Forum October

Four Paths Human Beings Take - 1

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

Alchemy of Happiness

(see also Counsellor)

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There are four different paths people take in their lives:

1. Making Wealth:

One way is the way of material benefit. By profession, by occupation, business, or industry, a person wants to make money. Something is to be said both for and against this ideal. Against it may be said that while working for money we very often lose the right track, thought, and consideration.

We easily overlook the rights of others when we are working for money. And what is to be said for it is this: that it is after all those who possess wealth who can use wealth for the best purpose. All charitable institutions, hospitals, schools, colleges, are raised by charitable people who have given generously to such organizations. There is therefore nothing wrong in earning money and in devoting our time to it, as long as the motive is right and good.

2. Duty:

Another aspect is duty. We consider that we have a duty to our community, town, or country; we do some social work, we try to do good to others and considers it our duty. It may be that we have a duty towards our parents; we may be looking after our mother and sacrifice our life for her, or for our wife and children. There is great merit in this also.

No doubt what speaks against it is that very often such lives are spoiled, and they have no chance to do anything worth while in the world; but if it were not for the dutiful the world would be devoid of love and affection. If a wife had no sense of duty towards her husband, nor the neighbor towards his friend, then they would be living like creatures of the lower creation. It is the sense of duty that makes a human being greater than other beings; that is why we admire it. Heroes who give their lives for their country are not doing a small thing. It is something great when a person gives his life for the sake of duty. Besides duty is a great virtue.

At the time of the last war there was a young woman who was always displeased and in disagreement with her husband and she was always wanting a separation. When the call to arms came, her husband went to the battlefield, and he hoped that in his absence she would find someone else. As the war went on she thought that while her husband was fighting she would enrol as a nurse. And it happened that near the place where she was working, the husband was wounded; he lost his eyes, and she became his nurse. When she saw him in that condition she was astonished that it had so come about that she was to be his nurse. She had just received a letter containing a proposal of marriage, but she tore it up and changed her mind in an instant; she said, ‘Now that he has lost his eyes and that he is helpless, I shall remain his wife, I shall take care of him all his life.’

Duty, the sense of duty, is a great virtue; and when it is perfected and deepened in the heart of a human being it wakens him to a greater and higher consciousness. In that way people have accomplished noble things. The great heroes have lived a life of duty.

The sense of duty comes from idealism. The greater his ideal of duty the greater the human being. According to the Hindus the observers of duty are considered religious, because Dharma, the Sanskrit word which means religion, also means duty.

The moment a person becomes straightforward

a straight way opens before him.


Gayan - Boulas

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