Lecture by His Holiness Bhakticaru Swami (download mp3), at the 2007 Gaura Purnima Festival, Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir, Mayapur, India.
sa esa dosah purusa-dvid aste
grhan pravisto yam apatya-matya
pusnasi krsnad vimukho gata-sris
tyajasv asaivam kula-kausalaya
TRANSLATION: You are maintaining offense personified, Duryodhana, as your infallible son, but he is envious of Lord Krsna. And because you are thus maintaining a nondevotee of Krsna, you are devoid of all auspicious qualities. Relieve yourself of this ill fortune as soon as possible and do good to the whole family!
PURPORT: A good son is called apatya, one who does not allow his father to fall down. The son can protect the father's soul when the father is dead by offering sacrifices to please the Supreme Lord, Visnu. This system is still prevalent in India. After the death of his father, a son goes to offer sacrifices at the lotus feet of Visnu at Gaya and thus delivers the father's soul if the father is fallen. But if the son is already an enemy of Visnu, how, in such an inimical mood, can he offer sacrifice unto Lord Visnu's lotus feet? Lord Krsna is directly the Personality of Godhead, Visnu, and Duryodhana was inimical to Him. He would therefore be unable to protect his father, Dhrtarastra, after his death. He himself was to fall down because of his faithlessness towards Visnu. How, then, could he protect his father? Vidura advised Dhrtarastra to get rid of such an unworthy son as Duryodhana as soon as possible if he was at all anxious to see to the good of his family.
According to the moral instructions of Canakya Pandita, "What is the use of a son who is neither a learned man nor a devotee of the Lord?" If a son is not a devotee of the Supreme Lord, he is just like blind eyes-a source of trouble. A physician may sometimes advise the extrication of such useless eyes from their sockets so that one can be relieved of the constant trouble. Duryodhana was exactly like blind, troubling eyes; he would be a source of great trouble to the family of Dhrtarastra, as foreseen by Vidura. Vidura therefore rightly advised his eldest brother to get rid of this source of trouble. Dhrtarastra was wrongly maintaining such personified offense under the mistaken impression that Duryodhana was a good son, able to liberate his father. [End of purport]
Bhakti Charu Swami: Vidura is instructing his elder brother, Dhrtarastra. Vidura was the minister of Dhrtarastra. Although he was the younger brother, he was very wise. He was dharma personified. He was the incarnation of Dharmaraja, Yamaraja. So he was perfectly situated in dharma, on the platform of dharma whereas Duryodhana is the incarnation of Kali and his business is to establish adharma, defeat dharma. Therefore, time and time again, Vidura instructed Dhrtarastra to get rid of Duryodhana. As a matter of fact, right after his birth, he told him to get rid of him, to kill him. And he gave a valid reason why Duryodhana should be killed right after his birth: because he saw all inauspicious omens manifesting right after his birth.
A personality like Vidura is tri-kala-jna. They can see time in three aspects. Not only present, they can see past, present, as well as future. He could see that this person is going to be not only the cause of the destruction of the entire family, but he would be the cause of the destruction of the entire ksastriya lineage and he would be the cause of the destruction of the earth planet.
But Dhrtarastra could not accept the wise advice of Vidura. He was so much affected by his affection for his son. Prabhupada mentioned that Dhrtarastra was not only materially blind, but he was also spiritually blind. He was not only blind with his physical eyes, but he was also devoid of spiritual vision. Therefore he could not see what was right and what was wrong, what should be done, what should not be done. Dhrtarastra did not accept Vidura's advice at that time.
Then time and time again, Vidura continued to give him the same advice. When they tried to kill the Pandavas along with Kunti, Vidura was instructing Dhrtarastra, "Get rid of your son. He is evil personified."
When Draupadi was insulted along with the Pandavas in the deceptive game of dice and everything was taken away from the Pandavas and Draupadi was dragged into the assembly and insulted in front of everybody, then Vidura told him, "Get rid of your son."
