Vidura Nīti – Conversation between Dhrutharashtra and Vidura – Chapter 39 – Slokas 1 – 85

Dhrutharashtra uvācha, “Vidura! This man is not independent in his acquisition of wealth and prosperity and in his ruin/doom. Like a puppet tied to a string/thread, Brahma has made him subservient to his prarabdha karma; hence, you keep speaking, I am sitting here listening to you patiently/with forbearance.”

 

Vidura uvācha, “Bharata! If Brihaspati also speaks something contrary/opposed to time, then he will be dishonoured/disgraced and his intelligence will also be affronted/disregarded.

 

Any man who does charity becomes dear in this universe, secondly, a man who speaks sweet words becomes dear in this universe and the third becomes dear by the strength of his incantation and medicines but one who is really beloved will always be agreeable.

 

One who becomes bitter/resentful/malicious is not seen as either a saintly person or a scholar or an intelligent man. All the karma of a beloved/agreeable man will always manifest auspiciousness/good fortune and that of an enemy will always be sinful.

 

Hey King! At the time of Duryodhana’s birth itself I had told you to forsake this one child. By forsaking him, a hundred sons will progress/advance and by not forsaking him, a hundred sons will be ruined.

 

That which becomes the cause for ruin in the future of advancement/progress should not be given much importance and that deterioration/decline should also be highly regarded as that will become the cause for advancement/elevation.

 

Maharaja! In reality that deterioration/decline which is the cause for progress/advancement is not deterioration; but instead that benefit/advantage should also be deemed as deterioration/decline which is acquired after many other gains are ruined.

 

Dhrutharashtra! Some people are enriched/flourishing with fine qualities and some others with wealth. One who is wealthy because of wealth but is bereft of virtues should be forsaken forever.”

 

Dhrutharashtra uvācha, “Vidura! Whatever you are saying is beneficial/conducive in conclusion; intelligent persons approve/endorse this. This is also right that there is victory in the side where dharma is but yet I cannot forsake my child.”

 

Vidura uvācha, “Hey King! One who is endowed with plenteous virtues and is supplicatory can never be indifferent/contemptuous seeing the decimation of even a few beings.

 

Taking money from such people namely those who are always engaged in condemning/denouncing others, those who cause grief to others, those who persevere with great enthusiasm in creating split/disunity among people, who’s sight is deemed as inauspicious and in who’s company there is great danger is a great blunder and there is great fear to give them money as well.

 

One’s whose nature is to cause split/disunity among people, who is desirous of pleasures, is shameless/graceless, is wicked/roguish and is an infamous sinner – they are unworthy of being friendly with and are condemned.

 

Besides the aforementioned flaws, there are some other great faults as well and those people who are endowed with them should be forsaken. Once the feeling of camaraderie is absent/lost, then the love/affection of lowly persons is lost and the attainment of those benefits/advantages and happiness from that camaraderie is also lost.

 

Then that lowly person will endeavour to condemn/denounce and under the influence of delusion, will exert himself to strive for destruction even if he suffers a little humiliation. He will not get a moment’s peace.

 

An intelligent man should exhaustively contemplate/consider before associating with lowly, cruel and flighty persons and should renounce them from a distance.

 

One who is favourable/gracious towards his relatives, needy, penniless and the sick will attain progress/advancement from the son and livestock and will experience/enjoy infinite bliss/benediction.

 

Rajendra! Those who are desirous of their own good should make their kindred/relatives rise/progress; hence, you make your lineage progress nicely.

 

Hey King! One who pays homage to his own relatives will become a partaker of bliss/benediction.

 

Bharatashreshta! Even if your relatives are bereft of virtues, they should still be protected. Then what can be said about those who are yearning for your grace/mercy and are virtuous.

 

Hey King! You are competent, have compassion on the valorous Pandavas and give them some villages for their livelihood.

 

Naraeshwara! You will attain glory in this universe if you do that. O Wise One! You are old, therefore, you should rule over your sons.

 

Bharatashreshta! Even I should speak in a manner that is beneficial to you. Please think of me as your friend/well-wisher. Hey Wise One! One who desires good fortune/auspiciousness should not fight with his relatives; but instead should enjoy happiness/pleasures along with them.

 

It is the duty that one should eat food, have discussions and be affectionate with their relatives; one should never be opposed to them.

 

It is the relatives who help one cross over and the ones who also drown you in this universe. The ones who are virtuous help you cross over and those who are unprincipled drown you.

 

Rajendra! You behave in a noble manner with the Pandavas. O honoured One! After coming under their protection, your enemies will be in a poor condition.

 

Like how a deer becomes distressed/anguished after coming near a hunter who is armed with a poisonous arrow, similarly when a person who comes to a wealthy relative becomes sad/miserable, the wealthy relative becomes liable for that misdeed/transgression.

