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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss aspects of Hindu ethics which are relevant to modern administration. Give examples to justify your answer. (150 words)

    24 Nov, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start your answer by briefly introducing Hindu ethics.
    • Discuss some examples of Hindu aspects that are relevant to modern ethics.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    • Hindu ethics date back to Vedic period and have gone through a long period of evolution. They come from many sources, such as Vedas, Upanishads, Dharmasastras, Puranas, epics and itihasas.


    • Some examples of Hindu aspects that are relevant to modern ethics are as follows:
      • Role towards Duty:
        • Bhagwat Gita prescribes that man should perform his duty without any desire for its fruits, without attachment and aversion, and without getting distracted by selfish and base motives.
        • Duties are performed for the welfare of humanity and for the good of all living creatures.
        • In achieving the highest good, man realises the vision of God. Gita’s message is that the whole basis of a man’s life lies in action. There can be no life without action. It advocates neither quietism nor withdrawal from life. However, the action has to be based on one’s duty.
      • Division of work according to their expertise:
        • Rigveda associate a man’s station in life, according to his Varna and psychological attributes. In other words, a warrior will have a mindset which differs from that of a Brahmin and a Vaishya. It may seem strange that the mental characteristics or psychological nature of an individual should be linked to his Varna or profession.
        • As we know from experience that one’s profession does leave a mark on one’s character. We may think of psychological types in modern terms. Thus, politicians and businessmen have different characteristics.
      • Actions without craving (Nishkam Karma):
        • The duties which the Gita enjoins are to be performed without any craving for the expected results. A sense of duty should motivate men to action.
          • Hence, they have to perform their actions in a calm and composed manner without getting anxious about the likely outcomes. Concern about the probable results of action, their success or failure, leads to bondage.
      • Managing emotions:
        • The Gita also lists the desirable positive emotions and the undesirable negative emotions. We can also regard them as generalized lists of human virtues and vices. We outline them below.
          • While doing our duties, we should ensure that our mind remains serene and composed.
          • We should not be obsessed with anxieties about success or failure, happiness or misery, victory or defeat, profit or loss and glory or humiliation which our actions may bring about.
      • As per Ethics mentioned in Yog Sutras, the philosophy called Satya which means truthfulness, word and thought in conformity with the facts, honesty.
        • Further, Asteya could be infer as non-stealing, non-coveting, non-entering into debt.


    According to Hindu ethics of Bhagvat Gita helps in promoting human welfare and is relevant in modern administration as an object which civil servants have to keep in view while performing their duties.

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