Faith

Ahamkara, virtue and vice

It is held that there is dilution of dharma in the course of time as the yugas Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali, follow in succession. Dharma is the way of life of people and Krita Yuga is claimed to be a golden age when the people practise dharma by adhering to purity in all respects, in thought, word and deed. But it is also true that even in this Yuga, vices have coexisted along with virtue, says Vyasa by way of explaining how the strength of dharma is sullied, pointed out Sri K. Srinivasan in a discourse.

Vyasa describes in detail the cause of virtue and vice in creation as rooted in the ahamkara tatva and shows that this has existed since creation. It is very rare to find people who are pure in thought, word and deed, who are religious, and free from egoism, jealousy and anger. The world has been filled with feelings of deceit, jealousy and anger. This includes celestial beings as well. One can understand if a wronged person retaliates to consolidate his position and fights those who inflicted injury on him. But when peaceful people who are free of enmity are injured, is it not an unpardonable act, asks the sage.

There are instances when disturbances are caused to the penance of devout ascetics knowingly as in the case when Indra feels there is threat to his position. Sometimes as in the case of Parikshit, the penance is thwarted inadvertently. People of different beliefs and temperaments, with varying degrees of virtue and vice, continue to exist in all yugas. Some believe in the sastras while some defy them openly. Others have mixed feelings on this matter. As far as individual dharma is concerned, laxity is caused by desire. If desire is sullied, impure and wrong, the way of life of the individual also sways in that direction.


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Printable version | May 21, 2022 4:20:08 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/ahamkara-virtue-and-vice/article38287679.ece