No one actually stood up in protest. Draupadi was appealing to everyone. All the senior members, elderly members of the Kuru Dynasty were present there. Bhimsadeva himself was present there. Dronacarya was present there. Of course Dhrtarastra was there. No one said anything in protest of this heinous, inhuman act, but Vidura stood up and warned Dhrtarastra right there, "Please, till now you have the time to save this earth from this disgraceful destruction. Get rid of your son." Dhrtarastra didn't listen.
Then just before the battle of Kuruksetra this is what was happening. Again, Vidura advised Dhrtarastra, "Please get rid of your son. He is no good. He is like a blind eye. He doesn't serve the purpose rather causes distress to you. Not only you, he is going to cause the destruction of the entire family. He is kulaghana, he is the fire that is going to burn the entire family, so please get rid of him." Dhrtarastra didn't listen. Rather, then Duryodhana came and insulted him in very harsh words and Vidura then left. He saw that the inevitable couldn't be avoided, so he left.
It is not only Vidura who was giving this advice to Dhrtarastra, even Gandhari, Duryodhana's own mother was advising Dhrtarastra to get rid of Dhrtarastra. She became furious when she saw how Draupadi was humiliated, Draupadi was insulted. Gandhari was not in the assembly, but when she heard Draupadi's cry, she ran to the window. Actually, the women don't go to the assembly usually. The women in Vedic culture don't go to the royal assembly, but there are some small windows. Through that, they can see what is happening, if necessary. So when she heard the cry of Draupadi, she just ran out there. She was blindfolded, so she couldn't see, but she could hear what was going on and she became furious. She immediately ran right after the assembly was over to Dhrtarastra and she appealed, "I have come here with a request."
Dhrtarastra replied, "Tell me, I'm not going to refuse your request. I don't refuse your requests."
Then she said, "Get rid of him."
Dhrtarastra asked, "Who?"
She said," Duryodhana."
Dhrtarastra didn't expect that the mother would expect that her son should be banished in this way. When she saw Dhrtarastra was hesitating, she asked, "You are a king. If one of your citizens molests a woman, what will you do?"
He just spelt out, he said, "I'll banish him."
She said, "Your son has done that, so you banish him."
But Dhrtarastra could not. He reasoned, "After all, it was not what you are thinking."
Then also, Gandhari predicted, "You see, I am the mother. I carried him just below my heart for such a long time. I fed him with my own breast milk. My heart was filled with parental affection, motherly affection when his tiny little hands used to caress me and I am requesting you this. Don't you see the need for that?"
Still Dhrtarastra refused. So that is how a blind man acts, a spiritually blind man acts. He is devoid of clarity of his perception, clarity of his intelligence.
Mahabharata, for that matter, is a very wonderful eye opener for all of us. Mahabharata actually gives in a very elaborate way, the understanding of what should be done and what should not be done. In this way, ultimately it comes to the point of surrendering to Krsna. What is the benefit when we surrender to Krsna and what is the disadvantage when we go against Krsna?
If one goes against Krsna, the ultimate result is going to be inauspicious. No matter how noble, how righteous the person may be, but the ultimate consideration is surrender to Krsna. That is why within Mahabharata, Bhagavad-gita has been placed as the crest jewel of this wonderful scripture.
Vidura is advising Dhrtarastra, but here also we see Dhrtarastra is not willing to listen. He is so overpowered by his attachment to his son. The history also can reveal the fact why. Dhrtarastra is a very unfortunate soul. He was the elder brother, the eldest brother born in a royal family, a very illustrious royal family, the moon dynasty, candra-vamsa. The eldest of the family naturally becomes the king, but he could not become the king because he was blind from his birth. But he had a faint hope, not a faint hope, he had a deep conviction actually that he couldn't become king, but his son would become king. He harbored that hope and he was living with that expectation that his son would become king. But in course of time, before his son was born, Pandu's son was born. Dhrtarastra was again disappointed. Although Pandu was the younger brother, his son came before. Therefore, it is again another Vedic custom that the eldest in the family becomes the king. So Yudhisthira Maharaja became the natural successor to the throne.
