Spiritual Topics > Knowledge That Results in Release > Good Virtues


Contentment/Santokh

Contentment means to fulfill all my responsibilities and I then leave the results to God. In other words:  To renounce all craving for what is not obtained unsought and to be satisfied with what comes unsought, without being elated or depressed even by them—this is contentment. As long as one is not satisfied in the self, he will be subject to sorrow. With the rise of contentment the purity of one's heart blooms. The contented man, who possesses nothing owns the world.

We humans seem to always be seeking satisfaction in the external world and our internal fantasies. We are led to believe that satisfaction of our cravings, as well as our egos, will bring happiness. To the contrary, ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and clinging to the sensual are actually obstacles to our contentment and our prospects for liberation. From an attitude of contentment , unexcelled happiness, mental comfort, joy, and satisfaction is obtained. Contentment comes from within. Only when we comfortably accept what we currently have will be able to do the practices that lead to the highest realization.

Too often we think too small. Some people believe they must close their eyes to the suffering of others in order to maintain their own contentment. They confuse indifference with detachment, passivity with peacefulness, and isolation with equanimity. But hiding one's head in the sand will not guarantee contentment. There is an old saying from India: “You can wake up a sleeping person but you cannot awaken someone who is pretending to sleep.”

Compassion/Daya

Compassion is a highest divine virtue. Without compassion, God's light does not shine in us. It is not mere display of kindness or sympathy to someone in distress. It is deeper and more positive in sentiment than sympathy. One imbued with daya chooses to die himself rather than cause other people to die.  It calls for complete identification with the suffering experienced by another and relieving that suffering as a means of relieving the agony experienced by himself.

Anger can be controlled by practising forgiveness and compassion. Compassion/Daya on one Jeev (physical being) is equal to religious pilgrimage of 68 top tiraths (religious places).

Humility/Nimrata

Nimrarta is very important in Spiritual path. A person who is humble, doesn’t ‘personally’ or ‘selfishly’ care if they are right or wrong, they are just concerned with being right for the sake of helping others, thus they are more often right than wrong, and will more quickly correct any mistakes if they find they are wrong. They also seek perfection in the service of God, and welcome the criticism of others, so that they may correct mistakes they have missed. Having the ‘attention’ of others is also important to those who lack humility. The prideful person wants credit for their accomplishments. The humble person attributes all of their successes, capabilities, and accomplishments, to simple facts of reality, or God working through them, rather than to their own prideful abilities.

e.g [ Rather than the egotistical attitude of the separate self, which is one of being a great mountain, humility is having an attitude of being a receptive little valley. Nature wears down the great mountain, and fills the valley with rich topsoil, lakes, and abundance. Thus, a person who is truly humble, and in need, cannot be passed by, and is made great by God. E.g when a mango tree gives shade to people and when laden with fruits it lows down so that people can enjoy its fruit. But on the other hand a bamboo (or coconut) tree does not give shade and birds have to go high to have nothing to eat. ]

A person with a humble attitude learns very quickly, adapts to situations easily and quickly, “flows” with whatever changes are presented to them by life or people, and can communicate and relate to others better than anyone else. Why? Simply because they “get out of their own way”. Rather than putting time and energy into “themselves”, or defending themselves or their ideas, they keep an open mind and consider the input of others.

To be humiliated, which is often looked at as a “bad” thing, is a great goodness. Being appreciated, given attention to, glorified, praised - those are harmful to humility. Humiliation could be the greatest gift someone could give to us. To be willing to be a fool, and to really see and admit mistakes, and shortcomings, is what makes true greatness in anything.

From a humble point of view, this (pointing out my faults, and showing me ways to improve) is food for the famished, but from a selfish state of mind, it’s like being force fed the kinds of food we hate. For someone who has an attitude that they don’t really want to see any truth about themselves, it is a horrible nightmare. It means they don’t really want to change also.

Do we want to have a hard time, and protect our ego so others will think we’re right all the time? Or do we want to have an easy time, and be humble and become truly right all the time? Do we want others to think we’re great, or do we want to be great? We're free to choose, and we will live with the consequences of any choice we make.

Unselfish Love

Unselfish Love is the way to communicate with God/the Inner Being/the Universal Spirit. Through Unselfish Love we access peace of mind, sustain peace of mind and flow with the natural laws of the Universe. Unselfish Love is the natural way of life throughout the Universe. Love means practically relizing our oneness and identify with our neighbour, with all those who come in contact with us.

e.g [ If Hand thinks that why should I share my hard-work fruits with other organs, then our body would have been dead and eventually hand would also been dead for his selfish desire. In other words, the hand must feel and realize that its self is not confined within the small area beyond the wrist, but must practically feel itself as identical and one with the Self of whole system. Unless we realize this fact and live this truth, that we are one with the universe, that I and God are one, we cannot succeed. Whenever a man falls out of harmony with Nature he suffers, the very moment we realize our unity with fellow-beings, all prosperity is ours. ]

e.g [ Unselfish Love is Natural Law and is behind 'gravity' which is an aspect of attraction. Electrons are attracted to the nucleus of an atom, planets are attracted to and revolve around stars, stars are attracted to and revolve around black holes, black holes are attracted to and revolve around (not yet discovered) etc. Yet it can also be seen from a different point of view: Black holes radiate energy to the stars, stars radiate energy to the planets, planets radiate energy to the life-forms it harbors, electrons radiate energy to the nucleus of an atom etc. At the foundation of all this is Love - giving and sharing energy. ]

Patience/Deeraj

Patience is very pertinent to self-discipline and meditation. Patience gives us all of time and space to understand things.