 

Narashreshta! You will repent later on hearing the death of either the Pandavas or your sons; hence, you think about this matter first.

 

There is no destination for this existence and hence, one who has to repent on a cot/bed at the completion of a certain karma (action) should not do it in the first place.

 

There is no man besides Shukracharya who does not violate the moral principle/value-system; meaning that what has happened, has happened and the consideration of the remaining/pending duties is upon intelligent persons.

 

Nareshwara! If Duryodhana has committed this sin with the Pandavas first, then you are the among the oldest in this lineage; this sin must be cleansed/wiped out through you.

 

Narashresta! If you were to seat them on the royal throne, then your stain in this universe will be washed away and you will be held in high esteem by the intelligent persons.

 

One who contemplates/considers the conclusion of the words uttered by resolute persons and transforms those into action/work will remain a partaker of glory forever.

 

Even the knowledge from the instructions/advice of extremely prosperous scholars is meaningless if the knowledge of duty is not known to them that is even if there is knowledge, there is no practice of it.

 

A scholar who does not commence acts that reap sinful fruits will advance; but one who does not contemplate/consider the sins committed earlier and pursues those is a man of corrupt intelligence who will be thrown into a terrible hell filled with immeasurable sludge.

 

An intelligent man should know about these six doors which will reveal mantrabheda (secret incantation/advice) and should always keep them closed with the intention to protect wealth – consumption of intoxicants, sleep, not keeping oneself informed of important matters, spoiling one’s eyes and face, trusting diabolical counsel and having faith on an unskilled/inexperienced messenger for a job.

 

Hey King! The one who knows about these doorways and keeps them shut always will bring his enemies under his control through his service of arthadharma and kāma.

 

A man equal to Brihaspati cannot attain knowledge of the scriptures that is cannot attain knowledge of dharma and artha without doing service to elderly persons.

 

An item that falls into the ocean gets obliterated, words said to it also get destroyed, the knowledge of the scriptures of a flighty person and the havan done with ashes by him is also ruinous.

 

An intelligent man should analyse using his mental acumen and then based on his experience should frequently decide its worthiness, then should listen to others, should see himself and then consider it thoroughly/exhaustively and only then make friends with scholars.

 

A modest nature destroys infamy/disgrace, courage/heroism sets aside disaster, forgiveness always destroys anger and virtuous conduct brings bad/evil traits/tendencies to an end.

 

Hey King! The test for the lineage is to be done through different types of elephants, horses, chariots and others, mother, house, service-nursing and food as well as garments.

 

If just/fair materials spontaneously present itself to a man bereft of arrogance/egotism, then he does not oppose them, then what can be said about a lascivious man?

 

That friend who remains in service of erudite persons, is a doctor, who is pious, is good-looking, has friends and speaks sweet pleasing words should always be protected.

 

Irrespective of being born in a lowly family or in a noble one – one who does not violate/transgress the boundaries of decency, keeps to the expectation of dharma, is of soft disposition and decent is ahead of hundreds of high-born persons.

 

The friendship between these two people never gets destroyed – who draw a picture from the mind, who understand a secret in a secret and whose intelligence matches.

 

A sagacious person should forsake a foolish man who does not possess the ability to contemplate/consider and is likened to the grass that covers a well; because the friendship struck with him will get ruined.

 

It is best for an intelligent man not be friends with a vain/arrogant man, a foolish man, a hotheaded man, an adventurous man and a man devoid of dharma.

 

A friend should be one who is grateful, pious, truthful, large-hearted, having unwavering affection, stoic, remains within the boundaries of decency and one who does not forsake friendship.

 

To keep the sensory organs in check is more difficult than to check death and if they are left unrestrained/wild, then it also brings the destruction of the devathas.

 

Having a soft/mellow disposition towards all the beings in the universe, not seeing flaws in virtues, forgiveness, resoluteness and not humiliating friends – all these virtues increase the life-span as said by scholars.

 

When a man has lost wealth and takes refuge in steadfast intellect and desires/intends to regain what is lost using good value-system, then he displays the character of a brave/bold man.

 

The man who knows the solution to check the misery/calamity that is coming, is firmly decided on being engaged in the duty of the present existence and also knows about the duty that remains pending in the past will never be deficient in artha.

 

When a man does unceasing service to an entity through his mind, speech and karma, then that work will pull him towards it. Hence, it is imperative that one should always engage in auspicious works.

 

Contact with auspicious materials, prevention of waves of emotion/mood, practice of the scriptures, perseverance in trade/business, simplicity and having darshan of saintly persons – all these are auspicious/benediction.

 

To persevere in business/trade – is the root/ source for wealth that is not indifferent/separate from it, profits/advantages and benediction. Hence, a man who does not leave his trade/business becomes important and enjoys infinite happiness.

 

Hey Wise One! It is considered that a solution for a competent man at all places and at all times is equivalent to forgiveness that is favourable/advantageous and that which will make one extremely rich/prosperous.

