“ Human and ethical values are the wealth of character.” Discuss, in terms of the Indian perspective.


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Among all beings only the human beings is endowed with faculty of choice and free will. Only a human being can choose the end he wishes to pursue and the means to gain that end. Only for him does the question of values/ethics arise.

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Value indicates the regard for thing, situation or attitude, which for some reason is esteemed or priced by the value holder. Any value universal or situational is a value for me only when I see that is precious to me.  I (the self) am the source of my values, I fail to follow the universal values only when I do not clearly see its value to me. I make expedient situational only when I think such choices will make me feel good.

 

By values we mean the motive and/or the basis for choosing between alternative courses of action when a critical decision needs to be taken. High values lead to objective, fair, altruistic decisions and actions and ensure the welfare of all concerned. Low values do exactly the opposite. This can be extended to all facets of our life icluding business, personal and spritual.  Values of a higher order in an individual resuly directly from the realization that ther is a higher dimension guiding and governing the entire human existence whose laws cosmic and karmic laws operate inexorably and decisively in etical and moral spheres.

When we act driven by high values we are inface embodying desirable qualities of a good human being.  Welfare of all will necessarily ensure our own.

 

One test of whether our motive/basis for action is value based is not that if it is exposed to intelligent questioning by those affected we should be able to defend our action without any embarrassment.We should try to act with the sense of detachment fixing the mind with the supreme conciousness in order to achieve balance and hence success.This will also guard us against undesirable influences of others on us.

 

Concepts which are basic in Indian tradition, are contained in the ancient texts like Vedas and Upanishads. They contain principles to guide one’s life, regardless of one’s religious persuasion. Collectively they may provide a philosophy or attitude to life and living. These principles are relevant to business because the processes of  business management and the purposes of business are related to people.  These principles are being presented below in brief:

 

Concept of divinity: the most signifant fact is that these texts do not refer to any God but refer to certain divinity whish pervades all beings, human and animals including inanimate matter. Divinity is conceptualized as energy which may be in both dynamic or the static form. Energy is not visble but can be experienced. It is energy that moves or does. The energy is individual called(atman) is the same as the total energy called (brahma), in the same as energy in an electric bulb is the same as the energy in the generator.  In this realization brahma is timeless and spaceless.  It permeates the entire universe.

 

Concept of man: Man is understood to be constituted of five different sheaths. The grossest of these is the physical body called “annamaya”, which is constituted of matter created by food.  The second sheath covering the physical body is the “pranmaya” which is related to the breathing or vital energy. The third sheath is the “manomaya”, which roughly translates as the mind but infact has larger cannotations than mind in psychology. The fourth sheath is “vijnanamaya” or the intellect or he power of discrimination. The final sheath is the “anandmaya” or eternal bliss. Each sheath is subler than the earlier one and allows more freedom of movement through time and space.  Every person is simultaneously operating at all these levels. Every person has the capability to move from the constraints of the physical sheath and live in eternal bliss. Thus these human and ethical values are the wealth of character in terms of Indian perspective.

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