20. Doctrine Of 'Be Good, Do Good' In Both Vedas And Bible
DOCTRINE OF ‘BE GOOD, DO GOOD’ IN BOTH VEDAS AND BIBLE
1. DOCTRINE OF ‘BE GOOD, DO GOOD’ IN VEDAS
Vedic philosophy does not revolve round long lessons and lengthy sermons of empty idealism. It urges on practical life. Vedas teach man to lead practically pure and pious life full of philanthropy and fellow-feeling, benefaction and benevolence. This is the only way to salvation. ‘Be good and do good’ is the gist of Vedic philosophy. He who recites with tongue holy mantras of Vedas and performs religious rituals and ceremonies, but himself does not lead pious life, nor is he good to others, is like a man who ploughs the field but does not sow. He who, besides reciting the religious theories and doctrines, puts them into practice in daily life, is like a man who not only ploughs and sows the fields but also reaps the harvest. An ounce of action is better than a pound of sermons.
Vedas, being practical guide to mankind, emphasise upon noble life and noble actions.
Sauwa: paUtaa Bavata yai&ayaasa: |
a Pgvaod 10o18o2
Be pure and pious
O worshippers !
- Rig Veda 10/18/2
The doctrine of ‘be good, do good’ is based on the ‘doctrine of truth’. In modern era of reasoning and rationalism various people debate as to what is good and what is bad. Their problem is how to distinguish good from bad, true from untrue, right from wrong. The best method of judging a thing whether it is good or bad, true or untrue, right or wrong is to apply the principle to one’s own self. Do to others as you wish it to be done to you by others. If you want others not to take away your life, you should also not take away the life of any creature. Is it not a matter of fantastic irony that on one h and you expect God to be merciful to you, while on another hand you fail to show mercy to the creatures of the same Lord ? God has provided everyman with the best adviser called conscience. When a man does ignoble deed, his conscience pricks and pinches him, notwithstanding the fact that satanic elements within him try utmost to stifle the voice of conscience. The voice of conscience is the voice of truth which is another name of religion. The religion which is not based on truth, cannot be called religion. The following quotation of Mahabharat categorically corroborates the statement :
Qama-: sa naao ya~a na satyamaista |
The religion which is devoid of truth, is not religion at all.
Vedic religion preaches and precepts nothing but truth which is defined as universal law of nature or voice of conscience or divine voice.
Ptasya paqaa pa`ota |
a yajauvao-d 7o45
Tread on the path of truth.
- Yajur Veda 7/45
2. DOCTRINE OF ‘BE GOOD, DO GOOD’ IN BIBLE
(i) Treat others as you wish to be treated by others
Jesus Christ says :
199. ‘12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law of the prophets.’
- Matthew, 7/12
What a fine piece of sermon it is ! I like it most. But men are known by what they do, not by what they say. During their four hundred years’ reign of terror and tyranny in Goa, the Christian rulers captured Hindu women from their houses and raped them, and then burnt them alive. Their children were sold as slaves. Hindu temples were destroyed, and in their places churches were built. If, after independence, Hindus treat them in the same manner, would they like ? The Hindus, who are the Aryans (the noblest), would never indulge in such barbarous activities. Is it not a matter of shame that Francis Xavier, who was responsible for the establishment of the ‘Holy Inquisition of Goa’, under which Hindu women were raped and burnt alive and Hindu temples were demolished, is canonized as saint, and Christian schools and colleges in Bharat are established in his name ?
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru writes about ‘Inquisition, the terrible weapon of Roman Church’ in his book ‘Glimpses of World History’ as under :
_’About this time, the Inquisition that terrible weapon which the Roman Church forged to crush all who did not bow down to it, was established in Spain. Jews, who had prospered under the Saracens, were now forced to change their religion, and many were burnt to death. Women and children were not spared.’_109
Pandit Nehru further states :
_’The Church started the reign of violence in religion, formally and officially, in 1233, by starting what is called ‘The Inquisition’. This was a kind of court which inquired into the orthodoxy of people’s beliefs, and if they did not come up to the standard, their usual punishment was death by burning. There was a regular hunt for ‘heretics’ and hundreds of them were burnt at the stake. Even worse than this burning was the torture inflicted on them to make them recant. Many poor unfortunate women were accused of being witches and were burnt.’_110
_’All over the country the Inquisition flourished and the most horrible tortures were inflicted on so called ‘heretics’. From time to time great public festivals were arranged when batches of these ‘heretics’ men and women were burnt alive on huge pyres in the presence of the king and royal family and ambassadors and thousands of people. Autos-da-fe, acts of faith, these public burnings were called. Terrible and monstrous all this seems. The whole history of Europe of this period is so full of violence and horrible and barbarous cruelty and religious bigotry as to be almost unbelievable.’_111
- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
The victims of the Holy Inquisition included Galileo who was imprisoned for life, and another astronomer Giordano Bruno, who was burnt at the stake. It is worth noting here that Lady Teresa justified the Inquisition of Galileo.
Sita Ram Goel quotes Colonel James Todd in his Introduction to first Indian reprint of ‘Women, Church and State’ authored by Ms Matilda Joslyn Gage, as under : Commenting on the horrible atrocities-massacres of population, burning of villages, capture of young males and females for sale as slaves, plunder of property-committed by the Portuguese in 1532 and 1549 on Hindus living in the coastal areas of Saurashtra, Colonel James Todd had observed :
_’It would perhaps be fortunate for Christianity, if the historic muse in India were mute, as many have endeavoured to prove her to be, since atrocities like these are alone sufficient to have scared the Hindus from all association with her creed.’_112
- Colonel James Todd
‘Human soul is a free agent and is responsible for all his actions. This responsibility cannot be shaken off by any means without repudiating the principle of justice. Hence evil actions cannot be condoned. Man must reap as he sows. Sins cannot be forgiven. An outside agency cannot undo the effect of sins.’
- Swami Dayanand Saraswati
Footnotes: 109 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru : ‘Glimpses of World History’, p. 191
110 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru : ‘Glimpses of World History’, p. 230.
111 Ibid., p. 289-290.
112 (i) Matilda Joslyn Gage : ‘Woman, Church and State’, New York, 1893, reprinted by Voice of India, New Delhi, 1997, p. V (Introduction)
(ii) Colonel James Todd : ‘Travels in Western India’, London, 1839, reprinted in New Delhi, 1997, p. 260