RID (Righteousness Is Dharma)
Often we face dilemma, whether we are performing right actions or not. Most of the time it is easy to distinguish between right and wrong but very difficult to differentiate between right and more right or wrong and more wrong. Right or wrong can vary on scale of universal truth and individual perceptions. Since it is subjective and depends on society, religion and profession we belong to; it is very confusing. If we leave apart the universal truth, most of the value system is governed by country, religion, society and work groups. Keeping 4 wives is considered doing dharma in one religion whereas in other religion it is not at all accepted. Eating non-veg food is well accepted in one society but in another society it may be strictly prohibited. Such a paradoxical system we have.
According to Stephen Covey, principles are universal and they are like the light houses. They never change but values and belief system change as per time, individual, group and circumstances. This is the main reason that definition of righteousness also changes from person to person. Righteousness needs to be understood at different levels and from various points of view. In my view righteousness can be explained at following 6 levels.
Universal Righteousness: There are certain universal principle and practices such as honesty, love, duty etc. that are acknowledged by all the religions and societies in every part of the world. Every human being is expected to follow these principles otherwise that person may not be treated with respect. So keep walking on the path of Dharma.
National Righteousness: Every nation has its own constitution and legal system. Every citizen of that country is expected to follow and abide them.
Religious Righteousness: Every religion has its own belief/faith system and if you belong to that religion then you are expected to follow their principles and holy book of that religion.,/p>
Social Righteousness: Every community and society has its own value system and if you are part of it, you are expected to follow otherwise that community may disown you.
Professional Righteousness: Every profession has code of conduct and ethics defined and if you belong to that profession you are advised to follow the same.
Individual Righteousness: Individuals can have his own moral system based on their education, society, personal beliefs etc. However, same may not be acceptable to others.
5 tips to decide the path of righteousness:
1. Identify all the groups you belong to. Find out their code of conduct and follow them.
2. Don’t worry if you are not on right path, having knowledge that you are on wrong path is the first stage of awakening. Most of the people are ignorant.
3. Sudden change in behavior and attitude is not possible. It’s a slow process. As long as you are progressing on right path, it is a good enough.
4. Identify which is the most dangerous value system you are ignoring and first work on those so that you can be saved from major consequences.
5. It is a continuous process till you get enlightenment and liberation. So keep on walking on the right path.