During some on-line research I found this and just had to post it because I felt it was so good and so needed.
“Good conduct is the root of material and spiritual prosperity. Conduct increases fame. It is good conduct which prolongs life and destroys all calamities and evils and brings eternal happiness. It is good conduct that begets virtue. Therefore develop good conduct.”
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Morality; Ethics; Right Conduct
Conduct And Character
Human beings will to obtain objects of desire. Willing results in action. This is called conduct. Conduct is behavior. The will that is expressed becomes conduct.
People have various sorts of desires. Sometimes, there is conflict of desires. That desire which obtains victory is termed ‘will’. The inner disposition which makes the will possible is called character. Character is the aggregate of peculiar qualities which constitute personal individuality.
Ethics Or The Science Of Conduct
Morality or ethics is the science of conduct. Ethics is the study of what is right or good in conduct. Ethical science shows the way in which human beings should behave towards one another, as well as towards other creatures. It contains systematized principles on which a person should act. Ethics is right conduct.
We have human morality, family morality, social morality, national morality, professional morality, etc. A doctor has his professional ethics. He should not divulge to others the secrets of his patients. It is his duty to take all precautionary hygienic measures to stop the spread of an epidemic disease and direct his earnest attention towards public health and hygiene.
Ethics is a relative science. What is good for one person may not be good for another. What is good at one time and at one place may not be good at another time and at another place. Ethics is relative to the person themselves and to their surroundings.
Ethics, Spirituality And Religion
Without ethics, you cannot have progress in the spiritual path. Ethics is the gateway to God-realization.
Without ethical perfection, no spiritual progress or realization is possible. A student or aspirant must be strictly ethical. They must be truthful and pure in thought, word and deed. They must possess excellent conduct. They must not injure any living being in thought, word and deed. They must practice right thought, right speech and right action.
Every religion has its ethics. The Sermon on the Mount of Jesus and the Ten Commandments contain ethical teachings for the uplift of man. The Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha is the essence of ethics.
Benefits Of The Practice Of Ethics
Morality is the gateway to religion. Those who lead a moral or virtuous life attain freedom. Practice of ethics will help you to live in harmony with your neighbors, friends, your own family members, and other people. It will confer on you lasting happiness. It will purify your heart. It will keep your conscience ever clean.
Good conduct is the root of material and spiritual prosperity. Conduct increases fame. It is good conduct which prolongs life and destroys all calamities and evils and brings eternal happiness. It is good conduct that begets virtue. Therefore develop good conduct.
The Foundational Principles Of Ethics
All religions have taught ethical precepts such as: “Do not kill, do not injure others, love your neighbor as your self,” but they have not given the reason. If you injure your neighbor, you really injure yourself. If you injure any other creature, you really injure yourself, This is a basic metaphysical truth
One life vibrates in all beings. Life is common in animals, birds and human beings. Existence is common. This primary truth of religion is the foundation of ethics or morality or science of right conduct.
The first thing you learn from religion is the unity of all selves. “The neighbor is, in truth, the very Self and what separates you from him is mere illusion.” One Self abides in all beings. Universal love is the expression of the unity. Universal brotherhood/sisterhood has its basis in the unity of Self. All human relations exist because of this unity. “Behold, not indeed for the love of the husband is the husband dear, for the love of the Self is the husband dear.” And so with wife, children, property, friends, and worlds. All are dear, because the one Self is in all. If you injure another, you injure yourself. If you help another person, you help yourself. There is one life, one common consciousness in all beings. This is the foundation of right conduct. This is the foundation of ethics.
Service As Worship
A philanthropist donates big sums to social institutions. They regard this as some kind of social service only. That is all. They have the mental attitude, that the whole world is a manifestation of God. and that they are serving God. They have got that God is working through their instruments or senses, that every act is an offering unto God.
Be generous, noble, large-hearted, charitable, God-reverent, sympathetic, merciful and hospitable. In loving others one loves oneself and in injuring others one injures oneself. Through the practice of cosmic love you feel that all bodies are yours, all hands are yours, all feet are yours and that the whole world is your home. Gradually you become one with the soul of the universe. Ethics leads eventually to Self-realization.
Ethical Culture Or The Process Of Purification
The very root and core of all moral discipline is mental purification through refraining from all evil action and the active practice of virtue. Do good at all times.
All harm arises out of people’s egoism. The ego manifests itself as ambition, desire and lust. Under their influence human beings indulge in hatred, love, flattery, pride, unscrupulousness, hypocrisy and delusion.
Improper action—thoughtless action without discrimination—gives rise to all misery. To get freedom from misery, the path of virtue is to be followed. Rigidly observe truth and purity in your thoughts, speech, actions, inner motive and general conduct. Be loving, tolerant and charitable in your opinion of others and things and in your dealings with others.
In every sphere, the individual should strive to adhere to these qualities and to manifest them. Thus, this ideal is to be practiced between parents and children, elders and youngsters, teacher and pupil, friend and friend, leader and follower, subject and ruler, and nation and nation.
You must proceed along the path of virtue. Be determined. The mind has to be carefully trained and the will should be developed and strengthened. The mind and will must be exercised and disciplined through deliberate acts of self-denial and self-sacrifice in everyday life. Ethical culture, therefore, demands moral vigilance and right exertion. The development of a sensitive conscience and positive admiration for goodness and nobility plays a great part in ethical culture.
