Lessons from the Life of Dhrtarashtra - Part 3

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 Yudhishthira eagerly inquiring about Vidura's services during the pilgrimage. Now we shall see further.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.13.14 Suta Goswami explains the reason why Vidura returned to Hastinapur palace after taking to renounced order of life. 

kañcit kālam athāvātsīt sat-kṛto devavat sukham
bhrātur jyeṣṭhasya śreyas-kṛt sarveṣāṁ sukham āvahan

Thus Mahatma Vidura, being treated just like a godly person by his kinsmen, remained there for a certain period just to rectify the mentality of his eldest brother and in this way bring happiness to all the others.

The reason why Vidura returned was - "bhrātur jyeṣṭhasya śreyas-kṛt " - "for the well-being of his elder brother." Vidura was ill-treated by Duryodhana. Dhrtarashtra out of paternal love, neither chastised his son, nor did he care to support his brother Vidura who had always been giving him good counsel throughout the life. He didn't even care to ask for forgiveness for  the unjust action of his son. Inspite of such ungrateful attitude of Dhrtarashtra, Vidura did not give up his well-wishing attitude for Dhrtarashtra. To do good or to wish good for those who like us or wish good for us is very easy. But to show mercy, kindness to people who have insulted or dishonoured us is indeed a very glorious attitude. That is why Vidura is being addressed here as "Mahatama" Vidura. 

In his wonderful purport to the above verse Srila Prabhupada mentions, "Mahatma Vidura had already adopted the renounced order of life, and therefore he did not return to his paternal palace to enjoy some material comforts. He accepted out of his own mercy what was offered to him by Maharaja Yudhishthira, but the purpose of living in the palace was to deliver his elder brother, Dhrtarashtra, who was too much materially attached. Dhrtarashtra lost all his state and descendants in the fight with Maharaja Yudhishthira, and still, due to his sense of helplessness, he did not feel ashamed to accept the charity and hospitality of Maharaja Yudhishthira. On the part of Maharaja Yudhishthira, it was quite in order to maintain his uncle in a befitting manner , but acceptance of such magnanimous hospitality by Dhrtarashtra was not at all desirable. He accepted it because he thought that there was no alternative. Vidura particularly came to enlighten Dhrtarashtra and to give him a lift to the higher status of spiritual cognition. It is the duty of enlightened souls to deliver the fallen ones, and Vidura came for that reason. But talks of spiritual enlightenment are so refreshing that while instructing Dhrtarashtra, Vidura attracted the attention of all the members of the family, and all of them took pleasure in hearing him patiently. This is the way of spiritual realization."

Pure devotees of the Lord do not care for personal honour or dishonour. They don't take such things to their heart. Their hearts are full of Krishna and they only care for pleasing the Lord by assisting Him in the glorious mission of reclaiming the fallen souls back to Godhead.  We can learn from Mahatma Vidura that ap art from practising bhakti ourselves, it becomes our utmost responsibility to pass on this gift of bhakti which has been kindly bestowed upon us by Guru and Gauranga, to every one without any discrimination. That will definitely please the Supreme Lord.

Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate on the instructions provided by Vidura to Dhrtarashtra in the subsequent offerings.

Hare Krishna.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.