Sunday, February 28, 2010

The difficulty of being good

I am currently reading " The Difficulty of being Good" by Gurucharan Das. Nice read, haven't yet finished it , would post a review after finishing it, but the book does asks a lot of questions. It makes you retrospect a lot. The recurrent question in the book as the title suggests is " Why does a person decide to be good?" Why is the act of Yudishtra in Mahabharta different from that of Duryodhna. What is a man's duty? What is karma?

In its endeavor to answer these questions, the book brings out various arguments. It talks about dharma. Man's duty to his society, family and self. That the duty of a student is to study, that's his dharma . The duty of a Warrior is to fight when he is called upon to, not to question the justness of war or to show remorse to the enemy ( Arjuna's delimma before the epic battle). Why does a Yudishtra decide to spend 13 years in exile as a result of the game which he knew was won by his opponents through deceit. Why does a Karna not go with his blood brothers in the fight? Why does Duryodhna act the way he is?

And while reading the book I asked myself does a person ask himself all these questions before he acts the way he does? In that moment, when one is faced with 2 choices- either to be good or to act as a complete buffon , one doesnot ask these questions. One acts like a pre programmed robot. That moment is always like a flash, the fastest seconds. You don't think that time, something else takes over you and it guides you. That decision which you make without thinking, in that nano second is the one which decides how your life proceed. I have answered this question about what happens in that one moment, but the bigger question to which I always seek answer to is - But what guides the power which takes over to help us take that decision in that Nanosecond?

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