What is man’s relationship with himself, and the society he comes from, – is it honorable? Is it dignified? If not, leave your scriptures aside and go to the trees and animals. They will teach you what is living with honor, dignity and grace.

Dr. Jernail Singh Anand

What is man’s relationship with himself, and his society, and beyond the society, with the cosmos which has not only created him but also sustains him in life? Man is born in comparative ignorance, and hastens into non-existence, which again is a dark patch of the Unknown. Life is a dimly lighted patch which connects two dark realms: pre-birth and post-death. But it is wrapped in illusory light, and keeps man in a state of illusion and confusion.

The point at issue here is: how a man should conduct himself in the society he is born in; how the society protects, nourishes and restricts him; where the honor of a man lies and how he should conduct himself with dignity. There are very few people who have transcended the limits of the social milieu which governed them, either they broke their barriers, or left if altogether to settle in other countries. How much a society offers, affects a man’s performance. And finally, are man and his society in a combative equation? In which, man, while trying to serve his selfish interests, destroys his environment? Or, if he has a sense of his elevated self, he exalts himself to a messianic role, and while he lifts himself up, he uplifts his milieu also. How many people have really pulled the society out of the ethics of selfishness in which people live, and slug it out in real life. The ethos of a society are made up of the best and the worst acting together to come to a levelling point. They believe in averaging everything. So, that there is stability of living, a status quo. Too much avante garde is always under suspicion. If you are talking of hundred years hence, you will be considered a sceptic, but if you talk of thousands of years to come, you will be considered a threat to society and crucified.

dignityRead: Dignity, respect, honor and being a man

Ideally speaking, an individual should conduct himself intelligently and with self-awareness in a society, return its kindnesses, and when he leaves the world, this society should feel his loss, and remember the values he lived for.  The focus here is: How to chisel the Self so that it is perfectly harmonized with the Non-self, which includes the society, and the cosmic family. The idea is to live in harmony with the creative forces of nature. Man’s dignity and his honor lie, not in accumulating wasteful wealth, but in leading a life of consciousness, dignity and honor.


If you look at the lives of great men, you will see they opted for a dignified death for the sake of their honour. Our freedom struggle is a long drawn out battle so that our people could live with honor and dignity. Honour and dignity, both are cherished words which inspire nations. If we try to understand the philosophy that underlies the idea of honor, it is a man performing the duties assigned to him diligently, and not compromising his self-respect. What men need to be taught through text books and scriptures, is available to nature’s objects without any special effort. It is in their blood.  Birds, vegetation, and animals know the essential requirements of their job, and they never deviate from the original prescription. Water is meant to satisfy your thirst. It will never go against its salt. Birds know what to do and when. Buffaloes and cows, even when they have lost their freedom, and remain tethered, do not forget to give milk in return for the fodder that is placed before them. This is the sense of dignity that they possess. Not to take anything which they have not earned. A dog is a highly honour-conscious species. It will never deviate or hesitate from barking, and saving his master whenever he sees some harm coming to him.

Ideally speaking, an individual should conduct himself intelligently and with self-awareness in a society, return its kindnesses, and when he leaves the world, this society should feel his loss, and remember the values he lived for. 

Now, compare these nature’s honorable and dignified creatures with men. Men are known to undercut their duties. They want more and more pay, and less and less work. They often are found absent from duty. And, they try to accumulate more wealth, than they need, and by means which are indecent. They are compromising their essential humanity. As a whole, men are a race which knows neither honor nor dignity. And you see the result, all those objects of nature which are performing their duties well, dogs, buffaloes, birds, waters – are at peace, and in a state of joy. And what this inordinate ambitiousness has brought to man is a state of anguish, unhappiness, joylessness, and finally, misery. We are a race which has developed patience for indignity, impropriety, immoral gratification and compromise.

The questions is who will tell us that all the problems that we as human beings encounter, are the result of our deviating from the path of duty. Let me invoke Lord Krishna and the theory of ‘Karma’. If our actions are amiss, we are bound to face their consequences. In a way, it can be said that all the misery, and joylessness that we face, is the result of that deviation from duty that has become second nature with mankind. Those who perform their duty well, lead this life honorably.  It is not difficult to see in your society, how many people are measuring up to this level of duty.

How to realize one’s duty. Who will tell you what is your duty. Arjuna had Lord Krishna with him. Who will tell ordinary people what they are required to do? Generally, it is the job of education to place the right type of awareness in the hearts of the people. But, our education is deficient, as it takes care of our bodily needs, and fails to connect us with the higher reaches of existential reality. It is important we get training in self-awareness, and act in an enlightened way, which might lead to self-realization. If your self contradicts with the society, you need lessons in self-sacrifice. And if you find too much engagement with your milieu, and fail to connect above, you need lessons in cosmic consciousness.  The fundamental lesson in cosmic consciousness is: that you are a part of nature, and act like an object of nature. Do not challenge nature which creates disharmony and discordance in your mind, which, then, reflects in human society.

Read: The Voyage of Ignoramity and the Celestial Conspiracy


Jernail Singh Anand- Sindh Courier-1Jernail Singh Anand is President of the International Academy of Ethics. He is author of 160 plus books in English poetry, fiction, non-fiction, philosophy and spirituality. The Academy of Arts and Philosophical Sciences, Bari (Italy) honored him with the prestigious position of Honorable Academic. He was awarded Charter of Morava, the great International Award in Creativity by Serbian Writers Association, Belgrade at the 60th Belgrade International Writers Meeting (Oct 2023), and his name was engraved on the Poets’ Rock in Serbia. Recently, he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy [Honoris Causa] by the University of Engg and Management, Jaipur. His most phenomenal book is Lustus: The Prince of Darkness [first epic of the Mahakaal Trilogy]. Email: anandjs55@yahoo.com

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