Feeling Exiled in This Corona Pandemic? Key Points to Take Away from “The Mahabharata – Exile of the Pandavas”
As I write this article, there is one thing which I can be 100% sure of – a majority of you who are reading this article, are doing so from the comfort of your homes. If that is the case, I appreciate it and wish continued safety for you and your dear ones.
For those of you who are not home when reading this article, I sincerely hope that you are in a safe and secure place and taking all the required precautions to remain safe!
Background – The year 2020 has been an interesting one. Everyone welcomed it with open arms and a high level of optimism. This is probably because 2020 is an even year, the beginning of the next decade, a leap year and appears to be balanced (20 – 20). Nothing could be further from the truth. It began on a not-so- positive note with news of the novel Corona virus reaching major parts of the world. The entire globe is now in the clutches this invisible, yet powerful “demon” and on various fronts, things are looking very bleak at the moment. Any ray of hope is welcome in such a scenario.
What can be done – In difficult times, it is a standard practice to reach out to literature and the teachings of our forefathers for advice and guidance. The Indian society is fortunate in this regard and has a lot of rich literature which teaches the overall way of leading a meaningful life and how tough times need to be dealt with. The epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata – are at the forefront. They are considered as mythologies by a few but the teachings they impart are impeccable.
For those who are not familiar with the Mahabharata, here’s a quick link – https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mahabharata
The Indian National TV channel is broadcasting the Mahabharata serial to keep people entertained and motivated during this lockdown period.
I love history and while watching the Mahabharata serial, I realised that there is a lot to be taken from the events of this great epic. One such period of the Mahabharata is when the Pandavas lost the game of dice and had to go to exile (please refer episodes 50 to 55 of the serial). It was a difficult period for the Pandavas and in this pandemic, there are many things which we all can relate to. Their response and behaviour during their period of exile is something we can learn from and implement during this time when most of us are in lockdown and looking at an uncertain future.
Here are a few points which we can take away from the Mahabharata –
1) Follow your “Dharma” i.e. the right behaviour expected of you
What happened in the Mahabharata – As per the rules of the game of dice, the Pandavas lost their kingdom and had to go to exile for 12 years. As part of the royal family, it would have been easy for them to disregard what was agreed and not honour the terms and conditions. However, they were righteous in their behaviour and knew the far-reaching implications of doing so. Had they not gone to exile, they would not only be disregarding their ‘Dharma’ but they would have also lost the respect of the common man and their friends and well-wishers.
What we should do – as law abiding citizens, it is our duty to support the Government and the Administration and follow the rules set by them. This is not the time for debates or arguments. The interest of our society and our nation comes first, and our personal likes, dislikes and opinions come later. If it is the collective decision of the Government and the Administration that we need to stay home to flatten the curve, we need to strictly abide by it. At the same time, we need to continue working as best as we can, within the given constraints and try to contribute our best to our organisations. In these times, this alone is our ‘Dharma’.
2) Keep upgrading skills – look towards the “Heaven”
What happened in the Mahabharata – the Pandavas were away from civilisation for 12 years and they were aware that there would be war at the end of the exile period. However, they also knew that they should use this period fruitfully and prepare for the war ahead. Each one of the Pandavas kept himself fit for the tough battle ahead. In particular, it is said that Arjuna, one of the 5 Pandavas and the ace archer, went to meet Indra, the King of Gods. He not only added a number of new weapons to his armoury but also learnt a different skill – dancing – which was to help him later in a different way. This preparation of the Pandavas during tough times, helped them in achieving victory in the Kurukshetra war.
What we should do – Learning new skills and staying competitive is a must at this time. While we cannot go to Heaven like Arjuna and acquire new skills, we can definitely look towards the “Heaven” known to us i.e. the CLOUD! This is a good time to become well versed with new areas like Cloud technologies and Automation as they are expected to be important in the days to come. Upgrade your skills and stay competitive – that is the mantra!
3) Keep communicating
What happened in the Mahabharata – Though they were away from civilisation, the Pandavas did not stay isolated. They made sure that they were in touch with their friends and supporters and maintained communication with all. This proved to be very useful after the exile when they had to seek help from the different kingdoms.
What we should do – We are fortunate to have a host of communication tools in this era. We should make use of them to stay in touch with colleagues, relatives and friends and boost their morale when needed. This is also essential as most of us are working remotely from our homes and the distance barrier can complicate things. We, at Ellicium, are going about our business in the usual manner with no change whatsoever. We have regular team meetings, Open Houses, Fun Games and events and always stay in touch.
Over communicate if needed – is the mantra for these times.
4) Stay patient, stay together (figuratively) and believe in the future
What happened in the Mahabharata – It is said that the true test of relations is during tough times. This was not true only during historic times but is very much true even today. The 5 Pandavas had differences of opinion within themselves. In fact, there were several times when Bheem and Arjun openly disagreed with their eldest brother, Yudhisthir, who was known to be righteous. However, they also knew that their strength lay in being patient, staying together and waiting for the exile to get over. Had they become impatient or decided to part ways, there was no way they could have overcome the exile and emerged victorious during the subsequent Kurukshetra war.
What we should do – Patience is the key attribute to have during this pandemic. It is easy to get impatient, upset and go about violating rules – of the organisation we work for or the society. However, this will result in chaos and needs to be avoided. It is also very essential to stay loyal to your respective organisations, follow the direction set by the seniors and extend every support to them and your colleagues. Only those organisations whose teams stay together and work together, will emerge victorious. These are the very organisations which will get back on the growth path soon. The importance of teamwork within constraints, cannot be over emphasized at this time. At the same time, it also essential to believe in the future and stay optimist!
I look forward to your comments and views. You can reach me at email@example.com.
********** STAY SAFE and LET’S EMERGE STRONGER TOGETHER! **********