Hindu ethics / morality according to the Sruti (Veda)

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Hindu ethics / morality according to the Sruti (Veda)

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:05 am

The Bhagavad Gita (Ch. 16)

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Re: Hindu ethics / morality according to the Sruti (Veda)

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:14 am

The Bhagavad Gita (Ch. 16)

Nature of the Good and the Bad

(Appendix 2(2) in http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/gita.html)


1. Freedom from fear, purity of heart, constancy in sacred learning and contemplation, generosity, self-harmony, adoration, study of the scriptures, austerity, righteousness;

2. Non-violence, truth, freedom from anger, lack of over-attachment, serenity, aversion to fault-finding, sympathy for all beings, peace from greedy cravings, gentleness, modesty, steadiness;

3. Energy, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, a good will, freedom from pride. These are the treasures of the person who is born for heaven.

4. Deceitfulness, insolence and self-conceit, anger and harshness and ignorance - these belong to a person who is born for hell.

5. The virtues of heaven are for liberation (of the soul) but the sins of hell are the chains (captivity) of the soul. Grieve not, Arjuna, for heaven is your final end.

6. There are two natures in this world: the one (good) is of heaven, the other (bad) is of hell. The heavenly nature has been explained; hear now of the evil of hell.

7. Evil persons know not what should be done or what should not be done. Cleanliness or purity (internal and external) is not in them, nor good conduct, nor truth.

8. They say: ‘This world has no truth, no moral foundation, no God. There is no law of creation: what is the cause of birth but lust?’

9. Firm in this belief, these persons of dead souls, of truly little intelligence, undertake their work of evil: they are the enemies of this fair world, working for its destruction.

10. They torture their soul with insatiable desires and full of deceit, insolence, and pride, they hold fast their dark ideas, and they carry on their impure work.

11. Thus they are beset with innumerable cares (worries) which last long, all their life, until death. Their highest aim is sensual (material) enjoyment (fulfillment), and they firmly think that this is all.

12. They are bound by hundreds of vain hopes. Anger and lust is their refuge; and they strive by unjust means to amass wealth for their own cravings.

13. They say: ‘I have gained this today, and I shall attain this desire. This wealth is mine, and that shall also be mine.’

14. They say: ‘I have slain that enemy, and others also shall I slay. I am a lord, I enjoy life, I am successful, powerful and happy.’

15. ‘I am wealthy and of noble birth (class or caste): who else is there like me? I shall pay for religious rituals, I shall make benefactions (charitable contributions), I shall enjoy myself.’ Thus they say in their darkness of delusion.

16. Led astray by many wrong thoughts, entangled in the net of delusion, enchained to the pleasures of their cravings, they fall down into a foul hell.

17. In their haughtiness of vainglory, drunk with the pride of their wealth, they offer their wrong sacrifices for ostentation (public display), against divine law.

18. In their chains of selfishness and arrogance, of violence and anger and lust, these malignant persons hate me (God): they hate me in themselves and in others.

19. In the vast cycles of life and death, because of their bad Karma or actions, I (God) inexorably hurl them down to destruction: these the lowest of human, cruel and evil, whose soul (nature) is hate.

20. Reborn in a lower life, in darkness birth after birth, they come not to me, Arjuna; but they go down the path of hell.

21. Three are the gates to this hell, the death of the soul: the gate of lust, the gate of wrath, and the gate of greed. Let a person shun the three (lust, wrath and greed).

22. When a person is free from these three doors of darkness (lust, wrath and greed), he does what is good for his soul, and then he enters the Path Supreme.

23. But the person who rejects the words of the Scriptures and follows the impulse of desire attains neither his perfection, nor joy, nor the Path Supreme to God.

24. Let the Scriptures (the Gita / Sruti) be therefore your authority as to what is right and what is not right. Know the words of the Scriptures, and do in this life the work to be done.

In addition to the 24 verses on ethics / morality from the Gita (Ch. 16) in the above, all the Brahmanical / Vedic Hindu philosophies ("darshana") have elaborate narrations on ethics / morality, as indicated in the following blogs,

(1) Vaisesika or the philosophy of Atomistic Pluralism (http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/vaisesika.html),

(2) The Purva Mimamsa philosophy (http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/purva_mimamsa.html),

(3) Vedanta Sutra and the Vedanta (http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/vedanta.html), and

(4) Yoga and the Yoga philosophy (http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/yoga.html)

Moreover, the Vedic philosophies Samkhya and Nyaya, not shown in the above, also include ethics / morality, the information about which is available from Indian Philosophy, Vol. 2, by S. Radhakrishnan, ISBN 019563821-4

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Re: Hindu ethics / morality according to the Sruti (Veda)

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:25 am

In verse # 5 (Ch. 16th of the Bhagavad Gita), the reference to heaven and hell is symbolically only (in the sense of goodness (deliverance or salvation) and evil (bondage or downfall), respectively) and not in the literal sense (as ‘swarga’ and ‘narka’, respectively). Note the Sanskrit verse (#5 in Ch. 16, spoken by Krishna) uses the words “daivy” and “aasuri”(implying the good and the bad) and not as ‘swarga” and “narka” (heaven and hell, literally).

In addition, while there probably were many codes of ethics for Hindus according to the ancient texts, their suitability and appropriateness required the following Mimamsaka compatibility.  

“The Vedic injunctions lay down the details of dharma. Good action, according to the Mimamsaka, is what is prescribed by the Veda (including the Upanisads). The smrti texts (documents on traditions or customs, including related to code of ethics, etc.) are supposed to have corresponding sruti texts (Vedas). If certain smrti is known to have no matching sruti, it indicates that either the corresponding sruti was lost over time or the particular smrti is not authentic. Moreover, if the smrtis are in conflict with the sruti, the formers are to be disregarded. When it is found out that the smrtis are laid down with a selfish interest, they must be thrown out. Next to the smrtis is the practice of good men or customs. The duties which have no scriptural sanction are explained on principles of utility. If any act is performed in response to one's response to natural instincts, there is no virtue in it. These and other rules (aspects) of Mimamsa are used for the interpretation of the Hindu law, which is based on the rules of the Vedas or sruti (open equally to all, irrespective of the varna, caste or vocation). Note the sruti generally refers to the Vedas (Rig, Yajur and Sam) and the Upanisads (including the Bhagavad Gita). Moreover, the Atharva Veda, the itihaasa (Puranas and epics) and the smrti (including the Manu-smrti or Manu-smriti etc.) are considered as the ancillary literature and therefore should not be confused with the sruti which has a precedence over all the rest.” 
(The Purva Mimamsa philosophy -- http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/purva_mimamsa.html) 

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Re: Hindu ethics / morality according to the Sruti (Veda)

Post by Vakavaka Pakapaka on Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:10 pm

In modern India, according to Sikular politicians, you are anti-national and intolerant!

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Re: Hindu ethics / morality according to the Sruti (Veda)

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