The one who is ashamed of the errors committed by him respects himself. The Sanskrit word for being ashamed of one’s errors (remorse) is Hreeha (ह्रीः). The absence of desire to be respected by others (not being excessively concerned about one’s dignity) in Sanskrit is called Natimanita (नातिमानिता).
Being respectable and being self-respecting may be two different things. Often they contradict each other in modern times, because, this world values material possessions, social status, power, wealth, success and things of such kind. It is a different matter that the importance of things in the eyes of the man keeps on changing according to place, time and circumstances. Sometimes they value one’s mental or intellectual power, sometimes they value physical (bodily) power and other times they value money power. If we think about it, we find that the man respects (or, is he afraid of?) the things that can harm him. The man’s prime concern is his physical security. Does this mean that the man enjoys his timidity, or at least he finds it much safer to live and die like a timid living being?
No, this does not appear to be true. The man values his self-respect. The only thing he hates is finding it more difficult to survive than others and also feeling as an inferior being in his surroundings. Those who want to live more comfortably than the others at the cost of the others ensure that others find it difficult to live a decent life and surrender their self respect for their survival. The characters of devils as depicted in stories, mythological or otherwise, are not mere imaginations; in fact, they are true representations of the devilish game plan. The devil knows that the one, who loses his self respect, looks for it from elsewhere outside him. And, if he is deprived of even that he loses everything.
Being ashamed of one’s mistakes and making all efforts to rectify them; and being humble enough not to be emotionally hurt by the disrespect of those who have no self-respect are the two qualities that make the man free spiritually as well as in one’s worldly affairs. The one who is careful about his thoughts, his conduct and his words, finds that things in the path of spirituality are not as difficult as they have been made out to be.
PROMOD KUMAR SHARMA
[The writer of this blog is also the author of “Mahatma A Scientist of the Intuitively Obvious” and “In Search of Our Wonderful Words”.]