Vidura Nīti – Conversation between Dhrutharashtra and Vidura – Chapter 33 – Slokas 1 – 123

Vaishampayana uvācha, “Janamejaya! After the departure of Sanjaya, King Dhrutharashtra of great intelligence told the following to the dvārapalaka – “I wish to meet with Vidura. Bring him to me quickly.”


The messenger sent by Dhrutharashtra said the following to Vidura – “Mahāmate! Our Lord, King Dhrutharashtra wishes to meet you.”


After hearing the words of the messenger, Vidura went to the palace and said thus – “Dvārapal! Please convey my arrival to Dhrutharashtra.”


Dvāhastha uvācha, “O Great King! Vidura has arrived here on your command and wishes to have darshan of your feet. Please command me, what should I do?”


Dhrutharashtra uvācha, “Please escort the visionary and greatly intelligent Vidura inside. I never have any objection to meeting Vidura.”


Dvāhastha uvācha, “O respected Vidura! Please enter the inner quarters of the intelligent and mighty King Dhrutharashtra. The great King has said to me that he never has any objection to meeting Vidura.”


Vaishampayana uvācha, “O King! Thereafter Vidura entered the inner quarters of the palace of Dhrutharashtra and folded his hands in front of the king who was preoccupied and said thus –


Mahāprāgya! I am Vidura and am here on your command. If there is any work that I am worthy of doing, then I am present, please command me.”


Dhrutharashtra uvācha, “Hey Vidura! The intelligent Sanjaya had come and he criticized me relentlessly and went away. He will reveal Ajathashatru Yudhishtira’s message tomorrow in the sabha.


I have been unable to know the message of this Kuruveer Yudhishtira today and this is burning my body and this only kept me awake till this late hour.


O Wise One! I am burning in trepidation and am awake even till now. You tell me something that is in my interest because amongst the two of us, you are only accomplished in the knowledge of dharma and artha.


Since the time Sanjaya has returned after visiting the Pandavas, I am unable to be completely peaceful in my mind. All the indriyas are weakened. I am deeply troubled at this moment about what he will say tomorrow.”


Vidura uvācha, “O King! Sleep is elusive at night for one who is opposed to a mighty and strong person, a weak man bereft of resources and realization, a man from whom everything has been stolen, a greedy man and a thief.


O Great King! Have you also become associated with any of these terrible blunders? Are you troubled and anxious lusting after another’s wealth?”


Dhrutharashtra uvācha, “Hey Vidura! I want to hear your words that are endowed with dharma and which are beautiful and pleasing because in this Rajarshivamsha, you are the only one who is respected among the scholars.”


Vidura uvācha, “O Monarch Dhrutharashtra! King Yudhishtira is endowed with all the auspicious superlative traits and can become the lord of the three worlds. He was duteous to you but you sent him away to the forest.


In spite of being knowledgeable about Dharmātma and dharma, you have been unable to recognize as you are bereft of the light in your eyes and hence, you have become exceedingly against him and you did not assent to giving their portion of the kingdom.


There is absence of cruelty, compassion, dharmasatya and courage and heroism in Yudhishtira as well as reverence for you. It is because of these extraordinary attributes that he has quietly tolerated all these tribulations and grief without murmuring a word after much introspection.


How can you expect prosperity and glory when you have laid the burden of the kingdom on unworthy persons like Duryodhana, Shakuni, Karna and Dusshaasana?


The attributes of that man which is one’s genuine form of jnāna (knowledge), udyog (actions and duty) and capacity (strength) to tolerate sorrow and unhappiness, be true to dharma and not deviate from his pursuance of the object of life makes him a pandit.


The one who engages in doing good deeds and karma and stays far away from bad karma and is also a believer and devoted are the traits of him becoming a pandit.


A man whose pursuance of the object of life is not destroyed by these namely anger, excessively happy, pride, embarrassment, recalcitrance and thinking that he is worthy of being revered is also considered to be a pandit.


One who is unbothered and ignorant of the duty done, advice given and all matters done in the past for others but realize only when the work is over is also considered to be a pandit.


When cold-heat, fear-attachment and wealth-penury are not obstacles to one’s work, then he is also considered to be a pandit.


The one whose worldly intelligence is observing dharma and artha and the one who has given up worldly pleasures in pursuit of the object of his life is only considered to be a pandit.


An intelligent man of discrimination will desire to engage in actions and duty as per his strength and capability and do it as well and doesn’t neglect or disregard any object as trivial and unimportant.


