Corruption is considered to be the root of most problems in the world. It is believed to be the root of poverty and miseries. This can also be proven by studies as the least corrupt countries are the richest countries in the world and the poorest countries are those who are most corrupt. Corruption is often related to the act of bribing the government officials as corruption is often defined as “lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery) or the use of a position of trust for dishonest gain”.
However, it is not necessary to be a government officer to be corrupt as the wide definition of corruption include moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles. Thus the wide definition of corruption is quite similar to the concept of “sin” which is provided in the Scriptures.
We all wish to lead a life without corruption and without sin, yet in reality it had been impossible to find out a single person without sin as the following incident of Bible describes.
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
In reality, there seems to be none free from corruption and sin. Even the countries rated as least corrupt like New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, and Switzerland are most corrupt due to the lack of morality of their citizens in their private lives.
There are no easy answers for corruption. It is surprising for many to understand as too why top government officials resort to corruption when they are paid so well and provided such higher position of power. There also seems to be no logical reason for people to commit sin when all their basic needs seems to have been satisfied.
What makes a man corrupt or commit sin or become corrupt?
The Root of Corruption
The Original Sin is related to the fall of man when Adam and Eve could not resist the temptation of eating the fruit from the forbidden tree. The curse of God for the humanity seems to be true as no person seems to be free from sin in the world.
It is easy to see that “temptation of the forbidden” continues to be the reason behind all corruptions. People just can not resist the temptation of what is forbidden. They wish to taste every fruit of this world and then decide for themselves if the fruit is good or evil.
Therefore, in order to know corruption and sin, one has to understand the forbidden acts and the temptation of man which are closely related to each other.
The civilized society runs on the basis of laws passed by the parliaments or made by the rulers. Every law forbids something and provides a punishment. There are no positive laws. For example, no law can be like “Every citizen should be honest” as it would serve no purpose. Every law is actually a law of prohibition and forbiddance. For example, law could be “No one should steal” and it can provide a punishment for the stealing.
There would be no need for making the given law, if a man by nature is inclined to do an act. There is no law that mothers must love their children as all mothers by nature love their children. Yet there are laws against theft and murder as men have an inherent desire to make themselves richer by taking away the property of others and kill the people whom they hate. Even States do the same thing by collecting the taxes from the personal income of the citizen or by hanging the criminals. There are always laws against sexual indulgence since it is a natural tendency of men to have physical intimacy at any cost.
Thus every law forbids an act which arises from the basic instinct of the man. These acts are permitted freely in the animal kingdom and man being evolved from animals can not bury these natural desires even with their best effort.
The list of forbidden acts is infinite. There are hardly any desirable act which had not been forbidden either legally or morally. It is even a sin to accumulate wealth and live a life of comfort from a moral and spiritual point of view when billions of people are not getting food, cloths and shelters. It is forbidden to marry a girl or boy of your choice, if they happen to be from different caste, religions, nationalities etc. It is forbidden to leave your spouse even if it is impossible for you to love.
It is impossible to find any act or desire which is not forbidden somewhere in the laws or scriptures.
The Power of Temptation
All men understand sooner or later that it is impossible to have a happy life if they follow the laws and scriptures in his life. Can anyone live with his limbs intact?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Mathew 5: 27-30)
Such is the punishments for the forbidden acts that most men control themselves in committing such acts. However, they find it impossible to control their thoughts and feelings. They always dream for such forbidden acts and always tempted to commit such acts to get the forbidden pleasures.
Temptations can be compared with the power of attractions that is found in all complementary things like north and south poles of a magnet, positive and negative charged material objects, men and woman, body and spirit. These desires are created by nature with a purpose but have been prohibited by man.
The laws of attraction of electrical charges and magnetism state that the power of attraction increases with the quantum of charges and the reduction of the distances. Hence, only if a man lives away at infinite distance from the world, he can live away from the forces of nature. Any worldly man is sooner or later bound to experience a force of attraction or temptation which would be beyond his powers to resist. Hence, it is virtually impossible to remain pure without corruption and sin.
The Illusion of Purity
Nature has not created anything as pure. Even air, which we inhale for our survival, is made from the mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and many other gases. Every cell of the human body is made of different elements. Thus it is impossible to achieve purity in conduct and thought. As a matter of fact, the very desire to seek purity is to challenge the wisdom of God who has created this world by mixing various elements rather than from one pure matter. Even the human being is made by combining body and spirit where body has all the material components from this world and the spirit is a part of God. While it is desirable to seek divinity and become more like God as the ultimate destiny of every life is to achieve salvation by achieving unity with God, it is ridiculous to ignore the effect of material body which follows the worldly laws. Hence purity is not a destination but a process which has to be achieved gradually. As far as one is moving in the right direction, he must make himself free from the feeling of guilt which arises due to breaking of spiritual laws amounting to sin or corruption. The laws of spiritual world are for guidance and its strict compliance in the material world is nothing but a illusion which needs to be dispelled for attaining happy life.