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Who Was Vidur?

Vidur is a very important character from the greatest epic ever i.e. Mahabharata. He was half
brother of King Dhitarashtra and a great scholar. As per mythology he is considered to be the
incarnation of ‘Dharma Raja Yama‘ (God of Justice after death).
Truthfulness, practical in approach, and great devotion to Lord Krishna were his key qualities.
Only him and Vikarna were the only men who opposed humiliation of Draupadi (wife of
Pandavas) that led to horrific as well as the glorious battle of Kurukshetra. It was in this battle
Lord Shree Krishna delivered Gita Sandesh to Arjuna.

What is Vidur Neeti?

After the return of the Pandavas from exile the war became inevitable as
wicked Duryodhana (son of Dhitarashtra) refused the demand for minimum
compensation. Vidur Niti is the record of the conversation that took between Mahatma Vidur and
King Dhitarashtra regarding the policies that must be adapted for smooth worldly affairs as well
as for success in the after-world.

Significance of Vidur Niti?

Vidur Niti is definitely a gem for humankind. As per my view it is the most important Pre-Gita
conversation. The war would have never occurred, but the blind king refused to act on his
suggestions. Though the plot is ancient, still almost all ideas are still valid and acceptable till

* In this blog my priority is to present the ideas in Vidur Neeti than discussing the conversation
or circumstances.
* I have tried my best in translating the Vidur Niti to English. In my attempt I have focused on the
key ideas than just translating the stuff. To ere is too human and I apologize in advance for any

DEC 11

What are the Principles of Vidur Niti?

The best description of the causes and treatment of insomnia comes from
Vidura Niti a dialogue between Vidura and Dhritasashtra.

In the text, King Dhritarashtra said: “O Vidura, Sanjaya has come back.
He has gone away after rebuking me. Tomorrow he will deliver, in the
midst of the court, Ajatashatru’s message. I have not been able today to
ascertain what the message is of the Kuru hero. Therefore, my body is
burning, and that has produced sleeplessness. Tell us what may be good
for a person that is sleepless and burning.

“My body is burning, and that has produced sleeplessness” is a typical

description of anxiety and related sleeplessness, true even today.
Vidura said: “Sleeplessness overtakes thief, a lustful person, him that has
lost all his wealth, him that has failed to achieve success, and him also
that is weak and has been attacked by a strong person”.

He therefore described five basic reasons for insomnia and even in

today’s science they are true. No new cause has been added in this list of
stress induced insomnia.
The situations are:
1. A thief
2. A lustful person
3. A person who has lost all his wealth
4. A person who has failed to achieve success
5. A person who is weak and has been attacked by a strong person.

Ayurveda describes sleep as an aggravation of Vata & Pitta dosha. The

number one cause of the same is mental tension; suppressed feelings &
acute bitterness. The above five situations again hold true to this effect.

Apart in Allopathy other causes of insomnia mentioned are constipation;

dyspepsia; excessive intake of tea, coffee & alcohol and environment
Factors-excessive cold, heat or change of environment. They are in most
of the situations the effect and not the cause of insomnia.

The treatment of insomnia involves either suppressing the emotions with

drugs or root level eradication of stress with proper counseling.
Bhagavad Gita, Chanakya Niti and Vidur Niti are high level counseling
books of ancient era and provide texts and sutras even true today.
Bhagavad Gita was a counseling when Arjuna went in an acute anxiety
state and was not being able to decide whether or not he should fight
with his near ones. He said: my legs are trembling, my bows are leaving
me, by body is shaking, what should I do”. The principles of Gita today
are incorporated as the principles of any counseling.

Chanakya gave principles of how to manage conflicts and win over others.
One of his main teachings was that money earned by unfair means can
only last for eight years.

Another answer to insomnia is learning meditation as described in

Patanjali Yoga Sutra or Yoga Vashistha. It is based on the principle of
concentrating on the present, which shifts the inner environment from
sympathetic to para sympathetic mode. 20 minutes of meditation
morning and evening provides the same biochemical benefit as gathered
from 7 hours of deep sleep.

Here are some other sutras of Vidura Niti

• Do not inhabit a country where you are not respected, cannot earn your
livelihood, have no friends, or cannot acquire knowledge. (1.8)
• Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise counsel
keep it secret, being determined to carry it into execution. (2.7)
• Consider again and again the following: the right time, the right friends,
the right place, the right means of income, the right ways of spending,
and from whom you derive your power. (4.18)
• A wise man should not reveal his loss of wealth, the vexation of his
mind, the misconduct of his own wife, base words spoken by others, and
disgrace that has befallen him. (7.1)