The Wisdom of Maharaja Yudhisthira

The Yaksha inquired, ‘What is it that makes one a true brahmana: birth, behaviour or learning?’
Maharaj Yudhisthir replied, ‘It is behaviour alone that qualifies one as a true brahman. Thus, brahmanas must be very careful to exhibit exemplary behaviour. One whose behaviour is faultless will never meet with obstructions on the path of life. Teachers and students alike, who are addicted to sinful habits, should be considered illiterate, even though they may be very leaned in the shastra. Only one who strictly observes religious principles should actually be considered learned. One who is expert in the knowledge of the four Vedas but whose conduct is not proper, is to be considered no better than a sudra.’
The Yaksha asked, ‘Who is pleasing?’
Maharaj Yudhisthir replied, ‘A person who is accustomed to speaking in a pleasing manner becomes pleasing to all.’
Finally, the Yaksha, who was standing in the middle of the lake in the form of a huge crane, asked four questions of great significance.
‘Who is truly happy? What is the most wonderful thing? What is the real path to follow in this life? What is the real situation of this material world? (or, in other words, ‘What is the news?’)’
Maharaj Yudhisthir replied, ‘One who cooks his own food, who is not a debtor and who does not have to leave home in order to earn his livelihood is actually happy. The most amazing thing is that even though every day one sees that countless living beings are dying, still, he thinks and acts as if he will remain here forever. The real path of life cannot be ascertained by logic and argument, nor by simply going through the different Vedic literature. It cannot even be understood by consulting with many learned rishis. The best path is to follow in the footsteps of the pure devotees of the Lord, for they are actual mahajanas whose hearts are the sitting place of the real truth regarding religion. This material world, which is full of ignorance, can be compared to a frying pan. The sun is like the fire and the days and nights are like the fuel. The passing seasons are the stirring ladle and time is the cook who is frying all living creatures in that pan. This is the real news of what is happening in this miserable material world’.


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