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Vidhura Needhi

Even when one is confronted with the worst trials and tribulations, he should not lose his balance. Patience is a virtue and the quality of endurance (kshama) is the hallmark of nobility. This is evidenced by Dharmaputra's absolute calmness and unperturbed outlook.

Sri Karpangadu Venkatachariar expounding the Mahabharata dealt with the ennobling advice given by Vidhura, a great counselor and an unparalleled statesman, to the blind king, Dhritarashtra, while explaining the impending consequences arising out of the enmity between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, Vidhura Needhi as it may be termed, brought out several valuable doctrines. For instance, Vidhura says that some are always intent on creating rift and conflict, reveling in sowing seeds of dissension or wounding others' sentiments. Friendship with such men should be shunned. Those endowed with wealth should help their kith and kin in want. They should however decide either to refuse to part with their one or render the aid, knowing full well that it will not be returned. There is no point in regretting or lamenting over the loss later.

Dharma Sastras, in which several codes are laid, are no doubt difficult to follow, but it will be wrong to discard them because of the hardship involved in putting them into practice. Words of wisdom dinned into the ears of those who refuse to listen and assimilate them, are like precious things lost in the ocean, which are irrecoverable. Dharma Sastras should be taught step by step. Since youth is the period when one is pulled on all sides by temptations, the restrictions on personal conduct are rigid. If there is no control over the Senses (Indriyas), the result will be unmitigated suffering. Lust, of any kind, should be controlled with grim determination through strict self-discipline. Even Devas are no exception and he instanced indra's overtures to Ahalya. Vidhura tells the king that Duryodana's acts against the Pandavas were unpardonable. Wealth accumulated by means other than fair, is bad. If the ill-gotten money is to be distributed with an eye on obtaining future benefits, it will be of no avail. The self-possessed, like Dharmaputra, should remain unruffled under all conditions, with his thoughts fixed on God.

June 16, 1964
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