We all know about Mahabharata the great Indian epics but do we actually realize their significance even in our today’s lives? Mahabharata is one of the Hindu Epics which is considered to be the most interesting and captivating by scholars. Mahabharata is anchored among real human beings and their feelings of greed, lust, betrayal, treachery, love, and politics. It is more than a ‘war for throne’ which this great Hindu epic teaches us. Here are some interesting teachings of Mahabharata.
1. You have to stand up yourself.
Mahabharata is not only about war and violence, one can learn to stand up and fight the battle of your own life accordingly. Even if it is against your own kith and kin’s sometimes you have to keep your foot down and have to stand by what is right. Mahabharata demonstrate the examples of people who fought theirself. Arjun fought against his closed ones for the wrongs done to him and his brothers. Draupadi being another example, She did not give into the situations even when her own husband lost her in gamble she stood for her own pride and respect and called for Krishna’s help herself.
2. Not to be swayed away by blind love.
We all know about Drithraasthra and his unbounded love for his sons yet he was well aware of what was happening around. From the time when Pandavas completed their 12 years of vanvaas and were denied of their share of the property till the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, Dhritarashtra was aware of everything that was happening. Yet he chooses not to interrupt. Such blind love can be taken for granted. It is important to correct your loved ones when they go wrong, it does not make your love for them any less.
3. Keeping a check on your desires.
The Mahabharata is the representation of actions bounded by greed. Mahabharata battle was fought on the very grounds of the greed of Duryodhana who wanted to have everything. Duryodhana even after the separation of territories was not satisfied with what he had. He eventually came under debt in his territory and now wished for the area that Pandavas had nurtured from barren lands to a prosperous region. Had Duryodhana kept his desires in check it would not have lead to such destruction. It is natural for humans to have negative desires and greed for more, but not falling for them is what makes a person efficient in taking tough decisions in life.
4. Lots of many problem is not because of bad people but because of good people being quite.
An important lesson can be learnt from the life of Bheeshma who took the oath of having lifelong celibacy and to be in service whoever sits on the throne of his father. It was all evident to each one present in Hastinapur about the conspiracies and injustice being carried against Pandavas. Bheeshma being the eldest and the most revered rather standing against the unjust done to the Pandavas chose to be a mute spectator and to live by his oath. In real life also we are often faced with the dilemma of to merely be a spectator and not do anything about a situation or to stand for what is right, well the example reflects what could lead to being like Bheeshma.
5. Taking sides for someone who is less deserving.
The Nepotism debate may be a recent trend but history throughout has examples of people favoring less and undeserving people to important positions though sooner or later such people may not withstand the responsibilities that is another question. In Mahabharata, Guru Dronacharya favored Arjuna over Ekalavya and Karna knowing that the latter two were an exceptional warrior in every sense. Dron acharyas knew that Eklavya was an implausible archer one who could easily defeat Arjuna, Drona’s biases were so much that he asked Eklavya’s thumb as a Guru Dakshina ( fees for his mentorship). It is alright to help the ones we love but it not right to be in complete favor of them and go on being biased to other deserving people.
6. Do your preparation rightly and timely.
It is important to be prepared; having a plan is the foremost step in any competition whether sitting for an exam or even in the battlefield. Pandavas of Mahabharata utilized every bit of the 12 years of vanvaas in preparing themselves for the battlefield. They made strong connections which later helped them to ally against the strong Kauravas. Similarly, they trained well ahead of the war which leads to their victory in the battle against Kauravas.
7. To have strong connections and bonds for right things.
This one is very significant in today’s situations as it is significance to have important connections in order to succeed. One cannot merely live in seclusion and hope to achieve success without knowing the right people who can be of immense help. Kauravas had every family member on their sides from Guru Dronacharya, Kripacharya, and Bheeshmapitamah, Pandavas, on the other hand, had small but efficient allies who were ready to help to look at the commitment Pandavas gave to them. Kauravas having individual goals were not able to fight as a team and commit to their allies which lead to their destruction. In the real life too it is important to have good friends and be a true friend and to maintain them especially at times when it is needed the most.
8. To know your strengths
Any war small or big is never fought on weaknesses the strengths are always what are put first. Mahabharata has it that the Pandavas army had competent and proficient warriors with each of them having respective positions in the war. It is important to know your strengths and weakness and work accordingly.
9. Not to ride high in emotions.
It is indeed important to have emotions of compassion and kindness but to realize where to mark a boundary is also significant. One of the famous lessons of Geeta by Krishna to Arjuna was not to be carried away by emotions when Arjun saw himself standing against his closed ones. Emotions are something which makes us humans but, given that the world comprises of all kind of people ready to take advantage of any possibility it is important to know where to stop being emotional and where to start being practical.
The great leanings from Bhagavad Gita :
“The happiness which comes from long practice, which leads to the end of suffering, which at first is like poison, but at last like nectar – this kind of happiness arises from the serenity of one’s own mind.”
“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal”
“No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action ,every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.”
“The wise work for the welfare of the world, without thought for themselves.”