Chapter 4.4 from "Study Circles for Divinity"
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4.4 RIGHT CONDUCT


WISE SAYINGS FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS

"Do for others what you want them to do for you; this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets."    Jesus Christ

"He who protects the highest Dharma is protected by the Divine strength of Omnipotent God."    Zarathushtra

"He who performs actions dedicating them to the Lord and giving up attachment, is not touched by sin, as a lotus leaf by water."    Sri Krishna

"Well-guarded should be the word, tranquil should be the mind, and no evil by the body done  -  if one could purify these three ways, then the path of the sages to Nirvana is realised by such a one."    Buddha

"Shake off love of yourself, just as one plucks by hand an autumn flower within reach; let your mind traverse along the Noble Eightfold Path (Right Understanding, Right Thoughts, Right Speech, Right Actions, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration) that leads to Nirvana."    Buddha

"It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah ..... and giveth his wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor due. And those who keep their treaty  ..  and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are the God fearing".    Mohammed


FROM DISCOURSES OF SAI BABA

In this section the Sanskrit word 'Dharma' has usually not been translated to English because there is no satisfactory equivalent. It is the way of higher life, directed by the ideals one holds dear, by the level of attainment one has reached, by the status of the individual in society and the individual's own awareness of his status..

WHAT IS DHARMA?

The word 'Dharma' does not mean 'duty'. In duty there is no freedom; in reason, there is freedom, and in religious obligation there is the union between duty and reason. Dharma then refers to religious obligation and in that word are the concepts of both duty and reason. (SSB 78,19)

Dharma is universal. Yes, there is a test that may be applied to any action and you may thereby determine if it is according to Dharma. Let not that which you do harm and injure another. This flows from the recognition that the Light, which is God, is the same in every form, and if you injure another you are injuring that same Light that is yourself. Dharma enables you to come to the recognition that everything that is bad for another form is also bad for you. The test for Dharmic action is stated very clearly in Christian religion. That is - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (CSSB 117)

Walk on the path of righteousness, Dharma. That is what all appreciate. Dharma means morality, the control of passions and emotions and directing them along beneficial channels. (150571)

Character, conduct, daily behaviour, attitude towards others - these are all important, for Dharma is essentially social morality. The holy Scripture says: "O Dharma. the world is installed." Dharma endows man with joy and keeps away grief. Every being in the world, whether it is aware of it or not, is dependent on Dharma for peace and happiness. All triumphs, whether acknowledged or not, are earned only through Dharma. (040174)

'If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be Peace in the world.' It may thus be seen that the first link in the chain leading to world peace is righteousness or Dharma. Dharma is only another name for right action. But the pre-requisite for right action is right thought. (SSB 90,74)

DUTY

Right and responsibility are like the two wings of a bird, the two wheels of a chariot. But people today have totally axed the wing of responsibility and have utterly disregarded duty. The fight for rights is an unrighteous fight, for you have no right to fight unless you have performed your duty. (SSB 93,95)

Duty is God; that is the lesson the Ramayana teaches. The word 'duty' is today used to indicate the methods by which one exercises his authority. No. Duty is the responsibility you have to respect and revere others and to serve them to the best of your ability. To exercise your freedom so that you do not limit or harm the freedom of others - that is the duty. which becomes worship. (200475)

As a matter of fact, if there was no 'other person', you would have no duties at all. Duty arises when you have another person to deal with. You have a duty so far as the other person is concerned and he has the responsibility to see that he deserves that duty which you feel bound to fulfil towards him. Duty must be deserved by the other; it must be done with skill and sincerity and love. This is easy if you feel that your duty is part of your worship, that you are offering it to the Sai in the other person. Your duty is to your own self, the Sai that is your real core. (110575)

Today, everybody is clamouring about rights. What is the meaning of 'right'? It is that to which you are entitled. How do you get it? Can you get the fruit without sowing the seed? Without the tree can there be a fruit? Yet you aspire for the fruit without sowing the seed or rearing the tree. What folly is this? No one has any inherent claim to any right. He has only responsibility. Do your duty. Duty is God. Work is worship. When you perform your duties, you will be acquiring the title to your rights. Every man should discharge his duties. Performance of duty is your yoga. It is your enjoyment. Discharge of duty is the basis of everything. (231193)

RIGHT CONDUCT AND HUMAN VALUES

The Dharma for each has to be different for it is decided by changing factors like age, profession, status, authority, scholarship and also by considering whether a person is male or female, teacher or pupil, master or servant, child or youth, father or son, dependant or free. But the basic principles of Dharma are Truth, Love, Fortitude and Non-violence. The various codes, written or unwritten, are only elaborations of these basic principles. (180568)

Truth is man's nature; to be untrue is to be false to one's nature. Dharma is the practical application in real life of the ideal of Truth. Peace is the result of Dharma and Love is the effulgence of Peace. (160373)

