Lessons from the life of Dhrtarashtra - Part 4

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

 This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Lessons from the life of Dhrtarashtra" based on glorious verses present in first canto, 13th Chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam. In the previous offering we saw that Vidura's return to Hastinapur was only to spiritually enlighten his elder brother Dhrtarashtra. Now we shall see further. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.13.15 

abibhrad aryamaa dandam / yathaavad agha-kaarishu
yaavad dadhaara shudratvam / shaapaad varsha-shatam yamah

"As long as Vidura played the part of a shudra, being cursed by Manduka Muni, Aryama officiated at the post of Yamaraja to punish those who committed sinful acts."

Since Suta Goswami is mentioning 'yaavad dadhaara shudratvam' - meaning "as long as Vidura was playing the role of shudra", Srila Prabhupada gives very nice explanation on how the role of shudra does not deny one from giving spiritual knowledge to others. Although being born a shudra disqualified Vidura to rule Hastinapura, it did not stop him from giving good counsel to Dhrtarashtra. His Divine Grace very nicely says that since Vidura renounced the world for spiritual enlightenment by the authority of Sri Maitreya and was thoroughly educated by him in transcendental knowledge, he was quite competent to occupy the post of an acarya, or spiritual preceptor. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also said that as soon as one gets transcendental knowledge from bonafide guru, he becomes eligible to preach t he message of Lord irrespective of one's birth. Even in the ordinary moral codes (maintained by Canakya Pandita, the great politician and moralist) there is no harm in taking lessons from a person who may be by birth less than a shudra. 

Apart from the above facts Srila Prabhupada reveals us the real identity of Vidura. Vidura was not actually a shudra. His Divine Grace says, "He was to play the part of a so-called shudra for one hundred years, being cursed by Manduka Muni. He was the incarnation of Yamaraja, one of the twelve mahajanas, on the level with such exalted personalities as Brahma, Narada, Shiva, Kapila, Bhishma, Prahlada, etc. Being a mahajana, it is the duty of Yamaraja to preach the cult of devotion to the people of the world, as Narada, Brahma, and other mahajanas do. But Yamaraja is always busy in his plutonic kingdom punishing the doers of sinful acts. Yamaraja is deputed by the Lord to a particular planet, some hundreds of t housands of miles away from the planet of earth, to take away the corrupt souls after death and convict them in accordance with their respective sinful activities. Thus Yamaraja has very little time to take leave from his responsible office of punishing the wrongdoers. There are more wrongdoers than righteous men. Therefore Yamaraja has to do more work than other demigods who are also authorized agents of the Supreme Lord. But he wanted to preach the glories of the Lord, and therefore by the will of the Lord he was cursed by Manduka Muni to come into the world in the incarnation of Vidura and work very hard as a great devotee."

So Vidura was well qualified to instruct Dhrtarashtra and  the instructions given by Vidura to Dhrtarashtra carry great value for conditioned souls like us as they are the instructions given by Yamaraj himself. Krishna willing we shall meditate on the instructions provided by Vidura to Dhrtarashtra in the subsequent o fferings.

Hare Krishna
Thank you very much

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,

Sudarshana devi dasi.