 

One who does not possess strength should have mercy on one and all, one who is endowed with strength should also be forgiving as per dharma and one who sees both artha and disaster as the same will always find forgiveness advantageous/favourable.

 

A man who does not become tainted from dharma and artha even though he constantly enjoys/experiences pleasures should be served adequately; but a foolish man who is deluded should not be served.

 

Lakshmi does not reside in the place of one who is grief-stricken, careless, atheist, lazy, flighty and devoid of enthusiasm.

 

People of wicked intelligence think those who are endowed with simplicity are weak because of their simple disposition and taunt/shame that decent/modest man.

 

Lakshmi does not go near these people out of fear – extremely eminent, abundantly charitable, excessively courageous, one who observes many vrats and principles and one who is proud of his intelligence.

 

Lakshmi does not stay either with one who is endowed with many virtues or with one who is bereft of virtues. She neither wants many virtues nor does She have any affection to one who is devoid of virtues. This blind Lakshmi likened to a mad/delirious cow stays only at certain places.

 

The fruit of the Vedas is to perform Agnihotra, the fruit of study of the scriptures is affability and virtues, the fruit of woman is sexual pleasures and to beget a son and the fruit of wealth is charity and enjoyment.

 

One who does heavenly karma with the wealth accumulated through adharma will not obtain the fruits of that after his demise; because his wealth has come from bad ways.

 

Those with substance/essence that is men endowed with willpower will not fear a dense forest, unapproachable path, time of tough/untoward difficulty and to take a weapon to strike in the time of trepidation/nervousness.

 

These are considered to be the main advice for advancement – trade/business, temperance, proficiency, caution, resoluteness, recollection and thinking exhaustively before commencing a work.

 

The strength of tapasvis (ascetics) is tapah (austerity and penance), the strength of those well-versed in the Vedas/scholars is Vedas, the strength of sinners is violence and the strength of virtuous ones is forgiveness.

 

These eight are not destroyers of vrat (fast) – water, roots, fruits, milk, ghee, fulfilling the desires/needs of Brahman, obeying the words of Guru and medicine.

 

When one knows who his opponent is, then he should not become hostile towards others. This is the form of dharma to put it concisely. If in opposition to this, one has a predisposition towards wants and desires, then he is opposed to dharma.

 

Conquer anger by not becoming overcome by anger, keep unrighteousness under control through virtuous character, conquer parsimony through charity and triumph over falsity through truth.

 

One who is salacious, lazy, a coward, hot-tempered, proud of his virility, a thief, ungrateful and an atheist should never be trusted.

 

When one offers salutations to Gurus incessantly and remains in service of elderly persons, then his fame, longevity, glory and strength – these four increase.

 

One should not put their mind where wealth has been accumulated after great suffering/tribulations, where wealth has been accumulated through violation of all boundaries of decency and where wealth has been accumulated after bowing one’s head in front of an enemy.

 

One should condole a person bereft of knowledge, a matter related to a woman who is without son and husband, a kingdom that does not get food for sustenance and a kingdom without a king.

 

The people who have travelled many paths find old age as the form of sadness/grief, uninterrupted flow of water on the mountains is old age for the mountains, the misery of being rejected/devoid of sexual intercourse is old age for women and the shock of piercing arrows of harsh words is old age for the mind.

 

The blemish of the Vedas is not practising; the blemish of Brahmans is not observing the rules and regulations as ordained for Brahmans, the blemish of earth is the kingdom that finds meat nourishing for them and the blemish of men is speaking untruths, the blemish of a chaste woman is merrymaking and the enthusiasm for dalliances and the blemish of woman simply is to reside in a foreign land without her husband.

 

The blemish of gold is silver, the blemish of silver is tin, the blemish of tin is lead and the blemish of lead is impurity.

 

One should not sleep excessively to conquer sleep, one should not desire to win over a woman through sexual pleasures, one should not hope to conquer fire by adding wood to it and one should not drink intoxicants in excess to overcome the habit of drinking.

 

Enemy will be conquered in a battle when one’s friend has come under control through wealth and charity; one’s life will be successful that is happy when women have been enchanted/captivated through food and drink.

 

One who has a thousand rupees is alive and one who has a hundred rupees is also alive; that is Maharaja Dhrutharashtra! You give up this avarice, one’s life will not remain in any manner with this, this is not the matter.

 

All the wealth, millet/grass, gold, livestock and women in this universe are not satisfactory/sufficient even for one man. A man who thinks like that will not become deluded.

 

Hey King! I tell you again that if you see both your sons as well as the Pandavas in equal spirit, then behave in the same manner with all the sons.”

 

[Prajāgara Parva – Vidura Nīti – Conversation between Dhrutharashtra and Vidura – Chapter 39 of Udyoga Parva – Slokas 1 – 85]

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