Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
The basic principle of morality is, do not do that which you would not want someone else to do to you. If you don’t want your husband to flirt with someone, you should not flirt with someone else, that is it!
There was a boy who was going around with a married women, and he didn’t feel it was wrong. He said, ‘We did it on mutual consent’.
I asked him, ‘If someone goes around with your brother’s wife, what will you do?’ He said, ‘I will break his leg’.
When you want her to be loyal to your brother, then how can you do it to someone else?
I said, ‘If there is a future in the relationship, it is a different thing. But, there is no future. Then why should you break someone else’s family?’
It struck a chord in him and he realized what he was doing was wrong. That is morality.
What you do not wish to be done to you, or to your near and dear ones, you should not do to someone else. If you don’t want someone else to misbehave with your daughter or son then how can you do that with someone else’s daughter or son. If you don’t want someone else to be drunk while driving, then how can you drive when you are drunk?
If you don’t want someone else to rob you of your wealth, or cheat you, then you should not cheat someone else.
Suppose someone forges your signature, you cannot think, ‘Oh we are spiritual, all this is mundane. So what if someone has forged my signature? It is all maya anyway’. If someone puts his hand in your pocket, would you say, ‘Oh, we are all one. Why should one have this ego?’ No. Then this is misuse of knowledge.
If knowledge is used to shield immoral activity then that is misuse of knowledge. Morality means not doing something which you don’t wish to be done to yourself.
If someone has done something wrong, don’t hold on to it. If a mistake has happened through you, like you forgive others their mistakes, you should also forgive yourself. Forgive yourself and forgive others; don’t chew on other’s mistakes or your own mistakes.
When you chew on the mistakes of others, you get angry. When you chew on your own mistake, you will feel guilty and you will drown in your own depression. Both are no good. Spirituality takes you away from all this.
As it is said, to err is human. You make mistakes, but don’t sit and chew on your own mistake or someone else’s mistake. If someone has made a mistake you should forgive and forget. If you have made a mistake, you should ask for forgiveness and move on. Don’t get stuck; feel free!
If you are upset with yourself, you can get angry with others very easily. And if you’re angry with others, you will get upset with yourself. Both these positions are not favorable.