Life Essentials from Mahabharata

The  world is searching for a perfect book, a book that contains all you  need to know. May be the key to this search lies in the pages of the  Mahabharata. Vyasdev pompously states the glory of this great text by  saying - what  you will find here you may find elsewhere, but what you don’t find  here, you will never find anywhere.  Mahabharata is called an itihasa or history. Indeed, being the history of a great country like India,  it teaches us life lessons; what one should and one shouldn’t  emulate.

When  ambition crosses the fine line of ethics, it metamorphoses into  greed. Gita says, ichha  dvesha samuthena dvandva mohena bharata; when  desire and hatred combine in one person it amalgamates into envy. The  envy of Duryodhana resulted in not just his inability to celebrate  the Pandava’s success but in his desire to bask in their failure  and humiliation. And instead of being a vigilant parent,  Dhritarashtra chose to remain a blind one; not just in physical  vision but also in moral vision.  

Handling  one’s success with balance and celebrating others’ success with  dignity is possible only when there is an inner strength of humility. Therefore  the Vedic aphorism says, vijayi  vinayi bhava; may  you be victorious but remain humble. Humility is born out of  dependence. The Pandavas epitome humility when at the peak of their  success (during the rajasuya  yajna),  they decided to give all the credit to the one who was their eternal  guide, Krsna. When one is ready to set aside the ego and hear with  the desire to follow, knowledge transforms to wisdom.

Wisdom  is the magic pill that helps you handle reversals positively.  By digesting this magic pill, Arjuna was able to convert a  humiliating curse of becoming a eunuch into a blessing, by using it  during his one year of incognito exile.

Depending  on the type of person you are, you attract similar people into your  life. The unhealthy competition in the Kuru dynasty reached its peak when  Gandhari became envious of Kunti who had given birth to Yudhistir  first. In a fit of rage, she pounded her womb that resulted in birth  of Duryodhana’s envy. On the other hand, Kunti prayed for a child  that would personify dharma and she attracted Yudhistir into her life. Yudhistir could only see  good in everyone and defects in himself. This is the mindset needed  for personal growth. Duryodhan on the other hand could only see bad  in others and good in himself. The ‘fly’ mentality is to always  seek out dirt and rummage through it and the ‘bee’ mentality is  to seek out nectar even in a heap of garbage. Who you are determines  what you see, how you see others and how you see life itself.

Good  attitude does not guarantee success, but bad attitude definitely  guarantees failure. The  difference between the Pandavas and Kauravas was not variety of  skill, not magnitude of strength, not sharpness of intelligence, not  lack of practice, but it was the attitude towards life and people.  Mahabharata was not a war of militaries, but a war of attitudes.

Gita  ends by saying yatra  yogeshwara Krsna yatra partho dhanurdharah tatra sri vijayo bhutir  dhruva nitir matir mama, which  means wherever there is the combination of Krsna and Arjuna, there is  surely opulence, victory, power and morality. In other words, when we  employ our skills and talents with a humble attitude for the highest  welfare of humanity, then divine help and empowerment will naturally  follow that will ensure permanent success and happiness.

This  article is written by Motivational Speaker and Spiritual Lifestyle  Coach Shubha Vilas. He is author of Ramayana  - The Game of Life (Book 1).  Shubha Vilas conducts corporate training programs on Relationship  Management, Work Life Balance, etc for leading companies like Aditya  Birla, HUL, Edelweiss, IOCL, MTNL, Blue Cross Laboratories etc.

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