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Vidura Niti (Mahabharata - Udyogaparva)

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About the book Vidura Niti is a well-known and highly beneficial part of the Mahabharata. In these chapters, Mahatma Vidura has explained to the King, Dhrtarastra several issues relating to human welfare in this and the other world. The following extract consist of eight chapters (33-40) of the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata. Several Sanskrit commentaries have been published on the Vidura Niti. In these chapters, while advising on the duties of a king, that is Raja Dharma, several ot...
About the book

Vidura Niti is a well-known and highly beneficial part of the Mahabharata. In these chapters, Mahatma Vidura has explained to the King, Dhrtarastra several issues relating to human welfare in this and the other world. The following extract consist of eight chapters (33-40) of the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata. Several Sanskrit commentaries have been published on the Vidura Niti.

In these chapters, while advising on the duties of a king, that is Raja Dharma, several other issues have been discussed in eye-catching detail. Some of these are: Polity, interaction, treatment of others, truthful behaviour, Dharma, means to achieve happiness and eschew actions that lead to suffering, discrimination between undesirable and desirable qualities, importance of renunciation, different facets of justice, Truth, human welfare, forgiveness, non- violence, attributes of a friend, and consequences of ingratitude. The author has lucidly delineated the duties of a king while stressing upon the virtue of giving up greed.

Vidura Niti will benefit the illiterate as well the learned, the adults, the aged and the young, the women, the rulers and the subjects, the rich and the poor, the teacher as well as the student, those busy in serving others, and those desirous of living a clean and happy life.

The Stokes have been translated in simple language. We hope that Indians of whatever class or region they might belong to benefit from this book.



The conversation reproduced below takes place between the Hastinapur king, Dhrtarastra and his cousin Vidura. It is contained in eight chapters of the Udyoga Parva of the epic, the Mahabharata.

A tussle is going on between the king's sons, the Kauravas led by Duryodhana, the eldest prince and their cousins, the Pandavas, led by Yudhisthira for an equitable division of the kingdom. Sanjaya, the king's confidante and charioteer, had gone to placate the Pandava princes. The tidings he brought gave no cheer to the blind king who wanted his son, Duryodhana to inherit the entire kingdom.

The narrator is R$i Vaisarnpayana, a celebrated pupil of Vyasa. He is said to have recounted the whole of Mahabharata to king Janamejaya, son of Panksita, grandson of Arjuna, the Pandava prince.




