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Seeing good points in others

Below is an incident in the life of the Pandavs and Kauravs from the Hindu Holy epic Mahābhārata.

In their childhood, the Pandavs and Kauravs studied together at the Ashram of their teacher, Sage Dronacharya.

Yudhisthir, the eldest of the Pandavs, had gone through many difficulties in life, but was always content and happy. On the other hand, Duryodhan, the eldest of the Kauravs, despite having everything, was always miserable for some reason or the other.

One day, Sage Dronacharya said to Yudhisthir, "Go into town and meet as many people as you can. When you return this evening, tell me about the worst person that you met." Then, Dronacharya called Duryodhan and gave him similar instructions, "Duryodhan, my child, go into the town and meet as many people as you can. When you return this evening, tell me about the best and noblest man that you met."

Yudhisthir and Duryodhan set out on their quest. Each of them entered the town and met as many people as he could - young and old, rich and poor.

That evening, when Yudhisthir returned, he told Sage Dronacharya, "Gurudēv, I met many people today. Each of them had some good quality that I lack. Thus, everyone I met today was superior to me in some way. So, I am convinced that I am the worst person and need to learn good qualities from others."

Just then, Duryodhan returned from the town and said to Dronacharya, "Gurudev, I met many people today and noticed that each person had some fault that I do not have. So, I am convinced that I am the best and noblest person of all!"

Moral: We, too, can be happy like Yudhisthir by learning from others' positive points, instead of pointing out their faults. We can remind ourselves of this story whenever we feel tempted to criticise or gossip about others. Regular spiritual practice removes our negative habits like criticising others, and develops good qualities like humility and learning attitude that ensure happiness.

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