Indian mythology is known for its grandeur and its emphasis on the goodness quotient. However, seldom we look at mythology as something that has practical lessons to make our life easier. Yes, you heard it right, we are talking about practical lessons from mythology. And what better way to look at one of the biggest epic available in Indian mythology: Mahabharat. Mahabharat is known to be a tale of the victory of good over evil. When you are activated emotionally, don't trust yourself There are times when we are very submerged in emotions (mostly negative) and we take big decisions in that state of mind. Mahabharat teaches us how disastrous that can be. For example, when Pandu (the father of Pandavas) accidently killed a sage disguised as deer, he is filled with guilt and remorse. In that breath of guilt and remorse, he decides to quit his throne, kingdom & palace and live in forest. Its this decision which starts the main problem in the kingdom of Hastinapur and his brother Dhritrashtra (who is considered inefficient and insecure) who was earlier deemed misfit to be a king is given the throne, with no other option left. Had Pandu not decided in his spell of guilt and remorse and let the emotional upheaval pass, things could have been different. If he would have taken considered the situation in a more stable emotional state, he would have been able to look at the situation objectively and realized that his elder brother may not be effective as a king. For the good of the people and his kingdom, he would have chosen to stay as king and opted for some other way as a punishment for himself (if he wanted to). If that would have happened, the story of Mahabharat could have been different. So, the life hack we learn here is that when we are emotionally activated, we can't see clearly. Mahabharat teaches us not to trust ourselves in those moments and avoid taking any decisions in that state. Rather, just let it pass and when you are back to normal then look and contemplate the situation objectively and take whatever action and decision is required. Express yourself and do it lovingly One of the most important lesson that one can learn from this great epic is to express yourself, express what you feel and do it gently with loving gloves. At her 'Swayamvar', Draupadi (the wife of Pandavas) rejects Karn sighting his low caste. She chooses very harsh words and humiliates him so he is discouraged and does not participate in the process. She succeeds in her attempt but in the process creates such a hatred in Karn's heart that he is always burning in that fire to take revenge against her and humiliate her publicly in a similar fashion. Driven by that hatred and revenge, when he gets his chance in Duryodhan's court, he instigates the Kauravas in their act of humiliating Droupadi by disrobing her. The life hack here is to express yourself lovingly. For whatever reason if Droupadi didn't want Karn to participate in her Swayamvar, she could have done the same in gentle words without humiliating him. If she would have spared him of the humiliation, he would not have been so driven by revenge to humiliate her in Duryodhan's court. So, remember express yourself but with love and gentle care. Use challenging times as preparation for a big victory Before the great war begins, the Pandavas had to spend challenging 13 years in exile in a forest. If one looks at those thirteen years, one realizes that the Pandavas' victory would not have been possible without those years in exile. It was in the exile that they met many learned saints who shared their wisdom that came handy for the Pandavas during the Kurukshetra war. It was during this period when Arjuna acquires the best of his weapons that play a deciding role in them winning the war. It is in this exile Bhima learns the lesson of humility which keeps his head leveled during the war. There are many such things that Pandavas learned during their exile that brought them victory. We can apply the same approach to challenging times in our life and look at what can we learn from that situation. If we can do that, we will come out victorious. Passion is the best teacher One cannot miss the story of 'Eklavya' who was so passionate about learning the art of archery, that when the royal guru 'Dronacharya' refuses to teach him, he hides behind trees and watch him teach the Pandavas and Kauravas. It is his passion that he learns all the techniques of archery just by watching from far away without a teacher actually teaching him. Not just that, he becomes so good at it that Drona feels, he is actually better than (or at par with) Arjuna. The life hack for us is to live with passion and put our heart and soul in to what we really want. If we do that, whatever we want will come to us. Be solution oriented This is a very big lesson that Mahabharat teaches us. Krishna goes to the Kauravas as Pandavas messenger and asks them to give only five villages to the Pandavas and solve the dispute. But the Kauravas refuse even that as their focus is not on finding a solution to their dispute with Pandavas. Rather, they are driven by ego and power. Eventually, they lose their kingdom and their lives in the epic war. Had they been solution oriented and given the 5 villages to the Pandavas, they would have ruled their kingdom and lived longer. So remember to be solution oriented for a long and happy life! Forgiveness One of the biggest lessons to be learned from Mahabharat is of forgiveness: To forgive others and to forgive ourselves! If Pandu would have forgiven himself for killing a saint, if Karn would have forgiven Droupadi and Kunti (his mother for abandoning him), if Duryodhan would have forgiven Droupadi for laughing at him, if Droupadi would have forgiven the Kauravas... the list is endless. If forgiveness was given in these and many other cases, the story of Mahabharat would not have revolved so much around pain and suffering. The life hack for us: Forgiveness always helps us. Gambling is no good! Well, this one is a no brainer and almost self explanatory! Gambling can take away the wisdom from someone as learned as Yudhisthir so much so that he gambles his own brothers and his wife over a game. Well, it reiterates the message to stay away from this dangerous addiction.