ETHICAL LIFE a stepping stone to spirituality

Ethical culture is of paramount importance

Ethical life is a stepping stone to spirituality and right conduct is a prerequisite for spiritual progress. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God".

In India the ethical way of life is called Sadachar about which Sant Kirpal Singh gives a deep explanation:
The word sadachar is not easy to translate. One can find many literal equivalents, but none of them really expresses its extensive and many-sided significance. In brief, it stands for the good and pure life. It does not imply any rigid code or set moral formulae, but suggests purity and simplicity, which radiate from within and spread outwards, permeating every action, every word, every thought. It is as much concerned with one's personal habits, good and hygienic, as with one's individual and social ethics. And on its ethical side, it is concerned not merely with one's relation to one's fellow men but to all living things, i.e., harmony which is the result of recognition that all things are from the same essence.

The first lesson taught by a true Master is that of "the identity of substance", and he who has grasped this truth will discipline his life accordingly. He will not be a prey to inordinate desires, and his one aim will be to reach the still point which holds in itself all actions, the point where to have nothing is to possess everything. He will know that the one path to fulfilment is through renunciation, and the one way to reach the Almighty is through freeing himself from all other attachments.

His would be a life of detachment or of nishkama. But detachment would not be for him a life of indifference or of ascetic renunciation. To know all life is to discover a new bond between oneself and the rest of creation. He who knows this cannot be merely "indifferent". He must perforce be filled to overflowing with sympathy for all that he confronts, and sympathy toward the whole must imply a certain holy indifference to the part. He will no longer be tied to his own narrow individual interests, but will share his love and resources with all. He will develop, slowly but surely, something of the compassion of the Buddha and the love of Christ. Nor will he feel himself called upon to leave the world for the solitude of the forest, the mountain or the desert cave.

The detachment must be an inner one, and one who cannot achieve it at home will not achieve it in the forest. He will recognize the great use of occasional retreats from worldly affairs and cares to the silence of solitary meditation and concentration, but he will not seek to escape from life and its responsibilities. He will be a loving husband and a good father, but while being these he will never forget the ultimate purpose of life, always knowing how to give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and preserving for God that which is God's. The way for transcending desire, he will know, is not through repressing it but meeting it squarely and overcoming it. To him, sanyasa (renunciation) is not a matter of outer evasion or escapism but of inner freedom.

The two cardinal virtues that such a man will cultivate will be charity and chastity. He will be large of heart and bounteous, caring more for the sufferings of others than for his own, and easily forgiving those that injure him. He will be simple and restrained in his habits. His wants will be few and easily satisfied, for one who has too many desires and too many attachments cannot be pure of heart. For him chastity will extend even to giving up meat and drink. When all life is one, to live upon the flesh of other living beings would be to defile oneself. And when one's goal is to attain even higher realms of consciousness, to resort to narcotics and intoxicants is only to court regression. It is not an idiosyncrasy of Indian seers that they should have made abstinence from meat and drink a necessary part of the spiritual discipline. We have similar injunctions in the Koran and the Holy Bible.

Sadachar is no dry discipline that can be attained by following certain set formulae. It is a way of life, and in such matters only heart to heart can speak.


There are different values in life. The physical body has its own value, the intellect has its own, but the spiritual life has the highest of all.

                            Sant Kirpal Singh










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"Little little things"
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Talk given by Dr Harbhajan Singh