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Knowledge for Freedom >>> Five Virtues

Five virtues will help any person to be on the Spiritual path. These five virtues will help arrest the five thieves/vices.

Truth (Sat)

It is the virtue of truthful living, which means practicing righteousness, honesty, justice, unbiased, and fair play. "Truth is high, but highest is truthful living." Truth is just an idea if it is not lived. Your truth should be so pure that it lifts a person’s soul to new heights. There are three kinds of truth: Universal truth, circumstantial truth, and personal truth, which only we know, and nobody else knows. Every human goes through these three truths in their life. The problem comes when we as humans become entangled in Illusion (Maya), and then we forget or deny the universal truth.

e.g. [Once Guru Nanak’s companion, Mardana, was asking him questions about the truth, and Guru Nanak asked him to go to the stores in town to buy the truth. Mardana went from store to store, but everyone told him that he was crazy and could not buy the truth. Finally, he arrived at one store and met a spiritual clerk who said he would give him the truth. He took a piece of paper and wrote: "Living is a lie, and dying is the truth.” When Guru Nanak opened the paper, he said, “There is one man in this town who knows the truth, and he alone has the realization that life is filled with the falsehood of Illusion (Maya), and in death of the mind, we may merge back with the True One."]

Compassion (Daya)

Compassion is the highest divine virtue. Without compassion, God's light does not shine on us. It is not a display of kindness or sympathy to someone in distress. It is deeper and more positive in sentiment than sympathy. One imbued with compassion 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 reducing the agony experienced by himself.

Anger can be controlled by practicing forgiveness and compassion. Compassion towards one being is equal to the pilgrimage of the top 68 religious places (there are 350 million religious pilgrimages, from which 68 are the major ones).

e.g. [Once a girl started a journey on foot to visit a religious pilgrimage around 600 kilometers, and during her first day of the trip, she sat on the edge of a water well to rest. She noticed a dog with her puppies walking around the well and looking into well. It was evident to the girl that the puppies were thirsty. She felt compassion for the puppies but could not find any rope or bucket to fetch the water from the well. She plucked all the hairs from her head to make a rope and tied her clothes to the rope's end. She threw the rope with the clothes at the end to absorb water from the well. She was then able to feed water to the puppies. After seeing this compassion, God moved the religious place in front of the girl. This is the power of compassion.]

Contentment (Santokh)

Be happy with what God has given us. It is God's will for us. It means to fulfill all responsibilities and 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. If one is not happy with the self, he will be subjected 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 always seek 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. On the contrary, ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion, and clinging to sensual pleasures are obstacles to our contentment and 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 we 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 to maintain their 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.

Humility (Nimrata)

To be humble and modest at all times and without ego. A humble person does not 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 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 criticism from others so that they may correct errors they have missed. Having the 'attention' of others is also essential to those who lack humility. The prideful person wants credit for their accomplishments. The humble person attributes all their successes, capabilities, and achievements to simple facts of reality or God working through them rather than their prideful abilities.

e.g. [Nature wears down the great mountain and fills the valley with rich topsoil, lakes, and abundance.]

e.g. [The mango tree gives shade to people, and when laden with fruits, it bends down so that people can enjoy its fruit. But on the other hand, a bamboo 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 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 excellent goodness. Being appreciated, given attention to, glorified, praised - those are harmful to humility. Humiliation could be the greatest gift someone could provide to us. To be willing to be a fool and to see and admit mistakes and shortcomings is what makes true greatness in anything.

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

Unselfish Love (Pyar)

It is the love for God and all His creation. Forgive and forget all grievances. Bear no grudges. 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 realizing our oneness and identifying with all who come in contact with us.

e.g. [If Hand thinks why should I share my hard-work fruits with other organs, our body would have died along with the hand for his selfish desire. The hand must feel and realize that its self is not confined within the small area beyond the wrist but must practically feel identical and one with the Self of the whole system. Unless we realize this fact and live this truth that we are one with the universe, that God and I are one, we cannot succeed. Whenever a man falls out of harmony with Nature, he suffers; the 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 power.]

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