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Question: In the last HIDP we had a session on EGO. What I understood from the session is, ‘I am living in this society and this society is shaping my mind and also shaping my attitude. I come to know only from the society that I have this thing good in me and this bad’. There were questions written in that activity in which the last one was, ‘How will I come to know good things in me if I am not taking societies views on me?’ Sir, what will be the answer to this question?
Shri Prashant: Manas! It’s a very, very relevant question. He says that going by the social standards makes something easy for me. Society has clearly told me what is right and what is wrong. Society clearly lays down a code of conduct and tells me that this is ethical, this is not, this is appropriate, this is not. So it becomes easy for me to distinguish between right and wrong. He asks that if I put these standards away which society has given me, then how will I come to know whether I am doing the right thing. This question has been repeatedly asked from me in various ways.
Whenever there is a question of independence and intelligence someone surely asks, ‘Sir! If I act in my intelligence, how will I come to know whether this is right? Presently there are social benchmarks and I can measure myself against those social benchmarks. So it becomes easy for me. But if I reject those benchmarks then how will I come to know if I am doing right thing?‘ That is what he is asking and that’s the question any and all of you will face the moment you decide to act in freedom.
That is the question that will come to you, a great fear. ‘Alright if I am acting on my own but what if I am wrong? What if I am wrong? I am declaring everything to be false, all external to be false, I am acting on my intelligence, but what if I am wrong?‘ A great fear will arise and you will be shivering. ‘What if I am wrong?‘
When this fear comes to you it is a welcome sign. It means that you are indeed rejecting your slavery. Something is happening. Something has begun to happen.
What is right and what is wrong?
Let’s try to understand this.
Is there anything called ‘right’? The notions of right, wrong, ethics, and morality have been deeply implanted in our brains since childhood. But tell me what is right and what is wrong except the beliefs of people about what is right and what is wrong.
Look at the world around. Let’s look at what kind of notions of right and wrong do they hold. What is considered right in one country is considered totally wrong in the other country. What is considered right in one age is considered wrong in another age.
Just around two years back it was not only right but actually glorious for women to die with their husbands. Today you say that ‘Sati Pratha‘ was a curse. How many of you young girls would want to die with your husbands? Be burnt alive with their funeral? Yes?
The notions of right and wrong, whenever they come from outside they keep changing. There is nothing at all sacred about them. All kinds of codes of conduct are so very variable even this day, not only between one nation and other but also between one community and other community.
In a place like U.S. different states have their different laws even on personal matters like for sexual orientation. What is right in one state is totally wrong in another state. Totally wrong!
We are so enslaved by our beliefs that we think that what we are thinking to be right is absolutely right. All these notions of right and wrong that are coming from outside are totally time and place dependent.
Change the time, right will change, wrong will change. Change the place, right will change, wrong will change. (In reference to Mahabharta) There is this character who gambles his own wife, and you call him ‘Dharamraj'(Saviour of Right Action). Today If somebody does that you will put him in jail. Right?
Don’t you see right and wrong keep changing? Then you have been told and repeatedly told that there is something called as ‘fixed right’ and ‘fixed wrong’ and so you are afraid that ‘What if I am not subscribing to that right? What if my actions are not in accordance with that fixed right?‘
So, that scares you. Please don’t be scared.
There are no ‘rights’, no ‘wrongs’. Now I will turn the entire argument upside down. There is one great right and there is one great wrong. There is only one great right and there is only one great wrong. That one great right is your awareness. Whatever you do in your awareness is right.
The society may call it wrong but it actually is right. The world, the laws, the rules may call it wrong but it actually is right. That is the only right, that which comes out of your awareness, your intelligence and hence the only wrong is to be stupid, to be a slave to external influences, nothing else is wrong. All the rights and the wrongs that the world tells you are of no use because they keep changing, they are time and place dependent.
The great existential right is your being, is your intelligence. Have gets, don’t succumb to fear, let that happen.
The action that comes out of your intelligence, allow it to happen. Don’t block it. Don’t block it! That is the only right action. That is the only sacred action even if everybody disapproves it.
Don’t be afraid, don’t succumb to popular opinion. Whenever you have found out something, have the guts to live your life according to it. That is your love. Don’t be bothered even if everybody tells you that you are a sinner. Let them say!
Do not be bothered when everybody tells you that you have lived a failed life, that your decisions were wrong. Let them say. You will know that you are right. You will know it as clearly as you know when your thirst is quenched. You were thirsty, you drank some water. Now let the whole world come and tell you that you are still thirsty, but you know that your thirst is quenched. You will know it as clearly as deeply.
Live life in your own light that is the only right. And it sounds lyrical!
Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session video: Live life in your own Light || Acharya Prashant (2013)
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