There are plenty of life lessons one can learn from the Mahabharata. Let’s put history to use and take a look at 15 lessons from one of the greatest epics in Hindu mythology.
1. Wrong Thinking Is The Only Problem In Life
Krishna saved Draupadi while she was being humiliated in the court of Dhritarashtra. When she met him after the incident, the first question she asked was, why she was chosen by nature as the victim of the incident. She questioned if it was because of some poor karmas or misdeeds she might have done in her past life. To this Krishna replied that it is not the victim, but the victimizer who should be credited with bad karmic records in past life. Therefore, he said that it was the misdeeds of Yudhishtir that she became a part of such a sinful act.
Thus, though Draupadi suffered, God came to save her and was there by her side all the time. But believing that it was her past mistake for which she was being punished by nature, was a wrong way of thinking. Such thoughts would have just undermined her faith in herself as well as the God and done nothing else.
2. Right Knowledge Is The Ultimate Solution For Our Problems
Shishupal was the cousin of Krishna. The family priest had said he would be killed by Krishna. But Shishupal’s tried hard to convince Krishna not to kill her son. To this Krishna said he would forgive his hundred mistakes. Shishupal was a spoilt man and he abused Krishna ninety-nine times. When Krishna gave him a final warning not to make one more mistake, Shishupal just ignored that too and abused Krishna once more, making it the hundredth sin of his life. Thus Krishna chopped off his head with the Sudarshan Chakra. If Shishupal’s mother had convinced her son instead of convincing Krishna, she would have saved his life. Shishupal’s wrong knowledge put him in trouble. The priest’s prediction would not have worked if Shishupal worked on disproving it through right knowledge and renouncing sins.
3. Selflessness Is The Only Way To Progress And Prosperity
There was a sage named Barbarik, he wanted to support the weaker in the war. Barbarik was so powerful that he could have become the reason for the victory of the Kouravas. Only Krishna knew that the Kouravas would be the weaker team. So he, already knowing about Barbarik met him on his way to the battlefield. Krishna, disguised as a Brahmin asked Barbarik to give away his head as a donation to him, and Barbarik, who never let go a Brahmin empty-handed, fulfilled his wish. Pleased by his selflessness, Krishna gave a boon to Barbarik that he would be known by the name of Shyam and will be worshipped as another form of Lord Krishna. Thus selflessness helped him progress from a warrior to a deity.
4. Every Act Can Be An Act Of Prayer
Whatever we say and we do, if it is inspired by a thought of blessing, it can work as prayer. Rather than cursing a man for his sins, what is needed is blessings which can help him overcome his ignorance and limited knowledge. Somebody seen doing something wrong needs to be taught more than the need to be punished.
Krishna says that when we see the outer world to be a part of our body, we can feel one’s pain, and thus bless him and pray for him.
5. Renounce The Ego And Individuality And Rejoice In The Bliss Of Infinity
Krishna tells us to believe that we are a part of a higher being, the ultimate power, from whom all the lives and the soul have come. When we know that the body we possess is mortal but the soul is real and immortal, only then can we rejoice. We need to believe that we are a part of the supreme power, who is infinite in all measures.
6. Connect To Higher Conscious Daily
Meditation is the way we can connect to the higher conscious every day. This helps us introspect our inner self and analyse our own actions. We need to realize every day where we have come from and where we are heading onto.
7. Live What You Learn
We read something, ponder it over for a while and then get busy and forget it. This limits our knowledge to the brain and not into the character. Real progress happens when we can apply all that we learn into our lives. Krishna revealed the truths of life through Geeta to Arjuna, but he could benefit from these truths only when he adhered to them.
8.Never Give Up On Yourself
When Guru Dronacharya denied to accept him as a student, Eklavya did not lose the spirit and the desire to learn archery. He took the soil from the traces of footsteps of Guru Dronacharya, made a symbolic teacher out of that and practised the skill of archery all by himself, and thus excelled in it. This teaches us to never give up on ourselves.
9.Value Your Blessings
As the example above, Krishna had promised not to kill Shishupal for his first hundred mistakes. As a blessing, had he taken it seriously, and valued it, he could have saved himself. But his ignorance led him to death at the hands of God.
10.See Divinity Everywhere
Seeing divinity all around means respecting everything as a creation of nature and believing that things are under the control of God. As Krishna says in the Mahabharata, he is there in every particle. Believing there is divinity in everything, makes us respect it.
11. Have Enough Surrender To See The Truth As It Is
Arjuna was initially not willing to kill his kins in the battle, but when Krishna made it clear to him, that his uncles and brothers are spreading Adharma on the Earth, and the only way to save the Earth was killing them, he accepted and finally waged a war, thus leading to victory and the fulfilment of a larger goal.
12. Absorb Your Heart And The Mind In The Supreme Lord
When Krishna played the flute, the smile on his face would prove that when the heart and the mind are absorbed in something pure, gives immense pleasure. Similarly, absorbing the heart in some eternal power, known as God, gives peace to the mind. It is just like enjoying the melodious notes of Krishna’s flute.
13.Detach From Maya And Attach To Divine
Krishna had to leave his real mother just the day he was born. Then he had to leave his second parents as well as his beloved Radha while going to Dwarka to kill Kansa. Despite loving them so much, he also knew the art of detachment, for he had to serve the divine aim of bringing back the Dharma on Earth.
14. Live A Lifestyle That Matches Your Vision
Living a lifestyle below and above the limits what we believe in, both can be harmful. We must first find out what we want in life, then evaluate the potential and only after that should we decide about the lifestyle which supports our vision. A mismatch between the lifestyle and vision brings confusions. Even the princes had to live in forests without the luxurious life when they had to gain knowledge from the most prominent Gurus.
15.Give Priority To Divinity
When you have to choose between two things, decide what a divine bring would have done in your place. Be it in troubles, confusions, sadness or happiness, when you trace the footsteps of the God for example Krishna, you will lead on to the right path only.