Is Morality A Vanity?
But yes, out of ignorance, unknowingly, morality tends to become a thing of vanity.
What really is Morality?
Morality and sincerity are actually one of the best virtues in the world. When one becomes moral, the bad habits of a person disappear. Suppose there are bars of gold lying unattended in a particular place, a moral person would not have even a passing thought of picking it up for himself. His mind never gets corrupt, not even for a blade of grass. A moral person has a belief ingrained within him that, “We can only take that thing which the owner is willing to give to us.”
Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan explains, “Being moral means to enjoy that which is rightfully yours and which comes your way naturally and of its own accord. This is the ultimate meaning of morality.” Sincerity and morality are the pillars of our being. If these crumble, then everything will collapse. It is indeed a great fortune to be able to possess virtues of sincerity and morality in this time cycle. When one has honesty, ethical behaviour and an obliging nature, the negative qualities and traits get washed away. Morality is purity. And purity has the power to attract anything in this world.
But until one has not attained the knowledge of the Self (Self-Realization), there lies in him the seeds of ignorance. His morality is founded on ego and intellect. Such an ego preserves morality as it will not allow one to become morally bankrupt. However, owing to ignorance, one does not realize when the ego grows into vanity.
What is Vanity?
Vanity means excessive pride in one’s own appearance or achievement. A sense of self-pride in appearing to be a moral person, a sense of self-importance over one’s achievements of moral conduct, and the social status one enjoys for being valued as a moral being results in admiration for one’s self. People in our surroundings generally contribute in a big way to help grow this vanity. However, it is only Gnani or a well-deserved Guru who discovers and uproots this vanity lying in us!
Let me share with you my own example. I was always proud of the fact that my parents had instilled in me lofty moral values, and people around me very graciously endorsed my moral behaviour at every step in life. But ever since the day I met Gnani, incredible changes started taking place in me. The satsang (company) of Gnani invoked such insight in me that I started seeing vanity standing side-by-side to morality in every action that I did, in every word I said, and in every thought that crossed my mind:
1. In satsang I learnt that ego can go away but the pride does not go away easily. And vanity means excessive pride!
2. The satsangs made me introspect on how the vanity of ‘I am good, I am right, I am special, I am superior, or simply put, I am more blessed than others’ prevailed in my deep-level thoughts and reflected in my tendencies when I interacted with others.
3. One more thing that I got to know from satsangs was that insult is the thermometer to measure pride. When insulted, if one gets affected, that verily shows the existence and the extent of pride. Although rarely have I encountered instances of insults in my life, but I realized how often I felt offended if someone even slightly hinted at me being immoral. Smile would fade off my face when I would come to know that someone is suspecting my intentions behind a moral act.
4. In satsang, I learnt that the moment one feels ‘I did it’, he tastes the sweetness of the ego of doer-ship; and hence in reaction, one will have to taste the bitterness, according to the law of Nature. I soon recollected the aggressive doership in trying to become (or should I say trying to be seen) as being more and more moral. And very silently, I always tasted the sweetness of doership, everytime someone praised me.
5. And if ever some immoral behaviour happened by me, I would be very angry on myself, I would feel let down in my own eyes, and so that my impression does not get damaged in the eyes of people I have even thought of resorting to cover-up tactics. Satsang cautioned me that by doing so, I am protecting my mistakes and thus advancing on the path of immorality rather than morality. Any effort done in the direction of appearing good in the eyes of the world is vanity. Vanity causes internal burning and it also makes you weak, fearful and immoral.
6. Satsangs taught me that liking it when you are praised, seeking approval when you are doubted, displaying arrogance when you feel offended, or reacting with high sensitiveness when flawed, were all offshoots of vanity. These characteristics very well suggest that morality is vanity in this case.
Seeing this, I was dumbstruck, “How can I call this morality?”
I felt an urgent urge to confess but I felt highly ashamed to do so. And although there was an ardent desire to come out of it, this disease is such that when Gnani tried to remove the impurity of vanity from within me, it hurt my pride. This is the paradox when morality is vanity!
Tears just didn’t stop as I found myself sandwiched between my excessive pride (vanity) and immense love (absolute humilty) towards Gnani for taking the initiative to remove me out from this swamp. But Gnani, being the Enlightened One, knows ways and means to get us out of every trap. His sole objective is to ensure that we do not fall further and with right understanding, get on road. And this is exactly what he did!
He instilled in me the right understanding that the one who tries to become superior will wander around in the world and the one who becomes the smallest (humblest) will soon go towards final liberation. The one who is the smallest in the relative world (without vanity), by law, becomes the biggest in the real (with morality)! In that stage, God will embrace that person. This got me back!
So to discard the impurity of vanity and develop pure morality, here are the following steps:
1. Meet the Living Gnani and surrender all the atoms of vanity (impurities) collected in previous innumerable births, in the lotus feet of His.
2. With His divine grace, attain Self-Realization. Through Self-Realization, Gnani makes us experience the Self, which is totally separate from the body, name, thoughts, words and actions.
3. Remain in the company (satsang) of Gnani and earnestly follow His words. Through satsang, Gnani helps enhance the above separation of “I am this (Pure Soul) and I am not this (the name or thoughts, words and actions I identify myself with).”
4. Serve the Gnani’s cause (seva) of salvation of the world with utmost humility!
5. And until you happen to meet Gnani, have a pure intention of not causing hurt to any living being and also have the inner intent of giving to others, whatever good you may have. The one who fulfills these two intents, he learns the whole religion, says Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan!!!
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