Dharma depends only on Truth. That is why it has been said that there is no Dharma other than Truth. To be able to develop equal-mindedness and to be able to develop equanimity are correct aspects of Dharma, and for this one must have unwavering mind and thoughts. (SSB 74,3)

If we safeguard Dharma, Dharma in its turn will safeguard us. Dharma is the life-hood of Love. Where there is Love, there will be Peace. Where there is Peace, there will be Divinity. And where there is Divinity, there will be Bliss. (290372)

RIGHT CONDUCT AND KARMA

To be active, yet, to be always aware that it is all mere acting, is the secret of happiness. That is the Dharma which must regulate and sanctify the Karma. (110571)

From the very beginning, take enough precautions to ensure that the seed you sow is good and free from defects. Do not start any work with evil motives of pomp, selfishness, aggrandisement, competition or challenge. Do not ascribe to God the failures due to your own faults and errors. Pray before, during and after, that the canker of egoism may not spoil the effort. (280368)

The evil consequences that are sure to affect you when you have committed wrong Karma can be counteracted by engaging yourself in beneficial Karmas, thereby earning merit. (101074)

DISCRIMINATION & REGULATION


Man is endowed with the discriminating power to control his desires. This power must be used to decide whether any action is right or wrong. (231193)

Above all, examine your own conduct and faith. See whether it is sincere and steady. When you sit in the moving train, you find that the trees are moving fast along the line; do not worry about the trees, see yourself, examine yourself and then you will find that it is you that is moving fast. So also, do not blame others and point out their faults. The faults you will find are in you, and, when you correct yourself, the world too becomes correct. (300960)

Whatever you are doing, do it as if life itself is meditation. You must ensure that while performing actions you must do them with concentration avoiding haste, waste and worry. Haste makes waste, waste makes worry, so do not be in a hurry. Never give room for hurry and worry. Hurry, worry and curry (food) cause ailments of the heart. (SSB 93,47)

One must be afraid of doing acts that are harmful to others or deeds that are sinful, as one is afraid to touch fire or disturb a cobra. One must have as much attachment and as much steadfastness in carrying out good works, in making others happy, and in worshiping the Lord as he now has in accumulating gold and riches. This is the Dharma of man. (Prema V 30)

ONE'S DHARMA

Man has taught the eye, the ear and the tongue, the luxury of constant novelty; now, he has to teach them the opposite tendencies. The mind has to be turned towards the good; the activities of every minute have to be examined from that standpoint. Each such deed is the stroke of a chisel, by which the rock of human personality is being shaped. A wrong stroke may spoil and disfigure the rock. Therefore even the tiniest of acts has to be done with great care and devotion. (Prema V 30)

God is present in you and is viewing with thousands of eyes what you do. Even if no one is seeing, God is always watching your actions. Do everything with this awareness. (230182)

We shall act ever as if we are in the presence of God, as if God is watching and weighing every thought, word and deed. See yourselves in all, see all in yourselves; that is the road to lasting peace and joy. (260972)

Man has to contribute his best, for the happiness of others, so that he may be happy. And, what is the best he can contribute? Each has his particular duty, task, role as an individual and as a member of the society to which he belongs. Do that duty, carry on that task, play that role, as best as you can; that is how one can fulfil himself. (030272)

Use the Temple of God only for holy thoughts, words and deeds. Do not demean it by using it for low, trivial and unholy tasks. Wherever you are, whatever you do, have this resolution steady and strong. (251276)

Play the role but keep your identity unaffected. Have your head in the forest retreat unaffected by the aimlessly rushing world. But it is your duty, a duty you cannot escape, to fully engage yourself in your work, unconcerned with loss or gain, failure or success, slander or praise. (231175)

Try to sanctify every item of work by dedicating it to some divine end. The Universe is the handiwork of God and, therefore, meaningful and moral. View it as such and derive the utmost benefit. Without dedication, work is like a paper-flower, unfit to be offered to God; cheap, fragranceless, dry, tawdry. Offer God real flowers grown in the garden of your heart, fragrant, beautiful, delighting. Try to see everyone as a ray of God. (260972)

There are four Fs that you will have to fix before your attention - (1) Follow the Master (2) Face the Devil (3) Fight to the End, and (4) Finish at the Goal. Follow the Master means, observe Dharma. Face the Devil means, overcome the temptation that besets you when you try to earn wealth or the wherewithal to live in comfort. Fight to the End means, struggle ceaselessly; wage war against the six enemies that are lead by lust. And finally, Finish at the Goal means, do not stop until the goal of liberation from ignorance and delusion is reached. The Fs are fundamental for the pursuit of the goals of human life. (060775)

Act; act with all your might and with all your mind; make full use of the skill, capacity, courage and confidence that you are endowed with. Then God will bless you. (021261)

Man's greatness is not revealed in the mighty tasks that he undertakes ostentatiously. It is displayed rather in the little acts executed with absolute sincerity and largeness of heart. We must seek to sanctify every little work we do with a sense of dedication to God. (SSB 79,117)

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