Gita Rahasya -Tilak 131

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak



The word " Conscience ' (manodevata) is not to be understood as meaning and including desire anger,;, avarice, or the other emotions which inhabit the mind, but as meaning, in the present context, the God-given or., inherent power which every one possesses of choosing between good and bad. This very power has got the high-sounding name of, " Power of discriminating between the good and the bad" (sad-asad-viveka-buddhi), [1] and if a person, on any occasion of doubt, thinks for a moment quietly and with a peaceful mind, this deity which, discriminates between the right and the wrong (sad-asad-vivecana-devata) will never fail him. Nay", on such occasions, we say to other persons: "Consult your own mind". What importance to attach to what virtue is ready listed with this sovereign deity which immediately gives you her decision on any matter in accordance with this list, as occasion arises. Suppose, there is an occasion when there is a conflict between the prin- ciples of Self-protection and Harmlessness, such as a famine, when we are in doubt as to whether Or not to eat uneatable food; then, we should consult- our Conscience, and immediately it will come out with the decision : " Eat the uneatable food ". Similarly, if there is a conflict between Self-interest, and philan- thropy, that situation too must he -solved by the help of this Mental Deity. One writer has after peaceful thought stumbled on 'this list of the relative values' of righteous and unrighteous actions prepared by" the deity of Conscience, and he has published it in his book. [2] In this list, the highest place has been given to the feeling of Reverence combined with Humi- lity; and Kindness, Gratitude, Generosity, Affection etc. are given the consecutive lower grades. This writer is of the opinion that when there is a conflict between a virtue of a lower order, and a virtue of a higher order, one must attach higher importance to the virtue of the higher order. According to this writer, there is ho other proper way of determining the doability or non-doabillty or the righteousness or unrighteous- ness of any Action; because, even if we extend our vision as fax as possible, and decide in what the greatest good of the greatest number ' lies, yet in as much as our discriminating Reason does not possess the power or authority to order "us to do that in which the good ' of the greatest number lies, the question whether or not one should do that which is beneficial to 'the greatest number ultimately remains unsolved, and again the whole matter remains in abeyance.


References And Context

  1. This ' sad-asad viveka-buddhi ' means ' conscience' in English; and the ' adhidaivata paksa ' is the Intuitionist School.
  2. This writer is James Martineau, and hs has pnblished this list in his work entitled " types of Ethical Theory" (Vol. II. p. 266; 3rd Ed.). Martineau calls his school the Idio-psychological School.But I include this school in the Intuitionist School.