17 Life Lessons from Mahabharata

Don’t you know that the largest epic Mahabharata is the book of everything? Yes, it is. There are tons of stories in that book. There are many inventions in that book which have to be discovered yet. If we read in between lines, we can find many life lessons from the book. Maharishi Vyasa brilliantly crafted his work to teach people some lessons. Don’t see Mahabharata as a mere story. It has past, present and future. You need to read it with soul to be aware of the life hacks or life lessons.

Here I am sharing some life lessons to be learned fromMahabharata.


1.      Being Focused is the Key to Success


If you want to be succeeded, don’t concentrate on many things. You can’t be focused if you are indulged in many businesses. The great warrior from Mahabharata, Arjuna teaches us to be focused towards one goal at a time.

The time, Pandavas and Kauravas were studying Astra Vidya (the technique of bow and arrow) under the guidance of Dronacharya. One day he decided to test all of his students. He set up a bird made of clay on the higher branch of a tree. Then he called everyone to fire one arrow into the exact eye of that bird. Before committing the action, he asked a simple question to each of them. “what are you seeing?”. Everyone had an answer. Someone said they saw the tree, others said they could saw the bird and so on. Drona returned them and declared that they failed in the test. At last the time came for Arjuna. He came and took the bow in hand. Guru asked him the very same question. He answered without any confusion that he could see only the eye of the bird. He granted the answer and allowed to go on. He fired the arrow and it hit the target.

What does this story mean? Drona already knew that one who couldn’t focus was not going to win. That’s all.

2.      Passion and Devotion are the Teachers


Do you want to learn something? Just think you want to be an Engineer. The first thing you do will be taking admission in a coaching center. But there were many people who succeeded in getting a good rank in entrance exams without the help of any coaching center or any teacher. You only want is the passion.

Do you know Ekalavya? He was the son of Hiranyadhanus fromNishada tribe. He was a very brilliant warrior. Once, He pleaded before Drona to make him his student. But Drona denied because he was from a lower caste.

But what Ekalavya did next was unbelievable. He made a clay model of his ideal guru Dronacharya. Then he practiced every day in front of it. Soon he became very good in using bow and arrow.

While Drona was visiting a forest with his students, they lost their dog. After some time, it returned with five arrows in its mouth. Drona was eager to see the man who brilliantly did it. After wandering around, he found out whom it was. It was none other than Ekalavya.

That is the passion. If you have a strong desire to be at a well- known position, you will reach there. It is provided that, you have to work hard for it. Strong desire+ Hard work = Success.

3.      Don’t Take Decisions When You are Emotional


Emotions steal our ability to think the right way. If you took any decisions while you were emotional, you might know it. Emotions are manly. But, let them go and think only after you become free.

Pandu was the King of Hastinapur. One day, he went to the woods for hunting. There he killed a deer from a couple. That was a great sage who was about to join with his pair. The Rishi cursed him that his head would burst out when he touched his pair. Pandu became very sad to hear this. He couldn’t ask how to overcome this as the Sage was dead.

He went to the palace emotionally. In his point of view, there was no sense to continue as a King because he would not get a son to wear the crown. So he decided to take up Sanayasa. If he hadn’t taken this decision, that horrible war wouldn’t have happened.

4.      A Friend in Deed is a Friend in Need


This is probably the most told proverb. You might hear this. So think thrice before choosing your besties.

Krishna was the friend (of course relative also) of Pandavas. He always supported them whatever be the issue. If Krishna wasn’t in Pandava Sena, Arjuna would be killed. Durin the Kurukshetra battle, Lord Krishna rescued him from the heavy attack of Bhishma. He also advised Pandavas for any problems. We heard many stories about that.

Karna was the loyal friend of Duryodhana. He always obeyed Duryodhana. But he didn’t do things he thought to be injustice. If Karna wasn’t in Kaurava army, they would be defeated the very next day after the fall of Bhishma and Dronacharya.

5.      Being Sincere is the Duty of a Son


Mahabharata is the book of unending life lessons. Bhishma was seen as a God Father by everyone, not only because of his age but because of his nature.

Bhishma was the son of Santanu and Goddess Ganga. Ganga gave Bhishma to Santanu and went away. He grew his son with utmost care. Both of them loved each other. One day, Santanu went to woods for hunting. There he saw a beautiful woman named Satyavati. But he was the daughter of a fisherman. Love is blind. So he went to her home and talked with him. Who doesn’t want to make her daughter a queen? The fisherman was amazed to hear the King. Yet, he put forward a condition. He would allow the marriage only if he promised to make his grandchildren wear the crown.

Santanu reached the palace with a heavy heart. Bhishma realized at the first look that something went wrong. He enquired what happened. After compelling for a long time, the King opened his mind to the son. Without a moment’s hesitation, Bhishma went to the fisherman’s house. He told that the son of his father and Satyavati would rule the kingdom. But that old man wasn’t satisfied. So Bhima took a lifelong pledge that he would not marry. Hence, we got an idiom, the oath of Bhishma.

