“Everyone has to bear the actions and reactions of time as long as one is within the conditions of the material world. Yudhishthira should not think that he had committed sins in his previous birth and is suffering the consequence. Even the most pious has to suffer the condition of material nature. But a pious man is faithful to the Lord, for he is guided by the bona fide brahmana and Vaishnava following the religious principles. These three guiding principles should be the aim of life.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.9.14 Purport)
Friend1: You solve one problem, only to get another one right away.
Friend2: Sums up life.
Friend1: It gets a little daunting at times.
Friend2: For sure.
Friend1: I was thinking particularly of Maharaja Yudhishthira.
Friend2: What exactly about?
Friend1: The way he felt after the Bharata War.
Friend2: Oh yeah, he was pretty bummed out.
Friend1: He is the son of the god of justice, Yamaraja. Yudhishthira didn’t do anything wrong.
Friend2: And yet he still felt terrible.
Friend1: It was something like trauma, PTSD. Do you think that’s a real thing?
Friend2: Why would you ask? You don’t think mass death going down in front of your eyes will make an impact?
Friend1: I’m sure it does, but what about the issue of trauma? Is that discussed in the Vedas?
Friend2: There is the constant toggling between happiness and distress, sukha and duhkha. You could say that trauma is a more protracted form of duhkha.
Friend1: I see.
Friend2: It’s likely the world has never seen such a death toll. The Bharata War was amazing. Only a few people survived. The five Pandava brothers were victorious.
Friend1: That’s because they had Krishna on their side.
Friend2: Yes, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate objective. He is the reason to follow dharma. Whatever you do to please Him, that is righteous.
Friend1: Okay, then why did Yudhishthira feel so bad? In the Shrimad Bhagavatam we find that no one could pacify him.
Friend2: Well, that was intentional. It was Krishna’s desire to further glorify Bhishmadeva, the elderly personality respected by both sides in the war. When Yudhishthira was lamenting after the victory, Krishna brought the Pandava brothers over to Bhishmadeva, who was lying on the battlefield about to quit his body.
Friend1: I see. And then from the words of the respected person Yudhishthira felt better?
Friend2: That is the only way to solve the mystery of life. Bhishma started by saying that everything happens because of kala, which is time. You can’t do anything about it. Lament if you choose, but time moves on. That is part of living in the material world.
Friend1: Yeah, pious people like Yudhishthira suffered distress; even after he achieved the greatest success in removing the influence of wicked characters from the world.
Friend2: The idea is to get out of the material world. Learn to cope using the weapon of knowledge. Make sure to get devotion to God the person. The bona fide representative and others following that devotion through religious principles help to keep you devoted to Him.
Friend1: Yudhishthira had that in high supply. Krishna was his cousin, after all. Vyasadeva was in the family. So was Bhishma. Are you saying that is the only way to get over trauma, which is like a war that never ends?
Friend2: Trauma can be from anything; remember that. Look at Yudhishthira’s case. There was trauma from success. The way to get over the conditions in duality is devotion. Everyone in the material world is suffering, and there is only one way out of that predicament.
Success even into depression to send,
Trauma like war to never end.
Yudhishthira the most pious of all,
But from regret difficulty standing tall.
Krishna’s plan, to Bhishmadeva went,
Days in hearing timeless wisdom spent.
The same for everyone escaping the way,
In bhakti no more in duality to stay.