A wise man will listen to any matter to a great length of time but grasps it quickly and upon understanding it remains disposed with his wisdom of actions and duty in the pursuance of the object of his life bereft of expectations and doesn’t say anything untoward or unnecessary about another’s matter. This behaviour is considered to be the primary trait of a pandit.


A man who possesses the intelligence and wisdom of a pandit does not seek a fragile and weak object and does not wish to grieve over an object lost and does not fear when in a crisis.


A man who commences upon an action after deciding about it previously, does not stop while engaging in that action, does not waste time and keeps his mind under control is only called a pandit.


BharatakulabhushanPandits will delight in engaging in auspicious and excellent karmas, will engage in progressive works as well and do not seek faults in those who are engaging in actions that are beneficial.


A man who does not get ecstatic when given respect, does not become distressed when disrespected, whose mind that is comparable to the large depths of the Ganga does not get disappointed is called a pandit.


A man who knows the reality of all the objects of this earthly world, who knows the appropriate manner to perform all actions and duties and who is progressive in coming up with solutions among men is known to be a pandit.


One whose speech does not stop anywhere, who speaks in a very strange manner, who is masterful in arguments and reasoning, who is brilliant, gifted and versatile and who can elaborate on the summary of the grantha quickly is only known to be a pandit.


One whose knowledge and wisdom is in pursuance of buddhi and buddhi is also in pursuance of knowledge and wisdom and one who does not disrespect polite and courteous people will only attain the title of pandit.


One who is proud even without being learned, one who desires for great things despite being penniless and one who wishes to accumulate wealth without doing any work are people who are considered to be foolish by the pandits.


One who abandons his own duty and does the duty and work of another and behaves in a dishonest and untrue manner with friends is called a fool.


The one who does not love the ones who love him and renunciates the ones who love him and who is antagonistic towards one who is stronger than him is called a man with foolish thinking.


The one who makes his enemies his friends and has antipathy towards friends and harms them and always commences bad actions is known to be of foolish mind and thinking.


Bharatashresth! The one who spreads his work unnecessarily, is always in doubt and delays even work that can be completed quickly is a fool.


The one who does not perform shraddh for the forefathers and ancestors and does not perform puja for the devathas and who does not get a well-disposed friend is called as a foolish man.


A foolish man like a lowly person will enter into a house without being invited, will talk out of turn and when not asked anything and will place his trust in a questionable man.


In spite of behaving in an inappropriate manner, the one who casts aspersions pointing the faults in others and meaninglessly becomes angry despite being incompetent is called a monumental fool.


The one who fails to understand his capabilities and is against dharma and artha without even engaging in actions and desires to obtain objects that are unworthy is known in the universe to be a moron.


Hey King! The one who gives upadesh to an ineligible and unworthy person and whose upasana is null and void and who seeks refuge in niggardliness is known to be a foolish man.


The one who attains wealth, knowledge and glory and does not move about in arrogance is called a pandit.


Is there a crueler person than the one who eats excellently prepared food without sharing with those who are in need of nourishment and wears beautiful clothes?


A man commits sin alone and accumulates wealth and that wealth is enjoyed by several people. The ones who enjoy that wealth are exempted from sin but their doer/agent becomes liable for the sin.


The arrow released by an archer will probably kill one or not. But the intelligence applied by an intelligent person can destroy not only the king but the entire kingdom.


From one buddhi arrives two namely kartvaya (duty) and akartavya (non-action) and from that four namely sāma (conciliatory), dāna (charity), bhēda (disparity) and danda (punishment) and these four become three namely shatru (enemy), mitra (friend) and udāsīna (stoic) which one should keep under control. Overcoming the panchaendriyas know the six gunas namely sandhi (accord/pact), vigraha (enmity), yāna (vehicle), āsana (seat/position), dvedhibhav (duality) and samāshrayarupa (concordance) and give up these seven vices of women, gambling, hunting, intoxication, passion and arrogance, harsh words, giving harsh punishments and wrongfully taking the wealth of others and be at peace.


Poison only kills the drinker, one by one are only killed by weapons but furtive advice/counsel becoming known will lead the kingdom and all its people as well as the king to destruction.


Do not eat delicious food alone, do not decide on a matter in an autocratic manner, do not travel on a path alone and do not be the only one awake when many people are sleeping.


Hey King! Similar to how a boat is the only means to cross the ocean, likewise satya is the only rung/stairs for the heavenly worlds but you are not able to understand this.


