Volume 7 - Issue 10
OCTOBEr 2009
Other Articles

MULTI-FAITH QUIZ
ON Money and MORALITY

Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

If one were to study the teachings of various prophets and incarnations of the Divine over centuries, one principle that comes out forcefully in all religions and beliefs is the aspect of moral living. In fact, this is the central purpose of every divine descent - to help man live like a man and then inculcate in him the aspiration to become one with God so that he can experience permanent happiness. Though leading a moral life is the chief message of every religion, somehow that is what is missing the most in modern society today. In fact, all the problems of the current age can be traced to this major flaw in today’s humanity.

In the below quiz we have culled out glimpses of this aspect of living a life based on moral principles as advocated by different divine personalities over the ages. We hope this quiz not only enlightens you but also inspires you to reflect and if needed realign your life to timeless values that can confer on us perennial peace.


1. Jesus once said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19.21-24)

The Bible also preaches: "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Mathew 6:33)

During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1987, Swami narrated a story that showed how Jesus taught the most moral way to achieve peace of mind to a wealthy man: “Jesus set no value on wealth or position. Once, a rich man came to Jesus when He was in the house of Martha and Mary. The rich man told Jesus that despite all his wealth and possessions he was not having peace of mind. He was harassed by many worries and appealed to Jesus to show him a way out.”

According to Swami, what alternate kind of wealth did Jesus ask the rich, yet worried, man to accumulate?

Wealth of high morals and values
Wealth of healthy body, mind and soul
Wealth of God’s Grace
Wealth of sacrificial activities

 

2. The morality of Sikhism is based on the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of man. Ethics and morality are the basis of Sikhism. Evolution of the spirit is not possible without righteous conduct and adherance to social morality.

Guru Nanak emphasizes this point: "Greater than Truth is Truthful living." (A.G. p62)
The Sikh follows personal ethics like telling the truth, gentle speech, fair play, service, humility and tolerance. Morality cannot be an end in itself. It is an aid to the evolution of spiritual life. Sin is a definite obstacle on the path of Divinity.

What method of finding contentment do the Sikh scriptures prescribe for money-lovers?

By focusing on acquisition of spiritual knowledge instead
By chanelling energy into sharing one’s talents for free
By setting up trusts
Through the love of chanting the Lord’s name

 

3. Judaism is based on the belief that man is made in God's image. God and morality are inextricably connected, and the point of leading a moral life is to honor and worship God.

The Torah, which is the most holy of the sacred writings in Judaism, is permeated with moral principles, and reminds the Jews that the ultimate source for all decency and morality is God and it can’t exist in His absence. Jews believe that if man follows the direction of the laws of the Torah he will reach the highest level of morality.

The Talmud is the most significant collection of the Jewish oral tradition form of interpreting the Torah, which views giving to the poor as the highest form of moral acts. Thus, charity is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.

According to the Talmud, what is considered as highly moral, and the most meritorious form of giving?

Giving when neither party knows the other's identity
Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant
Giving before being asked
Giving when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient doesn't know your identity

 

4. In Islam, all wealth is the possession of Allah with which humans are entrusted. It is a responsibility; it must be earned through permissible means and spent in permissible ways, such as spending on one's self and those for whom he is responsible for, without extravagance or waste and it must be spent in good ways.
Muslims believe that Allah says: “Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves." (2:177)

What do believers of Islam think happens when they live a sincere and moral life?

They encourage others around them to do the same
They don’t have to go on any pilgrimages
They will not be born again
Their children will reap spiritual rewards in the future

 

5. Bahá’í’s believe that moral maturity comes from spiritual awareness and that the ultimate aim in life of every human soul should be to attain moral and spiritual excellence - to align one's inner being and outward behavior with the will of an All-Loving Creator.

Bahá'u'lláh, like the other Divine Messengers who preceded Him, sought to awaken the moral and creative capacities latent in human nature. In a poetic passage, Bahá'u'lláh describes the actions of the moral individual and urges His followers to live accordingly:

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbour, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression.”

