11 Important Life Lessons To Learn From Mahabharata

Mahabharata Life Lessons To Learn

The richness of the Indian culture, ideologies and morals are largely borrowed from the teachings of the two major Hindu mythologies, Mahabharata and Ramayana. Out of these, Mahabharata is the longest epic poem ever written in the world and this Sanskrit epic pro-actively narrates the Kurukshetra war fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. But in actual, all the happenings in the Mahabharata renders priceless teachings about philosophy and devotion that actually can provide solutions to various problems in our life.

Many interpreters of the Hindu scriptures believe that the world is currently in its last stage called Kaliyuga, which means start of an era where there will be quarrel, strife and people will become selfish. If this is true, then we must understand the mentality of people and the way people live has undergone a humongous change. We are living in an altogether materialistic world and have become devoid of our social and cultural values. Moreover, despite living life as per our will, we are not able to find happiness and a peace of mind.

In fact, if we have sneak peek at the practical life lessons taught by Mahabharata, then we will able to face obstacles in life with fierce attitude and we can eventually find happiness and peace of mind for ourselves. To know what teachings of this epic can influence your style of living, then read these 11 important life lessons to learn from Mahabharata:-

1. Don’t Trust Yourself When You Are Emotional

In Mahabharata, Pandu, father of the Pandavas, unintentionally killed a sage who came in disguise of a deer. After knowing the truth, Pandu felt immense guilt for the act that he could not control his emotions. He felt regret for his act and decided to leave his throne, palace and kingdom to live in the forest. Pandu was so weak emotionally that he didn’t even care for his people. Then his brother, Dhrithrashtra came to occupy his place as the King of Hastinapur though he was considered misfit and inefficient but was the only option.

If at all Pandu had taken some time for his emotions to calm down, then he would have taken a better decision. He could have retained his position as the King and could have thought of other way to punish himself rather than leaving his kingdom with an inefficient option. In real life too, rather than flowing with emotions and taking a decision without logical reasoning, you must take time to let your emotions settle. Then you will be able to find practical solution to any problem without compromising other people’s interests.

2. Welcome All Challenges In Life

Before the battle, the Pandavas were compelled to spend 13 years in forest in seclusion. It was in these years that they learnt how to prepare themselves for the war. They met many learned saints, who shared with them important lessons of life that made them kinder, empathetic, brave, intellectually superior and many other gestures that lead their path towards victory. In fact, their victory over the Kaurvas can be highly credited to these 13 years as they were able to get rid of their over confidence and arrogance.

Similarly, we must too learn to accept challenges that come in our lives and understand that life is full of ups and downs. We must learn to confidently and tactfully deal with them by learning lessons from people around us.

3. Focus On Solutions Not The Problems

One of the greatest lessons taught by Mahabharata is that we need to focus on finding solutions to the problems rather than focusing on or creating problems. When Lord Krishna goes to meet the Kauravas and convey them Pandavas’ message that they want to end their dispute in return of five villages, the adamant Kauravas decline the proposal.

Kauravas focused on increasing their dispute with Pandavas and eventually invited them for a war as they thought that in front of 100 Kauravas, the 5 Pandavas will surely face an embarrassing defeat. But their egos were shattered when they lost their entire kingdom to the Pandavas in that epic war. So you need to always focus on finding amicable solutions or else you will have to face defeat in real life too.

4. Forgiving Is The Greatest Virtue

Mahabharata would not have written in fact, if the characters had forgiven each other and themselves at the first instance itself. If Pandu had forgiven himself for accidentally murdering a sage, if Karn had forgiven Draupadi for humiliating him and if he had forgiven his mother Kunti for abandoning him, if Draupadi had forgiven the Kauravas, etc, then the whole war could have been avoided. They all suffered from immense pain and suffering for a long period of time just because they could not forgive. Though revenge may provide you with relief but then revenge does not distinguish you from the people who have hurt you. Forgive and forget if you want to live life peacefully. Think about it. It is surely a food for thought!