Determination

Determination is most important in every field of life and in meditation. Determination is must for practicing anything. We cannot change our conditions, society as per our thinking, but if we have internal force we can get past this life's path very successfully.

In order to make progress in any aspect of life, it is essential to develop our willpower and our personal strength. Build Strength of Will Slowly One Stone At A Time If one attempts to lift a stone larger than one’s strength it can crush us under its weight. If we are not moderate in our attempts at self-discipline, its rebellion is extremely strong, and we are more likely to fail. Every time we fail at self-discipline, the separate self grows stronger and our power of will grows weaker. When we moderately discipline our self, it is easier to discipline because it is milder. And because it is easier it is generally more successful, and this allows our strength of will to grow consistently. Every time we moderately apply self-discipline, our strength of will gets more powerful. e.g Do not determine that I shall wake up at 1AM everyday even though we used to wake up at 9AM, go slowly; otherwise instead of increasing will-power, our will-power will be reduced.

For anything to really be effective, including goal achievement, self-discipline, or ideals, the conscious and subconscious minds must work together. Many times a person makes major conscious mind decisions, but the programming of the subconscious mind is in conflict with those, and keeps working at counter-purposes to the conscious goal. This is the reason behind saying "Be moderate in our attempts for Self-Discipline". Therefore we should first learn to keep yourself open and be an observer of ourself until we observe that our willpower has become dynamic.

I can do it, I will do it, and I have to do it, no matter what happens.” That is called willpower. If we want to do something, just do it. Stop thinking about it. Stop doing something else. Just do it, no matter what happens, at all costs. There will be problems but keep doing it and no-problem will sustain. Determination is very important. That will create our dynamic will and that dynamic will enables us to create wonders in the world. But keep in mind that our resolutions and deeds should not hurt others, otherwise we're selfish.

If we have poor concentration, we will likely have poor self-discipline, and vice-versa. They are very much the same thing, only each affects a different ‘time span’. Concentration involves using our will to hold our mind on whatever we choose, for a given period of time. Self-discipline involves using our will to hold our mind in a certain direction for a longer time span, and thus achieving a specific result. Whether it is bugs, or any other distractions, just hold to our concentration consistently, and eventually the distractions will give up and never bother us again.

e.g [ When we wake up, we should immediately get out of bed. If you really want to discipline yourself and your mind and develop yourself, then the first thing that you have to learn is to get out of bed the moment you wake up, and not remain in bed tossing or turning. ]

Attention

If we want to be successful in our life, learn to train our attention. Attention is the key point that leads us to concentration, then to meditation, and then to samadhi. But, basically, this process begins with attention. To attend to one thing at a time and not allow any intruding thoughts is a skill one should learn. Along with the development of attention, a second quality is the ability to make mistakes without condemning ourself. Determine that no matter what happens, no matter how many times we stumble, it does not matter. If we have not crawled, we cannot walk; if we have not stumbled, we cannot stand.

Attention is the first step on the ladder to develop one-pointedness of mind. One must pay wholehearted attention to all of the things he does from morning until evening. The aspirant should also understand why he is acting in a particular way. Actions should not be performed as a reaction without understanding why one does them. The mind is prone to be reactionary if not trained, and an untrained mind creates disorder, disease, and confusion. If one does something with full attention, he will increase his awareness and ability to perform his duty. If one forms the habit of attending fully to whatever he is doing, the mind will become trained, and eventually concentration will become effortless. 

Don’t impose discipline on ourself—“from tomorrow I will not lie, from tomorrow I will not take meat”—don’t create such problems for ourself. Be gentle with ourself, because gentleness alone is strength. Discipline means, “I will use all of my instruments according to my capacity.”

Silence and Stillness

All forms comes from sounds; the form gives us a knowledge of the sound, and the sound gives us a knowledge of the silence from which all sounds come. It is not due to the meaning of the words that the mantra has its impact. It is the effect of the sound that helps the mind to become still and eventually go beyond sound, to experience the silence within. Sounds arise from silence. We have to learn to go to the silence, both physically and mentally. Silence opens the door of intuitive knowledge, and then the past, present, and future are revealed to the student. Beyond body, breath, and mind lies this silence. From Silence emanate peace, happiness, and bliss.

For a few minutes in the morning and the evening, every human being should learn to be still. For our mental health it’s important for us to understand quietness, stillness. During that time, those muscles which do not get rest even in sleep get rested. We can exercise and develop all of our gross muscles, but we don’t have control over our involuntary system, the subtle set of muscles. For that we should learn to compose ourself, we should learn to be quiet, we should learn to be still, we should learn to breathe in a serene way. To learn stillness, a regular habit should be developed and, to form this habit, one should learn to be regular and punctual in practicing the same posture, at the same time and at the same place until the body's habit stop rebelling against the discipline given to it.

Mind does not want to go into silence — it has many desires to fulfill. We are busy listening to mere sounds that are useless or meaningless, and which have adverse effects on your mind. Learn to put ourself into silence. Our normal habit, our training, and our education is to go to the ocean of the external world and become lost in the sounds. Learn instead to go back to the Source of silence; this is the method of meditation, the inward journey.