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  • Writer's pictureAshok Kumar Burra


Updated: Feb 5

By B.E.Sampath Kumar, Sri Ramachandrji Seva Trust, Kadapa.

We hate others who are selfish but justify ourselves when the same feature(selfishness)is within us.  Lack of sympathy has been seen as one of the roots of selfishness. This trait puts an ugly mark on the soul of an individual. Some selfish people treat others as an option whenever they require some favour from them. After their work is over they treat them like strangers.

In Mahabharat, an Indian epic, Duryodhana, son of Dhritarashtra, the king of the Kauravas Dynasty, supported Karna, who was an Archer and the son of a low caste person ie., Sutha in a tournament with his selfish motive. Karna was not allowed to showcase his skills on the basis of his caste.  Duryodhana with his selfish motive crowned Karna as king of a small country called Anga, to take revenge against Pandavas who are sons of King Pandu, as he desperately wanted a good Archer on his side to match Arjuna.

Likewise in Ramayana an Indian epic, there is an instance of selfishness that showed a drastic effect on the family of king Dasaratha of Ayodhya. King Dasaratha promised two boons to his third queen Kaikeyi as she helped him in a war. When Dasaratha wants to make Rama, who was his elder son through his first queen Kousalya, as king of Ayodhya, Queen Kaikeyi asked Dasaratha to send Rama to forests for 14 years and make his son Bharatha as king of Ayodhya to fulfil her two boons. The first boon tormented much Dasaradha to send his beloved son Rama to forests.

The result of her selfishness caused the death of King Dasaratha,  who cannot bear the pain,  and it also resulted in hatredness towards Kaikeyi by her own son Bharatha, whom she wants to make as the crown prince of Ayodhya.

Now coming to the present day this trait in humans is in full swing in all walks of life. For example, suppose there was an interview with regard to a post in which 10 candidates appeared for the examination.

In which X a poor boy stood first and Y not even secured the required marks. The father of Y who was a rich and influential person managed to get the job for his son, by influencing or bribing the selecting officer.  Does his act is not selfish? Not even himself selfish but also the Selection Officer. Is it not a blow on the livelihood of the poor boy and his family? Temporarily they may enjoy the fruits of their Selfishness, but Nature won’t keep quiet. It takes its own course of action in due course. It may be in the shape of a disease, accident, loss of property, etc.  Many people are not aware of the consequences of their selfishness.

Sibichakravarthi, a king in Hindu mythology was renowned for his selflessness and is said to have saved Agni from Indra, when they appeared before him to test his selflessness, by transforming themselves like dove and hawk respectively, by offering up his own flesh from his thighs.

We are now living in Kaliyuga and may not be possible to offer our flesh  to others, but we can live selflessly with more concern of the needs and wishes of poor and needy  than with our own. Naturally we the humans are selfish beings. Self interest is healthy to a certain extent, but beyond that it may bring unhappiness and conflict with others.  If we introspect ourselves we have to admit that we are selfish than required. 

To know or to develop the said selfless  quality in us,  we have to approach a Sadguru to free ourselves from all the vices including this selfishness and fly freely towards the Ultimate( God) averting the fall within the cycle of birth and deaths.

Posted by B. E. Sampath Kumar, Abhyasi, Sri Ramachandraji Seva Trust, Kadapa City.

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