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Moral And Ethical Ideals Of Hindus




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Hindu Books > Introduction And References > Hindu Dharma > Moral And Ethical Ideals Of Hindus

Introduction

Ethics can be described as the science of morality, and morality as the living of a virtuous life. Hindus place greater emphasis on the attitude of the mind rather than on postulation of the elaborate theories of what is right and what is wrong. Accordingly, the Hindu vision of morality and ethics is characterized by the following considerations:

  • Morality proceeds from the inner spirit of man. In Hindu view, one's motive is as important in the performance of an action as the action itself. When the heart is pure and free from lust and greed, whatever one does to perform one's duties has a high moral value.

  • Harmlessness to all creatures is the highest morality.

  • There are four sources of right conduct: Vedas, the Smriti (secondary scriptures), the conduct of wise persons, and the individual's own judgment. 8

  • In times of confusion and crisis regarding what is right and what is wrong, one's own conscience is the sole guide. "In times of doubt, O, son of Kunti [Arjuna], one must decide using one's own good sense." 9

  • An individual is ultimately responsible for his own actions, i.e. the Law of Karma. He is also responsible for the actions of others if he induces or forces them to perform such actions.

  • Hindus declare that loyalty to one's moral values is the highest loyalty, and of all the losses, loss of one's character and loss of judgment are the worse. 7

Author : Shri Bansi Pandit




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