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The Hindu HouseholderThe T.N. Madan Omnibus$
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T. N. Madan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198069409

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069409.001.0001

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The Desired and the Good

The Desired and the Good

(p.101B) 4 The Desired and the Good
The Hindu Householder

T. N. Madan

Oxford University Press

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

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