Inculcating Virtues for a Happy Life

‘He who is loved by all is loved by God’. Everyone praises an ideal person whether in the office, in the society or at home. To make our behaviour ideal, it is necessary to develop virtues in ourselves. Even God likes virtuous people; because they live a happy life and also make others happy. Personality defects make our life unhappy and depressing. Conversely, virtues make life rewarding and blissful. Besides, since virtues enhance the efficiency of a person, his/her life too becomes successful.

We read about the pathetic state of our Nation in newspapers, see it on TV, etc. Corruption, robberies, atrocities on women, etc. are taking place unhindered. This is because citizens have become selfish and are not patriotic. Merely shouting the slogan ‘My Bharat is great’ or singing the National Anthem during national holidays will not suffice; we have to inculcate virtues such as patriotism, pride in the Nation, motivation to work selflessly for the Nation.

 

1. Various virtues important for leading an ideal life

A. Virtues useful in worldly life

  • Not being dependent : Performing personal chores on our own, both at home as well as outside, means being independent. Developing self-discipline, efficiency, ability to plan better are some of the benefits of being independent.
  • Cleanliness : This includes personal hygiene as well as regular cleaning of one’s home, area of work and ensuring that surroundings (office, temples etc.) are clean. Purity of the mind can be achieved by overcoming personality defects, developing virtues and chanting the Name of God all the time.
  • Thriftiness : By the grace of God, man is gifted with numerous objects. Judicious use of these objects without wastage is known as thriftiness.
  • Appropriate time management : One should utilize the available time effectively and plan all activities ahead of the time.
  • Punctuality : Punctuality is a trait of courtesy. One should be punctual at all times.
  • Loving nature

B. Virtues useful to enhance morality

  • Speaking the truth : God always supports and protects those who always follow the path of truth.
  • Honesty : Honesty depicts the virtue of simplicity of the mind. Everyone likes an honest person, even God likes him. Hence, everyone should learn to be honest with himself and with others.
  • Humility : Humility is expressed through various actions including speaking, walking, standing posture, behaviour etc. One should behave humbly with everyone and respect elders at all times.

C. Virtues useful for improving spiritual practice

  • Tidiness : When objects are kept tidily, they emit positive vibrations, meaning, one feels pleasant after looking at them. God resides wherever there are positive vibrations; whereas, negative energies get attracted to negative vibrations.
  • Obedience : Obedience means performing acts as advised by the Guru, Saints or elderly people promptly and wholeheartedly. Obedience is the king of all virtues in a disciple. Obedience increases our attitude of listening to others and efficiency and reduces our ego.
  • Attitude of being content : Personality defects such as buying unwanted things, envying, etc. makes the attitude of a person unhappy and consequently, the mind becomes unhappy. Temptation is the root cause of unhappiness.
  • Promptness : Immediately complying with a request means promptness. By enhancing the virtue of promptness, your enemy in the form of PD (personality defect) of laziness will be eliminated.
  • Curiosity and a learning attitude : Curiosity is an attitude of learning. It is said that man is a student all his life. Keeping this in mind, try to learn constantly.
  • Yearning : Intense yearning attitude is essential to accomplish any goal.
  • Bhav (Spiritual emotion) : God is always pleased with people who have bhav. When bhav is generated, the spiritual experience of Anand (Bliss) persists. One can generate bhav by praying to God intermittently, speaking with God from within consistently and expressing gratitude towards God with a realization that we have been bestowed with something because of God and an awareness of how much God does for us.
  • Sacrifice : With sacrifice, virtues of helping others, concern for others, benevolence etc. are developed in oneself. Sacrifice for the sake of Nation and Dharma is most superior.

D. Virtues related to the interest of the nation

  •  Patriotism
  •  Building physical strength
  •  Unifying skills
  •  Leadership qualities

E. Virtues useful in enhancing
dedication unto Dharma (Righteousness)

  • Abiding by Dharma : Abiding by Dharma means performing actions directly for the sake of Dharma. We can abide by Dharma even through small actions. Abiding by Dharma, we get the blessings of God, who protects us in crisis.
  • Following our own culture : We should abide by Achardharma (Code of conduct), behave as per scriptures and be proud of our mother-tongue / native language.

 

2. How to implement the
process of inculcation of virtues ?

Inculcation of virtues means enhancing your virtues. This is a process of systematically and consistently impressing virtues upon the mind and nurturing them.

A. Selection of virtues

To implement this process, select two virtues to start with. Virtues that counter the personality defects selected for the process of personality defect removal should be selected for inculcation of virtues. Suppose you have selected the defect of anger to work on, then select the virtue of love to impress upon the mind. This will further speed up the PDR (Personality Defect Removal) process.

B. Select incidents where you get a chance to do something

Select incidents where with the help of selected virtues, you will get the chance to do something. Suppose, you have selected the virtue of being independent, then think of incidents during the day in which you have a chance to be independent. These could include being independent at home or at workplace.

C. Filling the virtue inculcation chart

Every day, fill your virtue inculcation chart. Write how many times you were successful in your efforts to enhance virtues and how many times you were unsuccessful regarding the selected virtues. Wherever you were unsuccessful, write down the remedy too. This will be clear from the examples in the ‘Virtue inculcation chart’.

Selected  virtues Positive actions Negative actions Remedies
Humility When I am busy doing some important work and my child asked me solution to a difficult mathematics question, I rudely replied, “Can you not see that I am busy in my work?” Speaking softly and with humility is an important step towards developing Priti for everyone. I will convince my mind with this perspective or give autosuggestion.
When my colleagues at work and my friends approached me, I spoke respectfully with them.
When my wife called me for dinner, I replied angrily, “I will have dinner after watching the News”. When my wife calls me for dinner, I will politely ask her if I can come after watching the News.
When my boss asked me to send an important file immediately, I complied respectfully.
Thriftiness I wasted water by letting the tap remain open while shaving I will remember value of various things gifted to us by God and use them judiciously. I will give autosuggestion to my mind to close the tap while shaving, brushing my teeth etc.

The process of inculcation of virtues is a psychological therapy, which we are not used to. Most of us do not perform some action with perseverance. While undertaking the personality defects removal process, there is a conflict in the mind, which we find difficult to handle in the beginning. In reality, the process is not difficult, it bestows happiness. If the process of imbibing good virtues is followed with earnest desire and with complete surrender to the Guru, one can undoubtedly bring about a positive change in oneself.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text ‘Overcome personality defects for a blissful life’