Invitation To Health: 09 ►Freedom Of Will And Morality

Published: 19.03.2017

Freedom Of Will And Morality

Are you free or in bondage? If you are free, then morality has meaning for you. If you are in bondage, then it has no meaning for you. Are you responsible for your deeds or not? If you are responsible, then morality is meaningful. If you are not responsible, then it is meaningless for you. Morality is bound by two things - freedom of will and responsibility for one's deed. If human being is governed by some unseen power or is controlled by some political power, then it is difficult to bind his duty in the language of morality or immorality.

Morality: cause and instrumental condition

There are two angles for appraisal of morality - cause and instrumental condition. The cause of morality is determination of the individual. Its instrumental conditions can be many. In modern times immorality, has developed. Its instrumental factor is circumstance. There are plenty of efforts being made to change the circumstance. With the change of circumstance there will be no instigation, there will be no exciting factor but cause will remain as it is. The cause of immorality is continuing. Without the awakening of the will to give it up how can mere change of instrumental condition solve the problem? This is what is happening. All nations are engaged in the worry to change the circumstance. The communist countries have tried the best to change circumstance, but has immorality been abolished there? The events of Russia and China evince that peoples' psyche has not changed. From this it is convenient to assess the real situation. Without changing the cause mere change of instrumental condition may be an appearance of morality, not real morality.

Cause: faith in religion

Politics has capability to change the instrumental condition. It has no power to change the cause. Its means is faith in religion. In Japan, economic prosperity increased manifold even then within a few decades four prime ministers had to resign. America is on the top of affluence but morality is not on the top there. Poverty is regarded as a prime reason of immorality. Where there is no poverty there also immorality is spreading its net. From the study of events and situations it is evident that the attempt to change circumstance alone is not much successful. Along with circumstance if mentality also changes then only success can be thought of.

Great surprise

Religion is the means to change the mindset. It cannot be changed by the force of the state or by punishment. The problem is somewhat complicated. There is less of attraction towards religion. Around politics there is power and therefore there is more attraction towards it. Had there been balance of politics and religion the foul play of immorality would not have had its exposition. The Kṛṣṇa of the Gītā dissipated the delusion of Arjuna. Today's educated person is negating faith. There is no mere absence of morality, but there is absence of faith in it. Human being has presumed-morality and amenities of scientific age cannot be together. If amenities are to be enjoyed, then one has to come down from the Himalaya of morality. Had there been faith in morality then politics would not have been devoid of morality and religion also would not have been bereft of morality. A human being of politics negates morality, this is a matter of surprise but it is not a great surprise of the world. A person of religion is negating morality; this is the great surprise of the world. A person is religious but not moral. Is it not an event of night occurring in daytime? In the universe, sometimes impossible happens. This also is an event of that sort.

Unification of politics and religion is dangerous

Politics and religion are not the same. Both have importance at their respective places. By uniting them value of both gets diminished. In this context, Acharya Bhikshu told one story and that is very much relevant here -

At the shop of a merchant someone came in the morning with money and said: Shahji! Is gurha (lump of molasses or treacle) available for one paisa (a denomination of money)? The shopkeeper saluted the paisa and took it. He thought (it was auspicious) that in the morning itself the business started with a coin of copper.

Next day he came with one rupee and said: Shahji, is there a change for one rupee? Shahji saluted the rupee and took it. He counted the change and gave it to him. He was happy and thought, "Today I have darśana (auspicious sight) of silver."

Third day he came with a counterfeit coin and said: Shahji, is there a change for one rupee? The shopkeeper was very happy to think that the same customer who came yesterday has come today. He took the rupee in the hand and saw it and found that it was fake as it had copper inside and silver coating outside. He threw away the coin and said, "Take back the coin. There is no change." He said, "Shahji, why have you become angry? Day before yesterday when I brought a paisa, you saluted copper coin (and accepted it). Yesterday when I brought a rupee then you saluted silver coin. And in this coin, there are copper and silver both, and therefore you should salute it twice."

Shah said, "Oh Fool! Day before yesterday it was only copper and it was alright. Yesterday it was only silver and it was still better. They both were separate and, therefore, not counterfeit. But this has copper inside and coating of silver outside and therefore it is counterfeit. It is of no use."

If the mixture of politics and religion is evaluated in the context of this illustration, the truth will be evident and there will be real evaluation of their independent form. Thereby morality will get more strength.

Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
HN4U Digital Edition: Ratna & Amit Kumar Jain

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Bhikshu
  3. Bhikshu
  4. Darśana
  5. Kṛṣṇa
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