Thursday, 21 March 2013

Vidur - The wise

One day a strange visitor entered the kingdom of Raja Veerabhadra Pandu. He had a unique challenge that he placed in front of the king. The challenge goes thus:

He drew a line on the sands of the palace grounds and asked the king if there was anyone in his kingdom who could make the line shorter without rubbing it or placing anything on any part of the line?

Many a learned man tried his hand at solving the challenge. But they could not think of making a line shorter without rubbing off a portion of it. Finally the almost triumphant traveller gave an ultimatum to the King telling him that time was running out and he was willing to give one more chance. But if the person fails then the entire kingdom would be his and he would take over as the Raja of Pandu’s Kingdom. The Raja was shocked on hearing this as he had thought it to be a harmless challenge of a clever traveller.

He was in fact hoping to pay him 100 gold coins for his intelligence, but what the traveller demanded was, by any standards, unreasonable. While these thoughts were going on in his mind, Vidur, who was all but 10 years’ of age, boldly approached the traveller. He told him that he would make his line shorter without rubbing it.

He took a piece of log and drew a line longer than the one drawn by the traveller. He then asked the traveller, which of the lines was shorter. The traveller replied that his line was shorter. Vidur told the traveller nonchalantly that his line had been made shorter and walked away to join his mother.
A line longer than the original line, makes the original line look shorter!

Accepting his defeat, the traveller walked away. The king told the people of his nation that the whole episode carried a message. You can only make someone look smaller by becoming bigger yourself and not by belittling them.