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What is right and what is wrong? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
3 min
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Speaker: Breaking the question into two simpler parts, one is- all of us have positives and negatives, strengths and weaknesses. How to enhance the strengths and diminish the weaknesses. We will look into this.And second is- I know what is right but when it comes to the moment of happening, I can’t do much about it. I know that I am wrong, but I am short-tempered. I know that this the case, yet when it is happening, I find myself powerless. To how many of us does this happen?

(Some listeners raise their hands).

We will take first part first. How do you know what is right or what is wrong? How do you know what is positive and what is negative? Before I say that it is right and it is wrong, I must first know. Right? How do you know? There are many ideas in our mind regarding what is wrong and what is right. Is there anybody here, who does not have concepts regarding what is right and what is wrong? Is one born with those concepts?

Listener: No, Sir.

Speaker: Then how do you know what is wrong and what is right, what is positive and what is negative, what is good and what is bad?

Listener 1: Thoughts.

Listener 2: Introspection.

Speaker: Who introspects? Is that how you have come to your notions of right and wrong?

Listener 3: No, Sir.

Speaker: What is right in India, is not right in USA?

Right and wrong vary not only according to the countries, but there is also the intra-nation variation. There is right-hand driving in India, there is left-hand driving in USA. Any similarity? How do you feel about killing animals? Bad, too bad. How do you feel about killing a fly? Wrong? (addressing a listener who is a Jain) .

Listener 4: Wrong.

Speaker: Any Muslim here? How do you feel about Kurbani at Bakrid? (addressing another listener who is a Muslim).

She is born in a Jain family so killing even a small insect is a taboo (addressing a listener who is a Jain). He is born in a Muslim family so slaughtering even a large animal is alright (addressing another listener who is a Muslim).

How do you know what is right and what is wrong? What is right today can be wrong tomorrow? What is right in one household, is wrong in another household. Even in our own life-time, our right and wrong keeps changing. What you thought wrong ten years back, seems to be alright now.

All these rights and wrongs, positives and negatives, are the creation of human mind. There is no sacredness about them. They are not some supreme laws carved in stone, unchangeable. These are all product of man’s mind, and because man’s mind keeps flickering so these laws also keep changing.

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

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