No one in today’s world does this. This shows how sincere he was towards his father. So Bhishma teaches us to be sincere to our parents.

6.      Don’t do Gambling


Gambling is the game of destruction. It steals everything from the players. Mahabharata directly tells us this significant lesson.

Duryodhana wanted the whole Kingdom under his rule. But it was the Pandava’s right to get their land. So Sakuni, Duryodhana’s uncle called Yudhishitir to gamble. He was an extraordinary craze in gambling. But luck wasn’t favoured him. He was defeated every game. Sakuni played some cheap tricks also. As a result, he had to gage everything he owned. Wealth, brothers and at last his wife, Draupadi. The show didn’t end there.

Duryodhana sent them to forest in exile for about 13 years. That was a tough time for them. If Yudhishtir hadn’t gambled, things would have changed. So don’t play gambling even for the sake of fun.

7.      A Wife should be Loyal to Her Husband


We, Bharatiyas give much importance to family and relationships. We believe that the relation between husband and wife is not mere physical, but it is divine. Both of them have to help each other in need.

Gandhari teaches us this lesson. He was fairly beautiful and had no inabilities. But the fate made him the wife of blind, Dhritarashtra. But she didn’t complain at least a single time. Instead, she lived as a support to her husband. As soon as she became his wife, she covered her eyes. She wouldn’t want to see the beautiful scenes her husband couldn’t.

This is how an ideal wife behaves. She becomes a part of her husband’s sorrow. If she can’t solve the problem, she experienced the hardness of it. (This is same to husbands also).

8.      Friends May become Enemies


Everyone we think as friend is not really the one. They may secretly want to see our failure and make moves to push us into it.

A friend must be friend whatever we do. They can leave our friendship. But defeating us by being with us is not at all right. Drona, Kripa and Bhishma were with Pandava by mind. But they fought for Kaurava in the battle. Arjuna, the middle man of Pandava was the best student of Drona and he secretly devoted him. We all know that what we do without interest ends up in utter failure. That was what happened in Kurukshetra war. Bhsihma, Drona and Kripa didn’t want to fight against Pandava. But they had to do it because of the customs. At last, Kaurava failed.

So have an eye on all of our friends. Maybe those whom we see as best friends will betray us badly.

9.      Half- Knowledge Causes Danger


Don’t start anything with half- knowledge. Understanding fully comes first and action, second. So having full knowledge is very essential. Suppose, you want to buy a smartphone. Before that figure out its price and usage. Unless it will be a useless thing if you want a phone only for calling and messaging.

Abhimanyu was the nephew of Krishna. Once, Krishna was telling Arjuna how he could enter the Chakravyuh and fight. He went on by hearing buzz for each sentence he said. After sometime, Krishna noticed that Arjuna was fall asleep. But still the buzz was going on. It was then he realized that the humming came from the womb of Subhadra, her sister. It was Abhimanyu who buzzed.

During Kurukshetra battle, Abhimanyu came forward to crash Chakravyuh. But he forgot that he didn’t know how to come out from it. What happened next was heart breaking. Jayadratha brutally killed Abhimanyu.

All that was happened because of Abhimanyu’s half- knowledge. He couldn’t have gone to crash Chakravyuh. So gather every information before taking action.

10.  Keep Promises Even to Enemies


Kshatriyas are known to keep their promise. If you can’t keep your promise, don’t waste time to make it. Keeping promise is the part of one’s personality.

Once, Duryodhana was bathing in a river. After sometime, a Gandharva also came and started bathing with her girlfriends. He couldn’t tolerate this. The impatient Duryodhana attacked the Gandharva. But he was defeated and tied. Somehow Yudhishtira came to know this. He requested Arjuna to rescue Duryodhana. So Arjuna bravely fought to defeat Chitrangadha (the Gandharva) and rescued Duryodhana. In return, the eldest of Kaurava gave a boon to him. But he didn’t asked saying that he would ask whenever needed.

Years went. It was the time of Kurukshetra battle. Bhishma gave Duryodhna five chanted divine arrows which were meant to kill the Pancha Pandavas. Krishna happened to know this. He realized that it would kill the Pandavas. Hence, Krishna reminded Duryodhana about that unasked boon. He also advised him to ask those five arrows. Arjuna did the same. Duryodhna gave them the arrows without any hesitation.

Pandava and Kaurava were fighting against each other. Yet he kept his promise and became a role model for all of us. Duryodhana committed many mistakes. But he never broke his promises.

11.  Curses May be Transformed into Boons


There are many occasions in life, we get benefitted from our mistakes. May be the things someone does to disturb us become advantages for us.

