What are the basic lessons from Mahabharata?
Answer by Ashish Gupta:
The reason I like Mahabharata, because it has subtle learnings.
I was unable to find story online, so I typed on my own. Apologies for poor drafting, I was never good at story telling.
Once Arjuna asks Krishna why Yudhishthir is called Dharmaraj (Religion king) and Karna Daanveer (Donation king), as both never refused alms to anyone. Krishna says wait for some time I will let you know.
After a month when in whole kingdom was raining heavily, both (Krishna and Arjuna) in disguise of Brahmins (wise men/priests) first go the Yudhishthir that we are doing a Yagn and need 100Kg of Sandal wood. Yudhishthir immediately sent his servants across the kingdom, and later refused saying it is difficult to find dry Sandal wood anywhere. Let me know if I can arrange anything for you. Both brahmins said “no thanks” and left the place.
Then they went to Karna and made the same demand. Karna thought for a while and said it is raining heavily outside, it is least likeley to get dry Sandal wood. He takes out his bow and arrow and cuts all windows and doors of his palace and compiles them for the brahmins.
Later Krishna says to Arjuna, it is not that Yudhishthir would have refused if we would have asked for wood from his doors and windows. But this idea didn't strike Yudhishthir in first place. Yudhishthir donates because it is written in Dharma (religion), Karna donates because he likes to do it.
The message of the story is very subtle. So many times in office and other places we see people who just put superficial effort to show others and make themselve feel good about that they have done the effort. They don't put their heart and soul in it. Somewhere, getting things done is not in their mind, they do it just because they have to.