I And Mine: [03.14.2] - 8 Brief Rules of Group Spiritual Practice - 6. Development of Justice (Nyaya) (2)

Published: 29.12.2005
Updated: 06.08.2008

A One-sided Viewpoint

Some people get so much inclined towards religions that they become oblivious of everything else. There are some who are so much after wealth that they do not mind sacrificing even their lives for its sake. Yet others are inclined towards sex. Such one-sidedness causes mental unrest. Sociologists in the past reached the conclusion in this matter, after a good deal of deep deliberation, that Dharma, Artha, and Kama (discharge of duty, acquirement of wealth, gratification of the desire for sex - three of the four objects of life) should be treated as mutually opposing feelings.

Imagine a man who wants to live a householder, and to keep his children and other family members with him, and at the same time to give up his domestic responsibilities. It represents utter confusion. Once a man asked Acharya Shree, 'What is the good of giving grass fodder to a cow?' Acharya Shree replied, 'The same as accrues from keeping a cow.' The man is a victim of confusion who keeps a cow and drinks its milk, but wonders what good it is to give it grass fodder. Giving grass fodder is deemed bad when man suffers from selfishness. Milking the cow and drinking the milk does not look bad. Acharya Bhikshu explained selfishness by giving an example: 'Four people got a cow as Dakshina (respectful donation). They arrived at a common understanding that each one of them will milk it by turn. The first one did not give any fodder to the cow saying to himself the second one will give it the next day. The second one did not give it saying to himself that the first one must have already given it on the previous day and the third one will give it the following day. And so on. Everyone milked the cow but none gave it fodder. As a result the cow died.

It is not just to make use of family but refuse to fulfil one's obligations towards it. Likewise, it is not just to give exclusive importance to any of the trio of Dharma, Artha, and Kama. Therefore Acharya Somdeve has said:

Overindulgence in Dharma suppresses Kama and Artha.
Overindulgence in Kama suppresses Dharma and Artha
Overindulgence in Artha suppresses Dharma and Kama.

One-sided viewpoint is incomplete. External parity is effective only when it is inspired by beauty, love and holiness. This is possible through justice. So long as justice is not there, there can be no mental peace.

Mental peace dwells inside the mind; it does not dwell in the external environment. If the mind is restful and relaxed, man can experience peace even in the midst of noise, but if the mind is not restful and relaxed, he cannot experience peace even in a forest.

'This is a village and that is a forest' - such a thought belongs to people who are not spiritually degraded. But for those who have realized themselves, there is no difference between a village and a forest.'

The more we stretch outside, the farther away we go from the soul. This is injustice. To be 'installed' in or to dwell in the soul is justice. The question of injustice disappears when there is harmony between the language of justice and the inner self.

  • I And Mine by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulahraj ji
  • Translated by R.P. Bhatnagar, formerly Prof. Dept. of English at Jaipur University
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, India, 1st Edition, 1995

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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. Artha
  4. Bhikshu
  5. Dharma
  6. Environment
  7. Kama
  8. Soul
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