Forgiving men can be accused of only one fault and there is no possibility of another. That one fault is that people think a forgiving person is weak.


But one should not accept that fault in a forgiving man because forgiveness is the greatest power. Forgiveness is a virtue in weak persons and is an embellishment in strong/able persons.


Forgiveness in this world is mesmerizing. Tell me, what cannot be accomplished through forgiveness? What can an evil man do to one who holds the sword of peace?


A fire started in a place bereft of grass will die out on its own. A person lacking forgiveness will make himself as well another liable to blame.


Only dharma is the supreme factor/agent for benediction and only forgiveness is the ultimate solution for peace. There is only one vidya (knowledge) that bestows absolute satisfaction/contentment and only ahimsa (non-violence) bestows happiness.


There are only two types of lowly persons in all the extent of the ocean on earth namely an idle/lethargic householder and an ascetic who is heavily involved in karma.


Similar to how the beings residing in a burrow are swallowed by a snake, likewise a king who does not oppose an enemy who wants his kingdom and a brahman who does not serve anyone outside of his land are also swallowed up.


The two karmas done by a man that will attain him extraordinary grace and glory in this world are not uttering a harsh word and not giving any respect to evil persons.


Women lusting after a man who is committed to another woman and a man who honours/worships a man who is worshipped by others are two types of people who have their faith in others and live out their lives.


The one who covets expensive objects despite being penniless and the one who becomes angry even though he is incompetent/weak are two people who are like incisive/piercing thorns for themselves and will dry up their bodies.


There are only two types of people who engage in karma against their nature that does not bring them any grace and glory namely an idle/lethargic householder who does not engage in karma and an ascetic who is actively engaged in karma.


Hey King! There are these two types of men who attain even a position higher than the heavenly worlds namely one who is forgiving even though he is mighty and powerful and the other who despite being penniless performs charity.


There are only two ways in which wealth acquired in the right way is to be understood to be ill-used/ill-spent and they are giving to an unworthy/ineligible person and not giving to a deserving person.


The person who does not distribute/share his wealth in spite of being wealthy and the one who is unable to face hardships even though he is penniless are the two types of people who should have a strong rope tied to their necks with heavy stones bound and submerged in water.


Purushśrēṣṭha! These two types of men will pierce Suryamandala and attain the urdhvagati (highest attainment) namely the ascetic who is endowed with yoga and the warrior who has valiantly fought face-to-face against the enemies in a war.


Bharataśrēṣṭha! The well-versed scholars and learned men have said that there are three types namely supreme, average and lowly solutions that are appropriate for men to achieve success in their actions.


Hey King! There are three types of men namely supreme, average and lowly and should duly engage only in the three types of karma.


Hey King! There are only three types of people who are considered unentitled to wealth namely woman, son and servant. Whatever wealth they earn, it is for them only and they remain dependent on it.


Usurping another’s wealth, having close connections with another’s woman and renunciating an affectionate friend are three types of blemishes that exhaust a man’s life-span, dharma and glory.


Kāmakrōdha and lōbha are the three doors to hell that destroy the ātma and they should definitely be given up.


Bharata! Receiving a boon, attaining a kingdom and the birth of a son on one side and escaping from the difficulties of an enemy on the other side are to be considered to be equal.


“I am your bhakt (devotee), I am your sevak (servant) and I myself are for you only” – the three types of people seeking refuge who say the aforementioned should not be abandoned even when in a crisis.


A man of little or no intelligence, a slowcoach, a rash and impetuous man and a flatterer are types of people whose advice/counsel should not be taken. It has been said that these four are to be forsaken by a great king. A wise man quickly recognizes these people.


Hey Wise One! A man leading a householder’s life should always have four types of people residing in the house of lakmīvān (wealth, prosperity, glory and beauty) namely the oldest member of the family, a high-born man who has fallen into bad times, a poor friend and a sister who doesn’t have children.


Maharaja! Brihaspati, when asked by Indra which four will give instantaneous fruits replied the following –


Sankalp (pledge/resolve/vow) of the devathas, aura and influence of intellectuals, humility of scholars and destruction of sinners.


There are four karmas that set aside fear but if they are not accomplished in the right manner then they will itself instill fear in one. They are – respectfully performing agnihotra, respectfully observing silence, respectfully engaging in self-learning and self-study and respectfully following the rites and rituals for yagnas.


Bharataśrēṣṭha! Father, Mother, Agni, Atmā and Guru are the five fires that people should offer service to zealously.


