It is indeed difficult to give joy or gain the appreciation of others by doing good. It is rather easy to attract the attention of people by doing something bad. Today, people in the world take the easy path – do bad things and pollute humanity. The most important thing for any man is to get appreciation and the most dissatisfying thing for a man is to get a bad name from people. The life of Shakuni in Mahabharata is a typical case study. He was the epitome of bad company and bad thought. He was not only the maternal uncle of Duryodhana, but also was his confidant. The ego of Duryodhana reached a climax on account of the counsel of Shakuni. Ego does not have the power of discrimination. Duryodhana entered into bad actions following the bad counsel given to him. Shakuni is known for his evil ideas, Duryodhana for his egotism and Dushasana for his bad behaviour. Karna was a noble one. But on account of the bad company that he was in, he was ready to perform bad deeds. Hence the saying, ‘Bad association causes bad acts’. Karna became notorious for the bad association. These are the things the Mahabharata holds out for us.
Beware Of The Evil Quartet!
The vagaries of modern life are rather mysterious and beyond understanding. They are four in number and are called the ‘Dushta Chatushtayam’ (evil quartet). In the modern age, people having these four bad qualities are called ‘Akara Chatushtayam’ on account of the first syllable ‘A’ that appears in the names of the qualities. The first one is Avishwasam – lack of faith. The second one is Anumanam- doubt. The third one is Asuya – jealousy and the last, Ahamkaram- ego. These four bad qualities that start with ‘A’ are called ‘Akara Dushta Chatushtayam’.
First let us consider ‘Doubt’. What is the reason for doubt? This is preceded by lack of faith. In the Kali age, the husband does not believe his wife and the wife does not believe her husband. Father does not trust his child and the child has no trust in its father. The preceptor does not have confidence in the disciple and the disciple does not have faith in the preceptor. It is only the disbelief or the lack of faith that leads to doubt. One doubts everything! People go on reading volumes of books having inappropriate material and they believe what they read. They believe in the daily newspapers. They believe all sorts of rumours. Thus, they readily accept what is untruth, but fail to believe the eternal truths. The modern man is ready to trust a stranger on the street but he refuses to believe the Vedas, scriptures, and the words of great people and even the commands of his parents. He does not believe in the words of those that love and care for him. The Vedas declare, in a number of ways, that you are God! None accepts this declaration. They believe all sorts of wrong stories. They believe even the cinemas! But there is disbelief in the words that are founded on Truth.
Lack of faith develops into doubt and Asuya (jealousy). What is meant by jealousy? Seeing bad even in the good is the nature of jealousy. Jealousy brings about the destruction of man in a number of ways. Students should root out jealousy within them. Jealousy destroys man totally. Then comes ego. Ego destroys discrimination, drives out human qualities, and turns human nature into demonic nature. Doubt, jealousy, ego and lack of faith, these four are very strong evil qualities. Even if any one of these four is present in man, he is bound to be ruined. But unfortunately, today all the four are present in man. Wherever you go, you find doubt, jealousy, ego and faithlessness prevailing. Then how can we identify anything else in human nature? The human qualities have declined to the lowest levels. Whether it is the society, country in general or system of education in particular, it is lack of good human behaviour and conduct that obstructs attaining a noble status. If the land on which we are standing is slippery, how can we proceed further? Therefore, man has to develop good conduct. For good conduct, truth and righteousness are essential. It is lack of good character which makes man develop bad thinking.