The Moral Order in the Cosmos
There is a moral order subsisting in the Universe. Everything is governed by certain inviolable laws. Each and every bit in creation, every species and being is bound by certain moral obligations and duties. Everything and everyone has a specific purpose in the divine scheme of creation. When everything abides in its sphere of Dharma and when every being conducts itself/ himself/ herself, in conformity with the codes of Dharma pertaining to itself/ himself/ herself without violating them, then alone will order, peace and harmony prevail in the Cosmos, and the divine scheme and purpose of the creation will find its goal and fulfilment.
It is said that God has created man in His own image, which implies that man is endowed with all divine attributes to some except at least. In our human conception and comprehension, what can be God except that He is all perfection and embodiment of all virtues? He is indeed the abode of all auspicious attributes and qualities. Man, having been created in the image of God, has all the divine attributes endowed within him, at least to some extent – at least the seeds would be there in his bosom. In order that these seeds will sprout and blossom forth to their fullness and that man will be able to live the world manifesting these divine excellences and virtues, God has gifted him the necessary facilities – especially the faculty of intelligence and the power of discrimination. Man can discriminate between what is right and what is wrong; he can introspect, exercise restraint in his conduct, and can even cultivate and raise his consciousness to higher peaks, culminating in Total Awareness, the Total perspective of the Truth and Reality. His evolution is far higher even at birth than that of any other species in the creation. Animals are not self-conscious; they are ruled by instinct and impulses and behave accordingly. Man is different. He is gifted with intelligence. He can guide his conduct in the light of reason; he can tame his lower impulses; he can outgrow his nature; and he can outshine himself. He has all the potentialities within himself to be able to even transcend human nature and raise himself to divine perfection. Animal to man, and man to the Divine / God – that is the scheme of evolution.
To raise ourselves to divine state of perfection may be too long and drawn-out a process, perhaps involving many many births, but it is certainly within every one of us, to live conforming to and abiding by the elementary human values of life at least, worthy of a human being. If we are not able to restrain ourselves but give a free play to the animal instincts and impulses which have shadowed us from our former lives and are still lurking in our nature, and if we make no effort to regenerate and refine our nature, and discipline and regulate our conduct, we are certainly not worthy of the human status; we indeed forego and lose all claim to be reckoned as human beings, although we have climbed up to the higher rungs on the ladder of evolution.
To guide us in our conduct, our Sastras have laid down codes of moral values or ethical codes – the Do’s and Don’ts. These are called Dharma Sastras. If we abide by these codes without transgressing them, then we will prove worthy of the human status. Then only we will be in tune and accord with the moral forces governing the Cosmos and the harmony in God’s Creation.
The Five Cardinal principles or Values of life for man
All the codes of ethics, viz., the Dharma Sastras, could be put in concisely, so to say, in nutshell, and be formulated into five principles or values of life. They are,
All the ethical and moral laws are encompassed by and circumscribed within these Five Principles. These are indeed the foundation pillars of all the religions of the world; these are indeed the pillars of the Mission of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the way of life that all of us should adopt. Let us try to understand these, so that we can fully imbibe them, cultivate them and put them into practice in our day-to-day living, thus enabling ourselves.
[Source: The Path Divine, Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas, Dharmakshetra, Mumbai]