A man who worships these five namely Devatha, Pithar (manes/forefathers), Man, Sannyāsi (ascetic) and Atithi (guest) will attain pure glory.


Hey King! Wherever you go, there these five people will be after you namely friend, enemy, apathetic man, man who gives refuge and one who receives that protection.


If even one of the five jnānendriyas of a man is pierced creating a hole/aperture meaning that there is a blemish, then his intelligence starts going out of control like water gushing out from a leather water skin when ruptured.


A man who seeks wealth, prosperity, glory and advancement should forsake these six bad qualities of excessive sleep, torpidity, fear, anger, laziness as well as procrastination.


A teacher who does not give upadesh, one who does not do incantation, a king who is incapable of protecting his kingdom, a woman who speaks harsh words, a cowherd who wishes to reside in the village and a barber who wishes to reside in the forest are six who should be forsaken immediately like how a man who is crossing the ocean gives up the boat that is leaking.


A man should never forsake these six virtues of satya (truth), dāna (charity), karmanyathā (diligence and enthusiasm to do work and duty), anasuyā (free from jealousy and envy and not seeing faults in others), kamā (forgiveness) and dhairya (fortitude).


Hey King! Acquiring wealth, always remaining healthy, having a compatible woman and dear ones, having a son who is obedient and follows the instructions as well as possessing the knowledge to accumulate wealth are the six matters that are pleasing and give satisfaction in the world of men.


That stoic man who keeps the six enemies (kāmakrodhalobhamohamada and matsarya) that are always in the mind under control will not be free even from involvement in sins and therefore, what is then to be said about circumstances that are disastrous emerging because of him?


The six types of men undermentioned will earn their livelihood through six types of people and the seventh will not be attained. A thief from a careless man, a doctor from a patient, lusty women from lovers, priests from the agents/doers, a king from warring kingdoms/clans and a wise man from fools make their livelihood of others.


These six objects will get destroyed if they are not tended with care even for a muhurat (here muhurat refers to 48 minutes) namely cows, service, farming work, woman, education and knowledge and concord with sudras.


These six generally will not respect those who have previously helped them namely a student after completing his education with his teacher, a son who is married with his mother, a man who is satisfied after obtaining sensual pleasures with a woman, a man who has completed his work with the one who helped him, a man who used a boat to cross over the unpassable currents of the river and a sick man after recovering from his illness with a doctor.


Hey King! Remaining healthy, not being in debt, not living in foreign land, having concordance with good people, living your life with your earnings/allowance/good moral conduct and remaining fearless are the six factors for happiness in the world of men.


One who is jealous and envious of others, one who is animus towards others, one who is dissatisfied and discontented, an angry person, a man who is always in doubt/distrustful and one who lives out their lives on the fortunes of others are six who are always unhappy and miserable.


Attachment to matters of women, gambling, hunting, drinking, speaking harsh words, giving very harsh punishment and using wealth in an inappropriate manner are the seven flaws that are painful and should be forsaken forever by a king. Even a purposeful king will almost be destroyed through these.


A man who falls into the mouth of destruction will have these eight precursors – the first being that he is antagonistic towards brahmans, then he becomes a vessel of antipathy/hostility towards them, he annexes the wealth of brahmans, he wants to kill them, he thinks that denouncing brahmans is pleasurable, he does not want to hear praises of brahmans, he does not remember them in yagnas and other rites and rituals and he finds fault and criticizes them when they ask for something. All these mistakes should be understood by an intelligent man and forsaken upon understanding and realization.


Bharata! Communion with friends, acquisition of immense wealth, embraced by the son, cohesiveness in copulation, speaking sweet words at the appropriate time, advancement in the people from the same group/category, attainment of a desired object and being respected in the community are the eight that are looked upon as the essence of delight and are the means for happiness in the world of men.


Intelligence, nobility, control over the sensory organs, knowledge of the scriptures, gallantry, not speaking excessively, performing charitable acts according to one’s capacity and gratitude are eight virtues that increase a man’s reputation.


An intelligent man who knows the tattva of this form of the body of the nava dwaras, the three pillars of gunas of sattvarajas and tamas and the witness to the five jnānaendriyas as the residence of the ātma is indeed a very great jnāni.


Maharaj Dhrutharashtra! There are ten types of people who do not know the tattva of dharma, hear their names. An inebriated man, a careless man, a madman, a tired man, an angry man, a hungry man, an impetuous man, a greedy man, a terrified man and a libidinous man are the ten. A wise man should not become attached to any of these ten types of men.


