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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    I have travelled too far where I can't look back!

    (This thread is the winner of the TOW for the week 10th July – 16th July 2016)

    I was watching an episode of B R Chopra's Mahabharat the other day and the conversation between Gandhari and her elder son Suyodhan got my attention. The war between Kaurav and Pandav was in progress and seemed to be coming to an end. Bhishma, Drona and Karna, the great warriors have lost their lives and the Pandav slowly emerging towards victory. At this juncture, Gandhari asked her son to approach for a compromise to save the remaining crew of his team.

    Suyodhan retorted, "I have travelled too far where I can't look back!"

    Let's evaluate the situation. Is Suyodhan's reaction right at that point of time? Perhaps, so. Whether right or wrong, a decision was taken and already executed. He knows it has costed more. Having reached to that stage, it's time for him to take up the mantle in spite of an inevitable defeat. That should be the spirit of a true warrior. I am not trying to redefine the episode of the great epic. But that simple sentence with a broken heart made me to think like that.
    What is your take on this?
  • #571207
    The others great worriers like Bhishma, Drona and Karna were also perhaps knowing that they are not on right path, but they stuck to their decisions despite knowing the inevitable.
    Bhishma, Drona and Karna continued to remain in the court when Suyodhan ( ? ) attempted to disrobe Draupadi. Before the final battle, Karna was told that he is the eldest Pandava, but he too had traveled too far to look back.
    We may very well rationalize the decision of Suyodhan to not to make compromise as advised by Gandhari, but perhaps that could have still prevented not only his own death, but few things more. As a matter of fact he was as good as dead much earlier when Bhishma, Drona and Karna had sacrificed their lives and was only carrying his body on his own shoulders.
    What could he had gained even after making compromise when all of his hundred brothers and most of his kith and kin were killed.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #571212
    Is Syodhan the Dhryodhan? I never heard about the name Suyodhan but know only Dhryodhan the eldest of Kauravas and Duchasanan who carried out an inhuman act against Draupadi.
    No life without Sun ¤

  • #571216
    As far as I remember, Dhritarashtra used to address Duryodhana as 'Suyodhana'.
    “Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” - Paul Terry

  • #571221
    Yes, the real name of Duryodhan was Suyodhan, which means 'Great Warrior', but he changed his name to Duryodhan, to look more powerful as it means 'the unconquerable one' or 'difficult to fight with'. Dushashan also followed the suit as his initial name was Sushashan.

  • #571231
    Yes sometimes our decisions would be wrong and we would have traveled long distance and cannot retract. Same is the situation being experienced by Ravana. In the current serial being shown, Ravana'a wife who seems to be reasonable and pleads to free Sita at once as Ravana is going through Adharma Marg but deaf years of Ravana wont heed to her request. Because he has taken the wrong decision of kidnapping Sita and now wants to make his wife which is another blunder mistake. Ravana already lost his loving son but still he wont mend ways. So fate is taking them to such worst decisions in life and as big rulers they cannot retract certain decision which are taken against the other wishes. The worst part of the things is that they wont listen to the other good persons besides them. In Tamil there is a saying that Vinassha kalam, Vipareetha Buddhi. That means when bad times started for a person, he goes hay wire and wont heed to his own consciousness.
    K Mohan
    I consider myself as the learner everyday

  • #571247
    Wow, its news for me. Never knew that Duryodhan and Dushasan had names opposite in meaning to the ones the whole world knows them with.

    Coming to the core point being discussed here, I will like to add that even though it was too late, Duryodhan could have still salvaged something by accepting defeat and ending the war. This could have at least prevented further destruction of life of his brothers and his soldiers. It would have also salvaged something for Gandhari and Dhritarastra too, the unfortunate parents. But what prevented Duryodhana from doing so was his ego. Accepting superiority of others over him was never to his liking and the same misfortune also took over Ravana, who falsely assumed that there was none mightier than him.

    At times similar things happen with us too, when we get carried away with false ego and refuse to see sense, even when someone tries to instil some good sense in us. If by misfortune we get on a wrong path, it will do us a world of good if we do remember not to get carried away with false prestige. The earlier we return to our senses and take a U-turn, the better it will be for us and the people surrounding us.

    So I don't agree with what the author might be suggesting. I believe, one can always look back, even though one might have travelled too far. It may be late, but never too late.

    Patience and perseverance pays

  • #571253
    Duryodhan believed and trusted his own might and strength as his whole body was blessed by his blind folded mother Gandhari. Gandhari made Duryodhan powerful by unfolding her eye veil to transmit her power to Duryodhan. It was Krishna who played the trick for Duryodhan to have a weakest part of his body (His thighs). When Gandhari called Duroyodhan to appear in front of her in a fully naked form, Duryodhan failed due to false advice from Lord Sri Krishna who suggested Duryodhan to hide his private part Duryodhan never knew that it would cause his death during the fight between Bhim and Duryodhan. and worn a piece of clothe around his waist covering his private part and thighs.

