Mahabharata Symbolism: Pandu's Negligence of Shooting the Arrow (89)


Lesson 89 speaks about negligence, what causes it, how to minimize it, and how it shapes our lives. We also speak of topic of bringing mindfulness/alertness into our lives.

  • Topic since lesson 88 was on negligence. This lesson 89, finishes topic of negligence…
  • Mindfulness / alertness
    • Notice how society has gone from multitasking to Mindfulness (especially in corporate situations). Why has the focus changed?
      • In multitasking, we're “not together”. So we don't feel satisfied, but also make mistakes. Miss details.
        • Today's seminars are about mindfulness, because they notice multitasking isn't fulfilling, thus doesn't motivate employees to produce quality work.
      • Can be mindful and do many But must be “together 100%” in any activity we do.
    • Example of how multi-tasking doesn't work: Listening, while thinking of whether what you said was appropriate. This means one is “not together” in their mental processes. It's impossible to enjoy the conversation of have a deep discussion like this.
  • Attachment determines reaction.
    • What is attachment? It's a mechanical repetitive process. It's a result of subscribing to the “comfort zone”. It's closes the mind to learning and asking questions.
  • What does the sage (who cursed Pāṇḍu) symbolize?
    • Sage symbolizes one who is in touch with Īśvara. Even if good person (such as Pāṇḍu) exercises negligence, there are inescapable consequences.
      • Why kind of consequences? Depends on 2 types of negligence's:
        1. Out of assumption (mechanical approximation without taking a moment to check).
          • EG: Pāṇḍu, toddler. Less severe.
        2. Having prior knowledge, but silences it with likes/dislikes. EG:
          • Knowing I'll forget if don't write it down, but says “I'll remember this time“.
          • Knowing this feeling in me, means my partner is uncomfortable, but consciously chooses to not do
          • Floor cleaner knows floor slippery, doesn't put “Wet” sign.
          • Know video-title will invoke negativity, but watch it anyway.
          • Result of all examples above: Guilt. Weaker to say “No” next time. Severe punishment.
      • Both cases, Īśvara's laws of karma (cause-effect) brings suffering.
      • Just playing role of king/parent/teacher is insufficient. What about personal growth?
        • If unattended, your less-then-committed performance affects those associated to you.
  • Other factors that influence neglect:
    • Age EG: Toddler. That’s why punishment 18+ (in any culture).
      • Feedback system. Let’s us learn. EG:
        • Despite getting feedback from body, ignored. Later health problems.
        • Despite getting feedback of uncertain economy, doesn't save for emergency
        • Despite ongoing tension in relationship, doesn't bring it up. Hopes.
        • Despite feeling more stuck/vulnerable in life, doesn't ask for advice.
      • How to know if ignoring feedback-system? Postponement. EG:
        • First learn Sanskrit language, then can study B.Gītā (manual on life).
          • It's like saying:
            • Before cooking a meal, must learn art of cookery.
            • Before type one keystroke, must go to typing class.
            • Before I can share my opinion, must learn to be charming.
            • Before I can conceive child, must learn the psychology of children.
  • Message of Mahābhārata: Even good people make mistakes. They're all good people, but still need to evolve.
    • We have to refine our personality: Duryodhana > Arjuna > Krishna
  • STORY CONTINUES: After Pāṇḍu death, it was thought his eldest son Yudhiṣṭhira should rule.
    • But Duryodhana thought he should rule since (1) he was eldest of Dhṛtarāṣṭra (2) wasn’t blind.
  • Dhṛtarāṣṭra happily agreed to Duryodhana’s ruling, knowing decision wasn’t correct, as Yudhiṣṭhira was more qualified.
    • So Dhṛtarāṣṭra decided to give some part of kingdom to Yudhiṣṭhira, which was uninhabited and barren desert.
      • Pāṇḍavas agreed. Though hard work, turned it into beautiful place.
    • QUESTION 1:
      • Why do you think Dhṛtarāṣṭra allowed Duryodhana to rule, and not Yudhiṣṭhira?
        • He was nursing He felt for years he was deprived of his right to rule.
        • He wanted to live his own dream through his own son.
        • Passive-aggressive behavior: He fought for kingdom through his son.
    • QUESTION 2: Was it right that Pāṇḍavas accepted Dhṛtarāṣṭra's small land?
      • EG: Yudhiṣṭhira was giving license to Duryodhana to act adharmic, each time Yudhiṣṭhira didn't stand up to his unfairness. Thus his power to say “no” weakens next time.
        • Meaning even cultural message of “Let go, just surrender to the flow” isn't always healthy. You have to address appropriately with an educated buddhi.


Keywords: bhagavad gita, pandu, ishvara, Yudhishthira, pandavas, dhritarashtra

Recorded 18 Aug, 2020


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