Krishna and Arjuna – Photo by thesandiegomuseumofartcollection on Foter.com
“O fool, right action does not lie
in observing fasts and ceremonial rites.
O fool, right action does not lie
in providing for bodily comfort and ease.
In contemplation of the Self alone
is right action and right counsel for you.”
~ Lal Ded (14th Century)
Politeness, wanting to be good, to do the right thing has tremendous power. It binds the world together. In spite of all the suffering, the hardship that exist in society, it is remarkable to notice to what degree people, all over the world, manage to lead a quite responsible life, searching to act in ways that are right, respectful. I used to work in a spiritual community where we would employ, for specific tasks, some people that were outside the community, people that wouldn’t give a thought about spiritual matters. There was a joke that ran amongst us, which was to notice how these people were always acting in ways that were so balanced and good. We were talking about it endlessly, but they were the enlightened ones! The same could be applied to our old parents, to simple, humble people all around the world. How come? It could be argued that this driving force comes from the fear of god, the concern about other people’s judgement, about society’s or life’s punishment. But it comes nowhere near a plausible explanation. Is it that there is something incredibly meaningful, powerful, hidden behind right action, behind right behaviour, kindness, goodness, all the expressions of what is judged to be the timeless qualities of man? But how do we know that? How come it has such a binding force? Where does that wisdom come from? What are the hidden meanings behind ethics in the context of spirituality, or nonduality? And what are the mechanisms hidden in not behaving in ways that are loving or respectful of others and indeed of ourselves? […]