Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Yudhishthira points out the obscurity of Dharma

Yudhishthira was arguing with Drupada that the five Pandavas had to follow the wish of their mother and the five would marry Draupadi together. Drupada questioned him on the basis for making such a strange proposal. Then, the wise Pandava said :

“sookshmo dharmo mahaaraja naasya vijno vayam gatim
Poorveshaa maanupoorvyeNa yaatam vartma anuyaamahe”

Great king ! (The essence of) Dharma is obscure. We often do not find its path. What all we can do is to travel along the path followed by great men.

This is told famously in the Panchatantra (Five strategies) :

“tarko apratishtha: srutayo vibhinna:
naiko munir yasya matam pramaanam
dharmasya tatvam nihitam guhaayaam
mahaajano yena gata: sa panthaa: ”

The foundation for logical reasoning is weak; numerous and varied are the scriptures; so many are the sages and so whose words we can take for authority ? The essence of Dharma is hidden in caves. Hence, follow such a path that has been used by great people.

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