Shun the company of the unworthy; Know the strength/weakness of self & others
दृढभक्तिः स्थिरप्रज्ञो नासद्ग्राही न दुर्वचाः |
निस्तन्द्रिरप्रमत्तश्च स्वदोषपरदोषवित् || (वा।रा २-१-२४)
Lord Rama had a firm devotion and had a stable mind. He did not have the company of unworthy people, nor did he speak foul words. He was free from laziness and was ever alert. He knew his own faults and those of others.
Every verse about Lord Rama, from Valmiki Ramayana, has been teaching us many things. Here too, Rama is teaching us multiple things and one among those is – not to have bad company, the company of unworthy, the company of durjanas. This is of utmost importance for a King because a King with bad company, would fail in his duties, despite him being worthy. It is true with people in good position too. (How many times have we said this? “He is a great person, but he is surrounded by unworthy folks”) So, it is important for oneself to be truthful, devoted to Lord and to have a steadfast mind. It is more important to shun the bad company. Wrong people with a person, spoil all the virtues the person has.
One more teaching from Rama is to understand the strength and weakness of others, to understand the faults and virtues present in others. The analysis of other’s weaknesses, and strength helps at every stage – home, office, playground, with friends, with competitors, with family. While it is very easy to find faults in others (we love to do it and we excel there, don’t we?), we are so bad in identifying our own weaknesses. Rama says, not just that of others, every person should know his/her own strength and faults. Only then, can a good judgement be made at every situation. Rama, of course had no faults – He is nirdosha. But He is teaching this to the mankind for leading a successful life.
Let such perfect Rama, remove our faults, and take us away from the company of unworthy.