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Freedom Of Mind Through Spirituality

Published: 14.06.2007
Updated: 15.02.2008

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The conduct of a man who lives in the world of spirit is different from that of a man who lives an ordinary life of give and take. Both conduct themselves in the world. The Acaranga says that a man given spiritual life must act of his own free will. The man who lives in the ordinary life of give and take does not act of his own free will. He simply reacts. Such a reaction negates free will and the sense of values.

Modern ethics has considered the question of moral conduct at length. Philosopher Kant, holds the view that our actions should be governed by a sense of duty rather than by feelings of pity and compassion or by an idea of doing good to others. Action based on such feelings is not a moral action. Only actions inspired by man’s free will can said to be moral. Our conduct should be on the sense of duty only.

The feeling of pity and compassion is a reaction conditioned by the miserable plight of the man whom we pity or for whom we show compassion. Friendliness, on the other hand, is not a reaction. It is based on the conviction that every living being possesses a soul like us, and therefore, we should be friendly towards it. To be pleased by praise and annoyed by blame is a reaction. What the Acaranga insists on is Anyatha Vyavahara or conduct inspired by free will. A spiritual man’s actions are creative actions inspired by a sense of duty. He does not think in terms of give and take of ordinary life.

Once there were two monks who did not see eye to eye with each other. One of them went to the other and offered an apology for his own conduct. The other heard the apology but kept silent. On this he who had offered an apology went to his preceptor and complained, that in spite of his apology the muni did not speak even a single word to him. The preceptor remarked. “It does matter whether he accepts your apology or not. If you had offered an apology with the expectation of regaining his friendship, it was not a sincere apology but a pragmatic move.”

A man who simply reacts remains unbalanced. A balanced mind does not take sides. He is above favouritism, likes and dislikes and sweetness and bitterness.


Deccan Herarld, 13.6.2007, - by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg.

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acaranga
  2. Kant
  3. Lalit Garg
  4. Muni
  5. Soul
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