Words of wisdom: A man is known by the company he keeps

As a child, I heard and read many mythological stories.

In most of these stories, there are some asuras who works against the welfare of devas, disturbing dynamic equilibrium of routine life. Even as I visualize and enjoy those stories, as a child, I used to wonder why don’t they ever learn. All such stories start with Asuras making themselves almost invincible with with propitation of some devas and then turning against them and every other peaceful being.

What used to always surprise me as a child was that neither asuras nor devas ever seem to learn. Asuras are never able to make themselves invincible and never seem to be realize that they never can. Also, devas do not refrain from giving boons which makes asuras powerful enough to hurt them back.

In the light of my reflection now, it occurs to me that these asuras and devas, and their clashes,  are actually personification of vasanaas, or behavioral tendencies. Asuras represent a combination of tamas-ic and rajas-vic tendencies while devas represent a combination of rajas-vic and sat-vic tendencies.

Man is a being, perhaps the only being, which is capable of lifting themselves (and everyone else) to heights of divinity (barring some initial set backs) by following sat-vic instincts yet capable of bringing ruin (despite some initial gains) on themselves (and every one else) following tamas-vic instincts. I think, mythological stories present this, in an entertaining and educative manner (initial yet sophisticated form of what we now call ‘edutainment’).

As we look within and around, we find these characters and stories being replayed and retold many times over, and it makes all sense to learn from these and take care. Two pointers which  I find specifically as important are i) watching own instincts and conducting oneself in an appropriate manner (working for prosperity of oneself and everyone else) ii) keeping conduct of  immediate circle  (no wonder it is said that a man is known by the company he keeps)

Sakatam Panchahasteshu Dasahasteshu Vaajinam

Gajam Hastasahashrehu Durjanam Dooratastajet

Keep a distance of five ‘hasta’ from vehicles, ten ‘hasta’ from horse and 1000 ‘hasta’ from elephant (considering their damage potential). Keep as much distance as possible from bad people


One Response to “Words of wisdom: A man is known by the company he keeps”

  1. Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda Says:

    The human mind is susceptible and vulnerable to effect of company. Whatever company we give it,the mind adapts to it.
    To cultivate spiritual values:
    1.Keep holy company (sadhu or sat sanga )
    2.Give up bad company ( durjana sanga )

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