The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: What is the definition of ‘an honorable man’? Is being honorable good or bad?
Acharya Prashant (AP): सम्मान=सम्यक्+मान
सम्यक मानने का अर्थ है समझना ।
तो जो समझ सकता है, वो सम्माननीय। जो नासमझ है उसका कोई सम्मान नहीं।
तुम भी यदि किसी का सम्मान करना चाहो, तो उसे समझो। यही सम्मान है।
सम्मान और आदर में बहुत अंतर है। आदर आचरण की बात है — बाहरी बाहरी। जैसे किसी को सलाम कर लिया या पाँव छू लिए। सम्मान गहरी बात है- वास्तव में जानना ।
Till the desire to gain respect/honor from others is there, one cannot be honorable.
The honorable one is the one who really understands(समझ=सम्यक मान)the games of ego, the illusions of the world, and has surrendered the ego to the Truth.
You and I are unnecessary divisions. Your essence is the same as my essence. My essence is not at all mine. We are all one, just playing a game of many-ness which is alright and fun, till the game remains just a game.
Let’s not take You and I, Me and the world, etc. seriously.
Question: Sir honorable doesn’t mean this — a person is a man of his words, never cheats anyone and all the people around him respect him for this, that for him his duty is a foremost thing, for which he can even sacrifice his love and family?
AP: Look at these words:
Fairness (not cheating).
Are these words related to one’s conduct and behavior, or are they really and deeply related to one’s understanding?
Take duty for example. What is duty? Is it dharma or kartavya?
– Kartavya is just a fixed set of dead rules.
– But dharma is dynamic. Dharma needs understanding.
Real duty comes from understanding. Real duty changes from moment to moment and no one can dictate it, or predict it in advance. Understand, then action will happen as per the understanding. This is duty. This is honor.
जिसने समझने में मदद की, वो समझदार ।
जो शांत हो समझ गया, वो भी समझदार ।
अतः दोनों सम्माननीय, honorable.
To be a man of his words, to keep promises, to do his duty, one must first live in understanding.
To do actions like duty etc. without really knowing their meaning or understanding their significance is just foolishness.