5. You Need To Be Gentle While Choosing Words

Your words are your weapon. If you mould your tongue smoothly, then you are able to express yourself better and you will master the art of influencing people. But if you have no control on how your tongue twists, then you will end up saying what you actually didn’t even mean. Same happened in case of Draupadi in Mahabharata.

During her ‘Swayamwar’, Draupadi rejects Karn on the basis that he was of low caste. While rejecting, her choice of words were so harsh, that Karn had to face humiliation in front of the public, which triggers in him the feeling of revenge. He starts feeling hatred towards her and decides to embarrass her in the same way in front of everyone. After winning a game of gamble against the Pandavas, he takes the opportunity to disgrace their wife, Draupadi in front of the entire court. He and other Kauravas try disrobing her and insult her.

6. Stay Out Of Bad Company

One of the main characters responsible for the whole war episode was Shakuni, the uncle of the Kauravas. He always took chance of creating negativity in the minds of the Kauravas against the Pandavas. He played with their minds with his corrupt plans and eventually influenced them to have a war with the Pandavas. But at the end, his propagations and instigations led in complete destruction of the Kauravas.

In real life too, we need to stay away from negative people who are great at passing on their negative vibes. If we want to attain success in life and battle fiercely with challenges, then we need to eliminate socialising with negative people as bad company can ruin even the strongest of empires.

7. Don’t Take Loyalty & Support Of Your Dear Ones For Granted

Though the Pandavas were five in number, they did not accept failure at any point of time and they were determined to win against the over confident 100 Kauravas. This was because of their unity and faith in one another. Moreover, they had a strong spinal cord in the form of Lord Krishna who showed them the right path to win the war. If all these characters never had belief in one another and didn’t value each other, then the victory could have been impossible. It is said that even a small ant can defeat a mighty elephant. So you need to have faith in yourself and in your near and dear ones who keep motivating you to step higher and higher in life. You should value their importance in your life and must ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.

8. You Need To Be Master In Doing Household Chores Too

While leading a simple life in the 13 years in exile, Pandavas did not enjoy the luxuries of the palace and lived life like common people. They in fact, learned household chores too and they learned how to enjoy living a simple life. By doing the household work, they learnt how to keep themselves grounded and how to keep their mind at peace even in difficult times. In the same way, you should also learn how to keep your home and workplace clean and tidy so that you start living in an organized way and also learn that no work can be a reason for embarrassment. Every work has its own charm and difficulty level.

9. You Need To Stand For Yourself

The Pandavas were never disappointed being small in number in comparison to Kauravas. They never accepted failure. They staunchly knew what they deserve and they were ready to fight for themselves. They were brave and determined to keep fighting till they attain what they desire. It was their courageous attitude that they were able to win the battle. You too need to be brave in real life and stand for yourself and your rights. You must not get succumb to abuse or bullying. You must say what is right and must never let yourself get defeated without attempting.

10. You Must Have A Well Planned Strategy To Win

In Mahabharata, the Pandavas recorded their victory due to the full-proof plan prepared by Lord Krishna, their mentor. In fact, Lord Krishna stood by them in all their good and bad times and he was very well aware of the tactics of the Kauravas. He knew that winning the battle against Kauravas is not possible without a great strategy. Similarly, to embark in any of your endeavours or projects, you need to keep yourself armed so that you are capable of reaping benefits of the upcoming opportunities and at the same time, stout heartedly face the threats too.

11. Half Knowledge Can Prove Dangerous

Arjun’s son, Abhimanyu knew how to enter into the chakravyuh but he had no knowledge about how to come out. He went into the complex structure of the war field without analysing how to come from there, which eventually led to his death. This is why, having half knowledge about anything can prove dangerous. In our lives too, we sometimes take decisions on the basis of the amount of knowledge we have about that situation. But we tend to ignore the other side of the coin that can have a significant impact on our decision. Therefore, we must take decisions only when we have complete information about it.

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  1. Manisha Mahendran
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