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Good and the bad

india Updated: Mar 29, 2011 00:00 IST
PP Wangchuk

We all want to be good persons and yet are far from being so. Why? Because we don't reflect and look within. But the question is who is a good person? I tried to define it but had to reject many as they were either too philosophical or too complex.

After a lot of struggle, I thought I would settle on the most simple," One who cultivates goodness and abandons the bad and the wrong."

Just as doing a wrong or a bad act is the easiest task, doing good is that much difficult. No doubt, goodness is in human nature but most of us avoid or fail to exploit it.

But we are so eager to exploit the uglier nature of our beings. Envy, jealousy and a feeling of "being wronged" envelop us most freely; and we go mad and lose our sense of balance. That makes one worse than an animal.

The Buddha dhamma, as enunciated in the holy 'Tripitaka', has a lovely story related to the Buddha that explains the good and the bad. The young Rahul is asked, "What is a mirror for?" Rahul's reply," To reflect." And he is told, "In just the same way you must reflect again and again before doing any act, in speaking any word and in thinking any thought. When you want to do anything, you must reflect whether it would conduce to your or others' harm or both and if it is so then it is a wrong act. But if the reflection assures you there is no harm but good in it, then you may do it."

And, good deeds are not done for show-off. Great is the person who does a lot of good and makes no noise about it. Didn't Lamb have this to say, "The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident." Good action is like diamond that reveals its brightness anyway. One does not have to make it known.

Yes, there is a diamond within you. Make it shine and be in bliss.