    Why to look back when Duryodhan was sure of his strength and his victory through the power of his Mother Gandhari? I say it was an over confidence that many of us have and ignore to look back, but only to look forward.

    No life without Sun ¤

  • #571277
    It depends on the situation whether or not one should look back. Suppose you are given a task by your boss that was similar to something you did earlier despite the fact that you made some error at that time, because he has faith in your ability. It is good to step back & bring to mind what mistakes you did then so as not to repeat them, to prove to your boss that indeed the faith in your ability was not misplaced. In another situation, if you are unhappy with the work place and decide to look for new pastures, you should not then regret leaving the previous job. Once you have made your decision & are determined to find a better work place, why look back? You should be optimistic, instead, toward a bright future.

    In a personal relationship it may be tough, though, to take a firm decision either way. Should you let go and move ahead if the relationship does not work out, or look back & see the possibilities of nurturing the relationship & giving it a chance?

    Let's take the situation of somebody getting into bad company, acquiring an addiction. Has he/she travelled too far? Is there hope of turning back and being reformed?

    It is difficult sometimes not to look back, though, in certain cases, such as losing a loved one. Was there something that could have been done which would have kept the person still with us for a little longer? I'm sure this query must have come up in your mind. But what is required is for us to move on, realize that life must go on, that the loved one will not want us to get depressed & sink into stagnation, not having the will the live our own life to the maximum. Look back on the good memories you had with that person, feel the strength of their presence in your heart- and move forward.

    As you can see.....a lot of different experiences, each one having its own set up to take the decision whether the steps into the future are far ahead and whether or not there is a necessity to look back.

    Managing Editor,

  • #571292
    Well, I too appreciate the fact that there might be occasions in our life, when it will be advisable not to look back. It's the situation that will warrant us, whether we should halt, step back and assess our gains and losses or continue with our decisions, our actions, even though it might be leading us to our doom. But in the context of the Mahabharata or the Ramayana or any other war, I will opine that the contenders should look back and seek every possible opportunity to give peace a chance. In both the epics, it was because of one person alone that caused loss of so many lives . Just think of it, had it not been for Duryodhana or Ravana, the two wars would not have taken place. Perhaps, no one else was interested in the war as were they. Had they looked back and assessed the damage, they could have prevented further destruction.

    I won't consider Duryodhana as a true warrior, as suggested in the thread. Agreed he was a great warrior, but perhaps not a true one. That's because he fought the war to satisfy his own ego. It was not for the country or for his people. Instead, those who were compelled to side with him and fight the war were true warriors. For them the war was their duty towards their king, the kingdom and its people. In this context, I am reminded of the heroics of Hector in the famous Trojan war. He didn't approve of his brother's actions in abducting Helen. When the mighty Romans besieged Troy, he wanted to give peace a chance. When his father and especially his brother Paris were not ready to relinquish, what they had gained illegally, Hector was the first one to launch the battle against the Romans, who had the famed Achilles in their army. Well aware that he was no match for Achilles or the Roman army he nevertheless led alone his people and gave a trying time to the Romans until his last breath. For him, his family , his country came first, his own aspirations were secondary. Never did he hesitate to go to war, even though he was a person who believed giving peace the first chance. A true warrior indeed.

    Patience and perseverance pays

  • #571294
    Whether you call it his ego or whatever, what he decided was right at that point of time. He had lost all his great worrier because of him. If at that point of time he compromised with the situation, it would look a great selfish act. It only meant that when he had to sacrifice himself, he showed cowardice act. Above all he was a Kashtriya, if he would do compromise, he would live his life like a dead person. So, it was better for him to die fighting instead of living his entire life with bowing his head.
    "Any man who stands for progress has to criticize, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith." - Sardar Bhagat Singh

  • #571301
    Yes it is better to die fighting, then live the life of a coward. But why take thousands others along with you to a sure death? More than a Kshatriya, he was a King first and it was his duty to safeguard his people; in which he failed miserably. Continuing with a war and risking the lives of his people, just to show to the world that you are not selfish doesn't sounds sensible. It shows his selfishness in approach in projecting himself.
    Patience and perseverance pays

  • #571311
    Duryodhan had definitely come too far to decide on looking back. Had he succumbed to the advice by his mother, it would have earned him a bad name. He would have been called a cowardice.

    No matter how much we dislike Duryodhan while reading Mahabharat, or watching the shows based on the epic, we will not be able to admire one aspect of his character - his self respect. He had to maintain it and that was exactly what he did.

    Probably, by that time he was aware of his end nearing. He knew that he would be killed soon. He had no hopes of winning the war, Yet, he had to put a brave face and fight.

    Live....and Let Live...!

  • #571318
    Your statements are contradictory Timappa. Your first sentence implies that Duryodhana didn't earn a bad name. But in the second one you state that he is mostly disliked, which obviously means he has earned a bad name for himself. So first, it's for you to decide, whether the person you admire has earned a bad name or not.

