Sociable wisdom manages to see such as: Some relations are derelict; some are teeming with ulterior motives; worth is judged by one's outward positions, or even the ideas that were put "into infirm heads". From these and many other influences hard-hearted ones profit, and cling to them.
Ramakrishna once said,
"The cow cries "Hamba!", which means 'I". That's why it suffers so much. It is yoked to the plough and made to work in rain and sun. Then it may be killed by the butcher. From its hide shoes are made, and also drums, which are mercilessly beaten. Still it does not escape suffering. At last strings are made out of its entrails for the bows used in carding cotton. Then it no longer says, "Hamba! Hamba!" "I! I!" but "Tuhu! Tuhu!", "You! You!"
Only then are its troubles over. [It is dead!]
Egotism is the cause of all suffering, says Ramakrishna (1974, tale 50). For one thing, it is not true. But the sounds a cow makes, is not awalys "hamba". The cow says "Moo" too, and much else - such as mu mu, boeh, moo, meuh, moo-mo, bu, to name some. See "The cow says "Moo'".
The art of living well is seen in filtering out harmful contacts, maximising good ones, and go for healthy endeavours on an "even keel".
Healthy egohood is an integral, deep part of man's mind as he was meant to be - normal and not to be dispensed with. Selfishness is different. But even selfishness steered well may pay for a long time, depending on how enlightened you are. It is possible to do good out of selfish concern, and benefit from doing good. The idea of laying up heavenly merits - akin to "good karma" is rooted likewise.
The Transactional Analysis (TA) of Dr. Eric Berne counteracts much badness if set into system, and there is documentation that it can do so (See for example Jongeward 1976).
Don't be run over by claims
Some misled guys talk down on 'egotism'. What is meant by it may be blurred or unclear, though, and breed confusion. Confusion often incapacitates. What seems wrong is too much selfishness in adults. But in a quite normal development, immature ego-cravings drop off in some. Selfishness is natural in children, and at times dear. "Not too little, not too much, aligned with one's stage in life, or conditions" could be the preferrable attitude. The same goes for bland assertiveness. Much depends on blandness.
Also, a sort of well-proportioned "middling fare" could serve many.
More than twenty collections of Dharma Sutras have been identified, although the most important are attributed to sages and writers Apastamba, Gautama, Vasishtha, Baudhayana, and the god Vishnu. These Dharma Sutras were an attempt to provide an ordered way of life by delineating each person's rights and duties depending on his or her social status (varna) and stage of life (ashrama). These texts were the basis for the later Dharma Shastras (treatises on religious duty), which expanded the sutras, put them into verse, and were intended to serve as an actual code of law for the members of the community. (Lochtefield 2002, 1:192)
This shows that in a human life there is far more to consider than dharma - one has to attain a good dharma ("way of life"): it is one that fits oneself or one's kind: It is one that is not improper generally or specifically. It may not be an easy task to get to a non-harmful way of living, but why not go for it?
Stories and alleged wisdom of such as Indian "saints" seek to fix conformity to standards and ideals and notions, but not all of them make fit for living after all.
Hinduism covers much ground. Some of its goodies may be hard to come by, if at all, and besides, appearances may deceive. It could also pay to stay at home and not steer into merely alleged Hindu wisdom. Who knows?
Some balanced, non-proselyting survey first should work well. And it's good to have built up a general frame of understanding before being subjected to outright propaganda. Moral lessons matter. Instead of advocating adaptations fit for guru servility and "giving up the world", we could focus on deep-going instructions for all-round thriving. Getting educated so as to make a living helps many.
Being rooted in the better titbits of your own culture may function all right too, depending on that culture and your surroundings.
Among orthodox Hindus, the Vedas have top authority, religiously speaking. Eating meat is not forbidden in the Vedas. Many gurus say no to eating meat. There were three divisions of society then; the fourth and pretty much renouncing state came later. Many guru monks advocate that fourth stage anyway . . . In fact, they speak highly of old Hindu books they do not all follow, and do not act according to these basics.
Results of saying one thing and doing another may ibe confusion and deterioriation, even insanity. For example, in many handed-over traditions of yoga there is much talk of sacrifice and renouncing - of giving up, giving way - to the end that others profit in this world. It may become an insipid means of doing long-range harm.
A low life may be lifted up into being a sect-driveller, however. One may count in such points too.
Jongeward, Dorothy, et al. 1976 Everybody Wins: Transactional Analysis in Management. Rev. ed. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley.
Klostermaier, Klaus K. 2008. Hinduism: A Beginner's Guide. Oxford: Oneworld Publications.
Lochtefeld, James G. 2002. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism. 2 Vols. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.
Ramakrishna. 1974. Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna. 5th ed. Madras: Ramakrishna Math.
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