We can distinguish biological Ethics, Social Ethics and Personality Ethics.
There are certain good and bad practices, which affect our biological survival. Temperance and intemperance in food and sex concern our bodily well being. We wish to keep to temperance in food and sex because we are afraid of ill health and disease. However, physical health is not the only moral ground for temperance in food and sex. Intemperance may involve expense, which the person may not be able to afford. He may find that this means for him to take bribes to satisfy his intemperance. Bribe taking may be repungnant to him. If so, his temperance has social ground for its observance. He is raised from biological ethics to social ethics. Again, he may have further reason for temperance. He may feel intemperance as undignified to his personality ideal. He may feel it slavery to physical craving and this may offend his sel-respect. He may feel he is being treated as a mere means by his appetite. Here he is raised to personality ethics. The same thing is true for intemperance in sex.The reason for avoiding sex-intemperance may be that a person fears ill-health or disease, or he may feel that it involves unjust demand on one’s married partner or still better, he may feel it as offence to his conception as a human being.
When we wish to avoid over-indulgence in food , drinks, and sex for reason of biological survival or economy, we are at the level of biological ethics. This is the first elementary ethics, which touches all of us most, for we all wish to live. Again, the evil consequences are so patent to everyone of us. Dev Samaj has an atmosphere which helps one to give up drinking, smoking, meat-eating, adultery. This aspect of Dev Samaj service is appreciated. So many parents send their children to Dev Samaj institutions and Dev Samaj meetings to safe-guard them from developing habits of drinks and adultery. But they would not tolerate their children taking liking to Dev Samaj and becoming Dev Samajists. This is a case of ethical exploitation. The society is used for non-religious purposes and when the purpose is served they forget all about it.
There are others who seek Dev Samaj for social ethics. Parents want good children –children who will respect them, obey them and serve them. Husbands want good wives and vice-versa. A businessman wants honest servants. Dev Samaj atmosphere has specialized in social ethics. Its spiritual excercise draw attention to the principles of healthy human relationships. It helps individuals to become honest, industrious and chaste. It develops them into good sons, good brothers, good sisters, good neighbours, good servants, good masters and good citizens. They are cases where businessmen have insisted on their servants to attend Dev Samaj meetings, knowing that this will help to keep their servants honest, industrious and loyal to them. There are parents who don’t attend meetings themselves but send their children to the meetings. These are all cases of exploitation, for the society is taken as a means to an end, the end is ethical and not religious.
Some seek Dev Samaj for personality ethics. They feel some of their passion as poison in their personality. Again, they seek for a social medium through which they can be altruistic. They join Dev Samaj, for it offers them opportunities for personality ethics. They wish for an environment to keep watch over their evils of low-loves and low-hates and medium to be altruistic.This is also a case of exploitation. For Dev Samaj is not accepted for itself but as a means to an end. How?
Religion and ethics are not the same thing, though they are so intrinsically related. A good man of transparent virtues may not be religious at all. For a good man of transparent virtues may not be religious at all. For a good man to be religious he must have faith and love in a being, which is accepted as the highest. Religious life is not a life of love for a great cause or even the greatest cause. It must involve as essential to it, faith and love for some being –human or superhuman. I am defining religion in a manner to make room for classifying it into good and bad religions. I am defining it in evolutionary terms, so that there is sense of speaking of history of religion. Religious life implies as its in-expungable element faith and love for somebeing. It may be a stone, it may be a tree, it may be a statue, or a great man, God or the Devatma. there are false religions, which advocate faith and love of a being who is either a myth or unworthy in his character.
Let us be clear as to what is religious life-it is faith in and love of the guru and it is striving for altruistic life. When both of these things are present in an individual, he is religious. It is round these two ends of the pole that religious life revolves. The first is peculiar to religion. It is its differentia. Even if we raised to personality ethics, i.e.even if for argument’s sake, we are free from low-loves and low-hates and have developed altruistic loves, we are not religious. It is when we show faith in or love of bhagwan Devatma that we become religious. We can imagine for the sake of argument, that development of psychological techniques may one day help the society to have mature individuals free from passions and lusts and full of social virtues. Even then psychology would not have dispensed with religion. The greatest contribution of a religion is its leader who has in him worth which is worthy of faith and love.
Is it the highest development of a personality, to be good,i.e. to be free from low-loves and hates and to be imbued with and immersed inaltruistic life? The answer is in the negative. The highest value for man is inloves and the highest love is the love of the Divine Being. In the love of the highest divine being, man touches the peak point of his destiny. Hence, it has been the soundest instinct of mankind and the natural culmination of all highest philosophy, to place highest value by love of the divine being. There have been errors as to the defining characterstics of the divine being, but there has been no error in the intuition of mankind to give the highest value to faith and love of the divine being.
So great and sublime is the experience of faith and love of the divine being that morality is made secondary to it. We ought to be free from low-loves and low-hates and cultivate altruistic feelings, for this helps us to keep out of the harm’s way to the humblest existence in the four kingdoms and makes us to be serviceable to all existences in hundreds of ways. But this is not all. The crown or glory of such moksha and Vikas, is that it opens the way for being in love with the master, to be Anuraagi Shishya.
If we understand that differentia of religion is love of the divine being, it will make it crystal clear why Devatma put faith in Him as the first condition of membership of Dev Samaj. This condition is intrinsic to religious life. A man may be free from all the eight gross sins. He is not religious. He may be altruistic. He is not religious. He may have gratitude for Devatma. he is not religious. This point can be made clear by the historical event of the revision of conditions of membership of Dev Samaj. These were disciple whose gratitude for the master was exceptional –they had rendered historic services to him. Yet these reverential abd greatful disciples failed to sign the new membershipform. The new form demanded faith in Devatma. This they felt wanting in them. This showed their life lacked the differentia of religious life –faith in and love for the Devatma. They had joined religion without being religious. They had missed the bus in life.