Feeling Exiled in This Corona Pandemic? Key Points to Take Away from “The Mahabharata – Exile of the Pandavas”

As I write this article, there is one thing that I can be 100% sure of – a majority of you who are reading this article are doing so from the comfort of your homes. If so, I appreciate it and wish you and your dear ones continued safety.

For those who are not home when reading this article, I sincerely hope you are in a safe and secure place and taking all the required precautions to remain safe!


The year 2020 has been an interesting one. Everyone welcomed it with open arms and a high level of optimism. This is probably because 2020 is an even year. The beginning of the next decade is a leap year and appears balanced (20 – 20). Nothing could be further from the truth. It began on a not-so-positive note with news of the novel Coronavirus reaching significant parts of the world. The globe is now clutching this invisible yet powerful “demon” on various fronts; things look bleak. Any ray of hope is welcome in such a scenario.

What can be done?

In difficult times, it is a standard practice to reach out to literature and the teachings of our forefathers for advice and guidance. The Indian society is fortunate in this regard and has a lot of rich literature that teaches the overall way of leading a meaningful life and how tough times must be dealt with. The epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata – are at the forefront. They are considered mythologies by a few, but their teachings are impeccable.
For those who are not familiar with the Mahabharata, here’s a quick link – https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mahabharata

The Indian National TV channel broadcasts the Mahabharata serial to keep people entertained and motivated during this lockdown period.


I love history, and while watching the Mahabharata serial, I realized that there is much to be taken from the events of this great epic. One such period of the Mahabharata is when the Pandavas lost the game of dice and had to go into exile (please refer to episodes 50 to 55 of the serial). It was a difficult period for the Pandavas, and in this pandemic, there are many things that we all can relate to. Their response and behavior during their period of exile is something we can learn from and implement during this time when most of us are in lockdown and looking at an uncertain future.

Here are a few points which we can take away from the Mahabharata –

Follow your “Dharma,” for example, the proper behavior expected of you, what happened in the Mahabharata

Per the rules of the game of dice, the Pandavas lost their kingdom and had to go into exile for 12 years. As part of the royal family, it would have been easy for them to disregard what was agreed upon and not honor the terms and conditions. However, they were righteous in their behavior and knew the far-reaching implications of doing so. Had they not gone into exile, they would not only disregard their ‘Dharma,’ but they would have also lost the respect of the common man and their friends and well-wishers

What we should do

As law-abiding citizens, we must support the Government and the Administration and follow the rules they set. This is not the time for debates or arguments. Our society and nation’s interest comes first, and our personal likes, dislikes, and opinions come later. If it is the collective decision of the Government and the Administration that we need to stay home to flatten the curve, we need to strictly abide by it. At the same time, we must continue working as best as we can within the given constraints and try to contribute our best to our organizations. In these times, this alone is our ‘Dharma’.

Keep upgrading skills – look towards the “Heaven”

What happened in the Mahabharata

The Pandavas were away from civilization for 12 years. They knew there would be war at the end of the exile period. However, they also knew they should use this period fruitfully and prepare for the fight. Each one of the Pandavas kept himself fit for the tough battle ahead. In particular, it is said that Arjuna, one of the 5 Pandavas and the ace archer, went to meet Indra, the King of Gods. He added several new weapons to his armory and learned a different skill – dancing – to help him later in another way. This preparation of the Pandavas during tough times helped them achieve victory in the Kurukshetra war.

What should we do

Learning new skills and staying competitive is a must at this time. While we cannot go to Heaven like Arjuna and acquire new skills, we can look towards the “Heaven” known to us, for example, the CLOUD! This is an excellent time to become well-versed in new areas like Cloud technologies and Automation. They are expected to be important in the days to come. Upgrade your skills and stay competitive – that is the mantra!

Keep communicating

What happened in the Mahabharata

Though they were away from civilization, the Pandavas did not stay isolated. They ensured they were in touch with their friends and supporters and maintained communication with all. This proved very useful after the exile when they had to seek help from the different kingdoms.

What we should do

We are fortunate to have a host of communication tools in this era. We should use them to stay in touch with colleagues, relatives, and friends and boost their morale when needed. This is also essential as most of us work remotely, and the distance barrier can complicate things. We at Emergys are doing our business as usual with no change whatsoever. We have regular team meetings, Open Houses, Fun Games, and events, and we always stay in touch.

Over-communicate if needed – is the mantra for these times.

Stay patient, stay together (figuratively), and believe in the future

What happened in the Mahabharata

It is said that the actual test of relations is during tough times. This was not true only during historic times but is true even today. The 5 Pandavas had differences of opinion within themselves. In fact, there were several times when Bheem and Arjun openly disagreed with their eldest brother, Yudhisthir, who was known to be righteous. However, they also knew that their strength lay in patience, staying together, and waiting for the exile to end. Had they become impatient or decided to part ways, there was no way they could have overcome the removal and emerged victorious during the subsequent Kurukshetra war.

What we should do

Patience is the key attribute to have during this pandemic. It is easy to get impatient and upset and violate the rules – of the organization we work for or the society. However, this will result in chaos and needs to be avoided. It is also very essential to stay loyal to your respective organizations. Do follow the seniors’ directions, and extend every support to them and your colleagues. Only those organizations whose teams stay together and work together will emerge victorious. These are the very organizations that will get back on the growth path soon. The importance of teamwork within constraints cannot be overemphasized at this time. At the same time, it is also essential to believe in the future and stay optimistic!


Emergys Blog

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