Episode 42: Vidura warns Dhritarashtra about death which is quickly approaching

A person who is passing by a street accidently hears God’s names ‘Krishna! Krishna! Govinda!’ and with this, he become pure.  It is his sheer luck. Likewise when Vidura bathed in the rivers and ponds, they acquired merit.

Yudhisthira continued, “Yadavas, who have Srikrishna as their Lord, are not only our friends but also our dear relatives. Did you by chance meet any of them? Have you at least heard about any of them? Are they living happily in their cities?”

In response to these questions, Vidura explained about his entire pilgrimage in detail as he had experienced. However he did not mention about the destruction of the entire Yadu lineage which had already been eliminated by then.

The ever compassionate Vidura, who could not see others grieving, did not disclose the news of this destruction of Yadu lineage, which was unbearable to ordinary folks and also because these destructions come by themselves automatically. In this infinite universe and among the infinite plays of that Supreme Lord, this destruction had come on its own accord. He did not disclose this news as the Yadu lineage was very dear to the Pandavas and they would be unable to withstand it.

When we meet our people after a very long period of time, it is incorrect to disclose sorrowful news immediately. Here after many years Vidura had returned home and his relatives were joyfully celebrating his return. At such a time it was incorrect to give them this unbearable news.

This act of Vidura cannot be equated to speaking falsehood. Protecting and ensuring the safety of these people was also his dharma. If the news of departed beings is told and in shock these people give up their life, then it is wrong, isn’t it? Such news should be gradually shared with them.

Yudhisthira considered Vidura at par with God and treated him in a befitting manner. Vidura stayed there for some time and preached the supreme essence (tattva) to his elder brother Dhritarashtra and thus caused his well-being. He continued to cause happiness to all of them there.

Cursed by Maharishi Manḍava, Lord Yama (Lord of death) had been born as Vidura. He was born a Shudra (lowest caste) and lived for 100 years. During that period, āryama was appointed as the Lord of death. Bound by dharma, āryama righteously completed his task of punishing the wicked.

Vidura has a very special place in Mahabharata. Vidura Neeti is a very sacred scripture in Mahabharata. Even greatest scholars worship this sacred text and place it on their head in reverence. Even though by birth Vidura was born in the lowest caste, this text is of immense greatness.

It is knowledge that gives value to a human being, not the caste into which he is born! This is our ancient Indian doctrine! Always bear this in mind!

Whosoever he may be, if he is teaching something valuable or sharing some good knowledge, if he brings about the positive realization in others, if he persuades others to perform meritorious good deeds, he is to be respected! When we are listening to a lesson through the mike, all that matters to us is that the lesson should be audible and we should get the message. Why should we bother about the manufacturing brand of the mike? Likewise to us all those who teach us valuable lessons are devotees of that Supreme Lord Krishna.

Yudhisthira, in addition to raising his grandson the heir-apparent Parikshit, ruled the country wisely together with his younger brothers, who were like guardians of the world. He enjoyed the kingly luxuries and lived happily.

In this way totally involved in administrative matters, palatial luxuries and wealth, the Pandavas lost track of time. Their longevity was coming to an end. Death, which is absolutely unconquerable, neared them.

Every being has to meet death. This is the final maha-prasada that Paramātma gives us. We should not fear death. But yet, with the fear that death will overtake us someday, it is said that we should try to realize Godhead. On the other hand, without worrying about death if a person joyfully and eagerly strives to learn about God, then definitely he will attain the supreme knowledge!

If a person is worried about the impending death and therefore hurries to attain this knowledge, of what use is it? It is nothing but another disguise the mind takes, that’s all. Apart from that there is no benefit. The intellect would have undergone some transformation, but the mind situated deep within would not have been transformed. “I will complete all my charitable activities quickly as it is time for me to depart”. Of what use is this? It is said that during every act of charity, the person should participate whole-heartedly. 

It is said that death is an unimaginably huge well into which every being inevitably falls! There is no escape. Neither can we swim nor can we jump across it. When the time arrives, it simply strikes. Without fearing death, it is important to engage the mind in the service of the Lord.

Death approached even these mighty Pandavas. Vidura, who could foresee this, said to Dhritarashtra, “O great king! Realize that death is arriving to overpower you. Quickly try to get out of this trap called worldly bondages and seek vanaprasta”.

Dispassion (vairagya) should be acquired when the person has the total knowledge (jnana) about it! Of what use is that dispassion which comes when there is half baked knowledge? Trying to acquire dispassion during extreme old age serves no purpose. When the person is healthy and alert he should attain dispassion. Even before death strikes he should perform charitable deeds. This is one way to learn about God! 

“Hence leave for the forest immediately. Give away everything you possess and be detached. Either leave it for your grandchildren or give it away to those who have abided by you. Give away your wealth for the welfare of the world. Be quick. No being in this world can escape death. There is no means for any escape. Such death is now nearing us” warned Vidura to Dhritarashtra.

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