Vidura points out to Dritarashtra the dangers of envy. As a result of envy, we think those who are doing well, are being unduly rewarded, while we, who are more deserving, have not got our due in life.

But we do not even know ourselves. How then can we know others, their limitations and their strong points? Self analysis and self realization alone will help us see our faults. Qualities such as envy are fed by the advice of those around us. We should keep the company of virtuous people. If a white cloth is dipped in a dye, it takes on the colour of the dye.

So also, a man who keeps the company of the wicked, in course of time, acquires all their negative traits and begins to resemble them in his behaviour.

Therefore it follows that one should seek out those who have satvik qualities, for in the houses of such people, one is assured of water to quench one’s thirst, food to satisfy the pangs of hunger, comforting words, and a place to rest, explained Kidambi Narayanan.

Dritarashtra then asks Vidura what is that one quality, which if we have, everything worth possessing will desert us. Vidura says that arrogance is the quality which will result in everything deserting us. If we have spent our day sensibly, then our nights will be peaceful. Otherwise, sleep will desert us. Happiness in old age comes from sagacity in youth.

Honesty is the best policy. But when the truth can hurt a person, it is better not to speak the truth, says Vidura. If the truth has to be told, it should be told in such a way that it does not hurt the listener.

Dritarashtra is unhappy and distressed when he sends for Vidura. But Vidura tells him that there is no point in being sad about anything. Will sadness bring back something we have lost? Will it put an end to our troubles?

Vidura offers a further piece of advice to Dritarashtra, namely, that we should not praise a person, because everyone around us does so. Hero worship must be shunned. There is only one hero, and that is God. He can make a zero a hero, or a hero a zero. That being the case, why should we praise a mere mortal, whose destiny is decided by God?

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