Arjuna was the son of Indra. One day, he went to Amaravathy to spend some time with his father. There he saw a dance performance of Urvashi who was renowned as the beauty queen. Urvashi was attracted to Arjuna. She wanted him. But after the dance performance, Arjuna called her with the salutation, “mother”. She was humiliated. So Urvashi cursed him to be a eunuch for one year. Arjuna became sad to hear this. He didn’t want to make her embarrassed.

Indra, his father solaced him saying that this curse would be a boon when he had to live in exile. That exactly happened. He made benefits from this curse while they were living in the palace of Virata. Arjuna became the dance teacher of princess Uthara.

12.  Don’t Cuddle Children Blindly


This is the next lesson I figured out from Mahabharata.

Dhrtarashtra fondled her hundred sons, especially the eldest Duryodhana. He was very fond of him. He made all of his wishes came real. More than that, Dhritarashtra blindly believed Duryodhana. When he wanted to begin the battle with their relatives, he didn’t protest it but granted with a boom. As a result, he lost of his hundred sons.

This fact teaches us not to coddle children much. Show your love towards them often. If they need anything not essential, make them understand the fact in a smooth way. This is the only way to deal with children. If you grant all of their wishes, you have to regret in the future.

13.  Don’t Test Serious Things

This is an important lesson Mahabharata tells to everyone, especially to the girls. If you want to test a serious thing, it will probably ruin your life. Just think, you are testing cyanide. You know the outcome it gives.

Kunti got a boon from the furious Sage, Durvasa. She was able to get sons from any Deva she thought of. But the thing was, he got this boon while he was a teenage unmarried girl. It was (is) not good to have child for an unmarried girl. But she didn’t think this. Kunti thought Durvasa was making fun of her and the boon wouldn’t be realized. So she decided to test it.

Kunti thought Surya Deva in her mind by chanting a mantra given by Durvasa. Yes, that happened. Surya Deva came in front of her. She tried hard to return him. But he said that he couldn’t return without giving a son because that Mantra was meant for it. Poor girl. She became pregnant and gave birth to Karna. She was afraid of the society. So she left his new- born baby.

This fact was burning in her mind. She was burnt herself because of this throughout the lifetime. So don’t test serious things like pregnancy.

14.  Reciprocate the Help You Receive in Critical Time


Reciprocation is the key to success in the world. Moreover it is the quality of a truthful person.

Duryodhana helped Karna when he was asked his Vamsa. Karna was about to challenge the brilliance of Arjuna. But Kripa prevented this because he knew Karna would be the winner. So he asked his Vamsa and told that fight challenges were made between equal persons. At that time, Duryodhana came o his rescue and made him as the King of Anga Rajya.

Many years later, Karna happened to know that he is the elder brother of Pandavas from his mother Kunti at the time of Kurukshetra war. But he refused to leave Duryodhana. Kunti pleaded him to join with Pandava. Karna was a loyal guy. He was truly aware that Duryodhana was the only one who stood with him while he faced a humiliation. So he fight for Duryodhana and died by a deceiving way.

So don’t leave the one who helps you in critical situations. Because they may also face the very same situation. Be with them and help them when they want it.

15. Fight for What You have to Get


This is the lesson for braves. Mahabharata is ultimately about the Kurukshetra war. Pandava wanted the land which they had the right to own. But Duryodhana was not ready to give it. He said he would not give at least a piece of land. So here were no choices in front of them other than to fight. So they chose that way. They fight to grab what actually belongs to them.

So Mahabharata teaches us to fight for our rights. If we don’t bravely fight, we will get nothing. Forget your disabilities and think how you can bring the fight forward. Go that way and taste the sweetness of success.

16.  Bad Company Ruins Our Life


This is another vital lesson we can achieve from Mahabharata. A good company makes us good and bad company transforms us into really bad.

Duryodhana had an uncle, Sakuni who was the birth place of all badness. He advised every things Duryodhana did. Unfortunately that was all bad. He called Pandava for gambling and sent them in exile. They got a temporary happiness by doing that. But ultimately it ditched the pit of death for them.

If Sakuni had not done it, the story would have been changed. Pandava got the strength for the battle from that forest life. All the five of them lived the 14 years with burning fire of revenge in their mind. So they became ready for the war and killed every Kaurava.

Sakuni was the cause of all this. So be careful to choose your friends and companies. Be with them who really wants your wellbeing and advises good ways.

17.  Household Works are not only Meant for Women


Household works are not only meant for women. Learning such stuffs like cooking will be a benefit to men.

While leading an anonymous life, Pandava took the job of cooking, teaching dance and such things. That jobs was really a boon to them. Because of that, they got a space in the Palace of King Virata.

It is important for our daily life also. Just think you get an awesome job in a place very far from your home. So it will be a great addition if you know how to cook. That will reduce your expenses. So don’t be only in dining room, have a look at the kitchen also.

Source: http://www.hindutav.com/mahabharata-life-lessons/

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