Mahabharata: Analysis Into Destiny/Fate (91)
Mahabharata: Analysis into Destiny – Fate (91)

Summary:

Lesson 91 touches on emotional distortions that need to be looked into because they weigh us down. Like: Being a people pleaser, past shame, jealousy. Then we undertake analysis of destiny/fate to help redefine it's distorted definition.


REVISION FROM LAST SESSION:

  • STORY: Seeing Pāṇḍava’s success, Duryodhana burned with jealousy. Formed plots to eliminate them.
  • QUESTION: What is jealousy?
    • Basis is self-inadequacy. Not happy with the way I am.
    • In Sanskrit, amarṣa (intolerance).
      • Unwilling to enjoy other’s rightfully deserved position, owning to their hard-work. Especially when in same field as myself.
        • 2 soccer teams.
        • 2 students / teachers teaching same subject / music players.
    • Because can’t stand it, disturbs the mind. Fastest way to alleviate is by finding something to criticize about another.
      • Bhartṛhari writes in Śatakatraya (Sanskrit poetry. 300 moral values. In South India, also called: subhāṣita triśati):
        • para guṇa (supreme qualities) paramāṇūn (atomic) parvatīkṛtya nityam (always)
          nija hṛdi vikasantam santi santaḥ niyanthaḥ

          • A noble person, as though looking through a magnifying glass, sees the smallest good qualities of others. As for their minus points, he sees through a concave lens (shrinks everything).
          • For mind in process of becoming noble, it's reversed.
            • EG: Take any political leader, only criticism.
              • Even Ghandhi, Bal Tilak (wrote Gita in jail), Covid vaccine researchers, Mother Teresa, etc.
            • Explains why great talents gets so many dislikes.
    • Jealously happens to be the most difficult condition to eliminate, because our “I AM” identity is entangled in the mind’s narrative of insecurity.
      • Reason why it’s even problem in spiritual field.
    • Whereas manuṣya (thinking being) has resolved within himself forms of self-inadequacy.
      • Habituated to recognize good qualities in others.
        • EG: Celebrity sees another celebrity is contributing to good causes. Another giving acting lessons. Another for his dedication. Instead of wallowing in jealousy of another’s greater fame.
      • Therefore has capacity to admire other’s shining qualities.
  • QUESTION: How to handle jealousy towards you?
    • Sometimes we provoke it by exaggerating our talents and not showing our human-ness (no one is without weaknesses). EG: Know it all. Don’t care what you think, because this world is mithyā!
      • We actually like those who share their failures. Sharing vulnerabilities is a quality of a manuṣya.
    • But not sharing in form of:
      • Mānitva: Exaggerating one’s accomplishments to gain validation from others, so I can feel good about myself.
        • Gita CH13, amānitva: Absence of excessive pride.
      • Dambha: Fabricating a false image about oneself.
        • EG: Dress like wealthy person, but dodging bill collectors.
      • Therefore other’s jealously can serve as indicator of my own incongruity with who I am and what image I portray to the world.
    • However none of these were case of Pāṇḍavas.
      • Therefore next solution is: If affecting your life, then draw boundaries. Can’t just say “It’s their problem”.

REVISION FINISHED – THIS WEEKS SESSION:

  • STORY: Duryodhana’s plots in attempt to eliminate the Pāṇḍavas, because of his jealousy.
  • Plot 1: Invited Pāṇḍavas to palace, then set it on fire.
    • Pāṇḍavas were informed of this plan, and escaped through tunnel, keeping their mouths shut.
      • QUESTION: Was it wise to keep mouth shut?
      • Pāṇḍavas kept forgiving Kauravas adharmic actions. Each time giving license to repeat. Pāṇḍavas mistake was NOT confronting adharma.
  • Plot 2: Invited Pāṇḍavas to game of dice. Requested cunning uncle Śakuni to play on behalf.
    • Śakuni is master as cheating/manipulating dice in favour.
    • Yudhiṣṭhira knowing this, accepted. As was tradition that king couldn’t refuse to play when invited.
      • Yudhiṣṭhira attempted to please Duryodhana by playing with Śakuni.
        • Moral: Do what needs to be done (svadharma), instead of being a people pleaser.
    • Duryodhana enticed Yudhiṣṭhira to gamble brothers. Finally wife, Draupadī was staked.
      • Duryodhana ordered brother Duḥśāsana to disrobe her in royal court.
      • QUESTION: How did Draupadī feel?
        • Potential shame, disgust, embarrassment, demoralized.
        • How do we come out of past shame?
          • Share with someone you trust.
          • Make it humorous.
  • TOPIC OF DESTINY or FATE: (synonymous words used interchangeably)
    • This brings up topic whether Draupadī’s disrobing was destiny.
    • Destiny is fixed” is deeply fixed in society.
    • EG: Many variables contributed to Pāṇḍu killing the sage.
      • Maybe stubbed toe on nail in forest, which fell out of merchant’s bag 200 years ago. Contributing to walking slower, and arriving when sage/wife happened to come for 30 sec to get water from stream.
      • Maybe rain fell recently, making ground softer, causing Pāṇḍu to take different route, thus encountering sage.
      • A sight of tiger added some fear in Pāṇḍu, contributed to lesser focus, thus to negligence.
    • DISTORTED definition of destiny: Pāṇḍu and sages situation was pre-scripted. Pāṇḍu was meant to shoot and the sage was meant to die THAT day, specifically by Pāṇḍu’s arrow”. This is BLACK-WHITE thinking.
      • This “meant to” contradicts Īśvara’s nature which is infinite possibilities in potential.
        • These infinite possibilities are constantly collapsed (into manifest) by our actions, which either produce progression or regression.
          • EG: Possibility of falling is collapsed when person is negligent towards law of gravity.
            • Therefore, a successful life is knowing about the laws and aligning to them.
              • Like align to law of biology. If malnourished body, then body’s immunity weakens. Hence suffers.
    • REFINED definition of destiny: I am here because of infinite causes-effects. Some causes contributed by me, some by environment.
      • Therefore I can influence the causes, but not entirely.
        • Reason why Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna “Who are you to win or lose this war. You’re in this position, and because you happen to be in it, the only appropriate action is to fight the war!”.
          • He doesn’t say “This your fate. You’re meant to be here!”.
    • EG of distorted statement: Death is predetermined.
      • Recently 4 year boy was killed by fallen tree in Blackburn from wind.
        • Infinite variables contributed to this. EG:
          • Due to CO2 which accelerated because of WW2, contributed (maybe) to 2km extra wind speed which was just enough to dismount tree from ground.
          • Wind direction modified thousands of times by building structures, that it blew just right angle to challenge tree’s weak side of roots in soil.

Keywords: manusya, manushya, amarsa, amarsha, Bhartrhari, Bhartrihari, satakatraya, shatakatraya, subhasita trisati, subhashita trishati, para guna paramanun parvatikrtya nityam, manitva, dambha, pandavas, sakuni, shakuni, Yudhisthira, Yudhishthira, draupadi

Recorded 1 Sept, 2020

 

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