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Abstract Thinking: [18.02] - Anupreksha Of Dutifulness - Spirituality And Behaviour

Published: 04.03.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

The behaviour of a person living on the spiritual level is different from that of a man living on the mundane level. From the necessity of good behaviour, no man can be free. He, who has a body, perforce has dealings with others. Life cannot go on without relationship. But the conduct of both - a spiritual person and a worldly person - is very different. In Acharang Sutra, it is said that the behaviour of a spiritual person should be contrary to the behaviour of a person living on the mundane level. A spiritual person should act differently.

We must here clearly understand the implications of the word 'contrary'. The behaviour of a man living oh the mundane level is not positive, or functional; it is mostly a reaction. The worldly man says to himself, 'That man has behaved with me badly; I am also going to pay him back in the same coin." This is no constructive behaviour; it is only reactive. Such a person does not possess any independent urge for doing his duty, nor does it have for him any independent value. His sense of duty is not inspired by self-determination; it is activated by others. Modern moralists and philosophers, while analysing the value of conduct, have elaborately discussed the question as to what should be the nature and inspiration of our duty. The renowned philosopher, Kant says: "Duty should be for the sake of duty - not out of pity or compassion, nor for doing good to others - these do not support the moral law, nor are these connected with it. Only man's own free will has for him an independent value. Therefore, duty should be for the sake of duty only."

'Duty for the sake of duty' is a very significant maxim. It is something constructive, not merely reactive. Someone is deserving pity and another person takes pity upon him, this is reaction, not an independent action. But I look upon another as the soul itself and establish friendship with him - this is duty born of free will; it has an independent value; it is constructive action.

  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharang
  2. Body
  3. Kant
  4. Soul
  5. Sutra
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