Beach 2: First Steps in the ascent to the Divine

Wave 3:  Five Cardinal Virtues for the Ascent

The first and foremost thing to attempt in Man's long journey to Divine Perfection is to acquire certain cardinal virtues. The Gita lists these virtues and classifies them as divine characteristics:

abhayaM satva-samSuddhir-jnAna-yoga-vyavasthitiH /
dAnaM damaSca yajnaSca svAdhyAyas-tapa-ArjavaM //
ahimsA satyaM akrodhas-tyAgaH SAntir-apaiSunaM /
dayA bhUtesh-valoluptvaM mArdavaM hrIr-acApalaM //
tejaH kshamA dhRtiH SaucaM adroho nAtimAnitA/
Fearlessness, Purity of heart, steadfastness in the ascent to the Divine,
charity, sense-control, sacrifice, study of  scriptures,
asceticism, straightforwardness,
non-violence, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness,
absence of crookedness, compassion to beings, non-covetousness,
gentleness, modesty, absence of fickle-mindedness, vigour, forgiveness,
fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of pride.

Five of these have been repeatedly emphasized,  by expositors of sanAtana dharma,  as all-embracing. These are:


The first three pertain to the individual. The last two are social virtues. Each of these must be very broadly interpreted. For example, PURITY is external as well as internal. So in addition to cleanliness it encompasses such qualities as straightforwardness, frankness, innocence, absence of envy or of pride or of malice, absence of crookedness, gentleness and modesty.
SELF-CONTROL is the rooting out of the sins of the flesh and of the mind. Observe that flesh is not suppressed but only put in its place. Keeping impure thoughts away is the major part of the control of the mind. If one  can be master  of one's mind, if one can direct the mind to think what one wants to think and not allow it to think what it likes to think about,  then one may be said to have  self-control. What is important is who is occupying  the driver's seat in this vehicle of journey through life.  Making one's mind the servant rather than the master is not suppression. One might be tempted to say: 'Allowing the mind and body

July 31, 99  ©Copyright  V. Krishnamurthy  Home  Contents   Next