Who was VIDURA??
Vidura is a very important character in the Mahabharatha. He is the embodiment of Dharma. To speak something unpleasant to our loved ones is something which everyone would like to avoid. But Vidura was a person who would say “black is black and white is white”. He never feared to speak the truth no matter to whom he was speaking even if it be the king. But who actually was Vidura?
He was born to a maid servant of Satyavati, (the queen of Hastinapur) through the grace of sage Vedavyasa. He was the embodiment of the GOD of Dharma. But how did he come to live on the earth. Here goes the story.
There was a sage called Mandavya. He was a great renounced soul who had gone beyond the ambits of body pain or pleasure. Once, the king’s treasury was stolen and the thieves who stole them were passing by the hermit, Mandavya’s ashram. They entered the kutir and found the sage in deep mediation. Not knowing what to do, they hid the jewels in the ashram and ran away. The soldiers who were chasing the thieves entered the ashram and found the sage meditating. Suspecting him to a false sage, they captured him and took him to the king. The king was mad at the sage and decided to put him to death. He ordered a trident to be pierced into the sage and this was done. But to everyone’s surprise, sage Mandavya did not die. His was beyond the space of body and since he was in deep meditation, it did not bother him. When he woke up, the king was surprised and was quick to realize his folly. From that day, the sage came to be known as Ani Mandavya (ani means trident). The kind requested pardon and was immediately forgiven for the kind of "stita pragnya" (realised soul) that the sage was. But he surely wanted to know as to why he was punished given the fact that he had not done any bad actions. What was his karma that bore him this fate. He went straight to dharma devata and questioned him.
The dharma devata said that when the sage was small, he had killed small creatures like ants and insects and was paying for those acts. This enraged the sage and cursed the god of justice saying, “These acts of killing as a child are done due to ignorance and innocence. They cannot be taken as a sin and must be forgiven. Even the shastras forgive mistakes committed by children till the age of 12 years. What to talk of an infant. Since this punishment is unwarranted for, you will be born in the earth to a sudra woman and live your life like a normal human being”. This is the curse which made the dhrama devata take birth as Vidura. But, though he was born as a human being, he retained his nature of righteousness and justice. Though not a king, he was a great adviser to the king and to the people around him. He was held in high esteem by Bhishma and Lord Krishna himself.
Yudhistra’s Final Exam
At the end of Dwapara yuga, when Krishna avataram ended, Yudhistra was still ruling Hastinapur. He saw that the world was becoming unruly and unworthy to live. Theft, lies, inhumanity started to slowly show up. With Krishna leaving them, he felt a void within himself and a loss vigor to handle things on his own. Yudhistra decided to give up the world and reach heavenly abode soon. He discussed this with his brothers.
They all decided to install Parikshit (son of Abhimanyu) as the king and leave the world. Having done this, Yudhishtra along with his brothers and Draupadi, their wife left the palace. As they were walking up the heaven, Draupadi felt hungry , thirsty and fell dead. Though the 4 Pandavas i.e. Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva repented for her death, Yudhishtra was in total control of his emotions. A few miles away, Sahadeva fell down dead. The four of them proceeded upwards and down fell Nakula. Eventually, Bhima and Arjuna also fell dead and it was only Yudhishtra who ascended to heaven.
There was a dog which followed them earnestly all the way from the earth. When Yudhistra was about to enter heaven, the door keeper stopped him and said ,” I can allow only you inside and not this dog”. Yudhistra was not ready to give up the dog as it had been earnestly following him. When the dog heard this, it addressed Yudhistra and said, “Oh King, you may well go inside. But before you go, do me a favour. I am been bitten by in numerous insects on my body and am in great pain. Please relieve of this pain and proceed. When Yudhishtra was about to clean up the dog’s body the insects on the dog’s body said. “Oh king, if you remove us, we won’t have anything to eat and will die of hunger. Please find a way for us and leave”. The noble Yudhsitra thought for a minute and said, “Oh insects, leave the dog, you can feast on my body”.
Having heard this verdict, the dog revealed its true form as dharma devata and blessed Yudhishtra. He took Yudhistra through hell first where he saw his brothers and wife suffering in pain and agony. He then passed through heaven where he saw the kauravas enjoying the luxurious heavenly life. This angered Yudhistra and refused to stay in heaven. He questioned dharma devata as to what kind o fjustice was being done where the noble are punished and evil are rewarded. Dharma devata then calmed down Yudhistra and said that the Pandavas had to spend time in hell for the few lies they had supported during Drona’s death. And the Kauravaas were enjoying heaven for the “Veera gati” (dying during a royal fight) kingsly death they had. They would be then transported to their respective hell and heaven for the bad and good they had done. It was then that Yudhistra calmed down and accepted the verdict.
So, Dharma is the same for all. There is no partiality or favoritism. So, let us be good and do good.
I hope these two stories were new and you all enjoyed reading them