Hating the wrongs done to us blinds us to the wrongs done by us
When we feel wronged, we often magnify our side of the story, while minimizing any other side the story may have.
Such was the disposition of Duryodhana, the Kuru prince who felt that his cousins, the Pandavas, had wronged him by depriving him of his rightful kingdom. He had been born as the first son of the blind Kuru scion, Dhritarashtra. Due to his blindness, Dhritarashtra couldn’t ascend the throne, which went to his younger brother, Pandu. However, when Pandu retired early to the forest, Dhritarashtra became the caretaker king. During Dhritarashtra’s reign, Duryodhana was the heir apparent and grew up as a pampered child with an entitlement mentality. When Pandu died prematurely, the Pandavas came to the Kuru kingdom. As the Pandavas were much more courteous than Duryodhana, the affection of the Kuru courtiers and citizens soon shifted from him to them, thereby triggering his envy.
Over time, his envy degenerated to hate. He poisoned, burnt and defrauded the Pandavas – and even tried to disrobe their wife. Despite his depravity, he remained utterly unremorseful and derisively dismissive of any peace efforts, making war inevitable. Yet he considered his cause so justified that he believed many great heroes were ready to die for him (Bhagavad-gita 01.09).
Duryodhana saw only the wrongs done to him, never the wrongs done by him.
When we are wronged, how can we avoid being similarly deluded? By spiritualizing our consciousness before tackling the wrong.
Instead of getting back at wrongdoers, perceived or actual, we can connect devotionally with our all-attractive Lord, Krishna. That divine connection will comfort and heal our inner wounds. With our composure thus restored, we can analyze and acknowledge any wrong on our part. Thereafter, we can act effectively not for avenging the wrong, but for addressing the issue.
Think it over:
- When we are wronged, how do we go wrong in our response?
- Why was Duryodhana’s feeling that the Pandavas had wronged him unjustified?
- When we are wronged, how can spiritualizing our consciousness help us?
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