Prahlada, King of the asuras along with Sudhanva had given his son upadesh concerning this subject. Prudent men relate that ancient history as an example.


A king who forsakes kāma and krodha, gives the deserving ones wealth, is an expert, well-versed in the scriptures and quickly completes his rightful duties and actions is a man whose conduct and words is accepted as testimony by all.


A man who knows how to gain the confidence of others, gives punishment only to that person whose sins have become authenticated, decides the quantum of punishment to be given and knows how to appropriately forgive is a king in whose service comes the entire wealth and prosperity.


One who does not humiliate a weak person, remains cautious and aware and behaves in an intelligent manner with enemies, does not favour/like to fight with strong mighty persons and displays gallantry when needed is a self-collected/resolute/dispassionate person.


A great protagonist who never becomes miserable/sorrowful when he falls into a deep crisis but instead takes refuge in his rightful duty/profession with caution and awareness and bears the sorrow in time is one whose enemies are always defeated.


The man who does not offer service to the following namely the one who leaves his home and meaninglessly resides in a foreign land, is in communion with sinners, is an adulterer, is opposed to dharma and all fundamentals of the scriptures, a thief, a slanderer and one who drinks intoxicants is always happy.


One who does not commence any action of dharmaartha and kāma in anger and haste, answers precisely when asked a question, does not like to fight/quarrel with friends, does not become enraged when disrespected, does not lose his discrimination, does not see any flaws in others, is compassionate towards all, does not give testimony for one as he considers himself to be incompetent to do, does not talk beyond his ability and endures dispute/altercation is one who receives praise from all in the universe.


A man who never wears the guise of willfulness and arbitrariness, one who never praises his own gallantry in front of others and does not speak harsh words even when roused to anger is considered beloved and dear to all.


The man of supreme conduct who does not reignite the fire of animosity that has died down, is not proud, does not show inferiority and does not keep thinking that he is fallen into a crisis and engages in improper work is considered to be an excellent man by the Aryans.


The one who is not ecstatic in his own happiness, is not overjoyed when another is in sorrow and does not regret after doing charity is called virtuous among men.


A man who wishes to understand a land’s profession and behaviour, opportunity and ceremony as well as the tattva of the caste classification is one who receives the supreme discrimination of the low-born. Wherever he goes, he will always establish his supremacy over all the great congregations.


An intelligent man who forsakes conceit, greed, jealousy and envy, engaging in sinful acts, committing treason, indulging in slander, animosity towards the community and intoxicating drinks as well as altercations with madmen and malicious people is the best.


Devathas will accomplish/fulfill the advancement/elevation of that man who does the universally known and accepted karmas daily of charity, homadevapujan (worships the Gods), engaging in auspicious karmaprāyaścita (act of atonement/repentance) and different types of worldly ceremonial observances/principles.


The moral conduct of that scholar who marries into a family equal to his, is friends with those equal to him, is in professional work with those equal to him and speaks to one equal to him and not with lowly persons and always sees people with greater virtues as advanced and ahead of him is considered to be the best moral conduct.


All the catastrophes leave themselves far behind for that high-minded man who distributes food among those seeking shelter/refuge and partakes only a small portion of it, does a lot of work but sleeps very little and donates wealth even to one who is not his friend.


Even a little bit of work does not get deteriorated for a man who engages in duty/action that is as per his favour and concordance and is in opposition to other’s actions/duties but where the others do not find out, who remains silent on mantras (incantation) and because the desired action/duty has accomplished fruits and benefits in the appropriate manner.


The one who is assiduous in conferring peace among all the bhutas (elements of nature), is veracious, is soft/tender, gives respect to others, has only pure thoughts, emanates with good repository on knowledge and virtues and shines like an excellent gem attaining prominence and fame among people of his own caste and community.


The one who is exceedingly modest is considered to be exemplary by all. He attains grace and glory likened to the rays of the brilliant sun because of his infinite radiance, pure heart and assiduity.


Ambikanandan! King Pandu who was burnt by the curse of Rishi Kidam who was in the guise of a deer whose five sons were born in the forest have the mighty strength of five Indras and you have brought them up since childhood and given them education and they have also obeyed all your instructions and commands.


Hey Wise One! Give them their rightful share of the kingdom and becoming contented and happy along with your sons lead a life of happiness. Hey King! If you do that, then you will not receive flak from the devathas and men.”

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