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A Culture of Honour

By Karmayogi

The Kshatriya lives for honour and dies for it. One such kshatriya maistry worked under a manager in an estate owned by a rich man. The manager and the owner differed. Contrary to previous agreement, the owner wanted to take over the management himself. Without insisting on his own right, the manager agreed to transfer the management. The maistry was a towering personality in the context. The owner felt that the maistry would work under him, thus making things easy. He proposed to the maistry to switch over to him. ‘‘Wherever the manager is, there I am,'' declared the maistry. The loyalty of the kshatriya maistry made the owner change his mind towards the manager and he allowed the previous arrangement to continue.

Japan is a country of honour. The warrior caste of Samurai is known for upholding the sacred tradition of honour. A samurai soldier was killed on the battlefield by an enemy. The soldier's brother-in-law was the Captain of the regiment. The widow of the dead soldier found herself in charge of nursing the murderer of her husband by a strange irony of life. She longed for revenge and her whole nervous system was hot with vengeance. Her brother, the Captain, had no consolation to offer his widowed sister, nor any argument for her doing it. He was a Samurai. He lived by honour and for honour. Honour was his life breath. ‘‘We are here to do our duty. Your duty is to serve those put in your charge by nursing. That is the code of honour of a Samurai,'' was all that he could bring himself to utter. By a heroic inner struggle, the widow rose to the occasion and upheld the sacred tradition of the warrior caste.

Japan is known for its beautiful surroundings and the loyalty citizens offer the Emperor. Till recently, a Japanese worker entering a company never considered changing the company, as his primary duty was to be loyal to the company. Even now, the tradition is largely upheld. A ship developed a leak and the passengers were hastily evacuated from the ship to safety. The crowd of passengers did not panic, but moved in an orderly fashion in spite of the imminent danger. In the crowd was a blind man. He groped about. It was a sight to see the entire crowd exhibiting infinite patience to let the blind passenger go first at his own pace. For the Japanese, stampede is unknown. To them, their honour is more valuable than life. Honour is a spiritual value and values are spiritual skills. No wonder recently they rose from being a war-ravaged nation to become the second largest economy in the world.
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