Faith

Faith column | Always valid

A person who offers advice must have three qualities. He must not help us with the expectation of something in return. That is why avyaaja bandha — a connection with us, which does not arise for any particular reason — is necessary. The person who advises must do so without discriminating. For example, he must give his valuable advice, whether the seeker of help is an enemy or a friend. This is the quality of avisesha. He must have yet another quality — asesha. If he sees any wrongdoing, he must not be indifferent to it, but must at once point out that it is wrong. He must not restrict himself to helping only those who are dear to him.

It is hard to define dharma. What is dharma in one yuga is adharma in another. What is dharma in one place may be adharma in another. But Vidura’s upadesa to Dhritarashtra is valid at all times and in all geographies, said Kidambi Narayanan in a discourse. Vidura Niti is spread over eight chapters, with a total of 545 verses. Each chapter deals with a different subject and, by the end, we find that Vidura has covered the problems which we face in life, and has solutions for them too.

Vidura tells how to identify the educated and uneducated and describes the qualities of a good ruler. In the fourth chapter, he talks about the quality of tolerance. In the fifth chapter he talks about things we must do and what we must not do. Naturally, after having spoken so elaborately about dharmic ways of thinking and behaving, Vidura is anxious to know if Dhritarashtra has benefited. But all the advice has been wasted on Dhritarashtra, who says whatever is destined to happen will happen. Even after listening to Vidura, he is unwilling to treat the Pandavas in a dharmic manner.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:19:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/faith-column-always-valid/article31146520.ece

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