Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 5-Pre-War
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Vidur Neeti (3)
[These pages on Vidur Neeti are mostly based on Kamala Subramanyam's "Mahabharata" Udyog Parv, Chapter 7, or otherwise from Mahabharata, Udyog Parv Chapter 36-38.]
Vidur said - "Manu has spoken about 17 types of persons who hits empty space with their fists, or try to bend the rainbow in the sky, or to catch the rays of the Sun. They are (1) to attempt to control the people who are uncontrollable, (2) he who is contented with small gains, (3) who pays court to enemies, (4) who attempts to control frailty of women, (5) he who asks gifts from whom he should never ask, (6) who boasts just for anything, (7) he who is born in high family doing improper actions, (8) a weak doing hostilities with a powerful man, (9) who talks to a person who listens mockingly, (10) he who desires for any attainable thing, (11) a father-in-law looking at his daughter-in-law with lust, (12) he who boasts at his alarms dispelled by his daughter-in-law, (13) who scatters his own seeds in another's field, (14) who speaks ill of his own wife, (15) who does not remember receiving something from others, (16) who has given something in words in holy places, (17) who tries to prove the false as true. All these persons go to Hell.
One may behave deceitfully with him who behaves deceitfully, but must behave in an honest way, with an honest person. Old age kills beauty, practice of virtue, hope, death, life, worldly enjoyment, lust, modesty, companionship with the wicked, good behavior, anger, prosperity and pride, everything.
Dhritraashtra asked - "The man has been assigned the age of 100 years then why everybody doesn't attain the same?" Vidur said - "Excess of pride, speech, and eating; anger, desire of enjoyment, and intestine disorders - these are the six sharp swords which cut off the period of life of the creatures. It is these which kill not the death.
For the sake of a family a member can be sacrificed; for the village a family can be sacrificed, for the country a city can be sacrificed, and for one's soul the whole earth can be sacrificed. From the very olden times, it has been seen that gambling provokes quarrels. Therefore one should not opt for it even in jest. I told you at the time of dice game that it was not proper but you did not listen to me, because you wanted to destroy Paandav. You are protecting jackals instead of lions. A servant should have these EIGHT qualities - absence of pride, ability, absence of procrastination, kindness, cleanliness, incorruptibility, birth in a family free from disease, and weight in his speech.
No man should enter enemy's house after dusk even with notice, one should not wander around else's yard in the night, no one should try for a woman whom a king may like to have, never contradict the decision of that person who has the habit of consulting anybody whom he meets. Never tell him "I don't believe you", rather give him your own reasons to disagree with him. One should not lend to or borrow money from a king who is too merciful, a woman of loose character, the servant of a king, a son, a brother, a widow whose son is serving in the army, one who has suffered great losses,
One should never give shelter to these in his house - one who always behaves improperly, one who eats too much, or cruel, or ignorant of proprieties of time and place, and who dresses inappropriately. A person, however distress he is in, should never ask money from a miser, or one that speaks ill of others, or one who is unacquainted with Shaastra, or lives in forests, or one ho does not respect worthy of respect. After getting sons, bringing them properly and marrying them to worthy girls, one should retire to woods and desire to live as a Muni. See what did you do with Paandav? First they are your sons, secondly are living in continued anxiety, thirdly the loss of fame, lastly the enemies are happy.
Men are said to have five different kinds of strength. Of these the strength of arms is considered to be the most inferior kind. The acquisition of good counselors comes the second; the acquisition of wealth is the third one; the strength of birth (which comes naturally) comes the fourth one; and by which all these kinds of strength are won is the strength of intellect. There are no physicians, no medicines for a man who is struck by the arrow of wisdom. In such case, neither the Mantra of Hom, nor auspicious ceremonies, nor the Mantra of Atharv Ved are of any use. Fire lives in wood but never consumes it until it is ignited by others. The same very fire, when ignited or brought out by friction, consumes not only that wood, but also the entire forest and many other things."
Vidur further said - "When an old man comes to a young man's house, he naturally greets him, washes his feet, and asks his usual welfare. Then he speaks of his own affair and offers him food. A man lives in vain in whose house a Braahman doesn't accept honey, yogurt and water. A physician, a maker of arrows, one who has given up the vow of Brahmcharya, a thief, a crooked-minded man, a Braahman that drinks, one that causes miscarriage, one who lives by serving in the army, one who sells Ved, however undeserving he may be, when arrived as a guest must be offered water to drink.
One should regard one's wives and speak to them softly, but should never be their slave. Only those wives are worthy of worship who are highly blessed and virtuous. One may assign th care of his inner apartments to his father, kitchen to his mother, cattle to his best friend, but he should see his agriculture himself. One should look after Vaishya guests through his servants and Braahman through his sons.
Fire has its origin in water, Kshatriya in Braahman, and iron in stone. The energy of those (fire, Kshatriya and iron) can affect all things, but is neutralized as soon as they come to contact with their progenitors. One should never let anyone know of what you intend to do in respect of desire, virtue and profit until it is done. He whose acts are always applauded, brings the whole earth under him. They sink helplessly who have a child, or a woman or a deceitful person as their guide.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 12/04/10