(Spoken on February 11th, 1973)
How do we know what action is justifiable and what is not? There are some people who have laid down a principle. If a particular character, attitude or conduct of ours can be imitated by everybody else in the world with impunity, well, we can regard it as a justifiable action. Suppose you tell a lie. Would you like everybody in the world to tell lies? If you yourself would not like it, then it is not justifiable.
Suppose everybody in the world is a thief, without exception. Would it be all right? We will naturally say it is not all right; therefore, theft is not justifiable. Incontinence universally practised is not justifiable. So anything that is universally applicable with impunity to everyone is often regarded as a test of dharma or justifiable action. The principle, however, ultimately is that it should be universally applicable and the law operating in the cosmos should determine action.
There is also a principle of dharma la…