Rectitude, a word that represent the very life that we are living now. Without it we don’t deserve to be called human, and worst still we don’t belong to animals as well. We will stoop lower than the animals. Animals live the ways ordained by nature. They do not swerve from the law of nature. They eat, mate, reproduce and sleep just the way nature wanted them to be. Animals sway from the path of nature only after mixing with man. That’s the power of man, we can even spoil the animals.
I have personally seen how a domesticated goat ate fish, rice and ‘murukku’ and left grass as an alternative. After that incidence I began to wonder about the path mankind have taken in the journey of life. Be it as it may, rectitude is the pinnacle of moral jurisdiction. The right living manner is equally important to all of us, not just for a few selected people. Without rectitude we crumble easily and become miserable.
From the moment when sun peep from beyond the horizon till it disappears again unto the same horizon, mankind strive to do things as perfect as possible, as good as one can and as right as possible albeit a number of criminally inclined individuals who chose to live recklessly. The process can be very tedious especially when we become conscious of not doing the right things, which may go wrong and effect many people. In turn, it may become a violation of ‘dharma’ and can bring about bad ‘karma’. The law of nature do not miss even a nanosecond in recording every actions and thoughts of man.
Although there are no gadgets to gauge RECTITUDE, some general rules can be accepted as guidelines to mark the border between good and evil. And again, there are no means to measure what is good and what is bad in real sense as what one consider bad and evil might be part and parcel of another man’s culture. So, it would be wrong to deem another man’s culture as being wrong. We all shun criminal acts such as murder, theft, robbery, rape, aggression, abuse and many more, but do we shun hypocrisy, anger, hatred, laziness, jealousy, abusive behaviors/habits and selfishness especially when these qualities of negativity breeds within us. Some of us may make some self effort to remove these weeds, some thrive on it while some may not even aware that they are the embodiment of all these. Very few have succeeded in destroying these traits to cross the border of ‘mankind’ and achieve the status of ‘kind man’. Kind Man - they are our superiors in human values and as a light house they place themselves to guide us the path of supreme height.
There are different levels of life lived by mankind. Each has a motive to achieve and they wade through troubled water to achieve their objectives. But, how they work towards their goals/objectives in life may decide RECTITUDE. To lead a life wrongly and blame it entirely on ‘Karma’, fate etc is nothing but fallacy. Past karma dictates our birth and tendencies associated with it, but not what will become of us in the future, because we are given the liberty to take charge of our lives in the present which paves the way to future. Its evident that everything in this world is achieved through SELF EFFORT. So when there is tendency towards failure, it just goes to show not much of self effort been exerted to attain the objective/goal. It must be understood that self effort which is not in line with human values is but a mere fantasy. To say that, ‘Karma’ is the cause of me doing this or behaving like this, is an erroneous belief. If our past karma dictates our lives, than what difference do we have in comparison with animals and trees? Daily in our lives we make decisions without any consideration for karma. We decide what to eat, what to wear, what movie to watch, where to go for shopping, what to buy, whom to meet etc….and all these are part of the self effort taken by us but at the most basic level. To meet the requirement of human lives, we have to generate a high standard of self effort encompassing grandeur aspects of life and not the trivial ones. Past karma, yes, to an extent have some impact on the degree of self effort, yet we are given the liberty to always increase our self effort positively for the betterment of all.
Divine retribution or dispensation is just another belief acknowledged as truth by repeatedly declared to be true. Everyone has to follow and practice to achieve something. Nothing comes down blindly in the name of fate. We may at times notice that the present self effort being thwarted by some means, so try to understand and realize that the present self effort is frail. Find ways to strengthen it.
As a house requires a sturdy structure, RECTITUDE requires five pillars of human values namely TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, LOVE and NON-VIOLENCE. Each carries the strength unimaginable and by practicing one with fervent effort, the rest will manifest on own accord. The way we live the inner-self will portray our actions in the world.
SATHYA, as it is, the truth. And nothing can change the truth. Every law of science operates on this basis. Truth is eternal. Sometimes it may be covered with dirt but it will definitely manifest itself one day. Mankind must abide by truth in the form of speech, actions and thoughts. We may claim that sometimes it is impossible to practice truth but as per a wise man’s words, Sathyam Bruyat, Priyam Bruyat, Na Bruyat Sathyamapriyam" (speak the truth, speak sweetly, do not speak unpalatable truth). Sometimes circumstances may prevent us from telling the truth, but remember my dear ones, if your truth can bring harm to others in the form of health, wealth and pride, do not speak.
DHARMA, as it is, the most potent law of nature. Everything in this universe, operates according to the law of dharma. It’s the dharma of the sun to impart light and heat. It cannot run from its duty or responsibilities. But, man have made a hell out of heaven by transgressing every known dharmic laws of the world. The dharma of man are towards his parents/ siblings/ family members/community at large and to himself as well. He has to payback what dharma has given him, and the opportunities are given to serve others and himself with utmost reverence in duty.
SHANTI, as it is, our very nature, the existence. The law of existence is peace. Each and every one of our actions performed are aimed to achieving this shanti. Without this, no one will look forward for another moment in life. It can be achieved only but reducing our excessive desires and learn to live with the most basic desires. There are desires we can do away with and we still can live happily. Peace do not come to those who satisfy the most desires because the nature of mind is that it will keep creating unending ripples of desires. Reduce your wants and the mind will reduce the ripples.
PREMA, as it is, unconditional love. How many of us can impart unconditional love? Not many. This requires greater strength and faith that, there is a GOD. Unconditional love is the ultimate signature of divine faith. We all love someone at sometimes, some people all the time and hate some most of the time. People say this is human nature. But, I feel this is superimposed on us by us as a defense against unwanted pain and lost. At least we love some people but it would be better if we gradually transcend the barriers and include more people into our fold. As long and conditions are imposed, that long we will live in the well of ignorance. Lets together we grow and embrace more and more people along the way be it someone we despise, be it someone we held high.
AHIMSA, as it is, it makes you a mahatma(great soul). Only great ones can bear the pain and turbulence of the world peacefully. We were given a Gandhi, a Jesus, a Buddha and many more to teach us about ahimsa. Ahimsa in thoughts, words and actions. When we are mocked and ridicule, in the mind rise anger and revengeful thoughts. Cool down. Some say ahimsa is a sign of weakness. Some say otherwise. Practice and find out. Life of great teachers are like open books. Learn from them.
Once the five pillars are there, RECTITUDE will appear. And humble we become, in gratitude we shall bow down to existence for everything given.