Why Self-control, Hinduism

Topics: Hinduism, Hindu, Ethics Pages: 24 (9538 words) Published: October 17, 2013
http://www.minoritynurse.com/article/hindu-dietary-practices-feeding-body-mind-and-soul http://www.netplaces.com/hinduism/the-bhagavad-gita/self-control-the-dharma-of-the-ideal-man.htm http://philosophy.lander.edu/oriental/yoga.html

Ethics forms the steel-frame foundation of the spiritual life Ethics, which concerns itself with the study of conduct, is derived, in Hinduism, from certain spiritual concepts; it forms the steel-frame foundation of the spiritual life. Though right conduct is generally considered to belong to legalistic ethics, it has a spiritual value as well. Hindu ethics differs from modern scientific ethics, which is largely influenced by biology; for according to this latter, whatever is conducive to the continuous survival of a particular individual or species is good for it. It also differs from utilitarian ethics, whose purpose is to secure the maximum utility for a society by eliminating friction and guaranteeing for its members a harmonious existence. Hindu ethics prescribes the disciplines for a spiritual life, which are to be observed consciously or unconsciously as long as man lives. Hindu Ethics is Mainly Subjective or Personal

Hindu ethics is mainly subjective or personal, its purpose being to eliminate such mental impurities as greed and egoism, for the ultimate attainment of the highest good. Why Hindu ethics stresses the subjective or personal value of action will be discussed later. Objective ethics, which deals with social welfare, has also been considered by Hindu thinkers. It is based upon the Hindu conception of Dharma, or duty, related to a man’s position in society and his stage in life. Objective ethics, according to the Hindu view, is a means to an end, its purpose being to help the members of society to rid themselves of self-centredness, cruelty, greed, and other vices, and thus to create an environment helpful to the pursuit of the highest good, which transcends society. Hinduism further speaks of certain universal ethical principles which apply to all human beings irrespective of their position in society or stage in life. Social welfare

The ethical doctrines of the Hindus are based upon the teachings of the Upanishads and of certain secondary scriptures, which derive their authority from the Vedas. But though their emphasis is mainly subjective, the Upanishads do not deny the value of social ethics. For instance, we read: "As the scent is wafted afar from a tree laden with flowers, so also is wafted afar the scent of a good deed." Among the social virtues are included ‘hospitality, courtesy, and duties to wife, children, and grandchildren.’ In one of the Upanishads, a king, in answer to a question by a Rishi regarding the state of affairs in his country, says: "In my kingdom there is no thief, no miser, no drunkard, no man without an altar in his home, no ignorant person, no adulterer, much less an adulteress." Ethical actions calculated to promote social welfare is enjoined upon all who are identified with the world and conscious of their social responsibilities. Without ethical restraint there follows social chaos, which is detrimental to the development of spiritual virtues. According to the Upanishads, the gods, who are the custodians of society, place obstacles in the path of those who seek liberation from samsara, or the relative world, without previously discharging their social duties. As a person realizes the unreality of the world and the psycho-physical entity called the individual, his social duties gradually fall away; but they must not be forcibly given up. If the scab is removed before the wound is healed, a new sore forms. Every normal person endowed with social consciousness has a threefold debt to discharge: his debt to the gods, to the Rishis, and to the ancestors. The debt to the gods, who favour us with rain, sun, wind, and other natural amenities, is paid through worship and prayer. The debt to the Rishis,...
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