Lessons from the Life of Dhrtarashtra - Part 11

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 symptoms of old-age are all various warnings for our imminent death and how we should be alert to realise these signals and and intensify devotional service to Krishna. Now we shall see further.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.13.24 Vidura very strongly condemns the mentality of Dhrtarashtra.

agnir nisṛṣṭo dattaś ca garo dārāś ca dūṣitāḥ
hṛtaṁ kṣetraṁ dhanaṁ yeṣāṁ tad-dattair asubhiḥ kiyat

There is no need to live a degraded life and subsist on the charity of those whom you tried to kill by arson and poisoning. You also insulted one of their wives and usurped their kingdom and wealth.

In order to awaken Dhrtarashtra from the deep slumber of material-attachment Vidura openly says how it is very disgraceful for Dhrtarashtra to live at the mercy of those people whom he had been attempting to kill all these years. It is said that dishonor is worse than death. But Dhrtarashtra did not care for such things and was simply interested in continuing his royal life, forgetting all the injustice he had done to the Pandavas. Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions in the purport to the above verse, "Five thousand years ago there was one Dhrtarashtra, but at the present moment there are Dhrtarashtras in every home. Politicians especially do not retire from political activities unless they are dragged by the cruel hand of death or killed by some opposing element. To stick to family life to the end of one's human life is the grossest type of degradation and there is an absolute need for the Viduras to educate such Dhrtarashtras, even at the present moment."

As our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says - Dhrtarashtra was attached to rāṣṭra and each one of us are dhrta - "holding on to" so many other things in this material world.  Maharaj says that instead of being like "Dhṛta-rāṣṭra", we should become "Dhṛta-Hari" like Lord Brahmaji. When Narada Muni asks Brahmaji the secret of his transcendental knowledge, Lord Brahmaji very nicely says in Srimad Bhagavatam 2.6.34.

na bhāratī me ’ṅga mṛṣopalakṣyate
na vai kvacin me manaso mṛṣā gatiḥ
na me hṛṣīkāṇi patanty asat-pathe
yan me hṛdautkaṇṭhyavatā dhṛto hariḥ

O Narada, because I have caught hold of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, with great zeal, whatever I say has never proved to have been false. Nor is the progress of my mind ever deterred. Nor are my senses ever degraded by temporary attachment to matter.

Instead of holding on to different kinds of temporary shelters in this material world which will only give us frustrations, pain and disease, we should simply hold on to the lotus feet of Lord Hari with great zeal and earnestness and that alone will guarantee us life of peace, bliss, knowledge and eternity.

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.