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Udyog Parv
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Udyog Parv

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Vidur Neeti (2)
[This page on Vidur Neeti is mostly based on Kamala Subramanyam's "Mahabharata" Udyog Parv, Chapter 7; otherwise on Mahabharata, Udyog Parv, Chapter 34-35 on Internet.]

Dhritraashtra asked Vidur - "What a person who cannot sleep should do? What is good for Yudhishthir and what is good for Kuru? What is in Yudhishthir's mind?"

Vidur said - "Even if unasked one should speak only truth, be it good or bad, hateful or pleasing. That is why I do not wish to tell what is good for Kuru I will say only what is both beneficial and consistent only with morality. O king, One must not grieve if any of his purpose is not succeeded. Before one engages in any act, one should consider the competence of the agent, the nature of the act, and its purpose. Not that one should take up any act just impulsively. He is wise who takes up or resists it considering his own ability, the nature of the act, and the consequences of the act. A king who does not know about his territory, gain, loss, treasury, population, punishment, cannot retain his kingdom for long.

As the stars are affected by planets, so this world is affected by senses when they are directed uncontrolled to their respective objects. He who controls  himself before controlling his counselors he becomes prosperous. One's body is chariot, his soul is the driver, senses are his horses. Drawn by the trained horses (controlled senses), this wise man goes through the journey of life pleasantly. While uncontrolled horses lead the unskilled driver to destruction. To control speech is said to be the most difficult thing. It is not easy to hold a long delightful conversation, in the same way bad speech hurts and causes evil. A cut tree may grow again but the heart wounded by bad speech can never recover. You are not able to see properly that your son's intellect has been clouded in consequence to hostility to Paandav. O king, Yudhishthir is the foremost of all your heirs, let him rule the kingdom. he has suffered a lot in your respect.

Dhritraashtra said - "Vidur, say all such things again. My thirst for such words is not quenched yet." Vidur said - "Oblation in all the holy places and kindness to all creatures are the same. Perhaps kindness to all surpasses the former one. In this reference there is a story of Virochan and Sudhanvaa. Both were the suitors for Keshinee. Thus, Hey Raajan, never speak a lie for land. This will destroy your everything.

Devtaa do not protect men, when they wish to protect them, they grant them intelligence. Ved never rescue a person living sinfully. They forsake him when he is lying on his death-bed. A palmist, a thief turned into a merchant, a fowler, a physician, an enemy, a friend, and a minstrel, these SEVEN are incompetent as witness. One that sets fire to dwelling house, one who gives poison, a pander, a vendor of Som juice, a maker of arrows, an astrologer, who injures friends, who cause abortion, violator of preceptor's bed, a Braahman addicted to drink, who has sharp speech, an atheist, who insults Ved, who takes bribery, who kills cattle secretly, who kills the person who has come for protection, they are all like Braahman killer.

Gold is tested by fire, a well-born person is judged by his manners, an honest man is tested by his conduct, and a brave man is tested by during the time of panic. A self-controlled man is tested in times of poverty, friends and foes are tested in times of calamity and danger. Sacrifice, study, asceticism, gift, truth, forgiveness, mercy and contentment constitute the eight different paths of righteousness. The first four of these may be practiced from motives of pride but the later four can exist only in truly great people.

There is no assembly where there is no old man and they are not old that doesn't declare what is morality. that is not morality which is separate from truth, and that is not truth which is full of fraud. A virtuous man reaps happiness, while sin repeatedly committed destroys intelligence, and whose intelligence is lost always turns towards sin. 

Do that during the day which may enable to pass the night in happiness; do that during the eight months of the year which may help you to pass rainy season happily; do that during the youth which may ensure you a happy old age; and do that during your whole life which may help you to live happily hereafter.

You have delegated your responsibility to Duryodhan, Shakuni, Karn and Dushaasan, how can you expect prosperity from them? Repose Paandav as you have treated your sons."

Vidur further said - "There is story in this reference, of Saadhya Devtaa and the son of Atri. Once the son of Atri was wandering in the guise of asking for charity for livelihood, he met Saadhya Devtaa who asked him - "You look loaded with learning and self-control, please impart some of it." The Muni said - "I have heard that by untying knots of the mind by observing indifference, and by mastery over all the passions one should regard everybody like his own self. One should not react for the pain others have given to you. Do not humiliate and insult others.

Never quarrel with friends. Avoid the company of those that are of little worth and low. Never be proud and like a common person in conduct. Never speak harsh and angry words to anybody.  Silence, it is said, is better than speech. But if you have to speak, you must. It is better to speak truth; if truth is to be spoken, it is better to speak that is agreeable; if what is agreeable is to be spoken, it is better to say what is consistent with morality. Whoever waits upon the kind of a person, like thief, saint, or ascetic soon becomes like him. A man becomes exactly like him with whom he lives, or he regards, or like that which he wishes to be."

Dhritrashtra asked _"Which are the families which are regarded high?" Vidur replied - "All high families regard and practice these SEVEN duly - asceticism, self-restraint, knowledge of Ved, sacrifice, pure marriages and gifts of food. Good manners and good conduct should be maintained with care, because as regards wealth, it comes and goes. Who are competent to bear the unbearable which an ordinary person cannot bear, come in high families.

He is no friend whose anger inspires fear, or who is to be waited upon with fear. He who can create confidence is a true friend. Men die and are reborn again and again. Repeatedly they wither and grow. Oftentimes they ask and are asked. Again and again they lament and are lamented. Happiness and misery, plenty and dearth, gain and loss, life and death are all shared by all in due order. But a self-controlled man neither should be happy, nor he should grieve for anything of this world. The six senses are always restless. One should control them according to its strength - like water in a pot through holes."

Dhritrashtra said - "Vidur, Yudhishthir has been deceived by me. He will surely kill my all sons in the battle. I am very anxious about, please tell me something which can subside it." Vidur said - "In nothing else than knowledge and asceticism, complete abandonment of greed, I see your good. Fear can only be dispelled by self-knowledge, learning is acquired by waiting upon the elders, and peace is gained by self-restraint.

Anger is a kind of bitter drink and it is painful in consequences. A wise man swallows it but not the fools. Excess of pride, excess in speech, excess in eating, anger, the desire for enjoyment, and intestinal disorders - these are six sharp swords which shorten the life. It is these which kill a person not, the death.

They that never derive pleasures in relatives, can never derive pleasure anywhere else. There is no other end except their destruction. As milk is possible in cattle, asceticism in Braahman, and inconsistency in women, so fear is possible from relatives. Without wealth, no good quality can be shown in a person, if you have good health, you can achieve your good, for he is like dead who is unhealthy and ill. Who are tortured by health do not desire for enjoyment, nor they derive any pleasure from wealth. After Draupadee was won at the dice game, I told you that you stop this cheating in play, stop Duryodhan, but you didn't listen to me.

That is not strength which is opposed to softness. Prosperity based on crookedness is destined to be destroyed. Let your sons admire Paandav, and Paandav your sons. Let them have common friends and enemies. The race of Kuru depends on you. Let not your enemies discover your holes. Make peace with Paandav.

One who never gets angry and who regards the pieces of mud, stone and gold as all of the same value, he stands alone from what is agreeable and disagreeable like a perfectly withdrawn person or Yogee. Intelligence, tranquility of mind, self-control, purity, absence of harsh speech and an unwillingness to do anything which displeases the friends - these seven help prosperity. Virtue is an everlasting; pleasure and pain are transitory.

Dhritraashtra said - "Tell me more about the soul. Tell me how can I meet the Eternal One with this body? Tell me what death is?" Vidur said - 


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 11/30/12