Virtues Promote Happiness
THIS IS A COLLECTED LIST OF INTERVIEWS AND TALKS BY THE SRINGERI ACHARYALS ON VARIOUS RELIGIOUS TOPICS DURING THE 1990’S. THEY WERE PUBLISHED IN “THE HINDU” NEWSPAPER.
Sages and saints have left a rich legacy for the benefit of posterity. This treasure is still available in the form of guidelines which when followed will result in obtaining peace and bliss. One among this galaxy of such masters was Rishi Gautama, who prescribed eight personal qualities which when cultivated will enable a person to enjoy happiness. If all of us adopt them in our lives, the world will become a better place to live.
The sage starts with man's need to display compassion towards all beings.
God has nothing whatsoever to achieve for Himself but still on account of His mercy and His desire to uplift mankind has taken many incarnations. The tendency to relieve the sufferings of others is compassion, which occurs naturally among some while in some others arises due to the company of godly persons.
The second quality is forbearance.
Even though a person may have the power to take action or retaliate, still he should forgive the wrong doer. The Ramayana points out how God-incarnate never recalled even a hundred wrongs committed against Him but was satiated even with a single favor extended to Him. Anger burns the very person who gives room to it.
The third trait is not to find fault with others who are competent, prosperous or famous.
We should appreciate the good in others and not search for their defects.
Purity is the fourth requirement.
One should maintain personal cleanliness and see that the surroundings are hygienic.
The fifth essential is avoidance of lethargy.
Many may give excuses for not being in a position to carry out their duties. Laziness should be totally eschewed. Instead, a person should show zeal in discharging his obligations.
Auspiciousness accounts for the sixth noble quality.
It is necessary for a person to speak and conduct himself in a pleasant manner and not put on a wry face.
Manu has said, `Do not verbalize a distressing truth. Do not say anything that is gratifying but false'. Lord Krishna adds, ``Speech that causes no pain, is true, agreeable and beneficial, and the practice of studying the scriptures constitute austerity of speech.''
In one of his `expositions', Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal (whose Jayanthi was celebrated on Monday) has referred to the `Absence of niggardliness' as the seventh requisite.
Hoarding and not parting with anything for charity arise out of greed. A person should realize that he cannot carry his wealth when he leaves the world.
The last of the eight qualities is `Absence of attachment' as most of our problems stem out of our worldly desires.
A detached man experiences inward joy. Virtue alone will accompany a person to the next world.