September 3, 2019

Ashwathama is Dead

Amit Trivedi
Owner, Karmayog Knowledge Academy

Ashwathama is Dead

The teacher of the Pandavs and Kauravs, Guru Dron was a fierce warrior. He was almost invincible. In the epic war of Kurukshetra, he was on the Kaurav side. He had to be stopped, else the end of Pandav army was almost sure. Lord Krushna came to the rescue of Pandavs once more. He devised a plan to spread the rumors of the death of Ashwathama, the beloved son of Guru Dron. According to the plan, Bheem killed an elephant, whose name was Ashwathama and started shouting that “Ashwathama” was dead. The word spread and reached the ears of the Guru. At first, he did not believe in this, but when he kept hearing about the same, he thought of checking with Yudhisthir, the eldest Pandav, who was known for his truthfulness. He would never tall a lie, Dron knew. What he did not know was that Krishna had anticipated this and prepared Yudhisthir, too. When Dron asked Yudhisthir if the news of Ashwathama’s death was correct, he said, “Yes, Ashwathama is dead.” While he kept his promise to Lord Krishna, he could not tell a complete lie to his own Guru. So, in a low voice, he also added, “Narova, kunjaro va”, meaning I am not sure if that is a man or an elephant. Dron had heard the first part. As he was deeply saddened, he dropped his armament and Dhrustdyumna killed him. That was the end of one of the finest warriors in Mahabharat.

Yudhisthira’s chariot would until then always hover a few inches above the ground buoyed by its rider’s steadfast commitment to truthfulness. It came thudding to the ground because of the deliberate “half-truth” in his reply.

Now put the advisor in place of Yudhisthir with the chariot being the position one has earned in the mind of one’s client, for the steadfast truthfulness. In the war of Kurukshetra, when Yudhisthir put his own interest, getting rid of Guru Dron, ahead of his principles, he took to the half-truth. Imagine when you are in such a position. What would happen to the high position you have earned in the mind of your client? Will the chariot not come thudding down to the ground? After that, it is impossible to go up again. It is almost impossible to win back that position. One experience is enough to go from “trust” to “rust”.

According to SEBI regulations about the mutual fund, half-truths would be considered mis-selling. However, this is not just about compliance with regulations. It is a duty of an advisor to tell the client things “as-they-are” without mincing words, and especially not take refuge behind half-truths.

2 Thoughts to “Ashwathama is Dead”

  1. Trupti Muralidhar says:

    Perfect sync of mythology with reality. Absolutely true, half truths are unethical.

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