Lessons from Mahabharata

Hare Krishna Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Today I would like to share some beautiful moral/spiritual instructions from Mahabharata that I had noted down from our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj's diary:

1. It is true that one should know the difference between good and evil and is to seek good and shun evil, but this knowledge should soak into every thought and influence every act in one's life. Then indeed knowledge becomes virtue. The knowledge that is merely so much undigested information crammed into the mind, cannot instill virtue. It is just an outward show like our cloth and is no real part of us.

2. A heart full of hate can know no content. Hate is a cruel fire which extorts the fuel on which it lives and grows. This is revealed in the incident of Duryodhana planning to visit Pandavas in the forest and enjoy their suffering.

3. Once Sage Markandeya visited Pandavas in the forest and Yudhishtira Maharaj shared these words of wisdom with him, "What greater wonder is there in this world than the patience and chastity of a woman? She gives birth to child after cherishing it in her womb as dearer than life itself. She brings it into the world in pain and anxiety and thence forward her one thought is for its health and happiness. Large hearted and forgiving, a woman forgives and continues to love even a wicked husband who neglects and hates and subjects her to all sorts of miseries. How strange?" In reply to this, Sage Markandeya told the story of "I am no crane." (This story appeared in Granthraj some years ago. Interested devotees can read it from the Granthraj forum website. If you are not able to access, please write to me, I will send it).

4. The arrogant man is never conscious of his arrogance. When accused of it, he charges the accuser with that very fault. His judgement is warped and he considers it a crime on the part of anyone to point out his defect. This point is well illustrated when Karna was not willing to fight under Bhishmadev in the Kurukshetra war. Bhishmadev pointed out the faults in Karna's mindset and Karna was not ready to accept them. He therefore denied to fight until Bhishmadev was alive.

5. At the time of Rajasuya yajna, Srila Vyasadeva prophesized to Yudhishtira Maharaj that he sees trouble ahead for 13 years to come and Yudhishtira will be the instrument of a mass destruction. After Vyasadev left, Yudhishtira Maharaj remained gloomy and reflected, "How can we ward off what is destined to happen? I make a vow, for 13 years I will not utter a harsh word to anyone, whatever may happen, whether it be a king, brother or commoner. I shall not utter any word that may create differences among persons. Harsh words and arguments are at the root of every conflict in the worldI shall avoid them - perhaps in this way I can blunt the edge of fate."

6. The truth is that however learned one may be, humility and constant vigilance are absolutely necessary if one wishes to avoid evil. Although our scriptures do point out that even great men now and again fell into error and committed wrong, the presentation is such as to warn the reader and not allure him into evil ways. This is the striking difference between our epics and the modern talkies, cinemas etc which arises from the difference in the character of the people who produces them.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Kalacakra Krsna das.