Sloka No. Topic Page
1-6 Vidura admitted to the King's presence 17-18
7-8 Vidura inquires a worried Dhrtarastra the reason for his being summoned 18
9-12 Dhrtarastra explains his worry and requests a solution 19
13-19 Vidura describes the situations which keep a man awake. He taunts the king for the injustice done to Yudhisthira 19-21
20-34 The attributes of a Pandita 21-24
35-44 How to identify an idiot? 24-25
45 Who is a Pandita? 25-26
46 Condemnation of a person who does not share his wealth other members of the family 26
47 A wrong deed is visited upon the doer alone 26
48-49 The importance of intellect. How to wisely use one's intelligence? 26
50 Lack of wise policies can destroy a king 27
51 Situations where a person must share his thoughts etc. with others 27
52 In praise of truth 27
53-56 In praise of forgiveness 27-28
57 In praise of Dharma & Knowledge etc 28
58 When are the kings and the Brahmins losers? 28
59 In praise of persons who are polite in speech 28
60 Persons who follow others blindly. 28-29
61 Know your limits 29
62 When is Grhastha or a Samnyasi looked down upon 29
63 The two persons who deserve a place in paradise 29
64 When is well-earned wealth misused? 29
65 Who deserve to be punished with death by drowning? 29-30
66 The two types of person who atain paradise 30
67-68 The three means to attain success. Three types of human beings 30
69 Persons who do not deserve to be rich 30
70 The three evils which destroy a human being 30
71 The three gates of hell 31
72 The three sources of happiness 31
73 The types of persons who deserve to be protected 31
74 The four types of persons who ought to kept at a distance by the king 31
75 The four types of dependents who deserve a shelter 31
76-77 The four situations which yield result quickly 31-32
78 The four deeds which make a person fearless 32
79 The five entities who deserve to be worshipped 32
80 The five acts which bring glory to man 32
81 The five types of person's who depend upon a king 32-33
82 Failure of even one of the five senses can harm a person 33
83-85 Six Undesirable qualities 33
86-87 Virtues which must not be given up 33-34
88 Desirability of overcoming 6 bad habits 34
89-90 The six types of persons who depend on others to make a living 34
91 Lack of care can destroy farm, cattle etc 34
92-93 Six types of persons ignored by the other six 35
94 Six sources of happiness on this earth 35
95 The six types of persons who are always unhappy 35
96-97 Seven bad habits, a king must give up 35-36
98-100 8 indicators of the decline of a person 36
101-103 8 sources of happiness 36-37
104 8 virtues which elevate a person 37
105 Know your body which is endowed with many entrances 37
106-107 10 types of person ignorant of Dharma 37
108-110 Advice tendered by Prahlada to his son 38
111-115 Qualities of a warrior, a wise king and a noble person 38-40
116-119 Qualities of a person who can impress his public 40-41
120-123 who is superior among the learned? 41-42
124-126 Qualities of a man who shines like the sun 42-43
127-128 Vidura Councils Dhrtarastra to handover half of the kingdom to the Pandava Brothers 43
1-3 A worried Dhrtarastra seeks counsel for his welfare 44
4-5 Vidura promises to tender honest advice only 44-45
6-7 Do not follow the path of untruth even if that leads to success 45
8-9 Keep in mind the purpose and result to be achieved in any activity 45-45
10-11 An unthinking king loses his kingdom 45-46
12-13 Wealth is destroyed by unfair treatment of others 45-46
4 Advice regarding digestible foods 46
15-16 The time to pluck a ripe fruit 46
17-18 Painless collection of taxes 47
19-20 Do not take a step forward without weighing its consequences 47
21-22 When do the subjects approve of a king? 47
23-26 How should a king look after his subject? 48
27-28 Injustice destroys a Kingdom. Practice of Dharma brings prosperity 48-49
29 Damages caused by a lack of Dharma 49
30-31 Justification for the destruction of an enemy for self-preservation 49
32-33 Garner your wisdom from various sources 49-50
34-37 Don't underestimate the strength of a superior 50
38-40 Several types of protectors Good conduct is superior to lineage 50-51
41-43 Good conduct is superior to lineage 51
44-46 I n praise of the truthful 51-52
47-48 In praise of good conduct 52
49-51 Consumption of food by different A lack of control over the five senses 52-53
52-53 Various sources of fear 53
54-55 A lack of control over the five senses leads to decline 53
56-57 Self-control leads to victory and success 54
58-59 How are wealth and success achieved? 54
60-65 Advantages of a control of the five senses 54-55
66-69 Lust and anger wipe out wisdom 55-56
70-73 Avoid bad company 56-57
74-75 The importance of forgiveness 57
76-80 The advantage of polite speech 57-58
81-83 A lack of wisdom leads to defeat 58-59
84-86 Vidura narrates the qualities of Yudhisthira 59
1 Dhrtarastr wants Vidura to tell him more about righteous Conduct 60
2-3 Vidura advises the king to treat others kindly 60
4 Virtuous conduct in this world ensures passage to the Swargaloka 60
5-38 The story of kesini and of meditation by prahlads in the dispute between his son virocana and the Brahmin, Sudhanva 60-67
39 Vidura advises the king not to resort to falsehood for the sake of land 68
40-41 The importance of intelligent conduct in achieving success 68
42-45 Even the knowledge of Vedas cannot protect a deceitful person 68-69
46-48 Certain evil deeds are as pernicious as the killing of a Brahmin 69-70
49-50 8 situations in which a human being can be tested. 8 destructive habits 70
51-52 8 virtues that help in the creation of wealth, add to longevity etc. 70-71
53-55 The importance of a king's noble conduct 71-72
56-57 8 paths to righteous conduct 72
58 The importance of Dharma and the truth 72
59-65 The 10 pathways to heaven 72-74
66-68 The importance of wisdom and discretion 74
69-71 Wealth acquired through foul means dos not overcome short-comings 74-75
72-74 Desirable qualities in a king who wants rule for a long time. 3 types of persons who benefit the most from the earth 75
75 Identification of good and of evil deeds 75-76
76-77 Advice to the king to treat his nephews like a father 76
3-Jan Dialogue between Dattatreya and the Devatas 77
4 Dattatreya advises patience and the pursuit of truth 77-78
8-May The importance of the spoken word 78-79
11-Sep The rewards of forbearance 79-80
15-Dec The importance of the spoken word 80
16-21 How to identify different types of persons 80-82