And that is why Duryodhana became so envious. He became so envious from his childhood that he won't become the king. Not only that, the Pandavas, especially Bhima, was far superior to him in strength and other qualities. All the Pandavas were illustrious. Everyone used to just adore them, especially Bhisma and Drona. Duryodhana could not tolerate that because these were the two most important personalities in his life at that time. Bhimsadeva was the grandsire, grandfather, and Dronacarya was their astra siksa guru. Arjuna excelled him all respects. Bhima excelled him in strength. So he became extremely envious.
Although Duryodhana otherwise was a very noble character. Otherwise, he was a very noble person. He had so many good qualities. But all his good qualities were destroyed just because of one defect, his envy.
Duryodhana, again, is an incarnation of Kali. Who is Kali? Kali is the son of envy and anger. Kali is the son of envy and anger. So Duryodhana is actually a product of envy and anger. So he is extremely envious, especially of the Pandavas. Otherwise he had many good qualities. He was extremely noble, extremely generous. That is why he had so many people lined up with him--they would give up their lives.
When Dronacarya introduced Asvatthama, his son, to both the Pandavas and Kauravas, Dronacarya expected that Asvatthama would naturally be attracted to the Pandavas, but Asvatthama developed an affinity to Duryodhana. So much so that he committed so many heinous acts, the worst of all the heinous acts one can kill: killing the sleeping individuals, especially the five sons of Draupadi. He did that just to please Duryodhana. His whole mission, the whole purpose of Asvatthama's existence was just to please Duryodhana.
Similarly, Karna was sold out to Duryodhana because of the generous gesture Duryodhana had displayed towards him. Karna appeared in that arena where the Kuru princes were displaying their expertise in using weapons. Dronacarya, after the instructing them in using weapons for many years, finally he was displaying what he taught them. In that assembly, Karna just appeared. Dronacarya expected trouble. He could see that he was an extremely powerful and extremely talented individual. Just from his appearance he could recognize that. Dronacarya asked him, "What is your identity? Who are you?"
Karna had to admit that he was belonging to a lower caste. He was a suta.
Then Dronacarya told him, "You can't contest with the princes. You have to be equal to contest with them. How dare you come here and challenge these princes?"
Right at that time, Duryodhana announced, "OK, I am giving him the kingdom of Anga, a province." He offered it to him and elevated him to the platform of a ksatriya.
So we can see, Duryodhana had many good qualities that way. As a result of that many people became absolutely loyal to him, like Karna. Although Karna was also an extremely noble person, he didn't hesitate to stoop down to a very, very degraded level just for the sake of Duryodhana's pleasure.
In a way, that is what Prabhupada pointed out, that we should be very careful what kind of association we keep. We should be very careful of our association. If we remain in bad association, no matter how good we may be, we will be affected by that bad association. Therefore association is very, very important.
Duryodhana, in this way, won Karna. And what to speak of Karna, Salya, Madri's brother, the uncle of the Pandavas, he was coming to join the battle of Kuruksetra to side with the Pandavas. But Karna had a problem. Karna when he got to know that Krsna is going to become charioteer, he told Duryodhana, "Look, Duryodhana, I won't be able to contest with Arjuna when he has a charioteer like Krsna. "
So he asked, "Then who can you get as your charioteer?"
He said, "The most expert charioteer is Salya, the king of Madras, but he is the uncle of the Pandavas. How to get him?"
So Duryodhana made arrangements to meet with Salya when he was coming. He treated him in such a wonderful way that Salya was forced to join him and go against his own nephews. He fought against them.
So this is how, in one way, one can say that Duryodhana is actually very crafty and he was very scheming and he made his plans in such a way. There was always some motivation, some intention behind his actions, but still, in a superficial way, we have to admit that Duryodhana was a nice guy, a nice person. [chuckles.] So many people actually joined him.
Another nice point in that respect is that when the battle of Kuruksetra was arranged, Pandavas had seven aksauhinis whereas the Kauravas had eleven. And the Pandavas side were just their blood relations, relatives like Drupada and the others. They were all relatives of the Pandvas, Dhrstadyumna and Uttara's father, Virata. But the Kauravas side, the others also joined the Kauravas because they were enamored by Duryodhana's dealings with them. In this way, we can see, in spite of having all good qualities, all these nice qualities, Duryodhana is evil personified, just because of one thing: envy.
