“From anger, delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.63)
क्रोधाद् भवति सम्मोहः
krodhād bhavati sammohaḥ
Friend1: We don’t cover this topic enough, so I will give it some attention today.
Friend2: What is that?
Friend1: The Pandavas getting cheated out of their kingdom by the Kauravas.
Friend2: As explained in the Mahabharata, an ancient Sanskrit work of epic length, in which is also found the famous Bhagavad-gita, the song of God.
Friend1: To give a quick summary, the two groups are related as cousins. The Pandavas are five brothers and their mother. They get their name from the father, Pandu, who unfortunately passes away early in life. The Kauravas descend from Kuru.
Friend2: The contest is over control of the city of Hastinapura.
Friend1: Which at the time, some five thousand years ago, was like having dominion across the entire world. Not that you were the sovereign of each and every land, foreign and domestic, but others agreed to your authority.
Friend2: That is why it is called Mahabharata. It refers to the history of the world, which was known as Bharata at the time.
Friend1: The Pandavas are the rightful heirs to the kingdom in Hastinapura, but they get cheated out of it by the Kauravas.
Friend2: How so?
Friend1: Think of it like someone occupying your home after you have gone away on vacation. You see exactly what they are doing. They block you from entering. Then if you object, they claim you have no evidence to support the accusation.
Friend2: Sounds like standard thief behavior.
Friend1: There are so many instances of the theft. It’s really ridiculous. I want to know how the Pandavas kept their cool. Take the incident of the dice game. Yudhishthira, the eldest of the five brothers, got cheated in the game. The end result was humiliation of Queen Draupadi, followed by exile from the community. For a long time, I might add.
Friend2: Cheating out in the open. It is crazy that no one from the Kauravas stepped up to correct the wrongs. They sat by, silently. Thankfully, Shri Krishna at least saved Draupadi from being disrobed in front of the assembly.
Friend1: That is something which would infuriate me. The Pandavas had power. They had influence. Why did they not retaliate immediately? How were they able to remain calm while this injustice was taking place?
Friend2: It is in the nature of saintly people to behave that way. They bide their time. They strike at the opportune moment. They are also aware of the universal truth of dharma delivering the appropriate results at the right time, as beautifully explained by Shri Rama in the Ramayana:
अवश्यं लभते जन्तुः फलं पापस्य कर्मणः।
घोरं पर्यागते काले द्रुमाः पुष्पमिवार्तवम्।।
avaśyaṃ labhate jantuḥ phalaṃ pāpasya karmaṇaḥ।
ghoraṃ paryāgate kāle drumāḥ puṣpamivārtavam।।
“Just as a tree starts to blossom during the proper season, so the doer of sinful deeds inevitably reaps the horrible fruit of their actions at the appropriate time.” (Lord Rama speaking to Khara, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 29.8)
Friend1: Okay, I get that. I believe in the principle, trust me. Everyone must succumb to death. That is evidence enough. For the grossly sinful, who think that no one watches their horrible deeds, such death is extremely painful. But what about the anger part? How do you control the outrage?
Friend2: You can find the answer within Bhagavad-gita. Shri Krishna explains that uncontrolled lust, kama, leads to anger. From anger you lose intelligence and so forth. Thus there is really no benefit to acting off the anger. You can indeed be upset. That is natural. Hanuman burned the entire city of Lanka in anger. It happens.
Friend2: In the case of the Pandavas, they knew they had Krishna overseeing affairs. They were properly aligned, on the side of dharma. It takes time for the proper results to manifest. It is not like the Pandavas just sat back and prayed for good, but they stayed within the bounds of dharma and did not act hastily. A lesson for us all to follow, to have faith in the process, and to always stay with the Supreme Lord through His holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Pandavas house burned to the ground,
Repeated trouble from Kauravas found.
Insult upon insult sustaining,
How their composure maintaining?
Always along dharma to reside,
Since Krishna on their side.
Delivering at appropriate time,
Justice eventually to find.