Faith

Dharma and wisdom

In both the Ramayana and Mahabharata, we find adherence to dharma and we also come across people who violate the tenets of dharma, said Kidambi Narayanan in a discourse. Rama was the embodiment of dharma. When He is informed that He has to go to the forest, He willingly agrees, for He knows the importance of obedience to a parent. When Sita wants to accompany Him, He initially turns down Her request. He warns her of the dangers of forest life. But Sita cannot bear to be separated from Him. Kamban captures Her love for Rama, in a very emotional verse, where Sita asks Rama whether the hardships of forest life will be harsher than separation from Rama.

Sastras say that a man must not do something his wife disapproves of. Rama, therefore, does not insist that Sita must stay behind, but takes Her to the forest. Wise men know that it is Lord Narayana who is in control of our lives. They remain unmoved by disaster or good fortune. Vidura is a virtuous and wise man, and this is evident in his advice to Dhritharashtra. Vidura, after advising Dhritharashtra, says that Krishna’s plans will ultimately prevail. Such wisdom as Vidura’s is hard to find, for it is equally valid at all times.

But there is another character in the Mahabharata who sees God’s hand in everything. Krishna is preparing to meet the Kauravas as a messenger of the Pandavas. Yudhisthira is not keen on war. Arjuna wants war, and Bhima is aching to kill Duryodhana. Sahadeva is silent and does not offer an opinion. Krishna asks him what he wants. Sahadeva says, “If I say I want war, will it happen? If I say I do not want a war, will that happen? If there is a war, can we predict who will win? And if we win, can we predict whether we will be joyful? Only You, Krishna, can answer all these questions.”

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:04:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/dharma-and-wisdom/article31504823.ece

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