22-24 Dhrtarastra wants to know from Vidura the qualities of human beings born to noble families 82-83
25-28 The downfall of noble families 83
29-31 The importance of noble conduct 83-84
32-33 The person who are unsuitable to be in a court or belong to the king's family 84
34-35 How to receive a guest? 84-85
36-38 Attributes of a good friend 85
39-40 The disadvantages of a person who is unstable is conduct and thought 85-86
41-45 The unstable temperament of an evil person 86-87
46-47 Be indifferent to happiness or sorrow 87
48 Lust destroys wisdom 87
49-50 A disturbed Dhrtarastra looks for peace 87-88
51-54 Vidura advises the king how to be at peace? 88-89
55-57 Person who are inimical can never be happy 89
58-60 Damage done by internal differences. The importance of a well knit group 89-90
61 The downfall of those who harass Brahmins an women 90
62-65 Unity is strength 90-91
66-67 Do not harm the Brahmins, the cows, the children or the women 91
68-69 The conquest of anger 91-92
70-74 Vidura advises Dhrtarastra to amicably settle the dispute between his sons and the Pandavas 92-93
1-6 Who are chosen for hell by the messengers of Yamaraja? 94-95
7-8 Is the policy of retribution desirable? 95-96
9-11 Why can't a human being live to a 100 years? 96
12-13 Evil deeds akin to the killing of brahmins 96-97
14-16 The qualities of a person who deserves to go to heaven. Who is a true friend of king? 97-98
17-18 The virtues of renunciations 98
19-21 Gambling, the root cause of all evil 98-99
22-23 How does a king retain the trust of his subordinates? 99-100
24-27 The importance of competent subordinates 100-101
28-29 Be alert while choosing an activity 101
30 Do not lend to such people 101-102
31-32 8 virtues which enhance the human excellence 102
33-34 The utility of a bath and of a frugal meal 102-103
35-36 Persons who should be kept at an arms-length: no shelter; no request for help 103
37 6 types of person who must not be catered to or pampered 103
38-39 The time to move into the Vanaprastha Asrama 103-104
40-41 The secret of all achievement 104
42-46 The undesirable consequences of the war with the Pandavas 104-105
47-50 Dharma cannot be devorced from Artha, abstain from sin by intellect. An evil person notices only the undesirable habits of others 105-106
51 Who deserved the kingdom?  
52-55 5 strong points of a human being 106-107
56-57 Never earn the enmity of a stronger person. The learned never trust such a person 107
58-59 The importance of wisdom 107
60-62 Your relatives can be like fire hidden in wood 107-108
63-64 Vidura says that the Kauravas and the Pandavas must live in harmony 108
1 Suitable welcome to respectable elders a must 109
2-3 The welcome rituals of a guest 109
4-5 Categories of person who though not deserving a welcome, must be treated well as guests 109-110
6-7 Attributes of a Samnyasi and of a Vanaprastha . 110-111
8-9 Do not earn the enmity of a wise person. Do not repose blind faith in anyone 111
10-11 How should a man protect a woman? Why do women deserve protection? 111-112
12-14 Choice of a person for safe upkeep 112
15-21 Qualities of a king who lasts long. Even a minister need not be privy to the king 112-113
22-24 Evil deeds lead to undesirable consequences 113-114
25-26 The qualities of a successful ruler 114
27 A king must not be greedy 115
28-29 A subdued enemy must be put to death 115
30-33 Control of anger and giving up unnecessary disputes is beneficial 115-116
34-35 Dependence upon an unwise person can be dangerous 116
36-37 The winning qualities of a king 116
38-39 7 secrets of addition to wealth 117
40-41 Never harm an innocent person 117
42-43 A kingdom must not fall into the hands of a women, a gambler or a child 117-118
44-45 Who is a wise person? 118
46-47 Vidura's advice: handing over kingdom to Duryodhana would be ruinous for the empire 118
1 Dhrtarastra believes that human beings are subject to fate 119
2-4 Vidura's advice: "take care of which way the wind blows". How to endear yourself to others? 119-120
5 The possibility of the death of a hundred princess just to please Duryodhana 120
6-7 Beware of such success as could lead to failure 120
8-9 Do not befriend the rich who lack virtue. Dhrtarastra expresses his inability to give up siding with Duryodhana 120-121
10-13 The qualities of a humble person. It is undesirable to deal with evil persons 121
14-16 Do not be friendly with a man who is evil 121-122
17-32 Vidura advises the king to protect his kinsmen and be fair and just to the Pandavas 122-125
33-35 Qualities of person who stay praise- worthy for a long time 125
36-38 6 Habits which ought to be give up 125-126
39-41 Importance of knowledge and the desirability of looking after the elders 126
42-43 How is lineage judged? 126-127
44-47 Preservation of self-acquired wealth protection of one's near and dear ones 127-128
48-50 The desirability of giving up friendship of a foolish person 128
51-56 It is not desirable to either deny the pleasures of senses or to give them unbridled freedom 128-129
57-59 The importance of forgiveness importance of sustained effort 129-130
60-64 How to deal with a cunning person in order to protect wealth? 130-131
65-68 Consequences of certain actions 131-132
69-71 Different class of people have different strength 132
72-76 Persons who can be trusted and those who cannot be. Importance of paying respect to the teachers 132-133
77-81 Signs of Old-age in different groups of person 133-134
82-85 Vidura's advice to the king to treat his sons and nephews on an equal footing 134-135
1-3 How to acquire happiness and fame in a short duration 136
4 An attitude of negativity is like courting death 136-137
5-6 7 shortcomings of a student 137
7-11 Sources of dissatisfaction. Essentials of a good household 137-138
12-13 Never give up the righteous conduct 138-139
14-18 The inevitability of death. Hence the desirability of accumulating good deeds 139-140
19-22 Wipe out ignorance with knowledge 140-141
23-25 The virtues of detachment 141-142
26-28 The path to Swargaloka for the Ksatriyas, the Vaisyas and the Sudras 142-143
29-32 Vidura advises Dhrtarastra to be fair and just to Yudhisthira. However, the king although in agreement with him, decline his advice 143-144

Sample Pages

Item Code: NAL025 Cover: Paperback Edition: 2015 Publisher: Gita Press, Gorakhpur Language: Sanskrit Text With English Translation Size: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch Pages: 144 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 120 gms
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