Here we will discuss the conundrum faced by Dhritarashtra of simultaneously being a father and the king. As a father, he was bound by his love towards Duryodhana and was compelled to enthrone him as prince reagent. On the other hand, as a king, he was bound to install Yudhistir as prince reagent since he was the rightful heir. This conundrum was often faced by those in power. They are often tempted to play favoritism and bribery. Every one of us have some role in society. Along with the role also comes responsibility.
To love and to be loved is the innate need of our heart. We try to fulfil this need through our familial relationships, social relationships and work relationships. These relationships mainly drive us to work and earn. We work to provide for our near-and-dear ones. We work to acquire commodities like food, toys, clothes, gadgets etc. which are means of exchanging love in our various relationships.
We are living in a society with many others. In the society different sets of people are exchanging love with one another in different ways at different times. But the society has limited resources and our demand for commodities that are means of exchanging love are ever-increasing and ever-varying. In order to ensure fair distribution of the resources, our society has laws at various levels for various individuals and groups of individuals. This will ensure that everyone mutually benefit each other and not conflict each other (BG 3.10). Human societies at various levels functioned smoothly on these basis from time immemorial. A flip side of these laws: these laws constrain our ability to acquire resources which in turn, constrains our relationships. For eg: a parent can only afford to purchase a limited number of toys and he has to share those toys between his two sons. Though his sons want more toys, they are made to be content with whatever they get.
As a result of this inherent complexity and limitations, there can be a temptation and tendency to circumvent the laws that bind us and our relationships. This tendency is counter-productive which is proved time and again. This tendency is detrimental and can potentially trickle down to our own relationships. As such it is not possible to circumvent all laws and at all times. The laws of nature are beyond our control. This tendency leads to ruin (BG 3.16). This is proved in the case of Dhritarashtra. He misused his position as a king by favoring Duryodhana over Yudhistir. He bore severe repercussions for this.
Our adherence to social laws constrains our individual loving relationships. As a result, we cannot be completely fulfilled in our heart. How to resolve this dichotomy between love and law? Humanity tried from time immemorial tried to address this dichotomy through advances in various fields – Technology, Economics, Philosophy and Psychology. Nonetheless, the problem persists rather in a more pronounced way as stress, anxiety, loneliness, insomnia etc. Is it possible to have a solution?
Yes. Bhagavad Gita provides us with a solution. We need to cooperate and comply with the laws of state and nature. This will keep us happy (BG 3.11). If we sacrifice our relationships for the sake of cooperating with society, how will it keep us happy? It will keep us fulfilled if we do it as part of yoga – the process of linking with supreme divine being – Krishna. Our relationship with God is enacted in the spiritual platform. Our ability to love God and God’s ability to reciprocate with our love is beyond all possible limitations. This does not depend on the resources we possess and can provide to God. Therefore it is beyond the laws and loss in this world. When we are divinely related to God in yoga, we will be able to see everyone and everything around in connection with God (BG 6.30). Thus cooperation with society and adherence to its laws becomes an expression of love to God. All the relationships will be God-centered i.e. based on service to God. In that way all such relationships will be fulfilling. King Yudhistir is situated in pure devotional service to Lord Krishna. He is fully satisfied at heart in that relationship. King Yudhistir centered all his roles, responsibilities and other relationships, around his relationship with Krishna. Thus he rightly executed all his duties as a king despite many reversals, being firmly situated in devotional service (BG 6.23). This will also ensure that everyone remains satisfied and thus immune from the tendency to circumvent the laws and cheat