Ethics is something we have to cultivate in ourselves. Its expression in the world becomes morality. – Chinmaya
From the above definition, one may say that purity of our thoughts, intentions and motives determines ethics; while the nobility of our actions performed in the outer world determines morality.
Thus, one may be apparently moral but not ethical; and one who is ethical spontaneously becomes moral, as thoughts decide actions.
Hence the above quote says: Be ethical within, and you become moral without.
But why should we be ethical?
The answer to this question can be obtained when we start watching the mind. The following facts are revealed under close observation:
Nobler the thoughts, the quieter the mind.
Subroto Bagchi, the Co-Founder of the IT firm called Mind Tree Ltd., mentions an incident in his book, ‘The Professional’.
In Japan, he had to go to a hotel for a conference. He hired a taxi and upon reaching the destination, paid the money according to the meter reading.
The cab-driver, politely returning a part of the money, said, “Sir, actually there is a shorter route to this place which I came to know just now. Being in this profession, it was my responsibility to take you to the shortest route. Asking you to pay extra due to my ignorance will be absolutely unjust. As for the loss of your time, my sincere apologies.”
Wise men pay great attention in keeping their conscience pure and clean as that alone gives true peace and happiness.
Thoughts that are often repeated become our habit and ultimately decide our personality.
Our mind decides our response to outer situations. And the mind is trained by thought-repetition.
A mind trained in loose living, yielding to every temptation and compromising with all higher values and nobler ideals, crumbles in the wake of any challenge thrown by the world. On the other hand, a positively trained mind faces all the ups and downs of life with a smile of confidence.
A depressed state of mind only means that deep down we are entertaining some negative thoughts which many times we are not aware of. Once the mind is out of these negative thought-whirlpools, it regains its healthy state.
What you sow (as thoughts), so shall you reap (as outer situations).
A student dreams to become an engineer, and soon he is surrounded by eng. books, eng. students, eng. professors, eng. campus, eng. laboratories, eng. devices/circuits and eng. problems!
So too, the good attracts good and the evil attracts evil. Sometimes we hear people say, “I don’t know why, no one likes me; I feel lonely; I am ignored by all…etc.” Today, if we are disliked by others, we alone are to be blamed. Negative thought currents in us, if left undetected, gain root, eventually giving rise to a stinking personality, repelling the world away from us.
Pujya Gurudev used to say, “Some people give happiness wherever they go, some – whenever they go!”
What thoughts to entertain is our choice. The rest is determined by the laws of nature, governed by God.
Even as a child, the famous saint Sadhu Vaswani would go, sit in a corner and pray when he found someone suffering. One day, his mother, Varan Devi, spoke to him of a close relative who had lost his job. He had a wife and children to support and had no savings. The family was passing through a difficult time. The mother lamented, “If only he can get a job with a salary of twenty rupees per month, the family would be able to breathe again…”
At night, the little boy went up to the terrace, closed his eyes and prayed devoutly to God, asking Him to help the afflicted family. He continued to do so for seven days.
On the seventh day, the mother came and announced that their relative had been given a job with a salary of exactly twenty rupees a month!
“God has heard your prayers,” said the mother to her son. “In future, if I need anything, I will come to you and not approach your father.”
“No Ma,” said the child, “We both will approach God, Who alone is the source of all and Whose stores are never empty.”
As the famous quote says: Take care of your thoughts, for they become your words; take care of your words, for they become your actions; take care of your actions, for they become your habit; take care of your habit, for they become your character, and ultimately your destiny.
How to cultivate a healthy mind?
Pujya Gurudev gives a 5-point solution: Observe, detect, eliminate, substitute and strengthen.
Observe the mind; detect the negativities; eliminate them. Substitute with positive thought patterns; through repetition strengthen them.
In the beginning, one has to work hard. The old thought- grooves have to be filled up and new channels have to be cut open. Once healthy thinking becomes a habit, the joys of life are ours forever!!
O M T A T S A T