    You say you like Duryodhana for his self-respect. But how do you justify that? There were numerous times he cheated the Pandavas, whether it was by trying to drown Bhima by poisoning when they were kids or trying to burn the Pandavas alive, when they were in the Lakshagriha. And my dear friend no self-respecting man will ever try to disrobe a lady, that too, one who his the wife of his cousins. Nor will any self-respecting man will try to win a game of chess by cheating. Self-respect in which sense? He was so proud that he never listened to his parents even , forget listening to the wise Vidura, Pitamah Bheesm or Guru Dron. Most of his generals were into the war only for the sake of duty, not for any love for Duryodhana or his policies. For him any sane advise was poison. Just for the sake of one-upmanship, he caused the destruction of his own people. Is that, what is meant by self-respect?

    Patience and perseverance pays

  • #571333
    Dhruv, Duryodhan was never a King bit his father Dhritrashtra. It was Dhritrashtra weakness for his son Duryodhana that the king could not stop the war. However, it was not that time for Duryodhana to think if he has done good or bad.

    Yes, it is very easy to comment being outside of that situation in which Duryodhana was. And your argument was good enough as being a peace loving person. But how many of us will compromise in that situation after the death of more than 90 brother and great grandfather and brother like friend Karna. Who all were given their life for Duryodhana. The question is not whether he did war for good or bad, the question is looking back after reaching certain situation. I am sure many of us will do the same as what Duryodhana did in that situation. Regardless of the result of war.

    "Any man who stands for progress has to criticize, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith." - Sardar Bhagat Singh

  • #571444
    Confusing foolhardiness with courage and false pride, it seems Jeets, you are not in sync with how most wars are fought. You say you will do the same as what Duryodhana did. It won't be a sensible way to act. You will be acting on emotions alone and that's something very dangerous for you and the men under you. If go through war chronicles, you will find that in most cases the losing side surrendered, when it was apparent to them, there's no good continuing the fight. Okay, let me give some instances.

    The 1971 Indo Pak war ended with Pakistan surrendering its 90,000 troops to Indian forces, when it was clear to the Pak army, that India had the upper hand. The 1962 Indo-China war too ended in ceasefire, when it was apparent to both the forces that it will be foolhardiness to continue the war and aggravate the losses. Since China had the upper hand, it took some of India's territory and Aksai Chin continues to be a part of China. India thought it prudent, to accept the circumstances.

    In the WW-II, Japan immediately surrendered, when two of its cities were destroyed by atomic bombing. Japan didn't go the Duryodhana way by continuing the war and avenge the death of its citizens. It simply denounced any further role in the war. Germany too gave up when it was loosing badly and with Hitler's death, the war came to an immediate end. Perhaps the Pandavas should have got Duryodhana in the beginning itself. In that way the war could have ended much earlier. For I believe, no one else other than Duryodhana or Suyodhana (as he was once named by his noble parents) was eager for the war that devastated the whole region then.

    Very few wars go to an end where one of the party is completely decimated. Perhaps the battle of Kalinga was one such war, where the forces of Ashoka decimated the complete opposition. But that war had a positive effect on Ashoka, for it made him to look back the path he had taken till then. So looking back may sometimes do us and others a world of good

    Patience and perseverance pays

  • #571459
    'I have travelled too far where I can't look back', is a statement that has lot of meaning attached to it. It is not just about looking back or turning back or giving a rethink to something that has already been done. It is about the helplessness of someone who has gone ahead without being wise, it is about the helplessness of someone who has taken a wrong route and so on.

    Leave aside Mahabharata and Duryodhana, don't we feel the same many times in our day to day life? There will be moments which we regret but having crossed a particular point, the only choice left would be to move ahead despite all odds and possible negative results.

    I was actually so touched by the title and felt some personal inclination towards the same. We humans do sometimes go so far that travelling back cannot be thought of. A past moment is past and can never be retrieved (in the same form).

    Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in fruit salad - Miles Kington.

  • #571552
    Dhruv, All the examples you have given for going backfoot in war are the modern time wars between countries where government rules. The system of operation and the roles are completely different It is not sensible to compare the situation of some other era to this era!

    With excitement to make your point stronger you forgot completely that in those era, the fight use to happen only with both sides soldiers. The women, older and children, in other words, entire civilians has to be kept safe and outside from the war zone. Unlikely today, when a fighter jet will come and bombard the place without even thinking if it damaging enemies or innocent public.

    So let's be in Duryodhana's situation without any confusion. We all know that what he did was absolutely wrong and sin. Even before the war all his greatest warrior knew that they will be get defeated. Moreover the war of Mahabharata was between Dharma and Adharma. Before the war, it was all decided that it is personal wish who ever wants to go whichever side and fight.

    Being in his situation when he was almost lost, if you would compromise and live a life like a slave, it is totally your choice but many like me would better die fighting. It is not an emotional choice but thinking of the future I and my people will live. Obviously everyone have thier own set of thinking and just because your thinking doesn't match with me, you can't comment whatever you feel about me.

    In my entire response I have never connected the situation with our today's life, I kept myself being that situation and gave my response but you went further with explanations which doesn't match with situation.

    "Any man who stands for progress has to criticize, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith." - Sardar Bhagat Singh

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