Mahabharatha deals with histories and stories of many types of people. It is said that message of the Vedas are explained through these Itihasas and Puranas. Mahabharatha, being an epic written by Veda Vyasa himself, contains numerous gems of vedic wisdom. Vedic message are not otherwordly, in the normal sense of the term. Vedic messages exhort people to do their Karma and live for 100 years. This blog is about traits of successful people as discussed in the epic.
In Shanthi Parva and Anushasanika Parva, we can see hundreds of questions by Yudhishtira and Bhishma answering each of them in detail- many of them is about duties and responsibilities of a Govt(ruler). Here you can read one such question which concerns all of us- how to be successful in life. Mere listing of qualities one person should have in order to become successful may be a boring read for some, and hence it is presented as a dialogue between Sri Krishna and Ugrasena. They are talking about Narada Maharshi and the secrets of his successful persona and popularity.
A man can be called successful if he is dear to all. He gladdens all. What are the qualities of such successful people, that was the query of Yudhishtira to Bhishma. Bhishma narrated a dialogue between Ugrasena and Sri Krishna on Narada. I will first put the verses and translation here for you to read..
O king! Narada is as learned in the scriptures as he is good and pious in his conduct. And yet, on account of his conduct, he never cherishes pride that makes one’s blood so hot. It is for this reason that he is worshipped everywhere. Discontent, wrath, levity, and fear, these do not exist in Narada. He is free from procrastination, and possessed of courage. For this he is worshipped everywhere. Narada deserves the respectful worship of all. He never falls back from his words through desire or cupidity. For this he is worshipped everywhere. He is fully conversant with the principles that lead to the knowledge of the soul, disposed to peace, possessed of great energy, and a master of his senses. He is free from guile, and truthful in speech. For this he is worshipped with respect everywhere. He is distinguished by energy, by fame, by intelligence, by knowledge, by humility, by birth, by penances, and by years. For these he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He is of good behaviour. He dresses and houses himself well. He eats pure food. He loves all. He is pure in body and mind. He is sweet-speeched. He is free from envy and malice. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He is certainly always employed in doing good to all people. No sin dwells in him. He never rejoices at other people’s misfortunes. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He always seeks to conquer all earthly desires by listening to Vedic recitations and attending to the Puranas. He is a great renouncer and he never disregards any one. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He casts an equal eye on all; and, therefore, he has no one whom he loves and none whom he hates. He always speaks what is agreeable to the hearer. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He is possessed of great learning in the scriptures. His conversation is varied and delightful. His knowledge and wisdom are great. He is free from cupidity. He is free also from deception. He is large-hearted. He has, conquered wrath and cupidity. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He has never quarrelled with any one for any subject connected with profit or pleasure. All faults have been torn away by him. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. His devotion (to Brahma) is firm. His soul is blameless. He is well-versed in the Srutis. He is free from cruelty. He is beyond the influence of delusion or faults. For this he is worshipped everywhere with respect. He is unattached to all such things as are objects of attachment (for others). For all that he seems to be attached to all things. He is never long subject to the influence of any doubt. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He has no yearning for objects connected with profit and pleasure. He never glorifies his own self. He is free from malice. He is mild in speech. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He observes the hearts, different from one another, of all men, without blaming any of them. He is well-versed in all matters connected with the origin of things. He never disregards or shows hatred for any kind of science. He lives according to his own standard of morality. He never suffers his time to pass away fruitlessly. His soul is under his control For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He has toiled in subjects that deserve the application of toil. He has earned knowledge and wisdom. He is never satiated with yoga. He is always attentive and ready for exertion. He is ever heedful. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He has never to feel shame for any deficiency of his. He is very attentive. He is always engaged by others in accomplishing what is for their good. He never divulges the secrets of others. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. He never yields to transports of joy on occasions of making even valuable acquisitions. He is never pained at losses. His understanding is firm and stable. His soul is unattached to all things. For this he is everywhere worshipped with respect. Who, indeed, is there that will not love him who is thus possessed of every merit and accomplishment, who is clever in all things, who is pure in body and mind, who is entirely auspicious, who is well-versed with the course of time and its opportuneness for particular acts, and who is well-acquainted with all agreeable things?'”
I have often wondered why we or why we are taught to look down as scriptures as something which is other wordly. The subjects discussed through out Mahabharatha and other scriptures are purely about this world we are living in. Here by expounding the character of Narada, Veda Vyasa through Bhishma tells the Arjunas of the present world that we need to imbibe such qualities which he has attributed to Narada. Let us discuss the qualities one by one..
Knowledge Vs Character
We could see many Duryodhanas and Ravanas around us even these days. Learned are not always possessed of good character. Duryodhana studied in the same Gurukul where Yudhishtira and others did, but his character was as bad as any ignorant fool. So was Ravana, he was more learned than Sri Rama- but was a tyrant. Knowledge is not related to ones character. But if a man possess both character and knowledge, he becomes successful and well accepted by the public
— to be continued.