Virtues
adhyayana
study of the Scriptures such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
danam
This term has a twofold reference; one is the giving of charity to the needy as well as doing social works for the benefit of society as a whole, and the other reference is to the gift of fearlessness to all creatures — abhaya pradanam (not being the cause of fear to any living being).
satya
Practice of Truth and harmony in thought, speech and action at all times; one should speak only that which is true and agreeable and beneficial to others, one should not needlessly say things that are hurtful even though they may be the truth. The practice of Truth includes in it such virtues as straightforwardness, frankness, absence of deviousness and malice etc.
ahimsa
The cultivation of an attitude of non-injury to any being in word, deed, or thought.
kshama
Forgiveness and forbearance which come from loving kindness and compassion to all beings which is based on the awareness of the presence of the jiva in all beings.
damah
Self restraint; one should impose restrictions on one’s desires and behavior and should avoid excesses and cultivate self- discipline.
asteya
Not taking anything which is not given
shauca
Purity of both the body by regularly bathing and maintaining hygiene, and mental purity through practice of virtue and compassion.
shanti
The cultivation of personal and environmental peace and contentment.
tapas
or tapah, the common meaning of this term is self-discipline which refers to simple living and constant mindfulness of God as well as purposive meditation as well as control of the body, mind and speech.
yajña
Worship of God through the rituals that are prescribed in the Vedas and the agamas.
gurusevanam
Respecting and honouring elders and parents and caring for them.
arjavam
Straightforwardness, integrity and honesty.
daya
Implies love for all creatures, such love being the very fulfilment of life. There is indeed no greater happiness than that derived by loving others. Daya is the backbone of all qualities.
mangala
Auspicious air about happiness that is characterised by dignity and purity. One must be cheerful all the time and not keep growling at people on the slightest pretext. This itself is extremely helpful, to radiate happiness wherever we go and exude auspiciousness. It is better than making lavish gifts and throwing money about.
vinaya
Humility (a key personal characteristic required in many spiritual disciplines).
ishvarapranidhana
Surrender.
sraddha
Unwavering faith in the sacred scriptures or sastras and in the moral codes they contain as well as in the Atman and the Guru.
viveka
Discrimination between what is real (the immortal Atman, or true self), and unreal (the changing universe).
vairagya
Detachment — dispassion for all pleasures here and in hereafter, uncoloredness.
mumukshuthwam
The longing for Moksha or Liberation.
vivarana
Cultivating a keenness for perceiving distinctions ie. between the true and the false.
smarana
A constant mindfulness and contemplation of the spiritual truths.
dharana
Retentiveness and recollection of lessons learnt.
indriya nigraha
Control of the senses.
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