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Chapter 3: The Yoga of Anguish

One would expect Yudhishthira to be in anguish, but he is not. The reason is that Yudhishthira is a so-called religious person, and even a bad person is better than a so-called religious person - because sooner or later the thorn of badness will start pricking that bad person. But that pricking, that pain never happens to a so-called religious person because he has already taken it for granted that he is a religious person, so how can he feel anguish?

Yudhishthira is complacent about being religious. It is a false complacency, but that is how he is. Actually Yudhishthira is the image of a traditional, religious man.

There are two categories of religious people. The first contains those whose religion is borrowed, borrowed from the past. The other contains those whose religion comes out of their inner revolution.

Arjuna is a man of religion who is standing on the threshold of an inner revolution. As yet, he is not religious, but he is standing on the threshold of the revolution. He is passing through the pain out of which religiousness can be born in him. Yudhishthira is satisfied, contented, with the religion he has inherited from the past. That is why he can be a religious man and a gambler at the same time and have no misgivings arising in his mind about this. He can be religious and he can go to war to gain a kingdom with no misgivings. He is religious and yet everything irreligious goes on aplenty around his so-called religiousness - and he is not in the least bit troubled.

Usually, the people who go to the temple or the mosque or the gurudwara or the church are the ones who find they are in rapport with Yudhishthira. Such a man is contented. He reads the Gita every day, he has memorized the entire Gita. He is a staunchly religious man, and there the matter ends. He knows everything that is worth knowing, and that is that. But such a man is like an empty cartridge: there is nothing left behind that can be fired, there is no gunpowder left. And such an empty cartridge looks nice because it doesn’t carry much danger inside it.

If we take this meaning, Yudhishthira is Dharmaraj, the lord of religiousness. He is a custodian of the religion that he has inherited from the past; he is a symbol, a reflection of the religion that he has received from the past, from tradition, from orthodoxy. Hence he isn’t troubled.

The so-called religious man is always compromising. In every situation he manages to compromise between religion and irreligion. The so-called religious man is a hypocrite. He has two faces. One is his religious face that he keeps to show to others. But he has a second - his real face that he uses to function, to get things done. To him, there is never a conflict between these two faces.

This is the key, the secret of hypocrisy. No inner conflict is ever born in him; he never feels he is divided in two. He is very fluid; he moves easily from one side to the other, he has no difficulty whatsoever. He is like an actor. An actor changes his roles and has no difficulty with it. He may have been Rama, the hero, yesterday, and today he can move into the role of Ravana, the villain, with no problem at all. He will put on Ravana’s clothes and start speaking in Ravana’s language.

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