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Tag: Mahabharata

Small to great

We discussed recently how Yudhishthira and Duryodhana went around the kingdom to find good people, and how the latter couldn’t find even one good person, while the former found goodness in everyone.

Do we too become like Duryodhana sometimes?

If we do a self-audit, would we find ourselves cribbing a lot about others, gossiping, talking behind people’s backs, complaining about the company we work for and the bosses, putting down others who got promotions (especially if they didn’t seem to deserve it!) and so on? Oh and not to forget much of the bashing has actually moved online these days – with social media becoming nothing short of the Kurukshetra battlefield (no matter the topic, there will be enough armchair experts to give you a rough time). It’s fine – these are normal, and we are human, so it is bound to happen.

The real problem with such discussions and thoughts though, is that constantly talking about other people’s negative qualities will subconsciously cause us to also become more negative. We not only talk bad about others, but this mindset also pulls us into a deeply self-critical mode. We eventually begin to question our own looks (lack of hair, long nose etc.), our talents, our abilities and capabilities as well simply because that negativity has seeped right in. Having a positive view of things, and celebrating even small joys and victories each and every day is much better than being morose and picking out the losses, even if they outnumber the daily wins 10 to 1. So it all boils down to keeping the mind focused on the good.

As a former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.”

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Seeing is solving

There is a saying, ‘Jaisi drishti waisi srishti’. This is nice and rhyming in Hindi/Sanskrit, but in English not so much. But the meaning is powerful – it says that the way we look at the world, is the way the world is.

An example in the Mahabharata illustrates this well. Both Duryodhana (Kaurava head, bad guy) and Yudhishtira (Pandava head, nice guy) were asked to go and find a good person in the kingdom. The story goes that at the end of the day, Duryodhana could find not even one person, whereas Yudhishtira found good qualities in everyone.

The application of this thought is more important than we give credit for. As human beings controlled by a monkey mind, we give in to mood swings all too often. When the going is good, the world seems nice and rosy, and when the tide turns, everything seems futile.

To be clear, just remembering the above saying doesn’t mean we will never encounter troubling situations in life. But having a happy mind will enable us to find solutions where none seem to exist. And that alone is the difference between those who are successful and those who are not. Because problems come to everyone. How they are tackled makes all the difference.

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