Eight Ethical Qualities for a Successful Life

हरि सर्वोत्तम । वायु जीवोत्तम | श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः

अनसूया दया क्षान्तिः अनायासाश्च मन्गलं अकार्पण्यम् तथा शौचं अस्पृहा च

Irrespective of birth, location, age, era, faith, community, social status or gender, this is the prescribed 8-fold path for aspirants to develop ethical qualities and lead a successful and happy life:

  • अनसूया – freedom from envy, pride and malice
    • न गुणान् गुणिनो हन्ति नस्तौति आत्मगुणान् अपि । प्रहृष्यते नान्य दोषैः अनसोओया प्रकेएर्तिता ॥
    • Not being dismissive of other’s good qualities – and being happy when someone else is praised
    • Not praising one’s own good qualities
    • Not being happy when someone’s flaw is mentioned – and not mentioning it, even if true
  • दया – compassion, kindness, mercy
    • अपारे बन्धुवर्गे वा मित्रे द्वेष्टिनिवस सदा । आत्मोद्वर्त्नं यस्यात् सा दया परिकीर्तिता ॥
    • Helping an unrelated person in difficulty just as you would a close relative
    • Taking care of even an enemy in dire straits just as you would take care of yourself
  • क्षान्तिः – forbearance, endurance, patience
    • वाचामनसीकाये च मुखेन उत्पादितेन । न कुप्यति न च अप्रीतिः सा क्षान्तिः प्रकीर्तिता ॥
    • Even if verbally, mentally or physically hurt by someone, not getting angry and not showing hatred 
    • i.e. accepting whatever happens to us is due to our own Karma and Lord’s will – nothing is random, accidental or coincidental.
    • Instead of hating, pray for your assailant’s deliverance and your own improvement
  • अनायासा – free from excessive exertion
    • शरीरं पीठ्यते येन शुभेन अपि च विकर्मण । अत्यन्तं तन्न कुर्वीत अनायसः स उच्यते ॥
    • Not abusing your body with excessive exertion with tasks beyond your capacity even if considered good actions otherwise
    • Keeping up your fitness and capability to do good karma – shaastra-s prescribe to live a productive life of a hundred years to do satkarma
  • मन्गलं – auspiciousness
    • प्रशस्त आचरणं नित्यं अप्रशस्तं विवर्जनं । एतत् हि मन्गलं प्रोक्तम् मुनिभिः ब्रह्मवादिभिः ॥
    • Doing prescribed good actions (only) all the time and giving up proscribed acts – this is auspiciousness according to society, seers and scholars
  • अकार्पण्यम् – generosity, lack of avarice
    • तोकादपिकृदातव्यं अधीनेन अन्तरात्मना । अहन्यहनि यत्किन्चित् अकार्पण्यं तद् उच्यते ॥
    • Even if you have only a little, giving to someone who has less than you – with happiness and without remorse of giving up, or for publicity and show
    • Giving as much as you can every day to society to share and live
  • शौचं – purity
    • अभक्ष्य परिहारश्च संसर्गस्च्चापि अनिन्दितैः । आचर्ये च व्यवस्थानं शौचं इति अभिधीयते ॥
    • Eating only what you should – while science prescribes diets for physical well being, Shaastra-s  also cover mental and spiritual stimulation with a saatvic diet
    • (Only) keeping company of those who think and do good
    • Taking tutelage under a learned Guru
  • अस्पृहा – contentment, lack of desire and attachment
    • यथा लब्धेन सन्तुष्ठः स्वल्पेन अपि वस्तुना । अहिंसया परस्त्वेशु सा अस्पृहा परिकीर्तिता
    • Being happy with whatever you get – even if little is all you have
    • Not looking at what others have – which will never make you happy
    • Not desiring others possessions or wealth
    • Not hurting others

But being so full of flaws how to follow *all* the above? And that too *all* the time, doing only satkarma?

Maybe if we first understand and acknowledge our deficiencies, and then sincerely try to overcome them, we could develop ourselves for a better life.

But then who would be our role model and guide, i.e. who has all these qualities for us to learn from!? 

Why, Jeevottama Vaayu Devaru of course!!! He, and *only* He (Lord Almighty being above and beyond all this), displays all the above 8 qualities –  completely and always.

So let us go back to each of Vaayu Deva’s avataara-s and recollect the glorious deeds of Hanuma, Bheema and Madhva with these अष्ठगुण-s in mind.

Reference: Guru Bannanje Govindacharya’s lecture

/Raghunath Rao/ “Do your Best … and leave the Rest … “

(All mistakes mine – all credit to Gurus and Acharyas )

|| sarvaṁ śrī kṛṣṇārpanamastu ||