Monday, October 18, 2010

Motives matter


Almost every religion & book on values prescribes people to do good acts and think positive. In order to convince people to do good, they talk about the benefits in the form of better relations with people, better environment, a place in heaven etc. This certainly is good as it encourages otherwise negative, lazy or disinterested people to do good work. We see people practicing charity and doing service etc. to others with high enthusiasm and fervour.

The Sanatana Dharma - also known commonly as Hindu religion - recommends that people do good acts without any motive. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that one should practice Karma Yoga or do actions without any motive or desire. The reason for this recommendation is simple - while actions are in our control, results are not. Moreover, if actions are motivated mainly by results, one can see a reversal in enthusiasm if the desired results are not met.

Actions carried out with a selfish motive are also dangerous. Selfishness usually denotes an interest for gaining something for oneself at the cost of others. As long as one is selfish, one tends to become biased and unfair. One justifies this behaviour by various methods and arguments. The other problem with "selfish good acts" is that it stops as soon as the self interest is served.

Motives do matter even if one is doing a good thing.

2 comments:

V Rakesh said...

Indeed Sir! Completely in agreement!

A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent

Sonal Raisinghani said...

Sanatana-dharma / the eternal religion as I would prefer to state is service to God, or love of God. It is the real focus of Equality Based on the Soul.
Being God-centered does not remove all our difficulties or anxieties. Rather, it will help us see things in proper perspective. We will see the difference between temporary material activities and eternal spiritual activities.
We will be able to tolerate all kinds of temporary inconveniences and difficulties as we strive for the ultimate goal, developing love of God and returning to His eternal abode.
But yes It is important to state here that that being religious does not mean every single motive then, is connected with religion.
Here too there can be good and bad religious people. Some do good because it is expected of them..Others do good instinctively, not for praise, not for God, just to help the person or persons that receive the aid.
Such selfless people are real praiseworthy ones. So yes motives do matter.