Philosophy Of Right And Wrong
Everybody speaks: “This is right, that is wrong; you are right, he is wrong;” but they cannot tell you exactly what they mean by ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
What is the criterion by which we judge an action to be right or wrong, and good or bad? “Right and wrong” and “good and bad” are relative terms. Right and wrong refer to the moral standard, as law. Good and bad refer to it, as end. You will have to adjust your conduct according to this moral standard. That which is worthy of achievement is good. Spirituality gives us the ultimate data upon which ethical science may be built.
Relative Nature Of Right And Wrong
Right and wrong are relative terms. It is very difficult to define these terms precisely. Even sages are bewildered sometimes in finding out what is right and what is wrong in some special circumstances. “What is action? What is inaction? Even the wise are herein perplexed.
Right and wrong are always relative to the surrounding circumstances. What is right in one situation is not right in another. Right and wrong vary according to time, special circumstances. Morality is a changing and relative term. To speak an untruth to save the life of someone who has been unjustly charged by the unjust officer of a state, is right. Untruth has become a truth in this particular case. To speak a truth which brings harm to many is untruth only. A ruler may forgive one who has injured them, but they cannot forgive one who has done the greatest harm to the public.
Indicators Of Right And Wrong
“That which elevates you and brings you nearer to your God – is right. That which brings you down and takes you away from your God – is wrong.” This is one way of defining the terms ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. To work in accordance with God’s Divine Will is right and to work in opposition to God’s Divine Will is wrong.
It is very difficult for the person on the street to find out what exactly God’s Divine Will is, in certain actions. That is the reason why people should resort to realized persons, for consultation. Someone pure who is doing worship for a long time, can readily find out God’s Divine Will when they want to do certain actions. That person can hear the inner, shrill, silent voice. Ordinarily people should not attempt to hear this Divine Voice, the Voice of the Silence. They may mistake the voice of the impure mind for the Voice of God. The lower instinctive mind will delude them. Selfishness clouds understanding. Therefore, if a person has got any amount of selfishness, they cannot detect what is right and wrong. A very pure, subtle and sharp intellect is needed for this purpose.
Various other definitions are given by wise persons to help the student in the path of righteousness. In the Bible it is said: “Do unto others as you would be done by.” This is a very good maxim. The whole gist of right conduct is here. If one practices this very carefully, one will not commit any wrong act. Do not do to anyone what is not good for yourself. Do not do any act which does not bring good to anyone or which injures anyone and makes you feel ashamed for it. Do that act which brings good to others and which is praiseworthy. Do as you would be done by. Do unto others as you wish others should do unto you. This is a brief description of what right conduct is. This will lead you to the attainment of eternal bliss.
“Non-injuring in thought, word and deed is the highest of all virtues.” If one is well established in thought, word and deed, one can never do any wrong action. To give happiness to anyone is right; to spread misery and pain to anyone is wrong. One can follow this in one’s daily conduct towards others and can evolve in one’s spiritual path. Do not perform any act that brings to you shame and fear. You will be quite safe if you follow this rule. Stick to any rule that appeals to your reason and conscience and follow it with faith and attention. You will evolve and reach the abode of eternal happiness.
That work which gives elevation, joy and peace to the mind is right and that which brings depression, pain and restlessness to the mind is wrong. This is an easy way to find out right and wrong.
That which helps you in your spiritual evolution is right and that which obstructs and hinders your spiritual evolution is wrong. That which leads to unity of self is right and that which leads to separation is wrong. That which is in accordance with the injunctions of the sacred is right and that which is not in accordance with the sacred is wrong. To work in accordance with God’s Divine Will is right and to work in disharmony with God’s Divine Will is wrong. To do good to others, to serve and help others, to give joy to others, is right and to give pain to anyone, or to injure anyone is wrong. All that which is free from any motive of injury to any being is surely morality. Moral precepts have been made to free all creatures from all injuries.
Why is charity right? Because it is in conformity with the law: “Do charity.” Why is stealing wrong? Because it is against the law: “Thou shalt not steal.” Why is it good to help a man when he is in trouble and difficulties? Because it will refine and ennoble your character. It will instill mercy in your heart. The cultivation of virtues will help you to realize the Supreme Self. Why is it bad to kill any being? The end is unworthy. It will corrupt your character. It will reduce you to the level of a brute.
By doing wrong actions, you taint your character. By doing virtuous actions, you develop a noble character. Without character, human beings fall down to the level of a brute. A person of good character is honored, trusted and adored everywhere. Therefore, develop a good character when you are young. Learn how to eradicate vices and how to cultivate virtues in the garden of your heart. Vices and evil habits are the weeds. Virtues are priceless fruits and flowers. Purity (celibacy), forgiveness, generosity, humility and selflessness are the opposites of lust, anger, greed, pride and selfishness. Become a skillful gardener. Plant good flowers in the garden of your heart and enthrone your God in the centre of the heart-garden and meditate on God. You will enjoy eternal bliss.
You must obey the laws or rules of right conduct. The rules are given for you by the spirit for your own betterment and spiritual uplift.
To stick to right conduct is difficult, no doubt. Mockery, misunderstanding and persecution will have to be faced. Therefore, the cultivation of forbearance, gentleness of spirit, calm endurance and the spirit of forgiveness are of great importance. Uphold virtue at any cost. For its sake, bear any trial. Return good for evil.
Do not leave righteousness for the sake of some material gain. Consult a person of right conduct whenever you are in doubt. Build good character. Grow. Evolve. Keep up your ideal always before your mind. Stick to right conduct. Practice it. You will soon attain eternal bliss.