Deceit, deception, fraud, falsehood — there are numerous synonyms of that bad, we hate a lot. But sometimes, even the most virtuous person has to play deceptive when life turns out to be a mayhem. In the battle of Mahabharata, Lord Krishna played deceptive tricks several times to safeguard the truth. He even forced Yudhishthir to speak a half truth half lie— “Ashvathama hato, naro wa kunjaro wa.” He misguided Guru Dronacharya about his son Ashvathama’s death. Though an elephant, his namesake had died. Dronacharya was killed by Dhrishtadyumna (Dhrupad’s son) just because of Krishna’s deceit. Lord Krishna is mentioned as Challiya in mythology.
There are multiple such examples of deceit mentioned in the Mahabharata. Lord Indra cunningly usurped Karna’s kavach and kundal exploiting him for his generosity. He turned deceptive to save his son Arjun’s life. Even Karna’s mother Kunti wrested him off his life by begging for her other five sons’ life. Though it was emotional, but indeed was kind of deception to Karna’s part. Rain and king god Indra was infamous for his deceptions to save his throne. Thus he used the beauty of Apsaras to woo several Maharishis and malice their tapasya.
In the history of India, Chanakya has taught Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka to harness deception to their acumen. His ‘chanakyaneeti’ has various such examples where deceit is told to be mandatory for survival, development and excellence. I am not promoting deceit through this post. How could I provoke such bad? But is this that bad that one should choose to die over deceit? For me, being virtuous is foremost. Still I think, I can opt it over destruction!
I don’t want to translate the poem in English. It might lose its soul and spirit. But I would like to explain it in a nutshell for the people who don’t understand Hindi much.
“Anger and arrogance are like those stones that broke the glass castle of innocence and trust. Then I opted for deception (deceit, छल). That acted as an unpleasant, fowl-smelling antiseptic to heal my fingers, hurt during picking up my precious glass pieces. Deceit even mended the broken glass pieces by working as a sticky adhesive (epoxy). Though I found it dirty and filthy, yet deception helped me to recover my glory and regain my tranquility. Though it hurts that the innocence is diminished.”
Sometimes, deceit becomes the synonym of hypocrisy and to the ultimate level it turns out to be sophistication. When you cannot become loud, arrogant, rough and uncultured, you are deemed to adopt falsehood for your survival in this utter brutal world.
Here I’m seeking my readers’ opinion on this complex approach of life while I’m advocating bad. Please share your views on it.