What moral advice does Bahá'u'lláh give to all mankind when he says: “Let ________ and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.”

Courage
Straight-forwardness
Discrimination
Integrity

 

6. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1999, Swami conveyed how Buddha spread morality:

“People think that money is everything.
Just as the earth revolves around the Sun, people go
around money.
Some people take to corrupt ways to earn money.
They may cheat others,
But can anyone hoodwink God?
They will certainly reap the
Consequences of their misdeeds. [Telugu Poem]

This was the teaching of Buddha. Character is important, not money. Bliss can be attained only through control of senses, not through penance, japa, or meditation. Neither by penance nor by going through scriptures nor by having a dip in holy rivers can one attain liberation. There is no easier path to peace and bliss other than controlling one's own senses.”

According to Swami, what was the first and foremost right method of controlling the senses that Buddha propagated towards advancement in one’s moral conduct in day-to-day living?

Right Vision
Right Talk
Right Listening
Right Conduct

 

7. Zarathushtra, in his search for truth, found and realized the Supreme and Divine Entity of Creation called "Ahura Mazda.” From that point, he recorded the divine teachings in seventeen songs as the eternal guidelines for humanity, referred as "Gathas" or "sacred songs", which provide a moral guide to every person on this planet to reach immortality and enlightenment without renouncing mental and physical freedom and choice. Therefore, the Zoroastrian religion lays tremendous emphasis on morals and ethics.

In keeping with Swami’s moralistic teachings, what does Zoroastrianism lay stress on?

Maintain Purity in Thoughts, Words and Deeds
Foster Duty, Devotion, Discipline
Have Holy Hands, Head and Heart
Keep Patience, Purity and Perseverance

 

8. In the Hindu Holy Scripture, Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna said to Arjuna: “Seek refuge in the attitude of detachment and you will amass the wealth of spiritual awareness. Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do. When consciousness is unified, however, all vain anxiety is left behind. There is no cause for worry, whether things go well or ill.” - Bhagavad Gita 2.47-50

Hindus believe that morality proceeds from the inner spirit of man. Thus, one's motive is as important in the performance of an action as the action itself. When the heart is pure and free from lust and greed, whatever one does to perform one's duties has a high moral value.

According to Swami, what does the letter ‘H’ stand for in the word Hindu?

Honesty
Holy
Humility
Helpfulness

 

9. In Jainism, actions that carry moral significance are considered to cause certain consequences in just the same way as mechanical actions do not carry any special moral significance. For instance, when one holds an apple in one's hand and then lets it go, the apple falls; this is only natural. There is no judge, and no moral judgment involved, since this is a natural consequence of the physical action.

Morality and ethics are important because a life that is led in agreement with moral and ethical principles is beneficial - it leads to a decrease and finally to the total loss of karma, which means: to ever increasing happiness.

Jainism has laid down five great vows for the path of liberation. One of them is ‘aparigraha’ or non-possessiveness. What is the potential danger for a spiritual aspirant for not practicing that vow?

Can lead to mental imbalances
A person could commit sin
Can create rifts in relationships
Can lead to rebirths and hinder spiritual growth

 

10. During a Divine Discourse in 1987, Swami enlightened us by teaching us one of His favourite maxims on morality: “It is a great pity that people are sacrificing the most precious things in life for the sake of trivial and transient pleasures. In the pursuit of the trivial, men involve themselves in sinful activities. They forget the Divine. There is no escape from the consequences of sinful deeds. Hence everyone should have fear of sin. Equally, there should be love of God. When these two are present, one will become a truly moral person in society.

All "active workers" should therefore bear in mind these three things: Daiva preethi (Love of God), Paapa bheethi (fear of sin) and Sangha neethi (morality in society). When one observes these three, he will be practicing all other human values. Fear of sin will result in non-violence and peace. Love of God will promote adherence to truth and expression of love for all beings. Social morality will be Dharma (Righteousness) itself.”

According to Swami, a lack of which of the four reasons is the main cause of immorality in society?

Love of God
Fear of Sin
Righteousness
Service to society

Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to [email protected] mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team

 

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