036 – Doing Good

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit

Being Good at all times

There is wide-spread impression among people that, good things can be done during the evening of their life-time, and during one’s active years, they have to pursue a career of their choice.

These impressions are based on the following assumptions:

  • Career Pursuit and dharmic actions are different from each other or even bi-polar opposites.
  • One has to allocate some time to perform spiritual activities and this is impossible during the present 24 x 7 life-style.
  • A minimum life-span of over 60 years.

But, if one were to deconstruct these assumptions, all of them, would  fail the test of reasoning.

Allotting time for a two minute prayer, taking care of one’s parents, respect for the learned, small acts of charity, kind words for fellow human beings are simple actions, which an individual can practice in  day to day life. Practice of these on a regular basis, sub-consciously bring about subtle and positive variations in one’s approach to career oriented activities. Hence, the myth, that career and dharmic actions are mutually exclusive or time-consuming is cleared.

The popular definition of an individual’s life cycle is as follows:

  • Birth
  • Childhood days
  • Primary, Secondary and Higher education
  • Pursuit of career opportunities
  • Marriage
  • Childbirth
  • Growth in career resulting in enhanced financial and social status
  • Retirement and
  • Death

It can be observed in day to day life, that not all individuals complete the above life cycle. One’s death in-between is termed as UNTIMELY. Similarly a deficiency in any one of the above, is termed UNFORTUNATE.  A soul’s entry and exit from a human body is determined by its actions and inactions in its previous births. Once the purpose of this birth is finished, it exits the body along with its COMPANION  (which carries forward the baggage of good and bad deeds done during the current birth) and takes the next body and dumps the brought forward baggage, onto it. The timing of entry and exit of a soul, into a body, cannot be controlled by the concept of TIME, as defined by us.  At best, one can pray for the complete life-cycle and nothing more.  Additionally, one is not sure, if an individual would be born again as a human being in his next birth and even if he did, would have similar opportunities enjoyed in the current birth.

With so many imponderables surrounding one’s birth and death,  it is imperative for everybody to do whatever good possible, on a continuous basis and not wait for the evening of their life, which may or may not come.

Thiruvalluvar in his Couplet 36 elaborates on the same:. Let us not postpone doing righteous deeds to later years. It is better, they are performed, then and there, as they are the immortal companion to the soul as and when, it departs the body.

 அன்றுஅறிவாம் என்னாது அறம்செய்க மற்றுஅது 
பொன்றுங்கால் பொன்றாத் துணை

Andru-arivaam Ennaadhu Aram-seyga Matru-adhu
Pondrunkaal Pondraath Thunai

பரிமேலழகர் உரை: 

அன்று அறிவாம் என்னாது அறம் செய்க – ‘யாம் இது பொழுது இளையம் ஆகலின் இறக்கும் ஞான்று செய்தும்’ எனக் கருதாது அறத்தினை நாள்தோறும் செய்க; அது பொன்றுங்கால் பொன்றாத் துணை – அவ்வாறு செய்த அறம் உடம்பினின்றும் உயிர் போங்காலத்து அதற்கு அழிவு இல்லாத துணை ஆம். (‘மற்று’ என்பது அசைநிலை. ‘பொன்றாத் துணை’ என்றார், செய்த உடம்பு அழியவும் உயிரோடு ஒன்றி ஏனை உடம்பினுட் சேறலின். இதனான் இவ்வியல்பிற்றாய அறத்தினை நிலையாத யாக்கை நிலையின பொழுதே செய்க என்பது கூறப்பட்டது.

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

பஸ்²சாதி³தி மதிம் த்யக்த்வா பா³ல்யே த⁴ர்மம் விதன்வத: |
ஸத⁴ர்மோ ம்ருத்யுகாலே(அ)பி ஸ்தி²த: ஸாஹ்யகரோ ப⁴வேத் ||