Keeping good company

“… it is not proper to live with persons who have no sense of decency or decorum. The wise will not keep company with those who speak ill of their family.”

Devayani speaks about the behaviour of Sarmishta the daughter of king Vrishaparva who by her rude actions had disrespected her father Sukracharya.

(Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari – p.34)

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Of anger

“He conquers the world, who patiently puts up with the abuse of his neighbours. He who controls his anger, as a horseman breaks an unruly horse, is indeed a charioteer and not he who merely holds the reins, but lets the horse go whither it would. He who sheds his anger just as a snake its slough, is a real hero. He who is not moved despite the greatest torments inflicted by others, will realize his aim. He who never gets angry is superior to the ritualist who faithfully performs for a hundred years the sacrifices ordained by scripture. Servants, friends, brothers, wife, children, virtue and truth abandon the man who gives way to anger. The wise will not take to heart the words of boys and girls.”

Sukracharya imparts wisdom to his daughter Devayani who is angry after being treated badly by her companion Sarmishta.

(Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari – p.34)

Of happiness and misery

Caressing her, he said: “It is by their own actions, good or bad, that men are happy or miserable. The virtues or vices of others will not affect us in the least.”

Sukracharya tries to console his daughter Devayani after she is insulted and hurt by her companion – Sarmishta – the king’s daughter.

(Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari – p.33)

More so now than ever

“You are enchanting – more so now than ever, flushed as you are with anger.”

Kacha says this to Devayani while declining her proposal for marriage, for he believes that by bringing him back to life, Sukracharya is now his parent and it is against nature for a brother to wed his own sister.

(Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari – p.31)

Of wine and virtue

“Virtue will desert the man who through lack of wisdom drinks wine. He will be an object of scorn to all. This is my message to humanity, which should be regarded as an imperative scriptural injunction.”

The Asuras would have killed Sukracharya’s disciple Kacha, burnt his body and mixed his ashes in wine and offered it to Sukracharya, in an attempt to dissuade Sukracharya from reviving Kacha from death. Sukracharya angry at the deceit played upon him by the Asuras, utters the above words.

(Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari – p.30)