The Desired and the Good

T. N. Madan

in The Hindu Householder

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780198069409
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080038 | DOI:
The Desired and the Good

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This chapter continues the discussion on the fragility of moral choices. A heightened moral awareness is the ideal, but the road to it is seen by ordinary people to lie in the consistent effort of self-improvement through attention to the proper (culturally defined) conduct of life. This is the process of maturation discussed in Chapter 1 in the context of the notion of the good life as Kashmiri Brahmans entertain it. While the pitfalls of making moral choices in a spirit of or hubris are recognized in Hindu culture, the importance of bringing what one desires under the control of what one ought to prefer is also stressed. In fact, the two perspectives are seen as mutually reinforcing rather than as contradictory. The moral effort involved is great, but failing to make the endeavour causes suffering. The theme of suffering, and of preparation for death, which are of central importance in Indian (Buddhist, Jaina, Hindu) worldviews, are introduced.

Keywords: moral choices; moral awareness; self-improvement; Hindu culture; suffering; death; views of Buddhists, Jains, and Hindus

Chapter.  7087 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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