (3) as a King as Yudhishthir. This seems more true, because I don't think that Vidur lived for 100 years, I think he lived more than that. See also   " Yudhishthir - Incarnation of Dharm Raaj"

Sumanaa said - "Atri and Anusooyaa's son Dattaatreya had seen Dharm. Both Durvaasaa and Dattaatreya did Tapasyaa and behaved according to Dharm. They did Tapasyaa for 10,000 years without eating anything but drinking only air. Then they did Panchaagni Tapasyaa for another 10,000 years. Then they stood inside water for another 10,000 years. Both became very weak, Durvaasaa got very angry at Dharm, so Dharm appeared before him. Brahmcharya and Tap also came in person along with Dharm; and many others also came along with him.

He said to Durvaasaa - "Hey Braahman, Why did you get angry in spite of being a Tapaswee? Anger destroys man's both grace and Tapasyaa, therefore one should abandon this anger at least at the time of Tapasyaa." Durvaasaa asked - "Who are you and who are all these people along with you?" Dharm said - "They are Brahmcharya, Satya, Tap, Dam (control on Indriyaan), Niyam (discipline), Shauch (cleanliness) etc etc. I am Dharm, please be calm and protect me. Why are you so angry?" Durvaasaa said - "I can see that I have done Tapasyaa with all discipline but you are not pleased with me, that is why I am angry at you. I give you three Shaap - Dharm Raaj, you become a king and a maid's son and be born in Chaandaal caste." Thus after giving these three Shaap, Durvaasaa went away. Because of these three Shaap, Dharm Raaj incarnated as king Yudhishthir in Bharat family; when he was born as a maid's son, he was known as Vidur; and when Vishwaamitra afflicted king Harishchandra, he was born as Chaandaal to give him a job."

Vidur in Hastinaapur
He became the Chief Minister of Paandu when Paandu was appointed as the King of Hastinaapur. Later when Paandu died, he maintained his position with Dhritraashtra also. He was very good in ethics and behavioral sciences. He always gave good advice to Raajaa. Even great people like Bheeshm Pitaamaha also consulted him on complex questions. He found that Dhritraashtra and Kaurav children did not follow ethical values, while Paandav always behaved religiously, politely and ethically. Dhritraashtra and Duryodhan always treated Paandav with a bias. This was just unacceptable to Vidur, so he used to help Paandav. 

When the time came to declare the Crown Prince, Dhritraashtra wanted to crown his son Duryodhan as the Crown Prince, then only he found the way to declare Yudhishthir as Crown Prince between Duryodhan and Yudhishthir. So Yudhishthir was declared the Crown Prince.

There used to be a Baaranaavat fair in which the Crown prince used to go, but for several years, since there was no Crown Prince only Dhritraashtra had been going there. But since now Hastinaapur had a Crown Prince, Vidur suggested that Yudhishthir should go there. Duryodhan, with the good advice of Shakuni got a chance to burn all Paandav along with their mother Kuntee there. So Duryodhan made a scheme to burn all Paandav along with Kuntee in Baaranaavat Laakshaa Grih, because he was extremely jealous with Yudhishthir. It was Vidur only who kept vigilance over all the activities going on there, warned them for that, and guided and helped them to escape from there. Not only that, he advised them to hide in Van for some time to see the reaction of Dhritraashtra and Duryodhan. He found it as he expected. They were happy with the news of their death. But Draupadee's Swayamvar opened all secrets. Then Dhritraashtra had to call them back to Hastinaapur upon the advice of Vidur.

But Duryodhan could not tolerate their living in the same palace where he was living - in Hastinaapur. He forced Dhritraashtra to divide the kingdom and Paandav left for Khaandav Van which was given to them as their share of kingdom. Any how they made it habitable as Indraprasth and did Raajsooya Yagya in which Yudhishthir invited all his family from Hastinaapur also. Duryodhan was made in-charge of treasury. He was very jealous seeing the wealth of Yudhishthir. Not only this, he was jealous to see their glorious palaces and royal court (built by Maya Daanav) too. Unfortunately he was insulted by Paandav ecept Yudhishthir (see Yudhishthir's Raajsooya Yagya) also. So after returning from there to Hastinaapur, he made the plan to take revenge of all that. He forced Dhritraashtra to send Vidur to Indraprasth to invite Paandav to play Chausar (Dice game). Vidur knew his tactics but since it was Raajaa's orders, he had to go there to invite Yudhishthir for Dice game. Although he tried to explain Paandav not to go to Hastinaapur but Yudhishthir could not have done so.

When Paandav lost the second game of Chausar, and they had to go Van for 13 years, Kuntee stayed with him only. In later years he always gave good and just advice to Dhritraashtra but he never listened to him. Once he could not tolerate the injustice and resigned from the position. But he had to join again.

When Krishn came as the peace messenger from Yudhishthir, He didn't eat anything at Kaurav's place. He went to Vidur Jee's place only to eat his leafy vegetable leaving the tasty rich food of Kaurav family.

He left Hastinaapur before war took place and came back when the war was over (Balaraam also did the same). He stayed with Yudhishtir for a few years after he won the war and became the King. In the last, when Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree were living with Yudhishthir, he advised them to leave that place. At that time first time in life Dhritraashtra agreed with him and left Hastinaapur and went to Van. When next day morning Yudhishthir went to greet him before going to his court, his Great uncle and aunt were not there. He became very sad thinking that they had gone because he could not take care of them properly. Then Vidur Jee told him everything about them that he need not to worry about them because they will be going to Heaven in due course of time.

Vidur Jee died before Dhritraashtra. Vyaas Jee himself said to Dhritraashtra that he was Dharm Raaj himself and was born only because of Rishi Maandavya's curse (MBH, G-7-Postwar/28), and at the command of Brahmaaa Jee, I produced him from Vichitraveerya. Dharm was Vidur and Vidur is Yudhishthir. Vidur has entered Yudhishthir's body.

According to MBH he entered Yudhishthir's body in the forest.

Vidur's Teachings
Although Vidur's teachings are scattered in the whole Mahaabhaarat, but one can find some in are collected in the Section XXXIII and onward up to Section XVI of the Udyog Parv - the 5th Book of Mahaabhaarat. It is just before the starting of the war. When Vyaas Jee came to Hastinaa Pur and suggested to give Divine sight to Dhritraashtra, Dhritraashtra clearly refused to listen to it, but when on 10th day Bheeshm had fallen and Sanjaya gave this news to Dhritraashtra, he asked him to narrate the account of war from the beginning.

During those 10 days Dhritraashtra talked to Vidur on various topics. That is where his teachings are written. He had started listening to the account of the war from the 10th day of the war.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 10/11/13