Yudhisthira and the crane (Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c1/Yudhistira_and_Yaksha.jpg/1200px-Yudhistira_and_Yaksha.jpg)

Great List and a couple of suggestions

Thanks for writing a great list of principles to live by! I’d like to add a couple more to this list from the Indian epic, Mahabharata.

  • Live debt free.
  • Live local

These come from an episode in the great Indian epic The Mahabharatha¹. The five brothers — Pandavas — were exiled. During their exile, the eldest brother -Yudhisthira — comes to face a crane, an avatar of a Yaksha — that would speak. The crane, as the parable goes, asked Yudhisthira five questions to which if he were to give the correct answers, then he would get back the life of his brothers who were lifeless as they approached a pond of lilies to pluck a flower at the insistence of Draupadi — their wife.

The crane asked Yudhisthira was about what makes people happy, and the great brother replied that those who are debt free and those who do not have to leave their homeland and live somewhere else are the happiest of people. In India, we say “whatever the Mahabharatha has not covered, does not happen in Bharata” (Bharata == the other name of India). I believe there is a pearl of wisdom there for our times.

Go debt free. In our times, that would roughly translate to maintain zero balance on credit cards and debt account, mortgage-free, and the like.

Go local. Encourage local produce, eat in season, buy from local enrtrepreneurs, the list could go on.

As I read your essay, these thoughts came to mind. I’d have listed these two as principles to the 39 principles to live by.

¹ Here is a version of Mahabharata you can read on the web, http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Also in: https://refind.com/arinbasu

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