Author: G N Das
Publisher: Abhinav Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170173531
The scriptures have recorded that Vidur in his previous birth was Dharma Deva the God of Justice himself. Once the great ancient sage Mandavya was wrongly apprehended by the then king’s officers as leader of a robber gang who had concealed themselves in his hermitage. He was impaled to a spear by the king’s order.
When the sage went to Dharma Raj after two days the sage was released from the punishment still alive on the strength of his great spiritual merit.
The sage went to Dharma Raj and asked what crime he had committed to deserve the punishment. He was told that as he had tortured birds and bees as a child he got the punishment. The sage was angry and cursed Dharma Raj saying you shall be born on earth for the inordinately harsh punishment meted out for a child’s crime committed in ignorance.
As a result of the curse, Dharma Deva had to be born as Vidura to the palace maid of Vichitra-Virya son of King Santanu, the forerunner of Pandavas and Kouravas. Vidura was so well up in knowledge of Dharma that he was given the appellation of Mahatma for his unparalleled knowledge of Dharma or righteousness and for being devoid of attachment and anger.
He worked as counsellor to the King Emperor Dhritarastra of Hastina to the satisfaction of all concerned. The rulings given by him satisfied all. The maxims selected for the book are from his counsels.
Text of maxims
(Chapters I to VII)