XXIV - Page 238 Home | Index | Previous | Next

To Adhere to Truth is the same as Practicing Forbearance

By following the path of truth, you will be naturally practicing forbearance. In all circumstances, always stick to the path of truth. But sometimes you may have to change the tone of your voice and the volume of your speech in a way that will deal appropriately with a difficult situation. There is a well-known story in the Mahabharata. Ashvattama, the son of the teacher of both the Pandavas and their wicked cousins, and one of the three remaining warriors on the opposite side, had taken a solemn and powerful oath on the last night of the war, that he would use all his strength and accumulated power of penance to destroy the Pandava brothers before the sun rose the following morning.

Krishna, of course, knew of Ashvattama's murderous resolve and also knew of Ashvattama's considerable wealth of spiritual prowess to carry it out. Therefore, Krishna, out of his deep love for the Pandavas, took steps to protect them. It was getting close to midnight and Ashvattama had been unable to find the Pandavas. Krishna knew that Ashvattama would go to the all-knowing sage Durvasa and ask him where the Pandavas were. Now, a great sage like Durvasa would never tell a lie. He was well known for his anger, but his anger was used only to protect righteousness and to quench the fires of wickedness and evil. Even in his anger he would stick to the truth, but often times he would change the volume and sound of his voice, as he was declaring that truth.