Hitashatru: That mortal enemy we mistake for a dear friend

Jealousy of people is among the many things that come along with success and wealth. And it is by far the most potent threat as it could turn even a dear friend into a deadly enemy. And when that enemy continues to pose as a friend, enjoying proximity to you, (s)he becomes a Hitashatru.

One of the greatest myths about success or wealth is that “it will earn you a lot of friends” and, that “it will make you happy.” Only a person who has tasted success in all his pursuits can confirm how incorrect those assumptions are.

Jealousy of people is among the many things that come along with success and wealth. And it is by far the most potent threat as it could turn even a dear friend into a deadly enemy. And when that enemy continues to pose as a friend, enjoying proximity to you, (s)he becomes a Hitashatru.

When you have material wealth or power, it is evident that people are to take notice of you. No matter how much you might have struggled for it – you can seldom convince them that it was of hard work and not just luck. Even if you try, these people will pretend to be happy for you, speak good of you but will hold that grudge and wait for that right opportunity, when your vulnerabilities are exposed and stab you hard in the back. Thereby “teaching you a lesson!”

When you have material wealth or power, it is evident that people are to take notice of you. No matter how much you might have struggled for it – you can seldom convince them that it was of hard work and not just luck. Even if you try, these people will pretend to be happy for you, speak good of you but will hold that grudge and wait for that right opportunity, when your vulnerabilities are exposed and stab you hard in the back. Thereby “teaching you a lesson!”

Most of the Hitashatru are losers; they pretend to be someone they are not, claim things they don’t own, have troubled lives. They are also a greedy lot. No matter how much you give, they are never pleased. And they are also thankless. They don’t help people, and when they do, it is never without an ulterior motive.

Most of the Hitashatru are losers; they pretend to be someone they are not, claim things they don’t own, have troubled lives. They are also a greedy lot. No matter how much you give, they are never pleased. And they are also thankless. They don’t help people, and when they do, it is never without an ulterior motive.

It is not hard to detect such individuals. They are most often predictable. As Neeti Sutras suggests: अति विनयं धूर्थ लक्षणं – excessive kindness is a sure sign of the deceitful person. These people will always be overly nice to you, pretend as if they always wish you well. But they will do everything in their power to see you suffer. They might as well be one of those who will tend to like every single post and express deep affection of love and care with a public display of affection on social media. But deep within that person will most certainly be fuming with anger and frustration at your every success and, equally, pleasured at your pain.

The most important thing to know about such people is that: they can never be happy. Their happiness is pleasure; often modest and short-lived. Their pleasure emanates from sadism stemming from abject jealousy.  Their only problem is that others are happier than them. The only way they can experience pleasure is by listening to other’s sob story and failure.

So, how do you deal with such people? The first thing to know here is that irrespective of how lethal your enemy outside is, the greatest enemy is always within your mind. When desires drive your mind, owing to the urge to satisfy them, you are almost certain to face stress, strain, and its resultant anger, frustration, and exhaustion. So, before you deal with such enemies, you must first deal with your mind. Always remember that: it does not help to romanticize or dramatize life too much. Not everything is persistently good and wonderful; similarly, not all is bad and dreadful. Life is always somewhere in between. And it is most certainly what you make of it in your mind.

If Hitashastrus are part of your professional or friendship circle, it might not be difficult to get rid of them. But then you don’t have to get rid of such people as they can be useful in the larger scheme of things. It is easier to handle them. If you want to see them happy, tell them your sob story. If you want to make the Hitashatru sad, tell them some of your accomplishments. And if you want to get things done from them, then you must know that they won’t do a thing until and unless there is something in it for them. A quid-pro-quo is a good approach to deal with them. And not sharing anything with them and remaining objective at all times, with limited interaction is the key.

If Hitashastrus are part of your professional or friendship circle, it might not be difficult to get rid of them. But then you don’t have to get rid of such people as they can be useful in the larger scheme of things. It is easier to handle them. If you want to see them happy, tell them your sob story. If you want to make the Hitashatru sad, tell them some of your accomplishments. And if you want to get things done from them, then you must know that they won’t do a thing until and unless there is something in it for them. A quid-pro-quo is a good approach to deal with them. And not sharing anything with them and remaining objective at all times, with limited interaction is the key.

There are various types of Hitashatru, and the threat they can pose is of varying degrees. But with a balanced mind, it is possible to handle them. Safe distance from such people is always advisable since you can never count on them.

In today’s competitive world where dog-eat-dog is the only way to look at life, our society itself pushes people into unnecessary competition through comparison. The unjust comparison makes most of us jealous and then act detrimentally. If you are jealous about someone, you as well might be a Hitashatru to someone. And as a result, living a life ungratefully. You are also your enemy.

As Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, expectations or Karma Phala is the root of all pains. Starting from wanting likes on a post on social media or seeking compliments for your dress, commendation for your work or publicity for yourself through awards and rewards, every expectation you have can make you sad. The only way out it is either to live without expectations by living in the moment or to let go of your expectations objectively. Instead of brooding over unachieved expectations it will always help to move on.

As Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, expectations or Karma Phala is the root of all pains. Starting from wanting likes on a post on social media or seeking compliments for your dress, commendation for your work or publicity for yourself through awards and rewards, every expectation you have can make you sad. The only way out it is either to live without expectations by living in the moment or to let go of your expectations objectively. Instead of brooding over unachieved expectations it will always help to move on.

The idea that we need people for emotional support, against all conventional belief, is not accepted by the Vedic rishis. As said by them thousands of years ago, you are the one solely responsible for your pain and pleasure. If you consider your expectations, anger, jealousy, etc. as your friends – then you are your own Hitashatru. And you can never subdue the external Shatrus (enemies) or Hitashatru until and unless you have conquered the ones within.

April 14, 2019

1 responses on "Hitashatru: That mortal enemy we mistake for a dear friend"

  1. Sir,You have explained the concept clearly.In today’s world where every one is busy forgetting values and getting into sort of mechanical life,
    the articles published by you are of immense help in gaining the basic knowledge required for leading life as it is intended to be.
    Concluding part of the article suggesting that we need not depend on others for emotional support is very well said as we think that the more
    we share our sufferings we will experience lesser pain.But everyone has his own karma and he alone is to experience its fruits. Nicely explained Sir.Thank You..

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