Questioner: What is 'aadai' (Obstinacy)?

Dadashri: 'Aadai' means if you have had a disagreement with someone at night and in the morning if that person comes to talk to you, and you do not answer. You say, 'I will not speak to you,' and become obstinate. Hey! Let bygones be bygones. Yesterday, it was Saturday, today it is Sunday. If you carry the incidents from Saturday to Sunday then that is obstinacy.

‘In this world, no resolution can be found when obstinacy is maintained with obstinacy. A solution comes when straight forwardness (yielding or compliant nature) is used with obstinacy’ But, if you don't know you have made a mistake, and you deny it, then it is a different matter. However, if you know you have made a mistake and you try to cover it up, or protect it, then that is the greatest obstinacy. For example, if you had a quarrel with your friend and ended up hitting him, you would surely realize that what happened was wrong. However, if someone asks, “Why did you hit him?” And you reply, “He deserved it!” Then that is obstinacy.

Not to accept another person's point of view even if it is correct, and insist upon doing things according to your own point of view, is called obstinacy.

What is your loss when you become obstinate?

1. By being stubborn, our mind experiences tension and that gives rise to irritation within us, as well as suffering. After realizing that I was obstinate, I would repent a lot, as that I should not have given pain to other. For a while there is hostility between me and the other person. Gradually, our amity and trust towards each other diminishes.

2. Sometimes, even when there is something to gain, you close the door on it, losing even that little which you could have gained!


The consequences of obstinacy vs obstinacy results in disaster!

Extracts from Mahabharat:

1. Duryodhan trips into the water at the opening of the Pandavas newly constructed palace that had used technology where designs in water gave an illusion of a tiled and polished floor. From the balcony, Draupadi's maid was allowed to snigger and state that, 'A blind person's child is bound to be blind.' This statement was overheard by Duryodhan who was very insulted. – Aadai by Draupadi.

2. Duryodhan could not let go of this insult and planned a game of dice (dyut) that was rigged from the beginning. The Pandavas lost the game of dice and Draupadi was publicly insulted in the assembly of the Kuru Kingdom, where she was pulled into the assembly by her hair and an attempt was made to disrobe her. – Aadai by Duryodhan.

3. Following this incident, the Pandavas pledged to take revenge. - Aadai by Pandavas.

4. In response, Duryodhan refused to give even five villages to the Pandavas to enable them to live peacefully. – Aadai by Kauravas. 

5. This resulted in the Mahabharat Yudh, or war wherein millions perished.

Enemies died, enmity lived.


One is called straightforward, if you turn whichever way you are twisted (adapt to instructions given). For example, if you are told only once that you must not take another person's belongings without his permission, then you become such that you always ask
before you take anything; that is straightforwardness.

Extracts from Ramayana:

1. All the 3 queens of Raja Dashrath had brought up Ram as their own. A time came when everybody in the Kingdom of Ayodhya accepted Ram as fit to become King. Upon instigation from her maid Manthara, Queen Kaikeyi puts forth a demand to grant the wishes that were given to her by Raja Dashrath that Ram should be sent to the forest to
spend fourteen years in exile. – Aadai by Queen Kaikeyi.

2. King Dashrath was forced to honour this wish of Queen Kaikeyi as a result of a promise he had made to her many years ago when she had saved his life in a war. This resulted in King Dashrath commanding his loyal and obedient son Ram to go into exile. – Saralta (compliance) by King Dashrath.

3. Ram lovingly adheres to his father's command and leaves the palace accompanied by his bride Sita and brother Lakshman. He bears no grudge against Kaikeyi. Instead he showers the same love and respect on her as he had before this incident. – Saralta by Ram.

4. Subsequently, Kaikeyi accepts her mistake and deeply repents for it leaving no room for enmity. – Results in Queen Kaikeyi becoming Saral.

Straight forwardness resolves disaster!