Might is Right

Might is Right

Might is Right, says an ancient proverb. People believe in it. More often than not, Might is interpreted as physical prowess alone and Right signifies words or actions which may or may not be correct ethically.

While it is certainly important to be powerful to make an influential decision, it is apparent that outcome will be long lasting and effective if and only if the intention of the act construes to human values.

A tale from the Mahabharata enumerates this concept. While the Pandavas were in Ekachakranagara, a Brahmin household gave them shelter for a short time. During this period, the Pandavas learnt that a demon named Bakasura who dwelt nearby had made a pact with the villagers that everyday a cart load of food would be sent to him for dinner.
The demon would gobble the cartload of food and also eat up the driver as a part of his meal. The villagers were angry and upset with the demon’s cruelty, but they were helpless.

One day it was the turn of the host family to send a member of their family as lunch to Bakasura. The very thought of it made the family sad and depressed. The Pandavas felt very sorry for them. Even as they were wondering as to how to help the family, Bheemasena volunteered to take the food cart to Bakasura. The following day, Bheema reached the demon’s territory. He heard the demon snoring. So he helped himself to the food.

When he was through with all the goodies, he belched loudly. Bakasura woke from his slumber and came out of his cave. The sight of the empty vessels infuriated the demon. He pounced on Bheemasena with all his might.

Soon they started wrestling. After fighting an equal battle for some time, Bheema overcame the demon.  He used all his might to twirl the demon over his head and threw him to his death.

Both Bheema and Bakasura were endowed with equal strength and physique, but interestingly enough they both were looked upon differently by the people on the basis of their behaviour. While Bakasura used his strength to terrorise and destroy people, Bheema used his strength to protect and empower the weak.

It is not enough if one is merely physically strong. One must know how, where, why and when to use one’s strength. Displaying strength on weaker or helpless people will amount to cowardice. Might will be right all round when used judiciously without an iota of malice or vengeance!