Vihar or Social Conduct

Appendix I, part 3
The Wheel of Life — The Law of Action and Reaction”

Man-making is another portfolio of a Saint. To make man fully entitled to the highest knowledge of soul and All-soul, is His first and foremost mission. From seekers after Truth, the Saint requires complete purification of the body, mind, and intellect since this makes a man complete and whole before undertaking the untying of the Gordian knot between body and spirit. A mutilated and a truncated man can neither know himself nor can he know God. What line of action then should the aspiring man follow? This is the most vital question and yet mostly ignored, and passed over, with not much thought. The scanty information that is available to the average man is derived either from society or from the stray hints dropped by the religiously minded, or from the study of the sacred books.

No attempt is, however, made by man to take up any definite course or formula even on the intellectual level. In fact he never had time enough to pay heed to this problem. Perhaps religious bigotry or fear does not allow the clergy to draw the attention of the masses to this problem. They may find it a hopeless task to draw up a code of dietetics because of the energetic materialism prevalent everywhere. Still there are a few who have no biased views, and study the literature of the East with an open mind. But they have to face many difficulties because of the peculiar terminology foreign to them. The words are not explicit enough in themselves or hardly convey with exactness the intentions of the writers.

The wise ancients — the Rishis and the Munis of yore — have thoroughly thrashed out the problem of human life. They exhaustively analyzed its various aspects to arrive at a feasible culture-program for man in search of perfection. In this way an acceptable standard of universal civilization or reform was evolved, which comprehended knowledge of self or soul and the attainment of the highest ultimate Reality — the great Truth. They began by methodically investigating Gunas (qualities) — the spinal backbone and the primal source of all the activities of Karma on the fulcrum of which the mind swings. Next they dissected Gunas and divided them into three distinct groups, each being quite unlike the other.

  1. Satogun — The most superior way of acting. It can be described as pure living with a mental equipoise.
  2. Rajogun — It is interpreted as the middle course of acting in a business-like fashion of give and take.
  3. Tamogun — It is the most inferior way of acting and may be called living purely for one’s selfish ends, with no thought whatsoever of others.

This subject can be easily understood by taking a couple of examples:

  1. Consider, for example, the problem of service and help.
    1. X” has made it the principle of his life to serve others but does not expect any service or help from others in return for what he has done. Do good and cast it on the water, is his rule in life.
    2. Y” serves and helps and expects the same in return. This may be likened to an exchange in service as in commercial establishments on the principle of give and take or barter — do unto others as you would like others to do unto you.
    3. Z” neither serves nor helps others, but considers that he has a right to help and service from others for which he is not bound to give anything whatsoever in return.
  2. Now consider the question of charity:
    1. X” gives and forgets and does not like to accept anything in return — his principle being to render selfless service to the helpless and the needy.
    2. Y” gives and expects a return for the good service rendered in one form or another.
    3. Z” only takes help and service whenever in need but never gives any in return, even when another may be in dire distress under his very nose.

It will be seen that (1) the conduct of “X” is the best and is Satogun. His good deeds earn merit for him in the eyes of every one in this and even his Creator’s world. (2) “Y” earns no credit for his good acts because he almost balances them by his business-like living of give and take, with no credit balance in his favor. (3) “Z” on the contrary loads himself with
debt or liability for which he will have to undergo the Karmic process, perhaps spreading endlessly from generation to generation.

The Masters, therefore, advise men to adopt course No. 1 and in no case to go lower than No. 2, if at all there be any need. Similarly, any one can chalk out his or her own program of life and determine the course of action. So much then for the dealings of man in life as a member of the social order to which be belongs. This, however, is not an end in itself but only a means to the end — the end being to become Neh-karma, that is to say, doing Karma not only without any attachment or desire for the fruit thereof but as a swadharm (an action in inaction) and then heading on toward unfoldment of the self within and experiencing the source of all Love, Life and Light; in which we actually live and have our very being just like a fish in water that knows not what water is.

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