Envy leads to anger. Therefore, we should be very, very careful to defeat these two adverse influences for our, not only spiritual progress, but even for our proper sustenance. That is why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu actually came to counteract the influence of Kali. Kali's influence is quarrel, generated by envy and anger. This is another name of Kali, Kali is quarrel personified:
karala-vadana krurah kalisca kalah
Kali has been described as very vicious looking and very wicked, cruel. He is very wicked and he always generates quarrel. By causing quarrel, he spreads his influence, dividing through quarrel.
Now Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to counteract the influence of Kali and his way of doing it is by unifying us with love. Quarrel is generated out of hatred. Now how do we counteract hatred? Through love. Quarrel is caused by envy and anger. How do we counteract envy and anger? By being humble and by being tolerant.
So often we encounter reasons to be angry, especially someone tries to correct you and you immediately think, "Who are you to correct me?" You get angry, but if you take a humble position, "Maybe I was wrong and he was right." If you take a humble position, then immediately we can avoid the possibility of quarrel.
We become envious. Why do we become envious? We become envious by seeing how the others are excelling. The others are becoming greater. The others are progressing, they are being glorified, they are becoming so qualified. And we become envious, "Why not me?" The heart becomes so much afflicted and tormented, "Why the whole world is glorifying him, why not me? Why don't they see how great I am?"
Just be patient and tolerant. In course of time, Krsna will glorify you also. Krsna is glorifying him or her today, tomorrow Krsna will glorify you. So don't be impatient. Be tolerant. Everyone will have his heyday.
In this way, if we just maintain this mood of our humble disposition and tolerant attitude, everything will become all right and this will generate a wonderful strength of Krsna consciousness, krsna-prema. This krsna-prema will unify the whole world. Kali will try to divide, create dissention among the devotees and that is how Kali will enter into the movement. In the past we have seen so many times Kali has entered into Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's sankirtana movement in the form of quarrel among the devotees.
So many times Srila Prabhupada warned us that this movement cannot be destroyed from outside. Only from within this movement can be destroyed because if there are attacks from outside, that will actually strengthen our movement. Attacks will come from outside and we will counteract that attack, we will overpower that attack and we will become strong. Because who can defeat Krsna and his devotees? Who can defeat Caitanya Mahaprabhu's sankirtana movement? Nobody. But if the devotees start to fight among themselves, that will the cause of our destruction. Only that can destroy the progress of Mahaprabhu's sankirtana movement. Nothing can destroy Mahaprabhu's sankirtana movement, but what they can do is stifle the progress of Mahaprabhu's sankirtana movement. Therefore we should be very careful that among ourselves we do not fight. We should maintain a wonderful spirit of unity generated out of our love and friendship for each other.
Now that the GBC meeting is going on, as a member of the GBC body, I can assure you, I can tell you that our movement is progressing in a very wonderful way. All the auspicious signs are there. The way things are happening, the way the GBC's are guiding this movement is very, very positive, very auspicious.
In a few days, our GBC Chairman, along with the GBC body will present the results of our GBC meetings. You will get to know that at that time. In short I can tell you that there are many wonderful things happening today. The progress of this movement is assured. This movement, ISKCON movement, the association of devotees worldwide that has been created by Srila Prabhupada, this institution is being very nicely protected by the leading members of this movement. They are paving the way for its wonderful progress in course of time.
Progress means Krsna consciousness will spread, the glory of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will spread, the teachings of Srila Prabhupada will spread. As a result of that, innumerable individuals all over the world will receive inconceivable spiritual benefit and Kali's influence will be thwarted and Krsna consciousness will prevail. Dharma will be reestablished and the golden age will appear once again in the middle of the age of Kali.
Thank you very much. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Gaura premanande, hari, haribol!
Hare Krsna. I won't take any questions because we have a GBC meeting and now they all have to take breakfast.
Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.