Here are a few verses from Vidura Neeti, the sage advice of Vidura, a step bother and courtier of Emperor Drhruta Rashta, to his emperor, who despite this advice, and blinded by his love towards his own sons, doesn’t flinch from defrauding his late brother’s five deserving sons, of their rightful share of the property. Not only is the born-blind-king, blind to his sons’ misdeeds, but he turns deaf to the sage advice of Vidura, offered to him at his own request. These verses are from the Udyoga Parva Chapter, of the Vyasa’s Maha Bharatam.
My translation of each of a few verses into English is followed by the original verse in each case.
1)A well-wisher of some one, who doesn’t wish to see his ignominy,
needs to proffer, advice to him,even if it is not sought,
be it of something auspicious or be it of someting bad, be it unpalatable, or be it delicious,
Subham vaa, yadi, vaa papam, dwaesham va, yadi , vaa priyam
Aprustastasya tad brooyaad yasya naechat-paraabhawam. ((4/2)
2)So, my lord, I will advise you a bit, of something which will be to the benefit of your clan.
Do heed to my righteous words of advice, which will be to the good of all.
Tasmaad-vakshyaami tey raajan, hitam. Yat syat Kuroon-prati,
vachah-sraeyaskaram dharmyam bruvatas-tan-nibodha may. (5/2)
3)Oh, descendant of Bharataa, don’t contemplate to achieve
any such things, that can be accomplished only by malice and needs use of dubious and doubtful means .
Midhyopaetaani karmaani siddyaeuryaani Bhaarata,
anupaaya prayuktaani maasma taeshu manah kruthaah (6/2)
4)Likewise an intellectual, ought not to, get perturbed in his mind,
even if something he did dutifully and skillfully does not bear fruit.
Tadheiva yogavihitam yattu karma na sidhyati,
vupaaya yuktham maedhaavee na tatra glapayaenmanaha. (7/2)
5)Those goals that can yield long-lasting results, you have to accomplish with mature thought and sound planning. They ought not to be attempted hastily with out due care.
Anubandhaanapaekshaeta saanubandaeshu karmasu,
Sampradhaaryacha kurveetha na vaegaena samaacharaet. (8/2)
6)Right before he sets about to do something, the steady one, in the interest of his own growth, will try and foresee, what would be the likely long-term consequences and the results of his actions. If he is not convinced, he ought to desist from attempting even.
Anubandham cha sampraekshya vipaakam chaiva karmanaam,
Vutthaanamaatmanasreiva dheerah kurveetha vaa navaa.(9/2)
There are many more such gems in Vidura’s ancient but eternal code of conduct, on a variety of subjects which are relevant to one and all.
I hope and wish to place before you some more now and then.