IDEAL OF A DIVINE LIFE

The ideal of a divine life consists in the promotion of universal brotherhood. The main characteristics of such a life are: –

  1. Brahmacharya (celibacy)
  2. Aparigrah
  3. Satya
  4. Asteya
  5. Ahinsa

Brahmacharya is the truest yoga. It lies at the root of all civilization. All true progress depends on it. It is the true religion of the World. It is the very first rung on the ladder of divine life by virtue of which the vital forces called vasus are fully developed and help to produce the noblest qualities of the body, mind and soul.

The next step is Aparigrah or non-greediness. It consists in the non-appropriation of the object of gratification (vishyas) and is one of the great cardinal virtues. Its opposite is Parigrah, which is one of the blackest sins. Parigrah divides man from his brothers and therefore, keeps him away from ideal of spiritual unity. Many an instance of this sin of Parigrah and its baneful effects may be cited from history. Thus the war of Mahabharata and the downfall of Kauravs where due to the grasping spirit which led them to appropriate the whole kingdom to the expulsion of theircousins.

The fratricidal wars of the sons of Mughal king which led to the decline and fall of MughalEmpire is another instance of the same subtle possession.

Certainly this Parigrah which is but another name for lower individualism is running rampant in the world of today, particularly among the nations of Modern Europe and America. It is the direful spring of woes unnumbered two millions of people. It is the parent fount of nihilism, anarchism, socialism and murderous revolutions of all kinds. Look at the land grabbing tendencies of selfishness of the people in power in African countries who blinded by seen of Parigrah deny the common privileges of ordinary citizenship to there so called colored residents.

It is therefore, binding on individuals and nations to kill serpents of individualism and cultivate this virtue of Aparigrah which is the cement of society and advances the interest of humanity in general.

The third step on the ladder of divine life is Satya (Truth) one who lies is a great sinner. Another who sees ignorant people lie without protest and does not attempt to teach them better is a greater sinner. He who forces people to cultivate habits of hypocritical thinking and false speech is greatest sinner of all.

But ‘Truth upholds the earth’. By truth it is that Adityas stand at their post and the moon is upheld in heaven, so says the Veda.

The fourth great step is Asteya or non-stealing that is the absence of the desire to steal anyone’s belonging or their property. Thus sphere of Steya and Parigrah are liable to overlap each other. They must therefore be distinguished. Parigrah is the grasping spirit which tends to make all objects of once own desire. “I must enjoy this and that and everything. I must collect this and preserve that for my enjoyment.” Theft is the act of taking anther’s things or property illegally, fraudulently, dishonestly, by false representation, by breach of trust or by the use of force, moral or physical. The grasping spirit of Parigrah may lead to all this illegal acts. But it simply denotes the idea that everything is meant for once own enjoyment and not for anybody else. It means running after all objects of sense whether legally or illegally. Theft means the making of anybody else, property once own by unfair means. When we see a fully competent men living upon anthermen’slabor without giving a fair return therefore, we may be sure that the poison is working in him and that he is more or less of a thief. A priest fattens upon charitable endowments, without moving himself to his utmost might in educating people morally, intellectually and spiritually is a thief. A ruler who lives a life of ease, without caring for the fact that people’s money is being spent on their material, moral and intellectual advancement is a thief. A trader who always keeps his eye on profit only and exploits customers is a thief. A shopkeeper who supplies bad material for fair prize is a thief. Those who except service without adequate payment and render inadequate service for good payment are thief’s. It will thus appear that Asteya is one of the greatest evils of our social life and poisons the very springs of the society. It should, therefore be checked by all means and the virtue of Asteya substituted therefore.

The fifth rung of the ladder is “Ahinsa” or non-injury to others. Ahinsa means giving up of hatred and enmity. All that help, a family, a group or nation in performing their various functions and duties in Ahinsa. All that helps civilization is Ahinsa.