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Word of Honour

Thursday March 31 2005 09:44 IST

By Karmayogi

Honour is the highest spiritual virtue of the physical bodys moved emotion. It contains an essential element of the Truth that is Spiritual Strength.

At all times, in all climes it gets the better of others, other circumstances, however mighty they are. Tyson was a lieutenant in the US Army fighting in Vietnam. His men were devoted to him.

He was equally devoted to them. It was a bondage born out of common human heroism of men who risk death all the time.

Such a devotion is a necessary working arrangement to successfully complete every mission assigned to them.

It is, in essence, more than that. It is truth of life that LIVES the spiritual formula that all is in each and each is in all.

What the Upanishadic Rishis saw in their spiritual realisation, these humble men had made a way of life.

This ideal never figured in their conversation, but it was all the time felt by all of them in their very depths. It was their way of life.

Once, when the exhausted and frightened company was approaching a village Red Cross hospital, one of their men received a bullet wound from the Viet Cong.

They rushed into the hospital and put him on the operation table, removing another wounded soldier who was there.

Tyson demanded that the doctor operate on his man at once. The doctor protested that there were others already needing immediate operations.

Cane, a solder under Tyson, in his fury shot that doctor dead and turned his gun on another doctor who joined the protest.

Tyson, pointing his gun at Cane, shouted that he should stop. Finding Cane unrelenting, Tyson killed him. His men then knocked Tyson down, killed everyone in the hospital and set fire to it.

Thirty years later, one of Tysons company, a doctor Brandt who had witnessed the event and who had a serious mortal grudge against Tyson, found that he was in his last months of life due to cancer. He told the true story to the press.

Tyson and his men had stood outside the burning hospital and vowed to secrecy. Now Tyson was summoned for an inquiry. He submitted to be court-marshalled if his men could enjoy immunity.

The trial brought out all the true details, but Tyson kept his silence. At the end of the trial, the Judge demanded that Tyson speak. Standing up, he found words issuing out of his mouth as emotions and not as sounds bearing words.

He said, My men were heroes. They performed many acts of heroism and sacrifice. The fatal wound of one of their men turned their rage into madness and it led to this catastrophe.

That does not alter their true inner worth nor our vow of secrecy. No one who has not undergone such an experience can ever comprehend it.

The court let off Tyson alive. Soldiers indulging in massacres is an unpardonable crime. They did so under extreme circumstances. Their essential human value was greater than their crimes of even this magnitude. Life protected them.

The Spirit in Life emerged through Tysons loyalty to his men who had attacked him in the hospital. Such an event that lets the Spirit emerge in life offers us what is called Spiritual Life.

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