Proper decision making is of the essence, before we act. We must be clear about our goals; we must anticipate what difficulties could lie in our path. Even if we cannot anticipate all of them, we must be quick enough to deal with them as and when they rise. Taking time to make up one’s mind is important. Confused goals will take us nowhere. Once having thought of how to go about something, we must not have second thoughts about our decision. Hanuman is an excellent example of one who had clear cut goals, said Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal, in a discourse. Searches to find Sita have failed. But finally hope comes in the form of Sampati, the brother of Jatayu, who knows where Sita is. Once Hanuman is armed with the information he needs, he sets off at once for Lanka. And once Hanuman decides to go to Lanka, nothing can stop him, not even offers of help from the Ocean or the mountain Mynaka. That is why Hanuman is successful in his mission.

In contrast to this is Yudishtra. In the Mahabharata, Yudishtra is challenged to a game of dice by Duryodhana and he accepts the challenge. This is a mistake on his part. Having accepted the challenge, he further agrees to Sakuni entering the game and agrees to play with Sakuni. Why should Yudishtra agree to play with Sakuni? He should have sensed a trap being laid for him. But he does not anticipate what his playing with Sakuni will result in. He could have argued that if Duryodhana’s uncle is going to play, then he too is entitled to bring Lord Krishna into the fray. Had he done this, things would have been different! Thus in our Itihasas we have examples of those who benefited from forethought and determination and those who suffered because of improper decision making.

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