Positive Attitude

People respond differently in times of crisis. Those that belong to the worst (adhama) category transfer their responsibility and rest.

Others think differently. They first analyse themselves. Instead of blaming others, they hold themselves responsible. According to them, everything is because of their pa:pakarma. They are of the madhyama, i.e. medium category.

The best (utthama) consider everything they experience as happening for their benefit.


Sometimes we are hurt by others, through their actions we dislike. It creates a conflict in the atmosphere. Being a social creature, we have to face such situations in all social interactions. Our actions may not be liked by others in reverse we do not relish their actions and words.

Once upon a time, chariots of two emperors happened to face each other on their way. There was a question on who was to give way to the other. Their sa:rathis, charioteers began narrating the greatness of their kings, to gain the first right to pass.

One said, “Our king has won krodha with krodha, adharma with adharma, anya:ya with anya:ya, dvesha with dvesha, and ajna:na with ajna:na.”

To this the second responded “Our king has won krodha with Sa:ntha, adharma with dharma, anya:ya with nya:ya, dvesha with prema, and ajna:naith jna:na”

Immediately the king in the first chariot got down from the chariot and prostrated in front of the second king and asked his driver to give way to him.

We should not act foolishly when others do.Let us take the example of a minor incident. Two anonymous people were stuck in a narrow street. One of them arrogantly proclaimed, “I don’t give way to a fool who stand against me”. Immediately the second person calmly replied, “ I do” and gave way to him. Here we have to understand that the second one gave way to the person who did not want to give way

When anything bad happens, it is useless to blame or curse others. The thought of shouldering the responsibility on one’s own self will act as a lubricant and reduce the friction.

Instigated by Mandhara, Kaikeyi desired for the boons. Dasaratha sent Sri Ra:ma to the forest. Si:ta, Ra:ma, and Lakshmana went to forest. Dasaratha could not tolerate the separation from Sri Ra:ma and left the mortal body. When Bharatha and Sathrughna returned to Ayodhya, Sathrughna became furious and intended to kill Mandhara. Everyone began cursing Mandhara and Kaikeyi. Bharatha thought it was useless to blame anyone. He focused on the next course of action, restrained Sathrughna and others from the blame game.

na mandhara:ya:ha na ca ma:thurasya:ha
do:sho: na ra:jno: na ca ra:ghavasya |
mathpa:pame:va:tra nimittha maasiith
vanaprave:se: raghunandanasya !!

Bharatha says “neither Mandhara , Kaikeyi nor the king Dasaratha was the reason for Sri Rama’s vanava:sa. The reason was pa:pa committed by me long back.” Bharata falls under the madhyama category.

But in the case of Sri Rama, though he had to face so many difficulties because of Kaikeyi, he talked good of her and was happy for the benefits he got because of the mercy (prasa:da) of Kaikeyi. He says

tha:tha sne:ho: bharata mahima: paurusham
sakhyam ca:pi plavaga nrupathe:he kaapi saumithri bhaktihi
Seethe: sathyam, nijabhujabalam, vairina:m
Jna:thum sarvam tama charanayo:ho
maathare:sha prasa:”daha –

“my father’s love, greatness (mahima:) of Bharatha, valour (paurusha) of A:njane:ya, friendship (sakhyam) of Sugri:va, devotion of Lakshmana, integrity of Si:ta:de:vi, my valour (bhujabalam), my behaviour towards the enemies – all these have been understood by me only because of your mercy mother!”

People like Ra:ma, are utthamas. It gives relief when we think that whatever happens is for our benefit. A king had a minister. He would announce always that “everything is for good”. Once by mistake king’s finger had a cut. The minister, as usual, uttered the same words making the king angry. The king put him in prison. Even then the minister repeated the
same words.

The next day the king went on a hunting expedition and was captured by the forest tribals who took him to offer to their deity. The head of the tribals saw the king and noticed that his little finger had a cut. Since every offering was expected to be completely healthy before the sacrifice, the head released the king as he was unfit. So, the king escaped and returned to his kingdom.

The king remembered the wise counsel of his minister when his little finger had a cut. He realized that it was that cut which saved him from death. As per his orders, the minister was released and brought back to court. Once the minister had arrived, the king asked him, “Minister! When my finger had a cut you said everything is for good. Likewise I had a
great escape. But why did you utter the same words when you were sentenced?” The minister replied, ”Your highness! If I were not sentenced, I would have accompanied you on the hunt. Since I was perfectly healthy, I would have lost my life in the sacrifice. You have favoured me by putting me in jail.”

So, no matter what the circumstance, to overcome the situation, it is better to react positively. This attitude will act as a lubricant to reduce the friction.

– By T.P. Raghavachari, translated by Dr. T. Amukta, Chennai