Stop Complaining. Start Growing.
A Lesson from the Mahabharat Aftermath
After the Mahabharat war, the Pandavas asserted their rightful control of Hastinapur.
The series of events that led to the war and catastrophic destruction of lives was heartbreaking, yet it taught very important lessons.
First, the jealous and power-hungry Prince, Duryodhan, tried to eliminate the Pandavas by burning them alive in the house of wax he had constructed for this very purpose.
He then snatched the kingdom from the Pandavas in a game of dice, forcing them into exile along with Mother Kunti. Draupadi was further humiliated in the assembly of the Kauravas when she was disrobed.
After the Pandavas returned from exile, Duryodhan refused to give them even an inch of land to rule, that is, without a war.
A great war was fought – the Kauravas died.
The Pandavas lost all of their sons and almost lost the only remaining heir of the Kurus, Parikshitm who was in Uttara’s womb, to a Brahmastra (celestial weapon). Shri Vasudev Krishna himself entered Uttara’s womb in a subtle form and saved Parikshit.
Throughout their turmoil, Shri Vasudev Krishna was the constant guiding force in the Pandava’s lives and he was also their only support. By his grace, they survived turmoil and struggles and eventually gained the kingdom.
His work done, Shri Vasudev Krishna was leaving for his kingdom of Dwarka and Mother Kunti was heartbroken. Pleased with her devotion, Shri Vasudev Krishna told Mother Kunti to ask for a boon. She asked for calamities. Remember, Mother Kunti had already suffered her entire life. Here was a woman who was disregarded by her own husband. She was widowed. Her daughter-in-law was humiliated. She too was exiled despite being a queen and who lived in constant fear that her children may be killed at any time. Shri Vasudev Krishna, knowing all of the troubles his aunt had faced, asked her why she was asking for such a boon.
Mother Kunti’s famous reply was:
“vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat tatra tatra jagad-guro
bhavato darśanaṁ yat syādapunar bhava-darśanam”
“I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer face the cycle of life and death.”
Mother Kunti had no complaints and was in fact grateful for the calamities because of the possibility they held of detachment and spiritual attainment.
“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure” - Rumi.
When spiritual growth becomes our goal and purpose, the calamities we experience become hidden gifts and lessons to explore our capacity for forgiveness, strength, tolerance, patience, humility, and ultimately love and total transformation into divinity. Trials purify us to attain the grace of God and Guru. We mould ourselves into strengthened individuals.
The reason I share this lesson today is that it is the birthday of my Guru, Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He too faced many difficulties throughout his lifetime, yet he took every situation positively – as the wish of God – this understanding is a step-up to merely accepting a situation for what it is.
Let us too endeavour to adopt the right attitude in difficult times.
We must stop complaining so that we can start growing.